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The nights were long with a newborn who loved to nurse. I got used to seeing the sunrise. Those hours between three and seven am where the city was quiet and it was just me and her, and suddenly the light would pierce the horizon, changing the sky from night to day in an instant. I shared too many of those mornings to count, many of them with my daughter wrapped in her Beluga Wrap.
It’s been six years now since I made my first Beluga Wrap, since I wrapped my baby girl in the bamboo fabric and felt her relax with contentment against me. Six years since I would walk with my gassy baby and the little bounce from the wrap would calm her tummy and soothe her to sleep.
It feels like a lifetime ago, and an instant. Like if I close my eyes I could be right back in those diaper days but as soon as I try to focus too hard on it, it slips out of reach. Only a memory. Only the past.
A huge part of becoming a mother was starting Beluga Baby. A small dream that I might not have to go back to work after my maternity leave. A sliver of hope for the freedom, challenge, and rush that is having your own business. A tiny inkling of what Beluga Baby might become.
If I had told that girl that in six short years over 25,000 new parents would have used the Beluga Wrap, she would never have believed me.
That’s the beauty of having modest dreams, sometimes they take on a life of their own.
As I reflect on that first summer, when I was testing out prototypes, making changes, and tweaking things, I was struck with the sameness of The Beluga Wrap. Nothing much has changed in six years! Sure, we’ve got more colour selection now, from tie-dye to leopard print, but the wrap is the same style, same fabric, same function as it was that first sweet summer.
And why is that?
Because it’s perfect.
I’m not even kidding. I really thought I’d get sick of it by now, but every time I get a message from a new parent talking about how the Beluga Wrap has changed their newborn days, the sheer impact it’s had on their sleep, their mental health, their relationships, their bond with their newborn. I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world but I never thought it would be this way, in such a huge way, at such a pivotal and delicate time in people’s lives.
It’s amazing, and I’m thankful you folks keep me going, and focused on what’s really important - the connections we have with each other.
It might sound strange, but I have come to realize that The Beluga Wrap fosters connection.
It allows you to bond with your baby. How? Dads can do skin to skin with their newborns. Moms can hold their baby close for longer periods of time because their hands are free to do other things. And have we talked about oxytocin!? The benefits of skin to skin contact release so many feel good chemicals in our bodies that foster a close and connected bond with our baby.
It allows you to connect with your partner. How? The peace that comes from having a tool you know can calm and soothe your baby allows you more room to breathe. When you’re calmer, it’s easier to connect with loved ones around you. When there’s peace, it promotes a restful home atmosphere that fosters relationships. Have you tried having a grown up conversation with a crying baby around? Exactly. The fact that babywearing reduces crying by over 40% means there’s literally more airtime for words and communication.
It can help you connect with friends and family, since wearing your baby in the wrap gets you out of the house with minimal gear, with a calm baby, and can allow you to grab lunch, get to a family dinner, or attend an event with your loved ones. I’ve seen Beluga Wraps on the dance floor at weddings!
It reminds you to connect to yourself. I remember feeling so far away from who I was before I had my baby. I literally felt like I would never feel joy again the way I did before I became a parent. Before babywearing, I was an overachiever whose sole purpose was now to be the best, most selfless mom there ever was. And it was completely at the expense of myself. Wearing my daughter, feeling the air punctuated with quiet breaths instead of cries, made it so my lungs could fully inflate, I could look around, I could begin to remember who I was in the context of motherhood.
So in six years, The Beluga Wrap hasn’t changed. But I have. And how I view babywearing has changed too. To me, now, babywearing is connection, the most basic of human emotional and physical requirements.
And that’s meta.
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I reached out to Mamas for Mamas see if we could design a charity wrap together, with $5 from each wrap donated to their cause. I asked if they had a particular mama they wanted to name the wrap after, and that’s when this project became larger and more touching than I ever could have imagined.
This is the story they wrote back with, asking for us to name the wrap - The Samara.