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When I had my first child, I really had no idea what babywearing was. I put a carrier on my registry because it was what I was supposed to do and I used that thing maybe 5 times during my first child’s babyhood.
Flash forward to now when I use babywearing every single day, multiple times a day. When I’ve got a newborn, we use a stretchy wrap almost all day long!
If it were not for babywearing, I seriously would not be able to do anything around the house and running errands wouldn’t even be a thought in my head.
Baby wearing is an essential parenting tool for me. I could not live without it. I regret thinking how much easier my life would have been with my first two kids if I had used babywearing more.
This is part of the reason why I think all new parents need to learn about baby wearing. It truly is a life saver. I’ve written about the many benefits of babywearing but seriously, if you need just one reason to babywear, it’s for the sheer fact that you will be able to do things!
However, babywearing needs to be done properly; . There are many different types of carriers in the baby wearing world but today I want to focus on stretchy wraps like the lovely sunshine yellow wrap I’m wearing in the pictures from Happy Baby Wrap.
The Happy Baby Wrap is a particular favorite of mine because it’s silky soft bamboo fabric is lightweight and breathable. Plus you just cannot beat the amazing colors and patterns!
Stretchy wraps are one of the most common carrier types and the one that all too often get used improperly. Let’s take a look at how to use a stretchy wrap safely.
How to Use a Stretchy Wrap Safely
Always make sure you can see baby’s face while baby wearing.
Wear your baby close and snug.
Always wear baby upright in a stretchy wrap.
Always wear baby facing in; never outward in a stretchy wrap.
Babies knees should be higher than their bum.
Be mindful of where baby’s body parts are while babywearing.
Always bend from the knees. Do not lean forward as that may cause baby to slip out of the carrier.
Always make sure your carrier is in good working condition before using.
Don’t wear baby on your back. Stretchy wraps are not structured enough for back carrying.
Don’t let baby’s legs hang straight down. The idea is to make a seat out of the fabric so that their hips are supported.
Don’t let baby’s face get covered with fabric.
Don’t wear baby facing outward.
Don’t wear more than one baby in one wrap.
Don’t wear your baby during any activity that would jostle baby around (like running or jumping)
Don’t let baby’s chin get tucked in; this can cause breathing difficulties.
Don’t drive vehicles or ride a bike while babywearing.
If all of that seems like an awful lot to remember then just try to focus on the babywearing “TICKS”.
This is great information! Thank you for posting this!
Thanks for sharing! I’m eagerly awaiting my first stretchy wrap to arrive in the mail today!!! It will be a big help with my newborn who insists he must be with me at all times 🙂 I have a 2g boba carrier that I wear my toddler in. I love it!!! As soon as I get the wrap down I’ll dive into tandem wearing. Do you have any tips for that?
I haven’t tried tandem wearing with a stretchy wrap yet. My first guess/tip would be to put the baby in the stretchy wrap first and then put the toddler in the Boba on your back. I tandem wear with two Ergo’s weekly (nursery work) in which case I recommend putting both waist belts on first, then put your back baby on, followed by the front baby. Technically you could go either way, but getting the back baby one is usually more difficult so I prefer to get that done first. Happy babywearing!
This is a great post! I just recently bought a stretchy wrap and am a little nervous to use it but this post really helped! At what age can you start using a stretchy wrap for your baby?
You can actually use a stretchy wrap with a brand newborn! For newborns to about 3-4 months you would use a “newborn hold” which means that their legs do not hang out of the wrap (like older babies) instead they are in a “froggy” position (you can find examples online). Once they are 3-4 months and can stretch out their legs more then you can move to having their legs hang out of the wrap.