Posted on November 23 2015
The Sisterhood, or perhaps I should call it the Mamahood…seems like an appropriate label for this magical babywearing world I stumbled into recently. Groups of (mostly) ladies I had met through babywearing pages who really spoke my language – I easily felt a connection with a lot of them not only because of our kids, but because of our passion for wearing all the babies.
I felt like many of the mamas I had become friends with were on the same page as me in regards to parenting and lifestyle choices, and quickly formed close bonds with a few ladies who really spoke to my soul. I guess you could say I formed my “tribe”, forged from the amazing mamas I befriended through babywearing. These ladies shared so much information and were willing to answer all my wrapping questions, that I overcame the intimidation of wraps and finally jumped down the rabbit hole. If I had never started this wrapping journey, I would have never learned about the unique culture of wrap sharing and temp trades (or holidaying as some call it) that happens in the wrap world.
The culture of wrap sharing opens the doors to an entirely new way of babywearing. It was not a culture I had experienced with my other carriers, so when I discovered that wrapping mamas often holidayed their wraps, I was both surprised and intrigued. Sharing wraps is an amazing way to experience other brands, blends, weaves, designs, and colors. It is an opportunity to test out wraps I’m curious about without a total financial commitment. It is a chance to play with “unicorns”, or special wraps that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to touch otherwise. For the mamas who holiday or temp-trade their wraps, it’s also a chance for them to add a new wrap to their stash (temporarily), a way to spread the love for their favorite wraps and brands, it’s a method to help break in new wraps, and of course it’s always a great way to make new friends.
While wrap sharing has many benefits, it also takes a lot of trust. Trust that wrapees will be responsible and take care of your wrap as if it were their own. Trust that the package will arrive to its destination safely. Trust that your wrap will return safe and sound. Like I said before, I had never experienced this level of trust in the other groups I had been in – it truly seemed like a unique practice in the babywearing world. If you join brand specific wrap groups, you will often find mamas looking for temp trades or to holiday their wraps for fun. If you ever come across this opportunity, don’t be intimidated and take that person up on the offer! You won’t be disappointed by the experience as long as you follow all of the proper procedures for temp trading. (There are often temp trade guidelines posted within the groups, so please read them carefully.)
When I was approached by a friend about hosting one of her unicorns (which also happened to be one of the wraps I was extremely in search of, or “DISO” as it’s called), I was blown away, and of course excited. I couldn’t believe that I was going to have the chance to play with my dream wrap. The mama was so kind and easy to communicate with, sent the wrap promptly, and gave me a generous window of time to enjoy her beauty. The overall experience was amazing and really helped me understand how wrap sharing worked. It also opened the doors to me feeling more confident in hosting more wraps that were offered, and for sending my own out for holidays. Having a rotation of special visitors really quells the need for retail therapy and even for churning – you constantly have a new wrap to look forward to and to honeymoon. Of course, sometimes playing with a unicorn can also be dangerous… it may leave you yearning to own one for yourself! Hosting often helps to confirm the love at first site you have for a magnificent wrap in the wild.
Recently I had an amazing opportunity to test the beautiful Kindred Portlock Guava wrap, and after hosting it for two weeks, I decided to send it around to a few ladies in my mama tribe. Guava was just too beautiful to keep all to myself, and I really wanted it to be loved on and enjoyed by friends. The first stop it made was all the way across the country, to my dear friend Sarah. She was very excited to see this new design in person, and sent me some gorgeous photos of her and her little ones enjoying the wrap. Sarah has this to say about the practice of traveling wraps:
“When I began wrapping about a year ago, I met a group of incredible women. These women have become some of the closest friends I will ever have. We talk on a daily basis - sharing laughs, stories and small moments together. Rejoicing in one another and lifting each other up. One of the most extraordinary things about this group of women has been the opportunity to get to try wraps I have only dreamed of owning. Just a few weeks back I was able to host a traveling wrap from a dear friend. The most magical part of hosting this wrap: knowing how many states it had been to in the past month. How many babies it has held, how many sleepless nights it has seen, and how many cuddles it has felt. I felt so blessed that I was given the opportunity to house yet another Kindred. Knowing it came from an incredible mama and is making its way to another lovely friend fills my heart with happiness. The “Sisterhood of the travelling wrap” has a real ring to it, doesn’t it?”
The second stop Guava made was to my best mama friend, May. She is also a big fan of Kindred wraps, and was looking forward to the Portlock design since sneak peeks were introduced on Kindred’s Instagram. She was more than happy to host Guava for a bit as it made its journey home to headquarters. May has this to say about the culture of wrap sharing in the babywearing world:
“Traveling wraps are special because not only is it a wrap that is loved by you, but it's loved by the other mamas whom you’ve built trust and strong relationships with. You’re not just creating a bond with your child when wrapping with these beauties, but you are also making memories and connections with your friends. You send these wraps off to the next friend with a little piece of your loved weaved into it. Your children will have lives of their own one day, but the memories you’ve made during this fleeting time will live on in the wraps. They will always tell your stories – of the love and deep connections you’ve made on this journey of motherhood.”
After hearing the wonderful feedback about Guava Portlock, my heart felt so full. It was fun sending Guava off, and receiving beautiful pictures and stories in return. I loved hearing the honest thoughts and excitement over the wrap, and as both ladies have mentioned, I feel even more connected to them from the experience. I am really thankful to have such an amazing group of wrapping mamas in my tribe – all who are gracious enough to send their unicorns around for everyone to love on. It has enabled me to try my dream wraps, and sooth the itch of curiosity I’ve had for certain brands and blends. Wrap sharing certainly allows us to geek out over beautiful textiles, but most importantly helps create deeper connections with each other.
Happy wrap sharing! -Sarah P.