When my daughter (now 5 1/2) was an infant, my baby wearing experience was limited to the Baby Bjorn. Our use of that was short lived since it wasn’t comfortable for my daughter or for me.
Both of my children love(d) to be held, so I spent the good portion of a year and a half or so doing things one handed. When I was expecting my son, I knew that wouldn’t be an option with another child to care for! I did some research and read tons of reviews, and finally settled on The Sleepy Wrap.
The Sleepy Wrap is a stretchy baby wrap; the other well known wrap is a woven wrap called The Moby Wrap. Other baby wearing options include slings, soft structured carriers, and Mei Teis (similar to carriers, but they secure with ties.) Sleepy Wrap has a great baby carrier comparison on their site.
While doing my research, I discovered that the crotch dangle position of the Bjorn, especially when combined with a forward facing position, does not support a baby’s spine. It places the weight on their hips and between their legs, and curves the spine in an un-natural position. Developmentally, the forward facing position isn’t the best choice for an infant either. They aren’t able to look to their parent for cues and reassurance, and they aren’t easily able to turn away when they are overstimulated.
We all know that along comes a baby now and then who hasn’t read the research, and will only tolerate being held outward! That’s OK! Slings and wraps can be safely used with baby facing forward with legs tucked like a little baby Buddha. It’s best to limit this to shorter periods of time, not only so they don’t become overstimulated, but also because this position can put a lot of strain on the wearer’s back & throws off their center of gravity. I had good luck with the hammock hold in the wrap when my son was in the mood to get a better look at things.
When I received my Sleepy Wrap, it took me a bit of practice to get it tied just right. I used the step my step photo instructions included with the wrap, as well as the additional tying method photos and video on their site.
Before I knew it, I was a pro!
The Sleepy Wrap was a lifesaver for me! There were times that even the wrap didn’t work, but much of the time, wearing my son actually calmed him better/faster than just holding him. Since the wrap is stretchy, you can tie it on ahead of time, without worrying about leaving space for the baby, and you don’t have to re-tie it later since it doesn’t stretch out. The Sleepy Wrap is aptly named since it’s like Thanksgiving dinner for babies. With their legs tucked under them, held snugly to their Mama’s breath and heartbeat, it must feel womb-like.
I was able to take care of my daughter and things around the house, while still keeping my little guy happy. I was never able to really easily nurse in the wrap, though I did manage to successfully several times. I found it easier to pop him out and use the “x” of the wrap as a cover up!
My apologies in advance for the quality of most of these photos! I dug them out from when my son was small, many were self-portraits, LOL.
Even my husband was able to figure it out!
Once the baby falls asleep, you can easily tuck his head in.
Uh, ignore the crumbs. I often took Sleepy Wrap time as my opportunity to stuff my face! Baby serves as a crumb catcher just like they do while they’re still in the womb. Heh.
We are very fortunate to live just minutes from the Appalachian trail, and we took many hikes while our son snoozed away!
Sleepy Wrap’s customer service is awesome as well. Not long after I started using it, it developed a small hole where the tag is sewn on. I contacted them and while it was just a cosmetic issue, they promptly replaced it. They paid the shipping for the new wrap, sent me a pre-paid label for the old one, and allowed me to use the old one (since it wasn’t unsafe) until the new one arrived!
I was really sad when my son seemed to be getting to big for the wrap. There’s really no size or weight limit; it has been stress and use tested to 45 pounds. It’s a dream for the first year, and after that you have to follow your own and your baby’s comfort cues. For us, it wasn’t a weight issue since my son is small. What became an issue is that my son would wriggle his shoulders out of the “x” making only his bottom half secured to my body. I tried tying tighter, I tried spreading the fabric differently, but he always wriggled out!
So, I was off to find a soft structured carrier! The big names I had heard of were Ergo and Beco Baby, but the makers of The Sleepy Wrap also make the Boba Baby Carrier! While I bought my Sleepy Wrap long before I even had a blog, I was so fortunate to get to review a Boba Carrier for Fitteds and Pockets and Snappis, oh my!
As you can see, the Boba puts my son’s legs/hips in the same, natural position as they are in if I am holding him!
Even as petite as I am, the thick, padded straps and waistband make it completely comfortable, evenly distributing the weight.
It’s a breeze to put on:
I’m able to grocery shop, vacuum, and I even did some window shopping while my son hung out in the Boba and fed me snacks!
People who don’t know much about baby wearing may think that all baby wearing is unsafe since the pouch sling recall. However, if you follow common sense safety guidelines, research shows baby wearing makes for a happy baby!
Do you baby wear? What’s your favorite wrap or carrier? How has baby wearing helped you?
FTC Compliance: I paid normal retail for the Sleepy Wrap. I was given the Boba Carrier free of charge for review purposes on my blog. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.