Category Archives: Wraps

Meeting Recap: Emergency Babywearing

by VBE Sarah

(note: a lot of the carries we demonstrated were inspired by this blog post)

For our special topic this month, we talked about the ways in which babywearing and baby carriers can be very useful in emergency situations.


1) First we talked about uses (other than wearing a baby) for wraps or carriers in an emergency

-you can use a wrap to cross a waterway or pull someone up, as a splint, or as a tourniquet

-you can use any carrier to carry supplies

-you can carry an injured pet (although as a side note, a pillowcase is a MUCH better impromptu cat carrier than a woven wrap (eek!)). In an emergency situation, you may not have free hands for your little bitty dogs, or what if you have a really large dog that you have to move? A carrier may be the easiest way to get to the vet.


2) Next we discussed some carriers that are useful to keep in an emergency supply kit, in your car, or even under your pillow or bed

-Has your child outgrown a carrier? Instead of selling it online (the market is super slow right now), what about keeping it as an emergency carrier?

-Maybe you want to buy a specific carrier just for emergency situations. A pouch sling is an excellent choice. Pouch slings are very inexpensive and compact. Remember, though, that they are not one size fits all – you have to size a pouch sling to the wearer (different brands have different sizing schemes, but the main rule is that the sling should fit from one shoulder to the top of your opposite hip). There are also some great sscs that fold up nice and tiny, like our lending library’s Bitybean or Connecta.


3) Finally, our VBEs demonstrated how to fashion carriers out of everyday materials.

(As a general disclaimer, none of these are tested for safety. You should always use your best judgment for whether something feels safe to you. Some of the front carries we demonstrated are not entirely hands free, so always be aware of your child)


Jill showed how you can use a scarf to do a rebozo carry (or even just pretied it to fit from one shoulder to the opposite hip)


Kirsteen demonstrated a strap carry. You can use anything strap-like (a bunched up long scarf, the belt from your robe, or even some nylon rope) to carry your child on your back. This carry is exactly like a ruck tied under bum, just make sure that your child cannot get their arms under the straps, or they could fall out


Kirsteen also demonstrated how to use a bed sheet, folded lengthwise, for a rebozo carry

This isn’t pictured, but Kirsteen also threaded the scarf through a shirt for a makeshift podaegi. Sarah showed how you can also thread a scarf through the sleeves of your shirt that you are wearing to make a pocket for a newborn. Tie the tails under bum and you’re good to go!


Sarah showed how you can put a belt over your shirt for a newborn carry (not hands free, by any means!)


Sarah also demonstrated a torso towel carry


Finally, Sarah wore Jill on her back in a strap carry, to show how you can even wear an injured or infirm adult in an emergency situation


Hopefully none of us will ever need to test these skills in an emergency situation. But in the meantime, it’s not a bad idea to think about how babywearing could help you in a disaster. Do you have an emergency plan?


Breaking in a Wrap (Pavo Gotham)

by VBE Sarah


So, Jill has already talked about breaking in a brand new hemp wrap here, but I thought I’d talk about some of the ways I have been breaking in my new Pavo. Pavos are known for being VERY beastly wraps. People with heavy toddlers and/or sensitive shoulders tend to gravitate towards Pavos because they are known for being very supportive wraps that nevertheless are also stretchy (a lot of wraps offer rock-solid support, but they usually compromise on stretch in order to do so. So, for example, linen is a great fiber for offering support, but it does. not. stretch).



My amazing husband (proudly modeling our new pavo bag ^^^) was able to score a Pavo Gotham Onyx for me (that’s the other thing – Pavos are very difficult to buy new, since they sell out in a matter of seconds. Used is a great option, however, since you can often skip the difficult breaking in period!). When the wrap arrived to us we were able to stand the fabric straight up, it was THAT stiff!


Since the wrap came to us in loom state (never washed), we first set about washing it. It’s never a good idea to wrap with a brand new unwashed wrap, since this can cause thread shifting to occur (There’s my husband again ^^^ breaking this rule for a quick test run before washing). Thread shifting compromises the safety of the wrap and decreases its resale value. Anyway, after washing the wrap, I put it in the dryer on delicate with some wool dryer balls. This is a fantastic way to break in a wrap, and is the least labor intensive!

After drying, I busted out my iron. With the iron set to “cotton” and, on the highest steam level, I got to work steam ironing both sides of the wrap. I could already feel it softening up. Steam ironing is also important because it can help prevent premature wearing at the rails of the wrap and can also prevent permanent creases (“permacreases”) from forming. Which direction do you iron your wraps? I prefer to iron the short side, moving it incrementally towards me and folding it, accordion style, on a small stool or chair in front of me.

