First, a confession: I have a lot of baby carriers and wraps. I don't "need" as many as I have, but they all help me enjoy my parenting journey just a little bit more. The way I see it is this: I carry my baby (and occasionally my 3 year old) daily. I love it, but caring for babies is hard at times, and being able to wear them in different pretty things gives me a daily lift and makes it all more fun and enjoyable. Ok, who am I kidding. I have lots because I love pretty things, and yikes! With woven wraps in particular there are SOOO many lovely ones, so why not have fun with it and make it a bit of a hobby? Warning... it's kinda addictive!
So back to the beginning. The first carrier we got was an organic Ergo. It was a gift from my brother after he had one for his son and enjoyed it. We still use it to this day, and I have since pimped it out to make it a bit more manly. It's my husbands favourite carrier, and it has logged many many hours with my older son. We had always imagined carrying our babes after seeing people in our neighbourhood tote their kids around usually in your standard baby bjorn or pouch sling. We were soo grateful to both my brother for introducing us to a good ergonomic carrier as well as Milkface (the store) for introducing us to the wider world of babywearing during the Bringing Home Baby class at OCEA, that we took when I was still pregnant with our first.
Right Image by J.Sparks Photography
In my older sons early days we made lots of use of our first wrap, the Hug-a-Bub organic stretchy wrap. He loved it, we loved it, and we were completely sold on babywearing. We used it briefly with our second son, but it has since moved on to be loved by new babies.
Soon summer hit and we expanded our mini collection to included a linen Ollie-go-lightly Ring sling (sadly not made anymore and we've since had it move on).
We replaced it with a woven wrap conversion ring sling (WCRS) made from a Didymos Lau fish wrap. This wrap is 40% hemp fibres and very comfortable and supportive. I love our ring sling. It is the best carrier for quick in and outs. Ring slings sometimes take a bit to get used to, but once you get it, you love them! I use it almost daily to bring my 7 month old to the car and manage my 3 year old at the same time. Why hold your baby when you can pop them in one of these and have 2 hands to carry stuff in and out of your house!
I'm also a sewer and I made one attempt at a carrier with some success. It was a DIY hip carrier using an online pattern. You can read about it on my blog. It doesn't get much use as the straps are too slippy and need to be knotted thus making it a pain to adjust, but it did fill a gap at the time.
After winning a Father's Day contest at Milkface, I used my gift certificate to buy a beautiful Babyhawk Mei tai. It got a lot of use for a while as it fit me much nicer than the Ergo I'd been using (although I seem to have no good picures!) and while it doesn't get much love now, it's still sooo pretty!
When I was pregnant with my second son, little E, I discovered the Ottawa Babywearing Group on Facebook, and quickly noticed all the mamas talking about woven wraps. It was the one kind of carrier I never tried with my older son, and as I'm someone always looking for a new challenge and project, I thought I'd give them a try with number two. I was particularly attracted to the idea of being able to do high back carries even with little babies. I rarely back-carried my older son as I always felt it awkward, so I was excited to try it more with my second.
Being a researcher by trade, I googled, youtubed and asked questions and learned all I could about woven wraps and wrapping. I took the plunge and bought a lovely rainbow wrap (a Girasol Symphuo Creme weft) in my base size (5) from another local mama and off I went.
I thought this would be the only wrap I needed, but on seeing all the pretty wraps out there and the possibilities, a few weeks later I had purchased a shorter wrap (a size 3 Oscha 100% linen grad in Rich Apple) thinking it would be great for summer and the shorter size perfect for single layer carries. This was true and I use it frequently these days. But now I wanted more!
I had discovered the Facebook swaps and the babywearer forum and they are truly dangerous for a researcher and lover of pretty fabric like me. So my collection of wovens continued to grow and change.
This is my stash as of today (minus one I have on loan). I'll tell you in a brief bit about how they came and how and why I have them.
I next added my first true shorty, a pretty green size 2 Didymos Gingkos. I basically got it because it was cheap and I wanted to try a short wrap! I was annoyed by the long tails I was getting doing a basic ruck with my size 5, so this was perfect to back carry my little babe, which became an almost daily occurrence during dinner prep. It remains in our car today in case I forget another carrier or w/wrap.
Then my husband asked what I wanted for by birthday. Naturally I asked for another wrap. It was winter so I thought a wool one might be neat. Soon after a Natibaby Graphite and Green gears come to our house. Then my husband tried wrapping... and he also liked it (yay!)
