Everywhere I go wearing Bubs in my wrap, people stop me and either comment about how great it is or ask me about it--where to get one, how to make it, and how in the world I get Bubs and myself into it.
Recently, in an email conversation that briefly touched on baby wraps, my friend, Fig, said: "I definitely want one. I'm just afraid I'll lose the baby in it and never be able to get [her] back out. Or strangle us both or something. They look SO intimidating to me." For her sake (and because so many people have asked me how), with the help of photographer Ax, I present to you my step-by-step wrap-tying photo demonstration...
(I cut my head out of most of the photos 'cause I have a tendency to produce embarrassing facial expressions. Click on the photos to see them larger.) :-)
Step One: Find the middle of your wrap, place it across your belly, and pull the ends around behind your back and cross them.Step Two: Once you've got the ends pulled up over your shoulders, check the fabric crossed behind you to make sure there aren't any twists that will create uncomfortable pressure points. Cross the ends in front of you and tuck them inside the fabric across your belly.Step Three: Pull the ends around your waist behind you. Depending on the length of your wrap, either tie them in a secure knot in the back or wrap them around the front again and tie them at your belly. And you're done.(Since Bubs was in bed, I grabbed Mr. Teddy to demonstrate the child-insertion.) To hold the baby facing you, stick their legs through the fabric crossing your chest and spread it out over their bottom so it creates a secure little "seat." Strips of fabric should travel from your shoulder, underneath each of the baby's legs, and then behind you. The idea is to make sure they can't possibly slip out the bottom. Then pull up the fabric crossing your belly around the "seat" for extra support and security. I'll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves.You can use the same tie to carry the baby facing out as well, though this is less comfortable for the baby-wearer since the weight is less naturally distributed. I find I can wear Bubs far longer facing me than I can when he's facing out, but I still wear him out when he's wide awake and wanting to watch stuff. Same basic instructions, but the baby is turned out (obviously). :-)There are loads of other types of carries and ties that I haven't learned yet. I think as Bubs gets bigger, I may look into some of the carries with baby on the hip or back 'cause they're just more manageable with a heavier load. But this basic carry has been all I've needed so far.
I LOVE my wrap, and I love being a walking advertisement for babywearing! So let this serve as a warning: if you prefer to be "invisible" when you're grocery shopping, don't wear a baby in a wrap, 'cause people WILL stare at you and/or talk to you about it. :-)
One more tip: wearing baby down.
About six years ago I learned from Dr. Sears' Attachment Parenting Book about "wearing baby down." The idea is that sometimes the usual bedtime ritual doesn't do the trick and baby is still wide awake. If you put that baby cuddled-up to you in a wrap and go about your business with the dishes or making lunches or whatever it is you need to do, it's almost guaranteed that baby will soon be asleep. Worked like a charm last night with Bubs.Then I carefully stretched the fabric around and off of him and laid him in bed. Love it. :-)