Crash Course: Becoming a Woven Wrapper
Updated: Dec 15, 2018
”This is amazing! I don’t even feel him - and he’s so content!” Last weekend I got the pleasure of teaching a young mama how to wrap her baby in Front Wrap Cross Carry with one of my woven wraps. One of my favorite parts of being a teacher in my local babywearing group is spreading the love of wrapping with woven wraps. New parents come to meetings; I give a demo; then we practice together until they have the skill down.
“So,” she looks at me quizzically, “where the hell do I buy one of these things?” I smile sheepishly. “I’ll pm you later,” I say. “It’s a whole THING!” And it is. Unlike stretchy wraps (think Moby’s™️ and Boba’s™️), you can’t just walk into your local Target and buy a woven wrap. Maybe someday, but not today.
The world of babywearing is nuanced and complex. You need to be on Facebook, and it's helpful to have someone to hold your hand while you navigate through. So, I present to you: a crash course in becoming a woven wrapper.
Where the hell can I buy one of these things?
You've got a couple options. Facebook babywearing buy-sell-trade ("BST") groups are my first recommendation. Start with “Babywearing on a Budget” and “The Babywearing Swap” and browse those first. Notice what brands your eye is drawn to.
You can buy some brands from some stores that sell multiple brands online:
https://www.littlezenone.com https://www.birdiesroom.com https://5mr.com
Some brands, like Oscha, have their own websites. https://usa.oschaslings.com/en/
Other brands, like Linuschka and other high end ("HE") brands have draws to purchase on Facebook and you can only buy one through a draw process.
But when you’re new to wrapping and don' want to invest a ton of bank into it yet, or don’t know what you want and need to ask questions to someone who has actually wrapped with particular wrap, the Facebook swaps are the way to go.
What am I looking for when choosing my first wrap?
I usually recommend someone buys:
1. A base size. This is the size you can comfortably wrap your baby in Front Wrap Cross Carry and tie in back. Typically this is a size 6 (4.6 meters) for most people, but could be a size 5 for petite wearers or size 7 for larger wearers.
2. A thin, all cotton or a soft machine washable blend like cotton/viscose bamboo or a broken in cotton/hemp. Unless you’re starting with a toddler or bigger baby, a thin and lightweight cotton will be just what you need. Look for a density of around 250 gsm (grams per meter squared) plus or minus 25.
3. A style and color you LOVE. You should feel like a BOSS when you wear your baby in it. Dont get something you feel lukewarm about.
Ok. I’m on the swaps. I found a wrap I love. Now what?
Congrats! And don’t get ahead of yourself. Make sure you joined the groups feedback group and created a feedback link. Read the BST group’s pinned post for instructions. Always check the sellers' feedback and carefully read the for sale post to find out the following questions:
1. Size, name, brand, cost. Make sure to get the actual measurement of the item. Some wraps run short or long. Find out if the cost includes shipping to your location ("All in" price) or if you have to pay for shipping too.
2. Condition of the wrap. A couple small pulls (loops in the fabric caused by something catching the yarn) are not usually a big deal. A hole is probably a dealbreaker. Stains are really a personal preference if it bothers you or not.
3. Environmental issues. Do they have pets? Is there a smoker in the household? If you have allergies or sensitivities you’ll want to know.
4. How was the wrap washed? Wraps need to be washed in liquid detergent without optical brighteners. NO fabric softeners or dryer sheets. And if it’s a fiber like wool or silk, it should be hand washed, although some fancy washing machines have a wool/silk safe option. I might need to get one.
Read the post again carefully to see if it answers those questions. Google the wrap name and brand to find out any additional info. Now you comment on the post that you’re going to private message ("PM") the seller and tell her you are interested and if you have a couple questions, ask them via pm. Ask when they are able to ship and give any shipping instructions (signature confirmation? Insurance?). Once you’ve asked any questions you have, you’re ready to purchase.
In the US, transactions are done via PayPal. There’s protection for the buyer and seller if the wrap is sold via Goods & Services. It’s best practice to pay right away. Then the seller will ship to you in the next day or so (unless they’ve talked with you about delayed shipping) and give you a tracking number. When your wrap arrives, let the seller know. Look it over to assess the condition, measure the length, enjoy, and take lots of pictures and selfies - always in natural lighting and from a downward angle!