Now the hard work began. Oh, and by the way, you can always just USE your wrap and continue to wash, dry, and iron it, to break it in (NOTE: the kind of fiber your wrap is made with will determine whether or not it is safe to machine dry and/or steam iron). If, however, you’re wanting to speed up that process or have a super beastly wrap (seriously, this Pavo will not break itself in in a million years …)

you can try … super coiling:


Start at one end of the wrap and just start twisting the crap out of it. I would do this at night (hence the dark lighting of that photo) while watching TV. Once it’s coiled you can also gently pull and tug on the different sections to help move things along. Just like with braiding a wrap, the breaking in happens by the action of supercoiling, not by the wrap just sitting there super coiled. In other words, you don’t just do this once and let the wrap sit, you do it, uncoil the wrap, and start coiling again.

Another thing I did was run the wrap through two medium sling rings. (Sling rings are best purchased online from – do not use welded rings, for breaking in a wrap or (especially) for wearing a baby)


Finally, I wove the wrap through our baby gate and pulled sections of it back and forth. Be careful that there’s nothing that can snag the wrap (so, we were careful to avoid the hinges on our baby gate). After awhile my arms got really tired, so my husband (and son) started helping me. People also use the slats of baby cribs to achieve a similar effect.

Gotham is breaking in nicely. She’s gotten very soft to the touch and is not NEARLY as stiff as when she came to me. She’s still not “floppy”, though, but for now I think I’ll just enjoy wrapping with her and give my arms a break (Let’s fact it, if I was after some guns, I would carry my son, not wear him!)


Breaking in a wrap (Didymos THI (Turqoise Hemp Indio))

by VBE Jill


I recently had the opportunity to purchase a new Didymos that was released in October. As some of you saw on our Facebook page, I bought turquoise hemp indio (THI). It took some convincing of the husband and some site stalking to find one in a size I wanted that wasn’t sold out but I found a size 4 from Baby Adorables. I must say, quick shipping and everything was great! Anyway, I immediately opened it, dying to see my new wrap. It was gorgeous… and then I picked it up. It felt like burlap. I knew about stiff wraps – you always hear about them – but this was my first NEW wrap purchase. I started questioning if this wrap was really going to be as awesome as I had hoped.


I wrapped with it and it was loose because it wasn’t moldable. I tried wrapping my 7 year old. I brought it to the meeting and the color was a hit. So I was determined to soften it up as quickly as possible! I washed it on hot (please check the care of your wrap before washing as not all material can be treated the same; hemp loves heat) and hung it to dry. Felt a little better but still rough. I steam ironed the heck out of it, which helped a lot. Then when I had company over, I mindlessly started braiding it. I have twisted it with my husband over and over. Basically, anything to get the fibers to loosen up. It is so much softer but I know it still has a way to go. But the key is, don’t be afraid to wear a wrap that isn’t broken it. It will only help the process along. To make sure I don’t give up on it, I have tried to make it my sole carrier.


If you’re wondering what else you can do to break in a wrap, there are plenty of things to try. You can tie it around your table and create a hammock for your child(ren). Putting it under your fitted sheet and sleeping on it will also help loosen it up. Have a crib or banister? Try feeding the wrap through the slats. The more you move the carrier, the softer it will become.


Buying new can be daunting due to the amount of work that goes into breaking in a wrap and buying used from a b/s/t group is a wonderful option. But hopefully my experience will help those of you who choose to buy new.

Welsh Nursing Shawl Tutotrial

by VBE Kirsteen

For International Babywearing Week I will show the traditional Welsh Nursing Shawl Carry that my Scottish mother used to carry  my sister and I when we were wee.  I am  on location at Castlerigg Stone Circle in Keswick, England.

First you take your shawl and fold it in half to form a triangle.


Put across your back with both ends coming over your shoulders.

Pick up your baby onto your hip you wish to carry on.

Take the opposite side under your arm and tuck between your legs to hold tension.  This is similar to a rebozo carry.

Take the side the baby is on over their shoulder and around their legs.  Tuck the shawl  under babies bum.

Take the piece between your legs, pull out all slack and bring that piece over babies leg and tuck up and under the opposite side.

The babies weight will keep tension on the shawl keeping them in place.


International Babywearing Week 2013: Get Carried Away Local Events!

October 7th through the 13th is International Babywearing Week! The theme this year is ‘Get Carried Away’! Our local BW Chapter has lots of events planned for the week because who doesn’t like to celebrate babywearing! So maybe we got a little carried away with the number of events but here is what we have in store for you!

