I have to admit that I don’t often take up my pen (well, my keyboard, we’re in 2021!) and that Sylvain writes almost all our articles on the blog, whether about photography or travel. However, we decided to dedicate a part of our blog to family travels, as well with the babies (our last one is 8 months old at the time of writing this article) as with children (our first one has just turned five).
So, I’ve started to write about it little by little, but I must admit that I don’t have enough time to develop this side of our blog. Being a mom takes time, especially since I decided to stay home and work with Téo, our youngest. I have to divide my time between the house, Teo and everything I am currently doing on the blog. I’ve already had time to write my first somewhat generalized post where I gave my best tips for traveling with a baby, as well as another one about flying with a baby.
This time, I’ve decided to take the time, admittedly with a lot of delay, to write a complete article about baby slings, also known as baby wrap. I can’t say that I’m a huge specialist of this accessory, but I did use them a lot with Louis when he was a toddler (he loved to be carried in a sling (even just carried, by the way!!) and I still use them with Teo, even if he’s starting to weigh his weight, with his almost 10Kg….
In order to develop the blog on the child/baby travel side, I personally got in touch with Love Radius, a French brand that makes baby slings and baby carriers. I knew them in 2015 when the brand was still called “Je porte mon bébé – JPMBB”, and I had occasionally been able to try their Original baby sling. Anyway, all that to say that they very kindly accepted to send us some products so we can test them in exchange of this article and a little visibility! As always with partnerships, we remain in control of everything we write!
Let’s go, we bring you in this world of baby wraps. We’ll detail the three models that we know from Love Radius, their characteristics and why we like them! Finally, at the end of the article, I’ll present you the advantages and disadvantages of the slings, and especially my personal use (because Sylvain prefers baby carriers, he is not at ease with the knots!).
Before presenting the slings, I’d like to quickly present the brand. First of all, what I liked right away is that it is a French company and all their products are made in Europe. I really liked their website, their blog and especially their little advice on how to wear a sling through videos but also their explanation on the physiological position our little one should have. As you know, we are in Tahiti and at that time, there was no babywearing workshop to guide us, to train us to the different knots.
I was seduced by their tip to carry baby at the height of kisses… What better way to convince you to carry baby?
I have to say that I started being won over and interested in babywearing slings as soon as I saw some during our trip in Southeast Asia, in 2013. I knew it afterwards, they were Mei Tei (Chinese baby carrier I think) type slings, usually suitable for use from 6 months old. But the idea of having a sling right from the birth of my oldest was very important to me.
This is the sling I got for Louis’ birth. In a nutshell, it’s a wrap that allows you to carry your baby from birth to 14 kg in complete safety. This sling is sold in 9 colors, so there is clearly something for everyone. Personally, I chose it in turquoise blue – light grey, and the colors correspond well to what is presented on the website, so that’s great. It measures 5mx70cm, it’s the longest but also the one that allows you to wear it in several different positions (front, hip and back).
The fabric is really nice and composed of 5% elastane, which is very practical because it gives a great elasticity (compared to a woven sling), which offers then more possibilities of knotting. I’m not a huge fan of the side position (if I want to wear it on the side, I rather choose the “little wrap without a knot” sling, but I’ll talk about it later…), so I used it exclusively in the belly position. I usually tie the basic knot (it’s easy to tie), then I slip Teo into it and I adjust it according to the position, which is really nice for shopping for example, as I can take it off and put it back on without having to undo the knot.
Last week, I had the opportunity to meet a babywearing instructor (thanks to the blog, by the way). It was really interesting to chat about babywearing with Marine (IG “des noeuds et du lien”).
During my babywearing workshop, I learned with her how to place Teo in the back, different knots, especially the knot called double hammock (it may seem complicated at first sight but in reality, it’s easily done, no worries). She told me that for more security with a high elasticity wrap, you need two layers of fabric on baby’s back.
Let’s get back to the wrap: I love it, it’s very soft, breathable and flexible, you would think it would be warm but frankly it’s fine! To be honest, I keep holding Teo this way even in hot season – however, when it is very hot, he just wears a diaper!
The pocket in front of the baby when I put him on my belly is always useful to store my key (not the whole bunch as it could bother him) when I go to pick up Louis at school.
In the end, it’s a wrap that I really recommend and that I personally find better than the others available on the market. Indeed, the baby’s weight is better distributed on the shoulders of the wearer, especially when you haven’t made little shrimps! The fact that it is evolutionary by its various knotting makes it last longer…
We can clearly consider it as the little sister of the original JPMBB. It has been designed to be offered at a very attractive price, around 30€. This is clearly not expensive for a wrap of such a quality!
To take a quick tour of this sling, you should know that it is shorter and less high (4,60mx50cm), and it doesn’t have a pocket like the Original JPMBB. But it is very soft thanks to its cotton and elastane material. It is noted to be suitable for babies from birth until 9Kg.
The important thing to know is that it allows only one type of carrying: the front carrying, ideal to reassure your infant. It is available in many different colors, and its specificity is that there is a larger choice of design (drawings).
Finally, I find the use still easier than the Original. You can also make the knot before carrying your baby. Considering the price, it’s a perfect sling for all young parents with a small budget and who want to try the sling technique.
Last (but not least) wrap of the brand, this one was a little revolution when it came out. I have to admit that I was also curious about it. A wrap without knots, weird, right? When I received it here in Tahiti, I really liked it right away and I tried it many times for small walks to the grocery store, the park, etc.
