Did you know you can do a Double Hammock Tied at Shoulder (TAS), a Double Hammock Carry variation that ties at the shoulder so you have no wrap around your waist at all? Read More
Did you know you can do a Double Hammock Tied at Shoulder (TAS), a Double Hammock Carry variation that ties at the shoulder so you have no wrap around your waist at all? Read More
Kangaroo Carry is a wonderful carry for a newborn, older baby, or toddler and it can be done with a short or long wrap. Kangaroo can usually be done with a wrap two sizes shorter than the wrap length you need for full length carries like Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC). We call this Base – 2.
I’m going to say something controversial here.
Let me explain. Read More
When you learn a poppable carry with your woven wrap, you get the same functionality as a Ring Sling!
Many parents love Ring Slings for quick errands. This is because you can quickly slip on and adjust a Ring Sling. This ease-of-use makes them popular for a day that will have a lot of ins and outs such as errand day or any day when baby rides in the car between several stops.
When it starts to get chilly in the evening and early mornings, wrapping parents are presented with the challenge of dressing themselves and their babies for a day with fluctuating temperatures. Of course, layers are always good – you can remove them when it gets hotter, and put them back on when it gets cooler. Read More
No, your baby – even your toddler – is NOT too big for a wrap! How do I know? Keep reading and you’ll see!
For a toddler wrap, you will want to get a good woven wrap. You will not get the support you want from a stretchy wrap. With a sturdy toddler wrap you will find out how comfortable wrapping a one year old, two year old, three year old, or four year old can be! Read More
FWCC stands for Front Wrap Cross Carry and it is the most popular way for parents to wrap a baby in a woven wrap front carry.
You can use a woven wrap so many different ways. We call each different way of tying ‘a carry’ and give each carry a name. Read More
The Front Wrap Cross Carry Newborn Twist is a trick that may make your newborn Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) work better for you.
Using this twist is not wrong or right. It’s a tool for you to use if it fits your needs!
How to tell your baby is positioned safely: Read More
Summer babywearing in Florida means knowing how to keep everyone comfortable in a baby carrier in hot weather. Here are my suggestions for lighter Summer baby wraps, recommendations for cooler carries to use with your wraps, and tips for surviving hot weather wrapping so you don’t have to stay in-doors all Summer!
Sometimes I hear that wrapping is too hard. It has a steep learning curve. There is even a popular meme circulating that begins with “Dear New Wrapper” and promises that as terrible and frustrating as it is to learn to wrap, it will all be so worth it.
I disagree. Wrapping doesn’t have to be hard.
I get emails all the time from parents who just received their wrap, tried it on and LOVED IT. And that’s what I want to happen every time I ship a wrap.
But it is not uncommon for a parent to try a wrap for the first time and end up with a big mess. Baby crying, wrap not supporting them, back hurting . . . what went wrong?
This Yin/Yang sequence will nourish both the male (yang) and feminine (yin) energies in the body. The Yang portion will help to strengthen, tone and energize the body. The Yin portion will allow you to surrender, let go, pause and nourish the fascia and connective tissue in the body (including joints, ligaments, and bones).
Three core principles to Yin:
Disclaimer: Consult your/a physician before starting any new exercise program. And ALWAYS listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, for you or your baby- it isn’t right for you today. <3
Directions: Stand with both feet together, arms at both sides, legs active, spine long and engage your core. Breathe deep. Take 5 deep cleansing breaths here (in and out through the nose).
Benefits: It energetically helps to ground and become present as you begin your yoga practice. Physically it helps to create space within the body- allowing internal organs to work more efficiently. This can really improve respiration, digestion and circulation.
Modifications: Place a folded blanket under your heels if they do not touch the floor when you squat down.
Benefits: Opens the hips, improves balance, memory and concentration.
Virabhadrasana B (Warrior Pose B)
NOTE: In this pose we perform the left side first. Picture below models the right side.
Omit the 90 degree bend in the knee if needed or decrease the bend (as I have demonstrated).
Benefits: Stretches your hips, groins and shoulders. Opens chest and lungs. Stimulates your abdominal organs, develops balance and stability. Builds stamina and concentration.
