Back in August, my editor (and marvelous friend) at Green Child Magazine let me help out with the babywearing shoot for the Fall 2017 digital issue. This turned out to be an AMAZING opportunity for me that I had been dreaming of for years. Actually, it was even BIGGER than I had dreamed because I had never fathomed experiencing so many wraps and carriers. It was sublime!
As a woman who has a hellacious eye for quality and a shopping impulse that can go so cold and dormant you think it’s dead, I wanted to use this fantastic opportunity to share details on all the carriers and companies I got to sample. Thanks to Wrapsody’s interest and generosity, I got to wear the Breeze wrap and the Stretch-Hybrid.
I wore something like 20 wraps and carriers from about 15 different companies. As a mama using a product made especially for mothers, I found there were many things to appreciate in every company and style of wrap and carrier that I wore. However, my experience with Wrapsody took me by surprise. In a REALLY good way. For one thing, I had never even heard of Wrapsody before the Green Child Mag shoot. Because of this and their lower price (just under $100), I was expecting a sub-par wrap. Wrapsody went way above my expectations and impressions here! Secondly, as I researched Wrapsody for this post, I was wildly impressed by what I learned.
Wrapsody was birthed in 2004 by “Gypsy Mama” Kristi Devlin-Hayes. As she shares in her interview on YouTube, she was a ring-slingin’ mama of two. Then her third child came along and she suddenly had a hankering for another type of carrier. Something which offered comfort and safety, but also served as an expression of herself. So, she started sewing and dyeing her very own wraps. Soon she was producing and selling them out of her own home, Within a year, the demand for her wraps was so high that she was ready to mass produce them.
I’m really impressed by Wrapsody because Kristi has put A LOT of work into creating high-quality products that cater to mothers and their babies. In today’s world, it’s hard to find a company that doesn’t put money above everything else. This can lead to an infuriating scenario in the case of baby products because companies will cut corners in favor of higher profits. The result? A product with shockingly-legal ingredients and cheap processes that are manufactured in facilities that double as a crime against humanity. Wrapsody isn’t like this, and they demonstrate as such in a number of ways.
Wrapsody designs may be dreamed up by employees, customers, and contests. Often times they’re the inspired idea of no one other than Kristi herself. A business owner who actually plays an active part in the heart of their business? My Visa is all ears! 😉
Another neat aspect of Wrapsody’s design process is that both their Breeze and their Stretch-Hybrid wraps are produced in Bali where the 100% cotton fabrics are hand-dyed or hand-batiked by Balinese artisans. This is sure to ruffle the feathers of “Localvores” but if you read up on the history and culture of Bali, you’ll realize what the Balinese have to offer. Bali culture is such an embodiment of art… They don’t even have a word for it! It’s just the way of life. There’s also a deep reverence for tradition and for using natural processes and materials. I don’t know about you, but this is something I would love to be able to support with every freaking dollar I have to my name.
When it comes to safety, Wrapsody is quite literally paving the way. Kristi Hayes-Devlin — the owner and founder of Wrapsody — has been a leading voice in advocating for safety, regulations, standards, and education concerning babywearing products. So much so, she founded Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA) — a trade organization dedicated to supporting quality standards, and to promoting education and compliance.So, it comes as no surprise that Wrapsody follows CPSIA regulations, plus goes an extra mile by ensuring that dyes are ISO-9001 compliant and fabrics are properly certified. Kristi obviously knows her stuff when it comes to safety and regulation, so choosing a Wrapsody wrap is a takes If you’d like to learn more about emerging babywearing standards, read Kristi’s post on how CPSIA legislation impacts the safety and regulation of babywearing products.
Kristi says that she tried over one hundred fabrics to find the perfect fabric for the type of wraps she wanted to make. These fabrics obviously meet a number of safety standards. Some standards which have yet to become a legal requirement. They’re about comfort and safety as well as function, and Wrapsody offers different styles of wraps that can meet specific needs like a breathable wrap for hot or humid climates or a softer body-hugging wrap that’s perfect for newborns and lightweight babies. Wrapsody wraps come in three sizes, ranging from Small/4.6m to Large/5.5m. This is great because the wraps can accommodate an array of bust and body types as well as a range of skill levels. The differences in lengths also allow Wrapsody to cater to newbie wrappers and simplicity-craving mamas with shorter wraps (all the less to get tied up in or drop into a toilet) as well as mamas hungry for more length (all the better for complex ties or to wrap up squiggly legs and wiggly bums).
That’s great and all, but what about wearing the actual wraps — Right? Let’s dive in!
The Wrapsody Breeze
When all these packages of wraps and carriers started showing up on my doorstep, I was jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store. I couldn’t wait to try them! However, I ran into some problems. It was the end of July and days were 90 degrees at their coolest. And guess what? My air conditioner decided it was going to waver between 75-80 degrees. And guess what else? I was pregnant. I was a big hot mess. In every sense of the phrase. Just draping a long, thick, and heavy over my shoulders was enough to make me sweat puddles, nevertheless wrapping it around my body. I couldn’t do it! Then the Wrapsody Breeze Dinah arrived. I didn’t expect much, but there were so many things I enjoyed about it.
