Getting Back to Basics with Babywearing
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Slings
The Maya Wrap Baby Sling
By Lisa Poisso
The Maya Wrap is the mama of all baby slings. Everybody’s seen a Maya Wrap – it’s that gorgeous swath of Guatemalan fabric you see babies tucked into and toddlers joyously hip-straddling inside. The Maya is a practical yet elegant answer to versatile babywearing at all ages and stages.
This simple, versatile style – basically a length of sturdy cotton fabric gathered on a set of slip rings – can be worn with babies and toddlers of all ages in many different positions.
Easy to use A practiced user can slip on a Maya Wrap and set a child inside in seconds. You can slide a coat or jacket on over a Maya Wrap. The tail of the wrap now features a sewn-in pocket for carrying a diaper or lightweight items. The sturdy 100 percent cotton fabric is lightweight and cool.
Portable The Maya Wrap is lightweight and easy to carry folded up inside a diaper bag or purse.
Versatile You can wear a child in reclining, front, hip and back-carry positions. The Maya Wrap’s lack of padding lets you use it as a blanket, a shopping cart safety strap, a harness and more. You can wear more than one child at a time in more than one sling.
Discreet The Maya Wrap is designed so that its “tail” (the portion of fabric that threads through the rings and then hangs) is long enough to be used as a drape to help assure discreet nursing.
Easy to clean The 100 percent cotton Maya Wrap is machine washable in cold water.
Fits many sizes The Maya Wrap is sized to accommodate a wide range of users in each size range. Sizes are based on total length; shorter, smaller people will want shorter slings, and vice versa. Dads can often share the same sling as their smaller spouses because they won’t need extra tail length for nursing coverage.
Safe materials Maya Wrap has a certificate from the manufacturer stating that the dyes used to make Maya Wrap Baby Carriers do not contain any copper, nickel, lead, mercury, cadmium, cobalt, aluminum, arsenic, chromium or any other poisonous substance.
Socially responsible The Maya Wrap is a fair trade product woven by men in Guatemala. No children are involved in the manufacture (with the youngest employee during a recent visit by Maya Wrap’s owner being about age 20), and the sewing facility is not a maquiladora; no children under 16 may be involved with making Maya Wrap products, by company policy.
Availability You won’t find a Maya Wrap at the local baby store or department store. The Maya Wrap is available online from the manufacturer by toll-free telephone, online or by local distributors (listed on Maya Wrap’s web site).
Learning curve The Maya Wrap can be intimidating to learn to use, especially with a tiny baby. Clear, explicit instructions and an online video can help. A real-life demonstration from a friend goes a long way to making this parenting tool make sense, and practice makes perfect.
Maya Wrap, toll free 1-888 MAYA WRAP
Lisa Poisso is editor of Natural Family Online. See more about Lisa.