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How to Use a Stretchy Wrap

Do you have a stretchy wrap like a Moby Wrap, Boba wrap, or Solly baby wrap that you would like to learn to use?  Maybe you pulled it out of the box and found something that felt like miles of fabric.  Now you’ve got a crying baby and miles of fabric and you are wondering how you will ever fasten this to yourself in order to calm your baby!  I promise you, it’s easier than it looks!  I haven’t ever met a caregiver that wasn’t able to learn to use it.  Not only can you do it, your baby will probably love it too!

This blog post includes videos and tutorial links to teach you every thing you need to know to love your stretchy wrap from day one.  If you just pulled it out of the box, start with the tutorial for Pocket Wrap Cross Carry.  That’s the easiest carry and the one most people like to learn first.  If you love that carry, there’s no need to learn others!  You only need to master one carry to love your stretchy wrap.

Three Popular Carries

There are three main carries that you can do with a stretchy wrap.  These are Pocket Wrap Cross Carry, Front Wrap Cross Carry, and Hip Wrap Cross Carry.  Stretchy wraps can be used only for front or hip carries that have three full layers of fabric spread over the baby.

Pocket Wrap Cross Carry

The image shows a babywearing demo doll worn in Pocket Wrap Cross Carry in a Stretchy Wrap.

Front Wrap Cross Carry

This image shoes a toddler in Front Wrap Cross Carry in a stretchy wrap. FWCC is the easiest carry to nurse in.

Hip Wrap Cross Carry

The image shows a toddler in Hip Wrap Cross Carry in a Stretchy Wrap.


Pocket Wrap Cross Carry, also known as “Hug Hold”  with a Newborn

Pocket wrap cross carry (PWCC) is a carry that you can completely pre-tie and then put in your baby.  This carry is great because you can pre-tie it before you leave your house.  Buckle baby safely in the car seat and drive while wearing the pre-tied wrap.  When you get where you’re going, pop baby into the wrap and off you go!  No need to carry a heavy carseat or unload a stroller from your trunk.  You have your hands free and baby is happy to be close to you.

Pocket Wrap Cross Carry works great from newborn-toddlerhood!  This video shows how to do the carry with your newborn. For captions, press the CC button.


Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (aka “Hug Hold”) with an Older Baby

A stretchy wrap can work really well with an older baby if you wrap it snug.  Make sure that you don’t use the wrap if your baby is over the weight limit for your particular wrap.  Check your manufacturer’s instructions to find the weight limit of your wrap.  A stretchy wrap can be really comfortable with an older baby.  If you have an older baby, check out this video:


If photo-tutorials are more your thing, check out the tutorial here:
Stretchy Wrap Pocket Wrap Cross Carry Tutorial
This tutorial is also available in Spanish.

Front Wrap Cross Carry, also known as “Kangaroo Hold” with a Newborn

Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) is another fabulous carry.  FWCC is partially pre-tied and then tightened around the baby.  This carry is really comfortable.  This carry can also be fairly easy to nurse in.  If you have tried pocket wrap cross carry and didn’t love it, this one might be better for you.

This video shows how to do Front Wrap Cross Carry in a stretchy wrap. The video also demonstrates breastfeeding in the wrap as well as repositioning the baby after breastfeeding.  For captions, press the CC button on the video.


Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) with an Older Baby or Toddler

This video shows how to do Front Wrap Cross Carry in a stretchy wrap with an older baby or toddler.  There are tips for comfort as well as tips for precise tightening.  For captions, press the CC button.


Hip Wrap Cross Carry

Hip Wrap Cross Carry is a hip carry that you can do with your a stretchy wrap.  Depending on the stretch of your particular wrap (if it is a stretch hybrid, for example), you may be able to do other carries.  You can read the manual that accompanies your wrap to see what carries the manufacturer recommends.  Hip wrap cross carry is basically the exact same carry as Front Wrap Cross Carry, except baby is shifted to the hip.

Here’s a tutorial.  For captions, press the CC button.


The Secret to Using your Stretchy Wrap

The number one secret to using a stretchy wrap is wrap tight.  Before you even put your baby into your wrap, the wrap should be snug against your body 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.

Take a look at these two images:  

Image 1:  I have pre-tied the wrap very snugly.
Image 2:  I place my hands inside the wrap fabric and stretch it slightly.  There is exactly enough room for  a baby.

Notice how snug the wrap is in the first image?  It looks too tight to fit a baby into!  Remember though, babies are small!  A ten pound newborn does not need much space.  The wrap also stretches.  If it’s snug against you when you tie it, it will be perfect.

Signs your wrap is tight enough:

Signs your wrap is too loose:

Troubleshooting and Tips

Spread out the fabric on your back.

If you find you have any discomfort in this carry (or any other stretchy wrap carry), try spreading out the fabric across your back. This image shows a wrap that is well spread out and not twisted on the back.

Stretchy Wrap Tip: Make sure the back of the wrap is well spread out and not twisted

In Front Wrap Cross Carry and Hip Wrap Cross Carry, lift your arm while tightening.

The secret to Front Wrap Cross Carry and Hip Wrap Cross Carry is tightening precisely. The key to tightening these carries is to tighten each strand of the width of the wrap one at a time (instead of pulling on the whole tail at once).

I like to imagine my wrap in fourths and tighten each fourth (the top fourth, a middle fourth, the next middle fourth, the bottom fourth). Tightening like this makes the carry snug evenly across your baby’s body. It can be tricky to tighten the top fourth of the wrap.

If you’re finding you have a lot of slack in your wrap near your baby’s upper shoulders, try lifting your elbow while you are wrapping. This allows the fabric to slide under your arm.

In this image, you can see that one hand is pulling straight up on the wrap to tighten the top fourth of the width. The other elbow is lifted outward to allow the fabric to slide under my arm and around my back.

Tip for tightening your stretchy wrap: Keep the opposite elbow lifted!

Back Carries

It is not safe or recommended to do back carries in a stretchy wrap.  This is because the wrap is stretchy and your baby could lean and fall.

If you want to be able to do back carries, give a woven wrap a try. If you love the feel of your stretchy wrap but want more versatility, woven wrapping is great! With a woven wrap you can do back carries, single layer front and hip carries, as well as all of the carries shown here. You can also do carries that you can conveniently pre-tie and pop baby into, just like pocket wrap cross carry.  If you find you’re really loving your stretchy wrap, a woven wrap would be a great next step.

Check your Carry

When you have finished wrapping your baby, use the baby wearer’s TASK to check your carry.  Can you fit two fingers under baby’s chin?  Can you see your baby’s entire face? Does your baby feel snug and secure?  Is your baby high enough for you to easily kiss baby’s head?

The TASK acronym can be used to check your carry.

You might find it helpful to also read my pages about  babywearing safety and newborn positioning.

It can be really helpful to get in-person help with your carrier! To find a babywearing group or educator near you, click here.

Further Reading

Babywearing Safety
Positioning your Newborn
Loving your Stretchy Wrap
Using your Baby Carrier as a Tool for Kangaroo Care
Breastfeeding in your Stretchy Wrap
Stretchy Wrap Troubleshooting



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