Baby wrap 101: The basic tie.
This was actually a post that I wanted to publish right in the first few days I started blogging. Because, hells bells, this wrap saved my sanity. And there almost wasn’t much left to be saved. It was an absolute game-changer for me as a mother.
And I knew there’d be plenty of other moms out there who’d benefit from this little nugget of wisdom.
Sure, it’s not a newsflash, but so many moms out there are often either too overwhelmed by all things new in the universe of parenthood to come to grips with yet another thing to learn. And other’s are sometimes a bit intimidated by the notion. Isn’t it just for hippies? (LOL) But the truth is, it’s easy when you have a little help and practice, practice, practice! And by the way, if you really want to know, no, its not just for hippies; Just like eating, drinking and sleeping, babies need to be held as a vital part of their development.
And cue flashback! (My posts almost always have a flashback, ok. If you didnt know that, then welcome!) 🙂 I had a fussy baby who was a cling-on of note, she was stuck on me like velcro, and swore to turn my world into a state of armegedon should I even consider prying her off from my skin (see that here). But I also had a lively toddler who needed my love and attention. Life didn’t just stop. I was also going through quite a dramatic breastfeeding journey that left me frazzled, and ready to run away and join a(nother) circus. (to see how crazy, read here). But we know by now, that we are already part of our own little circus, and that tiny baby is the ring master…I couldnt let this spiral out of control anymore. I needed to get our home back in order.
And then along came a Jean Ridler who,not only set me on the right path to breastfeeding success, but also introduced me to Carly Tzanos, of JumpLeapFly. JumpLeapFly sell BUGG carriers, which were designed by Carly herself, a UCT graduate and Occupational Therapist.
Not only does she understand the intensity of life with a newborn, and therefore come over to your home with the goods, but she also patiently takes you through the whole rigmarole of babywearing, and SHOWS you HOW to wrap baby. She gives you tips and tricks, which act like nifty little hacks in life to start getting this whole mommy thing under control.
How to calm a fussy baby,how to play with toddler while baby sleeps soundly and safely against you. How to go shopping with a toddler and cling-on baby. And the list goes on…Baby wearing rocks!!!
Now if you’ve also cottoned on to this notion but need a bit of help with the how to, I’ve put together a few pix that will hopefully show you how easy the basic tie is.
This tie is perfect for sleeping babies, trying to calm down babies, or even breastfeeding your babies (while sitting or walking!)
Before we start,no judgey judgerton pants please. I realised this wrap has had better days, but hey it got me through some heavy days, so no suprise it’s no longer pristine. Plus, I’m a mom; I probably have some boogers and porridge on my blazer right now. ‘Nuff said. 🙂
Now, onward to the tutorial, shall we! Oh, also, unfortunately this blog’sbudget dictates that no professional models were involved here,so you just have me to model this process for you. Shame. Poor you. Dont worry, it’s awkward for everyone involved. 🙂 But I’m hoping I can help, so here you go:
(Also, I may not be a newborn mom anymore, but I still got those tired eyes (I think thats a permanent fixture now), which is perfect for this post.) 🙂
2. Wrap it around yourself towards the back, thus forming a bit of a middle band across you. This middle band needs to be tied quite firmly around your waist, as it is part of what secures baby to you later on.
3.Cross it over at the back to bring it over each shoulder.
4. Once over each shoulder, maker sure the material is not gathered but spread out evenly/widely over your shoulders. The wider it is, the less pressure it will place on one small spot (like, say into your traps).
5. Cross the wraps over each other and tuck under the middle band. The higher that cross, the higher baby will sit.
6. From there take it to the back and tie it once. If there is enough space, take it to the front(see below), else double knot here. Most wraps however should be long enough to be able to secure it infront instead.
7. As per step 7, tie a knot in front.
8. Double knot it to be more secure.
9.Now, take baby into your loving arms as you would to soothe. (Or, like me, pretend to fall asleep during the shoot.) Take a minute to orientate yourself with baby’s body positioning.
12. It should feel firm and secure around baby and you. (It needs to be tied quite firmly around your waist, remember.)
Baby’s feet and legs should be crossed over like froggy – just as they do whilst in the womb.
For newborns without neck control, those bands that for the x across your chest act as the security for holding baby’s head up.
13.Once baby is in position, check for comfort, and secureness ( you should be able to bend over at 90′ angle without baby falling or moving out of position.) If too loose, you may have to start over.
If too tight, you can easily just pull forward on the cross bands that come over your shoulder.
And there you go!
(Side note: Gosh, you wouldn’t believe the flips my ovaries did when I saw myself in the mirror with this carrier back on. And my youngest’s reflection too. oohhweeee…#calmdownbabymakingbutterflies)
Momma’s, lastly, practice, practice, practice! It may feel awkward the first few times (or you may get it right, straight off the bat) But don’t just chuck it as a failure. So how do you “practice”?
As I was advised:
-Once wrapped up, take a baby doll or a teddy bear about the size of baby, and practice with where all the little legs, arms and feet go.
-Also use a 2kg sugar pack to practice feeling and handling the weight.
-Watch yourself in the mirror, so you dont go into it blindly. I remember using the reflection in my car window the first time I went out shopping with my newborn, Parker, and toddler, Morgan.
I know it can easy to chalk it up as a “been there, done that, doesn’t work for me” when baby’s tortureous cry is only compounding the stress of trying to get this right. But I promise you, you and baby can get it right! I mean, I totally threw in the towel with my first baby after two weeks of awkwardness.
Turns out the wrap, as opposed to the slings were more my vibe. And I love the flexibility and stretch that wraps allow mom and baby. (Also nothing wrong if you scratch this off your priority list, but if you’re looking for some coping mechanisms, this could be one worth spending some time on.)
Another trick for getting fussy babies to enjoy the wrap (because so many moms understandably give-up with a “my baby hates it“, is that you should only practice with baby when she’s in a good mood. That is fed/not hungry and just woke up/well-rested. Baby will be way easier to work with, if she’s in a good mood. (Just like you and me.) 🙂 Also, that way, baby associates the sling with peace and god vibes, and essentially a refuge. So when those rough times do strike, eventually baby welcomes the wrap as a good and safe place.
And when you go shopping or out and about on your own with the children, simply tie the wrap on before you get into the car, then when you arrive at your destination, you just slip baby in and off you go.
So all you newborn moms who just want to make a sandwich for yourself quickly. Who’s necks and back are up in spasm already from carrying baby everywhere. Who would just like to pee with both your hands free for once. Who’d still like to get on their hands and knees with their other children and play, make puzzles and be involved….baby wearing is your answer!
There are so many options out there, just be sure that the one you choose supports both baby’s spinal and body development, as well as your spine. I LOVE my BUGG wrap, and fully recommend them purely based on my experience.
Here’s to a game changers in motherhood! X
ps. I said this was going to be one of my first posts I wanted to publish when I just started blogging, well, ironically, I was just reminded that Im posting it right on the very anniversary of my first blog post!!! So, Happy birthday to The Milk Memoirs, I suppose! Right, now I need to go eat some cake!
NB! I was not paid by JumpLeapFly to write this. All opinions are my own, and Im always honest!