What does base size mean, and how do I find my base size?

Your base size is simply the wrap you need to tie a front wrap cross carry when carrying one baby. 

Front Wrap Cross Carry with a 6 month baby using a size 7 woven wrap
What does that mean for me? What is my base size and how do I work it out?

Your base size can change over time, although it is pretty much always a long wrap (sizes 5 – 8)

Factors that can affect your base size are:


  • Your size
  • The size of your child
  • Your wrapping experience; a more practised wrapper will be able to remove more slack from the wrap and therefore use less length
  • the thickness/grippiness of the wrap cloth
  • Variations in standard sizing. We use 50cm increments for our sizing (so a size 6 is 4.7m, size 7 is 5.2m etc). Some companies use different methods of sizing, so their size 6 may be longer of shorter.

There is no truly accurate method for calculating base size without actually wrapping and seeing what works best. As an average (in the UK) a size 6 would be a good starting point for most people. Generally it is easier to work around using up a little extra length than it is to compensate for not having quite enough to tie off the carry as normal. Borrowing a wrap from a friend or library is helpful if that is an option for you.

Once you know your base size, you can use it to work out what length of wrap you would need for specific carries.
Carries will often be described as needing a ‘base-1’ wrap or a ‘base+2’ length wrap, rather than just saying ‘use a size 4’.
This allows you to personally calculate the wrap you’ll need to use.

If your base size wrap is a 7, then you’ll need a size 5 wrap for a ‘base-2’ (base size minus two) carry. Someone else with a base of size 5 would use a size 5 wrap for that same ‘base-2’ carry

Resources like Wearing Wiki allow you to sort carries according to base size.

The Firespiral team all have different sizes of body, ages of child and styles of wrapping, yet these balance out for us all having a base size of 6!

Tamsin wears a Ruck tied Tibetan with a pre-schooler in a size 6
Jen wears a Front wrap cross carry with a toddler in a size 6
Kate wears a Ruck tied Tibetan with a knotless finish in a size 6

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