Baby wraps offer you the luxury of staying connected with your newborn while doing your regular day-to-day work with your free hands, which otherwise remains busy in caring for the baby. Hands-free freedom of mobility boosts your productivity significantly and you feel less stressed to focus more on caring for your baby.
If you are planning to buy a baby wrap and use it to ease upbringing, then continue reading to know about wearing it perfectly and make your life better.
If you want to make your baby wrap experience better then continue reading to know about wearing it perfectly in steps.
Let’s explore how to wear baby wraps to make your baby feel comfortable in your company.
Step by Step Guide to Use Baby Wrap
Let’s have a step by step guide to wrap your baby in the front carry position.
Step 1. Unfold your wrap and keep the center of wrap at chest level.
Step 2. Bring one side of wrap under your arm and across your back to come above the opposite shoulder.
Step 3. Repeat the same with the other end of the wrap.
Step 4. Leave both wrap ends over your shoulders and now you can see a pocket created across your chest.
Step 5. Hold your baby on your shoulder and slide the baby down into the pocket. Now carry the top edge of the wrap up to the baby’s shoulders and the bottom edge of the wrap down under the baby’s bottom to form a seat that extends to his knees.
Step 6. Hold the baby with one hand and pull the wrap to tighten around the baby using the other hand. Pull the wrap upward to reduce friction and get all the wrap to the front.
Step 7. Tight both ends one by one until the wrap is holding your baby securely against your body. You can use one hand to pull the wrap and other hand to hold the baby. Make sure that the bottom of the wrap should be holding the baby’s knees up and the top edge of the wrap should be wrapped so that the baby cannot lean backward.
Step 8. Now pull the wrap edges straight down along baby’s sides, and cross under his bottom. Then bring both edges under the baby’s legs.
Step 9. Tie a double knot behind you. Make sure you have tied the knot tightly.
Step 10. You are done. Now enjoy your baby riding with you. Make sure fabric on both shoulders should be wide for more carrying comfort.
Different Types of Baby Wrap
#1. Woven Baby Wrap
Woven wraps are a long piece of cloth (fabric) you can use to wrap your baby with you. Woven baby wraps are the oldest type of wraps used.
Woven wraps are mostly made of 100% cotton but you can also find woven wraps made from wool or linen.
Woven wraps come in different sizes (from 2 to 8). Petite mothers find 5 comfortable while taller or broader parents prefer 7. The ideal size of woven wraps is 6 which goes with all.
Initially, wearing a woven wrap may seem daunting but with little practice, you can learn how to safely wrap your baby. You will be able to wear a woven wrap in different styles in no time.
You can use woven baby wraps if you suffer from back pain, because you can wear woven wraps on both shoulders to distribute the weight. They won’t dig into your shoulders just like stretchy wraps to make you uncomfortable when your baby puts on some weight.
Pros of woven baby wrap
- Comfortable – Woven wraps are highly comfortable in wearing for long periods of time and won’t dig into your shoulder because of your baby’s weight.
- Versatile – You can use the woven wrap in different positions like in front, back, and hip carry. You can also wear them in single or multi-layer styles.
- Long-lasting – You can use woven wraps for many years because of the strength they have.
- Fabric choice – You can choose your required fabric from cotton, wool, or linen. Cotton and linen are for summers when you need a breathing fabric with some cooling effect for your baby to avoid the summer heat. While wool will keep your baby warm in the winters.
- Style – Woven wraps now come in different patterns and colors, so you can choose something that suits your personality.
Cons of woven baby wrap
- Steep learning curve – You might take time to learn different wrapping styles with a woven wrap. Initially, it’s not easy to wrap around while carrying your baby inside the wrap. You have to keep on learning different ways of wrapping to adjust with your growing baby’s weight and size.
- Different Sizes – You can’t use single wrap size for different sizes of family members if they want to carry the baby. You have to use different wraps for different sizes and different purposes like front carry, back carry or kangaroo style.
#2. Stretchy Baby Wrap
You can use stretchy wraps for newborns till they are 5-6 months old. Stretchy wraps are made of jersey fabric that includes cotton blends, with synthetic fibers (sometimes wool) to make them stretchable.
Stretchy wraps are highly convenient to use because you can pre-tie a stretchy wrap before putting your baby in. You can easily put in or out your baby without worrying about tying or loosening the wrap.
Stretchy wraps give incredible support to newborns as they are tightly attached to you, they feel more comfortable and safe. You can also work freely without worrying about keeping your baby aside.
