Affordability in babywearing is an issue for many of us. When starting out you don’t know if wearing in a wrap will be right for you and although you have your eye on some expensive patterns, blends, and weaves, you also know that being practical must also be at the forefront of decisions. Having an everyday use wrap that is comfortable and easy to launder with the added bonus of beauty sounds like a mythical wrap unicorn right? Actually it isn’t. There are a few brands long in the woven wrap game that get very little notice and turn out to be some of my personal favorites to wear. Babylonia is just such a brand. Babylonia has been a leading manufacturer of babywearing carriers for sixteen years with a large variety of ring slings, woven wraps, stretchy wraps, and Mei Tai carriers. Designed in Belgium, the woven wraps are produced in accordance with fair trade practices in India while the jersey knit wraps (the Tricot Slen Cool and Organic) are produced in Europe. Carriers are distributed through Nova Naturals Toys and Crafts based in Vermont.
The tapers are average depth and no irregularities or weaving flaws were noted. The wrap is easy care, benefiting from ironing for slight wrinkling and completely machine washable. This quality easily makes the Champagne a beautiful working wrap, perfect for everyday use without fear of damaging fragile fibers. I found this wrap to be very pliable right from loom state. This quality means the wrap is easy to wield, not tight or stiff, easy to mold to the body of the wearer and baby without a great deal of exertion.
What we like about Babylonia’s Champagne
Champagne arrived in loom state, already soft as if ready to wear. The bloom was remarkable, easily twice the size of the loom state and the sheen remained on the surface of the wrap. This took an already soft and pliable wrap and made it even softer and supple.
Everything from Rebozo passes to cross passes were effortless and the lightweight nature of the wrap made multilayer carries a breeze. There was no heat retention and the shoulders were soft and cushy. The grip is always an added bonus for us, it makes those days when you’re just a little more tired than the day before easier. Passes stay in place and in a supple wrap you have forgiveness with smooth passes to boot. We wore in several different positions and found that the back carries were our favorite, easily keeping my bouncing toddler high and not stretching or loosing support under her weight. Hip carries were equally easy, supportive and never applying unreasonable pressure to the one shoulder.
My little Ms. B prefers a front carry, she is now 28 pounds and in a single layer front carry this can be a challenge, even with a tight top rail and a good seat. We usually stick to multilayer front carries like the Front Double Hammock which adds support from the cross passes front and back which distribute her weight nicely. Champagne did not disappoint, adding comfort for her long afternoon and helping me abate further tantrums. We wore a single layer Rucksack Carry to get some decorating done on the tree and even with her bouncing up on my back to hang the ornaments we had rock solid support.
I love a wrap with a tactile pattern to the design. It makes the pattern both beautiful but also functional. The raised pattern adds amazing grip to the fiber content. This is an excellent quality for a novice babywearer. As I mentioned above, the passes tend to stay in place without the need to hold a lot of tension. Champagne has a moderate amount of grip, not so much that you would spend time working on smoothing your passes, just enough to keep your pass in place while you work on removing the slack.
We found comfort in all wearing positions with the back and front carries being our personal favorites. I found myself reaching for this wrap for quick ups in the house in a simple Rucksack carry tied Tibetan for a toy struggle gone wrong. A quick Kangaroo carry was easy for the independent toddler who suddenly decided her legs were tired. The opposite side of the wrap made a subtle accent in the shoulder flip. We had no difficulty in wearing any carry that we tried, including some new carries we don’t usually wear due to complexity. The Norwegian Wiggleproof is an amazingly supportive multi-layer back carry that just takes time to perfect even in my favorite wraps in my stash. Wearing that carry out for a walk was fantastic in Champagne, making the extra time worth it.
Tandem carries are getting harder as the girls decide they want to be just as independent from each other as they are from me. It is a rare occasion to be able to have both ladies want ups together when awake. Champagne made the best pleats for my sandwiched shoulders in both Giselle’s Back Carry with Double Rebozo Front and Reinforced Ruck, tied at the shoulder with Rebozo Front Carry. I am definitely feeling their combined weight of 56 pounds but there was no stress or strain at the shoulders. The width of the wrap was perfect to give my little Ms. M a deep seat and her rediscovered love of full back with arms in. When she fell asleep on our walk she tucked her head in to the side with her nose up and out and commenced drooling. I took this as an obvious sign of comfort in this wrap. She particularly enjoyed the pattern, picking up the wrap and demanding up in the wrap or tugging at a candy cane chest belt for a front carry after declaring she would walk. Champagne was a definite favorite here.
Babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding twin Momma sharing my insights.