Welcome to the wonderful world of long woven wraps! You've purchased an incredible bundle of a base, base -2, and base +1 wrap. Get ready to have some serious fun with your little one!
Table of Contents
Before we begin
How to fold your long woven wrap
First Carry - FWCC
How to back carry
What to do with your base -2 wrap
Front wrap cross carry with sling ring finish
Robin's hip carry
What to do with your base size wrap
Hip wrap cross carry - HWCC
Jordan back carry with ring finish
What to do with your base +1 wrap
Front wrap cross carry with Pond finish
Double hammock back carry with Tied Tibetan waist-less finish
Before we begin
Your wraps will be at their best once broken in. You'll be breaking in your wrap every time you use it, but they do arrive in "loomstate." This means that the wrap needs one more wash to "set" the fibers in place - with the added bonus of softening!
If you haven't already, follow the care instructions linked here, then come back once your wraps are washed, dried, and ready to play!
How to fold your long woven wrap
First, find the middle marker.
Fold in half on the "short side" - so the full width is visible at the middle marker but the length is halved. Line up the edges as best you can. We will come to the taper at the end!
Fold in half again, cutting the width in half. Line up the edges again.
Now we start "rolling"! Take the middle marker side and fold in slightly, to make a rectangular "packet." Keep rolling the packet along, crisping up the rectangle as you like it as you go.
When you get to the taper, back out the roll by a few rectangles. Fold the tapered end in, toward the middle marker. You may need to fold in again for a nice clean edge. Then come back to the middle marker side and meet the tapered, now folded in, edge again.
Hooray! Now you have a perfect little rectangular packet ready for adventure.
When learning to wrap your baby, you need to understand the ABCs of safe babywearing.
See video below!
A- Airway- Is the throat open (chin up, not burrowed down) for unobstructed breathing? Is your child's mouth and nose unobstructed?
B- Breathing- Is baby close enough to kiss (and thus close enough to monitor breathing)? Check in periodically to make sure you can hear/see/feel your child's breath. If your child has been lowered in the carrier, such as to nurse or bottle feed, bring your child back up close enough to kiss as soon as they are done and sleeping/content. If your child has fallen asleep, adjust the carrier to comfortably support your child in a way that does not obstruct their breathing. If your child is on your back, be sure you can monitor their breathing from their position.
C-Comfort- Are both child and caregiver comfortable?
For the child- Are the legs well supported? For a young baby this looks like fabric from knee to knee, allowing the legs to swing freely. The seat should support baby in a C curve appropriate for their age- a younger baby will have more of a curve/froggy position than a toddler will.
Tip- wrap the wrap around your newborn in their natural curled up state, instead of trying to reposition them!
M position- we like to see baby's knees slightly higher than their bum, like an M shape looking at the legs to knee to bottom. This allows for baby's weight to sit on their bottom, providing adequate comfort and proper circulation, instead of on their feet.
For the caregiver- Does the carrier feel good? Is there any place you need to tighten? Does anything feel constricting?
Adjust discomfort on the neck/shoulder by pulling fabric off of your neck, capping the shoulder, pulling fabric down the arm, flipping fabric up on the shoulder, or reaching behind to spread the passes on the back out more (as opposed to bunched passes).
Adjust the height of the carrier- often moving the waist up and down significantly changes the child's comfort in the carrier as well as the caregiver.
You can also try 1 shoulder, torso, or waist-less carries. The possibilities for modification are endless! Caregiver and child should both be comfortable =) .
First Carry - FWCC
We recommend starting with a Front Wrap Cross Carry as your first carry. You will use your Base Size wrap for this - so if you chose the Base 6 bundle, that would be your size 6 wrap. If you chose the Base 7 bundle, that would be your size 7 wrap.
Here's how to do it!
Start with the middle marker at your chest.
Make an x behind your back: Bring one tail under your arm, across your back, and over the opposite shoulder. Do the same with the other tail. Pin the tails between your knees to hold fabric in place.
Place your baby in the wrap by lowering them onto the pass across your chest. Make a seat and secure your baby.
Bring the tails around the side of your baby and underneath their bottom. Here, you can either cross them and bring them under your baby's legs. Or, you can twist them and then bring them under the baby's legs (Lexi Twist).
Make sure to double knot the tails, and you're done!
How to Back Carry
You can practice back carries with your little one once you feel comfortable with the process of tightening and making a seat, like in the Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC).
Learn 3 ways to back carry in the video below.
