If you have a stretchy wrap you’ve been using and it doesn’t feel quite right, this post is for you! A lot of times a simple adjustment makes a big difference! I’ll go through the six most common problems that I see when I work with caregivers who are having trouble with their stretchy wrap.
1. The wrap is too loose!
This is the most common problem that I see. Nearly everyone wraps the wrap too loosely on their first few tries. Because the wrap stretches, a lot of times a too-loose carry feels fine at first. However, when you walk around for a few minutes, the baby starts to sag or feel insecure. This is common, but very easy to fix. When you are pre-tying the wrap, wrap it snugly against you. It should feel like a snug t-shirt before you even put in the baby. Then once you put in the baby, it will stretch slightly to fit and be perfect.
Take a look at these two images:
Image one: The wrap is pre-tied very snugly! It looks so tight, it doesn’t seem like a baby could fit in there. Remember though, babies are really small and this fabric stretches! Pre-wrap tighter than you think!
Image two: Once you’ve pre-wrapped tightly, put both hands inside the wrap and pull down. This stretches it out just enough to add the baby.
2. Pull the wrap away from your baby’s face.
You do not want the wrap to cover your baby’s face at any time. If your stretchy wrap is covering your baby’s face, find the wrap edge that is closest to your neck and pull it out to the edge of your shoulder and away from your neck.
3. Fully spread out the wrap, making sure each layer of the wrap goes all the way from one knee to the other knee.
All three passes of the carry should go from knee to knee on baby and all the way up and over baby’s back. This can make the carry more comfortable for both you and baby. In this image, I have only the first two layers of the wrap on the baby. On the second layer, you can see that the wrap is extending all the way from one knee to the other. It also goes all the way up to baby’s shoulders.
4. Don’t worry about folding the wrap in half widthwise.
Some wrap company instructions say to fold the wrap in half along the width. This can be kind of cumbersome. After all, the wrap is over 5 meters long! That’s a lot of folding. Folding the wrap in half also makes it more narrowly spread on your back (see troubleshooting tip number 5).
However, with that said, some people do love folding the wrap in half. If that’s you and it’s working for you, there’s no need to change. Don’t fix what isn’t broken! But if you are folding your wrap in half and feeling frustrated with it, try unfolding it.
This image shows how nicely an unfolded wrap spreads across your back.
5. Spread the wrap out well on your back.
This will make the carry much more comfortable for you, especially if you are wearing the baby for a long time.
6. Pull on the edge closest to your neck to add head support to the carry.
Sometimes people say they feel like baby’s head isn’t well supported in the wrap. There is a simple fix for this too.
Image 1: When you are pre-tying the wrap, take a moment to locate the part of the wrap that is closest to your neck. This is the “top edge” of the wrap. Pull it upward at your neck. Tightening this will make the wrap nice and snug around baby’s upper back and neck.
Image 2: Then pull downward to get the excess slack under the horizontal part of the wrap.
Your stretchy wrap can be an absolutely magical baby tool! Hopefully these six tips will help you get more comfortable with your wrap! Leave a comment if you need more help with your wrap and I’ll write back as soon as I can. 🙂