In the lead up to New Zealand Babywearing Week (10 – 16 October 2011) we will be focusing on the six main types of baby carriers. Last week we started with the pouch sling. This week we’re focussing on stretchy wraps. Keep an eye on the New Zealand Babywearing Week Facebook page too this week for more information about stretchy wraps including how to videos and photos.
Stretchy wraps are made from a 4.5 – 5.5m length of stretchy fabric (knit jersey or interlock fabric) which is tied to the caregiver’s body to create a baby carrier. Stretchy wraps mainly use the Front Pocket Cross Carry as the images in this post show, but you can also do a Hip Cross Carry and a Cradle Carry with a stretchy wrap. They are able to be pre-tied, i.e. put on before you go out so that you can easily pop baby into the wrap once you get to the shops, park, library, church etc. With a stretchy wrap you can pop baby in and out around 3-4 times before you’ll need to re-tie it.
The image above shows a Front Pocket Cross Carry with a young baby. Their legs are tucked up inside the fabric and their head is also supported by the carrier fabric. Baby is worn nice and high, ‘close enough to kiss’, with their face clear of fabric.
This image (above) shows a Front Pocket Cross Carry with an older baby. The ‘crosses’ have been spread over baby’s body and right up to behind the knees. This not only creates a comfy seat for baby but also ensures that baby is carried in a position which is optimal for their developing hips and spine. Baby is still worn nice and high with their bottom about level with the wearer’s tummy button.
Stretchy wraps are also great for carrying twins, and fantastic for wearing premature or sick newborns skin to skin.
A note about back carries with a stretchy wrap: although many stretchy wrap manufacturers and retailers say they’re okay for back carries, it is not recommended by babywearing experts for safety reasons. If your baby pushes against your back there is a risk that the stretchy fabric will give enough for them to fall or get into an awkward and dangerous position on your back.
For more detailed information about stretchy wraps and to find instructions complete with photos, please visit Slingbabies! Also check out this great post about stretchy wraps on the Babywearing Wellington Blog.
Thank you to Moby Wrap NZ for permission to use their photos in this post.
Remember to check out the New Zealand Babywearing Week facebook page this week for more information about stretchy wraps too.
Article written by Helen MacMillan, My Natural Baby Ltd