Features: Stretchy wraps are long (approx 4-5m) lengths of soft stretchy jersey fabric that you wrap around yourself to carry your baby securely. Stretchy hybrid carriers use the same types of fabric and basic carrying positions, but have different features and fastening methods, which some may find easier to use. Stretchy wraps and many of the Hybrid Carriers offer excellent support for baby’s back, hips and head, as well as custom fitting support for parent’s back too. You can pre-tye a stretchy wrap and most hybrids so that it’s quick and easy to then pop baby in and out of it without untying anything.
Age Range/Suitability: They are most suitable for front carrying babies up to about 6-12 months and are fantastic for using with newborns and smaller babies. When a baby gets much bigger than around 6 months many parents find that the stretchy fabric doesn’t offer enough support for the weight of their child and it will start to get less comfortable. At this point, we’d suggest trying a woven wrap (or other carrier type) for the best support and comfort.
Carrying Positions: All are suitable for the front and some on the hip, with variations possible. Can be used to aid discrete, comfortable breastfeeding. Most not safe for back carries.
Options: Stretchy wraps can come in different fabric blends – those with elastane or spandex tend to have a slightly different feel to those without. Hybrid carriers can use rings, buckles or straps sewn into stretchy fabric panels to offer different fastening methods. Some hybrids are comprised of more than one component so you’d need to be careful not to loose part of it.
Pros: excellent for newborn and premature babies; once tied are quick to use (can be pre-tied and baby taken in/out without untying); easy to share between adults; soft supportive fabric; easy to wash; most are very ergonomic for baby and parent.
Cons: lots of fabric to negotiate; can be hot in the summer; only suitable for around 6-12 months; not suitable for back carries; hybrids can have multiple components to negotiate/loose.
The Sling Library’s Stretchy Wraps and Hybrid Carriers are listed here: Stretchy Wraps and Hybrids