Monthly Archives: May 2015

Guest blog for Wrappped 29th April 2015

Original guest blog for Wrappped


Hi, I’m Sally, 30 year old Mum to 15 month old Reuben, and this post is to share my experience of how babywearing has helped me to cope with postnatal depression.

A short background is that I started suffering with antenatal depression at about 6 weeks of pregnancy, which had become severe by the time I was diagnosed and started treatment at 20 weeks. So firstly I’d like to raise awareness of antenatal depression as well, as it’s talked about even less than postnatal depression and, having had both, is just as horrible and isolating to have to deal with.

We have a lot of pets and a large garden to look after, and a massive trigger for my depression is feeling like I can’t do anything or that I’m behind on what needs to be done. Because of this, I decided while still pregnant that I needed some kind of carrier as I needed to be able to carry Reu around with me while I was doing things. Little did I know at this stage how important to my life babywearing would become.


By the time Reu was born I’d worked really hard in therapy, combined with medication, and my mood was pretty good and I felt able to cope. But sleep deprivation, ill health, poorly babies, and other things all take their toll and over the last year I have continued to struggle with postnatal depression at varying times. And this is where babywearing has saved me.


In the early days it meant I could have Reu with me always and form an incredibly strong bond with him. In the days of non stop feeds it meant I could have a break and move easily while he slept in between.


It enabled me to get outside in the garden, the fresh air and the sunshine. I could let the chickens out in the morning, or feed the frogs, or say hello to the ferrets, play with the dogs, all while Reu was happily snuggled against my body. Basically, to continue living my life while still caring for Reu. And all these things helped to keep me sane. The ease of walking out the house to go for a walk or get the shopping, and you don’t have to set up a buggy or negotiate tight aisles or crowded places without running over peoples ankles. At points, I have struggled with anxiety and having Reu on me in a sling makes me feel safe, we are one unit in these times (as we were before he was born), and we are a team. As a team, we can do anything, and go anywhere that we need or want to go. And if my anxiety kicks in, it’s easy for me to get us to somewhere that feels safer, without a lot of baggage to carry.


As I’ve become more involved in the babywearing community, it’s meant I’ve made friends and found new opportunities to find enjoyment and fulfillment in my life, with Reu. We volunteer at local sling meets, and go for walks and lunch with a local babywearing group. Sometimes these things help me get out the house when I’m struggling, and once I’m there my mood starts to improve.


So for me, and my ongoing journey through parenthood and postnatal depression, babywearing has just been vital in allowing me to continue to be me while I adjust to the whole new world of Motherhood. To enable me to get to know my incredible son, who is the most outgoing, wonderful and adventurous toddler I know. And I’m sure babywearing has helped him to be as awesome as he is. He has always been a part of every aspect of life, he’s gone places, been at eye level seeing everything that’s going on, had uncountable people chatting to him, and just experienced everything possible, while Mummy chatters away to him, and feels safe herself.

My husband pointed out to me when I set up my Facebook page that I’m smiling in all the pictures of me carrying Reu, so I suppose the summary is for me, babywearing means happiness.


Guest blog for Bracknell sling meet 6th March 2015

Original guest blog for Bracknell sling meet

    Hi all, I’m Sally, Mum to 13 month old Reuben and a wide variety of pets! I live on the outskirts of Wokingham and I hope you enjoy this blog.

How did you get into babywearing and did you plan to wear your baby when you were pregnant?

We bought a babasling when I was pregnant (and hubby practiced with a teddy!). I knew I wanted to be able to carry him as we have a lot of animals and a large garden to tend to and I thought carrying would make that much easier (and it does). At that point I viewed wraps as too complicated and wanted something I could quickly pop him in and out of. The Baba did that for us and I loved it and we didn’t even consider upgrading until I wanted to start back carrying when Reu was about 7 months old.


Reu was about 4 weeks old here.


In the Baba for the whole day at Newbury show, about 8 months old.

Tell us about your wraps and carriers?

