Babywearing - Choosing Your Wrap
If you've ever shopped for a wrap to babywear, you quickly find out that
1. Moby is probably the first one you will see and
2. when you looked further there are a TON of wraps for $100, $200 and even more and
3. it's not as simple as finding a wrap within your budget, there are many different materials/blends and even sizes to choose from.....hence some of these crazy price variations. Phew!
Okay, so where to start?
The first questions I suggest asking yourself are: How old is your baby and for how long do you plan to use a wrap? Where do you plan to babywear? Around the house, outside, every opportunity you can? And based on that answer, what is the temperature like? Hot? Cold? Humid? A mix? This will determine the best material for you and your baby.
If your baby is a newborn and you can't really foresee yourself utilizing a wrap past infancy, then you can pretty much choose any wrap you'd like including a stretchy wrap like a solly baby. However, if you think you'll continue to use it past infancy I recommend you skip the stretchy wraps and go for an all cotton woven wrap or a blend. Why? Because stretchy wraps can't handle more than 15-25lbs (depending on the manufacturer) and because they tend to dig into your shoulders and sides with a bit more weight in them. This includes an all cotton wrap that are not woven - 100% cotton isn't the same as a 100% woven cotton so regular cotton is fine for younger babies, but for older babies they won't be as supportive and for long periods of wear, they are not going to be as comfortable and shouldn't be used for toddlers.
If you feel a blend is the best choice for you and your baby, take a look at what the blend is exactly. Is it bamboo? Silk? Wool? Obviously wool is going to be the warmest and a bamboo blend can be cooler, but also keep in mind that 100% cotton in a woven wrap is going to be one of the most breathable.
How long of a wrap are you going to need? That depends on the types of carries you plan on doing, your size and the size of your baby. A good rule of thumb to follow:
US shirt size 4-8 Size 5 Wrap
US shirt size 8-12 Size 6 Wrap
US shirt size 14-20 Size 7 Wrap
US shirt size 22-26 Size 8 Wrap
I prefer to size a little bigger on my wraps because then I'm not limited to the types of carries I can do and I can always wrap in a way that uses up any extra length I have. For example I wear a shirt size 4 and my wraps are a size 5, but I don't have enough length to tie my wrap in a knot when wrapping in a Front Cross Carry position so instead I secure it by looping it. Also, if you're wrapping when you're out running errands and you want to be sure the ends of your wrap won't touch the ground, there is a way to easily prevent this which I will share in a tutorial later in the week along with ways to wrap and secure your carry.
I highly recommend this website because they have wraps from great quality companies like LennyLamb but they are able to offer better pricing than I have seen anywhere else.
Remember to always check your baby's position and their breathing especially with newborns as well as the baby's hip and leg position for the ergonomic "M" position. If you need a little more guidance on how to safely wear your baby, please check out Babywearing Basics
Babywearing will keep both you and your little one warmer than usual so always monitor your babys temperature.
P.S. The jacket I'm wearing in the above photo can be found on Amazon here :)