Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Wrap Up to our Wrapping Workshop!

Our wrapping workshop on January 31, 2015 was a great success! Thank you to all of you that were able to join us. The VBE's had a fun time teaching a variety of woven wrap carries and we have heard great feedback from the attendees as well who went. Here are some photos from that day.
We will be doing another wrapping workshop this spring so keep watch for when that occurs. Of course, BWI of NCIL members get free registration and the chance to sign up ahead of non-members so it's one of those nice perks of having a membership.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Best Methods for Breaking in a Wrap


One of the most common questions new wrap owners ask is how to break in a wrap.

What exactly does it mean to break in a wrap?
Picture that favorite t-shirt or sweatshirt hanging in your closet. You know, the one you have had since before you can even remember and could potentially guarantee you a spot on “What Not to Wear”? It's soft, floppy, fits you just right and is so comfy!  Its seen lots of love and wear in its time which has gotten it to that perfect wearable state it's in now. The same is true for wraps and even other carriers in some cases. Once they are worn and loved for a period of time they can reach a new level of comfort and performance.
Below are several methods you can use to help break in a wrap.

Pre and post wash of a new wrap. What a difference!
  • Wash, dry and iron your wrap - The biggest leap in softening a wrap happens after its first wash. Washing before using your wrap also helps set the fibers and remove anything left over from the manufacturing process, especially when talking about wraps that arrive in loom state.  Generally speaking cotton, linen and hemp wraps can be put in the dryer on a low setting, use dryer balls for extra help with softening, or you can hang them to dry. Follow your wash and dry with an ironing and you will usually notice a considerable difference in the feel of your wrap.  ***Always follow manufacturer instructions for washing, drying and ironing.  More delicate fibers such as silk and wool require different care than described above.***

  • Braiding or knot dragging - This method works when the fibers of the wrap pass over each other to help soften them up during the act of braiding.  A common misconception is that having the wrap braided helps break it in but that isn’t the case.   It’s the act of braiding and having the material pass over itself that helps break in the fibers.  A related method is to create a knot with your wrap and pull the length of the wrap through the knot.  I show both of these methods in the video below, a slip knot is another good knot to use for knot dragging (not shown). These methods work best when done repeatedly.

 

  • Use it as a blanket or sit on it – Cuddle up on the couch with it, use it as a blanket while you sleep, sit on it while you’re in the car.   

  • Run it through a set of slingrings – Thread it through the rings like you would a ringsling and pull the length of your wrap through.   
 
  • Wrap with it  – Last but certainly not least, use your wrap! This is by far the best method to breaking in your wrap to get it to those perfect soft, gliding, easy to wrap with qualities.  It is so fun to be able to see your wrap evolve into a well broken in piece of cloth, it makes for a memorable journey!

 Breaking in wraps sometimes gets hyped up into something more than it needs to be.  Don’t let it intimidate you!   It doesn’t have to involve extreme measures or be something you have to do before your wrap can even be used.   There are some caregivers that  like the experience of having a new wrap and watching it evolve.  Others like to have a wrap that comes to them already broken in.  This is a great opportunity to take advantage of the secondhand market where you can easily find a wrap that has been well loved and broken in already.  There are also many wraps that arrive really soft and floppy brand new right out of the box and don’t require anything more than a quick wash to get that well broken in feeling.   Whatever method you choose, whether you buy used or new, remember that one of the most important things about wrapping or wearing your child is to enjoy all the memories you create through your babywearing  journey and  cherish all those cuddles!

Happy Babywearing!