This post is part of “All About Babywearing” Month on Dirty Diaper Laundry and Mama Needs This.
If you had asked me while I was pregnant if I were planning on using a wrap for my son I might have laughed in your face. The idea of wrapping multiple yards of fabric around myself and my son looked entirely too complicated. I was certain I would never be able to figure out a wrap well enough to use it properly. I also wasn’t a fan of how they looked. I had only seen the stretchy, solid colored wraps.
Fast Forward to a trip to Jillian’s Drawers for a babywearing class. The instructor showed a woven wrap after I asked to see one. I was interested in wrapping at this point thanks to more exposure to it online. A friend of mine also had a Moby wrap. I was interested in Woven Wraps since they were better for heavier children. Since my son was already gaining a good bit of heft I decided if/when I bought a wrap it had to be woven. Ellaroo wraps were sold in Jillian’s Drawers. I loved the look of them in certain colors. Others were a little too bright or stripey for my taste.
I didn’t make my purchase that day. I tried my friend’s Moby out and decided I could figure out a wrap. Then, I borrowed Didy from WooWoomama during her Babywearing Loan. Borrowing a woven wrap gave me confidence that I really would be able to use my own. It also made me realize that I wish I had started wrapping from the beginning. My son could nap for hours in the wrap.
I found an Ellaroo in gorgeous blues and greens, the Kristen print, in a 4.2 meter length, perfect for my son and I to wear proudly. There is fun fringe on the ends, but not enough to look “fringy.” The wraps start off crunchy, but there are ways to soften it up. Washing (hand washing in cold or using the gentle cycle on our machine), ironing, and braiding are all ways to break in your wrap. The great thing about woven wraps like the Ellaroo is that they get better with age. Stretchy wraps have their purpose, but woven wraps last so much longer. They can last your child until toddlerhood, and will still be in great shape for multiple children. I know moms who are saving their wraps to wear their grandchildren in, or to pass onto their children when they have their own babies.
Ellaroo Wraps are affordable. If you are afraid of trying a woven wrap because of the sticker shock then take a look at Ellaroos. I have worn a Didy and I own an Ellaroo. Can I tell the difference between the two? Not really… My Ella isn’t as soft as the Didy but this is because it isn’t as old. It was new a few months ago. It is getting softer and will continue to do so. The quality is great; I haven’t had any tears or fraying. And if I did Ellaroo stands behind their products. You are able to return them to the store where you bought them, or can contact them directly.
About Ellaroo Wraps: Ellaroo was founded in 2003 as a reliable source of superior baby carriers, and to be an economically, soically, and environmentally sustainable business. More about Ellaroo here.
Ellaroo Wraps are versatile. There is a learning curve, but with so many resources available to help you learn the many different carries, there is help for even the most helpless of us! I found the Ellaroo Wrap instructions extremely helpful. If you already have a wrap and need help or plan to buy one soon, check out this handy .pdf of instructions. Wraps can be used from birth up to very large toddlers. I have heard of moms wrapping their 4 years olds. The Ellaroo suggests carrying a baby up to 35 pounds, but it is strength tested for up to 100 pounds! They suggest listening to your own body and comfort level. Since I didn’t start until my son was 6 months I haven’t tried any carries with my wrap for newborns. I first did the rucksack carry. The rucksack carry is a back carry. This can be done with a longer wrap or a short wrap. I prefer to place my wrap across my couch in a corner, and sit my son there and quickly wrap him up. Now, when I say quickly, for me, this takes 2-3 minutes. I am not a pro! The first few times I did this my husband helped me. When I do it alone I still go to a mirror to check his rear and make sure he is safely wrapped. When my son has been fussy and unable to entertain himself, I can put him on my back to carry on with my dishes and laundry. On one occasion I put him in the rucksack carry in my Ellaroo and walked downstairs. By the time I was back up he had fallen asleep. I wore him a bit longer and then unwrapped him onto my bed. He slept on the wrap very contentedly for almost an hour. That day I was so grateful to the Ellaroo!
While not suggested by manufacturers or many babywearing advocates, the Ellaroo can be used for a front facing carry. This is such a touch subject but I bring it up because I bought the wrap for this reason. Sometimes facing in to my face or towards my back just doesn’t cut it for my son. If he is awake and active and I need to wear him, he likes to face forward. I didn’t want a Bjorn, so I got an Ellaroo. He really enjoys looking outward. This can be hard on your back because it isn’t designed to be worn in this fashion. It also isn’t the best for your baby. I only use this carry for short periods of time, and turn him inward for a Tummy to Tummy position after he is done being entertained.
The best position for us has been the Tummy to Tummy. When he is cranky or fussy there is nothing that helps him more than being held. This isn’t practical to hold him and carry him all day. Being wrapped facing me can mimic that close hold, and even improve it by keeping him nice and tight. As long as he is not wanting to play, wrapping him this way can soothe him and make him happier than almost anything else in the world.
My only wish for the Ellaroo would be that it have a tag or marker to note the middle of the wrap. Having to hold it up to find the middle is a little annoying, but it only takes a little longer.
The prices of the Ellaroo really vary online depending on which store you go to. I have seen some as low as 39.00 on sale and some as high as 100.00. The average is a around 85, which is 40.00 or more less than the other wraps.
Congrats to Amy, Comment number 219.
This review was performed on an item I purchased myself. I received no monetary compensation or freebies.
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