Wrap sizes

Woven wrap sizing is an issue that easily overwhelms novice babywearers and our local babywearing group gets regular questions about wrap sizing. Questions are ok. What saddens me is when I see a mama buy the wrong size wrap, then have to resell it in order to purchase the right size one. So much snuggle-time wasted for an issue that could have been easily avoided!

While many seasoned babywearers will own wraps in every size just because, most parents will want to invest in one or two versatile woven wraps. Picking the right size right away will determine whether they will take to wrapping or not.

The first principle of woven wraps is that you can chop them but you can’t grow them. When in doubt, go with the larger size. The second principle of woven wraps is that while they are the most versatile carrier of the babywearing world, not one size will allow you to do everything well. (Hey, how do you think we end-up with a stash??) The goal of sizing is thus to find the best size of wrap for the kind of use you want to make of it. The third principle of babywearing is that the best size is the size you will use, or, in other words , all tastes are in nature. Some petite mamas prefer to wrap in oodles of layers, some fluffier mamas can make frugal wonders with a shorter wrap. Whatever floats your boat: this is not a salvation issue.

Nursing my 15  month-old daughter on the go in a size 2 woven wrap (rebozo with a reverse slip knot).

Nursing my 15 month-old daughter on the go in a size 2 woven wrap (rebozo with a reverse slip knot).

The wider world of woven wraps has adopted the size charts initially introduced by baby wrap Grande-Dame Dydimos. Wraps come in 6 standard size going from 2 to 7. Sizes 1 and 8 are also on the market but rarely seen. Each size corresponds to a different wrap length. Width varies from 45 cm (12″) to 75 cm (30″) but is rarely advertised.

Size 2 is 2.7 m
Size 3 is 3.2 m
Size 4 is 3.7 m
Size 5 is 4.2 m
Size 6 is 4.7 m
Size 7 is 5.2 m

Some wrap-makers treat these measurements as guidelines and we often see “long” or “short” wraps of any given size. I once had two size 5 wraps from Dydimos. I could (just) tie a full double hammock with Marigold and couldn’t even make the tails touch with Petrol Hemp Indio. I also have a size 7 Oscha linen grad that measures almost 6m.

This is a double hammock with a size 5 Dydimos Marigold. I gained at least 10 lbs since this picture was taken, I don't think I could pull it off again.

This is a double hammock with a size 5 Dydimos Marigold. I gained at least 10 lbs since this picture was taken, I don’t think I could pull it off again.

The way I like to explain wrap sizing to mamas who are woven curious is to split sizes in two groups. Sizes 2,3,4 are short wraps used for short wrap carries. Sizes 5,6,7 are long wraps used for long wrap carries. The first determinant of which size you need, is the type of carries that you want to do.

Short wraps are used for hip carries and single shoulder carries such as the Poppins. They can also be used for simple back carries such as the ruck or the Jordan and petite mamas will even be able to use them for layered carries such as the Double Hammock. Short wraps are easier to carry around and use in malls or parking lots but they often exclude the most supportive type of carries one would favour for long-haul babywearing (hiking, sightseeing) or if you expect to carry your baby over her nap time for instance. I am a medium-sized mama (medium tops, nursing bras in the C-cup range, size 8-10 bottoms with a significant twin muffin-top) and my most versatile wrap is a size 4: I can use it for one-shoulder carries and a few back carries like a double hammock tied at shoulder, a reinforced ruck tied Tibetan and a Jordan’s back carry.

Doube hammock tied at shoulder with a size 4 Easycare Rainbow

Double hammock tied at shoulder with a size 4 Easycare Rainbow

Long wrap carries are what new babywearers try to master first because they are more supportive and the multiple layering is more forgiving of mistakes. However, a 5.2m-long wrap can be intimidating. Choosing a wrap that is way too long may mean a steeper learning curve; on the other hand, new wrappers use-up a lot of fabric: choosing a wrap that is not long enough may limit a mama’s learning ability. I can now use my size 4 wrap in ways that required a size 5 or 6 not that long ago. As you get better, you will become more efficient.

