Buying your first woven wrap - deciding what to buy - can often be the most intimating part of wrapping. There is a startling array of different brands, blends and designs. It can be terrifying to work out where to start! 'Woven FAQ' is my attempt to answer some of the questions I am asked the most by people buying their 1st wrap, and to cover the most important points to consider.
So to kick off this series is the most common question of all:
What size wrap do I need?
The most common wrap sizes run from a size 2 (2.7m) to a size 7 (5.2m) in 50 cm intervals. Which you'll need depends on two things:
- First and foremost - what you want to do with it
- Secondly - you and your baby's size
Watch me talk through both of these here, or read on below for full explaination...
For the second point - the best way to work out what size you need is to try different sizes on and determine your 'Base size'. This is defined as the size you need to do a front wrap cross carry. Please note that I say your size and your baby's as I need 1 size longer to wrap my 3.5 year old verses my newborn! But the biggest determiner on this will be your size. Most people are between a 5-7 for this.
If you are very petite - say size 10 or below, then most likely your base size will be a 5. If you of a relatively average build then likely a size 6. If you are on the fluffier side then a 7 or maybe even an 8 might work better. To put into context I am a size 14-16 and I am usually a size 6 base size. When I have been larger, more like a 18, I have found a size 7 more comfortable - particularly as my children have grown.
Then as I mentioned it depends on what you want to do with your woven;
With a base size wrap you can do almost everything - front wrap cross carry, front cross carry, double hammock etc! In general, carries where the fabric passes 3 times around you and your baby's body.
A medium length wrap (base -2 or so) will enable you to do carries with 2 passes around you and babies body, such as kangaroo, short cross carry, Robins hip carry, ruck and short versions of double hammock.
While with a short wrap (base - 3 or 4) you can do single pass carries such as hip carry with a slip knot, classic hip carry, ruck tied under bum or at shoulder etc.
In general carries with more passes around you and baby are going to feel more supportive - as there is more cloth to spread the weight evenly with. These carries can also be a bit more forgiving if you are new to wrapping. But the trade off is that more cloth to deal with can sometimes feel a little overwhelming or a lot to deal with if your new! Or a lot if you are attempting to back wrap a very wiggly toddler for the first time. Carries with just a single pass around you and baby require a little more precision over the tightening to ensure comfort but do have advantage of requiring less length and being cooler on hot days. In fact short or mid length wraps can be a great choice for an up down toddler because the wrap will fold up small enough for a change bag when not in use or can even double up as a scarf. So the key is to pick the right size for what you want to do and your body size - i.e for front carries with my newborn I prefer a size 6 or 7, while if you are petite and mainly planning to back carry in a simple ruck a size 3 or 4 might be more appropriate. As ever your local sling library or sling meet is a great place to have a go and take the guess work out of what size to buy.