Monday, October 26, 2009

Rave: 3Tree Design Anaju Bamboo Baby Wrap

There's always a little room to grow.

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.

31 comments:

  1. I want this wrap because I would love to gift it to a friend who is expecting her first baby anyday. I love the feeling of the bamboo and the fact that this is all organic fabric.

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  2. I am a fan of 3TreeDesign:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/3Tree-Design/154906925100?ref=mf

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  3. I linked this contest on my facebook profile:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/saramaunder?ref=profile

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  4. I would love to win this wrap because Nathan adores his stretchy moby but I fear that it's not going to be very comfortable for me since he is growing so quickly.

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  5. I also became a fan on facebook.

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  6. I would love to win this - I absolutely love wraps, and my baby is getting big enough to need a more supportive wrap.

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  7. I also posted this in my facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=214200554&ref=nf

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  8. My son and I would adore this wrap for its comfort factor. We live in soft, strechy fabrics and love being close to one another, so this wrap is perfect!

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  9. Became a fan and posted the link! Thanks!

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/3Tree-Design/154906925100?ref=ss&v=wall#/profile.php?id=194401169&ref=name

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  10. I'd love to win this for a lightweight wrap that will last for us longer than our moby. I really enjoy the softness of bamboo and would like to try it in a carrier.

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  11. I would love this wrap because my daughter has reflux and wants to be, no, DEMANDS to be held upright most of the day. I want something that will last us longer than the Moby because we are already getting saggy and I just can't afford to buy anything else.

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  12. As a baby-wearing and wrap-loving mama who is expecting number two, I know this is an item I will use everyday this coming spring. I was a bit late to the BW game with Vince, and don't actually own a stretchy wrap(!). It's something I've been thinking about for Christmas, especially an organic brand.

    I'm also posting this link on my wall on FB :) Thanks for the info on a stretchy wrap that's not the Moby!

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  13. Hi, I became a fan and updated my FB status. Cool--I think bamboo is awesome--I have a bamboo shirt I love, bmaboozle CDs, and I can only imagine bamboo comfort in a carrier on a baby and caregiver. Take Care,

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  14. I love soft carriers that feel like t-shirts! And organic is awesome. If I won I'd be gifting this to a friend for sure!

    Steph

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  15. I tweeted!

    http://twitter.com/babysteph/status/5258873103

    Steph

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  16. I have a few friends in mind that could use this... or I may save it for myself!

    I like that the wrap goes over both shoulders, which is so much more comfortable and secure-feeling.

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  17. I would love to try this wrap because from what you've said, it's more supportive than my other wraps. My son is BIG - almost 20lbs at 5 months old - so we need something sturdy and comfortable for carrying him!

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  18. I would love to win this wrap because my 3mo daughter is getting big fast and I'd like something comfortable that breathes. Thanks!

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  19. Tweeted!

    http://twitter.com/barefootmomlady/statuses/5259329641

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  20. I would love to win this for my friend Amy who is due with her first in a few weeks. I have a "normal" and stretchy wrap, and I think the stretchy ones are a lot easier for beginners!

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  21. I would love to win this because I have tried wrap carriers in the past and while I liked the utility of them, I found them too hot.

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  22. And I tweeted: http://twitter.com/babybabylemon/status/5259531129

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  23. I would love to win this. I'm due in March and my son will be just about 22 months old when the baby is born. I have a feeling I'm going to need a wrap. This would be an awesome thing to win.

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  24. I would love to win this wrap as it would be good to use with my little one.

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  25. I would love this wrap, because my husband and I are trying to begin our family, and in the process (eating healthier and whatnot) I'm getting smaller, and both of our families tend to have bigger babies! I want to wear our baby, but I worry about the weight of carrying one around! So I liked that you mention this wrap hold bigger babies, more easily than others you have tried.

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  26. I'd love to have this wrap for baby #2. With my first, I made my own wraps, and they were okay until they stretched out--then ouch. I like that the material of this wrap bounces back, it sounds like it would be very supportive! kschroeder616 (at) gmail (dot) com

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  27. I have a brand new momma friend that during her pregnancy wasn't really open to the idea of babywearing, but now that little one is here, I think she might be much more receptive. I know that new little one's Papa would be receptive and appreciative. I love wearing my little baby girl so much I just want the world to experience the same feeling.
    vpckate (at) gmail (dot) com

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  28. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/posted.php?id=1034990400&share_id=189438618553&comments=1#s189438618553

    Posted on Facebook!

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  29. http://www.facebook.com/pages/3Tree-Design/154906925100?ref=nf#

    I'm a fan on Facebook, too!

    vpckate(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. i'm expecting my second and want to "wear" the next baby more often than i did with my first. i love that it's made with organic fabric! thanks.

    gill (dot) jin @ gmail (dot) com

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There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.

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