I am not your average petite body shape. I am not short, but I am skinny and have a small frame. I am 5'7", 115 lbs. Because of my small size, large wraps are a hassle. I don't have a large chest, my hips are narrow and my daughter is a thin slip of a thing.
My size 7 is wonderful for wraps, and I can't wait to try some new carries, like this one:
But, for everyday use, that is a lot of fabric for me. The Ergo is a nice option for easy on and off, but the hip buckle does not get tight enough on me. A future project will be a mei tai, which I will share on my blog, but for now I enjoy my shorty size 3 wrap that I made, which is shown here in an earlier blog post.
So far, my favorite carry with a shorty wrap is a hip carry, which my daughter loves. It's super convenient, can be wrapped while sitting down (tighten when you stand) and is comfortable. The only times I have noticed digging in my shoulder or some type of shoulder or back pain is when I haven't spread the rails and tightened properly. All it takes is a little practice and it will literally be the most convenient baby item you own.
First of all, the size of the wrap. A shorty is a wrap that is sized 2 or 3, which is roughly about 3-4 yards. There are so many beautiful woven wraps out there, and if you are looking for a brand new one, you might try some of these sites:
Alternatively, you could check out the many swap boards on Facebook, Babycenter.com or TheBabywearer.com for gently used wraps and carriers.
Of course, you could also try your hand at a DIY wrap, which only requires hemming. You can do this yourself with a basic sewing machine, or you can take it to a tailor for hemming (average cost is usually $20-25). Try to remember that women all over the world babywear using blankets, scarves, shawls and even towels, so as long as you are using a non-stretchy, tightly woven cotton fabric, it can work. I will be posting more on DIY wraps later, but for now, if you are new to babywearing, you might feel more comfortable buying a finished wrap.
Here are one of my favorite YouTube videos of of a great hip carry with short woven wrap:
No No No Hip Carry (No rings no sew no tie)
This video is one of the best. At 1:35, you see her tugging on the fabric and pulling it back and forth. This is what you do to find your top and bottom rails. A rail is the long edge of the wrap, top and bottom. When you scrunch up fabric, you don't want the top and bottom edge to be lost inside. If it is, it will not be tight enough and your carry will be loose and unsafe.
Another good feature of this video is at 3:02, where she tucks the bottom rail deep down underneath baby's bum. This gives the baby a good "seat", which will be more comfortable. Make sure the seat extends from knee to knee. Baby's legs should be in an "M" shape.
Some other shorty wrap carries include back carries, front carries and some that require one or two rings. Rings need to be weight tested and baby safe. A good place to order some are slingrings.com. They sell weight tested rings at home improvement stores, but they are heavier, not baby safe and will get very hot if left in the sun. However, it's up to you which ones you choose to use.
Another great, fast and easy hip carry that you can prep quickly:
Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC)
Back carries you can do with a size 2 or 3 wrap:
Knotless Double Rebozo Back Carry
A good tutorial on all kinds of carries with short wraps:
Short carry techniques for size 2 or 3 woven wraps
There are plenty more, and I encourage you to browse the videos on YouTube for more carries. Practice makes perfect, and you can practice with a baby doll or stuffed animal if your little one is still in the oven., like I did:
Once baby is here, practice your wrap carries over a bed. When they are newborns, babies are so small and a large wrap like my size 7 is a lot of fabric. You might find a short wrap easier and less bulky. You might also try a stretchy wrap, like a Moby. those are shorter and easy to wrap; just keep in mind, however, that they are intended only for front carries, and for babies under 15 lbs. After that, the baby's weight will stretch the wrap too much to make a tight carry and is not safe.
I hope this "short" (ha!) post has been helpful, and has inspired you to give woven wraps a try! Not only are they great for all ages and sizes, but they can be the most beautiful baby related items you own. They can double as blankets or nursing covers when out, and when your child has outgrown them, you can re-purpose them for soooo many things (that will need to be a separate blog post one day!).
Thanks for reading!