My stash, like I’m sure so many others do, started with a Moby wrap. Purchased while I was still pregnant, I had no idea the passion, friends, and learning it would bring me, or how important babywearing would be to me and my husband’s parenting adventures. Standing in Belly Laughs with my mother-in-law, I carefully decided between the Moby and a Maya Wrap ring sling, choosing the Moby because I don’t generally do well with a lot of weight on one shoulder. Of course, now, I can't imagine just having one carrier!
|The only picture we have of the Moby||- my MIL|
At our OCEA Bringing Baby Home Class, Tami, the group’s not-yet founder, came in with a variety of carriers for the class to try out and to offer help with ones we already had. Ian, my husband, decided he liked best the Maman Kangarou Asiatik, a mei tei with stretchy wrap straps, so we ended up with one of those tucked in the closet before Gavin was born as well.
Our babywearing journey started the day after we came home from the hospital with Gavin. Ian pulled out the Moby, set up the laptop on the bed, and figured out how to wrap our tiny newborn in it to take the dog for a walk. We quickly began to prefer to wear Gavin rather than carry the car seat when out running errands. A Maya Wrap ring sling got added for quick errands and around the house. Finally I could eat breakfast! Even if it meant bouncing on a yoga ball at the same time, I had my hands free to eat.
|First wrapping attempt|
When Gavin was around 2 months old I discovered TBW forums and became interested in woven wraps. After reading for awhile, I decided to take the plunge and bought a blue Natibaby Oceans in a size 6 as my learner wrap. The 'carry of the week' sequences helped me learn a variety of different carries, including back carries. There was lots of practice with a stuffed animal and over the bed wrapping before I could successfully get him wrapped on my back. YouTube helped me learn new carries, and I went to bed at night dreaming of wrapping. Learning back wrapping left my hands even more free and made it easier to manage the dog on walks.
|Girasol Bliss wrap|
Now that the wrap was our primary carrier, I wanted different lengths! I jumped on the opportunity for a Girasol pre-order of a design exclusive from a babywearing group on Facebook. But since the pre-order was likely to take awhile, I bought some linen from Fabricland and hemmed it into a wrap the same length as the wrap I had ordered, a size 4. It was great for carries needing less fabric, but linen can be very stiff, and it was definitely less forgiving than my soft and floppy Nati.
|Sleeping baby in the linen wrap|
Around the same time, I was lucky enough to try out a travelling wrap from a mama in Europe, who was sending a 3m piece of a red Storchenweige Leo around the world. It was a great way to try out an even shorter wrap without the commitment of buying. When I had to send it off, even my husband was sad to see it go. I found a size 7, which was long enough for me to make into a replica 3m short size 3 wrap with plenty left over. Several OBG members had been singing the praises of wrap conversion ring slings, so I made the leftover length into my own.
|Our size 3 Leo|
Those two red carriers were very quickly our most valuable. I changed the shoulder on the ring sling from a pleated to a gathered shoulder, and swapped out the rings for larger ones, and it replaced the Maya Wrap ring sling. The short wrap was perfect for keeping in the car and to travel with.
|A sampling of borrowed wraps we've tried|
Going to OBG meet-ups throughout the summer introduced me to many gorgeous wraps and other carriers I never would have come across or had a chance to try out. The generosity of the other members has offered a great chance to try out different wraps. Trying a Girasol Amitola let us realize how nice and wide Girasols wrap, which led to the purchase of a Girasol Glace 7 as Ian’s wrap. I’ve also generously borrowed a Manduca, which was our first experience with a soft-structured carrier. I also had the opportunity to try a Ellevil Jade and recently, an Oscha Starry Night with silk.
|Ian & Gavin ready for their flight|
In January, we booked flights for a visit to my in-laws which was going to have Ian and Gavin flying a day ahead of me, with a connection in Toronto and a trip through customs. Thanks to a generous loan, I knew that the Manduca was a great fit for us, and I bought a red one from Extraordinary Baby Shoppe with that trip in mind. It’s proven itself invaluable now that Gavin is a squirmy, mobile toddler.
|New Girasol Bliss is perfect for cranky cuddles|
A year after the Girasol pre-order, PaxBaby finally sent an email that my wrap was ready to ship! They had confirmed in November and I had asked to change sizes from a 4 to a 5, so when the wrap arrived as a 4, I was crushed. Despite excellent assistance, I found the size frustrating, and discovered the same wrap in a different weft on PaxBaby’s site and sold the original one. The new wrap in the right length has been an even better fit for us, colour and length wise.
This spring I also got a chance to buy a Oscha Alto Blackthorn 5 through Oscha’s lottery system and ended up being so excited I confused British pounds with Euros and nabbed it without doing the right conversion. It’s proven to a gorgeous, lovely wrap that I reach for frequently. Being in a bit of a churning phase, I found a piece of Oscha Japanese Knot Gentian Chisaii on the swap, with the intention of turning it into a ring sling and selling the red one to mix up my stash a bit. However, Ian insisted on keeping the red so now we have two – one for the car and one for the house.
|Leo RS on vacation|
As Gavin gets bigger, we wear less because he wants to walk more. But it does make those times when he’s on my back while we walk the dog and he’s pointing out every bird and basketball net even sweeter. Is my stash complete? I doubt it. A Tula toddler carrier, another soft structured carrier, will be here in late July, and one of my wrap conversion ring slings is on it’s way to a family member with a brand new baby, with a replacement in the works.
Dark blue Maya Wrap ring sling – now belongs to an OBG member
Maman Kangaroo Asiatik mei tei - belongs to OBG sling library
Blue Natibaby Oceans 6 – first woven wrap of an OBG member
Green linen DIY 4
Storchenweige Leo Rouge 3
Storchenweige Leo Rouge RS with gathered shoulder & red rings
Girasol Glace 7
Girasol Bliss azul weft 4 – now belongs to an OBG member (and I know it’s being used more than we would be!)
Girasol Bliss medio (grey) weft 5
Oscha Alto Blackthorn 5
Oscha Japanese Knot Gentian Chisaii RS with gathered shoulder & silver rings – on it’s way to Sudbury for a brand new cousin
Toddler Tula in Pike, dyed blue – arriving next week
Oscha Starry Night Nebula 7 - arriving this week, planning on chopping & selling half