Thursday 10 November 2016

Review: Hana Baby Wrap

When Ebony was born, I mastered the art of doing pretty much everything one-handed. I haven’t utilised those skills much this time around. I tend to try and doing everything when Ember is sleeping in the sling. She usually falls asleep when we walk Ebony to school, so as soon as we get back I get a couple of jobs out of the way before she wakes up. I honestly don’t know how people cope without slings, it is so freeing to have the use of both of my arms.

I can even do a little bit of writing sometimes while she sleeps in the sling. Though, as is usually the way, she wakes up after a few hundred words. It’s currently taking me about four days to write a single post which is pretty frustrating. And I seem to type most of these posts one handed while she’s attached to my boob. Typing one-handed is not particularly efficient and it means that I miss a lot of apostrophes, not great for a paid writer. Life is much easier when she’s snuggled up fast asleep in the sling.

I first discovered babywearing when Ebony was a baby. A friend leant me a sleepy wrap which I started using around the house when Ebony was a few weeks old. It took me a while to become confident enough to use it outdoors and it didn’t become a permanent fixture in my life until Ebony was around three months old. This time around, I have two wraps to choose from. I have an Ali Dover woven wrap which I bought on a whim with absolutely no confidence that I would ever master the art of using woven wraps (they’re not stretchy so seem so much more complicated) and a Hana baby stretchy wrap which I was sent to review.

So, here goes…

The reason I wanted a Hana baby wrap was because my baby was due to be born in summer. When Ebony was a baby, I found that I got way too hot on sunny days when I had Ebony in the sling. It wraps around you a few times so you end up layered up even if you’re hardly wearing much in the way of actual clothes. My wise babywearing consultant friend, Ellie from Peekaboo Slings, told me about the award-winning Hana baby wraps. They’re made from bamboo which is a breathable fabric and perfect for hotter days.

I was sent a Hana Baby Wrap in olive grey to try out. The packaging is lovely, the wrap arrived folded neatly inside the box and I was excited to get it out. It arrived when I was heavily pregnant and desperate to meet my baby. Babywearing is one of my absolute favourite elements of motherhood, so the arrival of the wrap made me feel very nostalgic and excited to do it all again. The Hana wraps are available in some truly beautiful colours, personally, I’m a big fan of the teal wrap (available for £43.99 on Amazon here). The olive grey one is nice and neutral so it doesn’t clash with my clothes or the garish hats I force my poor baby to wear.

We don’t have a pram this time, the one we had for Ebony didn’t get much use so it didn’t seem worth having one this time. I rely on wraps each time we go out and I have two just in case one is in the wash (oh, hello snotty faced baby). For the first couple of weeks of Ember’s like, the weather was absolutely beautiful. We had to sleep with our windows open at night and the breathable bamboo sling certainly came in useful during the day. We’re now well into autumn, and though I worried that the soft bamboo fabric might be too thin, it is actually perfect for the colder weather, too. The three layers of fabric trap air between them which means the wrap is nice and cosy even on very cold days.

One thing that I love about the stretchy fabric is that you can put the wrap on in advance. With a woven wrap, you have to tie it once the baby is inside so you know it’s the right tightness. But with the Hana baby wrap, I can tie it on when I get dressed in the morning and stick Ember in it just before we dash out of the house for the school run which certainly makes things a little easier. When she was a newborn, she would fall asleep pretty much as soon as she was tucked into the sling. She feels so safe snuggled against my chest and I love that she can hear my heartbeat. At the moment, I’m trying to make sure I walk at least 10,000 steps a day (yes, I did get a Fitbit recently, what of it?) so the sling is perfect. I don’t have a pram which means I can walk wherever I want without having to plan a route around steps, narrow track and muddy hills. And Ember spends pretty much every single walk fast asleep. I think she thinks we just sit home and watch Gilmore Girls all day because she sleeps through every country walk I take her on.

Using a sling leaves me hands free to hold Ebony’s hand while we walk home from school. And when we get home, Ember often stays asleep in the sling which means I get some extra time just me and Ebony so we can play together. At ten weeks old, Ember is now happy to lie on her play mat or sit in her bouncy chair and play with toys or watch her big sister while I get dinner ready, but this is a very recent thing. Until last week, she would cry every time I put her down so dinnertime was an absolute nightmare without the sling. Thankfully, I found she was perfectly happy if I stuck her in the sling while I prepared Ebony’s dinner which meant I didn’t have to listen to the constant crying (worst sound ever).

I absolutely love this wrap, it has made life so much easier and I love having a stretchy as well as a woven in my collection. I would definitely recommend this to new parents because it’s easy to use and provides so many benefits to both you and baby. Holding your baby close is a great way to bond and having your hands free allows you to keep your sanity intact, especially if you have an older child to care for.

You can find out more about Hana baby wraps and purchase a wrap from their website. The organic wraps start from £41.99 and the standard wraps are slightly cheaper at just £35.99. I was sent a Hana baby wrap to review and the above is an honest account of how I’ve found the wrap. It’s ace, buy one.

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