On the practical/technical side, it’s simply a no-knot wrap (you would have guessed it, right?). On one side of the scarf, this is free, and the other side is equipped with two rings. Then, you just have to pass the free side in the rings, and it’s done – or almost (of course, there is a little technique to do!!). Basically, the knot/assembly is already done for you! You can even buy a pad (for not much more), which is a kind of small accessory to hide the rings and protect the baby’s head and fingers. Personally, I didn’t take it, as you can hide them with the rest of the wrap. Moreover, when Teo grew up, he started to chew them, so no worries on that side. The wrap is ideal for a newborn and those up to 14kg, like the Original JPMBB (but personally, Teo being almost 10kg now, I use it only for short trips, otherwise it starts to hurt my back). The material is very soft (viscose), it’s very pleasant to wear as it’s light, airy and perfect for here in the tropics, where it’s hot almost all year round!
Regarding carrying, you don’t have much choice, it’s essentially on the hips or in front, and I also learned back carrying during my workshop. The advantage is that if the baby is awake, carrying him on his side will allow him to see things, whereas when you carry him completely facing you, he will have more difficulty turning his head to the side.
In the end, this is a wrap that I really like. It’s even reversible, which is cool because you can adapt the color to the clothes you’re wearing (we’re still girls, right!). The fabric is really nice to the touch (you could almost use it as a blanket), it is less stretchy than the Original JPMBB. For the price (between 40 and 50€), I think it’s quite a great product.
By the way, as part of our partnership with Love Radius, we can provide you with an individual promo code allowing you to get 10% discount on their entire website. So don’t hesitate to contact us by email!
I thought it would be interesting in this article to say a few words about the positive and negative points of baby slings. These points are based on my personal experience of baby wrap with my two children. I’m currently using them with our last child, but I feel that as he grows, I won’t be able to hold him in them for very long!
Even though we now have physiological baby carriers that can accommodate your baby from birth (with a booster), the wrap is still the best way to carry a toddler.
In relation to his physiology, and this is often a neglected element, it does happen that the baby is badly placed in the belly sling which is clearly not good for him and his spine. In the wrap, he automatically places his bottom correctly, you just have to be careful that the sides of the wrap pass under his knees.
Another thing I liked is the possibility to do “skin to skin” from birth. Everyone agrees that it is good for the baby in the first months and with a wrap, it’s just great. For women who are breastfeeding, the wrap is also very practical, much more than a baby carrier. You will be able to breastfeed your little one discreetly (great for breastfeeding in restaurants or in public transport).
The wrap is also really top for all the small worries of baby (colic, GERD…): comfort baby when he cries, help him falling asleep, or simply because we moms, we must admit it, we like to carry our child… The little one is well curled up against you (like a small kangaroo), he feels good, in safety and I think that also calms him in a certain way.
Another interesting point, if not the most important one: it allows you to be free to move around, in other words you’ll have your hands completely free. You’ll see that many brands highlight this point, and they are right. I remember carrying Louis or Téo even in the house when I wanted to do something else, for example prepare his little potties (no danger with the babycook), tidy things in the house, etc.
You also have to know that, unlike baby carriers, you will have a very important choice concerning the slings, either in colors or in materials (cotton, organic cotton, Oeko-tex elastane…), there are woven slings (there are different modes of weaving like the cross twill), and others knitted (like the one of Love Radius) or even different lengths. For me, it’s important to have a choice.
The little extra worth noting for the travelers like us is the fact that it’s light and easy to store.
In short, as you will have understood: I am a fan.
Even if I have to admit that I find essentially only positive points to wearing my baby in a wrap, I see two disadvantages – or at least, things to know. The length of the wrap can sometimes be a problem. I’m thinking in particular of the Original JPMBB, which, if you untie the knot, can end up dragging on the floor. You just have to get the hang of it.
Speaking of it, the other little hitch that some people find (mostly men I think, right? Haha, Sylvain can’t do it): learning the knots. Every time Sylvain carried the little ones in the wrap, he always needed me. It may not be that easy at the beginning, but frankly you quickly get used to it, and there are many tutorials on the web, both on the Love radius website and on YouTube/Instagram.
There are more and more babywearing workshops in cities, it’s not very expensive I think, and one session can be enough to learn the basics.
On Tahiti, there is Marine, who you can contact via her website or her social networks under the nickname: des nœuds et du lien.
On her social networks, she puts a lot of videos, especially one with Teo for back carrying – her children being grown up, sometimes it’s easier to show with a real baby rather than a doll!
Just a few words to finish to tell you something concrete: when do I mainly use the slings then?
- I use it quite a bit at home if I want to do something and he has decided he doesn’t want to sit still (yes, at 8 months, he already has a temper, that bodes well…)
- I also take him with me very often to the supermarket, certainly less and less given his morphology, but otherwise I find that he’s very well protected from the cold, it keeps him warm against me, and I know that 9 times out of 10 he will fall asleep. I find it much more practical than the stroller because if I go shopping alone, I can then take a caddy with me. Whereas taking a caddy and a stroller is impossible!
- I often take him to the park with us at the end of the afternoon for the same reasons as for the stroller. Even if he is often more awake anyway, it protects him from the cool wind at the seaside, and from the sun too,
- Finally, I also use it when baby is not in shape, to comfort him. When Teo starts crying because he is tired or because his teeth keep coming out, for example.
That’s it, I stop here for this article about babywearing. I hope you liked it and that I convinced you. What is sure and you will have understood: the Love Radius wraps are really of very good quality and I do recommend them (1000% ahah) to anyone who would like to try this type of carrying.
I’ll see you soon for another baby article. I have to find some time to write the one about baby carriers now! Mommy and blogger, it’s not so easy after all, is it?
See you soon,