Slingbabies - New Zealand's own baby sling website - non-profit, educational, to promote and support babywearing.


Description:  A wrap is a long piece of fabric that is tied in a variety of ways to 'create' a carrier.  Because it spreads the weight so well over your shoulders and body, it is incredibly comfortable for wearing newborns to preschoolers, for long periods of time.  Wraps may be stretchy or woven.  Stretchy wraps are great for newborns and young babies up to around a year old; woven wraps have a higher weight/age limit as they are more supportive for longer.  Wraps range from around 3m to around 5m long. Tall and/or 'fluffy' people will need a longer wrap than short or skinny people.  The size of the baby is not as relevant.  Wraps are good for people with bad backs who find other carriers painful. 

Poppability:  low-med, depends on 'carry' used. 

Learning Curve: High 

Fitting:   Wraps may have the most learning curve, but they are worth it.   Don't be intimidated by those metres of fabric!  Practice in front of a mirror with a doll beforehand, so you are confident when you try with your baby. Kneel on a padded floor for your own peace of mind, and have a 'spotter' for the first few times you wrap. Once you learn your first 'carry', you're set!

With wraps it is important to keep the fabric straight (not twisted) and to spread each part out as much as possible around you and baby.  When they are past the 'newborn/legs tucked in' stage, babies' legs should be spread to straddle you, knees up and bottom down.  This is incredibly important for their comfort and development.   

Stretchy wraps like the Moby and Hugabub mainly use the Front Pocket Cross Carry.  They are able to be pre-tied (put it on before you go shopping etc), and you can pop baby in and out around 3-4 times before they need re-tying.  Stretchy wraps are not recommended for back carries, despite what the sellers might say.  They are not as wide as woven wraps, and not supportive enough once babies are past the 6-10 month age and able to push away from you. 

Woven wraps like the Storchenwiege, Neobulle and Hoppediz may be used from newborn to preschool age and beyond.  Because they have a minimal stretch, they are very supportive for wearer and baby.   They are wider than stretchy wraps, and are recommended for all types of carries, although the Front Pocket Cross Carry may be difficult to bring the front band up without the stretch-factor. Using a woven wrap you will mostly need to re-tie each time you put baby on. 

Positions: Front Cross Carry , Front Pocket Cross Carry (-popular for stretchy wraps), Kangaroo/Buddha, Hip, Back Wrap Cross Carry, Ruck Carry, Secured High Back Carry.  (See instructions section for more details on each 'carry')

Pros: Immensely comfortable, great for bad backs, most versatile of baby carriers, can be used from newborn to older child.

Cons: Big learning curve, can be hot, difficult to get baby out in a hurry.

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