Not Another Mile: What I learned about strength and motherhood when I had less to prove and more to do

Wrapping Family Flies a Kite

Guest Post by Jessica Schaefer

Three months postpartum with my first child, I realized I could not even touch my toes anymore. I had always prided myself on this ability – and I could touch my toes right up till the last month of my pregnancy. So what was up? If this was the post-pregnancy “shape” everyone else was complaining about, I suddenly understood.

Even if the breastfeeding / lack of sleep / lack of time to eat combo ends up all rolling in your favor weight wise, the numbers are probably deceiving. Just try touching your toes. Even if it’s doable, it just doesn’t feel the same.

Sure, you can get a sitter or hope your partner’s hours mesh so you can take an hour or so to hit the gym or yoga class or train for that half marathon you’d always said you’d do. But let’s pretend (ahem) for a moment that I was too busy, too tired, way too unmotivated to do that. It’s not that I didn’t favor a few moments to bettering myself… its just that they came at the expense of time and effort spent pumping breast milk from already overworked breasts, the emotional toll of walking out the door on a schedule when one or both of us didn’t really want that to happen, the need to squeeze in a shower just so I could go work out because, well… newborns.

Let me just spill a little secret here: it’s not magically easier when they’re older. At some point, I bought a pair of good running shoes, and left the house at odd hours to run training runs for that promised half marathon. I did so well with this plan that by the time I was at the starting line for the race, I’d run just over 8 miles total and eaten half of my energy gels as emergency nursing snacks. I ran those 13.1 miles anyway. It was thrilling. And it sucked.

My mom friends gave me that look and told me about joining the gym. Maybe I wanted to drop my kids off with theirs and come sit on some plastic machines in a big room and get it done.

But I’d figured something out between those late night practice runs and that 13.1 mile race to prove I could: I didn’t need to prove anything. And I didn’t need to get any old me back. I just wanted to be strong enough to do what I needed to do, day in and day out, and healthy enough to outrun my kids. I wanted my energy back, not my waist. Well, maybe my waist a tiny bit.

By the time kid two came around, I had less to prove. I already had that half marathon under my belt, and I knew, if that’s what I really wanted to do, I could do it. So instead, our very first week together, I grabbed my woven wrap, wrapped my baby gently, took my toddler’s hand, and headed out the front door.

The amount of time we spent exploring the outdoors, taking short walks, sitting on swings, chatting with elderly neighbors – there’s no way I would have spent that time in any sort of exercise program. But I carried her. Sometimes, once my body was ready, I carried them both. With help from experienced babywearers my wrap no longer looked daunting, and my carries supported my body as well as my child’s.

Tandem Wrapping: baby on front, toddler in back wrap

With my oldest I’d tried to use a stretchy infant-only wrap for way too long, and my shoulders and back and neck felt the pain. I’d promised myself different this time. And so I fell in love with the perfect fit and support of the woven wrap. Nestled close and supported perfectly, my newest became an easy addition to our life.

Comfortable together, we went about life. We danced, we swung, we skipped. We explored new places, baby content on my front, and later my back. Sometimes those were quiet places, like the library or museums. There, she could nurse and sleep, calmed by my rhythm. Sometimes we found ourselves in loud places: street fairs, markets, festivals, playdates. There too, I wore her and she felt safe. When the sun was out, we soaked up the rays, my tiny one protected in her woven wrap and floppy hat and sunglasses.

The benefits of being in nature, of time in the sun, are immense. So are the benefits of skin to skin time. For both baby and parent! The more I wore my baby out and about, the better I felt. I felt healthy – my immune system strengthened, my emotions steady and sure. I felt calm, and my kids were calm.

And when I found myself, at three months postpartum, copying my toddler’s silly dance, I didn’t even notice that I was touching my toes. My body moved easily, strong and healthy from daily wrapping my baby, daily supporting an ever growing and increasing weight. The thought crossed my mind then, another marathon? A challenge of some sort? A gym membership?

But I wrapped my baby on my back, chased my toddler around a field of flowers, lifted her high in the air and spun her around. Later, as we walked along, with my baby on my front, nursing peacefully, my daughter reached for my hand.

“I’m tired, Momma,” she said. I nodded. “Am I too big for you to carry?”

“Not too big,” I said, “I am a very strong momma.”

