How to Wear Your Stretchy Baby Wrap Correctly: Spread that Fabric

By Elizabeth on September 7th 2011
Straight Legs Hanging Down


 

A picture is worth a thousand words right?  The mama as shown above is not wearing her wrap correctly. Don't want to be too critical, after all I eat and breathe baby carriers, but since we are carrying such *precious cargo* just wanted to give a visual of what may make for a smoother ride. I already talked about making sure that the fabric was not twisted and the two big pointers on how to prevent a sagging baby - even if your little one is a beautiful butterball or you are carrying an older baby.

The most common mistake when wearing a stretchy baby wrap is not spreading the fabric to the back of the knee.  Baby's legs end up hanging straight down like matchsticks.  Straight  baby legs mean unsupported legs.

Leg support is key to the comfort of your baby.  Leg support encourages proper hip development, which is especially in babies with preexisting hip dysplasia.  Leg support tilts the pelvis and aligns the spine in a convex c-shape.  When you position the baby's legs in the "jockey" position, or in an "M" shape (the downward point of the M representing the baby's bottom), you are supporting the legs of your babe. Tap the potential of the leg support on your baby carrier!

Spreading the fabric wide and supporting your baby's legs will also prevent the "sagging" that is often associated with stretchy wraps.  Some may try to talk you out of stretchy wraps stating that they simply will not last longer than three months without sagging.  Some parents don't tie their wraps tight enough or work with the elasticity of the wrap.  But the culprit is usually lack of leg support when it comes to sagging.  If you tie the wrap tightly to your body, even corset tight, it will sag if you don't pull the fabric to the back of the knee.

I just wrapped my 26 month old girl today because she fell and hit her head.  She was high, above my belly button, magically close.  I wore her for two hours.  The wrap fit her like a glove.  No sagging. Not a bit.  She is 27 lbs.

Remember to pull those little knees up to hip level. Baby's thighs should always be at least parallel with the ground.  When the fabric is spread and your baby is positioned correctly there are three layers of fabric (about a foot in length) spanning the back of your baby's knee all the way around his bottom to the back of his other knee.  When the fabric isn't spread it barely covers his bottom and there is only about four inches of stretchy fabric supporting him.  The result?  Not very good support; and if gravity has its way, it'll be pulling your babe toward the ground.

perfect fit


We need to get a Boba mantra going.  "Spread the wrap to the back of the knee.  Baby's bottom higher than my bell-eeeeee."

Really, spreading the fabric should not be overlooked.  When you don't spread the fabric, the baby is supported by the baby wrap more like a rock climbing harness supports a climber.  Wouldn't you rather be sitting on a sky-chair?