There are two main types of wraps to wear your baby – a stretchy wrap and a woven wrap. In this blog we will be talking about the stretchy wrap and how you can wear your baby in it. The stretchy wrap is usually made of a soft knit fabric with some stretch added to it by spandex. These wraps are usually available as one size fits most, due to their stretchability and flexibility. The different brands can vary over the weight of the material, stretchiness, density, breathability and price.
Stretchy wraps are great for newborns and infants. There are three popular carrying positions for a stretchy wrap, the Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC), Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) and the Hip Wrap Cross Carry. Most stretchy wraps are for front and hip carries only and NOT recommended for back carries.
POCKET WRAP CROSS CARRY (ALSO KNOWN AS HUG HOLD)
When people first buy, or receive, a stretchy wrap they are generally advised to use it for their newborn baby in a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC). This is a three layer carry which you pre-tie then are able to pop baby in and out of as required throughout the day.
FRONT WRAP CROSS CARRY (ALSO KNOWN AS KANGAROO HOLD)
This is also a three layered front carry, wherein the wrap can be partially pre-tied, followed by putting the baby in and finish tying. It is easier to nurse in this position.
HIP WRAP CROSS CARRY (ALSO KNOWN AS SIDE CARRY)
Hip Wrap Cross Carry is a hip carry that you can do with your a stretchy wrap. Hip wrap cross carry is basically the exact same carry as Front Wrap Cross Carry, except baby is shifted to the hip. The hip carry or side carry can be convenient with older babies as compared with newborns who are best suited for the cradle or front carries.
SOME USEFUL TIPS FOR USING A STRETCHY WRAP
- Make sure your wrap is tight enough and worn snugly like a tight t-shirt. Stretchy wraps stretch! If the wrap is snug against your body when you pre-tie it, there will still be plenty of room for the baby.
- Make sure the back of the wrap is well spread out and not twisted
SAFETY CHECK FOR YOUR CARRY
- TIGHT- Make sure the wrap is snug and tight
- IN VIEW - Baby's face is in view at all times, and is able to breathe properly, airways are not obstructed
- CLOSE - Baby is close enough for you to sniff or kiss her head
- KEEP CHIN OFF THE CHEST - Make sure baby's chin is off your chest by sliding 2 fingers under the chin
- SUPPORTED BACK - Make sure the back is well supported and there is no slumping. If may slump if the wrap is loose. Make sure its snug and tight.
ADVANTAGES OF A STRETCHY WRAP
- Great for newborns and infants
- No need for an “infant insert” like buckle carriers
- Kangaroo care for preemies and high needs babies
- Distributes weight evenly
- Keeps baby pretty warm (save for feet if you have them out)
- Convenient to carry around as it can be pre-tied and you can just pop-in baby as and when required
- Fits in your handbag!
POINTS TO TAKE CARE OF WHILE USING A STRETCHY WRAP
- It can get hot, especially in the summer (you’re generating a lot of heat in such a tight space). If you are wearing it in warm weather go for a lightweight wrap.
- Supports only Front and Side carries (Back carry is NOT recommended with a stretchy wrap)
- It's a long piece of cloth that can drag on the ground while trying to set up on yourself (It is recommended getting it set up on you before you leave the house – saves time and doesn’t make your tails dirty)
- To breastfeed you’d have to readjust and loosen your wrap a bit to get baby to latch on. This could make the hold too loose, and you will need to tighten it again.
Though its a shorter time span (newborn to toddler) in wearing your baby in a stretchy wrap, we still recommend it. It is the “snuggliest” hold you’re going to get with baby. Some women are known to keep these first wraps as souvenirs of motherhood to cherish for a lifetime. So much of attachment going into 5 yards of fabric in one or two years, may seem a magical phenomena! But it isn't just fabric after all, it has a lot of memories woven into it.