Modifications: Stand with your back braced against a wall if you feel unsteady in this pose.
Benefits: Strengthens the thighs, calves, ankles and spine. Stretches the groins and inner thighs. Improves sense of balance, relieves sciatica.
A. Carefully lower to and sit on the floor, with equal weight in both sitting bones. Spine is upright and legs are extended.
B. Bending your knees bring the soles of the feet together to touch.
C. Move your feet forward away from the body, so as to create a diamond shape with your legs.
D. If you’d like, remain here- upright position OR place hands on baby for extra support and fold forward bringing your head in the direction of the soles of your feet (as shown in photo).
E. Remain in either version of the pose for 1-5 minutes.
Modifications: If you need additional support place rolled blankets underneath each knee or thigh as needed for additional support.
Benefits: This is a “power” Yin pose, in the sense that it nourishes all the meridians in our bodies. Meridians are rivers of energy (“qi”) that flow and feed different organs and systems in the body. Kidneys/Urinary Bladder, Liver/Gallbladder, Stomach/Spleen and Heart/Lungs/Intestines. It’s a great pose to open the hips and gently stretch the lower back (lower back is stretched if leaning forward).
Modifcations: If this external-hip-rotation range of motion is challenging, elevate the sits bones on a cushion or rolled blanket. If there is space between your knees, put a folded blanket there as well to fill the space.
Benefits: Another great hip opener- wonderful for liver/gallbladder. Poses that nourish the liver/gallbladder meridians help to transform emotions of anger into compassion for ourselves. Gyan Mudra helps to stimulate the root chakra and grounds. This mudra also calms and improves concentration.
Modifications: If your right knee is not resting on top of your left foot, place a blanket under your right thigh.
Benefits: Nice preparation for lotus pose, also helps to open up the hips. Is great for the liver/gallbladder and kidney/urinary bladder meridians.
Modifications: If you have any low back or hamstring tension, a rolled or folded blanket under each knee will feel really good and take some of the tension out of the pose. Also, sitting on a blanket will help with the forward fold if you choose.
Benefits: Opens the hips, groin and the back of thighs, provides a gentle opening to inner knees. Will help to ground and calm (great for Kidney meridian).
Directions: This is a more “advanced” yoga pose. Please only perform if have been practicing and are familiar with the pose. Remain here (in either this pose or the modification) for 5 cleansing breaths in and out of the nose.
Modifications: A beautiful alternate pose is simply criss cross position while bringing hands to the heart.
Happy Wrapping!photos by Petal & Vine Photography
It’s World Breastfeeding Week when we focus on normalizing breastfeeding so that eventually it won’t be upsetting or alarming to anyone, and so it will be more common and easier for new nursing moms to learn.
Woven wraps can be a wonderful breastfeeding tool. They make it easier to nurse on demand without being glued to your house, and all that contact between baby and mother physically encourage a perfect supply of milk for baby’s changing needs.
Here are about 15 carries that can be used for nursing. Different carries and positions work better for different moms and babies. Make sure that you have established a good breastfeeding relationship, and learn to use your wrap comfortably, before you try combining the two skills. Then see what works best for you: most any front or hip carry can be a great nursing carry. Scroll down for some more tips and lots of video tutorials on how to make breastfeeding work with wrapping.
You might have noticed that most of the carries show baby or toddler in an upright position. This is often the easiest way to nurse in a wrap as most babies are wrapped in upright carries. To nurse, untie the knot, bounce (while holding the two wrap ends) to let baby’s weight pull the wrap job lower, then re-tie once you have baby at about the right height to latch on. You can see the videos at the bottom of this post for how to do that.
Don’t let baby go too low, or you will end up using your arms to support him or her. After nursing you should tighten the wrap to return baby to a position high on your chest which will be better for your body and safer for baby.
After the first few months, most babies are able to face downward to reach the nipple from a slightly higher position, and will also use their hands to hold the breast.
While your baby is still young, or for moms with larger cup sizes, you may find it helpful to bring your breast up over the top of a scoop neck shirt or bra so that your clothes help to prop it up and keep your nursing position higher. Another option is to fold up a burp cloth or prefold and put it under your breast to prop it up.
