Using your wrap
How do I use a woven wrap, and how do I make sure it's safe?
Learning to use a wrap can seem daunting at first, but there are lots of resources to help new wearers. Your wrap will come with an instruction manual, as well as this you may like to join a local or online babywearing group. There are also many good video tutorials on Youtube which make it much easier to see all of the steps involved - but it's also worth joining a babywearing forum as they can recommend the better tutorials. I am always available to help with learning how to your wrap, please email me with any questions you might have. If you are a Cairns local, I offer obligation free wrapping lessons, please email me to arrange a time.
Facebook users might also like the Australian Babywearing Buy/Sell/Swap Group - which is not only a trading board, but an excellent source of information and advice.
If you're on Facebook - come along and join the Cairns Babywearers group. We meet regularly, and it's a great way to meet likeminded parents and get advice on a range of different carriers.
A few tips for new wrappers:
- If your baby has never been worn in a carrier before, he might find it unfamiliar at first. Go slowly and be guided by your baby. If he is not happy to be wrapped, let him play in the wrap or just cuddle him with it so that he starts to recognise it as a familiar and fun thing. You're much more likely to have success when he is happy (eg: changed and fed). Although many babies love it straight away, it sometimes takes a bit of patience (and time) to get your baby used to the sensation of being carried in a wrap, especially if they are a bit older.
- Practice with a doll or teddy first. Although it's not quite the same, it does help to get you familiar with the techniques involved in different carries and with moving a long piece of fabric around.
- Start with front carries first. Whilst back carrying is wonderfully freeing, and allows parents with older children to spend time with them, it's much easier figuring out the technique of wrapping with a baby on your front.
- When you do try back wrapping - always have a spotter, or wrap over the bed until you are confident in your technique. If you are wrapping with an older baby or toddler, remember that they can get wriggly, so always make sure that they are secured either by the wrap or by your hand if you are not sure if they'll stay still. Sometimes distraction is called for - a toy, wrapping in front of a mirror and pulling faces at them, a favourite TV show - all can help your little one stay still as you learn.
Safety and optimal positioning tips:
- Keep your baby in a safe position. This is especially important for newborns. Always ensure that your baby's airways are clear and that there is good airflow around their face. If his chin is pushed onto to his chest it can obstruct the airways and cause difficulty breathing. This is most likely to be a problem in insufficiently tightened cradle (lying down) carries, but can also happen in an upright carry. For that reason, many babywearing schools recommend that cradle carries be used only for feeding (if your baby does not like to feed upright in a carrier), or by experienced wearers. Although a baby that is uncomfortable in a carrier will usually let you know by crying, this is not true of a baby who is in oxygen distress. Check your baby's breathing and position regularly, and if in doubt, take them out of the wrap.
- Keep your baby in a natural seated position, his knees should be higher than his bottom.
- Follow the TICKS guidelines for safety: Tight, In view at all times, Close enough to kiss, Keep chin off chest, Supported back.