The CuddlyWrap is a stretchy, organic cotton wrap made and distributed by the lovely folks at Canada’s AMP Diapers. Stretchy wrap-style carriers are an amazing option for squishy newborn babies, and I much prefer them to a buckle carrier with infant insert.
Compared to a year ago, I am a much more experienced babywearer, and I have had practice using both a woven wrap and a wrap designed for the water. Even if the CuddlyWrap is your first time wrapping, I don’t think the CuddlyWrap is too complicated for a novice. The fabric is very forgiving and easy to work with. Once you understand the principal of a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry, you’ll be able to get baby up and snuggled in no time.
If you just stumbled over the term “Pocket Wrap Cross Carry,” don’t worry. I used to get stressed out by this stuff too. Think of it as turning yourself into a warrior princess (Xena, Daenerys or Rey … you choose). (Here’s a great tutorial vid by Wrap You in Love.)
Start with your magical wrap centered across your ample bosom. Take its tails back under your arms and up across your back and over your powerful shoulders to form an X. (Perfect for storing your spear, sword or light saber.)
Now the tails are over your shoulders, and you need to cross them again, to make another X that crosses between your breasts, underneath the belt of power you’ve already created.
Now tie the ends around your waist, either at the back like a glorious bustle, or at the front like a delightful sash. I personally tie loosely to allow for easy adjustment once baby is seated.
Take your baby and sit him in the X you’ve created on your front, putting his leg into the rail that is closest to your body first. (Optional: allow child to hit you repeatedly on the face while doing so.)
Spread the fabric of each rail from hip to shoulder.
The waist belt will be under baby’s legs at this point, so pull it up and out from under, then stretch it all the way up his back. Tuck the bottom of the belt between you and baby. Ensure your waist belt is double knotted.
The CuddlyWrap is aptly named: this kind of carry is most definitely cuddlier than that of a buckle carrier. Another advantage over a buckle carrier is that once you’ve got your CuddlyWrap tied up, you don’t need to untie it to take baby out. This makes it pure perfection for winter babywearing. You see, once baby’s in, you can put your sweater or coat on top and head out to the car. Once you’re at the car, you don’t have to take off your top layer in order to get baby out and into the car seat! You just pop her out! And once you’ve arrived at your destination, no tails are dragging while you struggle to tie up your wrap: just pop baby back in! (And don’t forget, you’re a warrior woman.)
While a stretchy wrap like this is not as supportive as a woven wrap and cannot be used for back carries, I find it surprisingly comfortable for Little Miss Cub at 22 lbs. For short errands, I don’t mind wearing her in the CuddlyWrap, and around the house when I’m trying to get her down for bedtime or a nap, it’s perfect. I would definitely recommend a CuddlyWrap for the period of time from birth until baby can sit comfortably and safely in a buckle carrier without an infant insert (somewhere between 4–6 months usually), and from then on as a cuddly option at home or a “poppable” option for short errands.
Advantages of the CuddlyWrap
- Made in Canada and inexpensive ($79.95).
- 100% organic cotton with no synthetic fibres means more support than similar options on the market.
- Perfect for skin-to-skin contact in the early days, for both moms and dads.
- Soft and snuggly for both newborns and clingy toddlers.
- A perfectly poppable carry! No need to untie or retie to take baby in and out, and no need to remove your own coat or sweater.
- The ends of the wrap are tapered making it easy to tie off without too much bulk.
- One size fits all: while you achieve the same carry with a Huggaloops or Baby K’Tan, those are sized options and not easily shared between caregivers.
Disadvantages of the CuddlyWrap
- You have to learn to tie it (it’s not hard, I promise!).
- If you are putting it on while you’re outside, you will likely drag the tails on the ground (this is easily solved by putting it on before leaving the house, even if you don’t need to put baby in right away).
- Only appropriate for front carries, and not supportive for long periods with babies over 20 lbs.
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