Sometimes it works best to nurse your baby in a cradle position. Maybe your baby is already nursing contentedly on your lap and you are wrapping around them so that you can get up without disturbing them. Or maybe it’s the best configuration with your two body types and sizes to keep your knees from hitting baby when you walk!
A larger baby or toddler can be in a cradle position with legs sticking out of the wrap as in this picture:
When nursing newborns and infants, it is important to make sure their airway is clear. Don’t let their faces get mashed into your breast. Their little pug noses are designed by nature to leave nostrils clear while nursing, so pay attention and make sure they stay clear of fabric as well as your body.
If you are going to wrap an infant in a cradle position, make sure you know how to do so safely without letting them curl into a C, with chin tucked to chest. Baby’s chin should always be well off his or her chest (at least two adult fingerwidths). Babies can be adjusted to an upright position after nursing so that they are high on your chest, with chin elevated, and face visible. That’s the easiest position for a new wrapper to learn safely.
TIP: think about nursing access before you get wrapped up. Do you prefer to pull your top up so it covers the top of your breast? Or if you have a hard time getting your shirt up from under the wrap job, you might prefer to pull your breast out of the top of your low cut neckline (this is also helpful for propping up the breast as mentioned above).
Whatever makes it easiest on you is the best way to go, and if you are self conscious nursing in public, the best trick is to go out with one or more friends that are 100% comfortable with it. They will be your buffer.
Here’s a wonderful brand of feminism that doesn’t require you to stay home all the time in order to own your innately feminine ability to nurture life. If you want to be a nursing mom out in the world: go for it, mama!
14 videos to show you a variety of options for nursing in a woven wrap:
A guide to the differences between different kinds of fibers that are used in weaving wraps by Marcia Stewart, the artist/weaver at Golden Thread Mistress:
*Disclaimer from Marcia: this is all from my experience and you may find things to be different. Hope you enjoy the read!*
Many wraps are woven with 100% cotton. All cotton is easy to care for (machine wash, tumble dry low), resilient, and pretty worry-free. Wraps that contain other fibers usually are primarily cotton, with a smaller percentage of the featured fiber.
Some people move to stiffer fibers when their babies get heavier, but I have found cotton to be just as supportive as a hemp or linen blend, if it is woven densely. Thicker all-cotton wraps are excellent for toddlers. Thinner or less densely woven cotton wraps can be saggy, and can require more precise wrapping to be comfortable with heavier babies. All of this can depend on wrapping preferences. [note from Diana at WYB: Storchenweige is an example of a very supportive all-cotton wrap with a dense weave that is great for toddlers and older kids.]
This is often recommended as a fiber choice for heavier babies. Linen is also popular in the summer because it is known to be more breathable. Wraps that are 100% linen in plainweave have very little cush because of the flatness of the weave. A linen wrap that has more texture to the weave may have a little more cushion on the shoulders. The fiber itself has very little stretch, so carries in 100% linen tend to be solid and don’t budge.
Sometimes linen blends can be known as “ropey” because they can have less cush than cotton does. So much of this ropey feeling is contributed to by the weave, and also how broken in the linen is. More wear makes the linen moldable and you may find that a linen wrap you didn’t like when it was brand new wraps beautifully with time and use.
Hemp is very similar to linen, but some people find it to be less breathable of a fiber. I personally haven’t found that; thick hemp wraps that are very dense may have contributed to the impression. Hemp combined with cotton can make a wonderful wrap. Hemp provides lots of support for heavier babies without the bulk that may be necessary for an all-cotton wrap. However, hemp is also less stretchy and yielding than cotton, so it may not have as much bounce. People who prefer their carries not to budge tend to like hemp.
Hemp can be washed in the washing machine, even on hot. It’s a tough fiber.
Delicate silk is sought after for small babies. Silk blends can be supportive enough for heavier babies, but silk wraps are often thinner and potentially less supportive. Silk itself is a very strong fiber, but again, the strength of silk in the fabric depends on the size of the silk yarn and the weave of the fabric. The softness and sheen of silk is so beautiful. Gorgeous silk wraps are luxurious.
