The Ultimate Guide to Baby Wraps

Wraps guide

How to choose the right baby wrap without a headache? There are so many options available! It is definitely not a quick and easy decision for most of us. I have written this guide to sum up the basic facts about them.

Wraps could be divided based on different criteria. I have divided them as follows:

1. Woven and stretchy wraps

Woven wrap is a long and narrow piece of fabric. Mainly it’s a woven fabric, where a specific technique of weaving is used, so the wrap tightly supports the back of your baby. It can be made of different materials or blends (cotton, linen, hemp, silk, etc.). These wraps could be used by experienced babywearing mums, as well as beginners. The weight of your baby will be equally split to your arms, back and hips and so when you keep the correct principles of babywearing, you won’t experience any back pain at all.

Stretchy wrap is made of elastic materials, mostly cotton jersey. Wraps are soft, nice to touch and really elastic. They are recommended for newborns and for mothers, who are starting to babywear, as the fabric really adapts to baby’s body. These wraps are comfortable for babies with the weight up to 7-8 kg. If you have a heavier baby, they are not comfortable, as they cut into your arms and don’t provide enough support for the baby’s back. Stretchy wraps are especially popular among mums with prematurely born babies.

2. New and worn/used wraps

When you buy a new wrap, very often it’s very hard and tough (especially wraps with blends of linen or hemp). Therefore it’s necessary to use them a lot. If you wear it regularly and often, it becomes nicely soft. To get to this stage could take up to several months, depending on the type of wrap, material, type of weaving, etc. However, some wraps are very soft from the very beginning and those don’t need to be used to become wearable.
Worn wrap is a wrap that was being used. It means it’s nicely pliable, soft and pleasant to touch and very good to work with. I would recommend mums – beginners to buy a woven, worn wrap.

Wraps guide

3. According to its weight – Grams per m²

Before you buy the wrap, find out about its weight. It’s basically the weight per m². When you buy a stretchy wraps, don’t worry about its weight at all, as these wraps are only suitable for babies with weight up to 7 – 8 kg. So the weight/m² is important only for woven wraps.

Wrap Type Grams per m² Baby’s weight
Thin Wrap 170 g/m² – 200 g/m² newborn – 9 kg
Medium Wrap 220 g/m² – 270 g/m² 9 kg – 15 kg
Thick Wrap 270 g/m² – 370 g/m² 13 kg and more

The higher the weight, the thicker and „more supporting“ the wrap is. By the way, all woven wraps have relatively high loading capacity, they can carry up to 600kg, so you don’t need to worry that those with lower load would tear under your baby. The thing is, if you carry a heavier baby, it’s not very comfortable for the carrier. The wrap cuts into your arms and your back might hurt. So choose the weight of the wraps based on weight of your baby or on the season.

Weight calculation

If the manufacturer doesn’t state the wrap weight, you can easily calculate it. You need only three parameters – weight, length and width of the wrap.

For example:

Wrap weight is 811 grams
Wrap length is 4,2 m
Wrap width is 70 cm = 0,7 m

And here comes the simple calculation:

 

 

 

Such wrap is considered a thick wrap.

4. According to material/blends

wraps guide

Loading capacity of the wrap is also influenced by the materials it is made of. So manufacturers add different blends, such as linen or hemp. Wrap with lower weight with these blends could easily even up to a wrap with high grams per m², made of 100% cotton. Such blend wraps are thinner, light, easier to wrap and more permeable and absorbed, what appreciate mums and babies especially in summer time. As a disadvantage, it needs more time to be worn and it’s more difficult to take care of. You need to iron it quite often, ideally after each use, as it creases a lot and you can damage the fibers if you don’t take a proper care of it. Linen is even more demanding than the hemp. Another favorite blend is wool (merino, mohair, alpaca), because of its perfect thermoregulatory characteristics.  It warms you up in winter and cools down in summer, takes away the heat and sweat. Some wraps have a blend of silk, which has not only good thermoregulatory characteristics and permeability, but it also brings an air of elegance and luxury. Wraps can also contain other blends.

You can find an overview of advantage and disadvantages in the following table:

Blend Properties Advantages Disadvantages
SILK • good temperature regulation
• good sweat absorption
• light
• permeable
• very easy to wrap with
• suitable for newborns and lightweight children
• soft, shiny, nice to the touch
• perfect for summer due to humidity absorption and permeability
• silk wraps are sleek so could slip
• medium support
BAMBOO • good temperature regulation
• good sweat absorption
• light
• permeable
• very easy to wrap with
• suitable for newborns and lightweight children
• soft, shiny, nice to the touch
• perfect for summer due to humidity absorption and permeability
• bamboo wraps are sleek so could slip
• low support
WOOL • good temperature regulation
• warm
• warm in winter, good sweat absorption in summer
• thanks to natural lanolin content the wraps are dirt resistant and not necessary to wash often
• very strong
• soft and pliable from the start
• easier in care than linen or hemp blends
• more stretchy
• could slip
• necessary to wash as delicate with appropriate wash liquids otherwise could shrink
HEMP • firm
• strong
• permeable
• good sweat absorption
• very supportive – suitable for lightweight as well as heavier children
• warm in winter, pleasantly cool in summer
• suitable for summer as the wraps are permeable
• hemp has a longer life than linen
• less care needed than for linen
• requires to take care of but less than linen
LINEN • firm
• strong
• permeable
• good sweat absorption
• hard
• Suitable for summer as the wraps are permeable
• warm in winter, pleasantly cool in summer
• very supportive – suitable for lighter as well as heavier children
• requires proper breaking in, wrap is very hard at the beginning
• requires regular care
REPREVE • stretchy
• soft after breaking in
• easy to care for
• crease-resistant
• dirt resistant
• quick-drying
• made of PET bottles (BPA free), so it’s not a natural material
COTTON • permeable
• relatively soft
• not stretchy
• more universal
• do not require any special care
• comfortable also for older children
• might be very hot in summer in case of wraps with high g/m²

Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments and make this guide even better so it will help others 😉
If you are wondering which wrap size would suit you best, check our Wrap sizes page.

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