Dec 29, 2014

TopATop Wrap Conversion Mei Tai

Once I realised that I loved wrapping, and I also loved mei tais, it was only a matter of time before I purchased a wrap conversion mei tai (WCMT).

I browsed Etsy often, and visited the page for TopATop wrap conversions (affectionately nicknamed Chop-a-Chop) nearly daily for a couple weeks, ogling the beautiful mash-ups of wraps and fabric that Alina created. I read several reviews on and online before deciding to take the plunge to purchase one of her carriers.

I decided on a standard size (17x17) mash-up between a yellow Vatanai Labyrinth for the panel and Colimacon et Cie (C&C) brown straps. As this combination made me think of Winnie the Pooh Bear, I also added custom teddy ears to the hood. Once I had ordered, it took about five weeks for my carrier to be created and arrive from Israel.

I opened the package and was pleased to see it arrived in a cute little tote bag with the TopATop logo on the front.

Alina's workmanship was lovely, and the details on this carrier were so nice. The waist was lightly padded, so it had a bit of support but was still squishy. The waist had a cinching mechanism to make it more narrow for smaller babies. There was light legs out padding on the sides for baby's comfort. The hood was a hoody style with the little ears poking off the top. The hood was secured with little wooden beads that were hooked through loops on the straps or rolled onto itself to be tucked out of the way. The straps were unpadded wrap straps, and I loved the way I could spread the fabric underneath my son's legs to make it extra supportive.
Spreading the fabric

I wore this carrier often, even through my sister's baby shower, where my son slept soundly the whole time. It was very comfortable, even for extended periods of front or back wearing.

I only sold this carrier when I went on a bit of a churning spree, and ended up ordering another TopATop to fill the void it left.
Look at those little ears
The Verdict:
Pros: Cute mash-ups, Affordable, Comfortable, lots of options and features
Cons: Long processing and shipping time, seller is slow with communications
Recommendation: I would recommend this carrier to anyone who is looking to get their first WCMT and who has patience. I have heard of wait times up to two months long to receive these carriers, so you will not have it overnight. The workmanship is lovely and the carrier is comfortable, so for me it made up for the slow processing and lack of communication from Alina.

Dec 22, 2014

Kindercoat - Three coats in one!

Last winter I decided to purchase a Suse's Kindercoat to keep my littest warm throughout our cold, Canadian winter. I am usually a size 6-8, so ordered a size medium. The medium was HUGE on me. It looked like I was wearing my father's jacket. I sold it to a local mama and purchased a size small instead.

The small fit a bit better, but on our first outing with our new coat the elastic on the waist snapped when I cinched it. Suse's offered to pay for the repair at a local seamstress for me, so I had it repaired.

Worn alone, this coat fit a bit large, but with the panel and baby in it was a good fit for us.

The coat has two separate layers, a fleece layer, and a water resistant/wind breaker layer. Together they are very toasty and warm, even on the coldest days. My only complaint about warmth is due to the slight draft I would get down the back opening when front-wearing my little guy.

The coat was not the most flattering, as it was a bit boxy. It certainly got the job done of keeping us warm though. I appreciated the separate fleece in the Spring especially when we still needed the extra layer to keep us warm, but it wasn't freezing temperatures.

The panels had a separate hood for baby, which was adorable. However, it was a bit difficult to make it stay on, so it was a bit impractical in the long run. I didn't use the hoods very often, but I did appreciate the little bit of protection when we were caught in a downpour.

I found it a bit difficult to get the whole coat on for back wearing, as with the two pieces put together it is quite a heavy coat. It took some trial and error, but eventually we figured it out.

The neck cover piece that came up on the front to cover the exposed skin between myself and baby was a good idea, but I found it a bit awkward when he tried to go to sleep and had this piece of material touching his face. As the outer material of the windbreaker layer is not the softest, I had to wonder if it was very comfortable for him.

