Babywearing is a journey, and like all journeys, everyone’s is a little different. So, when it comes time to figure out when you should babywear and what carrier is right for you and your child, it is a unique process for each individual. As you continue to educate yourself on the benefits of babywearing, the types of carriers and the beautiful fabrics to carry your loved one in, we ultimately encourage you to always do what is comfortable for you and your child.
In order to help you make the most educated decisions possible, we have created a comprehensive resource to help you begin your babywearing journey. An exciting and heartwarming voyage awaits you. Let’s get started.
When can I start babywearing?
Babywearing can begin from birth, up to four years old, or when both parent and baby are comfortable. A common misconception is that babywearing is for infants, or that if you do not begin when they are young, learning to babywear later on can be difficult.
At Artipoppe, we encourage curious parents with children up to the age of four to give babywearing a try. Amongst the beautiful benefits of keeping your child close, babywearing also eliminates the need to lug around strollers and carriers. Read more about the Benefits of Babywearing.
If your infant was born with a low birth weight due to being premature or a twin, or if your infant has respiratory illness or other respiratory problems, you should always consult a professional about the best way to babywear. These babies require a little more care at the beginning.
How long can I wear my baby?
Babywearing is a wonderful journey to take with your child. Some parents begin babywearing from day one, while others start later on. At Artipoppe, we encourage parents to babywear so long as they and their child are comfortable.
For some parents this is when their child becomes too heavy, no matter how thick and supportive the wrap or carrier is or how secure of a carry they use. For other parents, it is when their child no longer enjoys being carried. Each family will have a different baby wearing journey, and it is important to listen to both your body and your child’s needs. In addition, different Artipoppe products are meant for different stages. While some woven wraps and ring slings are meant for only newborns or for heavier babies, many are designed to be used from birth through toddlerhood. The Zeitgeist Baby Carrier is suitable from 7 to 20 kilograms. We are developing a version for smaller babies and a version for toddlers too.
Front versus back babywearing?
If you begin babyearing when your child is an infant, you will tuck them close to your chest. This is due to the fact that your child cannot support his or her own head, so keeping them on your chest (usually in a Front Wrap Cross Carry to begin with if using a woven wrap), close and secure is important.
As the baby books tell you, once your child reaches around the age of six months they have usually achieved neck support. At this time, you can also start wearing your baby on your back, in what is often called the Rucksack Carry. This allows your curious little one to watch the world around them as you go about your day. (If you are an experienced wrapper and know the right carrying methods to use it is also safe to wear a newborn baby on the back, however we do not advise this without experience or help from a babywearing consultant.)
Most of the Artipoppe wraps, ring slings and the Zeitgeist baby carrier can transition from the front carry to back carry seamlessly. The thicker woven wraps will have no trouble supporting children up to 20 kgs (or 44 lbs), which is about three to four years of age. Our wraps are made to support parent and baby until both are comfortable.
Our lighter woven wraps, especially those made for newborns, are perfect for those precious first months up to a year or around 10 kgs (22 lbs). But, once your baby begins growing, supporting their head, as well as weighing and moving more, a thicker woven wrap for back and hip carrying will be more beneficial.
We have also created our own, personalized guides to babywearing. You can browse our Babywearing with Confidence tips and Instruction Guide to learn how to tie a Front Wrap Cross Carry as well as a Ring Sling.
Choosing the perfect woven wrap or ring sling
Half the fun of shopping for a babywearing wrap is browsing through the various bespoke fabrics. Artipoppe has a myriad of blends, patterns and colors, but generally, our products are separated into the categories of Woven Wraps versus Ring Slings.
Woven wraps have just enough diagonal stretch to provide your baby with wonderful support and a comfortable mold. Our woven wraps are also made of a variety of incredible fibers like cotton, wool, silk, cashmere and more. They also provide the optimial versatility in the baby carrier as the wrap can grow with your child, as you can adjust the different types of carries and knots.
Ring slings can also be used from birth to toddlerhood, however ring slings are often handiest for short trips as they are quicker to tie and untie. However, many mothers often find woven wraps easier to learn how to use than ring slings.
You can read more about the difference between wraps and ring slings (here). Artipoppe only produces jacquard woven wraps, while some of the different patterns or blends provide more stretch than others, we do not provide traditional stretchy wraps. We have explained the difference in our content piece on Woven and Stretchy Wraps, which we encourage you to explore. You can also learn more about the fibres we use and how to care for them by reading our Blends and Care guide.
Woven wrap sizing
After deciding on your ideal woven wrap, blend and style, it is time to figure out what size is best. The right size depends on a number of factors, not only your body size, but also the size of your child and the length of the fabric needed for your intended carries.
The size 6 wrap is our most recommended size, as it is usually a great size for beginners and can easily transition with your child as they grow from infancy to toddlerhood. If you are quite petite, though, we suggest a size 5. And if you are very tall or wear a larger clothing size, a size 7 will suffice. The smaller sizes are generally for more advanced carries, which require less fabric.
