I like wraps. But budget wraps are my thang, mostly because:
- Wraps should be affordable for all.
- Wrapping should be accessible for all – sticker-shock is real.
- All wraps need not be made of unicorn fluff and balrog tears.
So not having tried a Little Frog? Major hole in my budget wrap cred. Luckily Trendy Babywearing remedied that when she gave me two of them: both jades, both size 3, one merino wool and one standard cotton. You know all about Little Frog by now: a Polish company dedicated to affordable babywearing, meeting the highest textile quality standards, famous among budget wearers for their $60 and up price range. They’re about the cheapest purpose-woven on the market, and constantly recommended in Facebook groups like Everyday Babywearing (which you should join, because it’s amazing).
And so I faced task number one: because the materials tags are teensy-tiny, I had to tell the two size 3 jades apart.
I first guess proved right: the woolie was the softest. I didn’t find it appreciably thicker than the cotton, but it was definitely softer and cuddlier. While the cotton wasn’t totally un-cuddly, it wasn’t – well – what I’d want to put my newborn in. It felt slick in hand, but stiffer and without a lot of moldability.
Since both were size 3’s, I pretty much had a battle of the Little Frog shorties going down. Here’s what I decided:
Little Frog merino wool rocks my socks. At only slightly more expensive – $80 rather than $60 – it offered cush and moldability with plenty of bounce. It’s 44% wool, a decent percentage in the wrap world, made of broken twill and weighing about 240 g/m. Not overly thick, but one of my babywearing BFFs put a preschooler in it and found that not only did it feel good on her shoulders, it also went all the way up to his neck with a good seat.
Did you know Little Frogs are nearly 30 inches in width?! While it’ll shrink some, that’s a lot. And I mostly spot-wash woolies anyway.
I wore woolie on many a Target trip, on hikes, and for up to an hour at a time with a 20 lb baby. After about an hour, it would begin to pester my shoulders, but that’s with a straight ruck under bum, without any fancy knots or chest belts. I could have used this as my only shorty. I had to wrestle it into a rebozo – the combination of slip and grip drove me bonkers with a slipknot – but I loved it otherwise. It’s a great choice for your only short wrap, and the wool shouldn’t be super hot in the summer, since it’s about the same weight as the cotton.
The cotton. Oh, the cotton. It weighed the same 240 g/m. But …
Maybe I’d have liked it more if I hadn’t had its woolie twin around. Maybe I’d have liked it more in a multi-layer carry (and I took out a long LF from the local lending library, though not the same colorway, to see if I liked it – and it was fine). But out of every wrap I’ve tried, I got along with this one the least. I found it a weird mix of stiff and slick, with grip but zero bounce.
But rebozos, if done right, don’t dig. And this was one diggy, diggy wrap. I hated it in a ruck, and had to resort to all the crazy ruck variations (tied at shoulder, candy-can chest belt) to make it work. Even when tied at my shoulder, the knot dug. I couldn’t get it comfortable in anything but a candy-cane chest belt. The shoulder knot bothered me in a half Jordan’s or a double rebozo, and my seat popper doesn’t do a Shepherd’s Carry. Even a kangaroo carry was meh.
However, when I tried out the longer Little Frog, the issues went away. So when it comes to cotton jades, you need a long wrap to do multi-layer carries in which you can carefully distribute weight. This is not an optimal short wrap, unless you want to buy a purpose-woven rebozo (I did, for example, like it much better than the Bara Barn I’ve tried).
Trendy Babywearing graciously donated the woolie to my local BWI lending library post review. They didn’t have a woolie yet, so that rocked. The cotton one deserves a lending library home, too! So it’s up for giveaway to your babywearing lending library.
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