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Belly Wrapping

I’ve been in and out of the wrapping community for the past 9 months or so now because our wrapping opportunities were diminishing. My youngest (now 2.5) is fairly independant and far too busy playing with his brother and getting into trouble to want to be snuggled up on Mommy for any length of time. But honestly? I haven’t been fighting him too hard because pregnancy leaves me feeling pretty tired…

Oh, didn’t I say? 😉  Well, you read that right: I’ve been not-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of baby #3!!!

Amazing what pregnancy hormones and emotions do to you, isn’t it? First trimester left me uninterested and sometimes straight up nauseated by wearing 30lbs of kid and by my stash of wraps and baby carriers. Second trimester came with this intense urge to sell everything and get down to a more minimalist “forever” stash… something I never thought I’d do.

Thankfully, third trimester has been easier on my babywearing hormones (yes, they’re a seperate thing altogether. Trust me.) but has also been much more straining for my body.

So the one thing that has renewed my textile-loving heart has been something that also has made this crazy long pregnancy more bearable — and dare I say enjoyable? — BELLY WRAPPING.

 

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Oh, yes.

Wanna know more?

Belly wrapping has been around and practiced for centuries. But honestly, I don’t think its talked about nearly as much as it should be in our mommy circles. I mean, really. Just take into account the fact that we women gain anywhere from 15-40 pounds (or lucky women like me who watch what they eat and STILL somehow gain over 60lbs every time. Because my body likes to turn me into a bloated whale while pregnant), and almost all of that weight is in our belly and boobs, putting strain on our backs and hips! Then we’re still expected to take care of our other littles, the household chores, lift heavy things and bend over nearly constantly. All the while we’re making a human from scratch. No wonder we are uncomfortable, you know?

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  Belly wrapping is such a simple tool, but is so useful in aiding common pregnancy discomfort — and also post partum healing!

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It is most often suggested in supporting the weight of your growing stomach. But it also helps in a number of other areas, too: improving your posture, lessening round ligament pain, and helping ease hip/pelvic pain, lower back and some pubic bone pain.

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“I want to try this! But I have no woven wraps. Can I still do it?”

YES. Woven wraps are NOT a necessity for belly wrapping. Any long piece of fabric will do. Gauze, linen or osnaburg fabric (which are often the most common “DIY” babywearing starter wraps, also!) work perfectly. As do any form of Ringsling or stretchy wrap. In fact many people have said that their Moby wrap, Boba wrap, Sleepy wrap, or Wrapsody stretch hybrid wrap were the most comfortable belly wrap because of how easy it was to adjust it for going potty. 😉

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I have been wrapping my belly since about 28 weeks, but it has become part of daily necessity in these later days. I am currently 40 weeks and 4 days along. I’m huge. The relief is immense and nearly immediate. I had to mess around with different techniques to find out what was most comfortable for me. And I also had to change it up throughout the different pregnancy “seasons” depending on what was bothering me at that time. There is a slight learning curve. It might not feel amazing or perfect the first couple of times you try it. Don’t be discouraged. It’s worth working at! Especially toward the end.

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Here is a YouTube playlist of all of the pregnancy belly wrapping videos that I could find available on YouTube: Belly Wrapping Tutorials

I will close with sharing that there are also many postpartum belly binding techniques for aiding in healing after baby comes. Googling “Post partum belly binding” will provide lots of insight to the history, background, uses and advantages of belly binding. DEFINITELY worth looking into!

But this post was mainly to highlight wrapping during pregnancy and provide you with links to start practicing!

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Happy Babywearing AND Belly Wrapping!

-Dallas ❤

5

How to put those sling rings to good use: Back Carries

Sling rings revolutionized my wrapping life.

Yes, I said it. Such a simple concept changed the way I feel about certain carries forever.

 I am actively a part of quite a few Facebook groups for babywearing moms and I see the question, “I would like to do something with my sling rings…. what are some good ideas?” come up at least a couple times a week.   So  after quite a few requests, I am finally making a list of carries and ideas that you can refer to when you’re feeling like changing it up with some colorful circles.