First up is Flash Your Stash! This is our first event to kick off IBW and will be taking place at our usual meeting spot, the North Branch Library, October 7th at 5:30 PM. Jill will be the host of of this event. If you don’t know Jill she is a great volunteer to our group, helping handle fundraisers, welcome table and basically any day now should becoming a VBE! She is passionate about babywearing and even more so about her selection of carriers. This event is for anyone and everyone. You don’t have to be a member and you do not need to own any carriers. You can just come out and pet, touch, feel, maybe tryout some of the carriers owned by our members. The library is really great but our members have some brands, styles and fabric blends of carriers you may not be able to experience even within our large lending library! So come join us, bring all your carriers, or just you and your baby and socialize! More information for this event can be found in our Calendar. You can RSVP for this event at the following link. Don’t forget to RSVP for this event!

The next event is being hosted by our Veteran VBE and mom of 3 Courtney, and she really makes it look easy with her babywearing skills! She will be hosting a Make and Take Event at Thirty Thirty Coffee Co. in Peoria on the 8th at 5:30 PM. At this event, you will get the opportunity to make a retractable babywearing mirror to use for back carries. Don’t worry if you are not crafty, this one is easy enough for everyone! (thank goodness because I am the least crafty person you might ever meet!). The cost is $7.50. RSVP’s are needed by the 4th and the cost sent to our chapter paypal by that time. This event is open to anyone. Information can be found on our Calendar and even more information on this event can be found at the following link.

The event many have been waiting on, and its back by popular demand. WRAPPING 101! This will be hosted by our VBE’s Beth, Courtney and Sarah (and hopefully Jill, come on certification!). This event will actually be held at the Lakeview Library instead of our normal venue. It is on the 9th of October at 5:30 and should last 2 hours. If you have ever wanted to learn to wrap with a woven wrap this is the event for you! Our VBE’s will teach you about different materials, different lengths, how to choose, where to buy, plus how to use one safely. They will also demonstrate a few basic carries and be available for LOTS of hand on help to get you started off wrapping safely and correctly! You may bring your own woven or hybrid wrap (not a stretchy wrap) or you can borrow one for the meeting that are available from our lending library. A few demo dolls are also available but if you can bringing your wrappee (your baby/toddler) is even better! This course is great for an absolute beginner or if you just know a carry or 2 and want to really refine your wrapping skills! This event is open to anyone interested in wrapping. Space is limited for this event in order to provide the quality hands on help needed so please RSVP to this event using the following link!

Our knowledgeable Veteran VBE Kirsteen will be out of the country for IBW, and we sure will miss her at the events. She has agreed to post a tutorial to the blog in support and celebration of International Babywearing Week. So check back to our blog for Kirsteen’s tutorial!

Join Sarah our Newest VBE and wrap lover at Tanner’s Orchard’s for Babywearing and Apple picking! The group will gather at the pumpkin patch at 1 pm on the 12th of October. Babywearing makes all kinds of things easier – including apple picking. Come pick some apples for your pantry, enjoy fresh cider and doughnuts, and watch your kids go bananas over the petting zoo! Plus it is a great opportunity to socialize with other babywearing moms! This event is open to anyone! Please RSVP to this event by using the following link.

Our final event to Celebrate International Babywearing Week will be held on the 13th of October at 3 pm. Our group will be doing a babywearing walk at Grandview Park and we will walk along the drive. This event will be hosted by another Veteran VBE Beth. Who wouldn’t want to hang out and socialize with the knowledgeable Beth? So come out and enjoy the fall colors and spotlight babywearing in the community along the “world’s most beautiful drive” You need not be wearing a baby to join us. Feel free to bring spouses, older children, friendly dogs, anyone who wants to help show off babywearing at the end of International Babywearing Week! You can RSVP to this event at the following link.

Join us in one or all of our events to celebrate International Babywearing Week 2013, October 7th through the 13th!

Update: We are excited to welcome our newest VBE Jill! Certified just in time for IBW2013!!!

Wrapping with Rings! A Hip Carry & Front Carry

So per your request here are a few tutorials on wrapping with sling rings. I wanted to start out with a front carry and a hip carry before I move onto back wrapping with rings. So stay tuned for future blog posts and video tutorials about back wrapping with rings! Please remember when using rings for babywearing that you only use rings from as they are tested for babywearing and weight. Never use welded rings as they are not tested!