Reinforced ruck with a Tibetan tie with a size 4 Dydimos linen Indio

Reinforced ruck with a Tibetan tie with a size 4 Dydimos linen Indio

Once you have an idea of the type of carries you want to use (you can learn more by using this helpful chart or the Dydimos sizing chart ) you will want to choose a wrap according to your own size. I like to split the short wraps and long wraps into small, medium, large shirt sizes where the lower number corresponds to a small shirt size and the higher number corresponds to a large shirt size. In other words, if you are a petite mama with her heart set on a long woven, you will choose a size 5. Average size mamas are usually satisfied with a size 6 wrap and fluffier mamas will need a 7 to take full advantage of their woven wrap. The same goes for the short wraps, where a size 2 corresponds to a small shirt size, a size 3 is a medium and a size 4 is a large. A large short wrap. Makes sense?

Basic ruck tied under bum with a size 2 wrap

Basic ruck tied under bum with a size 2 wrap

Poppins hip carry with a size 4 wrap

Poppins hip carry with a size 4 wrap

When in doubt, go with the longer size. And remember that wraps have an excellent resale value. If you buy a wrap that is too long or too short, you should be able to resell it for most of what you paid.

A big girl (35+lbs) in a size 6 wrap double hammock.

A big girl (35+lbs) in a size 6 wrap double hammock.

These guidelines are useful for mamas who are hoping to buy one versatile wrap. Many wrappers like to own wraps in different sizes to have a range of possibilities. I built my stash jumping sizes by two: I started with a size 6, then got a size 4 and I now have a size 2 on the way. I’m also keeping two size 7 for conversion into custom preschooler-sized soft-structured carriers: I expect that we’ll be carrying the twins for a good long while!

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44 thoughts on “Wrap sizes

  1. Thank you for your blog! πŸ™‚ Really helped me decide which wovens to pick (yes I went a little crazy & got 3 on my first order!). They’re on their way to me now & I couldn’t be more excited!!!!!! ❀
    Awesome pictures btw!

  2. I have just had a brand new Lenny Lamb Bamboo/Cotton blend size 7 (5.2m) delivered this morning and after reading your blog (decided to do last minute research AFTER buying!) I am worried it’s not the right one for me 😦 I’m 5ft 2 and a size 10 (uk) and think I may have bought one that’s too long…What carry would you recommend to get the most out of such a long wrap? I’m looking for mainly backcarries with a 19lb, 14 month old. Have only used ring slings up until now. Thanks x

    • Hi Alicia! Thanks for the visit and I hope that I can help.

      By your size, it seems to me that a size 7 will be long for you. I think that you would have been better off with a 6. That said, you can still use it and wrap it around you or have long tails leftover.

      To get the most out of a long wrap, you will want to look into multi-layered carries. My favorites are the double hammock (look it up with a “Tibetan tie” to make it even more supportive and use more tails!), the Secure High Back Carry and Christina’s ruckless back carry.

      With a child the age and size of yours, multi-layered back carries will be preferable. As your baby gets older, he may no longer want to be carried for long periods. My twins for instance, stay in the wrap for less time than it takes to tie a double hammock. So I bought a short wrap for quick ups and down. But at 14 months, they were still in the carrier for longer periods and the support offered by a long wrap was necessary.

      I hope this helps!

  3. I found this post through a google image search and am wondering…in the picture where you are breastfeeding your daughter in the rebozo, do you have (or could you direct me to) a tutorial on how to tie the wrap this way? I’m very new to baby wrapping! Thank you!

  4. Thanks for your blog, this is very helpful information and the pictures are beautiful and inspiring! I am brand new to baby wearing. My husband and I are expecting twins in March (our first babies:) and I purchased 2 long woven wraps (7s) along with 2 very inexpensive long gauze wraps. I also just bought a medium elaroo wich seems less intimidating to practice with. I have been practicing with stuffed animals, but the long wraps seem very long for me (I’m 5’10” usually size 8 or 10). Was hoping to tandem wear but wondering if tandem wearing with 2 shorter wraps would be better for a newbie like me? Also wondering if I should try a ring sling or short wrap with a slip knot for easy in and out as well as nursing?