Silk requires more delicate laundering and must be air-dried to maintain fiber integrity. Silk is also more expensive than other fibers.
Autumn and winter months call for wool wraps! Wool blends are snuggly and cozy in cold weather, but wool is a very breathable fiber. It can be worn comfortably even in summer because of the way air moves easily though it. Wool has an amazing bounce and usually makes wraps very cushy and comfortable.
Wool can require more delicate care to avoid felting the fibers. Handwashing (either actually by hand or in a machine on the handwash setting) is the best method to prevent felting, and it is important to avoid extreme agitation or temperature changes during the wash. Then, wool must be air-dried.
When purchasing a used wool wrap, it is wise to ask for the width measurement of the wrap because felted wraps measure narrower than their unfelted counterparts.
Alpaca, cashmere, and mohair are all similar to wool in wrapping qualities and care.
The bamboo I have wrapped with has been very soft and comfortable. Bamboo is known to shrink so a cold, hand wash is often recommended; followed by air drying. If you prefer to machine wash, you can purchase your wrap in a size longer than you intend and then shrinkage will not matter as much.
A lot of moms wonder how you carry a diaper bag when you wear your baby. Here a few different ways you can do it:
Messenger Bags are great for slinging over your wrap job. Here you can see a messenger bag with a back carry or a front carry.
Last month I asked babywearing parents to share their knowledge by making a video of how they do various wrap carries, so that I could share their techniques with more moms and dads through my website. I think that parents and families can benefit the most from the freely shared knowledge from other parents, as embodied by the African proverb each one teach one. And I think this method of spreading knowledge is far more useful and empowers all of us more than parenting books, parenting experts, or other authoritarian organizations. Anything that helps you is great, and I am not asking you to adopt my opinion, but this is my preference for education of any kind.
I received so many wonderful videos. I want to thank everybody who made a video SO MUCH. I was unable to use all of them, as some were redundant, and I had to look at which ones had the clearest picture, best lighting, best sound, and clearest instructions so they would be the most help to the internet community. This was not intended as a competition, however there are certain logistical needs that I had to meet.
I also promised to send a woven wrap donation to four babywearing groups who were represented by the video submissions. Here are my four video categories, the group that will be receiving a wrap, and the video that won the wrap for each group (by random draw). If you let the video play to the end, I believe that the rest of the playlist in the same category will play so you can see several of the submissions, all of which are great.
Babywearing International of Central New York wins a wrap for the category Tied at Shoulder Carries:
Vancouver Island Carriers for a Cause will receive a wrap for the category Nursing in a Woven Wrap:
Babywearers NYC will be receiving a wrap for the category Supporting Sleeping Baby’s Head in a Back Carry:
and Babywearing International of Hampton Roads wins a wrap donation for the category Wrap Instruction by a Dad:
Any stressful event is an opportunity to see if babywearing can be a tool to help you offer comfort to your little ones.
Some moms who choose to vaccinate their babies or toddlers have found that wrapping has made it go smoothly and without upset. Samantha has some experience with this and offered both this photo demonstrating ways to wrap for vaccination, and some description to go with it, which she kindly let me add to my blog:
Pictures of optimal wrapping techniques for parents who choose to vaccinate. On the left, a stretchy wrap without the support pass pulled up (see it wrapped around my waist?) Best for infants up to 3/4 months. Added bonus that this carry keeps pesky newborn arms from flailing on injection, eliciting the startle reflex and possibly compromising the nurse’s ability to inject the vaccine without causing harm.
On the right, a woven wrap with baby in a front cross carry, giving optimum access to the large muscle in the upper thigh where most vaccines are given until the child’s deltoid (arm) muscle has developed enough (age 5-9).
This is also a wonderful carry to use if you plan on nursing AND wearing during vaccines- I’ve found this is the “Golden Combination” to causing the least amount of trauma during the vaccination process. And no, this will not cause a negative association with either breastfeeding OR wearing– infants are programmed to find comfort in nursing and closeness to its mother, and the vaccine experience will not change that.
6 reasons why woven wraps are not expensive, followed by 5 reasons why they are.
