Pros: Lovely bright colours, easy to use, multiple carrying positions, suitable from birth
Cons: Not great for carrying older children
My Kari-Me wrap was the first woven baby carrier I ever owned. I obtained it second-hand from a friend, but they are generally available for around £40, give or take a few pounds. They are available in a range of lovely bright colours, as well as neutral, navy and black for those who don’t wish to draw too much attention.
The Kari-Me woven baby wrap is simply a length of stretchy fabric – a cotton/elastane blend that is much stretchier than that of a Moby wrap – that is tapered at the ends for ease of tying. It is incredibly easy to use, and comes in a drawstring carry bag with detailed instructions – with pictures! The Kari-Me label is even sewn in the centre of the wrap to make it even easier to position and tie, especially when in a hurry. Learning to tie the wrap properly takes a few goes to get the hang of – the main problem people find is that they don’t tie it tight enough the first few times. If you decide to use one of these, make sure it’s tied very tight to the body – tighter than you’d think would be comfortable.
Unlike woven wraps, the Kari-Me wrap is pre-tied on the wearer who is then able to pop the baby in and out with ease. For this reason it is ideal for trips out and about – the wearer can tie it on before getting into the car, thus avoiding any unnecessary faffing around in the supermarket car park or similar.
I found this baby wrap absolutely invaluable when both of my babies were newborn. It would hold them comfortably close to me, leaving me hands-free to do whatever I needed to do (or in the case of baby #2, left me free to play with #1!). If they needed feeding, I would just pop them out and feed them before popping them back in. Occasionally I would have to re-tie the wrap – because it’s very stretchy, it tends to loosen as you wear it. However I would usually only have to re-tie it once or twice in a day. Hardly a huge inconvenience!
You can carry your baby in many different positions with the Kari-Me – cradle hold, front carry, facing outwards (although this is not recommended by babywearing experts), hip carry and back carry (back carries in stretchy wraps are also not recommended).
The Kari-Me wrap is advertised as being suitable for babies and children up to 3 years of age, and I know people personally who have carried older children with these wraps. However, I personally could not use the Kari-Me past the age of around 8 months. I have back and shoulder problems and so I needed the extra support that a woven wrap offers. My advice when using this wrap with an older child is to carry them in a hip carry. Back carries are best for older children generally, but back carries in stretchy wraps are not considered to be safe.
However, despite the fact that most people probably wouldn’t use it past the 12 month point, I would still highly recommend one of these wraps a hundred times over for any mother with an newborn/ infant, as well as a baby aged up to 12 months. I have lent mine out to friends many times so they could trial it, and every single one has been astounded with how comfortable it is and how much easier it makes caring for their babies.
The Kari-Me wrap gets a huge thumbs up from me!