Safety: You and your baby are ready for back wearing when:
-Your little one can tripod sit/sit unassisted. In a normally developing child this is typically around 4-6 months. For a special needs child you may adapt this based on your child's specific needs and your confidence in maintaining safe positioning and an open airway
-You are confident in your wrapping abilities to make a seat and tighten your wrap in front carries
A helpful tip: if you're naturally putting your baby on your hip, your baby has the core strength for hip and back carries.
-Fabrics should be woven, not stretchy, for safe back carrying. Stretchy wraps allow for too much slack for safe back carrying
-Newborns can be back carried in a wrap by those who are very experienced in wrapping and who can get an accurately positioned and tightened seat every time. Newborns are particularly at risk of positional asphyxiation, so we do not recommend back carrying newborns as a general rule. Newborns also need to be up and down frequently for feeding, diaper changes, and spit up, so it's typically more convenient to have them on your front anyway =)
We recommend practicing over a soft surface with a spotter (if possible). You can practice with a weighted doll or another object until you're comfortable with the method.
-Cross the arm of the shoulder you will bring baby over underneath the other arm. Use your hands to pin the top rail of the wrap to your child in the position you want the wrap to be in when baby is up. So, if you want baby arms in, position the top rail and hold onto it at the top of baby's shoulder. For arms out with an older child, grab your child under the arms with the wrap.
-Move your body into your baby (as opposed to twisting your baby to you). This will allow you to get baby up into the wrap without twisting the wrap Once baby is up: -Hold tightly to the top rail, pinning it with your chin or biting it with your teeth. This takes practice! The top rail is what holds your baby up.
-Pull the slack down with the bottom rail. Pulling it out can help! Stand up straight and allow gravity to help you. Tuck the bottom rail under your baby, tilting their pelvis into position. -Bring the tails of the wrap up over your shoulders, keeping tension on the tails and top rails especially. Tighten as needed and begin your chosen carry!
-Position baby on your hip. Positioning the middle marker of the wrap (or off center mark, depending on the carry chosen) on your baby, make a seat. Take one tail behind you, across your back, and over the opposite shoulder with the tail hanging over the front. Take the foremost tail (the other tail) across your chest to meet the tail from behind. Position your child in the wrap with a proper knee to knee seat and the wrap tucked up in proper position
-When you're satisfied with baby's seat, use one hand to tightly hold the 2 tails together where they meet at the opposite shoulder from where baby is. Using the other hand to support baby, scoot baby onto your back. Use the tails of the wrap to help you position baby into place on your back, then begin your carry, making sure to keep tension on the top rail/tails
-Lay your child on the wrap at the middle marker (or the place you need the wrap to start for an off-center carry
-Carefully position the top rail at your child's neck for support. Position the bottom rail under your little one's knees
-Tightly gather the wrap up, making a little "bag" of your baby. Using one hand to tightly hold the sack holding your baby, use the other hand to support your baby. Putting both tails to one (the same) side, carefully lift your baby to your back. You want to put baby cheek to cheek with you.
-Once baby is up and cheek to cheek with you, carefully move one of the tails over to the other side of your head. Adjust your baby's position and seat using the tails, keeping adequate tightness on the top rail
-If you lost the seat on the way up, follow the "once baby is up" section in Method 1 above.
You're ready to back wrap! Once you get the hang of it you'll wonder how you ever wrapped without this great technique =).
What to do with your Base -2 Wrap
Here are a few carries to get you started with your base -2 wrap! This is either your size 4 (base 6 bundle) or size 5 (base 7 bundle) wrap. Includes sling ring options!
Front Wrap Cross Carry with Sling Ring Finish
My demo wrap in this video is a base size, but this is done best with a base -2. Play with the sling rings to see which size ring holds best for you! You'll want to skip the first few minutes =).
Robin's Hip Carry
Learn how to do a Robin's Hip Carry in a size 4 (base -2) wrap! This carry can be used as a front carry (great for newborns) or a hip carry for older babies. Simple to learn and adjust. Can be used with shortie wraps (base -2 / -3) or a longer wrap with longer tails. A "poppable" carry, which means baby can easily go in and out all day long without having to re-tie the carrier. No knot on the back means you can pre-tie the wrap in this carry and then safely and comfortably drive to your errands - no dragging tails in the rain/snow/grocery aisles! You start this carry at the middle marker, making it even easier to look good!
How to tie Robin's Hip Carry:
Start with the middle marker at the back of your neck and let the wrap fall over your shoulders, one tail on each side.
Decide which hip baby will be on. Whichever hip you want baby to sit on, bring that tail under that arm.
Create a "hinge" on the opposite shoulder: Bring the tail that was under your arm across the front of your body, overtop the tail opposite of the side baby will be on. Flip the tail of that opposite shoulder backwards over the cross pass. Make sure the fabric is not twisted.
