Achtung: This post is very ibu-ibu themed.
I wanted to write something about a thing I loved when baby T was still small. I know it is way too late, seeing that T is not a baby anymore. In fact, he is now a toddler who loves to destroy everything!Indeed. A destroyer. A very cute one.
I was soooo determined to babywear T..it felt like home for me. my grandmoms and aunties carried us and their munchkins with slendang/jarik. So, I wanted to do the same, but with my own version. Long before I got pregnant I’d taken weaving workshops and then on got introduced to baby woven wraps. There are many beautiful wraps out there with different kind of blends and textures. I am a sucker for beautiful fabrics and textiles so I got curious about baby woven wraps that I did my research on it.
Firstly, I bought a tricot slen from Babylonia brand, click here. It was a stretchy wrap, very fool-proof, cool for the summer and ideal for a newborn. I was happy with my purchase and even took a short workshop for how to wrap your baby. He lived in that wrap from he was just wee 2 months old until he was 4 months old. He took his naps and when he was awake I took him with me grocery shopping in it. As T was 5 months old he got heavier, he weighed around 6-7 kg. The tricot slen I used became somewhat uncomfortable, and it was not grippy enough for this squirmy T and my shoulders hurt so much if I wore him more than 30 minutes. Eventually, I switched to baby woven wraps. This time I purchased a second hand one off a group on Facebook. It was called “draagdoekenmarkt” (a closed group but you can ask to join). My new -not-so-new wrap was from Oscha (Edinburgh-based brand). It was from the range Orion Skara Brae sized 7 which meant 5,2 metres long, with mixed blends (made from: linen/hemp/cotton yarns). I love products from Oscha so much, so beautifully crafted and ethical too. That is why their products are pricey but still affordable. I chose this below, because the colors were stunning and looked very nice on T.
Woven wraps are best second hand. Why? If you buy a brand new wrap you will get a stiff and rigid piece of cloth even when it is 100% cotton. It needs to be broken in. How? By using it constantly. And that is why second hand woven wraps are much softer and some are even buttery soft and yet grippy.
I admit, after my Oscha I became addicted. I wanted another one with different blends with a darker colour that suited my complexion. A dear friend was selling her stash, and then I bought one from her. It was from Dydimos (linen and cotton blends, German brand) This one was very different from Oscha I had. Because the blends were mostly linen and cotton, and this one had been broken in too, it felt softer and more elastic/bouncier but still strong. The one from Oscha was thicker and not so bouncy, so it was perfect to “encapsulate” a wriggly baby.
I call my Oscha, my “baby prison” wrap he he he. I think it’s because of the hemp yarns that make it cushy yet strong.
Then the third one, I wanted to practice with a shorter wrap so I could carry Tarou (then already 9 months old) on my hip. I bought size 4 Tulipa Aer, a beautiful 100% cotton wrap from a Dutch brand called Doeck, click for info!This one was a failure though. I couldn’t manage to do it right, and Tarou had grown into a very wriggly baby, so it made me nervous everytime I practiced because he would turn into a wriggly worm. And because it was 100% cotton it did not feel elastic or flexible enough for that weight. It must have been a perfect wrap for a smaller or less heavy baby. I now think I must sell that wrap though…such a waste…it is a very beautiful one. Anyone interested? I am selling this he he he.
Tarou, the wraps and I had good times together. I have carried him everywhere with baby wraps. He loved and still loves it when being carried (now) in baby carriers. When we were in Indonesia for example, I carried him on my back with an ergonomic baby carrier (I have the one from Beco, and I love it!). He is too heavy now to be carried with baby wraps/slings, so I occasionally carry him in a baby carrier. I still could though but only if I carried him on my back but he hated it if he could not see my face. He can walk now so it is way more interesting than to be carried, I think.
I love our wrap moments so much I become very quite religious about it, and I advocate a lot of my mama friends about it, but of course not all mamas like it. It is a choice. Most of mamas love to have another options like a baby bouncer or a cot to put the baby away when you need to do chores at home. But personally, I loved carrying T everywhere and so did he 🙂 It was really practical and I bonded with my baby even when I had to juggle with other bunch of things. Sometimes when I carried him outside I told him stories about the trees or when I did some chores inside of the house I pointed him the washing machine and how it worked (LOL, see..never a dull moment). There are many babywearer clubs in the world and regionally. In Amsterdam, we have Amsterdam babywearers and they have a Facebook page. There are also many swap groups around the world, Dutch-speaking pages are also available on Facebook! I for instance, always encourage new mamas to have a consultation with a Draag consulent near the place you live (a professional coach for babywearing and its techniques).
The Netherlands has many amazing woven wrap producers. There is this high-end brand called Artipoppe which has fantastic wraps, almost all of them are collectors items and the prices are..enough to buy holiday tickets 🙂 Kokoro is one that I really like because it has cute designs but oh so expensive. They usually make a partnership with other brands or independent weavers, sadly, I don’t know about the feel because I still do not have the chance to buy it. Then Doeck, and Yaro, the last one is an affordable brand but with a good quality. You can buy them online on many web-shops that sell ergonomic carriers or slings.
Thank you for reading!