Monthly Archives: September 2011

Weekly Focus: Woven Wraps

Front wrap cross carry with a storchenwiege woven wrap

In the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (10 – 16 October 2011) we will be focusing on the six main types of baby carriers. So far we have covered pouch slings and stretchy wraps.  This week we’re focusing on woven wraps.  Keep an eye on the New Zealand Babywearing Week week Facebook page too this week for more information about woven wraps including ‘how to’ videos and photos.

Thanks to Jess from Slingbabies for sharing her knowledge of woven wraps for this post:

Woven wraps are made from purpose-loomed fabric, averaging 70-80cm wide and between 2.7 to 5.5m long.  This is tied in a variety of ways to create whatever carrier is needed.

There are a few main differences between stretchy and woven wraps however.  Woven wraps are wider and much more supportive than stretchy wraps.  They are often made overseas by very well-paid workers and then imported, which accounts for the chunkier pricetag!  You can back carry with a woven wrap, which gives a lot more freedom. Parents of subsequent babies often choose to back carry from early on, once they’ve gained confidence carrying the first baby.

There are many carries you can do with a woven wrap – Front Wrap Cross Carry (like the Front Pocket Cross Carry for a stretchy wrap but without the ‘stuff down the front’ step), Front Cross Carry (FCC), Hip Cross Carry, Back Wrap Cross Carry, Secured High Back Carry (SHBC), Ruck Carry the list goes on!

A slight downside to woven wraps is that you need to re-tie them every time you wrap (with the exception of the FCC).  But you’ll get so quick at it, it won’t be a problem soon. My personal favourite carry is the SHBC, because it suits newborn to toddler, and the first diagonal passover keeps baby nice and secure while you arrange the rest.

Front Wrap Cross Carry with a woven wrapThe photo above shows a Front Wrap Cross Carry in a Wrapstar Neopolitan.  See how there is one layer of fabric over baby, then the sides cross over for support? If you like you can bunch the sides and keep only one layer across baby (like the image at the top of this post with a Storchenwiege – note the optimal positioning for baby’s hips and spine – knees up, bum down), it’s still supportive and good for hot weather.

This picture below shows a Hip Cross Carry with a Storchenwiege woven wrap.  It’s a super easy ‘carry’ to whack on in a hurry:

Hip cross carry with Storchenwiege woven wrapThis next photo shows a Back Wrap Cross Carry in a Wrapstar Berry Stripes wrap at 5 months old. Baby sits down in the small of your back.  I like this as it’s quite a symmetrical carry method and you can adjust the chest belt easily.

back wrap cross carry with a woven wrapThe next photo shows a Secured High Back Carry in a Calin Bleu red wrap at 5 weeks old.  Not as symmetrical as the BWCC but still a goodie!

secured high back carry in woven wrapCheck out Paulus’ SHBC video too and have a go.

For more detailed information about woven wraps,  photo instructions and videos, please visit Slingbabies.

Remember to check out the New Zealand Babywearing Week facebook page this week for more information about stretchy wraps too.

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Babywearing Groups in New Zealand – Spotlight on Slingbabies.

Slingbabies babywearing groupIn the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (Oct 10 – 16, 2011) we will be featuring the babywearing groups that run meetings in New Zealand.  The original babywearing group in New Zealand is Slingbabies which operates in Auckland and was founded by Jessica Richards. Jessica’s initiative has inspired the formation of babywearing groups in other areas of New Zealand and we’ll be featuring those groups too over the next few weeks.

Slingbabies founder Jessica RichardsJessica answers some questions about Slingbabies for us:

When did Slingbabies get started and why?  Slingbabies started in May/June 2007, because I was answering the same questions constantly on online forums.  I held a meeting at my house which only two people came to (started small!).  Now we regularly have over 20 people each time.  I started the website in November 2007 as a central place to store all my information.

When and where are your meetings?  We meet on the first and third Fridays of the month, at the Sturges West Community House, 58 Summerland Dr, Henderson.  Our SouthEast branch meets on the 3rd Sunday of the month 1.30-3.30pm, at the Anchorage Park Community House, 16 Swan Cres, Pakuranga.

What happens at a typical meeting?  I do a little history and general blurb at the start, then go through the 5 types and their carry methods.  In the second half of the morning we do the try-on session, people can loan out carriers then.

I’m pregnant but interested in Babywearing, can I still attend meetings?  Absolutely!  We love getting pregnant mums coming along.   It is good to get an idea of what’s out there.  Unless you are going to make your own cheap wrap or similar, I recommend waiting to purchase till after you’ve seen us with your newborn and tried some.  Often babies have different ideas of what they like than we do!

Are baby carriers available to hire from a lending library? If so, how does the lending library work?  We have an extensive library.  For a $20 joining fee and $5 per sling loan, you can borrow a carrier for 2 weeks and bring it back to the next coffee morning (on the 3rd Friday) which often works out well.  SE Slingbabies also has a carrier library, but you need to arrange return with Heather.

Who organises and hosts the Slingbabies meetings?  I organise and host them, with the help of my team and some great regular ladies also.  Heather runs the SE Slingbabies branch, we are lucky to have such an expert to take care of that group.  We run on a shoestring so we appreciate any help and donations we can get.

If you could share just one Babywearing tip, what would it be?    Any carrier you use should mimic how you hold your baby naturally.  If it doesn’t do that, get rid of it!  (Wish I’d known that when I had my first!)

How can people get in touch with the group? Find us on Facebook, or contact Jess via the Contact Us page on the Slingbabies website.

Winner – Father’s Day photo competition

The Natural Parent Magazine and manduca front pouchThank you to everyone who entered our photo competition.  There were so many great photos of Dads (& Grandads) wearing babies in baby carriers entered!  I’m very glad the winner was drawn randomly as if I’d had to choose just one I would have had a very hard time choosing an absolute favourite!

The lucky winner, who has been drawn randomly, will receive a copy of the latest The Natural Parent Magazine and a Manduca front pouch.  And the lucky winner is:

Ally Hay

Ally entered an image of her son William at 19mo in a back carry with his Daddy.  Congratulations Ally!

To view all the fantastic entries visit the New Zealand Babywearing Week Facebook page and click on the photos tab on the left under the page avatar.  Thanks again to everyone who entered and Happy Father’s Day!

Helen