5 reasons Why Woven Wraps Are Expensive:
Where does that leave you? You can purchase a woven wrap now that you understand what goes into it (using layaway or requesting a gift certificate to help, if needed). You can also make your own (and here is some advice to help you get started). Women around the world have worn babies without commercially made wraps.
Yes, you can make your own wrap!
I don’t have much experience of my own, but I collected some information on the subject to share for those who are looking into the possibility.
The fabric I see recommended most often for a DIY woven wrap project is Osnaburg. I’m told that Osnaburg is almost always permanent press which is achieved through the use of formaldehyde. Many people do not consider this dangerous for babies, but in case you want to avoid that, here is a link to a site that sells Osnaburg that is not PP.
Genna helpfully suggests, “Get an extra yard because it will shrink when you wash it the first time.” That’s good to know up front, right?
Savannah says, “I found fabric.com osnaburg to be stiffer than stuff I got off of ebay.” Putting your fabric through the washing machine several times should soften it up, as well as shrinking it down to size so that you know how much to cut.
Leslee says, “I used osnaburg from walmart and cut it about 32″ wide to allow for shrinking from dyeing and washing. I used tulip dyes (contacted company for safety) then sew it all around and I ironed on a middle marker.”
Some other fabric options are monk’s cloth and a 100% cotton jacquard weave tablecloth (both suggested by Sarah). Prasti says, “I used cotton muslin for mine…and it has lasted through all 4 kids . I like it because the fabric is not too heavy or too light, and it’s usually priced at 4.99/yard so it’s pretty affordable.”
Sharon made her own DIY cotton gauze wrap. “I’d only recommend this for multilayer carries (FWCC and DH as examples) as the fabric is really thin. I also made this wrap much wider than a typical wrap (35 inches wide) to provide more support.” As a note, the gauze you find in a fabric store is likely to be thinner than the bottom-weight gauze used in making Wrapsody Breeze wraps, which means your gauze wrap may be a little diggier and flimsier, best used, as Sharon says, in multi layer carries. April adds, “I used 100% cotton gauze to make a wrap I didn’t mind using in the pool.”
If you do use your wrap for swimming, bear in mind that either chlorine or saltwater can begin to wear on the material after a while so keep an eye on the integrity of the fabric to make sure it is strong and safe each time you put it on.
And what about size?
The first rule to keep in mind is that it’s a lot easier to shorten it than lengthen it! Start out long, wear it a bit, and then see how much extra you can cut off and still be able to do your favorite carries.
Most commercially bought stretchy wraps (like a Moby) are 5.5 meters. This is one size fits all, and if you are making your own and are not plus sized, I would definitely suggest making it smaller. However, you can start out long, try some carries, and then figure out exactly how much you want to cut off of each tail.
I don’t think stretchy carries should take any more fabric than carries in a woven, so you could probably use the below sizing for either type. If your wrap is long, though, you’ll end up wrapping the excess around you and that gets warm in the Summer!
Woven wraps are generally sized. 4.6 meters fit most moms. If you are particularly petite (under 130 lbs, and not too tall) you might be able to do all of the carries with a 4.2 meter wrap. Some very small moms use 3.7 meters. Again, if you’re making your own you can start using it and then shorten it to the perfect length. If you are a larger mom, you might want to go with a large wrap which is 5.0 – 5.2 meters. 5.5 meters would be considered extra large.
I have a lot of sizing advice available on my website including different carries that you can do with different woven wrap lengths (note, these carries are only for woven wraps and may not be safe with stretchy wraps): https://wrapyourbaby.com/wovenwraplength.html
And here are pictures of differently sized moms doing different carries in different wrap lengths: https://wrapyourbaby.com/wrapsizes.html
Choosing a size for your woven wrap can be very simple.
A wrap that is about 4.6 or 4.7 meters is perfect for most moms to do most carries. If you are new to woven wraps, you can just go with this size and feel confident you’ll be able to use it.
If you are smaller or larger than most moms, you might want to look at sizing down to 4.2 meters or up to 5.2 meters. There are also some brands that make extra large wraps anywhere from 5.5 meters (the same size as a Moby wrap) to 6 meters.