So I started with the Babasling. When he was about 7 months we saw some friends using a Connecta to back carry and thought that could be useful as he was starting to grab at things that sometimes he shouldn’t be grabbing. We looked online and ordered a Palm and Pond mei tai as they seemed very reasonable. We got on fine with that and used it for whole days out, as we had with the Baba, but then I went to the local sling meet! My intention was to try a Connecta to check I liked it before we bought one but they were all out on loan so I ended up trying a wrap conversion mei tai (WCMT) by the amazing Little River Mei Tai, and I fell in love. It is so comfortable and spreads the weight so well I don’t feel like I’m carrying at all, plus Reu fell asleep in it instantly. So my very early Christmas present was a custom WCMT from Little River made from Shire Slings Love Geek and it is still the comfiest carrier I’ve tried.

When I was looking at wraps to choose what to have the mei tai made from I discovered the wonderful world of wraps and the variety of wraps and carries and started getting curious. It was November when our first woven arrived (not including the love geeks that I sent off to be chopped!), and it was a size seven Nati lutea sky. It was pre loved and so soft and floppy and the addiction began there! I got a lenny lamb ring sling around the same time as an upgrade for the baba to live in the car for quick carries.

So my stash (and I am way too sentimental to sell anything I’ve carried Reu in!), now includes – Teal babasling, palm and pond mei tai, WCMT by Little River mei tai made from Shire Slings love geek in apple and petrol, lenny lamb betula RS, Natibaby bubbles RS, Natibaby dinos RS, Kokadi nils in wunderland RS by Geeky Sweetheart (so very comfy), Natibaby Lutea sky 7, Girasol light rainbow diamond weave 7, Firespiral driftwood cyano seafoam 7, Little Frog jade 6, Kokadi elephant parade 5, Natibaby dinofun 5, Joy and Joe luceo non uro 5, Natibaby kangaroos 5, Natibaby wrapped messages 4, Lenny lamb betula 2 and Jumpsac solace bosphorus 4 on it’s way!


First time with a woven.

What’s your favourite wrap/carrier you’ve ever owned and why?

I loved the Babasling for enabling me to get into babywearing. My favourite carrier has to be my Little River mei tai love geek WCMT for being the most comfortable and beautiful thing ever. The meaning behind the wrap is perfect for carrying your baby in and made me cry when I first read it. My favourite woven is definitely firespiral driftwood cyano seafoam. It’s so beautiful and light but feels really supportive, it feels such a different weave to others I’ve used and it’s so comfortable.


This is the first time I wore the love geek out, I’ve got neater since, I was just so excited!

If money were no object, what wrap or sling would you own?

All of the firespirals! I would definitely love to try more FiSpi. Also, our wedding theme was peacock feathers so I love the look of the Artipoppe Argus wraps, but these are definitely out of my price range currently!

What do you like about babywearing?

I love being able to be close to Reu all the time and interact with him so much. When we go for walks he can see everything I can see so we can look at everything together. He’s very sociable which I’m sure is in part because he’s had so much interaction with people by being at their eye level. I also love being able to get on with things that need doing, while having a happy Reu with me, for instance he’s asleep on my back as I write this. I have suffered from anti-natal and postnatal depression and babywearing has definitely helped me cope with this as it’s enabled me to get out easily, get jobs done, and form an incredible bond with Reu.

What do or did you find hardest about babywearing?

The only thing I can think of is sometimes peoples opinions of you. Most of the time people are very positive and say how snug and happy he looks but sometimes it can feel like the non carrying mums don’t talk to you as much because you’re the ‘hippy with the bit of fabric!’ But then the friends you do make are the ones who accept you as you are and I’ve met some really lovely people through the babywearing community.

Does your partner join in with the babywearing?

Very much so! He used the babasling before I did, and also uses the mei tai and ring slings. He was initially not interested in wrapping but was inspired by Sling Dad Dom and now wraps himself. I got the dino wrap to encourage him and he has since seen wraps and asked if we can get them. My Mum’s even had a go too.


Ben (hubby) wrapping with dinos.

What kind of comments do you receive when you babywear out and about?

