How to Use a Stretchy Wrap

May 01, 2017

stretchy baby wrap

Brooke and myself (Angela) both started our babywearing journeys with stretchy wraps… and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Stretchies are an amazing baby carrier for newborns and smaller babies. They are easily the most snuggly baby carrier option – soft and mouldable. They are perfect for winter, but if you have a summer baby (or late spring like I did), they can still be brilliant if you choose one that’s not too thick.

quote stretchy baby wrap

Stretchy baby wraps can seem a little bit confusing and complicated at first. They do take a little practice! But trust me when I say that your efforts will pay off and be greatly appreciated by your new baby. 😊

Brooke and I both practiced while we were still pregnant, using large soft toys! You can definitely do this too if your baby hasn’t arrived yet. It’s good to help you feel confident before you put a real, live person in there. But if your baby is here and ready for wrapping, don’t sweat it – you’ve got this mama. Just follow our simple instructions here and give it a go. You might take a few attempts before you feel confident enough to wrap out in public, but if you persevere, you’ll get there.

Oh, and as an added bonus, stretchy wraps make excellent gateway carriers into the world of woven wraps, as they teach you the basics of wrapping and tightening. So if you’re not sure if wrapping is for you, start with a stretchy to build up your confidence and skills, then once baby gets bigger, look for your first woven wrap. That’s what Brooke and I both did, and we found that the stretchy was such an important foundation for our babywearing journey.

Stretchy Baby Wrap Tutorial

Here’s an easy-to-follow stretchy wrap tutorial that will help you get started.

If you're looking for a video tutorial on the Stretchy wrap, you can watch Brooke demonstrate her the Front Wrap Cross Carry with the Manduca Stretchy Wrap here. Otherwise, follow along with our written instruction and infographic below.

stretchy wrap tutorial infographic

  1. Start by finding the middle of the wrap and gather it.
  2. Place the middle of the wrap horizontally at about belly button height, and bring it around to your back, without twisting the fabric.
  3. Bring each tail up over the opposite shoulder, making an X on your back, and allowing the fabric to drop down the front over each shoulder.

Tip: Once again, be careful not to twist the fabric. You can test if the fabric is twisted by doing a “bath towel” motion. Tug on the top rail at your chest, and the seam closest to your neck on your shoulder. These should be the same seam/rail. If not, untwist the fabric before proceeding. The fabric should sit smoothly across your back.

  1. Gently loosen the material around your belly. This should make a pocket for your baby to sit into.
  2. Hold your baby upright at the top of one shoulder. Reach underneath the pocket and guide baby’s legs in, one at a time. Their legs should come out the bottom, and the fabric should sit bunched up, in their knee-pits. Their position should be seated/squatting.
  3. Find the top rail of your pocket at the back of baby’s knees, and guide it up your baby’s back until it reaches just above the neck, but not over their head.
  4. Make a seat by guiding the remaining fabric in the pocket under baby’s bottom and up between you and baby.
  5. Time to tighten! Tighten the top rail first by bringing it back, away from your body over your shoulder. You should feel baby come closer to your body as you tighten. Then move through the middle of the fabric, towards the bottom rail, removing any slack, but not over-tightening. Do one side first, and then the other.

Tip: Keep tension in one tail by holding it between your legs while you tighten the other.

  1. Spread one pass of fabric and guide it across your baby’s back, going from shoulder to shoulder, and knee to knee. Guide it under your baby’s leg. Place it between your knees to hold tension, then do the same with the other pass of fabric.
  2. Bring the tails underneath baby’s legs and around to the back. You can tie off here or bring the tails back to the front, under baby’s bottom and tie off with a double knot.


Bonus Tips:

  • Safety first: follow TICKS. Always make sure baby is high, visible, and kissable. Their airways must be clear.
  • You can flip the shoulder pass under or over to help your baby see a little more.
  • You can tuck baby’s head under one shoulder pass if baby needs a little more support or they’re sleeping.
  • To remove baby, you can do each step in reverse. Alternatively, a quicker method is to pull the shoulder passes down and lift your arms out, one at a time. Then pull the horizontal pass down and lift baby out.
  • Usually, the pocket carry is taught with a stretchy wrap, but this technique, Front-Wrap-Cross-Carry (FWCC) is more ideal. It takes just as much learning, but is easier to tighten and adjust. Also, if you progress up to a woven wrap, you’ll be able to use this exact carry (with vertical passes bunched if your baby is still small).

So, in summary, stretchy wraps are an incredible introduction to the babywearing world, especially for those lovely squishy newborn cuddles. They come with a slight learning curve, but a little practice will have you wrapping confidently in no time.

stretchy wraps quote

I’ll definitely have one lined up for when my littlest love makes an appearance in the next couple of months.


Happy babywearing!



P.S. Found this info handy? Please go ahead and share!

P.P.S. We happen to have some stretchy wraps in stock, so please feel free to check them out if you don’t already have one. AfterPay and Express Shipping so you get those cuddles ASAP.


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