"In Case You Needed Another Reason Not to Wear Most Stretchy Wraps on Your Back
This was written a while ago, but after having to pull out my iPhone at the playground to show these pics to a mama who wanted me to teach her to wrap her baby on her back like I had DS using her Moby, I decided it might need to get shared around a bit. I can't tell you how many people have actually argues with me recently about whether a stretchy wrap is safe for back carries. I'm posting this in hopes of informing and possibly saving a baby from injury.
A manufacturer of stretchy wraps sent me a prototype of a hybrid wrap they've been working on to try out. This wrap is not on the market - the company wanted feedback on the design's safety from experienced wrappers and I provided that. This is in no way a post trying to make that company look bad. I just want to show what can happen when a back carry is attempted in a wrap that is not safe for such carries.
I used the wrap with my 18 month old, 26 lb toddler, Devin, and here's what happened.
Devin did not want to be wrapped. So I was wrapping an unwilling toddler in a Double Hammock (DH) and I was pretty impressed. It was way cushier with about as much stretch as the GMBBS. I was able to get what felt like a secure, comfy, arms-in DH. Devin asked for a banana and you can see he was still arms in and not moving much even while eating it.
I was feeling pretty confident so I took him for a little walk around the neighborhood during which he finished the banana. You can see that he was still arms in and secure (and I was comfy) after a 10-minute walk. I was still impresed
Then, I went for the real test. I asked Devin to lean back.
Not too bad, but he wasn't really motivated. So we went and stood by my wrap shelf and I showed him that his lizards (Geckos Antigua) were there and told him to get his lizards. Within 5 seconds he had his arms out
Still not a big deal. He can fish his arms out to get a little slack for leaning even in a totally solid woven wrap (like GA). But then, this happened.
Within a matter of second Devin was basically out of the wrap! He didn't fall out because I'm an experienced wrapper - I had a really deep seat and a snug wrap job. He's also an experienced wrappee and held on to me with his little legs and used his strong toddler core to sit back up w/ GA in his hands. However, if he were a motivated 8 month old, he could have done the same thing and been stuck hanging upside down from my back. With a less secure wrap job, he might have even fallen! Although this wrap has less stretch than a Moby or Sleepy wrap, unlike stretchy wraps that are safe for back carries like GMBBS it does not have hemmed rails. This allowed it to stretch quite a bit at the rails and roll down Devin's body easily despite the wrap being stretchy in only one direction.
So, please, NEVER EVER use a Moby or Sleepy wrap for a back carry. If you have a hybrid wrap with hemmed rails, like the Gypsy Mama Bali Baby Stretch be careful what carries you use. Double hammock, inverted double hammock, and wiggleproof carry are all safe for use with hybrid wraps. Do not use single-layer carries or carries with cross passes like BWCC or BCC as these are less safe. If you see a person out and about using a stretchy wrap in a back carry please stop them and tell them that it is not a safe option.
I also give my permission to any of you to C&P this post to use when informing others about BWing safety. Just please credit me for my work if you choose to do so. Finally, I sent this same text to the manufacturer so they will not be marketing this wrap w/ unhemmed rails as safe for back carries (in case you were worried)."
The author's name is Sarah. Her TBW SN is sarahrockwell. She is a Babywearing International Trained Babywearing Educator.
GMBBS is Gypsy Mama Bali Breeze.
If anyone has more questions about this, let me know! Even if I don't know the answer, I will find a BWing expert and get information from him/her.