Snuggling in our fleece layer

The Verdict:
Pros: Warm, separate fleece and waterproof layer, baby hood, neck cover
Cons: Boxy, fits large, sleeves run a bit short for tall people, quality is not the highest
Recommendation: If you are looking for something that will get you through all seasons in comfort, without breaking the bank, then this is your coat. If you are looking for something stylish or flattering, perhaps this coat is not for you.

Dec 16, 2014

SLS Natty Ashton - CUSH (Size 6)

I had the absolute pleasure of trying on a friend's SLS Natty Ashton in a size 6 this past week. I figured I should jot down my thoughts before forgetting all about it.

The wrap is very dense in hand, but so soft. It looks and feels a little bit like your grandmother's old beloved white lap blanket. I can see why it would have the tendency to have pulls, but the texture the weave gives to this wrap is amazing.

I wrapped my friend's small baby with the wrap, so I can't yet speak to whether or not it is toddler worthy. I hope to try it again sometime with one of my larger kiddos to get a sense of the support of this wrap.

For how thick it is, it still isn't quite as thick to wrap with as I imagined it would be. When I think of thick, I think Pavo, where it can be a bit unwieldy. This was nothing like a Pavo. It was soft and mouldable even with only one wash prior to me trying it. It was floppy, and wrapped so easily in the FWCC I tried with it.

The amount of grip was lovely, I managed to tie off with just a single knot, and it didn't slip at all the whole time.

Though this was a size 6, it felt short to me. This could have been due to the fatty-ness (it's a word now), but whatever the reason, I would recommend sizing up. It was SO CUSHY on my shoulders. The tiny baby I was wrapping was lighter than air in it. I can't wait to try it again once one of my large guys is more agreeable.

The Verdict:
Pros: Cush, soft, squishy, good texture, good price
Cons: Natty (is this a con?), sold out everywhere and now sells for Market Value :P
Recommended for: Anyone. Seriously, you need to try this wrap! I can't wait to give it a test with a larger kiddo and some back wrapping. Thanks to my great friend for letting me try it out!

Dec 15, 2014

Kindercarry Mei Tai

A post on our local babywearing group about mei tais made me curious to try one for myself. It looked like a great cross between wrapping and a soft structured carrier. I was fortunate to find a custom KinderCarry mei tai made from a beautiful birch tree fabric on the Canadian Babywearing Swap.

The straps were an unbleached canvas and were lightly padded. They measured about 4 inches across, so cupped the shoulder nicely. I understand that KinderCarry no longer makes mei tais, but at the time there were a few of them going around. The waist was lightly padded, and made of the same fabric.

What struck me about this carrier was the beauty of it. It was a work of art. As such, I was scared to wear it and ruin it. I wore it for special occasions and around the house. I found it very comfortable for back wearing in particular. It was very sturdy, and had a nice flat hood that was easy to pull up from the back. My youngest son had his first back nap in this carrier.

I did not find is as comfortable for front wearing, I found the lightly padded straps too wide for my narrow shoulders, and they tended to ride up towards my neck because of this. I ended up churning this, as I needed to fund something more cuddly for front wearing my small (at the time) baby.

This was our first back carry, and led to our first back nap!

The verdict:
Pros: Beautiful, sturdy, great hood
Cons: Too beautiful :), straps a bit too wide for small frames
The Verdict: It was a lovely carrier, and I am pleased that I was able to try it. You cannot easily find these any more, as KinderCarry has exploded in popularity, so if you are a collector or general MT lover, I would buy it if you see one just to have a chance to try it out.

Dec 13, 2014

Natibaby Colorado (Size 6)

The wrap so nice, I've bought it twice!

Natibaby Colorado is an all cotton colour block wrap. It was a little stiff out of the box, but softened nicely after a wash and being hung to dry. The colours are so vibrant, a bright red, orange and hint of yellow that make me think of sunshine and summer.

This wrap is a great all-purpose wrap. I have owned it in a size 6 and a size 5. I have trekked through field and forest, cooked spaghetti, and caught fish while wearing this wrap. It has never had a pull, and doesn't show stains or wear easily. It was soft and cushy enough for a tiny babe, and was supportive enough in a double hammock tied at the shoulder for my 40lb three year old.