The Breeze is thin, light, and breathable thanks to being made from cotton gauze fabric. Whereas many of the wraps I wore felt like wearing a Christmas sweater, the Breeze didn’t overwhelm me with that sensation of thickness, heaviness, and heat. Even though I was wearing an extra layer of fabric on my skin, it didn’t heat me up or cause me to sweat (any more than I already was). Totally wearable. Even pregnant with a busted AC in July.
IT’S SIMPLE (EASY TO USE)
The wraps I got to wear for Green Child consisted of fabrics that varied in thickness and fabric texture. With some fabrics, that made for huge knots. It also limited the types of carries you could pull off. As a newbie wrapper, I found that some wraps were a lot harder to work with. Of course, the more I practiced different carries and played with each fabric the easier it got, but there were wraps that required more finagling. That made wrapping errors and loose carries all too common. Thanks to the Breeze’s fabric, it was a lot easier to make a tight and secure carry. The fabric also made adjustments easier because it would easily slide through passes whereas thicker fabrics would bunch up or be harder to tug on. It Breeze even turns into its very own storage bag!
With all the pros of being lightweight and breathable, the fabric was also stiffer. The firmness and thinness of the fabric was great when it came to wrapping and avoiding errors. And while I was worried about the stiffer quality of the Breeze aggravating the stubborn knot in my shoulder, I was able to avoid unnecessary pain. As long as I had the wrap properly spread out and folded, it held up pretty well. I had to make adjustments to the shoulders as I wore it, but a quick ten-second shift did a good job of evenly distributing the weight and pressure. Putting a twist below the shoulder “straps” helped a lot too. Having the large size was a big help to the shoulder too. Since the Breeze was so long, I was able to do carries that allowed for an extra wrap-around my body and enabled better weight distribution so my shoulders didn’t have to carry the bulk of the babywearing load.
The Wrapsody Hybrid
So-called “stretchy wraps” have become a big hit because of their affordability and simplicity. However, stretchy wraps are easy to use because they can only do three types of carries. front, hip, and pocket-style. This works great when babe is fresh and new, but when they get to be around six months and they’re grabbing for things and squirming around, a back carry is a mother’s best friend. This is where stretchy wraps lose their value. And if your babe turns into an adorable, chubby little jelly roll outside the womb, then your stretchy wrap will only have a place as an oversized scarf because
Stretchy + Big Babies = Wrap Misery.
Wait… What’s that? Do you hear it? It’s Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid to the rescue!!!
IT’S COZY (BUT FIRM)
The Hybrid is a knit cotton-jersey fabric that makes it stretchy without losing its integrity (unlike my postpartum belly in all of its crunches-despising brownie-loving glory). Because it’s stretchy without being too stretchy, it can keep little ones cozy without developing that slow-and-steady stretchy wrap sag that requires regular adjusting and rewrapping. These soft and stretchy qualities are great when it comes to creating a good “seat” for carries because the fabric naturally hugs the contours of the body. Despite its softness, I could wrap myself and my daughter up and the carry would hold until I took her out. And while the fabric kept my daughter snug and secure, it also kept any shoulder irritation to a minimum. I found that the fabric allowed for even distribution and comfortable shoulder straps. Having the large size probably helped with this because I could do more advanced carries that offered better support than your standard FWCC or Double Hammock.
At 20 months, there’s no way I would wear my daughter in our stretchy wrap — I know from experience that it would be an awkward and very short-lived carry. Especially since I can only carry her in the front. The Stretch-Hybrid doesn’t have this limitation. You can tie up a secure back carry just as easily as a front or hip carry. Having a toddler and being pregnant, I wouldn’t have done a front carry for a hundred thousand dollars. Thanks to the Stretch-Hybrid, I could use it with no front carries ever. But had I done a front carry, it would have held up 100x better than the stretchy wrap in my closet.
IT WORKS FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS
I feel like the Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid is one of the ultimate baby shower gifts. Compared to other wraps that I used, the Hybrid was really easy to work with. Thanks to being a flat and thin fabric, it was easy for me to get a feel for how wrapping was going and to catch potential errors during wrapping rather than after. At the same time, the length allows for impressive ties and carries, so you go simple or advanced. When I was trying out new and fancy carries, this was the wrap I was reaching for. It made it so much easier to learn and practice carries.
IT HAS GREAT VALUE
Finding a wrap or carrier can be a pain because you want something that’s cute and comfortable, but you also want it to actually live up to its function. From what I see, the Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid would work from the day baby is born. Moms new to wrapping can easily use it for basic carries, but they can also use it for more technical wrapping if they be bringing’ dem skillz. And carries aren’t limited to front and hip positions. Wraps and carriers can come with a lot of limitations because they cater to certain skill levels, weight and size limits, body types, carry positions, and so on. This wrap is pretty dang versatile. If a mom is looking to buy only one wrap, then the Stretch-Hybrid is absolutely worth her consideration. I think it would work beautifully with newborns. And in another three weeks, I’ll be able to test this theory out for myself! 😉
And that’s a wrap! Thank you to Wrapsody for giving me two wonderful wraps to sample. It was a pleasure!
But before you go…. Have you tried a Wrapsody before? Or wraps in general? Be sure to share your joys and trials in the comments down below. Mamas would LOVE to glean from your experience. Thanks for sharing!
If you want to try out the carries I used in these photos, mosey on over to YouTube to watch the Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) tutorial, Poppins Hip Carry tutorial, and Rucksack Tibetan Knotless tutorial from Wrap You In Love. She rocks!