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Launched in 2007 by a mum with a need for a stylish, comfy and simple carrier to use with her baby, the Lifft brand has come a long way since its origins. Now counting 2 successful products in its line – the Stretchy Wrap and Pouch Sling – both have been lauded by parents for their clever design, attractive look and competitive price.
The Stretchy Wrap scooped silver in the 2020 MFM Awards in the sling/wrap category and previous to that, was a gold winner 2 years in a row in the 2018 and 2019 Awards. Suitable from birth to 15kg (approx. age 3), it’s made from a 2-way stretch fabric that can be pre-tied, ready for your baby to be placed inside. It has 1 carry position – facing in on the parent’s chest – and the wrap supports your baby in a natural, ergonomic position.
Priced at £39.95, it’s one of the best value wraps on the market of its kind, and it’s extremely well received with parents, many of whom sing its praises for its supportive, safe hold, cosy fabric and great price.
Founder of online magazine, Motherhood Diaries, Leyla has three kids – two boys aged 7 and 9 and a 4-month-old baby girl. Leyla tested the Lifft Stretchy Wrap almost daily while at home, out and about on shopping trips, on long walks and while doing the daily school run.
What were your first impressions of the Lifft Stretchy Wrap?
When I first took it out of its box, my first thought was ‘It looks like a scarf, how the heck am I going to make this into a sling?!’ And the learning curve was long. I went through a few trial and error sessions – too low, too loose, too uncomfortable, too lopsided.
It wasn’t until the third week that I finally got baby Ayla, then 3 months, into the sling and she fell asleep in it almost instantly. Then I realised what the fuss was all about – baby slings are awesome!
What’s the back story of the Lifft Stretchy Wrap?
It was created in 2016 following the success of Lifft’s first product – the Pouch Sling – which appeared on BBC2 show, Britain’s Next Big Thing.
The Lifft Stretchy Wrap was created to carry babies for the first few months before transitioning onto the Lifft Pouch Sling. The Lifft Stretchy Wrap offers the convenience of a baby sling with the added bonus of feeling like you’re wearing a t-shirt.
What are the sizing and colour options like?
The Lifft Stretchy Wrap comes in two sizes, Short (410cm to fit up to size 12) and Regular, which is one size fits all. The material is very long, so the ends drag across the floor when I’m putting the wrap on. If you’re short like me (5’2”) and up to a size 12, I would suggest going for the Short size.
It comes in 8 colours: black, grey, teal, blue, plum, jade, plus two brand new shades: sunshine and rose.
How does it compare to similarly-priced products?
A similar product, and also a MFM Awards winner, is the Izmi Baby Wrap (£50 on Amazon). The Izmi is suitable to use from birth until 9kg (approx 11 to 12 months), less that the Lifft’s maximum weight of 15kg (approx 3 years). The Izmi wrap has a front carry and a side carry, while the Lifft just offers a front carry, which may justify the Izmi’s slightly higher price tag.
Another MFM award winner is the similarly priced Amawrap (£40 on Amazon). Our judges and home testers loved that it’s made from 100% cotton – while it does make it less stretchy and harder to get on than the Izmi and Lifft wraps, it also feels more sturdy, with slightly less give in the material. Like the Lifft, the Amawrap can be used up to 15kg and only has 1 carry position.
Leading baby carrier brand Ergobaby provide serious competition to the Lifft Stretchy Wrap in the form of the Aura Wrap (£37.72 on Amazon). It has a slightly shorter lifespan than the Lifft, with an age range from birth to 11.3kg, and like the Lifft, only has one carry position. It also has an integrated pouch so you can store it away if needed while you’re out.
How do you put on the Lifft Stretchy Wrap Sling?
- Every baby sling comes with a middle marker, either a visible mark or the logo. The middle marker is shown by Lifft Slings’ logo.
- Unfold your wrap and place the middle marker square across your chest with the logo facing out in the middle. This section of the wrap will be referred to as your ‘third pass’.
- Hold the top edge of your wrap, extend your arms and raise both sides of the wrap over your head. Bring them down to opposite shoulders. There should be a cross at the back now.
- Keep the fabric smooth across your chest and back so that the material can distribute your baby’s weight.
- Tuck both ends of the wrap through the third pass at the front. From your shoulders pulling forwards, take out the slack from across your back, lifting the cross higher. Pull the slack through the third pass.
- Cross the fabric over your chest and then bring the ends around your back to wrap around your waist.
- If you need to, wrap the material around your waist again so the ends aren’t hovering on the floor. Secure your wrap by tying a double knot, either at the back or at the side, wherever is more comfortable for you.
- Gather the third pass and lower it down and out of the way before you get your baby. Now get your baby!
- Take the first pass, the one that’s closest to your body and slide your hand inside from your armpit to pull the fabric away from your chest.
- Carefully lower baby’s legs into the opening and ensure their leg passes through and the fabric sits on the back of their knee.
- Spread the fabric across their bottom, from knee to knee, and smooth the material across their back. Repeat with the other side.
- Once you are happy baby is secure and the fabric is flat across their back, raise the third pass over their feet and smooth the fabric up towards their neck.
- You can use one side to support the head, but make sure the baby’s head is facing the opposite way and that their airway is free from obstruction.
How do you know if you’ve put the Lifft Stretchy Wrap on safely?
You must follow the TICKS rules of safe babywearing to ensure your baby is safe and secure in the wrap. These are that your sling should be: tight, your baby should be in view at all times, close enough to kiss, their chin should be kept off their chest and their back should be supported in a natural position. For more info about TICKS, click here.
