Snug & Tighten: the secret to making your wrap work

The wrap is so wonderful because it is so versatile.  You get a custom carry every time, tailored to you and your baby.

There are countless ways to tie your wrap, but even one basic tying method, such as the Front Cross Carry, can be used to carry your baby in an upright tummy-to-tummy carry, a semi-reclined or sideways carry, a high and safe cradle carry, a low nursing carry, a high-shoulder/burp hold carry, or even a facing-forward carry for short periods (though I recommend against the forward-facing position).

Front Cross Carry - Newborn Burp Hold

Front Cross Carry - Newborn Burp Hold

To become an expert, pick one carry that works for you.  Learn to tie it, to insert your baby, and then learn to snug and tighten every part of the wrap so that it holds your baby just where you want him or her.  Each time you do it, you will become better and faster.  The wrap will become like an extension of your own body, another set of arms to cradle the one you love.

But if you don’t pull the slack out of the wrap, it won’t do the job perfectly.  Your baby will start to feel heavy and you won’t wear him or her for long.  Or you won’t be able to nurse hands-free, because you need to use your arms to keep baby high enough to stay latched. Or you’ll use one hand to support baby’s head.  Or baby will complain because the carry is too loose.

Don’t fret.  You’re learning.  Next time, pay more attention to snugging and tightening every part of the wrap and it will be better.  And you do it every day, and in no time, you’ve got it down and can do it without pausing in conversation.

How to snug and tighten properly?

When you put the wrap on, make sure you are not twisting it anywhere.  This is easiest accomplished by holding onto only the top edge as you bring the wrap around your back.  Gravity will hold the bottom edge down for you, and you have no chance of getting it twisted where you can’t see.

Christiane Back Wrap

Holding only the top edge of the wrap as I bring it around my back keeps it from twisting.

Because your wrap is not twisted, you can see where there is slack–perhaps at the top, near baby’s head–and you can tighten along that very strand of the wrap at the end of the wrap before you tie.

If your wrap is striped, or has a color gradation, you can use the colors to help know which part of the wrap to tighten.

Remember that the bottom edge of the wrap should be holding up your baby’s knees higher than baby’s bottom.  Pull any slack through so that the wrap is smooth and tight under the knees and around baby’s bottom and back.

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