I wanted to learn to wrap my baby even before he was conceived. I'd look at my babywearing friends and think that they looked like the embodiment of the Earth Mother; in control, at ease and with babies that always seemed more contented & chilled out that those in buggies. Of course, the reality was that those mothers were struggling, coping & doing their best just like all parents. I was, at the time, blissfully unaware of the joys of baby sick down my cleavage, poop explosions in freshly washed wraps & all the other realities of parenting a brand new person. Nevertheless, the wrapping seed was sewn. I saw an opportunity to combine my existing love of textiles (I'd been sewing & crafting since school), with a way to carry my baby & be the type of mummy I'd dreamed of being.
When I look back, I see how completely unprepared I was for how my life would change, to the point of being unrecognisable, when our little boy arrived. Pre-motherhood, I was fiercely independent & enjoying a challenging, demanding career. I was accustomed to planning my working day, making decisions that affected other people's lives, and most certainly to eating and peeing when the urge took me! Suddenly, I had this beautiful, perfect little boy who wouldn't be put down. At all. Never...
After a couple of weeks of managing no housework, near accidents through waiting too long to go to the loo, and relying on a not-so-nutritious diet of chocolate mini eggs, I realised that babywearing might just be essential to my, my baby, and my husband's mid-to-long-term survival. Our first wrap - the until now idealised vanity piece, which I'd feared may go the same way as my nap-time novel writing plans - was now my most essential baby item.
Baby wrapping facilitated a house move at two weeks, ventures into the outside world, a diet that involved slightly more preparation than opening a packet, necessary toilet trips and a much happier baby and mummy. Our little boy was later diagnosed with severe reflux which was no doubt a factor in his perpetual refusal to be laid down. Being carried upright was much more comfortable for him, and the only way that he slept at all in those early months. However, even when his reflux was addressed, he continued to be the kind of baby who always wanted cuddles and to be carried.
I quickly grew to adore the feeling of a contented baby falling asleep on my chest, or gazing up at me as we explored the world together. And, would you believe it, there were also moments when I actually did feel like the embodiment of that Earth Mother (regardless of sometimes not managing to shower for a couple of days!)!!
Needless to say, wrapping became a huge part of our lives whether we were home, out for a walk, or navigating the supermarket. My wrap obsession grew and trying all the the different brands, blends, weaves, weights and designs became a bit of a hobby.
As wrapping became increasingly important to us, I realised that one day our wrapping time will end. Not for a while, but at some point there will be a 'final up'. Even now that he's walking, there are still many times when our little adventurer is tired, upset or just in need of comfort. I hope that he'll still want wrapping well into the pre-school years and beyond. We're now excitedly expecting his little brother or sister too, so there'll be a brand new little person in need of nurturing, loving and carrying.
The Wrapping Years was set up to celebrate our special wrapping time, for however long it lasts. Through the Earth Mother times, the sleepless nights, the outdoor adventures, the sick down the cleavage times, the "I just need to do this" times and everything else that comes our way. All surrounded by beautiful yet functional baby wraps.