I lifted her easily, my arms used to the weight, high onto my shoulders. I kissed my baby’s head, held tight to my daughters hands, and headed home.

Woven Wrap for second child

Jessica Schaefer is an adventure lover and world traveler turned parent. Her family run store and blog melds free play, family time, and support for parenting past the baby stage.  If you haven’t met them, you need to hop on over and look around!

Wrapping my Baby after a Broken Back

Active Babywearing: wrapping yoga

“About seven months after my injury I discovered I was three weeks pregnant with my first child.”

Dani’s story: In April of 2013 I was on a climbing trip in Yosemite.  On the first day of the trip, we were bouldering in an area called candyland, and I had a freak fall off a tall boulder. I fell at least 15 feet, and because of this fall I ended up with three compressed vertebrae in my mid back along with many other bruised bones. The bones themselves took three months to heal, but connective tissue and muscles are still being healed, and my back still aches constantly. But I never stopped climbing, because it always made my back feel better.

About seven months after my injury I discovered I was three weeks pregnant with my first child. This was quite unexpected, and I briefly struggled with what to do. Seeing as I am single and still in school studying for a degree in Molecular Cellular biology, I realized that having a baby would be difficult.  I think my mind was made up from the beginning, but I had to consider all possibilities just to be sure.  Considering that many women before me have raised children under much more difficult circumstances, I decided to go through with the pregnancy. I realized that it would enhance my life. I would now have someone to share all my passions with (traveling, climbing, art, science, martial arts, yoga, etc).  I also realized that I would have the privilege of learning to see the world through the eyes of a child once again. It took me less than a day to come to this conclusion.  My boyfriend and father of my daughter supported my decision and decided to stay with me and raise the child together.

Pregnancy sucked.  No two ways about it.  I was anxious to meet littles, but hated the process.  I could smell EVERYTHING (including the hydraulic fluid on the escalator), couldn’t eat anything, was always nauseous, and had no energy. I had pregnancy sickness daily until month 7, but it never truly went away. On top of that I was still working and going to school. It was rough, but I was excited to meet my daughter. I continued to climb throughout my pregnancy. MadRock makes a pregnancy harness. It feels a little awkward, but at least you can climb. This helped my back significantly! Being pregnant and studying killed my lower back and stressed the muscles. Not to mention the hormone relaxin didn’t help any! So thankful that there was a way to continue climbing (even though I was limited to just top roping).  Between climbing and yoga I was able to continue working out and caring for my body and back.

“I came to realize that we women are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.”

Yet labor scared me.  It always has. I (like most women in America) was convinced that labor was a scary thing. Fortunately I had a wonderful support network and was able to get all the info I needed about delivering so that I could make informed decisions about how I wanted to birth. The documentary “The business of being born” was a huge help. At first I wasn’t sure if I could give birth without an epidural since my back still hurt so bad. But in the end I was more afraid of an unnecessary C-section. I came to realize that we women are a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for. Also, my body knew what it was doing while building the beautiful little creature inside of me, so I trusted that it would know how to properly bring her into this world. Turns out I was right.

On June 22, 2014 I went into labor.  After 9 hours of labor and 6 minutes of pushing a beautiful baby girl entered the world with one hell of an appetite!  Although the labor was painful and the birth traumatic (she had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and wasn’t breathing along with defecting in utero) I am so happy to have delivered naturally. It was by far the most empowering thing I have ever done as a women.  I have now officially met the love of my life.

Keeping infant close in a wrap.

I always knew I wanted to wrap Roxanne and keep her close to me. I loved the idea of it! My dad had carried me in a backpack when I was little, and I loved it! The thought of wrapping a baby seemed so wonderful to me! Not to mention, so many cultures do it, so there must be something to it! I obtained a few hand-me-downs before I gave birth: a Seven Sling, a Maya Wrap (ring sling) and a Jersey wrap. I tried them, but nothing quite felt right. One day I stumbled upon the Wrap Your Baby facebook page, which led me to the website where I learned about woven wraps. The possibilities seemed endless! We could do back wraps, front wraps, hip wraps, and nurse in a wrap! After scouring the website I decided to get a Bali Breeze as my first woven wrap. This seemed logical since it was summer and hot here in NorCal, and it fit my budget. After ordering my wrap, I spent my time on the Wrap Your Baby website looking at as many tutorials as I could to learn the various ways I could wrap a newborn. I have been carrying Roxanne since her first week of life, and wrapping her since her third week of life (she got over being carried in a sling real quick), and I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Everywhere I go, she goes. And she readily accepts new places because if she doesn’t like something, she can always just bury her head in my bosom where she feels safe.

