baby-gami: Baby Wrapping for Beginners is a cute photo book about swaddling and slinging that you’d like to be able to give as a shower gift to introduce a friend to babywearing. But you can’t.
I bought this book a few months ago and gave it this review on Amazon.com:
As a seasoned babywearer and leader of a babywearing group, I was hoping to find in the babywearing section of this book some simple baby wrapping techniques that I could share with friends by giving this book as a shower gift. Unfortunately, the babywearing section is bad enough that I simply cannot give the book as a gift.
The instructions for the “front sling,” “back sling,” “office sling,” “‘your ad here’ sling,” “french sling,” and “housework sling” are all fatally flawed because they say that these “slings” can be accomplished with 5 to 6 feet of fabric. No one — NO ONE — can accomplish these “slings” with that little fabric … not even my 5-year-old daughter could carry a baby doll with that little fabric. I’m an average size 8 and need at least 4.1 meters of fabric for these tying positions … and I can get away with 4.1 meters because I’m a seasoned wrapper and am skilled at getting the fabric tight; beginner wrappers my size usually prefer even more length to work with. Also, the pictures all show the babies facing outward in the “back sling,” which is an unnatural and uncomfortable position for both the baby and the person carrying the baby. The “hip hugger sling” directions are also seriously flawed, stating that this position can be accomplished with 3 to 6 feet of fabric … I can do this with no less than 5 feet of fabric. Also, the picture showing the “hip hugger sling” shows the baby leaning way out away from the person carrying her … which is not just uncomfortable for everybody but is also plain dangerous. The photo of the “twice-the-fun sling” shows one of the twins in a very unsafe position. Instead of sitting in the sling with her bottom lower than her knees and with the fabric pulled up to the back of her legs, the baby is almost standing against the side of the person carrying her with the fabric barely covering her bottom. One good jiggle and out she would go!
Because of these (and other) serious flaws in the babywearing section of the book, I simply cannot recommend this otherwise cute book to anyone. If a person got the book and was interested in doing any of the “slings” shown in it, the person might just throw in the towel, or baby blanket, or whatever, and completely give up on babywearing. That would be a shame, because with good instructions, carrying a baby in a simple piece of cloth is safe, comfortable, beautiful, and easy … and is an excellent tool in any parent’s toolbox.
See the “French Sling,” complete with baguette? An actual photo in the book.
I’m cleaning out the clutter in my house and am faced with a decision: give it away, or throw it away. I’m leaning toward the latter. I really don’t want anyone to be subjected to these sling directions.