I first sold this wrap when I caught the churning bug and the urge to #BuyAllTheWraps hit. Since selling, I have tried nearly 100 wraps. I recently boomeranged this wrap and am even more in love with it now that I have the experience to know better. The cotton is so sturdy, the width is nice and wide, this one will live here as a beater wrap until the end of our wrapping days.

Catching some minnows

The Verdict:
Pros: Affordable, obtainable, soft, wide, colourful
Cons: Seriously, this wrap is the bee's knees
Recommendation: Whether this is your first wrap, your only wrap, or your beloved beater wrap, this is such a cozy and versatile addition to any stash.

Dec 11, 2014

Kokadi Forest Birds

The first of many impulse purchases that I made was for a Kokadi Forest Birds wrap in teal colour. I bought this wrap in a size 6 from Tadpoles and Butterflies.

My first impression was that this wrap was incredibly soft, right out of the box. The pattern was so cute, the birds look whimsical and fun, as most Kokadi patterns do.

This wrap was very sturdy, it did not have much diagonal stretch at all, but felt very secure when wrapped. The wrap was a bit smooth for me, and did not have enough grip to keep passes in place very easily.

I ended up selling this wrap, as the grip and lack of stretch was just not right for us. 

A sloppy FWCC, wrong side out.

The Verdict:
Pros: Beautiful, adorable, soft
Cons: Too rigid, too slippy
Recommendation: If you are looking for a rock solid all cotton wrap that is both affordable and adorable, this would be it. If you like stretch and grip, this is not the wrap for you.

Dec 9, 2014

Boba Air

With my oldest son we mostly used buckles. I loved our Ergo SSC, but found it a bit bulky for travel or the diaper bag. When I saw the announcements for the Boba Air SSC that could fold up so small, I ordered one from a local retailer immediately.

I selected the black colour, which I think was the only one available at the time. I believe there are now more options available.

My first impression was that the carrier material felt just like a windbreaker. I tried it on with my 25lb toddler, and was very impressed with how comfortable it was for having no padding at all. I tried it for a quick walk around the block, and was satisfied that I had chosen a great car carrier.

This carrier was mostly used as a backup for the car, short grocery trips, and thrown in the bottom of the stroller as a just in case carrier. I never wore it for longer than 30 minutes at a time with my toddler. I did, however, wear my 15lb younger son in it for an impromtu hike for about an hour with no discomfort.

This was a lifesaver on a cross-country trip we took where we had a stopover for an hour in an airport, so had to get on and off the plane with as little luggage as possible.

The verdict:
Pros: Small, lightweight
Cons: No padding
Recommendation: I would recommend this as a backup carrier to anyone who enjoys buckle carriers. It comfortably fit my son until just over 25lbs, when I churned it.

Dec 7, 2014

Natibaby Nature of America (Size 6)

My very first wrap that wasn't 100% cotton was a BNIB Natibaby Nature of America 30% linen blend. I purchased it directly from Natibaby, and looking back, it probably wasn't the best wrap for my tiny baby and a fairly inexperienced wrapper.

BNIB, the thing literally stood by itself. I washed it, braided it, beat it in the dryer with dryer balls, hammocked it... and still it was a beast. We wrapped with it often to try and break it in. I even wrapped a sack of potatoes in it to try to break it in further. Sadly, this beast was too much for us, and ended up being passed along without the chance for a thorough review.
The beast and I ever so gently cradle a sack of potatoes.
For awhile, this experience scared me completely off of blends. I'm glad I came to my sense eventually.

Dec 5, 2014

Calin Bleu Gauze Wrap

My first foray into wrapping was with the help of a Calin Bleu gauze wrap that I purchased from a local retailer, Belly Laughs. My youngest was two months old at the time, and I was feeling like my stretchy wrap was getting a bit saggy under his 14lbs of chunk. I had read about woven wraps on our local babywearing group, but needed some expert advice on where to start.

When I visited Belly Laughs, the associate was very knowledgeable and helped me choose a gauze wrap, as baby was still small and it was in the heat of the summer. The fabric did not seem overwhelming to me, though I believe it was about 4.6m long.