    • Hi! Congrats on the twins! It’s an amazing adventure, I promise!

      Tandem wearing with one wrap has its advantages and inconvenience. I tandem wrapped a lot with one wrap but I have since come to believe that two carriers (one per baby) is probably safer. I started wrapping when my babies were 10 months-old, so sturdy enough to take a bit of manhandling πŸ˜‰

      When wrapping with one wrap, the whole arrangement is less bulky, especially on the shoulders. However, both babies go up and both babies come down. If you need to nurse one or if one wants out and the other is sleeping, you’re screwed.

      In terms of sizing, you will need a 7 to wrap both, especially if you are more on the size 10 side. I was able to wrap with a size 6 (I am the same size, a bit shorter) but could barely breathe.

      For infants, nothing beats a stretchy wrap like the Boba. You can’t use it for back carries but it’s great on the front. I made a babywearing video using a stretchy wrap and an Ergo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qije4_HpeqY

      The Ergo back carry would not be appropriate for an infant unable to sit-up unassisted but you could use a woven at the back and a stretchy at the front.

      When the babies are tiny, you can place both in one ring sling on your front or in one stretchy wrap. I am a big fan of the ring sling (especially the wrap conversion ring sling -WCRS-) and I think that every mother needs one (or two!)

      I hope this helps! Don’t hesitate to comment again if you have more questions.

      • Thank you! I do have a boba wrap, so that should be nice for infants, but as for tandem wearing when they are a bit bigger, it does seem to make sense to use 2 wraps for easier in and out. I am considering having my bb slen pineapple size 7 converted into 1 ring sling and a short wrap (if that is possible?). Thanks for the video link! That helps a lot. Your babies are beautiful:)

      • A size 7 is 5.2m and a ring sling is 2m. That leaves 3.2m or a size 3 wrap. A size 3 is short enough to do a basic ruck tied in front and other rebozo-type carries. I love BB Slen Pineapple!

  5. This helped me a little more but I’m still unsure. I’m ready to dive into the world of woven wraps. We’ve had a Moby & Boba SSC but I’ve been itching for a woven. My 2 yr old gets worn occasionally but we’re expecting another in May. I’m 4’10” & 90 lbs when not pregnant so would I be able to get away with a size 4 or 5? I love back carries. Out of curiosity..is there a happy medium for my short self & 5’10 160ish husband to share a wrap? Lol

    • Hi Frances!

      It always depends on the sort of carries you want to do.

      With your size, you could definitely get away with a 4 and have a lot of options in terms of supportive back carries. For front carries, you can even get a bit shorter. But since new wrappers tend to use more wrap, you may want to go with a 5 and downsize when you get comfortable wrapping, or when you have a better idea of your likes and dislikes.

      A size 4 or 5 will give you and your husband some options but they won’t be the same! For instance, at his size, he will be able to use a size 4 wrap for a ruck tied in front or a reinforced rear rebozo ruck, or a double hammock rebozo. You will be able to use your 4 for a full double hammock. It would be a long wrap for you and a short wrap for him, if this makes any sense.

      I hope this helps!

      • That helps a lot, thank you! He’s still unsure about needing a wrap but I know he will enjoy using it once in a while. He’s pretty awesome when it comes to wearing our babies πŸ™‚ now that we’ve got the sizing narrowed down, it’s time to narrow down wraps. Thanks again!

  6. Hi Veronique!

    We love your blog thank you so much!

    We are having twins and want to get a couple of different carriers. We’ve decided on a Moby but also want a ring sling. We are thinking about the Maya.

    For the Maya wrap, what size would you recommend for tandem carrying twins? I’m 5’4″ and my husband is 6’2″. Or is there a better ring sling you recommend? Thank you!

    Charlotte

    • Hi Charlotte! Congrats on the twins!

      For carrying twins in a ring sling, I don’t recommend getting a larger sling because you can’t carry both like this for very long. I stopped when my twins were about 12 lbs each and my medium Maya Wrap ring sling was still big enough. Having all that bulk in the front is not easy and it doesn’t really free-up your hands anyway.