Mostly very positive. Lots of comments about how comfy and happy he looks and I love talking to people about slings and encouraging them to get to a sling library and give it a try if they are interested. I’m finding more and more mums are showing an interest which is great. The funniest question I’ve had is a friend once turned to me and said ‘do you even own a buggy?!’ (The answer is yes, I haven’t used it for well over six months and used it very little before then, but due to storage it lives in my boot and I drive it everywhere with me!)

Joy and Joe King of the Birds review


Manufacturer – Joy and Joe

Design – King of the birds

Colour – Brown (Chrysaetos)

Blend – 100% cotton

Weight – 255gsm

Width of wrap – 63cm

Size tested – Medium (4)

Retail price of tested design and size – £110

Provided to me by – Joy and Joe

Website – Joy and Joe Baby


Initial thoughts on design, colour and feel

Anyone who’s seen my posts involving my personal wraps will know this is very much ‘my’ colour! It’s stunning! It’s a really vibrant colour and the fabric has a beautiful sheen to the ‘right’ side thanks to the sateen weave. It’s been difficult to photograph how it shimmers in the light so you’ll just have to take my word for it. The eagle design feels a very strong and confident design to me, and would look totally at home on either a man or a woman. The name of the brown weft (Chrysaetos) is the latin species name of the Golden Eagle, and the other colourway King of the Birds comes in has a black weft (Verreauxii), named after the Black Eagle, which I think is a nice touch. This wrap came to me brand new, and was soft and floppy straight out of the bag (a nice touch from Joy and Joe is that their wraps come in lovely bags).


Front carry thoughts

I tried King of the Birds out in a front wrap cross carry, tied under bum. Reu was getting a little grumpy before bed but he quickly settled once wrapped. I found it easy to wrap with and it was comfortable. There’s not too much stretch to this wrap so it didn’t move from where I placed it and was fully supportive for my toddler. Although it was easy to use, because it’s new I ended up with what felt like quite a big knot, but this will decrease as the wrap gets further broken in. Having said that it’s not at all stiff to use and I wouldn’t say it needed breaking in, just that it will get even softer with further use.


Back carry thoughts

I put King of the Birds to the test in four different back carries. We tried it with a double hammock with single ring finish, a ruck tied at waist, a ruck tied at shoulder with candy cane chest belt, and a ruck with single ring finish at waist.


I always forget how comfortable double hammock with single ring finish is, and this wrap was perfect for it. The ‘odd’ side of the wrap gave good grip for the ring finish and the wrap held perfectly and really comfortably. It didn’t budge at all, the passes were easy to make and stayed exactly where I put them, and the wrap felt very supportive.


Reu was in full wriggle mode for the ruck tied at waist (he was excited as he’d nabbed my selfie stick so he was enjoying waving it around and banging it on Mummy’s head!). Despite this, the wrap was still comfortable and didn’t pull on my shoulders, and the seat held well despite all his bouncing up and down!


We went out geocaching with King of the Birds and I had Reu in a ruck tied at shoulder with candy cane chest belt. I found it supportive and sturdy, even when climbing across ditches, searching and bending down frequently.


The ruck with single ring finish was also a comfortable and supportive carry with this wrap.


Ring finish thoughts

I tried two different ring finishes with King of the birds (double hammock with single ring finish and ruck with single ring finish at waist), and both times the wrap held well through the ring. The sateen side was easy to pass through the ring and the textured ‘odd’ side provided good grip. I used a large sling ring for both the double hammock and ruck, but maybe would have been better with a medium sized ring for the ruck.


Overall thoughts

I have really enjoyed having King of the Birds here to stay. It’s a beautiful wrap with a vibrant colour and the design is really striking and powerful without being overwhelming. As with other Joy and Joe wraps I’ve tried it’s lovely quality and really nice to wrap with. It’s very supportive and would suit toddlers as well as newborns. Although it’s not as instantly floppy to wrap with as Joy and Joe’s new Fountains of Love range (see my review for Fountains of Love here ), it’s still easy to use from brand new and will just get even softer and more flexible with further use. Ben had a quick go too and really liked the colour and design. Overall, King of the Birds is a great wrap and it’s a shame it has to fly on to a new home.

