Wrapping Babies; like learning to tie your shoes

How old were you when you learned to tie your shoes?

Four? Five years old perhaps? Maybe we have some over-achieving three year old tying maestros among our readership. I'm impressed. Truly.

I can remember the first time a preschool teacher attempted to show me the "bunny ears" method of tying my shoes, to which I adamantly protested and informed her that my Mommy had taught me a much superior method, how could she have not been privy to my Mommy's method? 

I find there is a similar on-going debate in relation to the orientation of a toilet paper roll... 

Moving on. 

How long did it take you to learn how to tie your shoes solo?

Did you master the skill on your first attempt? Second? Third?

--Hold that thought!--

Ok educators/volunteers, consultants, wrapping gurus, babywearers from the wild-wild west, what are some of the comments you have received over the years in regards to learning to to babywear using a wovenwrap?

  1. I can't do it.
  2. It's too difficult and complicated to learn.
  3. I'm just not cut out for wrapping.
  4. My baby doesn't like to be wrapped.
  5. My arms don't bend that way/I'm not flexible or coordinated enough.

I could go on. Please feel free to comment with others you have heard. This list is not to shame anyone, please, please, please know that I am only calling attention to these challenges and obstacles, real or perceived, because I have said all of the above myself, and know full well, the frustration that goes hand in hand with acquiring a new skill. 

So listen, if you are anything like me, and you fell in love with wrapping using a Moby or Boba wrap, but fumbled profusely with tying a woven wrap, I feel your pain. I've been there mama.

And want to reassure you that just like learning to tie your shoes, though it may not happen over night, with practice, wrapping your baby in a woven is not only doable, but be rewarding to not only you and your baby, but your family, future wearees and even your community. 

Remember, learning to wrap has a lot to do with muscle memory, in essence, each time your muscles move and contract in a certain fashion, your ease and ability to perform those movements and actions improves. Or as my sixth grade math teacher said, practice makes perfect.

Below is the lovely Julie, and this was her first time ever wrapping with a woven! Not bad my dear, not bad at all!

Additionally, we've complied some advice for you below from our friends on Facebook, please peruse the list, pick and choose a suggestion or two and take a another gander at wrapping. Before you know it, you too will be sharing helpful advice and words of wrapping wisdom with babyweaers to be!

  • Make sure baby is fed, burped, not too tired and has a dry diaper before starting.
  • Don't try to do it at first when baby is already worked up! (I tried to learn then too) you'll both end up a sweaty frustrated mess!! Do it when baby is happy and content and take your time I'm front of a mirror with a YouTube video. 
  • When learning new carries I found asking my preschooler, who was much less wiggly than the baby, was helpful. Teddy bears and dolls can also be used as stand-ins.
  • If your wrap feels stiff, give it a good steam iron, or ask a friend to help you "break it in" (more on this subject here, here and here.)
  • If baby fusses once wrapped, (safely and securely of course), go outside and take a brisk walk. The fresh air coupled with motion will often be enough to settle baby.
  • Remember, the YouTube videos are "backward." You may find you're wrapping left handed (like me), but if it works, roll with it! Ha! Signed, Right Hander Who Wears Baby on Her Dominant Side (oops) P.S. Even failures are good practice! You can do it!!
  • You need to practice even if the job is a failure. Then try the same carry again. It gets easier. You won't always cry and sweat. You'll figure out what is comfortable and where.
  • Don't be ashamed if your first try look sloppy or didn't work out like in the tute you follow! Have someone spot you or hv a bed/sofa behind you when trying a back carry for the first time. Try simple front carries first, and dont force it if baby is not happy. I jiggle (sway/move) when baby seems unhappy n wants out, but if that doesn't work, forget it and try another time.
  • It's ok if you do something differently than someone else. Do what works for you and your baby. Just keep safety in mind as always.
  • Contact a certified Babywearing Educator/Consultant to help you one on one and give your her undivided attention and tips. She will come to you!
  • Never give up! Practice marks perfect.
  • Start with a soft structured carrier first, (or mei tai), so you know how easy it is once they are content. Wrapping can be a beginning level but for me i had to get comfortable with her close to me first and Then graduated to wrapping.
  • Stick with it at least a dozen tries.
  • Don't draw conclusions in the beginning, stick with it, be patient...above everything enjoy it...just have fun!!
  • YouTube, practice, take it slow, and tighten carefully.
  • Try a cross carry where it doesn't have to be perfect to be safe.
  • Wrapping is hard and fun. challenging and rewarding. Never give up.

Thank you contributors, you have just encouraged a generation of new wrappers!

 


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