Wrapped Baby at Ripley's Believe it or Not!

Later I came to realize that wrapping her was also better for me and my body. Since I am still recovering from my back injury, wrapping has allowed me to actually be able to carry Roxanne for great lengths of time. I can also carry her with me around town while doing errands without having to lug a heavy stroller with me (putting strain on my back).  Just holding her I tend to arch my back and within a short period of time I am in too much pain to hold her any longer. So when she’s fussy and wants to be close to me, I just wrap her up! Then I am able to do things around the house or around town and not worry about carrying her, maneuvering a large awkward stroller, or how I am going to nurse her. I already know.

Wrapping has allowed me to be close to my newborn in a way that would not have otherwise be possible with my injuries. I look forward to sharing everything I love with Roxanne, since she will be right there with me cozy and safe, all wrapped up.

 

Wrapping baby on back

Dani using the mirror at the climbing gym to get her baby wrapped safely and comfortably on her back.

Hanging Around with Baby on Back

Wrapped up baby adds 12 lbs to Dani's Workout!

Daddy wraps baby

Daddy benefits from wrapping baby, too!

You can learn to wrap your baby like Dani with a woven wrap.  To wrap like in Dani’s yoga and newborn photos (first two pictures), here is how to do a Front Cross Carry.

And to wrap your baby on your back like Dani does in this post, take appropriate precautions (make sure you have help or practice safely until you become expert), and practice the Double Hammock Carry found here.

Wrapsody Anniversary Celebration

Wrapsody's Tenth Anniversary CelebrationExciting things happening to celebrate Wrapsody’s Birthday this month!

  • Birthday Party for Wrapsody
  • Wrapsody Trade-In Program
  • Wrapsody on Pinterest Giveaway

Keep Reading for details!

Breeze Iris, Cool Rainbow Gauze Woven Wrap

Breeze Iris wrap from Wrapsody

10 years ago, Kristi started selling gauze baby wraps in the United States under the name Gypsymama–the only domestic source of quality woven wraps for those of us looking at the time.  Unlike the European wraps, Gypsymama wraps were gauze, which mean cool, thin and perfect for Summer.  READ ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF WRAPSODY.

Now her Bali Breeze Wraps are one of the most popular brands around and I am so pleased to have them available for my customers.  They are fantastic year-round wraps that are also affordable for more families.

 

 

SO WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A PARTY!

On Wednesday, August 27th, local families from the greater Tampa Bay Area will be enjoying free babywearing ballet and babywearing yoga classes at Om Sweet Om in Palm Harbor.  Oh, and free birthday cake, too!  Class sizes are limited due to room, so please register for the classes and if they fill up Sweet Sarah will do her best to add more classes to accommodate demand. Click here, create a log-in and then click on the WORKSHOPS tab to register for one of these free babywearing events.

Our fantastic local babywearing photographer Lee Anne of Petal and Vine Photography will be taking photos which will later be available for purchase if you choose to do so.

And for all of you who are not local and cannot be there in person, if you want to see all of the photos from this event next month, be sure to subscribe to my Wrap Tips newsletter where I will be sharing all of the awesome and the beauty of this event!

AND THE WRAPSODY TRADE-IN IS ON!

Wrapsody Trade In Program for used wrapsIf you are ready for a new color or design in your life, you can trade in your used Wrapsody wrap (no matter how old or which color) and get 25% off a new Wrapsody Breeze or Wrapsody Water Wrap from my store!

Your old wrap will be donated to a charity or a family that could use and will appreciate it so your trade-in will benefit two families.

Just print and fill out this form and mail it back (by the end of August) with your freshly laundered Wrapsody wrap to:

Gypsy Mama, LLC
PO Box 382
Berwick, ME  03901

Trade-in wraps must be postmarked between 1 and 25 August and must be received by 31 August to qualify.

Wrapsody Breeze Wrap Pinterest Giveaway

 

WRAPSODY ON PINTEREST GIVEAWAY!

