For all of you who are here for social justice and race stuff, thanks for coming! I do both social activism and attachment parenting, which is sort of social activism in itself. If you’re interested in the intersections between race and babywearing, you can check out my post on the subject, and the Facebook group Babywearers of Color. On with the regularly scheduled wrap reviews!
Note: If you’re here for social justice stuff, this review will be utterly unintelligible, and you’ll probably think babywearers are insane.
Birdie’s Room knows I love the ladies. Owner Barb said I was getting a standard-line (i.e. not a limited edition) Didymos to review, but I didn’t know which one. I frankly expected one of the striped ones. But instead, Barb and her lovely assistants sent me a blue nino. I’ve been seriously lusting after a friend’s rose nino lately, and ruing the day I sold my heaven and earth nino since the day I mailed it, so I was super excited to have more ladies in my life.
Let’s go back to old school, mamas: Birdie’s Room was once the sole place to buy Didymos in North America. Didy’s signature “nino” isn’t “neen-yo”, or Spanish for baby. Remember, Didy’s German, people, and Germany and Spain are indeed different countries. Instead, nino (nee-no) is actually an acronym standing for “Nine In, Nine Out”: a reference to how long a baby spends in utero, and how he needs close cuddles after. Ninos have been accused of looking like dementors, sperm, skeletons, and a host of other things. But the nino symbol is a lady and her child. Just in case you can’t see it, I included my bad photoshop rendering. See? SEE?!
Ninos are straight-up classic old-school Didy. Back in the day, mamas collected whole stashes of them. Some went for up to a thousand dollars – pflaume, limone, chocolate, and others. Now the secondary nino market has regulated (ie returned to a little less than retail), and Didy releases designs as both standard line and limited edition. Collectors hoard them.
Most cotton ninos wrap similarly. Some are thicker (heaven and earth in particular), and some thinner, but they all have some basic characteristics in common. They’ve got more slip than grip. They have a touch of bounce, with a mostly solid feel on the shoulders. They break in soft as your favorite t-shirt. They wrap easily, and they teach you how to wrap well.
Here’s what I mean. Ninos are typical of the type of wraps Didy released in the past. Remember, we used to consider 260 g^m unwrappably thick. Ninos are what we considered medium-weight, like blue nino’s 190 g^m. They wrapped solidly, and they wrapped well. But because they aren’t the super-thick beast wraps of today (I own some, y’all, so don’t go hating), you have to wrap a nino carefully. Sloppy wrap job? You’ll know it after a half hour at the farmer’s market. So ninos teach you how to take your time to get a good carry.
And this is an easy-to-wrap carrier. The passes glide smoothly into place; no one wrestles ninos. Ladies are more refined than that. If you place your passes well, you can take them anywhere. And they love hot weather.
I used blue nino primarily with Sunny (9 months, 20 lbs). He stayed up there for more than two hours at a time on occasion. As long as I wrapped carefully, over the long haul, the wrap felt great. Not a bunch of cush on the shoulders, but no digging. If I screwed up and over-tightened, or let one rail sag, my shoulders knew it quick. In a multilayer carry, I’d rock these ladies with a babe up to about 30 lbs. pretty happily. Especially when it’ s hot out – this is a wrap that excels in hot weather. It keeps you about as cool as a 4.6 meter piece of fabric can.
Blue nino’s the one you buy when you have an itty-bitty and you’re just figuring out babywearing. You learn to wrap as baby gets bigger. When it comes time to back carry, the passes slide easily into place. It’s a fantastic practice wrap to use when learning new carries. Plus, it’ll break in to feel like the old tshirt you stole from your high school boyfriend. You seriously will want to cuddle this wrap forever.
When I brought the ladies to the local babywearing meeting, everyone got misty-eyed and petted them. True story.
And it’s a Didy jacquard. That means no pulls, no fuss: this is the wrap you use as a picnic blanket, window shade, pillow, handkerchief – you know you’ve got that beater you’ll wipe noses with! – and then toss in the washer. My kids love ninos as hammocks. I’ve used them as actual-for-sleep blankets in a pinch. They’re that cuddly, and that washable. It’s hard to get such cuddles and class at the same time.
Basically: if you learned to wrap a few years ago, you learned on something like these ladies. And they’re awesome. Perfect for a newborn, good for a bowling-ball babe, and even workable for your beast toddler. You can’t get softer than a nino. Wrapping with this one makes me want to hoard them all.
Plus they’re on mega-sale right now. Like, super mega sale. So you ought to probably go get some before they sell out.
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After the review, Birdie’s Room generously donated blue nino to a chapter of Babywearing International. So cool! Want to win a Didy for your local lending library? Stay tuned for a special lending library giveaway!