Unless, of course, we're talking about my baby carrier stash. My husband politely pointed out that perhaps my stash was large enough when it had to be housed in a full suitcase instead of a carry on sized one. I parred down the stash so it could go back to the smaller suitcase, and I didn't buy any other carriers even after we found out we were expecting another baby. And even though I'm a bit of a carrier addict, it was all right with me because I really thought I had everything I could ever need.
Of course, though, when baby EJ came along, he proved me wrong because he didn't like any of the carriers I loved so much -- not one! He only liked [read: he didn't squawk like a dying bird while in it] a wonderful muslin ring sling lent to me by a friend. Though I loved the ring sling, when baby EJ breached 12 pounds at 5 weeks, I began wishing he liked something, anything that went over both of my shoulders so there would be better weight distribution, especially as the date for the five mile Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk neared.
We found our glass slipper of a baby carrier when the 3Tree Design Anaju Bamboo Baby Wrap arrived at our house after I agreed to review the brand-new wrap founded by California babywearing mama Michelle Schlensker.
I must admit that normally I'm not a fan of stretchy wraps. I've tried a few different brands, and I've never found one that was actually supportive enough for my liking because I have heavy, fast-gaining babies. Many unsuccessful and uncomfortable stretchy wrap carrying attempts with my first son led me to unlovingingly nickname them saggy wraps. However, after heavily relying on the Anaju Bamboo Baby Wrap almost to the point of wrap abuse, I'm now eating my words and publicly apologizing for labeling all stretchy wraps as unsupportive and uncooperative.
The Anboo, as we affectionately nicknamed the wrap in our house, is everything I want in a stretchy wrap. It is breathable, supportive, sustainable, organic, superbly soft and certainly capable of being a work-horse carrier.
And we've worn the living daylights out of this thing during the past two weeks it's been in our home. We used it during the five-mile-long Strides Walk. I've walked in high-heels along forest preserve trails while wearing EJ in it. We have worn EJ in it at myriad events throughout Lake County. It's also seen the inside of our Curves and helped me snuggle EJ while getting work done at the club. I don't think we've gone one day where it hasn't been used.
I've speculated that EJ likes the wrap for the same reasons I like it so much. It is softer than even my most worn cotton T-shirts with an almost-silky feel. Because it is made of bamboo and cotton, it is supportive while maintaining high breathability. Rarely, do you get the kind of support and breathability the Anaju gives in one wrap. The Hoppediz "Das Leicht" is the only other wrap I've tried that succeeds in offering both support and maximum air circulation; however, the Anaju is second to none in its super-soft and silky feel. I imagine the Anaju being one wrap that mamas in warm climates don't mind sporting; though, I cannot say I've had a chance to test it in the heat because the Chicago area has had a tundra-esque October, and I don't think we've seen a day with temperatures beyond 66 degrees.
I appreciate that the wrap is made of organic bamboo viscose and organic cotton because I don't have to worry about toxins when EJ sucks on the edges as most babies do. (It passed Oeko-Tex 100 certification, which is Europe's safety testing system for fabrics.) Speaking of spit and drool marks, the Anaju is even more appealing because after it is washed and dried it bounces back to its original shape if any stretching has occurred. Schlensker explains on her site that bamboo has a wonderful memory, and therefore, superbly maintains its shape after being laundered. That means you don't have to be afraid to wear your baby in the Anaju right after a feeding because if spit happens, and it will happen, the wrap is easily cleaned in the washing machine.
The Anaju, like all stretchy wraps, does have limits, though. Stretchy wraps cannot safely support back carries, in my opinion; the founder of the wrap agrees, as she specifically pointed this out in the wrap's user hand guide. The Anaju is recommended for use with babies one year and younger. I would say it certainly feels like the bamboo/cotton combination is stronger than other stretchy wrap fabric blends out there. I don't feel too many pressure points while wearing the wrap unless I'm wearing for more than a few hours; it's hard to avoid pressure points with a stretchy wrap, though, so I am impressed with how little I have felt after wearing it for hours at a time every day.
Currently, the Anaju is available in Jade Lime, which has worked out well for us because we're big green fans in our house. Mamas who want specific colors will have to wait until Schlensker introduces the other colors in the line.
It's also important to note that because the wrap material is so lightweight and stretchy, the Anaju must be tied onto the carrier tighter than other stretchy wraps. It should feel like a snug T-shirt before you slip baby in, and it should grip baby pretty snugly in order to give maximum support. Equally important, new babywearers often adore stretchy wraps because they are pretty darn easy to learn how to tie and secure baby into a good position.
So enough from me about the Anaju. Want to love on one yourself or know someone who would really enjoy it? Here's how you can win your own 3Tree Design Anaju Bamboo Baby Wrap:
1. Leave a comment sharing why you or someone you'd love to gift the Anaju to would so enjoy having the it. Be sure to mention the specific quality about the wrap that you like most if you can narrow it down!
2. Tweet about this contest. (Post link in the comment section.)
3. Link to this contest on your Facebook status. (Post link in the comment section.)
4. Become a fan of 3Tree Design on Facebook. (Post link in the comment section.)
Be sure to comment every time you complete one of the above so you have many chances to win.
Giveaway entries will be accepted until midnight Oct. 31.