The Bubba Wrap, a fabric tie-on sling, requires practice, but can help you soothe a fractious baby hands-free. However, it’s not a style of sling all mums will fall in love with.
Bubba Wrap sling - DISCONTINUED
sling - DISCONTINUED
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Having strapped on and tried out several slings already, I’ve decided they’re not really for me. Any tie-on baby carrier is going to have some serious impressing to do in order make it further than the shops, carrying my 4-month-old daughter, Rosie May. But happily, the Bubba Wrap gave me a pleasant surprise.
What we love
One of the biggest selling points for this particular sling is its responsible message. The Bubba Wrap is made by men and women from a small community in Rajasthan, India. They’re all at least 20 years old and are paid well over the minimum wage for their country. As well as this, for each wrap sold, NZ$1 is donated to the school attended by the workers’ children. So if you’re going to spend £30 on a sling, it’s nice to know you’re giving something back to the people who made it.
As slings go, it’s right up there. It does take a bit of getting used to as your baby seems to be in a slightly different position every time you use it – and it’s worth double knotting the ties too, to make sure they definitely don’t slip.
It’s one of the better looking designs and the colour range is great. They’re all totally plain but almost every colour in the rainbow is available.
We visited friends and their 5-week-old newborn, Tomi, and within an hour we had him strapped in and testing out the Bubba Wrap. Tomi’s colicky cries soon turned to a gentle purr as he fell asleep against his mum’s chest in seconds. Even dad had a turn when we walked to a local restaurant for a bite to eat, although he didn’t feel quite so safe, as he was worried Tomi might fall out the bottom.
What to watch out for
When on holiday in North Wales, I gave the Bubba Wrap its first outing. I took it out of the handy carry pouch and started reading the instructions. Whilst it’s not difficult to more-or-less work out what you’re supposed to do, it’s obvious the step by step guide has been written by someone who knows the product inside out. It mentions facing the label inwards but doesn’t state whether this is the washing label or the label with the logo on it. It also says to bring the straps over your shoulders but doesn’t say whether that’s straight over or diagonally. After a few goes, I managed to get the hang of it, but I’d advise giving yourself plenty of time before heading out.
Once inside, Rosie loved the weightless suspension of the Bubba Wrap but I probably wouldn’t take her especially far. At 4 months, she’s a little bit big and a little bit heavy for me to feel totally secure – a feeling I’ve had with all the slings I’ve ever tried out.
Speaking with the people behind Bubba Wrap, they’ve told us they don’t recommend using it until a baby has head control for safety reasons. They recommend it from 3 months upwards, but have had many happy customers use the Bubba Wrap with babies under this age. From my time with the Bubba Wrap, I personally found it more suitable for newborns than anything else.
The Bubba Wrap can be worn by both mums and dads but if you’re on the bigger side, or your fella’s a bit of a beefcake, you might not be so comfortable.
You can also tie the wrap so you’re carrying your baby on your back. This might be a personal preference but while the position seems much better for older babies like my little one, I just can’t get on with it. The baby is positioned fairly low so they’re just looking at your back the whole time, but more importantly, getting them into the Bubba Wrap is simply not easy. The instructions advise you sit down on a bed but because you’re placing your child into a seat behind you, you can’t see properly, and although it probably won’t hurt them to fall, you won’t always have a bed available. I was at a dance class recently when a mum declined help from a fellow classmate to place her baby in the back carry, only to be sobbing minutes later because her tiny tot had ended up on the floor screaming. I just can’t recommend putting a baby in this position, despite it being fully safety tested.
Who is the Bubba Wrap best for?
Relatively slim mums keen to crack on with the housework or head out without the hassle of a pram.
The Bubba Wrap is one of the best slings on the market with the added extra of having an ethical heart. It’s not suggested for babies under 3 months, but some of Bubba Wrap’s customers have found it’s worked for their newborns, despite this not being recommended. It comes in a great range of colours, but be careful if using the back carry option and make sure you get plenty of practise using this before venturing out of the house.