Maybe a Woven Wrap Isn’t Right For You
Gasp! Babywearing blasphemy! 🙂
It’s a strange phenomenon – mamas come to my store and look longingly at the woven wraps. They haven’t committed to buying one yet, but they tell me that they want to love them. And I know exactly what they mean – I remember saying those words myself. Several times.
There are a lot of babywearers that adore woven wraps. If you go to a babywearing meeting, you’ll find the wrappers there, pulling out gorgeous carriers from their collections to compare. Their stashes often are quite extensive with wraps in different colours, sizes, and textiles. Watching one of these women effortlessly wrap a baby to her back is spellbinding. They are happy to chat at length about different brands and fabrics and tying methods. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Who wouldn’t want to join them? Before long, mamas who have been perfectly happy with their ring slings and mei tais are wondering if they could be a wrapper at heart too.
Given how much I loved my stretchy Moby Wrap with my first daughter, I was fairly certain I’d enjoy a woven wrap with my second baby, Harbour. I was not disappointed – each time I mastered a new hold, I was thrilled. I had so much fun learning new holds, and the wraps were just so comfortable, so versatile, and so beautiful. And let me tell you – using the “superman toss” to put an infant on your back is far less scary than it sounds.
Despite my total infatuation with the double hammock back carry and other great holds,Harbour made it clear as she grew older that she wanted more freedom to move around. She definitely preferred to be worn on my side in a ring sling, and so we often compromised with a hip carry in a woven wrap. I also bought a couple of ring slings too, since she seemed to enjoy them so much. They were great – gorgeous and easy – but woven wraps remained my favourite.
Over the next few months, I continued to throw Harbour up on my back as much as I could. She’d happily let me tie her up, but after about 10 or 15 minutes, she’d start to fuss at being constrained and I’d let her back down. Her squirminess really seemed to correspond with her crawling and then walking, so I’m hoping that it’s just a phase brought on by her new sense of freedom. Fingers crossed.
One day back in December I needed Harbour up and out of my way while I was working – she was probably trying to eat store inventory again. I had left all my carriers at home (seriously, how does that even happen?) so I grabbed one of the soft structured carriers (SSC) from the demo bin. I chose the new Boba 3G, which is pretty sweet looking. I clipped it on and tossed her on my back. Whoa. It was fast, it was easy, and it was comfortable. And she couldn’t escape. No matter how much she squirmed or leaned back, she stayed put. Awesome.
The next time I was in the store, I tried the Boba again. I liked it so much that I took it home with me for a few days. And then a few weeks later, I bought one myself. I could not believe how much I enjoyed the carrier, and I think my enjoyment stemmed from her being so happy in it. She has more freedom to move around and will happily sit on my back for an hour or more. I feel like I’ve discovered babywearing all over again.
I’m not going to lie – I really miss my woven wraps. But right now, my Boba is what works best for me and my baby. I’m really happy with it. We use it every day, and I can’t imagine life without it.
My mission now is to convey my enthusiasm for my new SSC at upcoming babywearing group meetings. I know that woven wraps seem like the holy grail of babywearing, but I don’t want anyone to feel that their current carriers aren’t good enough. There are a lot of great carriers out there. Yes, some carriers are better than others, but there are many, many good ones in lots of different styles. The baby carrier that’s best for me might not be what’s best for you. Maybe a woven wrap isn’t for you. The best babywearers are the people who take the time to find a carrier that they enjoy with their baby, and then use that carrier often. Keep your baby close – that’s what it’s all about.