Woven Wraps can seem intimidating at first with so much fabric, but with a little practice they’re actually pretty easy. One of the first carries you’ll do in a woven wrap is the Front Wrap Cross Carry or FWCC for short. It’s a very basic, yet extremely supportive and comfortable front carry for newborns and up. You’ll need a long wrap for this carry – a size 6 is usually standard, but I often use a size 5 and larger moms may need a size 7. Below you’ll find step by step instructions for doing a front wrap cross carry and lots of pictures using a Chimparoo Woven Wrap that I was sent to review. I hope it helps you get comfortable using yours…..or inspires you to get one!
How to do a Front Wrap Cross Carry
- 1. Start off by finding the middle. Most wraps have a tag to designate the middle. If yours doesn’t – fold the wrap in half to find the middle.
- 2. Place the middle of the wrap under your bust. You can gather it up width wise to make it easier to work with if you prefer.
- 3. Bring one side of the wrap around your back and over the opposite shoulder. In the picture below I took the left side of the wrap and brought it over my right shoulder. I doesn’t matter which side you do first.
- 4. Gather it up on your shoulder. You don’t want any fabric hanging down your arm. While doing this, just make sure you don’t twist the wrap. You want it to lay as flat as you can get it.
- 5. Do the same for the opposite side. Take the other side of the wrap, bring it around your back and over the opposite shoulder.
- 6. Gather that side up on your shoulder as neat as you can. You’ll now have an X on your back. This helps to evenly distribute your baby’s weight and make this carry very comfortable.
- 7. Picture 7 shows what your front should look like now. You’ll have one horizontal pass and the tails of the wrap coming over each shoulder.
- 8. Put your baby through the horizontal pass. I put her high up on my shoulder, bring both legs through the wrap and then sit her bottom into the fabric.
- 9. Next, you’ll want to make sure your baby has a good seat. Make sure they’re sitting deeply in the fabric with their knees up higher than their butt. You’ll want to reach down and make sure that there is some fabric coming up in between the two of you and that the fabric is spread under your baby from knee to knee. Pull the top rail of the wrap all the way up to the back of their neck or at least to their armpits if they prefer to have their arms out.
- 10. Now you’ll begin to tighten the wrap. The important thing to remember is that the top rail of fabric across your baby is controlled by the side that is closest to your neck and the bottom rail across your baby corresponds to the side of the fabric that is closest to your shoulder. It’s hard to tell in these pictures, but the Chimparoo Iris has 2 different colored rails. One is blue and one is purple. It helps a ton if you get confused. Start out by tightening the top rail on one side. I like to pull the inside of that piece up and out as you can see in picture 10 and give a few shoulder shrugs to help guide the wrap.
- 11. Now you’ll tighten the rest of the width of the wrap on that same side. You’ll want to hold the tension in one hand so you don’t undo what you’ve already done. You’ll use one hand to pull the wrap tight strand by strand and then transfer it to the other hand to hold it tight.
- 12 and 13. Now you’ll repeat the exact same thing on the other side. The only difference is that now you’ll need to hold the side you already tightened in one hand (or put it between your knees) while you work with the other side.
- 14 and 15. Cross the two ends under your baby’s butt, bring it under their legs and tie in a double knot behind you. At this point you could be done if you wanted. This is great for warm weather since there’s only one layer of fabric over your baby, but it’s not so great if your child is a leaner – as you can see in photo 15. She dropped her chalk!
- 16. To provide additional support (or warmth) you can spread out the cross (the X) of fabric on your front. You’ll start with the piece that’s underneath and spread it out from knee to knee and up over their shoulder. Repeat with the other piece that’s on top.
- 17. You’re done! That’s a front wrap cross carry! I like to do a few things that aren’t shown in the pictures to maximize comfort. I like to check in a mirror (or the side of a car or just use my hands if neither of those are around) to make sure that the X on my back is nice and flat and spread out. If I’ll be wearing this for a few hours then I also like to sandwich the shoulders instead of having the fabric just bunched up. To do this, you’ll pull all the fabric from your shoulder down over your arm to spread it out. Then, you’ll bring the end that’s on your arm back up and even with the end that’s by your neck. Doing this, essentially folds the wrap in half. Then you’ll repeat on the other side.
Chimparoo Woven Wraps
Chimparoo is a Canadian based company that makes several different baby carrier options. I think they’re most well known for their affordable wraps, but they also make ring slings and mei tais out of wrap fabric, 2 soft structured carriers, and a stretchy wrap.
The Chimparoo Woven Wrap is made out of 100% cotton and is woven in cross twill – which just refers to the pattern of the weave. It has some diagonal stretch, but none lengthwise – so it’s extremely supportive (birth to about 3 or 4ish) and easy to adjust. The edges are hemmed, and like I said above, each rail is a different color (on the Iris anyway – not sure about the other color ways). There’s a tag to designate the middle of the wrap for ease in starting off different carries and the ends are slightly tapered to aid in tying. One taper has some warnings and guides sewn in, which I happen to dislike the look of, but it doesn’t effect tying at all. I’m sure it’s a Canadian requirement for them to be there.
They offer 4 different sizing options that refers to the length of the wrap – the width is the same on all of them (.70 meters). They have a Short (2.5 meters or about a size 2), Kangaroo (3.6 meters or about a size 4), Regular (4.5 meters or about a size 6), and an Extra Long (5.2 meters or about a size 7). The wrap I have is the Regular and is what most people can do most carriers with. You’ll size up or down based on your body size and the type of carries you want to do, but it’s a great size to start out with. And note that it will shrink slightly the first time you wash it (either hand wash and air dry or gentle cold wash in your washer and dry on low), but that’s accounted for when woven and cut.
Chimparoo has an extensive online guide and an included 75 minute DVD to help you learn many different carries. I find that this is such a great resource to have on hand because the only way to get better at wrapping is to wrap and practice – so I love that they’ve made it so easy to learn. The DVD and print instructions show you a variety of wrapping techniques for newborn through preschooler on your front, hip, and back.
I often recommend the Chimparoo Woven Wrap to beginners in my BWI group for several reasons. First, it’s soft right out of the box. This isn’t the case with the majority of wraps. Most wraps require you to “break” them in and can be quite rough at first. Not so with the Chimparoo. It’s buttery soft right off the bat. Second, they’re affordable. Most people just starting out with wrapping don’t want to spend a ton just in case they end up not liking it. So at around $100 for a long wrap – it’s an unbeatable price. And lastly, they just seem to be so easy to wrap with. They glide smoothly and are just so moldable. It’s really just a great beginner wrap and will last you forever – really. As long as you take care of it and wash according to the instructions – it will last through all your children and you can pass it on when you’re done or save it for your children’s children.
You can purchase a Chimparoo Woven Wrap, like the one I reviewed, on the Chimparoo Website or select retailers for between $74.95 and 105.95 depending on size in 7 different colors (Iris is pictured here). The Regular size that I have is $97.95. If you know anything about wraps then you’ll know that this is a STEAL.
Want to win one? Make sure you go and enter the Fall Back into Babywearing Event that I have going on right now! A Chimparoo Woven Wrap is up for grabs in the size and color of your choosing. Enter HERE through 11/3/13.
Have you ever used a woven wrap? If so, what’s you’re favorite carry? Have you tried a Chimparoo? If you were to win what size and color would you choose?