First baby wrap. Which one to choose?
A lot of moms, while starting their babywearing adventure, have the same problem and question. Which wrap should be their first? What weave, what material composition, what length, whether it will be suitable for the newborn, how long it will be suitable, and so on... This article will try to answer all these questions with the help of our babywearing consultant.
When can we start babywearing, what age, weight?
A baby can be carried in a wrap from the first day of life. But everything really depends on the mother, her well-being after childbirth, baby's health, attitude and readiness. Some begin babywearing being still in the postdelivery room, others 3 weeks after childbirth, others even when the child is 5 months old, there is no rule to that and it is never too late. Often, parents use carriers first when their little ones no longer want to lie in the baby carriage, but are not yet sitting by themselves, and it is too early for a stroller. Every age is fine to start babywearing.
Till what age? The question is quite individual. Frequently, the baby alone decides on this, while there comes a point when running already makes more fun for the child than sitting in the sling. This may happen when the child is 1.5, 2 or 3 years old, however it happens that 5-6 year-olds will ask to be wrapped when seeing one's mother carrying a little brother or sister.
Till what weight? The woven wrap does not really have weight limitations. It is very sturdy, but it all depends on the child, the parent and the circumstances in which it will be used. The safe weight limit is 20 kg.
First baby wrap - necessarily stripes?
Not necessarily, but it's worth it. Babywearing consultants during their presentations usually use striped wraps as it is recommend for one good reason - the straps facilitate the wrapping process. First of all, the different colors at the top and bottom rails of the wrap makes it easy to quickly distinguish and find them during wrapping. The second advantage is the ease in finding and eliminating the loose ends, so the wrapping parts that need tightening. Thanks to the color pattern the looser fabric strands on the baby's body can be easily seen and retightened.
Good to know. Striped wraps also come in different varieties, such as with only one thin strap at one rail, being in contrast from the rest of the fabric or the one that has only two wide straps separating the wrap in half by different colors.
Of course, if someone buys their first baby wrap, only a thicker jacquard wrap, it would be best to mark the top and bottom rail by a stitch in different color or by a flip on the back. This will all add the advantage of a striped wrap.
A flip on the back - what does it mean?
All our wraps, jacquard and even stripes have a marked center on the top and bottom of the sling and flipped rails. Each carry begins with finding the center of the wrap - it's marked on the top and bottom of the sling, which makes this process faster.
The fact that there is a flip on the back means that one rail folds on one side and the other on the opposite side, in other words - once out, once to the inside, or once inside out, once right side. Such a way of folding or flipping the rails to different sides makes the wrap reversible, so it does not matter which side we start wrapping - both sides can be worn and it will be the right one.
In case of jacquard wraps, there is commonly an embroidery, a graphic or an image applied and the weaving process is performed in such a way that on the one side we see the right pattern and on the other - its color "negative", so the opposite. (For example, a blue cloud in the gray sky on the other side becomes a gray cloud in the blue sky.) In these type of wraps, flipping the rails makes them automatically distinguishable in terms of color. So, even though it is not striped, it has different color rails at the same time. It becomes "striped" in the right sense of the word, which is suitable even for babywearing beginners.
Cross-twill weave - why so important?
The cross-twill weave, known as broken-twill, arranges the threads in the weaving process in such a way that the material can be stretched diagonally, but cannot be stretched along the length. The same properties are in a diamond weave. Why is it so important in wrapping?
Thanks to these properties, the baby's body is comfortably placed in the right physiological position. The material can be stretched, allowing the baby to fit the wrap, but only to such a degree that makes the little one arrange in a comfortable position, so the spine maintains in correct position, feeling free, not hindered.
The lack of stretching properties by length allows you to keep the initial wrapping position of the baby as long as possible. The wrapping tension on each section of the child's body does not ease even after a few hours of walking. The carry position is kept "all day long" and the child feels comfortable, like hugging one's mother.
Cotton? Linen? Bamboo? - which one for the newborn?
The choice is up to you. It is known, that wraps with bamboo viscose blends will be the most delicate and soft, also perfect for summer because it is thinner and "cooler" to the touch. Our wraps with bamboo blend behave great after the first wash, by being clingy and not slippery.
Linen is solid but stiffer, it is worthwhile to practice wrapping... plaits, so after few washings it will slightly "loosen up". On the other hand, those wraps are great for summer and thanks to their carrying capacity they will serve for older children as well.
The most versatile type is 100% cotton wrap. It's ideal for all seasons, it's not demanding in terms maintenance, washing, drying, in short it's hard to tear. Our cotton wrap is soft even when new and you don't have to struggle when wrapping, but you can easily tighten it from the start.
What about the grammage?
The grammage of the wrap is in other words - its weight, thickness, density, which translates into the carrying capacity of the wrap itself and the comfort of carry position.
Striped wraps usually have a weight of about 220 g/m2, which is quite thin, however it facilitates wrapping because it's better in handling and easy to maneuver. At the same time, wraps with a weight like that are quite load-bearing and suitable for both newborns and older children.
Wraps with higher weight (280 gr/m2 and above) add comfort while carring of older or heavier children. It is more load-bearing, thick, "blanket-like", it isn't too tight around the shoulders of the babywearer and around the child's feet. The weight of the child becomes even undetectable, and one can enjoy the long walks and hugging of older children.
Summarizing. Your first wrap has to be a woven wrap, but it can be striped with cross-twill or diamond weave and 100% cotton or bamboo blend, but not necessarily. The choice belongs to every parent independently and we’ve just presented you with some useful facts and advantages of the wraps.