Baby Carrier Buying Guide -

Wraps

1

What is a Wrap Carrier

Although wraps are the oldest forms of baby carriers, they are still among the most popular ones. The womb like comfort that the baby gets in a wrap makes it the preferred choice for most parents.

The wrap is a popular baby wearing method due to its flexibility and the comfort it offers to both baby and wearer. It is basically a big piece of cloth wrapped around the baby and wearer, to suit own body dimensions. Therefore, the same wrap can be customized to suit different wearers.
There are 2 main types of wrap materials available today –

Stretch wrap

– These are made of stretchable, knit materials, and allow you to put on the wrap before slipping the baby in. However, these are not recommended for a back carrying position, since the baby will not be too secure, due to the strength limitation of the fabric. Also, these cannot be used for older or heavier children. Stretchable wraps are also prone to sagging after continued use.

Woven wrap

– These wraps are made of a lightweight, woven material, and come in different sizes. This material allows you to use different wrapping positions without the fear of the baby slipping out. Giving a blanket-like feel, the woven wraps are said to be the most comfortable of all.
2

Why you Need a Wrap Carrier

You would need a wrap carrier if –
  • You don’t want to fuss with buckles or straps or other accessories.
  • You are looking for carriers that give you multiple carrying positions, while distributing your baby’s weight evenly on your shoulders.
  • You want a carrier that will not make your baby too warm or cold, and will provide a cozy environment to the baby – the closest to your womb.
  • You want to wear your baby in positions conducive and comfortable for breastfeeding.
3

How is a Wrap Carrier Useful

Wraps are one of the most versatile baby carriers around. They are useful due to various reasons such as –
  • You can place the newborns in froggy-legged position, so their weight rests on the baby bum rather than the feet. As your child grows older, you may start leaving the feet out.
  • You can ensure that the baby’s neck and shoulders are protected until head and neck balance is achieved.
  • The usage of a wrap also depends on its size.
    • Long wraps may be tied in as front carry, a rucksack, a back wrap cross carry (this is usually done for newborns until they are old enough to be carried). A double hammock or a hip carry allows for older children who are able to sit, and whose neck muscles have strengthened enough to be carried.
    • Short wraps can be used for a simple hip carry or rucksack style.
4

Features List

The list of features will help you in taking an informed buying decision.
Must Haves
  • Fabric: Good quality stretchy, woven or gauze, according to the climate.
  • Band: Free flowing bands with tapered edges, so it is easier to tie.
  • Easy to clean: Wrap should be washable and should not shrink or lose color after the very first wash.
Good to Haves
  • Storage: Pockets for holding keys, wallets or diapers.
  • Decorative panel: Panel with batik, solids, embellished, blocks, patterns, etc.
5

Pros and Cons

Before you decide to buy a wrap, have a look at its pros and cons.
Pros Cons
Being wrapped to the mother gives newborns a physical and psychological bonding. It takes time to learn and master the art of wrapping.
It helps with various commonplace infant problems such as colic, reflux and grumpiness. It takes a minute or two to tie the wrap around your body, during which time, your child might be crying or squirming.
It provides the best support to the child’s head and neck, hips and legs. Troublesome for parents having back or lumbar problems, strain issues, etc.
The child can be placed either in front, hip or back carry positions.
Inexpensive (when compared to buckle carriers).
Hands-free option for work at home or work from home mothers/parents.
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What to look for when buying a Wrap

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Types of Wraps across Cultures

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