Pinning a picture of a Wrapsody Breeze or Wrap DuO water wrap this month could win you a $100 gift certificate to anything in the Wrap Your Baby store.

Click here to learn all about the giveaway and how to enter!

 

 

Wrapsody Pinterest Giveaway

Wrapsody Wrap Giveaway

I HAD TO MAKE A SMALL CHANGE TO THE CONTEST AFTER FINDING OUT THAT TAGGING ON PINTEREST ONLY WORKS IF THE TWO PARTIES ARE ALREADY FOLLOWING EACH OTHER ON PINTEREST. NEW RULES BELOW:

To celebrate Wrapsody’s 10th birthday providing beautiful, comfortable wraps to families, I an asking you to share your Wrapsody pictures with the world!  I will pick the winning picture on August 31 and the winner will receive a $100 gift card to the Wrap Your Baby store.  Perfect for a new wrap for yourself, or a great shower gift for a friend!

All you have to do to enter:

  1. Follow Wrap Your Baby on pinterest.
  2. Pin your original picture (or more than one) on your own pinterest board showing a Wrapsody Breeze or Wrap DuO water wrap in action (sorry, no stretch-hybrid wraps for this giveaway).
  3. Email diana@wrapyourbaby.com giving me the link to your pin so I can find it and repin it to my board. I must receive your email by 30 August. I will not reply to these emails, but you can check my Wrapsody Your Baby board to make sure your photo has been added.

When I get your email, I will repin your pin to my Wrapsody Your Baby Pinterest board where we will be able to view all of the entries and appreciate all the adventures that families have had with Wrapsody.  You must pin your photo on Pinterest yourself and just give me the link.

On August 31st I will announce a winner by commenting on the winning picture on my Wrapsody Your Baby board. Check your picture on 1 September to see if you won and email me for your coupon: diana@wrapyourbaby.com

Nursing in a Wrap

It’s World Breastfeeding Week when we focus on normalizing breastfeeding so that eventually it won’t be upsetting or alarming to anyone, and so it will be more common and easier for new nursing moms to learn.

Woven wraps can be a wonderful breastfeeding tool.  They make it easier to nurse on demand without being glued to your house, and all that contact between baby and mother physically encourage a perfect supply of milk for baby’s changing needs.

Here are about 15 carries that can be used for nursing.  Different carries and positions work better for different moms and babies.  Make sure that you have established a good breastfeeding relationship, and learn to use your wrap comfortably, before you try combining the two skills.  Then see what works best for you: most any front or hip carry can be a great nursing carry.  Scroll down for some more tips and lots of video tutorials on how to make breastfeeding work with wrapping.

15 Wrap Carries for Nursing Your Baby

You might have noticed that most of the carries show baby or toddler in an upright position.  This is often the easiest way to nurse in a wrap as most babies are wrapped in upright carries.  To nurse, untie the knot, bounce (while holding the two wrap ends) to let baby’s weight pull the wrap job lower, then re-tie once you have baby at about the right height to latch on.  You can see the videos at the bottom of this post for how to do that.

Don’t let baby go too low, or you will end up using your arms to support him or her.  After nursing you should tighten the wrap to return baby to a position high on your chest which will be better for your body and safer for baby.

After the first few months, most babies are able to face downward to reach the nipple from a slightly higher position, and will also use their hands to hold the breast.

Nursing Upright in FWCC with Birthing Goddess Wrap

While your baby is still young, or for moms with larger cup sizes, you may find it helpful to bring your breast up over the top of a scoop neck shirt or bra so that your clothes help to prop it up and keep your nursing position higher.  Another option is to fold up a burp cloth or prefold and put it under your breast to prop it up.

Sometimes it works best to nurse your baby in a cradle position.  Maybe your baby is already nursing contentedly on your lap and you are wrapping around them so that you can get up without disturbing them.  Or maybe it’s the best configuration with your two body types and sizes to keep your knees from hitting baby when you walk!

A larger baby or toddler can be in a cradle position with legs sticking out of the wrap as in this picture:

Cradle Carry Nursing Baby in a Wrap

When nursing newborns and infants, it is important to make sure their airway is clear.  Don’t let their faces get mashed into your breast.  Their little pug noses are designed by nature to leave nostrils clear while nursing, so pay attention and make sure they stay clear of fabric as well as your body.

