Sunday, July 28, 2013

FireSpiral Tester Playdate and Review

Ashley Ritchie and I were lucky enough to get to share a tester slot this past week for the traveling FireSpiral tester.  FireSpiral is a fairly new woven wrap company.  This traveling tester has only been making the rounds a few months and their first set of preorder wraps have just shipped off to their new homes.  FireSpiral is and will be using constructive user feedback to influence the manufacturing of their future wraps.  Testers help to determine how a heavily used wrap will wear over time.  Sending the wrap to many different areas, with different mamas and different wrapping styles helps the company get a variety of perspectives in their feedback.
The tester pattern is called Star Map.  It is a beautiful and rich looking design.  I personally loved the color and look of the wrap.  I love blue but I wasn't sure until I saw it in person if I would really love the actual Star Map design.
By the time we received it, the tester wrap was very soft and well broken in.  The wrap is 100% cotton but had the soft feel of a Natibaby linen only thinner.  I compared it to my grey/red gears only thinner and another member compared it to her milky way indigo in feel, only thinner again.
I personally found the wrap to be very easy to wrap with.  The passes were smooth and tightened easily.  I also found the wrap to be very supportive with my almost 19 month old, pictured above.  I was able to tighten so well that I had far more excess in a double hammock tied tibetan than I normally do with a 6.
We did some size comparisons because when holding the tester up it looked very narrow but once we started wrapping with it it seemed like a normal width.  It turns out that the wrap is slightly narrower than an Oscha JKCC I had on hand, the same width as a KoKaDi Erna and a handwoven Hearti, the edge of which you can see just peeking out on the right of this photo.  The super wide wrap underneath is a Calypso handwoven, there was at least a 6 inch difference there.  As I mentioned, once we started wrapping with it we found the width to be perfect.
These two had a great time in the tester wrap and actually stayed in it quite a while.  She found it to be super comfortable and the baby thought it was quite tasty!  I think she would have snuck off with the wrap if she could have.  ;-)
We got to try the tester with all sizes of babies.  Here is Lori with her almost 3 year old.  She also found the wrap to be very supportive and comfortable.  Look at that happy boy grin!
Here she is again with her smaller squish, Fischer.  He also seemed fairly content in the wrap.  Fischer is generally a handwoven snob, spending most of his time carried in his favorite Hearti, but he gave this wrap two drooly thumbs up.

So, my overall opinion is I would definitely recommend this wrap!  I am not sure how they feel straight out of the package but I can say with certainty that once they are broken in they feel and wrap like a dream.  I hope FireSpiral continues to make beautiful wraps and maybe one day I will get to have one in my own collection.  I would definitely rate this wrap as toddler worthy, more on the level of a good broken in oscha than a somewhat less supportive Gira.

Thank you to all the mamas who can out to the FireSpiral tester playdate.  I had a great time and I appreciate you all taking this time to give your opinions on this new wrap.

**Please take all of this with a grain of salt.  This blog post is my personal opinion.  Different people will love and feel differently about different wraps.  And I sure can use the word different a lot.

Somer Johnson is a Babywearing enthusiast and Momma to E, a bundle of energy.  She is also addicted to cloth diapers and makes and sells wool dryer balls as SomerKnits.  Occasionally she also carves out some time to knit, spin or weave her main pre-baby passions.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Perfecting the Poppins Hip Carry

Summer Babywearing in Oklahoma can be and sweaty! For wrapping Mamas this can be a particular challenge - finding a carry that is cool with minimal passes but still supportive and comfortable. If your baby is curious and has good head control (approximately 4 months and older) the Poppins Hip Carry may be the solution you are looking for! The Poppins carry is quick and easy for beginning wrappers. It can be created with a size 2 or larger wrap, depending on your shirt size and your baby's size. I find my size 4 Didymous Pfau is perfect for this carry.

First, drape wrap over your non-dominant shoulder with the front half several inches shorter than the remaining amount hanging behind you. The two tails will vary depending on the size wrap you have chosen to use.

Next, place baby on your hip and bring the back tail around baby. Tuck wrap under baby's bum to create a seat for them to sit in. You will want to check both the top and bottom rails to ensure they are tight and secure around baby's back and under their knees. Baby should be seated in the ideal "M" position. Securely hold the tail making the baby's seat. Transfer the held tail to your opposite hand and thread it behind the hanging front tail. The hand on the same side as baby can be used to hold your little one in place as you make this pass.

 Cross the held piece across your body and grasp it in the hand on the same side as baby. Grab the hanging front tail with your free hand and simultaneously bounce and pull tails to tighten.

 Pass tail on baby's side under their knees towards your lower back and bring the other tail around as well.

Wrap tails will meet at your lower back near baby's knee. Tighten if necessary and tie in a knot. If you have long enough tails they can be brought back to the front and tied under baby's bum.

Depending on your preferred level of support spread one, or both, of the passes across baby's back.

For added support spread the wrap over your shoulder.

VoilĂ ! Ready to go!

Heather Langley is an avid babywearer and proud mom to Rex, age 18 months. She is a Babywearing Around Tulsa administrator and Employment Specialist at Family & Children's Services Women in Recovery program. Heather enjoys spreading the babywearing love, music, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.