What do you call a long piece of fabric that stretches on the vertical and horizontal and can be used to carry a baby? A stretchy wrap! Stretchy wraps are one of three categories of wrap type baby carriers.
They are exactly as the name implies, stretchy. They are usually from jersey, gauze, or other stretchy knit styles. Most use cotton, but recently other fibers like bamboo and modal used as well. They are very long. This intimidates some at first, but there is a good reason for the length. They need to wrap around you and baby several times.
They are the first carrier type for many new wearers. Many fall in love with babywearing using stretchy wraps and move on to other carriers as baby grows. But these wonderful wraps can be used for much longer after the newborn stage. Let’s see what makes them so awesome!
Stretchy wraps can be pre-tied—meaning they are put on your body and secured before you put baby on your body. You can pop baby in and out as needed without ever taking it off all day. So easy for caregivers to get through those first few challenging weeks. You do not have to worry about hold baby while learning how to secure the carrier. Take your time and pick baby up when it is all ready!
They are soft and cozy. It is like wrapping your baby up in your favorite t-shirt. Just enough give, just enough supportive, and oh so comfortable. Baby snuggles right up and your heart just melts. You can relax or go about your day as needed.
Stretchy wraps have easier sizing. Most stretchy wraps come in one-size fits most or a have simple S/M/L sizing. This is why they are a great option for wearers of all sizes. Plus, the stretch contours to each individual body shape, making it a custom fit for all shapes.
There is a wide variety of brands and options on the market nowadays. Each has different colors, patterns, widths, lengths—- a wide variety to suit all body types and needs. And a variety of thicknesses mean you can find one great for all types of weather, too.
There are so many multiple pass carry options to try with a stretchy. Even though they are not suitable for single layer carries, don’t let that deter you from using them for more than a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry. Stretchies need three layers and two different pass types. Click here to learn about pass types and see the possible combinations.
They can can even do hip carries. Once you get comfortable wrapping baby on your front, you can shift over to carrying baby on your hip. This is a wonderful option as baby grows and wants to look around more. Once again, just make sure you have three layers and two different pass types to keep the baby safe. Check out this awesome list of some of your option for front and hip carries.
It is important to keep in mind that stretchy wraps are not suitable for back carriers. Simply put, they were never designed to be used in such way and will not support your baby safely. Not matter how secure it feels, it is not. Please do not try.
Here are a few tutorial videos to help you learn:
Pocket Wrap Cross Carry Legs-In
Pocket Wrap Cross Carry Leg-Out
Reinforced Kangaroo Carry
Tandem Pocket Wrap Cross Carry
Front Double Hammock
really encourage you to use your stretchy for more than just a beginner carrier. Grow with it as a wrapper. Try new carries as baby grows. Try different brands, see what amount of stretch you like best. Spread that stretchy love!