Nursing Newborn in Wrap Cradle Carry

Keep an eye on your nursing infant in a cradle baby to make sure their nostrils are clear and that they are repositioned when done nursing.

If you are going to wrap an infant in a cradle position, make sure you know how to do so safely without letting them curl into a C, with chin tucked to chest.  Baby’s chin should always be well off his or her chest (at least two adult fingerwidths).  Babies can be adjusted to an upright position after nursing so that they are high on your chest, with chin elevated, and face visible.  That’s the easiest position for a new wrapper to learn safely.

TIP: think about nursing access before you get wrapped up.  Do you prefer to pull your top up so it covers the top of your breast?  Or if you have a hard time getting your shirt up from under the wrap job, you might prefer to pull your breast out of the top of your low cut neckline (this is also helpful for propping up the breast as mentioned above).

Whatever makes it easiest on you is the best way to go, and if you are self conscious nursing in public, the best trick is to go out with one or more friends that are 100% comfortable with it.  They will be your buffer.

Here’s a wonderful brand of feminism that doesn’t require you to stay home all the time in order to own your innately feminine ability to nurture life.  If you want to be a nursing mom out in the world: go for it, mama!

14 videos to show you a variety of options for nursing in a woven wrap:

Profile of a Babywearer: Lisa

2 Generations Babywearing
Baby Lisa was kept close while her mother worked on graphic design in 1988.  She must have learned a thing or two because now she’s the one designing with a baby wrapped up on her chest! Lisa and her mother work together in graphic design now with baby Zeke in attendance: a true family business!

Lisa says, “My mom and I both are graphic designers, though back in the day she called it ‘desktop publishing.’  I learned the ropes from her and now we work together! I couldn’t wish for better.”

Birthing Goddess Wrap from Joy and Joe

Birthing Goddess and baby's journey earthside - baby wrapOur connection to the stars is a very physical fact in that our bodies are composed of the stuff of stars–past supernovas hurtling invisible particles through space looking for purpose.  And here we are.

When do we manifest our astral heritage more deeply than during the intensity of childbirth–the most downright physical moments of our lives when our very atoms seem to be crying out to all the other atoms across time and space whether they are the women throughout history who have birthed before us or the center of a distant star busily erupting outward against the relentless press of gravity?  We have all experienced it at our own births, and some of us have been lucky enough to experience it when we gave birth to new babies born of old stardust.

This birthing goddess wrap shows the physical and metaphysical connection we have to the stars, illustrated by baby’s journey earthside and mother’s out-of-earth tranquility.  Midwives and birth workers will appreciate the symbolism and the celebration of motherhood that is depicted by this wrap.  It is perfect for preparing and relaxing a pregnant mother with traditional rebozo techniques, and is the perfect fabric to transition your baby from within your womb to in your arms.

A little bit about the manufacture of these Birthing Goddess wraps: These wraps from Joy and Joe, a UK based wrap manufacturer, are all-cotton.  They are woven with a jacquard weaving machine loom under the supervision of the onsite textile experts and Adebisi (a  babywearing consultant and director of Joy and Joe ltd) who resides very locally to the weaving house.  This modern and sophisticated loom was a perfect match to bring out the very intricate detailing in the goddess design and the mill’s extensive weaving experience since 1930 ensured that the cloth was able to be expertly engineered to Joy and Joe’s required specifications for a high quality and unique carrying cloth.

These wraps are made with organic Egyptian cotton and sustainably sourced from CottonConnect Foundation.  The weaving house is in the North of England, and all the dyers are UK based and regulated.

Availability: Birthing Goddess wraps have arrived from the UK and are now in stock in the Wrap Your Baby store, and should reach US customers with free shipping in just 3 business days after an order is placed, or international customers within 2 weeks.

Wrapping Up for Fireworks

Wrapping at the Fireworks

In the United States we really like to celebrate our independence with fireworks.  This presents a bit of a challenge to parents of young children because:

  • fireworks happen after bedtime and
  • fireworks are loud and can be startling and
  • fireworks are usually accompanied by huge crowds and
  • the huge crowd is in the dark in an unfamiliar place but
  • many kids love fireworks.

