Joy and Joe Rainbow Sparkle Stretchy Wrap baby sling review
In a nutshell
This beautiful and on-trend rainbow print sling is guaranteed to help you stand out from the crowd – but if you’re new to babywearing it may be tricky to figure out how to get it on initially
What we tested
- Comfort for baby
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Comfort for you
3.9A star rating of 3.9 out of 5.
- Ease of use
3.9A star rating of 3.9 out of 5.
4.2A star rating of 4.2 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Beautiful design, stretchy, easily washable, breathable material, moulds to wearer’s body
- Tricky to figure out how to put on, not as easy to use as a traditional baby carrier, more suited to smaller babies
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Joy and Joe is a British brand run by husband and wife team, Mayor and Bisi. Passionate about baby wearing, they launched their range of baby wraps – designed to provide as much versatility as possible for parents – in 2011.
This vibrant rainbow print sling, Silver award winner in the Sling and Wrap category of our MadeForMums Awards 2022, is available in a choice of 100% organic cotton or an organic bamboo and organic cotton mix. Suitable for use from birth up to 16kg, approx. 3-years-old, the stretchy carrier is designed to mould and adapt to the user’s body – and it’s easily washable, too. Costing £26 for the cotton design or £40 for the bamboo version, each coming with a matching hat and drawstring bag, it’s similar in price to the Lifft Stretchy Wrap, £39.95 and the Tag Togs Sa-Be baby wrap, £34.
Kayleigh Dray and her partner tested the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap with their 3-month-old daughter, indoors while carrying out daily chores, as well as on dog walks and trips to the shops.
What were your first impressions of the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap baby sling?
I was pleasantly surprised when I took the sling out of the box; the material felt soft and strong in my hands, yet there wasn’t as much stretch as expected when I held it taut. I loved the bright bold print, and immediately attempted to pop the matching hat on my little one’s head. Being an avowed hater of hats, though, she resisted and, as it was a tight fit, I gave up on that pretty quickly (it’s worth noting that my little one is almost 4 months old at this point, so perhaps it would have been a better fit had she been smaller; maybe it would have stretched with her).
How easy is the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap sling to put on with your baby?
It’s a bit of a tricky one for me to answer as when testing the sling I didn’t receive the instruction manual, just a QR code to scan to view a video on YouTube. As a result, I’m genuinely embarrassed to admit that this sling took me a very, very, very long time to figure out. Joined by my partner and his parents, we scanned the QR code to access the instructions, and were confronted with two YouTube videos – both sped up, neither featuring a narrative. I can’t tell you how many times we watched those videos, attempting to pause them at the trickier moments in the tying process as I stood swathed in rainbow-coloured material.
My partner’s dad watched the video countless times and, eventually, figured out the tying process, which he demonstrated to us. It took several careful tutorials, though, before I was anywhere near wrapping it around myself properly. What I can say is that the wrap has a label in the centre to help you find the middle, which is vital when tying, which I found to be a really helpful visual aid.
One of the MadeForMums Awards judges, Gemma, added that “Having been shown how to fit the wrap by our expert judge, it seemed secure, comfortable and relatively easy to fit. Although any sling is a learning curve in terms of fit, once mastered this is a real winner.”
How easy is it to put your baby in and take your baby out of the Joy and Joe Stretchy Wrap?
Personally, I found it difficult placing my baby into the sling, but I think that was largely due to the fact that she’s a wriggler. When I attempted to pop her legs into the loops in the material, she began to cry and attempt to fight free. Once she was nestled against me, though, she quietened and settled.
Removing her was easier; I already use a baby carrier from BabyBjorn, and have mastered the art of holding a baby with one arm as I remove buckles and straps with the other, so this was nothing. I imagine if you’re new to babywearing, though, you might want someone on hand to help the first few times – just while you build up your confidence.
Is it ergonomic?
Yes. If tied correctly, the Joy and Joe sling conforms with the BS EN 13209-2:2005 (UK/EU safety requirements for soft baby carriers). This means that it will support your little one’s hips and allow them to sit in the ‘M’ position’. As mentioned already, though, it took me a long time to muddle my way through the tying instructions, and I didn’t feel confident with the first handful of ties at all; unless it’s done properly, your baby will feel loose and insecure against you. The manual included features the T.I.C.K.S. guidelines for safe babywearing, as well as lots of practical safety advice.
How comfortable is your baby in the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap sling?
It’s difficult to gauge how my little one found the sling, as it really varied on a daily basis. Her happy place is my chest – I spend hours and hours holding her every day, so I thought this would be a sure win, as my little Velcro baby would be exactly where she wanted to be, and I could still get some chores done. As ever, though, she proved unpredictable in her responses! Sometimes she’d be content to nestle against me and fall asleep, soothed by my heat and scent. At other times, she would wriggle against me and attempt to turn her head repeatedly from side to side, often knocking out her dummy in the process and causing herself to cry. I think that’s because she’s used to my BabyBjorn carrier, which allows her legs to dangle free and a bit more movement of the head.
Having said that, it’s worth noting babywearing expert and MadeForMums Awards judge, Katy Blundell, really rated the sling for comfort, commenting: “There’s a lovely amount of stretch, it feels well-made and the stitching is very good quality.”
How comfortable is the Joy and Joe baby wrap for you?
Once I got things figured out, the product was comfortable, and I didn’t feel any pressure on my back or shoulders after a period of wearing. However, I did find it too tight over my chest when I was struggling with a particularly nasty bout of mastitis – and my concern over whether or not I’d tied it properly the first handful of times made outdoor walks quite nerve wracking.