Bring the flipped back tail across your back and around to the front and pin it between your knees. Keeping this tight will help as you adjust baby securely in the seat.
Make a seat: You now have a sling of fabric to the front/side of you. Bring baby to your shoulder and lower them onto the sling. Adjust the fabric from knee to knee and then bring the top rail up.
Tighten and knot: Move the slack out of the seat and into the dangling tail (not the one pinned from behind you.) When you've pulled all the slack out and you feel good about the seat placement, bring the dangling tail and the tail you pinned behind you together in a half knot under baby's bottom, then finish with an additional knot. Baby is secure!
To take baby out: Raise the seat up, move the top rail down baby's body and lift baby out.
To put baby back in the tied carrier: Lift baby to your shoulder. Lower them into the carry, seated on the seat and knot. Adjust the fabric from knee to knee and lift the top rail up. Move any slack into the knot -no need to re-tie for just a little slack!
What to do with your Base Size Wrap
Considered the most versatile size, you'll be able to do many carries in this wrap. Here are a few to try!
Hip Wrap Cross Carry - HWCC
You can do this carry in your base -2 or base +1 wrap as well. I think a base size is a nice place to start with it =).
Jordan Back Carry with Ring Finish
Start by putting baby high on your back. Support the top rails by pinning under your chin or grabbing with your teeth.
Remove the slack and tuck under to make a seat for your baby. Keeping tension on the wrap, move one tail under your arm and one by one, thread each tail into a sling ring. Start with a large ring. If your wrap is thin, use the smallest ring possible to securely hold the wrap.
Taking the tail that went under your arm, flip it up over that same shoulder and go back across your child's back, spreading across their back. Tuck the tail under your child's leg and flip the fabric (to show the other side). Pin that tail between your legs.
Take the other tail now back under that arm and go across your child's back again, spreading across your child's back. Go over the leg.
Then finish by tucking the tail in to the ring and down.
Finish the other side by putting the tail into the ring and pulling down.
To get the baby out of the carry, remove the tails from the rings and undo the passes across the child. Keep tension as you come to one tail over the shoulder and the other across and under the arm. Use one hand to support your child while the other holds the 2 tails together. Scoot your baby to your hip.
What to do with your Base +1 wrap
This would be your size 7 (in the base 6 bundle) or size 8/9 (in the base 7 bundle). This is a great size for wearing for longer periods of time. As you become more comfortable wrapping you'll find more patterns and ways of wrapping that you love! These examples contain elements you can add to various carries.
Front Wrap Cross Carry with Pond Finish
You can try this carry with a base size as well, but I find it more comfortable with a base +1.
Double Hammock Back Carry with Tied Tibetan Waist-less Finish
You can do many variations of double hammock, so it's a great carry to learn. This variation ends with my favorite tie-off, the Tied Tibetan waist-less finish. You can do this finish knotted or knot-less.
Start this carry slightly off-center, about an arm's length - measure by starting with the middle marker on your chest and following to a length from there to the middle of your back. That is the new middle marker!
Use your preferred method to get baby onto your back. Here I cross my arms and then uncross them as I turn into baby (instead of moving baby to me - that's a good way to get fabric tangled!). Remember, we are using our new "middle marker" here!
Keep the top rails tight. Take out the slack and tuck the bottom rail under baby's bum to make a seat.
Both tails are on top of the shoulder. Pin the shorter end between your knees. Take the longer end under your arm and bring it across your chest and behind the pinned tail to make a chest belt.
Take your time to tighten and get rid of the slack for a nice wide chest belt that's nice and tight for comfort. An L-pull is helpful here!
Bring the longer side around your baby's back (the chest belt tail). Bring that pass up over your shoulder and strand-by-strand tighten.
Go under your arms with both tails.
Go under baby's bottom and then under baby's legs and back around to the front. If you tie here, this is a typical double hammock.
Since you'll have extra fabric in a base +1, we'll finish with the Tied Tibetan finish! One at a time, cross the tail across the front of your body. Tuck the tail under the arm strap. Do this on both sides. You've done it! Adjust the finish as you like -- up at the top, spread across the chest, any variation that's comfortable, and just tug on the tails as needed to tighten and adjust as you carry your little one. You can also knot instead of just tucking in the straps.
To get baby down, undo the carry until you are left with one tail over the shoulder and one tail under your arm. Bring the tails together, almost like an "L" across your chest, with one hand. Use the other to support your baby and bring your baby to your hip. This is another method you can use to get baby up onto your back, the hip scoot method, where you make the seat on your hip and then scoot them behind you!