On Independence Day or New Years Eve, or any other celebration that may inspire fireworks, we must choose whether to stay home where our babies and small children can go to sleep before they become too upset, where they are less likely to be scared, and where we don’t have to worry about counting our children every ten minutes and coming home with the same number we left with . . . or taking them to the thrill and public spectacle of the fireworks!

If your kids are 4 or older, they may have their adorable little hearts set on going.  If they have younger siblings, this may mean you’ll be taking a baby or toddler to the fireworks, too.

Tips:

  • If you have only one child, don’t make them stay if they don’t want to stay.
  • Warn kids ahead of time that it will be SO LOUD.  Maybe even louder than ANYTHING IN THE WHOLE WORLD!
  • Buy glowstick necklaces or bracelets for your kids to wear.  They’ll love them, and they’ll be easier to keep track of.
  • Before it is totally dark, and before the firework display starts, let them run around on the grass and play with other kids, if there is enough space for them to do so and you can keep your eyes on them.  Realize that this whole event may super-energize your children and you want them to get it out while there is still daylight!
  • Bring a wrap for your baby or toddler–it’s will give them a safe and secure place to watch from, and free your arms for any other kids who want to be held during the display.  It will also allow baby or toddler to fall into an exhausted sleep on the undoubtedly long walk back to the car.
  • Bring a blanket and pick a spot so you are ready to sit down and sit your children down to look up when the fireworks start.  It is much easier to keep track of children who are sitting!

A note about courtesy:

Some people really don’t like fireworks.  Some of them are children.  Some are grown ups.  Some are war veterans.  Some are mothers of sleeping babies.  If you want to practice good manners or just avoid having flaming poop hurled at you, skip setting off your own fireworks around homes that may not be interested in participating.

All of the photos here were submitted to me by babywearers on Facebook after the 2013 fireworks.

Baby Wrapping on Independence Day

Babywearing and going to the fireworks.

Wrapping a Baby at the Fireworks on July 4th.

Profile of a Babywearer: Edolbina

Midwife wrapping up her newborn baby.

“My husband and I are new parents to our son, who is 4 weeks old. My interest in baby wearing started years ago, long before I was pregnant! We have spent years traveling and living abroad, and have seen baby wearing in action in many countries. From the streets of Nicaragua, to the mountains of Laos, to the riverboat houses in Cambodia and the markets of Thailand. Babywearing is a normal, natural part of many peoples lives!

“We are currently living in a rural town in the mountains of the Philippines, where I work as a missionary midwife. As I spend so much of my time around new moms, I couldn’t help notice that many of them wear their babies. Its not exclusive to mom and child either. Dad, grandma, even the older sister, will frequently wear the baby!

“I knew that baby wearing was gong to be a major part of our lives once baby arrived. Between the unpaved, uneven roads and crazy traffic, a stroller was completely out of the question!

“So when my friend gave us a beautiful woven Girasol wrap, I was ecstatic. When our bundle was 6 days old, our baby wearing journey officially began and, despite the high heat, baby loves being wrapped! In a world of no seat belts or carseats, Babywearing allows me to keep my son safe and close by as we travel and explore our area and will allow me to continue my work as a midwife at the clinic!

“He will spend hours strapped to my back as I do prenatals and baby checks! We are both happy when we baby wear, as we are exactly as we should be, connected and close!”

How Wrap Carries are Named

First a little history, and an opportunity to show my age:

Kristi, the founder of Wrapsody, recently published a blog post about new-fangled wrap carries and how wrappers nowadays give every variation a different name.  She and I are both accustomed to customizing a carry as needed without changing the name (perhaps it is not a coincidence that she was one of my online wrap mentors when I was learning, though she didn’t know it).  Instead of “Front Double Hammock” I did a “Front Cross Carry with the crosses over both legs.”

Later, a pass that went from shoulder to hip and did not cross between baby’s legs began to be referred to as a Rebozo pass, and here’s a video I made in 2010 demonstrating how to insert your baby under both crosses of the Front Cross Carry:

And here’s one I made around the same time, demonstrating a Burp Hold:

This brings up an interesting point of distinguishing a “hold” from a “carry.”  To me, a carry has always been how you tie on the wrap, whereas a hold refers to the position of the baby inside the wrap.  Baby can be in an upright hold, cradle hold, football hold, etc in any of the many carries.  Nowadays babywearing educators almost always recommend the upright hold, so it has become less necessary to differentiate.

