How to choose a wrap

Moms who are only starting with babywearing might perceive the whole process of choosing the right carrier as a kind of a Sisyphean task. Should I buy a wrap or a soft structured carrier? What length of a wrap? What is that Ring Sling? Would one carrier be enough or should I just buy it all?

There are people who just simply love wrapping and never use a soft structured carrier at all, or very rarely. There are also others, scared of “that long strip of fabric” with no patience for wrapping. They might even think they are too clumsy or awkward (no one is clumsy!). Wrapping is a skill that can be easily learned, it is far from school exams or proving your skills at work :) ).
Whether you belong to one or the other group, be sure about this: The most important thing about babywearing is the very babywearing itself. Thus, it really does not matter what kind of a carrier you choose. What matters is you wearing your baby, with the both of you feeling comfortably.

Wrap or a soft structured carrier

Usually parents search for a babywearing aid that would last “for the whole babywearing period” so they do not need to change it and buy another one. However, our experience shows that after some time of wearing their child, parents either change a wrap for a soft structured carrier or vice versa; or buy another wraps with different blends or lengths, etc. The same goes for soft structured carriers or Ring Slings. In fact, it is often the very baby itself and not the parents who makes this decision. The baby can tell you what feels comfortable for it and what kind of a carrier suits it the best.

Besides that, the whole “babywearing period” varies greatly and is different in each family. Someone wants to wear their baby since birth in a soft structured carrier, someone else in a wrap. There are parents who stop babywearing when their child starts walking, there are others who babywear up to three years and even longer, or use the carrier for hiking or longer walks.

It is best for children up to three months to be carried in a wrap.

wrap perfectly hugs the body of a child and fits it the best no matter the size of the baby, due to which it provides the baby with greater reassurance and feeling of safety than any type of a soft structured carrier. With such a small baby, a soft structured carrier will always be only a compromise between your comfort and the comfort of your baby. wrap also much better distributes the weight of your child to your shoulders and back.
Later it is only up to you if you continue in wrapping or choose a soft structured carrier or a Ring Sling.

The most important factors that influence your selection of a wrap are its length, blend and thickness.

Length

Length depends mainly on your clothing size, height and types of carries you wish to use. Our Assistant can help you determine the recommended wrap length for your clothing size.
When it comes to different carries, we always recommend only one for beginners – a Front Wrap Cross Carry. Our Assistant can help you choose the best wrap length for this carry.
In a modified form, this carry can be done with a wrap of size 3 or 4, however these wrap lengths do not offer such possibilities as longer wraps (the possibility of a more layered carry, securing the head of a child with a pass, spreading the passes, lowering the child for breastfeeding is more difficult – not needed for bigger children – the knot under bum can feel uncomfortable for a new-born or move out when the child is not seated properly).

The length of a wrap chosen by our Assistant will enable you to use most of the other well-known carries. A possible inconvenience that can occur after some time as your baby grows up is the fact that longer wraps are a little bit more space-consuming. During this babywearing period moms usually choose short wraps and carries modified for these lengths, the so-called short carries. The shorter the wrap, the less fabric there is, thus it is less space-consuming and handier during walks outside or trips.

Blend

Wraps can be all-cotton or they might be of various blends that change the characteristics of the wrap – despite its supportiveness the wrap can be thin, or is able to warm up better than all-cotton wrap in winter; in summer, on the other hand, can cool you and your baby or give the wrap an extra breathability, or can be extra soft for baby skin. All information on blends, their characteristics and how to take care of them can be found here.

Thickness

The thickness tells us about possibilities of use of the wrap when it comes to its carrying capacity according to the comfort of the babywearer. In fact, all wraps have a very high carrying capacity (some even up to 700 kg; you can make a hammock from it and lay there yourself). That means each wrap (except elastic wraps) can carry also heavier children, however it is not very comfortable for the babywearer and especially for their back.

The general rule is that the higher the thickness of a wrap, the thicker and heavier the wrap is. Other things that affect the thickness of a wrap are methods of weaving and blends.

The best wraps for mothers – beginners with a new-born are all-cotton wraps or wraps with bamboo, silk, tencel or merino wool blends of lower or medium thickness. In case you search for a wrap for the whole babywearing periodthat will carry relatively comfortably even a heavier two-year old child, we recommend a wrap of medium thickness. However, the thickness itself is only an indicative figure; the carrying capacity of a wrap is affected by many other factors such as blends or weave type.
Everyone prefers something else, thus some moms-beginners choose all cotton wraps and others might go for wraps with different blends. If you have several types in mind and no idea which one to choose, go and check our blog; there you can find reviews of individual wraps that made it to your shortlist.

It´s better to see something once, than to hear about it a thousand times.

When choosing a wrap, visiting your local babywearing group can be very helpful – mothers who meet there exchange their experience and try out various wraps.

If you wish to try one of our basic wraps, you can ask one of the babywearing consultants that have our wraps available for testing. The list of these consultants and their contact details can be found on this map.

We also personally participate in various festivals and events or even organize them ourselves. A schedule of all events we plan to attend in the near future can be found on this page.

Selection of a wrap might seem like doing science – but don´t get scaredJ. Once you have read these steps the whole selection process will get easier and you will surely find the right carrier for you and your baby. We believe that our offer will satisfy your needs; we are already looking forward to your purchase. If you still have any questions, be sure to contact us at hello@sestrice.com.