I practiced FWCC mostly with this wrap, and went for long hikes with it on several occasions. The colour was a bit dull (light blue-grey) and the fabric never did get very soft. It felt like a pair of jeans, comfortable, but not squishy or anything.

Once my son started to get larger (over 20lbs), I found that I was not as comfortable using this wrap for long periods of time. I ended up selling this wrap to fund more sturdy woven wraps.

Out for a hike

The Verdict:
Pros: Available, Affordable, good for Summer heat
Cons: Not great for large babies
Recommendation: I would recommend this as a gateway wrap for moms with small babies or in hot climates.

Our very first ever wrap job. We all start somewhere.

Dec 4, 2014

Didymos Orient (Size 6)

The first true woven wrap I ever owned was Orient. My husband bought me a size 6 (4.6m) as an anniversary present. When I received the box from Birdies Room I was so overwhelmed with the amount of fabric! Before this, I had only ever wrapped with a stretchy wrap or a gauze wrap, and I was so intimidated by this beautiful length of fabric.

It felt very stiff out of the box, not quite burlap, but perhaps a slightly softer cousin. I gave it a wash and a quick tumble to partially dry it, before hanging to dry the rest of the way. Right away I noticed the Orient "crinkle" effect on the fabric, but thankfully, I had done enough research to expect this. 

It felt so much softer after this first wash. I diligently practiced my FWCC with this wrap, and it soon became my favourite carrier. Once I got more into wrapping and had tried a variety of wraps, I realised what a unique beauty I had for my first wrap. I ended up selling the size 6 to purchase a size 5, and noted that the newer release was about an inch wider than my old one. 

This wrap is super squishy, and makes a wonderful newborn wrap. It is also supportive enough for toddlers in multi-pass carries, though I would not recommend it as a ruck wrap. The crinkles make it fluff up nicely on the shoulders, and it wraps super snug, moulding nicely. It has just enough grip to keep passes where they are put. 

The verdict:
Pros: Squishy, soft, mouldable, right amount of grip, available often.
Cons: Narrow - my first version ran about 25 inches, and my second is just over 26 inches. Neither have been dried fully in the dryer ever.
Recommendation: I would recommend this wrap to anyone except pre-school wearers, only due to the width. It can easily go from newborn to toddler, and with careful wrapping could accommodate the biggest wrapees. It would probably be best in multi-pass carries for larger wrapees. The colours are beautiful, so if they float your boat... you should try it!

Dec 1, 2014

Maman Kangarou Stretchy Wrap

When I was pregnant with my first son I was gifted a Maman Kangarou stretchy wrap. I wore it around the house when my son was very tiny. It worked much like other stretchy wraps I have tried, and felt snug and comfortable for both baby and I.

The one neat feature about this stretchy wrap is that it had a pocket on the front. I was scared to use the pocket because it was directly on my newborn's back, and I felt the contents would press on him.

The one thing I did not like about this stretchy wrap was the length. It was significantly shorter than others I have tried to date. I am fairly petite and only 5'4, and barely had enough length to tie this wrap.

Maman Kangarou stock photo

Pros: Handy pocket
Cons: Short length, pocket has an odd placement
Recommendation: I would recommend a different stretchy wrap, such as a Boba, Happy Wrap, or Moby, before I recommended this, as the length was not ideal.

Maya Ring Sling - Original Padded Shoulder

I spent hours of time researching ring slings when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I ended up purchasing a padded shoulder Maya Ring Sling in olive green colour. I wore him as an infant in this to many places including on hikes, and to my sister's graduation ceremony. I always found it comfortable when I wore him in the tummy-to-tummy position with his legs froggied as a newborn. 

As he got bigger, I used this for hip carries and going in and out of the car for errands. I had never tried a different shoulder at the time, and loved the padding of this shoulder. I comfortably carried my son for short distances in this until he was around two years old.