This first video tutorial is for a common hip carry called Robin’s Hip Carry. This variation is done with one sling ring. You could use a large or medium sling ring for this carry! I used a large in this video. I learned this carry thanks to our VBE Courtney. This is a great carry for nursing and also not a bad carrier for a beginner. This carry should be used for a baby with relatively good head control I think. In the video I use our lending library’s Didymos Indio Size 3. You could accomplish this carry with any size really you just may have a good bit of tail remaining if you use your base size. So here is Robin’s Hip Carry with a Ring

Robin’s Hip Carry with a Ring Video Tutorial

The next carry is a Short Cross Carry (SCC) with a Ring. I used a large sling ring in this video as well but you should be able to use a medium for this carry too! This is also a great carry to nurse in. And since this is a poppable carry its also a great beginner carry. What’s a poppable carry? Basically its a carry you can pre tie without baby in there, you can then after its tied place baby in. Later when you take baby out you could leave it tied and pop baby in again later. This can be very nice for running errands! Again I used our lending library’s Didymos Indio Size 3! A wrap of a size 3 or 4 would probably be appropriate for this carry. So here is Short Cross Carry with a Ring!

Short Cross Carry with a Ring Video Tutorial

I absolutely love using sling rings when wrapping! So look out for future tutorials on back wrapping with rings! I plan to do one on the Mermaid carry! Hopefully these video tutorials help you with learning to wrap with the use of sling rings!



Sarah’s Front Cross Carry FCC

Here we have another tutorial this time from the awesome Sarah!!


I first started wearing my 11 month old son in a stretchy wrap when he was two weeks old … and he’s been worn daily since then! Around four months we made the switch to woven wraps and around 7 months we added in a ring sling (= life changing, since it’s pretty much the only way he will nurse in public). My husband also wears him in “daddy’s carriers” (our mei tais). At the beginning, my son loved to take naps on both of us in his carriers, but now that he’s older he mostly enjoys experiencing the world from the comfort of his parents’ (fabric) arms.


Well, what started out as a tiny post on how to tuck the tails of a fcc into the cross passes for ease of tightening has accidentally turned into a step-by-step photo tutorial. Which is probably a good thing, since fcc is a GREAT carry for beginners: (1) it’s a front carry (obvy), (2) it’s (mostly) a pre-tie, so there is very little messing about with trying to hold baby AND tie a long piece of cloth onto your body, (3) it’s poppable (i.e., once you’ve got the carry tied on you, you can pop baby in and out all day), and (4) there are two ways (of which I am aware) to nurse in a fcc.

If you’re a pro, skip down to photo 20 to see the tail trick (h/t to uppymama). If, on the other hand, you’re looking for an obsessively chronicled explanation of every step of tying on a fcc, settle in for a 47 photo (omg) tute!

Video slide show

Sarah’s Front Cross Carry Video Tutorial
(You may need to pause at points during the video)

Access to the 47 picture tutorial
Sarah’s Front Cross Carry Tutorial Photos


I need both my hands! Front Wrap Cross Carry in a Moby

My very first carrier with my 2nd daughter was the Moby. The moby, wrapsody, boba wrap and DIY stretchy wraps are from what I have seen many peoples gateway carrier into the world of woven wraps. Our lending library has a few stretchy wraps available which are great for squishes. What’s a squish? Your brand new baby!

Lending Library Stretchy/Hybrid Wraps:

Boba Wrap (BRAND NEW TO OUR LENDING LIBRARY, thank you Boba!)
Beachfront Babies Water Wrap Carrier (White)
Je Porte Mon Bebe (Dark Gray/Plum)
Sleepy Wrap, now known as Boba Wrap (Light Blue)
Wrapsody Bali Baby Stretch (Kai)
Wrapsody Water (Black)

So back to me! Haha! I had this piece of never ending stretchy fabric, 7 lbs worth of baby and a book with pictures that just confused me more! I tried the carry in the book (pocket wrap cross carry or something like that) and I just couldn’t get it situated the way I needed. Next stop the internet for video tutorials and there I learned the Front Wrap Cross Carry. Later on little did I know this carry would be my first carry in a woven wrap too! That’s what I love about it! I learned it with my stretchy and when my very first woven arrived in the mail I already knew how to do something! So with this new born baby, the housework falling way behind, no clean laundry in site and oh so sick of sitting on the couch and bed with my baby, time to babywear! I need two hands! Making a sandwich and throwing in a load of laundry became so much easier in an instant! So here is a very quick video and excuse my appearance I have been cleaning and what do you know doing laundry all day but here it is! The Front Wrap Cross Carry aka FWCC in a Moby! Also just a note you can take the tails on each side after your all done and spread them.


Front Wrap Cross Carry Video Tutorial