Something I have been pondering recently is should I, as a carrying consultant, be able to wrap perfectly, in every situation, with what ever wrap I am given. Should I know how to do every single variation of a front, back, hip or tandem carry there is? Should I be expert at each “finish”?
I regularly teach wrapping and I enjoy doing so. I am a wrapper at heart. I love fabric, the feel of different threads, woven seamlessly together. When I am teaching wrapping I am often teaching the same carries. These carries form the stock of any wrappers toolkit. They can be replicated easily and I can troubleshoot them without difficulty. These carries are the basics which I feel need to be mastered before sending my clients off into the big world of babywearing. We spend time discussing tightening methods, benefits of bunched or sandwiched shoulders and the types of passes which are the building blocks of any carry. Occasionally I have a client who wants to focus on a carry I do not do regularly or I may have never done. Then I revise, I ask colleagues and most importantly I practise. Before a workshop or consult I practice. One of the benefits of being a Slingababy consultant, for example, is the twice yearly CPD we can attend, the opportunity to revise with others for our collective benefit.
Since I started wrapping there are now a plethora of new wrap companies and a seemingly endless list of “new carries” with weird and wonderful names. Over the last few days I have found myself revisiting a range of different back carries to revise my skills, watching lots of videos and flicking through Pinterest. My wrappee is now 3 years old, so wrapping on a personal level it is not something I do daily. Although Isaac is wrapped infrequently these days, until he was around 2 it was almost all we did. Now when I am wrapping him I do panic and say to myself “what will people say”, I feel as if every time I wrap it must be perfect.
When I am teaching I use dolls. There is quite a difference between wrapping a dead weight to a wriggly 3 year old. With the dolls I learn and teach the steps and passes for each carry, the dolls let me and my clients master the techniques. Does it matter that sometimes I struggle to do them with Isaac when historically I have always found it easier with a live model?
I am internally wrestling these thoughts. Does not being able to do certain carries matter? I sometimes feel that we need to step back, not keep reinventing the wheel. For a new wrapper the array of different carries can be daunting, does it need to be that way? Is teaching wrapping all about being an expert wrapper? I have far more knowledge of wrapping now than when I was wrapping several times a day. What are your thoughts? I don’t think I have the answer?