Also, to ensure healthy hip development, babies should sit in the ergonomic ‘M’ position, so they are secure and sitting upright with no bends in the spine. The Lifft Stretchy Wrap supports this position and so do all of its closest competitors mentioned above.
How easy is it to put on and take off?
Initially it was a big learning curve for me to figure out how to construct the wrap, even when following the guidelines that came with the sling, but eventually, I got the hang of it and now it takes seconds to create and put Ayla in. You just have to make sure you’re keeping things tight and the fabric is flat and you’re good to go.
It’s very easy to take off, you simply slide one side of the fabric off to slot baby out. You can even leave the sling on as it’s not obstructive when out and about.
My experience was shared by MFM tester, Sabrina, who remarked that the instructions were daunting at first, but with patience and practice she got the hang of it. She said, “Once you master it, it is so easy to use and can be on within a minute or so. For a first time user it might be worth using a prop (such as a teddy) and practice prior to putting the baby in.”
Many of the reviews left on the brand’s website agree with this assessment, saying it’s worth the immediate time investment for a wrap that’s so quick to get on and usable afterwards.
What are the seating positions available when wearing the Lifft Stretchy Wrap?
As with most wraps in this style, you can only wear it with your baby facing you. This is perfect for now, but it may become a problem as your baby gets bigger and wants to look around at the world.
The Izmi Baby Wrap is the only direct competitor of the Lifft Stretchy Wrap that offers one more position – the side carry – but ultimately this is very similar to the front carry for your baby, although it may allow the wearer to mix things up a bit for comfort.
How comfy is it to wear?
I found the Lifft Stretchy Wrap very comfortable, but this was only once I’d properly mastered putting it on and taking it off well. Since doing it properly I have found the Lifft Stretchy Wrap to be so comfy and kind to my back, even after carrying Ayla for a few hours at a time.
MFM tester, Sabrina, found it so good she even managed a trip to London on the train while only using the wrap, commenting: “I found this sling was so much easier than using the pushchair. I didn’t need to find a lift or ask someone to help me carry the pushchair up the steps. I could walk up and down like in my pre-mum days!”
What are the Lifft Stretchy Wrap’s unique features?
The 2-way stretchy cotton allows for some give when putting the wrap on and it’s very easy to work with.
The wrap is ergonomic and if placed properly you can feel that the weight is evenly distributed across your back and chest, so there’s no pulling down from the shoulders or excess weight on your back. Online reviewers back this up, with many praising the wrap for its back support, comfy feel and just how lovely and snug babies are when inside.
Can you breastfeed in the Lifft Stretchy Wrap?
Good question! Apparently you can, but it’s quite difficult, as you need to loosen the slack on the wrap and lower baby down to breastfeed. I haven’t been able to do it myself, so I’d rather take the baby out of the Lifft Stretchy Wrap and use the material like a breastfeeding shawl. It kind of defeats part of the purpose, though, as it would be great to keep the wrap position while out and about and baby suddenly needs a feed.
MFM tester, Sabrina, also found this aspect of the wrap tricky and admitted her son could not get used to feeding inside it. That said, a handful of online reviewers say the ability to feed while wearing it is exactly why they love it so much, so maybe it just takes some getting used to.
Do you like the look of it?
The Lifft Stretchy Wrap has such a beautiful style and it’s made from very soft durable fabric. I love the way the wrap looks when I’m wearing it – comfortable and stylish – it even looks good when my baby isn’t in it!
It has 8 colour options, 4 less than the Ergobaby Aura Wrap and the Amawrap, and no patterned designs to choose from, but I loved the eye-catching block colours that are available – there are certainly enough to cater for all tastes.
How easy is it to clean the Lifft Stretchy Wrap?
It’s machine washable at 40° and it comes out looking as good as new. The material hasn’t faded after quite a few washes.
What are your favourite features of the Lifft Stretchy Wrap?
The material is soft, easy to use and flexible. Plus, once you learn how to create the wrap, you’re good to go within seconds. It feels like a t-shirt and it’s much easier to move out of the way to breastfeed than my more expensive baby carrier.
It’s also easy on your back and safe for baby’s hips. It really does make me feel like I’m bonding with my baby because it’s so snug and sturdy. As one online reviewer perfectly put it: “There’s just no feeling compared to baby snuggles in a stretchy wrap and this one is just perfect.”
Plus, at £39.95, the Lifft Stretchy Wrap is fantastic value for money, especially when my usual baby carrier is £135!
What would you liked to have known before using Lifft Stretchy Wrap?
The only negative I can see is the length of the wrap, but that can be sorted by going for the shorter size and not the regular. The regular was too big for me and therefore dragged across the floor. It also takes time to master, but this is almost cancelled out by how simple it is to use once you have worked it out.
Does it offer good value for money?
Absolutely. I was gobsmacked that the Lifft Stretchy Wrap was just £39.95 – my baby carrier is £135 and I prefer the Lifft Stretchy Wrap now. So I believe that it’s definitely value for money and so worth the investment.
Where can I buy the Lifft Stretchy Wrap?
A soft, stretchy carrier that does an excellent job of keeping your baby safe, secure and close to you. The Lifft Stretch Wrap is far from perfect – it’s tricky to breastfeed in and hard to master putting it on – but its great-value price tag, longer-than-average age span and beautifully soft, easy-to-clean fabric and secure hold (that once mastered ‘takes seconds’), make it a more than worthy buy.
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|Child age (approx)||Birth to 3 years|
|Child weight||2.5kg to 15kg|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|
|Carrying positions||Front – 1|