Welcome to babywearing!
Your New Parent Starter Box: Wraps & Slings is a wonderful way to jump into the wonderful world of wearing your little one. Let's get started!
Long woven wraps and ring slings need to be washed prior to use - this "breaks them in" and is actually the final step in preparing the carrier! It will soften the fibers and settle them into place. You'll want to wash (with a detergent with no optical brighteners), drip dry, and steam iron your long woven wrap and ring sling before use for best results!
To learn more about washing your new carriers, tap here for our Wash & Care Guide
To learn more about breaking in your new long woven wrap and ring sling, check out these 2 articles:
Getting Started: Stretchy Wrap
A great first carry in a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry in a stretchy wrap. This is perfect for your squishy newborn. See video below for an example and written instruction below that.
This is a great first carry that helps you to position baby in their natural curve and learn proper tightening. It's also cozy and supportive.
First, find the middle marker. Center it on your chest. Imagine baby sitting on your chest with head close enough to kiss. This will help you determine how high to place it.
Cross each tail behind your back and over the opposite shoulder. Place the tails under the horizontal pass. Tighten as needed. Bring tails behind you and tie in a temporary half knot to hold tension.
Make space for your baby by placing your hands under the cross passes and moving the "x" of the cross down. This is where baby's bottom will sit.
Pick up your baby, supporting the head and neck. If your baby is a newborn, they will be naturally curved with a C curve and M-shape in the hips. We want to keep these "froggy legs," with knees slightly higher than bottom, as we put baby in.
Place baby in the carrier. Starting with the inside pass (the cross closer to your chest), slide baby in. The pass should start at baby's knee. Then, take the top rail of that crossed pass and pull it over baby. It should be nice and snug, and you should be able to pull it to the other knee and up to the opposite shoulder.
If the cross pass gets in the way of baby's face, cap the shoulder by taking the inner rail and moving it to the outside of the shoulder.
Do the same thing with the outer pass--take the inner rail and spread the pass across baby, knee to knee and up to the shoulder.
Bring the horizontal pass overtop of baby. Set baby's knees on the pass, making a seat. Then bring the top rail up to the base of the neck, no higher than the base of the earlobe. Tuck fabric between you slightly under baby's knees to help maintain their C curve.
Your baby is in! Make sure to double knot to complete the carry. The carrier should feel snug and shouldn't slip. If you press your baby into your chest and they move, the wrap is not tight enough. Retighten by untying and shimmying while pulling the tails, or by threading slack into the knot.
You can use the wrap for extra abdominal support also if you have enough length.
You can also support baby's head with the strap on the shoulder if needed.
Stretchy wraps are great for popping baby in and out throughout the day. Simply lower the passes and lift baby out, then when you're ready to wear them again, tuck them back in to the carrier and re-tighten.
Getting Started: Long Woven Wrap
The first carry we recommend in a long woven wrap is the Front Wrap Cross Carry. See video below for an example and written instruction below that.
-First, find the middle marker and center the wrap on your chest. You want to imagine baby's head being close enough to kiss and adjust the height on your chest to the appropriate height
-Start with one of the tails (ends) of the wrap and go under your arm and up across your back to the opposite shoulder. Bring the tail over that shoulder. Repeat with the other tail across to the other shoulder
-You should now have 2 tails hanging in front of you. If you needed to, you could tie this off as a "pre-set" carry waiting for your little one to be ready to go in
-When you're ready, lift your baby up to your shoulder. Supporting your baby's head and neck the whole time, lower your baby into the pouch you've made with the first chest pass. You want this to be nice and tight around baby to give good tension. Lift the fabric up to your baby's neck (necessary for a tiny baby), and spread the lower rail (the bottom of the chest pass) from knee to knee. A smaller baby won't spread their knees as far as a bigger baby, but they will have more of a C-curve against your body than a larger baby. Finally, bring the bottom rail up in-between you and baby's body - up to about the diaper line. Adjust baby's position again - you want the baby's bum slightly lower than the knees, with the pass supporting baby knee to knee without making their legs stick straight out (so they can bend their legs freely) and they are comfortably curled against your body
-Now it's time to tighten! Pin one strap between your knees to hold tension. Lift the other strap up diagonally into the air and give a wiggle to start tightening, then go rail by rail (imagining the lines of the weave on a loom as stripes in your wrap that you are tightening one by one). Rail by rail, using your shoulder to help you move fabric as well, tighten the carrier. Remember that the top rail of the chest pass is equal to the top rail in the wrap tail/strap you are working with, so if you see slack there, make sure to tighten there in the tail/ strap. When you feel it's been sufficiently tightened, pin that strap and repeat the process with the other tail
-When you feel confident that it's been tightened sufficiently, it's time to tie off! For a little baby, you may want to add a Lexi Twist so that you aren't squishing baby legs. Bring the straps on either side of baby, twist (or not) at the base under baby's bum, and then tuck the tails under baby's legs and bring the tails to the back. Tie in a double knot, and you're done! =)
Getting Started: Ring Sling
There's 2 parts to learning how to use your ring sling: learning how to thread it, and learning how to secure your little on in the "seat" of the sling. Your ring sling is a gathered shoulder sling, the most popular shoulder style, in the 1.8m length. Learn all about your new ring sling in the video below, and scroll down for written instructions.
To thread your ring sling:
Hold your new ring sling in front of you by the rings.
Take a step backwards. Adjust any twisted pieces.
Bring the rings to the opposite shoulder of where you want baby to sit. The fabric should be behind you.
Bring the fabric around to the front of your body, under the opposite shoulder from where the rings are.
"Finger walk" the fabric of the tail to gather it into a neat bundle in your hands.
Thread this tail up through both rings, then lift the top ring up. Thread the fabric over the top ring and under the bottom ring. "Fan out" and adjust as needed for the fabric to not be twisted.
To use your ring sling:
Tighten the ring sling by pulling gently on the threaded tail. Leave just enough space for your elbow. This makes a comfortably tight sling to place baby on.
Lift your baby to the shoulder opposite the rings, supporting the head and neck. Use one hand to go under the sling and pull baby's feet down. Rest baby's bottom on the gathered sling material. Then, take the top rail of the sling fabric and pull it up no higher than the base of baby's earlobe. Older children who can support their heads well can have the top rail as low as the armpits.
Reach between you and baby and pull the bottom rail between you slightly, making more of an exaggerated pouch for baby to sit in.
Tighten any slack by pulling the hanging tail. Tighten rail by rail. Pull the top rail across your body horizontally to tighten, middle rails diagonally down away from the rings, and bottom rail straight down. Be mindful not to over-tighten the bottom rail.
To get baby out of the carrier, lift the rings to loosen and lift baby out.