Right Image by J.Sparks Photography
I then started to regularly attend the Friday meet-ups and started to try more different wraps. Next I wanted to try a a different fabric blend, so I ended up buying a size 7 Didymos April Hemp Indio and chopping it in two I split it with a fellow babywearer.
Then I spotted a wrap that I thought my husband would love. None of mine were really long enough for him, so that's how this Kokadi Berlin Skyline came to live with us. My husband uses it almost daily, and seeing him wrap our baby and enjoying it is quite possibly the awesomest thing I see.
Soon after I decided I wanted to start trying some new things. I sold my first wrap and bought a different rainbow, a Girasol Amitola Pacifico weft in a diamond weave. I realized by now I had a thing for green and blue so this is the perfect rainbow for me. I love wearing a rainbow wrap to brighten up a gloomy day!
I have since added a second size three, which is a wrap that combined again my two favourite colours: blue and green. It is also a wrap which brightens a cloudy day (it's nick name in the babywearing world is the "toxic clouds"). It is my Oscha Alto Blackthorn. It's also my favourite for hip carries like a Poppins.
Complete blind luck allowed me to buy my one dream wrap, my Oscha Okinami Kai. The design is gorgeous and it is perhaps my favorite wrap for back carries as it glides nice, yet has a bit of grip, and well seriously, it's just gorgeous!!! It's part linen, which makes it a bit cooler and lovely in the summer so far!
I also have a size 5 Didymos Steel Blue Fish. This was an impulse purchase, but it is a great all around wrap, easy to wrap with, well worn in, has some flaws, so I don't worry about throwing it in the back of my car or under the stroller when I'm out with both kids. Also, the fish are cute.
Lastly, I got another wrap I've long wanted to try, mainly because of it's gorgous green colour. It's a Didymos Cypress Linen Indio. I love the look of Indios, and this green is lovely! It is also perfect for summer, and while it is a bit to long for me (it's a size 6), My husband can also use it and it has allowed me to try some more complex but extra supportive back carries with the extra length!
I also recently added a new SSC to my stash. Since trying wrapping I figured I'd never need a structured carrier again, as they really never fit my tiny frame right anyways. Wrapping is just always the perfect fit! But I did long for something that allowed me to do super quick back carries, and I came upon this custom Madame Googoo carrier on the swap. It was specially made with petit straps (shorter padding) so it allows me to tighten it better then most SSCs. It has now found it's place among all my wraps for quick back carries in store parking lots :) Plus, who couldn't love the wizard hood!
So yes, while I clearly have more carriers than I need daily, I do seriously feel they all have a purpose for us and really, its just sooo much fun exploring the babywearing world and enjoying my time with my baby. I wouldn't trade them for anything (ok, maybe an Uppymama! haha).
And it means I can lend some out, which I just did for the first time, and I hope to be able to continue to do that and share the babywearing love!
But really... they are all just so darn pretty! :)
So a run down for those curious of what I have (and what has moved on):
Didymos Gingkos (Cotton, bought of the Canadian FB Swap)
Didymos April Hemp Indio (Hemp/Cotton, bought from Birdies Room)
Oscha Rich Apple 100% Linen Grad
Oscha Alto Blackthorn (Cotton)
Didymos Pistachio Indio (Cotton, bought from a local mama, this has since moved on to another local mama)
Oscha Okinami Kai (Linen/Cotton, bought direct from Oscha)
Natibaby Graphite Green Gears (Wool/Cotton, bought from Marsupial Mamas)
Girasol Amitola, azul pacifico, diamond weave (Cotton, bought through The Babywearer)
Didymos Steelblue Fish (Linen/cotton, bought from the FB Swap) (on loan)
Kokadi Berlin Skyline (Cotton, bought from a local mama)
Didymos Cypress Indio (Linen/Cotton, traded for through the Canadian FB swap)
Ring Sling (Wrap conversion from Didymos Lau Fish (Hemp/Cotton), bought on the FB swap)
Ergobaby Organic (pimped by me) (a gift)
Madame Googoo Custom SSC with Petit Straps (bought on the FB Swap)
Babyhawk Mei Tai (on loan to a friend) (bought at Milkface)
DIY Pea Pod Hip Carrier
Hug-a-Bub Stretchy Wrap (since moved on) (bought at Milkface)
Ollie-go-lightly ring sling (moved on) (bought at Milkface)
Beco Gemini (moved on) (bought at Milkface)