Legalese Nonsense: I have been provided this wrap by Wrapy for reviewing for free, but have the freedom to state my own opinion and thoughts, and all my words and babywearing adventures and snuggles therein are thusly my own.
I can not even emphasize enough how much I love babywearing. Feeling the closeness and snugness of my little one, and their warm breath gently against my chest… smelling that baby smell… oh my…it just sends me and my oxytocin hormones into overdrive!
I can still remember the first time I encountered baby-wearing as a missionary kid in Africa. I saw these fearless, bold warrior women who had survived brutal civil wars in west Africa, and yet had the tenderness and affection to hold their little ones close. These moms were living in the “poorest of the poor” conditions, and yet they knew more about baby-wearing than I have ever known with all my Youtube videos and online tutorials at my instantaneous disposal. They aren’t necessarily aware, like we are in our first-world society, of the benefits of baby-wearing scientifically speaking, but they know it is necessary if they are going to provide for their families. It isn’t a trend there or a fashion statement, it is survival. I always admired that, and long to live fearlessly and boldly in the face of life’s adversities like they have. To be as bold as a lion, but as gentle and tender as a lamb.
Fast-forward years later, I am in my early 20’s and longing for a child after we had lost our Lily Neveah in March 2011. I had long since thrown out of my mind any real remembrance of baby-wearing from those brave West African women, but one Sunday, I saw a gorgeous young mama at our church baby-wearing her little newborn, and it was in an adorable stretchy wrap (although back then I didn’t know what a stretchy wrap was even). I thought it looked SO comfy and cute and stylish even. I relished the thought and prayer and hope of one day holding my very own baby close in my arms and having the chance to babywear him or her.
Shortly after this encounter with the lovely young mom at my church, to our delight, we became pregnant! I quickly started researching everything I could about baby-wearing and had bought my own stretchy wrap, ring sling, and even a soft structured carrier, and then I awaited in eager expectation for my rainbow child to arrive so I could put the carriers to use.
When my son finally came into my eager arms and vacated my womb, I pretty much immediately put him into his first baby carrier the second we left the hospital, which was a linen ring sling. I also wore him in our stretchy wrap we owned, and loved the bond and connection I felt with my son in those moments I would babywear. We tried various carriers, and had many learning curves, but we both grew together not only in closeness, but together in our babywearing abilities as well. Oliver, with his continued trust in me as I attempted various different wraps and carriers with him, and me with learning to baby-wear properly. I still remember my biggest struggle was pulling the wraps strand by strand to make sure they were tight enough. BOY – can it be a workout, but so worth it once it is all done and secure!
With our son we ended up, as he got older, favoring our soft structured carrier and my woven wraps for their durability and support – especially with my back because I suffer from scoliosis, bone spurs, and arthritis in my spine (that is right… I have a horrible back. *cry * Chiropractor once told me that he has 70-year-old ladies with better backs then me!), but there is something so special about those newborn stages with our stretchy wrap and the coziness it brought that I always hold very dear to my heart. I can’t even count the days I spent with Oliver as a newborn in his stretchy wrap as I did my college coursework whiles my husband was at work. Oliver has always been my active child! Even from the womb, he was constantly moving, so it was no surprise that we always had to be moving (which my postpartum body was grateful for) to keep him happy, so our carriers became serious life savers!
All that to say, I just delivered our daughter 1 month ago, and so, my dear kindred reader, thou canst imagine my inner thrill when I was offered to receive a stretchy wrap from the company called Wrapy to try their product out and write a review. I just received the wrap a couple days ago, and have FINALLY been able to try it out! I was immediately enthralled with the softness and loved the dark blue color of the wrap. When I put it against my skin, the smoothness and coolness of the wrap just heightened my anticipation to put my darling daughter into it! I loved how easy the instructions were to follow, and before I knew it, my daughter and I were smooth sailings.
Now, because it is a stretchy wrap, I did have to work at making sure she was at kissing level and practice my T.I.C.K.S. (YES, beloveds, I am a stickler for SAFE baby-wearing so please research to ensure you wrap safely before starting), as well as make sure the wrap was tight enough. I also always go ahead and watch several wrapping videos on youtube to make sure I have everything correct and even learn helpful tricks and tips!
Side note: One of my favorite YouTube channels for baby-wearing is Wrapping Rachel, but there are numerous other tutorials on there that are fantastic!
Within a couple minutes of experimenting, tightening, and following the instructions, everything was super snug and wonderful with my Wrapy, and I was able to go outside and enjoy being with my toddler and husband in this beautiful spring sunshine! I also was able to just sit and cuddle on the couch later and let her slumber peacefully against my chest. I even was able to get some housework done, and work out a little bit, which my body desperately needs (so please give me grace for these photos! I am not in the shape I need to be yet, but I finally have the “all clear” to resume all activities postpartum – aka excercise as much as I want – YAY!) .
She didn’t awaken or stir throughout all of these activites – even during our walk at a local park, which is a testament to how soft and comfy the wrap was against her delicate newborn skin! I was so grateful to have the perfect accessory, in a stunning color, to help me go about my day with success. Even my husband, who never enjoys wearing wraps of any kind, thoroughly enjoyed wearing Avonlea with our Wrapy, and kept on talking about how he couldn’t wait to wear her again!
Baby-wearing has seriously changed my life, and Wrapy is a fantastic brand, to hold your newborn close and get things done throughout the day! It is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, which makes sense as to why it is so soft and breathable. It is super comparable to other stretchy wrap brands, and even more affordable then most, which I am all about!
SAFETY Note: I don’t find this stretchy wrap, or any stretchy wrap brand for that matter, supportive enough to do any back-wearing safely or carry a toddler in, but for the younger baby stage, they are fantastic! I also don’t recommend doing the cradle hold that is listed in the instruction manual (a lot of stretchy carriers offer this carry suggestion, but it isn’t safe due to potential breathing restriction issues.) I am one to always er on the side of caution with these type of matters.
In glorious conclusion, I love how with baby-wearing I am able to accomplish all my daily goals at once and even have the freedom to chase around my wild toddle-bear as well! Since I am in school, working from home, trying to be a mom/wife, and look for a job in the medical field… to not be as productive as possible in a day is not really an option for me. I also go stir-crazy having to just sit around, so baby-wearing has given me access to new freedoms and saved me many times! I will forever be grateful to baby-wearing for allowing me to be a present and nurturing mother, as well as a productive and fearless woman in this crazy, fast-paced world!
Have you tried babywearing? What was your experience? What carriers do you enjoy? Tell me about it all, my kindred spirits!
Rebekah M. Clark
PRODUCT NOTE: Here is the direct link to look at purchasing your very own Wrapy baby-carrier! So worth it in my opinion!