      You can wear both in one ring sling or one Moby while they are little. As they get bigger, it’s better to wear them front/back in two carriers or one long woven wrap. There is a bit of a lapse during which they are still too small for back carries but too big for the ring sling (unless you are proficient with a woven wrap. Back carries in a buckle carrier are not appropriate until baby has enough head control to sit-up unassisted). At that point, you can wear them both in two ring slings (one on each shoulder, super uncomfortable but better than nothing if they need to be held at the same time).

      I recommend that each parent get a carrier they love and are comfortable with. Tandem babywearing can be a life saver but to me, it was always a last ditch option. If I had another person around (even kids as young as 6), I would have someone else hold a baby instead if wearing both. No carrier was designed for tandem wearing so anything you do will feel “jerry-rigged” and a bit weird!

      Good luck and write back if you have questions!

      • Many thanks – We’ll go with a medium Maya for now and experiment with what we each like!

  7. Hi! While I have a 1 year old (20 lbs), I am a little new to carriers. We have an Ergo that we love, but I also am looking into wraps. I love the convenience of putting him on my back, but don’t like the waist belt of the Ergo when he is that way. I think I will mostly use a wrap for back carries and would want really supportive ones as I do have some back problems. My question is this – I am 5’4″ and about 115 pounds. A size 5 has been recommended to me, but I am afraid I might prefer a 6. What do you think? (By the way, I recently found your blog and it has been so informative and helpful and enjoyable to read. Thanks for sharing!)

    • Hi! I think that a 5 will be plenty of fabric for you. Non-pregnant I am about 5’7″ and 160 lbs and I can use a 6 comfortably. I can even use some size 5 wraps that measure long. I can do the same carries with my wraps now that my “babies” are closer to 30lbs as I could when they were 20lbs. Your size is more relevant than your baby’s size when it comes to wrapping. In my opinion.

      Thanks for the visit! I’m glad I could help!

  8. Hi Veronique!

    Quick question, My DD is 4 months at the end of the month, I am a small size 10 on top. Would a 5 be ok to use? It will mainly be used for FWCC. I’ve seen the most Delish wrap but its only available in a 5..

    (BTW I am a complete novice with wovens… I have a Stretchy wrap at the moment)

    thank you

    • Hi! I think that a 5 will do. I could do. FWCC with a 5 and I’m between an 8 and a 10. I wear medium shirts. Do you have a chance to try a 5 before buying?

  9. I am expecting twins in November. I already have a moby, ring sling, and ssc’s and am looking to get a woven wrap. It sounds like i’m slightly larger than you (5’6, 170lbs) and am trying to decide between a 6 and a 7. I was initially thinking that I would be wrapping them in the same wrap although now that I’ve been reading your posts it might be more convenient to wear them in two carriers. If I get the 6 could i still tandem wear them on the front for the first couple of months? I’m leaning towards a 6 but really have no idea and would like to purchase a wrap well before they arrive so I can’t test them both out.

    Thanks!

    • Hi and my apologies for taking so long to reply. I just gave birth to our 9th baby 10 days ago. Congratulations on the twins!

      I am probably close to 170 lbs right now and I I can still use my size 6 wraps. I think that you should be able to tandem wear at the front with a 6 while they are little. When you start wearing front / back (if you ever do), you will need a size 7 to do it with one wrap. But to wear one baby at a time, a 6 is probably all you need.

      Hope this helps! Let me know how things are going!

      Veronique

  10. Thanks so much for this informative website. However, I have a question. I am trying to figure out what Didymos Indio (cotton/hemp) I should order and I am having a hard time. My toddler is 25 pounds and I am a size 8-10. I want to be able to use this wrap during pregnancy with my toddler as well as with an infant. Is size 4 a good size? I have a size 6 ellaroo already. I want something that I can easily do out on the go with my toddler and won’t be too long. I don’t like tying the wraps on my stomach and like tibetan ties. Should size 4 be enough? Thank you!

    • I can do a Tibetan tie with a size 4 but it doesn’t leave much. Thick wraps wrap a little short so it depends if the indio is on the thin or thick side. But my guess is that it will probably be enough.

