In the Name of Science: Cotton Gauze Suitable for Water Use?

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Abstract:

Can a lightweight cotton gauze wrap be a suitable water wrap for summer use?

Introduction:

Many of my babywearing cohorts and I have been wondering what is a good carrier to use in the water (pool, lake, river, ocean, shower, etc). They make soft structured carriers (SSC) for the pool but they look clumsy and are not attractive. There are some mesh ring sling options, but they lack the ability to ease my overly paranoid first-time-mom’s mind. Having to buy a compeletely separate water specific wrap seems wasteful when I already own a lightweight cotton gauze wrap! Thus, I came to the conclusion it was time to put my lightweight cotton gauze wrap to the test and see how it would hold up in the water!

Materials:

  • 1 – 3 month old baby girl <-super adorable I might add 🙂
  • 1 – very supportive and wonderful husband <-xoxoxo love my Matt!
  • 1 – shower
  • 1 – lightweight cotton gauze wrap by Wrapsody. We used the Bali Breeze Iris size xl (6 yards of cotton gauze) (if you decide to purchase a Bali Breeze after reading this entry please tell them we sent you!)
  • 1 – postal scale

Methods:

  1. Weigh dry Bali Breeze wrap = 15.2 oz
  2. Put baby in adorable pink swimsuit IMG_1840
  3. Put husband in his swimsuit
  4. Husband wraps baby in the front cross carry. IMG_1844
  5. Start shower and set water temperature to baby level warm
  6. Husband and baby enter shower and get completely wet
  7. Husband twists, and squats to test wrap IMG_1848
  8. Turn water off. Husband and baby exit said shower. Dry baby off and put back on clothes!
  9. Weigh dripping weight wrap
  10. Set timer for Bali Breeze lightweight cotton gauze dry time

Results:

Wrap Weight:

Completely Dry = 15.2 oz; Completely wet = 2 lb 14.1oz; Total weight gain when wet = 1lb 14.9 oz

Dry Time:

It took well over 5 hours to dry (it was still moist when I went to bed)

Conclusions:

Matt reported that the wrap did not loosen when wet and even with the squatting, and twisting the wrap still held the baby securely and with comfort. The wrap held less than 2 pounds of water when wet which means the wearer will not feel completely weighted down while wearing it. The time it took for the wrap to completely dry is a smidge disconcerting. I did hang the wrap over our stair case to dry so in theory the wrap will take less time to dry when out in the sun.

Overall I do believe lightweight cotton gauze would work for a water wrap. It held the baby securely, and did not feel like a ton of bricks when wet. The major draw back to not using a mesh material is the drying time. If you are going to use a lightweight cotton gauze wrap in the water I highly recommend bringing a dry wrap for when you want to wear the baby outside of the water.

If you have any experience with wraps in the water please share!

-Rachel