Stretchy wraps are everywhere it seems. Bamboo. 100% Cotton. To wide, not wide enough. SSOO stretchy! Baby seems to sag down low after awhile. So cozy and easy. To pre-tie or to wrangle a super long piece of material out in public... the pros & cons and the choices seem overwhelming!
How about we untangle the Stretchy Wrap a little and see if this is a good option for you and your little bundle.
My first babywearing experience was with a stretchy wrap! It was love. I mean, hands-free dinner prep with a fussy/now-asleep baby. I didn't have to put him down if I didn't want to after he had just been settled. I could hang out that load of washing without having to drag out the rocker or keep an ear out for crying from the bedrooom. I could go out to the store and not have all the 'well wishers' all getting up in my baby's space. Literally, the stretchy wrap and my falling in love with babywearing was a game changer and I had only just begun this thing called parenting!
Here are some POSITIVES for the humble stretchy wrap:
- Potentially your first baby carrier option, something to get you started and build your confidence.
- Absolutely delightful for cooler weather wearing. A stretchy wrap is recommended to be worn on the front, belly to belly with three layers of fabric taking the weight of the baby.
- As with all new skills we learn in life, learning how to get the right fit with any babywearing option requires practice and patience. The stretchy wrap is quite easy to master and to get baby into the optimal positions for Spine and Hip development.
- Being stretchy, the carrier does not have the longevity or the carry options offered by other baby carriers, such as a woven wrap or buckle carrier. That being said, it is perfect from newborn to a few months old. It certainly makes the transition from the womb to the world during the '4th trimester' much easier on both mum and bub with all the benefits of being close.
Now lets address some common NEGATIVES attributed to the stretchy wrap:
- Do you feel like you haven't got baby in the correct position or that they are going to fall out? Its ok to be concerned because you are going to make sure you have everything fitted correctly the. Follow the TICKS recommendations, check your wrapping process and finished job in the mirror before moving about. Make sure the fabric passes are 'knee to knee' and baby's 'seat' finds the natural M position.
- Does all the material and the tying and the layers... overwhelm you? Yes, there is a lot of fabric, but you can do this! Once you have practised a couple of times, maybe with a doll or bear, and you know the steps you can then practise with your baby at home before going out and about. Take small steps, build your confidence. Have another look at your preferred YouTube tutorial or get along to your local sling meet for some personal assistance.
- Does it feel like you are spending money on an carrier option that only lasts a few short months and then you have to upgrade? I know how you feel. My first stretchy was actually a DIY piece of fabric and while it was awesome at the time, it probably didn't last as long (not designed for babywearing!). Pop it on your Baby Shower Wish List or suggest it as a present idea if someone asks what you need.
What I can suggest is that your stretchy is a great first step into the world of babywearing, and it being perfect for newborns you will naturally want to upgrade to the next suitable option as baby grows. One Size Fits All is not always the best, as with other parenting lessons we learn along the way. Perhaps you can gift the babywearing love to a family member or friend about to have their own baby. Have it boomerang back to you once they are done so you can share the love over and over again or ask that it gets passed along. Save it for your next squishy love and it becomes a family investment.
Find your babywearing love and grow in confidence my friends!