As mom to a 20-month-old and and 1-month-old, I can honestly say I have my hands full (both literally and figuratively). Whether I’m carrying one of my babies, toting their belongings, folding their laundry, preparing their meals, or changing their diapers, my upper extremities are in near-constant use. In fact, I’ve often wished for a couple extra arms to help me juggle it all. While I haven’t sprouted any new limbs lately (which is probably a good thing considering doing so would require a whole new wardrobe), I have had the pleasure of testing The Wrap by Solly Baby, which has been an answer to my prayers.
I’ve always been a bit intimidated by wrap carriers and stuck with a structured carrier for my firstborn. But I found myself wanting to use a carrier earlier on and more frequently with my second son and didn’t find our structured carrier to hold him as snugly as I might have liked. So, I decided to give a wrap-style carrier a go. The babies I see tucked inside them always look so cozy and safe. And besides, if I could master the swaddle, surely I could conquer the wrap.
Although the wrap came with printed (letterpressed even!) instructions for the newborn and classic carries, I found the video instructions available at Solly Baby’s site to be most helpful in helping me figure out how to transform the long piece of fabric into a carrier for my baby. Surprisingly, it wasn’t nearly as complicated as I expected, and after practicing just a couple times with a stuffed animal, I was ready to give it a shot with my little man.
You guys, he loved it. And frankly, I don’t blame him. He was snuggly and warm and supported, nestled up right next to me just the way he likes to be. After wearing him around the house a couple times, I decided to brave wearing him on an outing. This is a big deal since I get a little nervous about being “that mom” in the parking lot—you know, the one fighting the stroller/car seat/carrier, trying desperately to figure out how to work it before either she or her baby ends up in tears. I was afraid I’d end up fit to be tied (ha! or maybe just tied up in a giant knot), but that wasn’t the case at all. My baby was secured in no time, and happily hung out on his mama while my toddler sat in the cart and we strolled around Target. It was so easy and convenient. Since then, I’ve worn him to the zoo, through the airport, on daily walks and for countless other occasions. It’s our new favorite.
Now, Solly Baby isn’t the only company to make a wrap-style carrier, but there are a few features that set it apart from similar options on the market. First, the end of one side of the fabric strip has a built-in pouch, which means the yards of organic cotton can be stuffed inside then dropped into your diaper bag for quick and compact storage. You can also fold the fabric neatly into the pouch for an impromptu pillow, which we totally did on that aforementioned airplane ride.
Second, the natural, USA-made fabric is ultra breathable and much cooler than wraps made with jersey cotton, and Solly Baby’s wraps are also a bit slimmer than others, meaning there’s less fabric to begin with—and contend with. Although this isn’t necessarily a big deal in the winter months, any mama who’s worn her baby in the summer months knows just how much heat those tiny humans can generate. If a lighter weight fabric results in less sweat dripping down my back and front, I’m for it.
Third, one end of the carrier has a hidden pacifier pocket, which is a celebrated feature on any piece of baby equipment, of course. One of my best mom strategies is to always have a binky within arm’s reach.
Fourth, and this is purely a matter of personal preference, but the color palette of these carriers is out-of-control awesome. The solid hues are beautiful and the grey stripe—which is what we have—is divine. It’s interesting and sophisticated and just sweet enough. Sometimes, I actually look forward to wearing the carrier because it feels so stylish. (Kind of nerdy, I know, but it’s true.)
Priced at $80, The Wrap by Solly Baby is more expensive than some of its competitors, and I’m not sure we’ll use the carrier much past the 6-month mark, just because my partner and I tend to produce big boys. (Although Solly Baby does say the carrier is certified for tots up to 30 pounds.) However, considering the amount of use we’ve gotten out of it already and taking into account the fact it makes me feel good and pulled together (which is no small task!), I do think the wrap is a worthwhile purchase—and a lovely baby shower gift to give!
To buy: sollybaby.com