My big splurge during my yucky second pregnancy was to order an Ellaroo Wrap baby carrier. It was wildly unnecessary–we already owned a pouch sling, a ring sling, and our beloved Beco buckle carrier. But I really wanted a wrap. Not a stretchy wrap, but a nice firm woven one. Nothing too heavy or hot.
I love fabric. I love baby cuddles. And I didn’t want to have to worry about whether the new baby’s spine was aligned properly in a cradle hold in a sling, whether his chin was too tucked, whether he could breathe freely.
People. I love this thing. Simon loves this thing. We are its biggest fans.
So far, we’ve only used the upright chest carry. It’s still very comfortable, but Simon’s getting big enough that we’ll probably start exploring other positions soon: one reason I wanted a woven wrap is because they are so versatile and adjustable. After all, it’s just a huge rectangle of fabric.
During Simon’s first couple months, I enjoyed being able to breastfeed in a loosened version of this carry (so that he was low enough to reach my breast–as you can see in that last picture). He eats less constantly now and is too big to arrange that in a way that would be comfortable for me, so we don’t do that maneuver anymore–but anything that gives me greater mobility during the newborn period is immensely valuable in my book.
It’s easy to use a bathroom while wearing the carrier–much easier than with a sling. That may sound weird, but come on, it’s relevant.
I love that I can kiss Simon’s head any time while we walk around. I love that I can smell him and feel him breathing against me.
We found that we needed to wrap the carrier more tightly than initially seemed right. In fact, and paradoxically, Eric and I have both noticed that the carrier often feels too tight (like, binding as though we can’t quite breathe) if it’s actually not snug enough: I think it has to do with not supporting the baby’s weight properly. It’s easiest to adjust everything comfortably if you avoid twisting the fabric; I only handle the top edge as I wrap it, so that I can easily adjust the bottom, middle, or top bit of fabric around Simon as necessary. It also helps to hold the baby firmly in the desired position and stand up straight (good posture!) while I wrap mainly with my dominant hand. If it ends up feeling uncomfortable, take the whole thing off and start again.
It’s a pretty light fabric, which means A) it’s not too hot in the summer and B) it folds up small enough to sit in our diaper bag. We also use it as a blanket sometimes, wrapped around him when it’s colder than we expected, or on the ground as a soft place to put the baby.
For a while, we were a little squeamish about letting the beautiful fabric trail on dirty or damp parking lots and so forth while we wrapped/tied it. But we got over that. It’s sturdy, and you can wash it, and anyway it’s always covered in slobber these days.