      I used my size 4 wrap a lot while pregnant. My favorite carry was the RRRR with a Candy cane chest belt. It stays clear of the belly and is quite supportive. It doesn’t have a wriggle proof pass (the under one leg, over the other pass. (It’s a ruck reinforced with a rebozo pass) so it’s not ideal for toddlers who like to plank and get out of the wrap . But I love that carry.

  11. I’ve just come across your posts and have lost myself reading up on all the answers to questions I’ve been pondering for a couple of months! My baby is 5 months old and apprx 18-19lb and since he was a few weeks old he has on/off LIVED in my stretchy wrap (at one point it was the only thing that soothed him in his first few miserable colicky months!) He’s now outgrowing the stretchy wrap and I’ve been looking at woven wraps and mei tai’s and have only been considering the latter as woven wraps seemed to be a complete mine field- thanks to your posts I’m going to go for the woven wrap that I actually wanted to start with! (I’m thinking a size 6 linen/ cotton blend second hand if possible.) I also noted that there appears to be ways to nurse while wrapped which I’d heard but never found the right position for so that’s my next search to make life another little bit easier! Thanks very much!!

    • Hi! Thanks for your message! I’m glad this helped! Nursing in a woven wrap is possible but there’s a bit of a learning curve. You’ll need to try different carries to see what works for you and your body type (read: boob shape and size). But with a 5-6 month old, it shouldn’t be too hard. Have fun! Let me know what you get!

  12. Hey! This was one of the most interesting and educating blogs I’ve read on wraps. There are so many out there and so many sizes. I’m looking into carrying twins with mine so I was thinking a size 7. I’m fairly tall and slim but was thinking I’d need the extra length carrying two. What would you recommend based on your experience using them?

    • Hi ! So glad you found the blog usefull! I think it depends on your base size. I recommend going one size over your base size for tandem wrapping. I used a size 7 for my twins. I could eek out a carry with a 6 but without room to breathe πŸ™‚ I think that you can’t go wrong with a 7 unless you are very petite. You do need extra length for tandem babywearing.

  13. I’m new to this wraping thing and ring slings and stuff I’m 5’2 and 182 lbs what size should I get I was thinking a size 6 but wasn’t sure I have a 5week 11lb baby

    • So with your height and weight, I’m picturing you as round-shaped (I’m the same weight but taller, that’s why) Do you carry most of your weight around the bust? If yes, then I would definitely recommend a 6. If you are a shirt size L or XL, you might want to borrow a size 7 to try. It might be too long though so I definitely recommend trying before buying if possible.

  14. I am expecting my first born next month and looking into buying my first wrap, but I am unsure what size. I am 5′ and 100 lbs. I found a size 4 that I love and is in my price range on a swap page, but I am wondering if I will need a size 5 when I am just starting out? Thanks!

    • With your size and weight, I would expect a 4 to be long enough but you won’t go wrong with a 5. If you found a 4 that you love, you will be able to use it. You might wish for a tiny bit more length as you start but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Congrats on the new baby!!

  15. Hi, Thanks for this informative blog! I’m 5.9 and 160lbs. I used a Chimparoo woven wrap 4.5meters long and it was thick and cumbersome and the tails were so long. I want something shorter, would you recommend size 3 or 4? I am looking into a Didymos Orient. The only thing I ever managed in the long wrap was a front cross carry.

    • Hi! I would definitely try a 4. That’s a shorter wrap size but long enough to do several variations of the long wrap carries you can do with a size 6, but with less leftover. The size 3 might work too but I really find the 4 to be more versatile.

  16. Hello! This is a wonderful site :). I’m expecting a little one, our first, and not sure yet whether/how much I’ll wrap but would like to try. I’m 5’6″, 125 lbs., quite petite on the upper half (weight at muffin top/hips/legs :)), so clothing size i’m btwn a 0-4 depending on brand. I found a size 3 that i looove, 100% cotton (which i’m told is good for beginners), but not sure if i can get away with it. it’s being re-sold and not sold by the maker in another size. i am turned off by idea of lots of fabric, long tails, adn feeling hot/very bound. i like the idea of fairly simple wraps. i think i’ll do mostly if not all front carries with a wrap, at least at first. i’d like the weight to be on both shoulders, as i have a bad back, and i think if it goes off just one shoulder maybe that would cause aches in one side/become uneven? looked up wraps one can do with a size 3 (e.g., rebozo) and hard to tell if will work for me. help??

