Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Taming The Beast... Breaking In A Beauty

by Tami Grosset, Aline Kelly, Hannah Radvanyi and Andria Bell

Every month Wrap Your Baby runs a competition in which a babywearing group somewhere in the world will win a wrap for their lending library. A few months ago the Ottawa Babywearing Group participated one such competition and whilst we didn't actually win we did incredibly well and Diana at WYB very kindly and generously decided to honour us with a wrap all the same!

The wonderful wrap arrived last week and with much excitement I pulled it out of the package. It is a Natibaby Pois Garnet  (size 6) cotton/linen blend and is very beautiful; purple with star bursts or firework explosions all over.

In braiding the wrap ready for bringing to its debut Friday Big Meet, I became exhausted! It was so hard to work with, I couldn't imagine how anyone would be able to wrap with it. This beauty was more like a cardboard beast!

At that meet in Kanata everybody was excited to see it and fondle it but no one wanted to wrap with it! Aline bravely took it away with her, ready to work on it and show it off to the Kanata meet mums.


(by Aline Kelly)
The first time I laid my hands on The Beast, the first thought that came to mind was camping tarp. I swear that if my ears were a little sharper I could have heard an audible crunch crunch crunch. The Beast took up space, too - people were surprised that it was a size 6, because it was huge! I was very excited to find out that I'd be getting first dibs, and I was not going to waste it. Pride swelled up in me. I was going to prove that I could break in this monster. I was in charge. I would win! And win I did.

First step was a bath. I machine washed The Beast twice in a row in lukewarm water and hung him up to dry overnight. This already did wonders in terms of breaking up the crunch factor. The next day I busted out the iron, turned it up to its hottest and steamiest setting, and gave both sides of the wrap a good thorough ironing. The beast purred and softened up a little more.

Now I got to play. We have a heavyweight chin-up bar in our basement which is ground zero for breaking in my wraps. My kid doesn't go for hammocks just yet so I make mama swings. I strung up our linen friend and climbed in, making sure to distribute weight evenly so all the strands of the wrap would be taking my weight. When I had to leave, I weighted down the swing with 80lbs of my husband's weights and left it there overnight.

In the following days The Beast was braided and unbraided, twisted, walked and sat on, snuggled, napped with, run over bars and through banister slats, and ironed several more times. Our wrap was a camping tarp no more! 

The linen was soft and malleable - still substantial, but wrappable! I felt proud as I wrapped my little man in it for the first time and took beast out for his inaugural walk. 

The Beast appeared at the following (Central) Friday Big meet, the next week. It was much softer and was actually wrapable but still had a way to go. We had some fun using it for a tug of war, which really helped to stretch the fibres.

Winner takes all!!
The meet ended with Hannah wearing it away. She had it for the next week where she would be schlepping about with at least one toddler and the Vanier mums would get a chance to meet our beast!

This was the first time I'd seen it used!!

(by Hannah Radvanyi)
I was excited to take the Beast home with me, as I have two chunky toddlers living in my house and knew that we'd have some fun with it. I put one of my tots on my back at the meetup and could tell that it needed some serious 'beauty treatments', but could also tell that it was going to be an amazing wrap once it was fully broken in!

For the first part of the week I had one of the girls up at least once a day; around the house, to the park, etc. Then we entered a heat wave and I could barely HUG the girls, let alone WEAR them!! Even so, I did a couple times and was pleasantly surprised to find that, though it was a thick wrap, it really wasn't the heat-trapping blanket that I was afraid it would be. We snuggled with it, made some hammocks, and definitely enjoyed having it visit our home.

At the end of our time with the Beast, we went to visit family for the weekend, and we got to show it off while playing Bocce!


On her return to Ottawa Hannah passed the beautiful beast on to Andria, the host of our weekly central meets.


(by Andria Bell) 
This lovely Natibaby linen came to me at a Tuesday meetup, I was soo happy to see try it out.  Yet I would be a week before I got a chance to.  That afternoon my middle child fell and broke his arm :(. Just before his 3rd birthday, which was the second reason for the delay.  
Once I got to try it out it was love.  I wore it a few times for quick ups at home, but then had a good day long wear, first it went I the chiropractors with us, then to a stop at the post office, went for a nice walk after lunch, then to the park for a little play time.  
I love Nati linen, they are thick and beastly but cosy and mouldable, even before being broken in.  I miss having this wrap around for sure; great colour, so comfy, easy to wrap with.
The Beast then returned to me and I could tell it was much softer and wrappable after this third visit. We took it with us for a week at our cottage where we hammocked it and used it on a few adventures. 
Now we're back in Ottawa and the school year has begun. The Beast is transformed into The Beauty and has a pic to prove it. These photos, taken by Kim Brooks at Breathe In Photography, are used in the Sling Library and they truly show off this wrap as a true Ottawan Beauty.
Thank you Wrap Your Baby for this most awesome of gifts! We love it and look forward to having more members show off their babies in it.


  1. What carry is that in the last pictures?

    1. That's a saltwater double hammock. We covered it in a recent COTW; http://ottawababywearinggroup.blogspot.ca/2013/08/cotw-29-salt-water-double-hammock.html Its lovely isn't it!?!