Woven wraps come in many patterns and colours, and can be used from birth to toddlerhood and beyond. They are superbly flexible and comfortable.
They can be very comfortable to use, due to the wide weight distribution, and one wrap can be used by more than one person without needing to adjust the height of straps or buckles, thus they can be excellent value for money. Woven wraps can be tied in many, many ways and can therefore also be used for other front carries, hip or back carries as babies grow.
Like all carriers, woven wraps need to be used safely and the TICKS guidelines should always be followed. The most important consideration is to protect baby’s airway; a baby’s neck should never be folded in half and two fingers should fit between their chin and their chest.
The most frequently adopted position for carrying young babies is upright and facing the parent, with legs slightly spread apart (the M position) and head well supported, as this will also protect growing hips and spine. Typically this will be the “front wrap cross carry” which is easy to learn.
The snugness can be very useful for parents suffering from post-natal depression; that extra “wrapped-around” closeness can aid oxytocin release and assist with bonding. Children often find great reassurance in the closeness and will often fall asleep during the process of wrapping.
Wraps can also be used for creating great visibility so curious children will enjoy them just as much!
How do I use a woven wrap?
The type of carry you choose to use can change frequently depending on the need of your child; light snuggly, upright front carries in the early baby days, other front, hip or back carries as they grow, single layer cooler carries, multilayer carries for warmth or greater support; a woven wrap allows all these variations. Wraps work well for carrying a toddler during pregnancy, or carrying two children together, known as ‘tandem carries’.
Many people begin with a Front Wrap Cross Carry, which is easy and supportive and can be used for all ages, most people start with a size 6 (which fits a wide range of body sizes). The video shows you how to do a front wrap cross carry with a woven wrap with a newborn; as their hips are not ready to be spread widely, the “lexi twist” is helpful to keep them in the narrower M shape.
As baby grows, the more standard Front Wrap Cross Carry with various extra passes is a well-loved option.
Stripes or gradations can help with learning how to make the passes, avoid twisting and recognise which sections to tighten around your baby. The wraps we sell are already soft and ready to use from the first wash, rather than needing a lot of work to soften up (known as “breaking in”).
Learning how to use a wrap does take a little practice. Some parents find it comes easily and have taught themselves. Others need a few goes to get it right and find a consultation or workshop with their local sling educator where they are taught in person helpful.
With premature or especially small babies you may find it helpful to have some help in person. Our sister service the Sling Surgery library can help you, if you are further afield your local library can be found listed on Sling Pages.
Here is a photo tutorial for a Front Wrap Cross Carry with an older baby, not needing a lexi twist. Click on the photo or follow this link to the photo tutorial.
Top tips for success!
- Practice tightening the fabric strand by strand. This is key for ensuring the top, middle and bottom sections of the wrap are snug around you and your baby.
- Prepare the pouch for your baby; a little snugger at the bottom third to help hold knees up, and the middle and top sections only just wider than the volume of your baby’s body, so it is snug as you pull it up.
- Hold your baby straight in the centre of your chest and bring his legs through the rope pass on the front.
- Make sure he is sitting in the M shape and hold his chest close to you as you go.
- Wrap arms in if possible, and bring older babies’ arms out later, once the carry is finished. Toddlers may prefer being wrapped arms out.
- Hold each tightened pass snug, or pin it between your knees as you do the other side.
- Try to stand straight whilst you are wrapping. If you lean backwards or to one side you will find the wrap is not tight or that your baby is leaning inside the carrier.
- The top and middle thirds need to be snug to avoid slumping.
- If you find any slack while wrapping, remove it.
- Ensure there is no fabric over your baby’s face; you can fold the fabric out of the way, down your shoulder.
What size woven wrap do I need?
Size, 4, 6 and 7 are the most common sizes and are the ones we stock.
Size 2 – 2.7m
Size 3 – 3.2m
*Size 4 – 3.7m – “small”
Size 5 – 4.2m
*Size 6 – 4.7m – “medium”
*Size 7 – 5.2m – “long”
Size 8 – 5.7m