And, if you know you prefer shorter wrap carries, then choose a shorter wrap because you won’t be doing the full length carries. But if you’re new to this and just want to be told what size to get, go with a medium (4.6 meters).
That’s the simple advice. If you’re not so sure and want to delve into it a little more, I have lots of sizing help on my site and you can start with these links:
Woven wrap sizes: https://wrapyourbaby.com/sizing.html
Different carries that you can do with different woven wrap lengths (note, these carries are only for woven wraps and may not be safe with stretchy wraps): https://wrapyourbaby.com/wovenwraplength.html
Pictures of differently sized moms doing different carries in different wrap lengths: https://wrapyourbaby.com/wrapsizes.html
A recent discussion on the Babywearing International Facebook page prompted this post. Because this is something babywearers hear a lot.
By wearing your baby in public, we invite others to open up about their babywearing experiences.
We all know that different things work for different families. The reason why this statement bears further looking into is because many babies who don’t like the sling, really do like it once the problem is found.
How can you respond to a parent who claims that their baby hates being wrapped up?
Many babies “don’t like being worn” when it is new to them, and when they can tell it is new to their mommy, who is putting out uncertain vibes all over the place. Many babies “don’t like being wrapped up” when it takes too long to wrap them up, and the process is too fiddly, as is often the case when a mother is learning the art.
This mama may benefit from having your help to wrap her and her baby up more quickly, postponing the learning curve until baby is more familiar with the wrap. She may benefit from practicing on teddy bears for a while so that she can learn how do the motions smoothly, quickly and confidently so that it does not try her baby’s patience when she next puts him in the wrap.
Many babies “don’t like the sling” when they have not given it a chance on a good day, when they are dry, and clean, and rested, and fed, and cuddly.
Simply suggesting that the mamma try wrapping up only when baby is in a cheerful mood could change the course of their babywearing adventure. Assure her that once they are both accustomed to wrapping, it will be a life saver during the tired and cranky times, too!
And many, many babies “hate being worn” when the wrap or carrier is too loose, or not adjust quite comfortably enough by a new mom.
For any of these babies (and their parents), a little help goes a long way. Having a friend tweak the carrier (snug this up, pull this down and that up, tilt baby this way…) could result almost instantly in a cozy, snoozing baby and an amazed and happy mamma.
Many babies “hate to get wrapped up” because they dislike the process of getting into the carrier…but are happy once it is all done and they are comfortable.
Tell this mama to go for a walk immediately upon tying the knot. A walk is best because you have the benefit both of the motion of walking, and the distraction of scenery. Babies soon find that the wrap means they get to explore the world comfortably from a really good vantage. But if there’s nowhere to walk: sway, dance, start moving. Housework works really well, too. Baby will likely come to anticipate the fun part of babywearing, and become patient with the process (and, of course, mama will get faster and faster at it the more she does it).
Babies, like the rest of us, can be very particular about details that can be difficult for us to predict given the language barrier. One baby doesn’t like pressure on his tummy; another baby wants to be able to kick her feet; the next baby doesn’t like feeling constrained; and a fourth baby wants to face the world.
Ask the parent if they’d like your help to try out some different positions, or different carriers, to see if there is one that baby will be happy with.
One thing I love about woven wraps is that they offer the most versatility for working with an individual baby’s needs. A mother may need to baby her injured shoulder, or is uncomfortable with a knot digging into her chest, and wrapping gives her the options to accommodate her particular needs. So wrapping can also accommodate baby’s needs. But in this case you may need to try a few different things to find out what the objection is, and what position will find favor with the little one.
If your baby hates babywearing, you may be able to solve it and change that. And even if you cannot solve it, know that everything changes with babies. Often. Try again every couple of weeks. It may suddenly click for you both, and become a valuable parenting tool from which you both derive a lot of enjoyment!
Babywearing groups are great resources for a parent who would like to wear a baby but has a baby that hates to be worn. Your local babywearing group will usually be full of people who have a lot of babywearing experience and different babywearing experiences that they can share with you. They are part of the group because they really want to help make it work for you. Many groups have a lending library so that you can borrow and try out a different carrier, and if they do not, you may find group members who will lend you one of their own carriers to try.