Carrying Forward Facing in a Stretchy Wrap

This is possible with extreme care.

A lot of older (or uninformed) stretchy wrap instruction leaflets and videos will present forward facing as a normal carrying position, in the same way they present cradle carrying as a normal carrying position, without addressing the safety considerations.

To use a stretchy wrap forward facing you have to ensure, in the same way you do as when using a stretchy wrap parent facing:

  1. Baby’s bum is low, knees are high, hips are supported and not overspread
  2. Baby’s back is supported in it’s natural curve and not straightened in a developmentally inappropriate weight-bearing position
  3. Baby’s airway is protected from compression, so that they can still breathe

1 and 2 can be achieved by carefully positioning baby before spreading any of the fabric passes, and by ensuring that when you do spread the passes they support the position. Unless you do this very precisely and firmly a combination of gravity and baby wriggling will soon leave their hips unsupported, their back arched and the potential for them to fall forward.

3 is achieved by being constantly vigilant that their head is not lolling around or slumped forward. Babies have heavy heads in proportion to their bodies, and no head support can be created when using a stretchy wrap forward facing. No matter how excellent their head control, when they relax their neck muscles (for example when sleepy) the head will slump, and this poses a suffocation risk.

You will probably find yourself supporting their weight with one hand under their bum, and supporting them from falling forwards with the other hand on their chest, keeping a constant eye on their neck position.


In the forward facing position baby cannot modulate the sensory input of the world moving towards them by snuggling in to you, nor can they triangulate back to the your face for reassurance and comfort. Some children may find this both overwhelming and stressful; some may react by crying and some may just freeze (in the way a frightened animal might), which you may misinterpret as being fascinated by the world rather than terrified by it.

The bottom line is that you can carry forward facing in a stretchy as long as you pay close attention to safe positioning and to your baby’s emotional well-being.