Joy & Joe Baby are a brand I have reviewed a number of woven wraps for & I have also done a tutorial or two for them (keep an eye out for me in the instructions if you order a woven wrap from them!). They have produced a new range of stretchy wraps to compliment their current range of woven wraps, so I was excited to be able to test it out & see how it compares to other stretchy wraps that are available.
Stretchy wraps are something which, although weight-tested to much heavier, are often thought of as only being suitable for smaller babies but there are actually some stretchy wraps which are suitable beyond those early days. I wanted to give this wrap a good test, put it through its paces a bit so to speak & really make it work! I’ve tested this wrap with a demo doll (tiny baby size, weighing in at 5.5lbs) & George who is now 20mths (where did my baby go?!?). I even had the priviledge of wrapping my friends little girl who is 4mths & weighs 12lb 9oz. All in all, I’ve given it a pretty good run for its money!
The new stretchy wraps are made from 100% cotton & are currently available in 4 different colours (purple, green, grey & navy). Each one comes with a storage bag & a matching baby hat, as well as an instruction booklet & safety leaflets. They feature a care label on one end of the wrap & a company label as the middle marker. If I’m honest, I would prefer a slightly more subtle middle marker, something smaller & similar to what is featured on J&J woven wraps would be nice, but the larger middle markers seem to be fairly common practice on a lot of stretchy wraps. That said, it’s a personal preference & not something that would put me off making a purchase at all if I like the product.
They are priced at £32 which, in relation to other brands of stretchy wrap on the market, makes it one of the lower priced wraps available;
- Snugiwraps: £20.00 (www.snugiwraps.com)
- Victoria Slinglady: £23.00 (www.victoriaslinglady.co.uk)
- Joy & Joe Baby: £32.00 (www.joyandjoebaby.co.uk)
- JPMBB Basics: £34.95 (www.lovetobenatural.co.uk)
- Boba Wrap: £38.00 (www.slumber-roo.co.uk)
- Moby Original: £42.95 (www.slumber-roo.co.uk)
- Hana Baby: £43.99 (www.hanababy.co.uk)
- Manduca Sling: £54.99 (www.cheekyrascals.co.uk)
- JPMBB Original: £59.95 (www.lovetobenatural.co.uk)
- Ergo Wrap: £69.95 (www.johnlewis.com)
The wrap measures in at roughly 56cm wide & around 586cm long. It doesn’t feel overly wide which is nice with a smaller baby yet it didn’t feel too narrow when I wrapped George. The length was something that surprised me, I seemed to have a lot more wrap than normal with a stretchy & when we measured it, that explained why! My friend commented on how long it felt when she wrapped her little girl, she felt a little swamped by all the fabric & that’s coming from someone who wraps with a woven wrap already. I definitely think there is scope to be able to offer a shorter wrap option (something both Hana Baby & JPMBB do) without compromising on the carries that could be done with it & possibly making it more appealing to some people as there are many people who are put off using a stretchy due to the length & the feeling of it being difficult to master.
The edges have been overlocked, rather than hemmed or simply left unfinished. This seemed to help keep the edges of the wrap flat rather than rolling which has been an issue with some unfinished wraps but it also doesn’t impact on the wraps ability to stretch as a traditional hem may. The ends of the wrap are not blunt or tapered as a woven wrap often is, but simply get narrower towards the end. In terms of thickness, it is probably inbetween a Boba & a Moby. It isn’t as thin as a Snugiwraps but not as thick as a JPMBB. A fairly mid-weight stretchy in my opinion.
The next thing to consider is the type of stretch the wrap has. The stretch primarily comes from the way the wrap is woven; some stretchy wraps stretch 1-way, others stretch 2-way & others, namely the JPMBB Original, stretch in every direction! Sometimes the stretch is even & other times it stretches more in one direction than another. This wrap has some degree of stretch both along the length of the wrap & across the width, although it is much more stretchy widthways (between the top & bottom rail).
The last thing to think about it the elasticity, or the spring back, the wrap has. This wrap has more elasticity than a Moby which has very little but nowhere near as much as the JPMBB, it is most comparable to the Boba. It doesn’t have masses of elasticity but enough so that it feels supportive & not saggy.
What about how it feels when wrapping with it? It has a really lovely drape & weight to the fabric without feeling heavy or overwhelming. It has enough stretch & elasticity to be able to do a pocket wrap cross carry as a pre-tied carry without the need to undo & re-tie everytime you want to pop baby in & out.
My friend who normally wraps using a woven wrap & has done since her little girl was newborn, was surprised how comfortable the stretchy was & how supportive it felt, especially compared to the woven wraps she is used to. When I wrapped her little girl, I was really impressed with how the wrap felt & how easy it was to get both of us comfortable.
I even managed to carry George in this wrap & I was really suprised how supportive it felt, even when carrying him & his water bottle! People sometimes say that you get what you pay for with stretchy wraps & that the lower priced wraps won’t last beyond 6months-ish. As long as you wrap with good technique, paying attention, making sure it is smooth & tight enough, then this is really comfortable.
The only real suggestions that I have, or that have been mentioned by parents who’ve tested the wrap for me, would be the introduction of a shorter length wrap & some adjustments to the instruction booklet. The wrapping instructions could be a little clearer, with more optimum support & positioning of the child shown in the photographs, however the inclusion of useful tips & information such as TICKS is a great addition to the booklet.
Overall, this is a great wrap. It has a really lovely feel to it as well as being lovely & supportive. It is a great introduction to to carrying & a wonderful option for a newborn but, with good technique, I imagine it will out last some of the other brands of stretchy wrap. I love the touch of including a matching hat with the wrap, although the one that came with this one fits George at 20 months & is much too big for my smaller demo dolls, but that does mean that if you sold the wrap on, you could still have the hat as a reminder of the wrap that carried your little one! This is a wrap I am definitely pleased to have as part of the library & one which I think will be getting a lot of love from the families who use it!