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Rose and Rebellion Kitchy Koo review


Manufacturer – Rose and Rebellion

Design – Kitchy Koo

Colour – White with pink flamingos, fully reversible to plain black

Weight limits – 3.5-20kg

Size tested – Baby and Toddler size

Retail price of tested design and size – £79.99

Provided to me by – Rose and Rebellion

Website – Rose and Rebellion


Initial thoughts on design, colour and feel

This buckled baby carrier arrived in it’s own little storage bag and packs down quite small. The design has lots of little pink flamingos on a white background, but one of the great points about Rose and Rebellion carriers is that they are all reversible to a plain black side. So if your other half doesn’t like flamingos (or whichever design you’ve selected – they have many), or if you’re in a different mood, you can just turn it round and have a plain black carrier. The sleep hood is fully integrated and tucks away into a little internal pocket when not in use, which I think is a really nice touch.

Rose and Rebellion carriers also have a wide range of weights they are suitable for (3.5-20kg), so can see you from newborn up to toddlerhood, and they also have a pre-schooler carrier which they say can easily accommodate a 5-6 year old. The carrier is well made with well padded straps and waistband. The waistband is less rigid than some other buckled carriers, and the padding is in a central main section and two side sections. While looking at Rose and Rebellion’s website I noticed they also do custom designs and accessories such as suck pads and matching handy little pockets that attach to the arm strap and hold items such as keys and wallet.


Front carry thoughts

The straps are well padded and comfortable on the shoulders, and are easily adjustable. I did find that the straps had a tendency of sticking out behind me and on occasion this made them tricky to reach, but I reviewed a brand new carrier and I would expect these to loosen a bit with time and use so that this wouldn’t be a problem. I really like that the straps can be either straight down and fastened with a chest strap, or crossed over behind your back. Everyone has a different body so I believe the more flexibility a carrier offers, such as different strap positions, the more likely it is to suit more different people. I tried it out both ways and found it more comfortable with the straps crossed over, but others may prefer them straight. I found the waistband nice and wide and the padding was flexible around me. Reu fell asleep in the carrier the first time we tried it, and I easily hooked out the sleep hood from it’s neat little integral pocket and fastened it. The sleep hood straps fasten through double rings in a similar fashion to a ring sling, which made them very secure, although not so easy for a quick release when Reu woke up grumpy. However, a secure sleep hood is much more important, especially with smaller babies that may not have such good head control. On another occasion Reu and I went for a walk together using the Rose and Rebellion and he once again fell asleep in it, and proceeded to have his full nap in the carrier, so I think it’s safe to say it gets his seal of approval.


Back carry thoughts

I found back carrying in the Rose and Rebellion more comfortable than front carrying for Reu, who is 15 months old. I used the straps straight and with the chest strap to secure, and again found them well padded and easy to adjust. The carrier and Reu felt less constraining with Reu on my back and I found it easy to move around freely. We went for a walk together and Reu enjoyed being arms out and pointing at everything interesting he saw. On another occasion I popped Reu on my back so that I could tidy the kitchen, and unload and load the dishwasher. Despite all the up and down and bending forwards etc, I found it comfortable, it stayed in position well, and Reu was also very happy.


Overall thoughts

I’ve enjoyed trying out the Rose and Rebellion carrier for this review. I predominantly wrap so don’t have as much experience with buckled carriers but I found this one simple to use          and comfortable. I like the flexibility of the design and the ease with which the straps could be adjusted, as getting a good fit with any carrier is vital for the comfort of both the wearer and the baby. The reversible colour design is a nice touch and when Ben tried it out and went for a walk with Reu he chose to wear it black side out (what’s not manly about pink flamingos?!). Overall I found this carrier comfortable and a good purchase, especially with the wide weight/age range and reversible design, meaning you should get lots of use out of it.




