I didn’t want to get a wrap carrier. I took one look at the instructions and ran for the kind of carriers that, while also pressing your baby to your chest for some hands-free time, only require the slipping of two straps over your shoulders and the closing of two plastic fasteners. But Pickles turned out picky. While she occasionally put up with the carrier, it wasn’t really made for simultaneous breast feeding and that, my friends, pissed her off. When we asked our midwife about it, she said (despite the infant attachments is has) we shouldn’t put her in it until three months because it could fuck up her back, which put the Beard’s paranoia antennaes on hypertwitch. And me, I’m depending on this carrier business to make normal life with a baby possible.
So I turned to the internet and ordered a Boba Wrap (formerly know as the Sleepy Wrap). Aka I paid 44 euros for a very long piece of black stretch jersey fabric. I’m sure there was a better (cheaper) DIY way (like, umm, just buying a long piece of fabric and hemming the edges, doh), but I didn’t want to take the time to find out—or the time to find and go to a fabric store, or to borrow, figure out, and use an unfamiliar sewing machine. DIY fail, I know.
But the faster I could get Pickles in a carrier that would allow me to do fucking anything, ever, the better. With every day the scar was hurting less and the cabin fever was growing, yellow-wallpaper style. Mostly I’d been ok with spending my days under a sleeping/nursing/gurgling Pickles, but there had been a few moments of “fuck-I’m-trapped!” panic, and I wanted to kick its ass before it turned into full-on insanity (and/or postpartum depression). I needed an acceptable carrier fast.
choosing a wrap
My decision to get a Boba wrap was simple and highly unscientific. It was five euros cheaper than the Moby Wraps on amazon, and it came in black. Once I’d pinpointed the one I wanted, I searched the internet for mom blog reviews and read a bunch of things about how much various people liked using the Boba. I was sold on the pros of it being stretchy (rather than woven, which apparently means you don’t have to adjust it as often), and as for ease of use, I figured that that was going to be about the same no matter what label was sewn on the front. Sold to the lowest bidder!
I was right to run in the other direction the first time I saw these wraps. I am not made for these fucking things, I thought after trying to follow the directions in the manual that came with the wrap. Having read that it was helpful to tie the Boba Wrap super tight, I did, and then couldn’t figure out how the hell the baby was supposed to get into the tiny space between the fabric and my chest. Five minutes in and I was already frustrated. And then Pickles started crying for boob, so I did what anybody with a computer and only one free hand would do: I turned to YouTube for help.
I am embarassed at how often I’ve already had to turn to YouTube for parent-gadget advice. (Twice. But still. Learning from a real person would be preferrable.) But daaamn. In the absence of a diverse community to show me how to do shit, YouTube is top. I only just formulated the thought the other day (I know, I was late to notice), but wow, I love the internet. And until we all live in tight-knit communities whose elders teach each new generation the traditions that will help them get shit done, I am so glad we have it. Thanks internet. Thanks YouTube. Thanks mom bloggers who write reviews of things.
Anyway, I watched these two videos:
And having watched them, my advice to you is this: throw away the printed instructions that come with your wrap and watch them too. The printed instructions simply don’t have enough pictures to get a few key points across, like how to elegantly get the fabric wrapped around your shoulders, how to jimmy the baby in, and where to put his or her feet once you have.
This time putting the wrap on was much easier. Aka I actually managed to get it on and to get the baby into it. But then she wanted to nurse, and she was much too high for that. So I shimmied the wrap down my waist until she could sort of reach the milk bar, and she drank for a second and then drifted off. I went outside and had breakfast in the sun with some of my Platz-mates with her waking to nurse for a second every once in a while and then falling back asleep. But when she woke up and was ready for a real meal, I retreated back inside to take her out of the wrap to breast feed as I was having trouble getting her positioned so that she didn’t immediately lose her grip on the tap (haha, the tap). She seemed to be a bit too low in the wrap, and I wasn’t really sure I’d gotten her into it the way that an infant should be in there since the video shows an older child. Which led me to two more YouTube videos.
So I still don’t know how to effectively nurse a baby wrapped in in the infant hold, but as she’s pretty easy to take in and out, maybe this will have to be a case of remove baby, stop to nurse baby, re-insert baby until she’s big enough to sit differently (another thing the mom bloggers said was that Boba Wraps are awesome because they make taking the baby out and putting her back in much easier than with woven Moby Wraps so this shouldn’t be a problem). Otherwise, I’m amazed. I was awkward, I was desperate, and I’m already starting to kind of love this thing. It really isn’t as hard to use as it looked. And so far, Pickles seems to like it too.
and after a month?
I am in love. Though I still wish the Boba wrap was quicker to get on (aka it is no damn fun oragmi-ing yourself in a really long piece of fabric while your kid is screaming herself red in the face on the bed next to you), I finally got nursing while carrying her down. It means I usually wear her much lower than is recommended, and doing that makes my back hurt a little more than it should, but nope, I don’t give a damn. Because it allows me to go into town and to the fleamarket and hang up laundry and go to the bathroom and cook and, you know, have a normal daily life. (Did I mention that Pickles hates the baby carriage so far? I have tried to use it as an outdoor bed for when we’re sitting outside, but even when she’ll lay on my lap all content, she hates being put in the carriage in the same position.) At first I thought the Boba advertising slogan “Freedom Together” was pretty cheesy. But by cod, it’s so true.
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Tagged: attachment parenting, baby carriers, babywearing, Boba Wrap, carrying your baby, hippy mama, hippy parent, how to put a baby in a wrap carrier, how to use a boba wrap, Moby Wrap, offbeat mama, offbeat parent, punk dad, punk mama, punk mom, punk parent, Sleepy Wrap, using a Boba Wrap, using a Sleepy Wrap, using a wrap carrier