USING RINGS TO TIE OFF:

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Using a ring to tie off a carry is helpful for when you may not have enough length in your tails to get a full knot tied, but you can carry out the carry enough to cross the tails over each other. Should use a size medium or large ring.

VIDEO: Using Rings to Secure Carries

USING A RING TO TIE OFF A CANDY CANE CHEST BELT:

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Rings can also be used with a Candy Cane Chest Belt (CCCB). Eliminates the knot and takes less length to carry out. Can use a size S-L ring, depending on how thin/thick your wrap is.

VIDEO: Ring Finish Candy Cane Chest Belt

TYING KNOTLESS TIBETAN WITH RINGS:

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AND WITHOUT:

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VIDEO: Rucksack tied Tibetan with Sling Rings

SHEPHERD’S CARRY WITH A RING:

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AND WITHOUT:

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Shepherd’s Carry with a ring was my attempt at making my favorite shorty carry even better. It eliminates the knot over your chest and in your face, as well as takes less wrap length to carry out. SCORE. Can use a size S – M sling ring and a size 3 or 4 wrap.

VIDEO: Real Life Wrapping: Shepherd’s Back Carry with a ring and without

SHEPHERD’S BACK CARRY WITH A RING IN THE FRESHWATER POSITION:

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Shepherd’s Carry with the ring in the Freshwater position is so much comfier for long term wearing. This carry came to me when I was fiddling with Shepherd’s Carry with a ring and was trying to find a way to take some of the pressure off of “the girls”.  😉

VIDEO: Real Life Wrapping: Shepherd’s Back Carry with a Sling Ring in the Freshwater Position

ROBIN’S DOUBLE HAMMOCK WITH A RING:

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AND WITHOUT:

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Robin’s Double hammock was invented by Meredith Barbery, who gave me the go-ahead to make a video for her. An awesome carry.  It will take your base size wrap and a large ring.

VIDEO: Real Life Wrapping: Double Hammock Robin’s Variation with a sling ring and without

DOUBLE HAMMOCK REBOZO WITH A RING:

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AND WITHOUT:

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Double Hammock Rebozo with a sling ring eliminates the slip knot, is adjustable in multiple directions and lays flatter on your chest. Uses a size M or L sling ring and a size 3 or 4 woven wrap.

VIDEO: Double Hammock Rebozo (DHR) with a sling ring finish

KNOTLESS RUCKSACK CARRY WITH A LARGE SLING RING:

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Knotless Rucksack with a ring is great for quick up and downs with busy babies! It’s my go-to while out and about shopping. It’s easily adjustable and eliminates ruck straps and knots. Always a win! This carry uses a size below your base size woven wrap and a large ring.

VIDEO: Real Life Wrapping: Knotless Rucksack Carry With a Large Sling Ring

KNOTLESS DOUBLE HAMMOCK WITH A LARGE SLING RING:

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Double Hammock knotless ring carry uses a size above your base size woven wrap and a large ring

VIDEO: Real Life Wrapping: Double Hammock Knotless Ring Carry

DOUBLE HAMMOCK BACK CARRY WITH XENA’S FINISH:

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Double Hammock knotless ring uses a size above your base size woven wrap and a large ring.

VIDEO: DH-XR (Double Hammock Xena’s Ruckless Variation)

BACK WRAP CROSS CARRY WITH SWEETHEART AND TWO RINGS:

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Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) with Sweetheart neckline and two rings… this is a beautiful carry. Uses a size below your base size woven wrap and size S – L sling rings, depending on how thick your wrap is.

VIDEO: Real Life Wrapping: BWCC Sweetheart with Two Rings

ANOTHER RING VARIATION: BWCC/Reverse Mullet Back Carry using rings

DOUBLE HAMMOCK, SINGLE RING:

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Double Hammock, Single Ring (DHSR) is a great shorty carry for anyone! Can be done with a woven wrap, sizes 2-4 and a M or L sling ring.