When my second son was born, he would not keep a seat in a ring sling, so I could not use this with him as a newborn (the beginning signs of leg-straighten-eritis). I have used it as my car carrier with him since around six months old, for short trips. I have had a chance to try many shoulder styles now, and I still like the padding. 


Pros: Affordable and available widely. Many colours to choose from. 
Cons: The padding will sometimes creep its way up to your neck if you aren't careful about adjusting. The fabric of mine is thicker and sometimes is difficult to keep straight in the rings. This might be easier with fabrics that have different colour rails.
Recommendation: I would recommend this as a starter ring sling to anyone for short trips for larger babies and as a great starter carrier for newborns.

Ergo Baby Carrier - Galaxy Grey

The carrier that has been used more than any other in my collection is our trusty Galaxy Grey Ergo. I purchased this new in 2011 and began using it nearly daily when my son was around 4 months old. At the time, I did not have much to compare it to.

I loved the versatility of this carrier. The front and back options were so handy. My son and I would snuggle with him cozy on my front while running errands or enjoying nature walks. I would put him on my back to make supper or do my chores around the house.

I also loved the pocket and the hood on this carrier. The pocket zips, keeping a diaper, keys and cellphone safe. The hood snaps in place easily, and is not removable from the carrier, but rolls easily in place.

I purchased the rain and weather covers for the Ergo and loved them through our cold, Canadian winters. I would strap the covers on the carrier, and strap the carrier on myself and my bundled up baby, and we walked all over on our first winter together. I mostly wore him on my front during the winter, as I found it difficult to get the Ergo on over my coat on my back.

I used this carrier until my first son was around 16 months old. At that time, he was 28lbs and I found front wearing to be uncomfortable, as the sternum strap often dug in to my back or neck. I still wore him for outings, just not for the hours at a time I had previously.

When my second baby was small I purchased the infant insert. I strongly disliked the insert, as it felt bulky and cumbersome. I found it difficult to adjust him comfortably in the carrier until around four months old due to this.

This carrier was a true favourite of ours, and it is still in my collection today.

The verdict:

Pros: Readily available at many stores, and can often be found on sale. Versatile, and can fit both small and large babies.

Cons: Though it says it can last until 35lbs, I did not find it comfortable for long-term wearing of babies heavier than 25lbs.

Recommendation: I would recommend this carrier for families who are new to babywearing, and are looking for a simple and affordable soft structured carrier.

NOTE: There are fake versions of this carrier, and you should always buy from a reputable retailer to be sure your carrier is authentic.


I am a Canadian mama of two happy, healthy boys. They are currently aged 3.5 years and 18 months. I have carried both of them, and have enjoyed every moment of snuggles afforded by the collection of carriers I have owned. I feel very blessed to have made many friends through this wonderful hobby.

Also, I keep a Pinterest board of all of the carriers I have owned. I also plan to do reviews of carriers I have tried or borrowed, so those will not be represented on Pinterest. However, if you want to follow along, or request a specific review before another, here is my Pinterest board link:

Gateway to Wrapping

I am hoping to start a blog to review all of the carriers I have tried, and to share some geekery with like-minded mamas. Below, please see a guest post I wrote for the Ottawa Babywearing Group, the lovely local group where I am privileged to be an admin. This post explains my journey down the rabbit hole to woven wraps. I hope to help people out with my honest reviews, and hope you enjoy reading them!

My babywearing journey (ok, obsession) began when I was pregnant with my oldest son, Walker, in 2011. A friend of mine passed along several carriers for me to try with my new baby, and I had no idea what they were or how to use them. These first three carriers were a Maman Kangarou stretchy wrap, a flower patterned pouch carrier, and a very old Snugli. 

Luckily, the Bringing Home Baby class that my husband and I attended included a babywearing demonstration by one of the lovely women from Milkface, who was so tactful when explaining to me why that old Snugli was not her carrier of preference. I cringe now and wonder what she was actually thinking when she saw it. Trying all of those carriers with the life-like baby dolls in the classroom made me so excited to have a baby of my own to carry. Her demonstration also convinced me to order my first new carrier - an olive green Maya ring sling. 

