There are ways to keep your carrier dry in the rain. And there are ways to wash it if gets dirty. But how can you keep your carrier from getting muddy in the first place? Or try hard to at least.
Oregon means rain. We talked about how to keep you, baby, and carrier dry. But what does rain mean? Mud. Lots of mud.
On your tails as you wrap in the Target parking lot. On your straps as you load baby into your buckle carrier. On your panel from toddler’s muddy pants. It's so annoying. You just want to wear your baby in a clean, nice carrier and the rainy mud makes that impossible.
First of all, remember that mud washes out. Carriers are fairly easy to wash (see here how to wash woven wraps) and very few stains will actually ruin them. So don't fret if they do get muddy!
That being said, prevention is the best way to keep your carrier clean. Here are a few tips to keep the mud at bay!
Prep your carrier at home. If possible, put your carrier on before you leave the house. Buckle the waist band on before you walk out the door. Get your Front Wrap Cross Carry prepped before you put on your coat. Thread the ring sling while your toddler looks for her shoes. Hopefully there is no mud in your house (and no worries if there is) so let the carrier hit the floor as necessary.
Tuck away danglers. Even if your carrier is prepared, make sure there are no dangling parts still. Roll up shoulder straps. Wrap your tails around you.
Put your body panel and shoulder straps on. Loop/knot your tails up so they aren't dragging.
Short and small. The less fabric you have to deal with, the less likely something will fall into the mud. Try a short wrap (here is a fun list of carries to try with short wraps). A ring sling with shorter tails. An onbuhimo with shorter straps.
Utilize your car. Place your tails on the seat as you wrap. Or sit in the car to load baby if possible.
Ask for help. Ask your partner, mom, friend, or even old siblings to hold your tails or straps while you load baby.
Remove muddy clothes. If your or baby got dirty, take off your messy outer layers if possible before you load baby back up. Obviously make sure you and baby are warm enough before removing an important layer (check out our post on layering baby in the cold).
Don't let the mud scare you, enjoy the outdoors and wear those babies!
Samantha Reddy, ABE