The one thing I often don’t get to do when I’m showing someone how to use a woven wrap is show them the endless uses for this ancient, modern day parenting marvel. Mostly because I know the demonstration I just gave them is soaking in and the last thing I want to do is bombard them with more info. But this lovely piece of strongly woven fabric that has been used by many women (and men) before us for several centuries to nurture and carry their babies holds more uses than we could probably conjure. Yes, even in 2015. This inspired me to pull together five very practical uses for a woven wrap that will never go out of style and will always be needed, and go from your pregnancy stage to your child’s first reading years. I see you rethinking that uber expensive stroller right about now. So on that note let’s dive into the fresh and inspiring ways one can rock a woven wrap (and yes, strollers everywhere should be jealous)…
- The most obvious and common way to use a woven wrap would be to carry your baby in it. But I promised I would tell you how to use it from pregnancy so babywearing goes on the back burner for a moment. The first way you can start loving your woven wrap is when that big beautiful bump starts to feel heavy over your toes. You know that belly support you bought that you try to cover up when it’s not riding up on your waist? Yeah, it’s time for it to be jealous too. Your woven wrap has this covered. Literally and beautifully. Simple tie your woven wrap snugly around your belly and knot at your waist. Need even more support than that? No problem. You can do a complete wrap that you would carry your baby in but around your belly (which is technically still your baby) and utilize the rest of your body to give your bump a lift. Genius really. Nothing is stronger or more supportive than that. Of course if you want to wear a nude colored neoprene stretchy thing with straps and Velcro I won’t try to stop you BUT there is a more comfortable and elegant option. You can also use your wrap during your labor (whole other blog post) and also post birth to tighten tummy back up. You know you like the sound of that!
- Ok I think babywearing warmed up enough on the back burner. A lot of people, I mean A LOT of people, are intimidated by woven wraps. Well I’m here to tell you….I get it. A lot of things about raising a baby are intimidating. Like for example…the birth! If you can wrap your head around that one than I’ll be the first one to empower you to pick up a soft and comfy woven wrap and tie it on. Do it everyday for two weeks and it will seem like elementary my dears. Here is the newborn carry that I teach everyone first. It’s very secure, safe, and gives room for the learning curve. Oh, and it’s a look to definitely rock!
- A third way to rock your woven wrap only needs an image. Voila! Neck warm, extra space in your diaper bag, and you can just pull it off and use it as a blanket for baby to play on when you’re over at your Aunt Shirley’s house showing off your beautiful darling. Blanket scarves are in!
- Arriving at number four. You’ve warmed up to the woven wrap and you might already be thinking what else I may have in store for you. Well braiding actually. Yes braiding. When you decide to welcome a lovely woven wrap into your bag of parenting tools you will also likely learn how to braid it. It’s kind of like arm crocheting. Very quick and simple to achieve. It takes about 30 seconds to do. But once your woven wrap is braided you have an instant neck pillow or lumbar support. You know, for when you’re traveling in the car. Lumbar support for when you’re driving, neck support for when you’re riding passenger. Or when flying. Or for when you’re nursing. Or to prop baby over during tummy time. I’m sure I could come up with lots more uses but I don’t want to totally blow your mind before I get to number five.
- Alas number five. The fifth way you can truly rock your woven wrap. Let’s ease into this one. When people first come to me for babywearing information and I talk about how much time they can expect to get out of a carrier there are a few people who chuckle and say, “I’m sure I won’t be wearing my child past 2 years old.” We’ve all met a toddler. They are just bigger infants really. They still want “up,” they still want to fall asleep on you, and they will most likely want a ride after 3 minutes of walking somewhere. But the sceptic in you is having a hard time believing me. Or maybe none of your friends with children have worn their kids past two so you’re defaulting to the “norm.” Well let’s say you’re right and you won’t be wearing your child past 2 years of age. The woven wrap still has a use for you. This will be right about the time your child falls in love with books. And being the awesome parent that you are, you already have a cool place for them to lounge while reading. Your woven wrap! You can tie it onto a long table with four legs (knot rests on top of the table) and make a very special reading hammock. Or it can be used in fort making with the couch cushions and some chairs. Fort making is a dying art. Revive it. Rock your woven wrap.