    • Hi! Congrats on your first little one! Size 3 can be an awkward size for most people but you have a better chance of using it often because you are petite. Rebozo and one-shoulder carries are a bit of an advanced skill but if you love the wrap, you’ll figure it out. I think it’s worth a try — although it would be better if you were able to borrow a size 3 and a size 4 when your baby is here to see which size is really for you. But as I said, I think that your petite size can definitely make it work. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

  17. A lot of helpful information but I’m still a little unsure what size to buy for my first wrap. I’m 5’2 and 135 lbs. I’m thinking I need a five but can’t seem to find exactly what I want in my size. I fell in love with one so I ordered in a 5 and was later notified that is not in stock. Bummer. So now I found another I really like but they only have it in a 6. Would this be too much wrap for me?

    • Hello and my apologies for the slow reply! The WOrdpress App has been hiding messages from me. I’m sure that you already have your wrap but please allow me to answer your question anyway (maybe someone else will read it). At your size, I would say that a size 5 is probably plenty. A 6 will certainly be more wrap but I don’t think it means that you won’t find many uses for it or that it will be overwhelming. You will have longer tails but I find this pretty. I’m of the opinion that you should err on the side of getting a wrap that is too long rather than too short. So if you love the wrap, do buy it as a 6. Worst case, you can have it shortened by a seamstress and use the scrap for a bunch of little things or sell the scrap for the wrap’s value per metre (or inch, depending on where you are.) I hope this helps and once again, apologies for the late reply.

      • Hi Veronique☺ the site is lovely, lots of useful informations.
        I would like to buy my first wrap but unsure which size. I am 5’6 and 155lbs ( size 14 UK ) My baby is 9 months old, I am still breastfeeding. Would size 6 of the wrap be enough or should I buy size 7 ?
        Also I can’t have long tails hanging between my legs 😁 they would drive me mad πŸ˜… but I want to be able to wrap the baby very secure…
        That’s why I am so unsure which size to buy.
        What is making me a bit unsure is if the baby will accept the wrap after going for 9 months everywhere in a puschair ? ?
        Thank you in advance

      • Hi and thank you!! I think a 6 will be plenty. I’m the same height but 170lbs. The 6 is slightly small for me with my 2 year-old but it still fits.

        I learned wrapping when my twins were about that age (9-10 months). There was a bit of a learning curve but it wasn’t a full-blown rebellion as it would have been with a toddler. I think that you will be fine!

        Thank you for your kind words and do let me know how it goes. πŸ™‚

  18. Thank you so much for such a quick reply and the informations πŸ˜€
    Is it really true that when you have a 2 or 3 year old on your back you can’t feel the weight so much ? It’s so hard to believe. I couldn’t even pick up my son when he was 3 πŸ˜…
    My daughter is a little bit smaller so maybe it will work.
    I’m sorry I have so many questions..
    But I’d rather ask then buy it and put it in the wardrobe..
    How does it look like when you go outside. What I mean is do you wrap the baby over your jacket ? If so then that method is not really suitable when it’s raining is it ?
    And is it possible to wrap the baby from the front so baby can face the world not my tummy ( like they can in those carriers ) ?
    If it’s possible would you show me how please.
    From what age baby should be carried on the back?
    I’m really sorry but I feel that you’re the only person who actually have some knowledge about wrapping.

    • Hi 😊 my questions have been answered as I’ve got a wrap now and it’s lovely. I had to have a private consultant to help to wear the wrap comfortably. My daughter loves it. I do as well ☺ It feels amazing to have a baby so close and to be able to kiss the little head so often πŸ˜‚
      I recommend babywearing to anyone πŸ˜†

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