Yaro Black Turtle review


Manufacturer – Yaro

Design – Turtle

Colour – Black

Blend – 100% cotton

Weight – 230g/m2

Width of wrap – 66cm

Size tested – 5

Retail price of tested design and size – £44

Provided to me by – Pour La Bebe (


Initial thoughts on design, colour and feel

The plain black looks really quite classy, and the weave pattern, which reminded me of Roman mosaic designs, is subtle but adds to the overall effect. Being all black it would go with anything, to any event and work for either a man or woman. This wrap arrived to me brand new but was already light and floppy, straight out of the packaging. Because there was no stiffness to it, it was really easy to use straight away. There is some stretch to the wrap, and the texture of the weave design looks like it should provide enough grip to hold a knotless finish well.


Front carry thoughts

I used Black Turtle for a front wrap cross carry tied under bum for Reu, my 15 month old toddler. I found it really nice and floppy to work with, and found the slight stretch of the wrap added to the ease of wrapping. It was very comfortable and Reu was asleep within seconds (I hadn’t even finished tying the knot!).


Back carry thoughts

The first back carry I tried with this wrap was a ruck with knotless tibetan finish (a personal favourite carry). The wrap is a good width and was flexible enough even from new to easily form a good seat. It was very easy to work with but I did find that it wasn’t as cushioned on the shoulders as some other wraps I have tried.


I had just bunched the ruck straps for the knotless tibetan ruck carry so when I next used the wrap for a basic ruck tied at waist, I sandwiched the shoulders, and this completely solved the comfort problems. I carried Reu in this ruck with sandwiched shoulders for quite some time and it remained comfortable throughout.


I also tried a double hammock with single ring finish and a ruck with sandwiched shoulders, twist in front and ring finish at waist. I found both comfortable and the wrap held well and was easy to work with.


Knotless finish thoughts

When I tried the ruck finished knotless tibetan I found the texture of the weave held well without being so textured as to make it difficult to make the passes and the wrap didn’t slip at all.


Ring finish thoughts

I tried a couple of ring finishes while Black Turtle was with us. First was a double hammock with single ring finish using a large sized sling ring. I found this a comfortable carry and it held well through the ring.

The second ring finish I tried was a ruck with ring finish at waist. I was using a large sized sling ring but I think a medium would have held the finish better. Despite this it still held well and was comfortable.


           Overall thoughts

When this wrap first arrived I was worried I would find the plain black a bit boring, as I usually go for brighter coloured wraps. But I actually really loved it; it went with everything and I found myself reaching for it frequently. It was easy to wrap with and supportive for my toddler, especially once I’d sandwiched the ruck straps. I noticed it softening in the few weeks it was with me and I’m sure it will continue to do so in its new home at a local sling library (thanks to Pour La Bebe’s very generous donation). I found it easy to use straight from new and really liked the design of the textured weave. It’s a great wrap for the price and could be a real use anywhere for anything kind of wrap.


Ben had a couple of quick goes too and found it sturdy with good grip, so he felt confident in his finishes. He also liked the texture and colour so found it a good unisex design.


KindsKnopf TulpenSterne Twin M review


Manufacturer – KindsKnopf

Design – TulpenSterne Twin M

Colour – Green

Blend – 100% cotton

Weight – 295gsm

Width of wrap – 60cm

Size tested – 6

Retail price of tested design and size – 220 Euros

Provided to me by – KindsKnopf


Initial thoughts on design, colour and feel

It’s a lovely design, and both sides of the wrap are equally attractive. I particularly like that KindsKnopf have hemmed the edges so that you can have either side facing out and still have a neat edge. The green is a lovely fresh green, and feels very appropriate for a spring release. This wrap doesn’t have much stretch to it and feels very strong. There is a slight texture to the design which should aid with grip for knotless finishes. The wrap arrived in lovely packaging; tissue paper and a special box, and with some lovely photographic instructions for some basic carries.


Front carry thoughts

I tried a front wrap cross carry with bunched passes. I found the wrap very supportive and strong for my toddler. The knots felt secure, and I found it easy to use. This wrap had only visited one tester before me and was brand new when it arrived with her so has had very little use. Despite this I didn’t have any problems wrapping with it and it was soft, although it will certainly get softer and more flexible with time and use.


