There are many benefits to carrying your baby in a sling. However, if you’ve already decided that you are going to use a carrier, how on earth do you choose what type or brand to buy as there are so many options out there, and for parents who have never used slings before, the choice can be overwhelming. Here we will tell you all about stretchy wraps and help you to decide!
What does a stretchy wrap do?
A stretchy wrap, used well, supports your baby cuddled onto your chest in exactly the same position that you would naturally hold them, curved spine, knees tucked up higher than their bottom, and their head resting against the hard bit of your chest, close enough for you to kiss them. There’s nothing quite as cuddly, and with a 2-way stretch, such as we have in the Sling School Stretchy, the tying is easy for you to get just right, meaning that your baby is safe, perfectly secure and having wonderful cuddles, whilst you can just sit and enjoy them, move around, play with any older siblings, settle them to sleep in minutes, go for a walk without having to worry about narrow doorways, cobbles, or steps. When you’re an expectant parent thinking about how amazing it’ll be to carry your baby, the cuddliness you get from a 2 way stretchy is precisely what you dream of.
So what do we mean by a 2-way stretch?
Well, in our stretchy wraps the material stretches both vertically and horizontally, meaning that you can tie the wrap nice and tight, but there is still plenty of stretch in it to make room for your baby to fit in, and then enough stretch to adjust their position to be able to breastfeed them and then raise them back to the optimum position when they have finished their feed. The 2-way stretch also means that there is quite a wide window of tightness that feels ‘just right’, being both secure and still having enough give to adjust if necessary. Not all stretchy wraps are 2 way. 1-way stretchies are still a fabulous sling to carry your newborn in, but as they only stretch in one direction, then it’s a much steeper learning curve where you need to get the tightness exactly right.
Are they difficult to use?
Some parents worry that a stretchy wrap may be too difficult to get much use. However, we provide detailed photo instructions and a video tutorial that shows very clearly all the steps you need to use your stretchy wrap. Once you’ve tied it a couple of times, it just becomes second nature. Plus, it really doesn’t need to be tied and untied all day long anyway. Newborns often spend most of the day in a stretchy wrap, only coming out for feeds and nappy changes, as they are safe, secure and having all their needs met whilst being cuddled up against you.
Stretchy wraps v buckles carrier?
There are many wonderful slings and carriers out there, and parents can get sucked into buying slings that claim to be ‘suitable from birth’ only to find that using with a newborn involves using a bulky insert, or that their baby’s naturally curved spine doesn’t seem to be supported and is forced into a straight postition, or that when your newborn’s knees are still curled up with legs close together, no matter how small a buckle carrier may adjust, it might still be forcing baby into a position that isn’t natural for them. The beauty of the stretchy wrap is that it moulds to your baby’s shape, meaning that nothing is forced, nothing feels bulky or cumbersome, and the spine remains in it’s natural curve. Another benefit of supporting the curved spine with material that moulds to baby is that you don’t need a bulky head support as your baby’s head will rest naturally on you. If they raise their head up to look around, it’s because they want to and are developing their neck muscles, but it’s impossible for them to fall asleep with head flopping backwards if they are being supported with a curved spine and tucked pelvis.