The old Snugli survived half a trip to the hardware store before it was donated, and the ill-fitting pouch carrier didn't last much longer. The Maman Kangarou wrap was worn around the house until we outgrew it, and the ringsling went everywhere else with us those first few months. I loved holding my little guy snuggled with me in the tummy-to-tummy position. 

A long hike with my sister-in-law where she comfortably carried my niece in an Ergo while my son and I were sweating in the ringsling made me decide to also purchase a Galaxy Grey Ergo. I have no action shots of my firstborn in that carrier, though we used it nearly every day for over a year! The Ergo, and the Boba Air that we later bought as a car carrier, allowed us to bring our little man to graduation ceremonies, forests, farms, and markets where our stroller never would have allowed us to explore. 

When we discovered I was pregnant with our second son, I treated myself to a light blue Boba Wrap from Chiquita Baby. This wrap was a lifesaver as I learned to parent two children. All through our first summer as a family of four, little Freddie slept happily in the Boba on our daily adventures to the park and on our trip to Newfoundland for a family reunion. The combination of that carrier and the waves crashing on the shore lulled him to sleep several days in a row on that vacation. 

The heat of the summer convinced me to try my first 'real' wrap, and I purchased a Calin Bleu gauze wrap from Belly Laughs. This little blue wrap made me fall head-over-heels down the rabbit hole into the land of wrapping, though it has now gone to be used by a new family. The only carry I mastered for the longest time was the FWCC, but that didn't stop me from adding several new wraps to our collection - Kokadi Blue Birds (5), Natibaby Colorado (6), and Natibaby Nature of America (5). I rotated through these wraps on our daily outings with the boys, where they were also used as blankets when needed. When my husband asked me what I would like for our anniversary, a Didymos Orient (6) was also added to our collection. The Nature of America turned out to be too beastly   for me to tame and went to live with another family. 

Around this time, I found the OBG page on Facebook, after hearing about it from a friend. I attended a meet up and enjoyed chatting with the women and seeing other mothers who also carried their babies. This led me to begin hosting an informal OBG meet-up in Barrhaven, which was held outdoors in the Summer, and has since moved to my basement in the colder months. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the women in this group, and love that our shared passion for mothering and holding our babies close has allowed us to become friends. 

A Carry of the Week post on the OBG Facebook page led me to try my first mei tai from the Canadian Swap. I enjoyed it and I felt more comfortable using a MT for back carries rather than my wraps at the time. That first MT led me to add a Silver Waves Didytai and a semi-custom Topatop WCMT to the stash. Since then, I have also added three more wraps - a Heartiness Ethno (7), wool-blend Natibaby Sweetplace (6), and Oscha Sea Breeze (3) in 100% linen. After my first foray into linen, I swore I wouldn't go back, but the bounce and smoosh of this Oscha makes me glad I returned! I finally have mastered a ruck and a passable BWCC, though I still prefer the WCMTs or our Tula for longer back carries. 

I have been very excited to be working with a lovely weaver, Alison Addicks of Weave and Lace, to design and create my first handwoven wrap. It should be arriving this Spring, and I cannot wait to try it. I truly do not know how I would parent my two boys (and stay sane!) without babywearing as a tool, and am thankful I have had the opportunity to try so many beautiful carriers along the way.

A list of carriers we have had in our stash:

Snugli (Gone)
Maman Kangarou (Gone)
Pouch Sling (Gone)
Maya Ring Sling
Babywearing Shirt (Gone)
Galaxy Grey Ergo
Black Boba Air (Gone)
Calin Bleu gauze wrap (Gone)
Blue Boba wrap
Didymos Orient (6)
Natibaby Colorado (6)
Natibaby Nature of America (5) (Gone)
Kindercarry Mei Tai (Gone)
DidyTai Silver Waves
Kokadi Blue Birds (5) (Gone)
Topatop WCMT
Heartiness Ethno (7)
Natibaby Sweetplace (6)
Oscha Sea Breeze (3)
Tula The Wave
Weave and Lace Custom Handwoven 4.5m (Winter Sunset) - (OTW)