Your beautiful new woven wraps arrives.You pull it out of the package and start to wrap, but it’s a battle. The fabric is so stiff that that you can’t really work with it. It won’t glide across your body, you can’t pull the slack out, and the seat won’t stay under baby’s bottom! What is going on, is your wrap broken?
Your wrap is fine, it just needs to be broken in! What does this mean exactly? It means the fibers in the woven yarn need to be softened up so they are easier to use.
Most wraps are easy to break in. Some are soft right off the loom and don’t need much. Some needs lots of work to break in. It all depends on the weave and fiber used.
How can you break in your wrap? Here are a few tips!
Wash it. Most brand new wraps come to you in what is called “loom state”. This means it was pulled straight off the loom it was woven on, packaged up, and eventually mail to you. There are natural oils on the fibers that need to be washed off so the wrap will be soft and flexible. Check out this awesome post I did for Babywearing International of Portland on washing woven wraps.
Wear it. This is the best way to break in any wrap. This is how the manufacturer intended the fibers to be broken in. The correct spots will break in, without adding unnecessary stress to the fibers.This option can also be a pain in the butt if you are wrap is really stiff.
Braid it. Well, more like multiple slip knots. It’s a gentle but effective way to soften the fibers. Here is how I like to do it!
Work it. Run the wrap through some rings, twist it gently while you watch tv, or let your kids pretend they are mummies.
Hammock it. Tie a secure knot around your kitchen table and let your kids lounge in style! I wanted to note, this is best for toddlers and old who know how to get in and our easily. They also have more developed airways and can more easily remove fabric from their face. Also never leave a kid of any age unsupervised in a wrap hammock.
Give it time. Some wraps will not break in easily. These are sometimes referred to as “beasts”, because they are rough and hard to tame. Do not let this scare you off though! Give it some time and patience, and you may be surprised! My favorite wrap took over a year to break in. It’s my main teaching carrier now and I will never part with it.
If you try all these, and still are unhappy with the fibers, you can always sell it. And don’t feel bad! It’s okay to not like any carrier for any reason. There is a wide variety of wraps on the market today. It’s reasonable that you will not love many of them. Sell it, and try another one!