We have also created a Size Guide which we always suggest browsing when choosing your perfect baby wrap. All of our ring slings, or wraps with slings, are shorter than the woven wraps and are one size fits all. Many of our collections come as either a woven wrap or ring sling which you can choose when picking a size.
The lifetime of a woven baby wrap
Babywearing can last until your child reaches the age of four, or until you and your child are no longer comfortable.
Some parents begin with a thinner woven wrap like the Argus Lovebird or Arrow Voss which are great for beginners because it is easy to use can be tied before tucking the baby inside. A woven wrap for newborns is ideal for the first three months, but can be used until your baby is 12 months or up to about 10 kgs (22 lbs), and after that you will notice that the fabric will start pulling heavier on your shoulders. At that point it is advisable to switch to a heavier wrap which will be more comfortable in helping distribute the child’s weight on your body like the Argus Not Your Babe or the Vishnu Soul.
If you are looking to purchase a wrap that will transition throughout your babywearing journey, from birth through toddlerhood, a medium-weight woven wrap from the Ready to Wear collection is the ideal choice. Many of our Limited Editions are also suitable for all, this is usually mentioned in the product descriptions. Woven wraps are also the only type of carrier that will allow you to carry a baby in all three carrying positions – front, hip, and back – both safely and comfortably.
As you and your child progress through your babywearing journey, your wrap will do so alongside you. While our fabrics are made with incredibly strong fibres and woven with the utmost care, it is normal to see beauty marks appear as the fabric goes through daily wear. To learn more about your fabric’s unique design, as well as how to care for the life of your baby wrap, we suggest reading our article on the Story of Our Fabric.
Babywearing is a wonderful bonding, and transportation method for you and your child year-round. But, one of the most common questions new babywearers ask is about those hot, summer days and whether or not they will be comfortable.
Ring slings and the Zeitgeist baby carrier are the two favorites for the warm summer days and tropical destinations. What is surprising to many is that there are woven wraps that are also ideal for the warmer months. These breathable fiber wraps boast the same benefits of all our woven wraps – just enough stretch and great support – but they are made with temperature regulating fibers. During the warmer times of year, you might want to opt for one of our linen, hemp, silk or cotton blends. Furthermore, Artipoppe’s seaweed blends are spectacular in warmer climates because of their delicate cool touch and airy character. Read more about Summer Babywearing FAQs.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a woven wrap or ring sling that will transition with you throughout the seasons, a cashmere or wool blend is also a great option. These natural temperature regulators will keep you and your baby comfortable throughout the seasons.
Finally, if you live in a region that experiences particularly cold weather, a woven wrap benefit is that it adds layers of warmth for you and your child. When searching for a woven wrap specifically for the cold, winter months, cashmere, alpaca or merino wool blends are often favorites. These fibres will keep you and your baby warm, while still providing breathability that prevents overheating. Read more about Fall & Winter Babywearing.
At Artipoppe, we agree with the babywearing community consensus that babywearing from infancy through the age of four is healthy. But, the golden rule is to babywear until you and your child feel comfortable. If you are wrapping correctly with a nice, thick woven wrap but child’s weight begins to bother you, listen to your body.
It is also important to always consult a professional if you feel that you are not wearing your baby correctly, or need some tips to make it more comfortable for you and your child. All Artipoppe products arrive with a brochure with instructions and guidelines for how to baby wear, please make sure to follow instructions for your own comfort and the safety of your baby. You will find more information and videos on our website, for example our babywearing guide here and tutorial videos here.
The wonder of Artipoppe carriers
All Artipoppe fabrics for the woven wraps, ring slings or Zeitgeist baby carriers are created exclusively with the Jacquard weaving process.
Woven wraps are, like their name implies, wrapped around the babywearing parent and fixated in a variety of ways to support the child. You can wear the baby on your front, attached to your hip, or on your back with a woven wrap.
A ring sling, on the other hand, is a rectangular piece of woven cloth like the wrap, but it has two rings sewn to one end. By threading the free end of the fabric back through the rings, you can wear the fabric as a sling looped around your body to support your child.
Our newest addition to the collection is the Artipoppe Zeitgeist Baby Carrier. Unlike our woven wraps and ring slings, the Zeitgeist Baby Carrier has padding and buckles built in for quick, simple assembly. This is a beautiful option for parents who enjoy the flexibility of a wrap carrier but desire more structure.
Enjoying the babywearing journey
As you transition into babywearing – whether you’re a first time parent or seasoned professional – the most important thing to keep in mind is your and your baby’s comfort and happiness. We hope we have brought you one step close to the loving intimacy that is babywearing, and that this babywearing FAQ guide has helped you hand pick the best wrap for you and your child.