Stretchy wraps don’t provide much support to grown up kids, but as the baby gains some weight, the fabric starts stretching that may lead the kid to slip outside the wrap.
Pros of stretchy baby wrap
- one-size-fits all – Since these wraps are stretchable, they come in one size to fit everyone. You need not buy different sizes for different needs.
- Less daunting – You can tie stretchy wrap to your body before putting your baby in. That makes it easy to use and without worrying about dropping your baby while wearing the wrap.
Cons of stretchy baby wrap
- Not versatile – You can’t use a stretchy wrap for back carry because they don’t provide support to kids. They are designed to carry newborns or small infants in the front carry position.
- Not enough support – Stretchy wraps don’t have enough support for grown-up babies around 1 year or even older. Because as your baby grows they need more support in the back and hips for a comfortable ride that stretchy wrap misses.
- Less comfortable – You may feel uncomfortable as the strap starts digging in your shoulders with your baby’s increasing weight.
#3. Ring Sling Baby Wrap
Ring slings are similar to woven baby wraps with a set of rings attached to the fabric for tying up the wrap or adjusting them once tied.
Most Ring Sling wraps are made of cotton or linen, other fabric that you can find is silk. You can use silk in summers for its cooling effect whereas cotton is an all-weather fabric.
Rings are easy to use as you have to just fasten the fabric between the rings and your baby’s weight doesn’t allow them to unwrap.
If you need a quick and carry wrap like stretchy wraps with benefits of woven wraps, then go for ring sling. You can easily snuggle your baby without tying up knots and you can even adjust your baby easily for his feeding needs.
Pros of ring sling baby wrap
- Adjustable – Ring slings are easily adjustable and you can use them easily without going through any manual. You can easily front carry your baby or change the position to hip carry for bigger babies.
- Multiple Choice – You will get multiple color and texture choices along with suitable fabric that fulfills your needs.
- Great for beginners – Its ease of use makes it an ideal choice for first-time parents.
- Suitable for breastfeeding – Because of easy to adjust ring sling is highly suitable to feed your child while wearing.
Cons of ring sling baby wrap
- Not recommended for people with back pain – Since you have to carry it on one shoulder, your baby’s weight is not evenly distributed that may cause you trouble if you have back pain or cervical related problems.
5 Helpful tips to use Baby Wrap
#1. Protect Baby’s Neck And Airways
If your baby, if carried wrongly, it may block the airway and make breathing difficult for the little one. Make sure the baby isn’t bending inside or the wrap is blocking the airway.
The best way is to keep the head in the upright position for easy breathing.
A baby between 0-4 months has a very delicate neck because neck muscles are not strong enough to support the head. You make sure that the baby’s neck is straight and you have given proper support with wrap.
#2. Give Baby’s Hips Adequate Support
Hips positioning is crucial for the proper development of the baby’s hip bones. Make sure your baby’s legs are a little up in position, not hanging down and hips are spread.
Make sure you are not carrying your baby’s with both legs bent inside the sling, regular carrying that way may cause hip dysplasia in the child.
#3. Avoid Leaning Forward
If you are using your sling as a pouch for your newborn baby, you have to be concerned about not leaning forward. Because that may slip your baby out of the sling.
It’s better to bend your knees to keep the baby in the upright position rather than leaning forward your back.
Be aware about your steps while walking with babywearing in the wrap, because you may lose your balance on a slippery floor, stairs, or from other hurdles on your way.
#4. T.I.C.K.S. Rule
Always follow the T.I.C.K.S. rule to ensure the safety of your baby while using the babywrap. Let’s understand T.I.C.K.S. from the illustration below.
#5. Avoid Back Carry with Stretchy Wraps
Stretchy wraps don’t provide enough support that may result into falling your baby from the back (sometimes babies push back unknowingly).
Another reason is back carrying in a stretchy wrap may block airways if your baby bends down without you being aware of kids’ position.
However, now you may get specially designed stretchy wraps that offer back carry as well. But always try back carry with the help of any experienced person or try it multiple times using a baby doll or a teddy bear before putting your baby in that.
If you want a versatile wrap that you can use for years and you are keen to learn different ways to wrap your baby, then go for a woven wrap because of its versatile, durabile, and different textures available in the market.
But if you don’t want to get into the wrapping process and need a simple and easy to carry baby wrap, then ring sling is an ideal choice for you because of its adjustability and comfort. Though you must avoid it if you are suffering from any back-related problem.