When I was pregnant, I spent weeks on the internet researching baby carriers and comparing prices. The first I ever bought was a beautiful camo print stretchy wrap from Victoria Slinglady’s eBay store. It saw me and my daughter through our first four and a half months of babywearing in style. Below are my thoughts on Victoria’s wrap, and stretchy wraps in general.
First up, this is a well made wrap. It’s 5m long, so there’s plenty of room for a bigger adult or child to fit. The ends also have a nice taper on them, which I find makes it a lot easier to do your wraps. The ends are much easier to tuck in without the extra cloth in the way, too. The long sides have been folded, hemmed and overlocked, so it looks good. The stitching is very professional, as near as my amateur consumer eyes can tell. There’s a tag sewn in the middle, which makes said middle a lot easier to find.
Victoria Slinglady does her wraps in two weights – a heavier and a lighter cloth. I went with the heavier, which only stretches in one direction. (This is called a hybrid wrap in Fancy Babywearing Terminology.) I found the little bit of stretch good as it meant I could strap bub in really tight – as in “I’m having trouble breathing” tight – and five minutes later, we’d both be nice and snug. It’s a great way to avoid the inevitable jiggle and hitch you have with a lot of other wraps. In hindsight I would’ve gone for a lighter fabric weight, though. I live in Adelaide (it gets HOT here) and Chipmunk was born in the summer, so there were days when I couldn’t use the wrap for fear of heatstroke.
The camo print I chose is only patterned on one side of the fabric. I find this makes it much easier to work out whether you’ve got the fabric twisted or not. I’m not sure if this would carry over to the other fabric prints Victoria uses.
Best of all, the wrap was right in my price range – factoring in shipping and the currency conversion rate, I paid AU$27 for my wrap. This is a much better deal than the $40 and up for other, brand name wraps, such as the Hug a Bub and Moby wrap. Plus you’re supporting a stay at home mum with an entrepreneurial spirit – a combination I love supporting.
Something to keep in mind is the fact that stretchy wraps like this can only be used for front carries. I didn’t know it at the time, but the wrap I bought is rather narrow – 37cm – which makes a cradle carry pretty much impossible to pull off. Unfortunately I didn’t take this into consideration when buying as I grossly underestimated just how useful the cradle carry would have been in my daughter’s first weeks. You know – the stage where they’re hanging off your boob almost constantly? And you’re feeling good enough to start doing things again, except for the fact you’ve only got one hand free? A cradle carry would have been WONDERFUL for those first few weeks. Alas, live and learn – and keep this in mind.
Overall, I really like Victoria Slinglady’s wrap. It was the first baby carrier I bought, and once I got over the learning curve, it was comfy, supported both my back and my bub well, and allowed plenty of close, snuggly bonding time. The only reason I’m not still using it regularly? Chipmunk got too big. To cope with this inevitability I made my own mei tai, which I’ve found more versatile and convenient. Back carries are pretty much all we’ve done from five months old.
Price: AU$27 (will vary depending on exchange rate & postage costs)
5m long, 37cm wide
Well made, tapered wrap ends
Can’t do cradle carries because of width. Excellent for front carries