Posts Tagged ‘Sleepy Wrap’

Adventures in Babywearing: Wanting a Woven

I’m not an extremely avid babywearer, but I sure do think my Sleepy Wrap comes in handy when I need to be holding my baby and using my hands. My little guy is getting quite heavy, so I’ve been wanting to wear him on my back, rather than my chest. However, I’ve been told that it really isn’t safe to use a stretchy wrap for back carries. The best, they say, is to purchase a nice woven wrap.

I like to do my research before deciding on a brand, so I looked at a variety. Many babywearers agree that the Didymos wrap is the best woven. Who can blame them? It’s made of organic hand-picked cotton (or sometimes silk or linen blends), woven on a Jacquard loom, and is known for it’s durability and comfort. But all of this wonderful stuff can run you anywhere between $100 and $180, depending on sizing and patterns. Look for a limited edition weave, and the price goes up from there.

There are other brands too, all with names I cannot spell or pronounce, and many of them seem reputable and of high quality too. You can find a lot of them at Piece of Cloth. Still, I’m having a hard time finding one under $80 or so. I feel like I just can’t justify the cost.

I turn to the next viable option: DIY! I’m semi-crafty, and I know how to use a sewing mahine. However, it seems like buying nice woven fabric won’t be much cheaper than buying a wrap! I’ve read that you can use cotton gauze to make a wrap, but I’m not sure if thats supportive enough for a back carry or not.

Thankfully, my mom is even craftier and thriftier than I am, and she found a 5 yd piece of blue woven cotton fabric for $5 at a thrift store. Awesome! It’s not the same type of woven as those glorious name brand wraps, but I think it will do. Here it is:

 I tested it today, uncut and unhemmed, and got my baby in a secured high back carry. It was a little sloppy since it was my first try, so I kept a hand on him for safety.

The only problem with this fabric is that it seems a bit stiff and tricky to work with. It doesn’t quite have that nice flow that the real wraps have. But I think it will be secure and will get the job done if I can’t find a better cost-efficient option. Before I make the first cut, I’m reviewing all my current possibilities for my own woven:

  1. My blue woven fabric my mom bought to make my own.
  2. A homemade cotton gauze wrap, since it’s much less expensive to buy.
  3. A used name-brand wrap- either bought or found at a swap board.

Any experienced babywearers out there who know what’s best? I really wouldn’t want to spend more than, say, $30, because I’m cheap. But safety comes first. If I can’t meet safety requirements within that cost, I guess we’ll have to forego the woven wrap and I’ll just toughen up my back muscles to continue carrying my boy in the front. 🙂

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Review of the Sleepy Wrap

My husband and I saw a couple of women carrying their babies in Sleepy Wraps (similar to the Moby Wrap) at a get together at our midwife’s house when I was pregnant. We liked the idea, so we ordered one before my baby was born, and I’ve been using it ever since. Here’s a little review of the product.

What is the Sleepy Wrap?

The Sleepy Wrap is a 5.5 yard long stretchy fabric wrap meant to be used as a baby carrier.

How does it work?

You can use several different tying methods to wrap yourself up in the Sleepy Wrap.  The three holds that the company advertises are the “Classic Love Your Baby Hold,” the “Upright Newborn/Infant Hold,” and the “Hammock Hold.” Since the Sleepy Wrap is made of stretchy material, it is meant to be tied very tightly against your body so that it looks like no baby would be able to fit. After it is tied, you insert your baby into the wrap and wear him around.

Here is a good video of how to do a basic upright hold in the Sleepy Wrap, just to give you an idea. (The newborn hold is quite similar- you just let the legs stay curled up inside instead of pulling them through.)

Here’s another tutorial for how to do a cradle hold:

There are many different holds for different types of wraps, but these are some of the ones the Sleepy Wrap works best for.

What I like about the Sleepy Wrap

I like that the stretchy fabric conforms to your baby’s body, so you don’t need to worry about tying it at just the right size. Just make sure you tie it very tightly, and your baby should be able to fit just fine.

I like that the Sleepy Wrap is versatile. It can be used for several different holds, where as a baby sling  or structured carrier can only do one or two types of holds. The baby can be awake and looking around, or he can be safely asleep against my chest.

I love that the stretchy fabric is so soft and distributes the weight of my growing son nice and evenly over my shoulders and back. I’ve never tried a different type of carrier, so I can’t attest to this personally, but I’ve heard that many structured carriers place much more pressure on your shoulders and back, causing achiness after a while.

The Sleepy Wrap feels very secure to carry your baby in. I feel much safer with all those layers of tightly woven fabric than I would with a carrier that has a snap or buckle that could easily malfunction or come undone.

Finally, I love that the Sleepy Wrap allows me to do so many things hands-free- nurse, do dishes, laundry, vaccuum, and go for walks with baby, to name a few.

What I don’t like about the Sleepy Wrap

The stretchy fabric of the Sleepy Wrap doesn’t allow for certain types of holds. (Note that more supportive woven wraps allow for more verstaility, although they don’t conform to your baby’s body as well as the stretchy wraps do.) For instance, it may not be safe to do a back carry with a stretchy wrap. Here’s an excellent example of why:

The only other thing I don’t like is that it does take a couple minutes to wrap yourself up, but it’s really a minor inconvenience compared to the return you get in versatility, security, and comfort.

Bottom Line

I would definitely reccommend the Sleepy Wrap! It has been wonderful to carry my son, keep him close to me, and get things accomplished with full use of my hands all at the same time. Find a retailer or babywearing group near you that has a Sleepy Wrap you can try!