Kat, Lucy, and myself are all ‘baby wearers’, with myself and Kat owning a few each. Just after Nia was born, Bebe Cannelle sent a stretch wrap made by small US mum run company, GypsyMama to try out, however it took me longer to recover from SPD than I’d expected so Lucy tried it out instead.
Concept: This stretch wrap is at a glance, a long (6 yard) piece of jersey cotton. Designed to let you carry your baby on your front, back or hip through to toddlerhood, the fabric is seemingly made in a way where it won’t stretch very much lengthwise but does widthwise so that the weight is distributed evenly. They feature tapered ends as well to reduce on bulk. Fairtrade and hand-dyed in Bali, some are also available with batiked motifs.
Set Up: For me personally, the set up is a bit daunting due to the sight of the long piece of fabric and it’s marked by the fact that you need to watch a DVD in order to use it. Some don’t mind this (Lucy et al) with her saying “Once you get past the initial intimidation of metres and metres of fabric, it’s quite easy to get to grips with and the included DVD was helpful.” At this point, I gave up so over to Lucy…
In use: “Being used to (and a huge fan of – still use it now) the Babasling, I was a bit worried about how secure it would be considering you tie it yourself, but it actually felt very safe and Alfie was totally snug inside. I really liked the closeness you get from the wrap style and the stretch fabric – ideal for a newborn. You only need to tie it once, then you can just slip your little one in and out.
It felt completely comfortable and didn’t put any strain on my back or shoulders despite a rigorous trial – long walk with the dog and a session pounding the pavements. I only tried the front carry as Alfie was quite little and liked being on my chest, but would consider getting one to carry him on my hip or back now he’s older, and I love the chocolate brown colourway.
Any negatives: I do think they are quite expensive for what is effectively a length of t-shirt fabric. A friend actually made her own by making a pattern from one of her friend’s slings and I challenge anyone to tell the difference. I never managed to fold it efficiently to get it back into the case which was a bit frustrating.
Price: Â£53.99-Â£56.99 at Bebe Cannelle
Overall: Once you get past the daunting fabric and DVD, this is a really comfortable, good quality ethical baby carrier (there are more expensive less comfortable ones that don’t go the distance), but…they are a little pricey.
If you’d like to know more about ‘baby wearing’, check out Get Your Hands Back which is dedicated to spreading the word about the benefits of using baby carriers/slings.