I have a very energetic dog who we are still training, so he can be quite a handful when it comes to walking him on the lead. Unlike my BabyBjorn, which feels incredibly secure due to all its buckles and straps, I found myself wrapping one protective arm around my baby whenever the dog tugged at the lead; even though I knew in my heart she’d be safe, I couldn’t help but worry that the wrap wouldn’t be as sturdy as a traditional carrier – and this worry definitely ruined my enjoyment of the product. In fairness to the Joy and Joe wrap, this would have been the case with any self-tying sling, and on the flipside, there’s no chance of any buckles of straps breaking on a woven wrap like this one.
How many different positions does the Joy and Joe Stretchy Wrap offer?
It’s recommended to only carry your baby on your front, in a parent-facing position, with the sling. This is what makes it great for keeping your baby close to you. If you want a sling that offers a variety of carry positions, the K’Tan Breeze Baby Carrier, £50 is a better option.
How easy is the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap to adjust?
The material wasn’t as stretchy as I thought, so it wasn’t too easy to tighten/loosen easily. Over time and use, though, I think it will become a little easier to handle. And it’s worth noting that myself and my partner (very different body shapes!) both managed to wear our baby in it.
Is it easy for you to do other things while wearing the Joy and Joe Stretchy Wrap?
Yes. I did love having my hands free to do household chores, when my oh-so-contrary baby was willing to enjoy the comforts of her new sling, that is. I didn’t manage to breastfeed, however; I have a larger chest and need to adopt quite a specific hold, but I imagine it would be easier if you’re able to adopt a number of different positions while feeding.
How well does the Joy and Joe Stretchy Wrap fit?
Myself, my partner, and my partner’s dad all wore the sling; strangely it worked best for the latter, who is of slim build and has narrow shoulders. My partner is broader in the chest and shoulders, so found the ties trickier (he had to really stretch them out), and I have a larger chest, so found it tricky to a) wrap securely and b) angle the baby in a way that made her comfortable.
What age range is the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap suitable for?
The wrap is made for newborns right up to babies weighing 16kg. Many soft slings suggest waiting for your baby to weigh at least 8lb before use (my baby was a very dinky 5lb 5oz at birth, so I did my research at the time), although there is no minimum weight guidance on the Joy and Joe website for this wrap.
How would you rate the quality of the Stretchy Wrap’s materials?
Honestly, the best thing about this wrap is the material; it’s gorgeous! So soft, so durable, so beautifully designed. Our MadeForMums Awards judge, Gemma, agreed, adding: “I love the bright rainbow print, and the bamboo and cotton fabric should keep a baby nice and cool.”
How easy is the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap to clean and keep clean?
This wrap was a doddle to keep clean; you can just pop it in the washing machine. The colours didn’t fade and the material stayed sturdy – no sagging whatsoever.
How well does the Stretchy Wrap work on public transport?
I found the Joy and Joe sling very easy to use on public transport; I already had the baby wrapped against me, and just stepped onto the train. I did admittedly keep one arm tightly around her, however, for extra security – and I wound up standing, as it didn’t feel as comfortable sitting in the sling (she began to fuss, preferring to be up high and looking around).
How does the Joy and Joe compare to other baby carriers or wraps you have used?
Personally, I prefer my BabyBjorn carrier when outdoors; the buckles and straps are easily adjustable, and I always feel as if my baby is secure. The soft wrap is definitely more comfortable and better for indoor use, but I did feel nervous knowing that my baby’s safety was dependent on me tying it correctly, especially as it didn’t come easily to me.
What’s in the box?
- The sling
- Matching hat
- Matching drawstring bag
- Instruction manual
Who would the Joy and Joe Stretchy Wrap be most useful for?
The Joy and Joe would be ideal for people with colicky babies that just want to be held; it frees up your hands and allows your little one to stay in their happy place at all times. I wish I’d been introduced to soft slings sooner, as I think my baby just doesn’t enjoy the sensation now; she loves being held in my arms and against my chest, but she doesn’t seem to enjoy the restrictions of a tight sling. Maybe over time she will get used to it, though!
Is the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap worth the money?
The material is so soft and breathable, the design is gorgeous, and there’s a reason that Joy and Joe slings have won awards; they are of very high quality. At £40 for the bamboo and cotton mix, 2-way stretchy wrap, the Joy and Joe rainbow design is priced similarly to many other comparable baby wraps on the market, so it’s worth the money – although I would recommend using it from a very young age to make sure your baby gets used to the sensation of being wrapped and you can get the most for your money.
How does it compare to similar slings?
|Product name||Age siutability||Carrying positions||Machine washable||RRP (£)|
|Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap||Birth to approx. 3 years (16kg)||1, front parent-facing||Yes||£40|
|TagTogs Sa-Be||Birth to approx. 3 years (15.9kg)||1, front parent-facing||Yes||£34|
|AmaWrap Baby Sling||Birth to 2-3 years (15kg)||1, front parent-facing||Yes||£34.99|
|ERGObaby Aura Baby Wrap||Birth to 2 years (11.3kg)||4, front and hip||Yes||£49.90|
Where can I buy the Joy and Joe Rainbow Stretchy Wrap baby sling?
Available at Joy and Joe and Amazon.
A really fun and colourful take on a classic sling wrap, this offering from Joy and Joe is great for standing out from the crowd. The breathable, high-quality and durable materials mean it’s made to last – perfect if you plan to add to your family – however you will need to get your head around how to tie it safely if you want to feel confident when out and about. If you’re keen to keep your baby close to you while getting on with things, it’s a great option.
|Brand||Joy and Joe|
|Model||Rainbow Sparkle Stretchy Wrap|
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Child weight||Up to 16kg|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|
|Carrying positions||Front – 1|