VIDEO: Real Life Wrapping: Tips on Chest belts

ANOTHER VIDEO: DHSR

DOUBLE HAMMOCK, DOUBLE RINGS:

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Double Hammock Double Rings (DHDR) can be done with a woven wrap, sizes 2 – 4 and a set of S or M sling rings, depending on the thickness of your wrap.

VIDEO: Double Hammock Double Rings

Happy Wrapping! ❤

-Dallas

 

 

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Back Story and Intro :)

A no-name brand ring sling that I got as a hand-me-down from my mom and two Snugli carriers from garage sales were the beginning of my babywearing days.

I have always wanted to be a “hands on” type of mom– to stay at home and see every day of their young lives. To grow with them, play with them, learn with them (and from them!). To snuggle my infants, crawl with my babies, walk with my toddlers, cultivate independence in my children, and step back and let my beloveds walk into adulthood. Cherishing every moment that I am blessed with them. Not wanting to miss a moment. I was raised by one. 🙂
So with that desire and mommy mentality, I have a passion for things that strengthen those desires… Breastfeeding, homeschooling, babywearing, etc.

Shortly before having my first son, Liam, I stepped into the idea of a wonderful world of wearing our babies. And I was hooked. But I knew that there were certain drawbacks to Snugli/Bjorn carriers that made me want to dig a little deeper. Then I gave birth to my son.
When I found a MOBY wrap at our local Target, I thought I had found the perfect answer. Soft material to wrap around you and your snuggly newborn that puts them safe and warm at your chest? Yes, please! I brought it home and scoured the pamphlet before trying it out… Had to make sure I grasped the whole concept. The daunting look of all that fabric draped across the livingroom floor couldn’t scare me, I was determined to love it!
It definitely took a few times of wrapping and unwrapping; tightening and loosening; adjusting and wishing for someone to show me what I was missing… But eventually, after quite a few practice runs, (most lasting only minutes at a time with a squirming baby and an exasperated mama) I got the hang of it– my son fell asleep as soon as he was wrapped snug against my chest– and I officially decided I LOVED it!!

The MOBY led me to other avenues of wrapping as Liam got bigger and heavier… Gauze wraps, woven wraps, Mei Tais and things as simple as scarves, towels and bed sheets!
While my immediate family was supportive, my extended family and friends, my acquaintances and those I knew around me thought that I was a little crazy. I can’t really blame them. I can imagine what I looked like with my baby in a bed sheet on my back! Talk about oldschool. And the lovely strangers that stop in the parking lot to gape at the crazy lady whipping 15 feet of fabric around her and her child like a mad women.
I have gotten the, “Don’t they make strollers for that?” and, “You know you’re gonna spoil that kid carrying him around like that!” more times then I care to think about. But I’ve also gotten comments such as, “How beautiful, your little boy must feel so loved!” and, “He sure looks happy and comfy up there!” to remind me to smile and hope that it touches someone the way it touches me.
I have been blessed very early on in my babywearing to have multiple experiences of people coming up and asking about wraps, what other options are, where to find them and how it works. Some have gone as far as to pull out a pen and notebook!

Having a single babywearing friend to bounce ideas and findings off of, and a deep desire and love for having my baby close kept me going strong. But I’m so glad I found other outlets to further my babywearing knowledge via the internet! And if it weren’t for the mamas (and some dads, too!) out there in the internet realm who cared enough to share their knowledge for people like me and my friend to find it, I wouldn’t be here doing this blog. Or carrying my boys with soft, supportive woven wraps and cool, comfy Mei tais.

So I want to be sharing my (small, but steadily increasing) knowledge, to further spread the love for hands-on mothering. For babywearing and other things. For enjoying and teaching and strengthening our children for the short time we have them.

Here I will share lessons learned, findings found, stories that need telling and reviews on items that make motherhood and being a wife just a little easier…a little deeper.
Feel free to ask questions, share your stories, fill me in on something I’m missing, or just say you stopped by in the comments! I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Mommyhood!
Dallas