I’m a big fan of stretchy wraps – simple long lengths of material tied in ways designed to support newborns and small babies, taking the strain off the parent’s back, shoulder and arms whilst letting them be hands free. They can be pre-tied, meaning you can put it on and pop your baby in and out when needed. You can have your stretchy wrap tied in the car, round the house, under your coat, for whenever you need an extra hand. I used mine for in and out at doctors appointments, around the shops, to see friends, to eat my dinner in the evenings, at home to hang out washing or do the floors, and to give me two hands back for typing, studying or crafting whilst the baby slept.
A good stretchy wrap does not have to be difficult to learn to use, or expensive. There are stretchy wraps to suit all budgets, some are suited better for early days use and some trade on the longevity and multiple carrying positions. Not all wraps are equal, some will perform better than others – different widths, how stretchy the cloth is, how many directions the fabric stretches, it’s length, tapers, finish and features all make a difference to how usable it is for most people, and for how long.
The Snugiwraps stretchy wrap has had a makeover, and the pre-Jan 2014 models are quite different from the newer, slinkier version. Lovely and soft fresh from the packet, the cloth has a lot of stretch and is lightweight. This is a good thing if you like your carrier to fold down small for storage, and can be cooler for carrying in the summer. Steph at Snugiwraps has told me that they recommend it’s use with babies under 12 months, for comfort reasons, but it is acceptable for use with babies 3-15kg. It is blunt ended, without tapers, but this does not affect the size of the knot particularly with a lightweight wrap. It has a useful, unobtrusive label for middle marker and a label on one short end detailing washing instructions.
I gave this good budget wrap option a decent test with my 18 month old, who is on the smaller side. We used it twice, once indoors and once for a walk. I needed to draw the wrap very tightly and pay close attention to the spread of the cloth, but as I was using it outside of the recommended range, that was fair enough. I used pocket wrap cross carry to carry her, as the default stretchy wrap position. Overall it performed well – She was tight and snug and felt secure, with only a little settling after our walk. I would prefer more width with this wrap – more width would have secured the leg position better, and allowed for more head support – there was none spare here if Rosalind had gone to sleep, but she was comfortable enough to do so. Having also tried this wrap with the demo doll – 8 week old size – and helped a library user try it with her 6 month old, I believe this would also be the case with younger babies. I think the suggested range of use for babies under 12 months is reasonable, but suggest it would perform at its best with babies under 6 months. My advice to anyone using one of these wraps or thinking about doing so is to make sure you fit it tightly and carefully due to the amount of stretch, but once you do this it should perform well.
Overall, I am happy to recommend this wrap as a good budget wrap and to include it in the library, and to welcome Snugiwraps as a library supporter, meaning they will offer The West Yorkshire Sling Library users a discount on their products. Thank you Snugiwraps.
Snugiwraps stretchy wraps cost £19 including uk postage from http://www.snugiwraps.co.uk – they are available to try on at all library session or to take home on rental. Discount code is available to all library users on request!