Back carry thoughts

We tried out two different back carries in the short time we had this wrap visiting; a ruck finished knotless tibetan and a double hammock with freshwater finish. The wrap was very strong and supportive, I managed a high ruck and it didn’t budge at all, even with Reu enthusiastically looking and pointing at things outside. The ruck straps didn’t dig at all and it looked beautiful with the knotless finish. The double hammock showed off the design really well and again, the wrap held well and supported Reu’s weight really well. I found it easy to make the passes behind my back as there was minimal friction from the wrap.



Knotless finish thoughts

The ruck finished knotless tibetan held perfectly, with no slipping or pulling at all. This is my favourite back carry and I found it very comfortable with this wrap, and it hung in a particularly attractive way.


Overall thoughts

This is a very strong and toddler worthy wrap. The design is lovely (and comes in other colours), and would suit either a man or a woman, and I love the freshness of the green. I found it easy to wrap with and although it wasn’t at all stiff, I am sure it would become lovely and soft with further time and use. The main feeling I’m left with after this wrap’s visit to us, is how supportive it was, a real workhorse of a wrap.


Joy and Joe Fountains of Love review


Manufacturer – Joy and Joe

Design – Fountains of love

Colour – Mustard yellow

Blend – 100% cotton

Width of wrap – 70cm

Size tested – XXL (7)

Retail price of tested design and size – £275

Provided to me by – Joy and Joe


Initial thoughts on design, colour and feel

This wrap has a very classic design that would suit anyone, and it also comes in black and pink colourways for those with different colour tastes but I really like the yellow. The colour seems to shimmer in the light and the wrap is nice and wide (I measured it at 70cm). Despite not having been travelling for very long before arriving with me it was already beautifully soft and flexible. Joy and Joe say they have been working on an innovative new weave that will not need any breaking in, and judging by this wrap, they’ve cracked it!


Front carry thoughts

I used Fountains of Love for a front wrap cross carry with spread passes. I found it really easy to use and tighten, there was no stiffness at all and the wrap was lovely and floppy to manipulate. There was enough stretch to the wrap to make it easy to work with, while still being strong and supportive. I used it with my toddler Reu, who is 15 months old and about 19lbs and it didn’t slip or pull at all, but it’s so soft it would also be lovely for a newborn.


Back carry thoughts

I tried three different back carries with Fountains of Love, and as the tester was a size XXL (a 7), I got the opportunity to practice some fancy finishes. I did a ruck finished knotless tibetan, a double hammock with saltwater finish, and a back wrap cross carry with chest belt.

I found the wrap really easy to use for all these carries and totally supportive. I bunched the ruck straps and was really impressed that they didn’t dig at all, as sometimes happens with other wraps (I sandwich the straps to solve this when necessary). The double hammock was so comfortable Reu felt almost weightless! I sometimes struggle to open passes behind me but the width of this wrap made that much easier, and the passes were easy to make. This was my first attempt at a back wrap cross carry and I found it nice and easy to do. It was very easy to make the passes and tighten the wrap, and as before, I found the wrap comfortable and supportive.


Knotless finish thoughts

I tried Fountains of Love with a ruck finished knotless tibetan, and due to the texture of the weave it held the knotless finish really well, with no slipping at all. I hope you can see from the pictures that the pattern is almost embossed. I find that sometimes when a wrap has a lot of texture to it, while this can make a knotless finish nice and secure, it can also make the passes harder to make and tighten due to the level of friction, but I didn’t find that at all with this wrap as passes were easy to make.


Overall thoughts

Fountains of Love is a stunning wrap, both in design and ease of use. It’s so soft, it would be lovely to wrap a newborn in, but I also found it lovely and supportive for my bouncy toddler. Joy and Joe really do seem to have done what they have said with the new weave, it didn’t feel like it needed any breaking in at all. I have bought a new wrap from them in the past (Luceo non Uro), and while it wasn’t at all stiff it’s certainly softened with use, but is still no where near Fountain of Loves texture and ease of use. This wrap also got Ben’s vote and he loved the colour, design and texture of the wrap, and kept asking if we could get one (let’s see when they are released!). Overall, we all loved having Fountains of Love to stay, and were sad to see it go.