So this burp hold was done with a Front Cross Carry.  And this Front Cross Carry could also be called a Front Double Hammock because it is done with two rebozo passes instead of cross passes.  But then again, it was the fashion at the time to keep a newborn’s legs “froggied” inside the wrap in all of the carries.  So any newborn carry had rebozo passes instead of cross passes and you just added “with legs froggied” to the name of the carry instead of giving it a new name.

It wasn’t just Front Cross Carry.  If my baby fell asleep in a Back Wrap Cross Carry and I wanted to provide head support, I would often untie and change the top layer of the carry from a cross pass that went between baby’s legs to a rebozo pass that made it easier to get the wrap positioned high over the back of baby’s head.  This variation also happens to be great for reigning in a baby who likes to lean back in a Back Wrap Cross Carry.

As far as I know, no one has given a new name to the BWCC variation with rebozo passes YET.

Helpful Terminology:

As wrapping has taken root anew in this culture, more specific terminology has developed around it and this is good.  It helps us to communicate about it.  Since most of us do not share a physical village with other wrappers, our online village needs some clear communication for long distance support and assistance.

Every wrap carry is made up of one or more passes and these are the most common:

Rucksack pass goes straight across baby and then up over both of the wearer’s shoulders.

Horizontal pass goes straight across baby and then under both of the wearer’s arms.

Rebozo pass goes diagonally across baby from over one of the wearer’s shoulders to under the wearer’s opposite arm.

Cross pass goes diagonally across baby from over one of the wearer’s shoulders, in between baby’s legs, to under the wearer’s opposite arm.

Once you understand the passes well, and are familiar with the properties of each kind of pass, it is easy to customize a wrap carry just for you.

The difference between a Front Cross Carry and a Front Double Hammock Carry is that FDHC is a FCC with rebozo passes instead of cross passes.

I think it might be easier for a newish wrapper to do a FDHC if she already knows the FCC and is told to just try FCC with rebozo passes.  She will not think she is learning a whole new carry, and she will have a head start on understanding what to do with the fabric.

Additionally, if she is familiar with rebozo passes, naming the passes tells her the best ways to form and tighten each pass.  She thinks “rebozo pass” and knows what to do with one of those.

While everyone might come up with a different system of naming wrap carries (and most every wrap carry is named by a different person with a different system), I find it most useful to stick with the most popular names so that the subject does not become confused.  But you will find that I like to describe the carry in terms that I think may be helpful to someone who needs to understand the carry in order to use it better.

Naming Wrap Carries:

I recently attempted to give a name to a tutorial that my friend Karen made for my website.  She told me it was a Jordan’s Back Carry variation.  I’d never seen JBC done with a chest pass and I thought it bore more resemblance to a little known Norwegian Wiggleproof Carry that a couple of moms have made videos for.

The thing is, if I had named the Norwegian Wiggleproof Carry, I would have called it a JBC variation, probably JBC with horizontal chest pass.  And I would call Karen’s JBC the same thing even though the passes are done in a different order than the ladies doing the NWP.  That is more a matter of preference than an opportunity to name a new carry, in my opinion.

There are tons of JBC variations and the common element is that it has 3 passes, one each: rebozo pass, cross pass, horizontal pass.   As a result, it can offer the benefits of each of these kinds of passes, although some people feel lopsided in it because it does not have the same kind of pass going one way as another.  So people do JBC variations “with two cross passes” and other similar.  In this case, it is called JBC even though it does not have the 3 passes I referenced.  Similarly the Short JBC has only 2 of the 3 passes (and that is what makes it short).  Confused yet?

So I asked some people which name they thought I ought to put at the top of this tutorial and opinions were mixed and included one suggestion to call it neither of those but to call it a Double Hammock variation instead.  Specifically: Double Hammock Carry TAS (tied at shoulder) with one cross pass.

And yes, that describes it exactly, too.

It comes from having the same four basic passes combined to make up hundreds of carries!  You can relate one carry to almost any other carry and which one it gets named after is the whim of the first person to name when it becomes popular.  Perhaps Kristi or I could have named the Front Double Hammock Carry years ago, but instead we were just demonstrating a boring old Front Cross Carry beneath the crosses…