Every time I wear Valerie in the woven wrap I get a wonderful array of comments.
“Wow. That is cool, but it looks complicated”
“I wish they had those when I had young kids”
“Nice to have your hand’s free isn’t it?”
“Does that hurt your back?”
Even as baby wearing has become more popular, the woven wraps seem to be the least common wraps and most people have never even seen them. For those who have seen them also see the price tag of usually over 100 (I spent about $20 on two by making it with clearance fabric) and that is the end of it.
Today, I want to talk specifically about the woven wrap, since it really is by far my favorite. Especially with a small baby and during the post partum period when neither baby or mommy are used to being away from each other and need to stay close to each other. If you are curious about baby wearing in general, there is a VERY THOROUGH series of it on Natural Life Mom.
Woven Vs. Stretchy- Why I prefer the woven
- It is MUCH, MUCH cooler. The heavier fabric of stretchy wraps hardly breaths at all. While wearing a woven wrap does not feel like you are taking an ice bath by any means, I have not felt the sweltering, unhandable, heat I have with my stretchy wrap with my woven.
- It adjusts better. The point behind the stretchy is for easier wrapping. That is true, at first but after a bit of practice I find the woven wrap much easier to put on comfortably. If you do not put the stretchy one on correctly you can not really adjust it, because when you pull on it you are just stretching it.
- More secure/better form- A good woven wrap forms to you and your baby, like a stretchy wrap, but unlike the stretchy ones it STAYS there. There is no stretching.
- It is more comfortable – See the above points.
- It is better for heavier babies- Heavier babies can sag in older, or lower quality, stretchy wraps. I have used some stretchy wraps that just were not worth having due to sag.
- You can wear on the back- Though I am excited to have an ergo this time around for back carrying, I do appreciate that woven wraps CAN be used in back carries. Stretchy wraps are not safe for back carrying because the baby can easily flip out.
When To Use It
As a general rule of thumb I wear my babies when we are out and about, I do so a lot less at home because I enjoy holding my newborns, and feel like I am more involved that way. But for running errands, going on walks, and just in general being away from home I reach for my wrap. For at home when they are up and down (usually with older babies) I prefer a more back pack style carrier.
Though I have other carriers I love, nothing seems to beat the wrap for the first few months. I love how snug it keeps them.
When Not To Use It
Though the wrap is wonderful, it has one major downside for the first few weeks- it makes over doing it super easy. Like I said earlier, I try not to wrap little babies for the first few weeks at home. I want to hold and relax with them. However, when you just need to get some laundry done it is great to have your hands free!
How to Make It
Because woven wraps are insanely easy to make, and because they are insanely expensive to buy I suggest making them. My number one tip is fabric matters. You want a semi-loose weave. If it would make a good swaddling blanket, it would make a GREAT carrier. I show in the video below what to look for. I actually had two homemade wraps before I got the right fabric and FELL IN LOVE WITH IT!
To make the wrap you just need 6-7 yards of a semi-loose weave fabric (see video) which you cut down the center. I used a 44″ wide fabric and that is perfect for me. If you plan in doing back carrying with a toddler though, you might want to do closer to 60″ fabric. You can keep the spare one in the car because going to the store without it can be a challenge, or bless a friend with it.
How To Use It
I thought a video would be best for this. Please excuse the thumbnail photo… I can not seem to change it. I am not sure what youtube has against me.