Tutorial for putting on the Kindercoat over a back carry by yourself. Don’t worry, it’s easy!
Tutorial for putting on the Kindercoat over a back carry by yourself. Don’t worry, it’s easy!
Someone on the Facebook page asked for help making a quick switch to a nursing position when baby is already wrapped up. Sorry, I don’t remember who asked, but this post is for you, and I hope you see it!
With my 4 month old I’m doing a lot of quick nursing. It seems that nursing is ALWAYS an emergency and once baby starts crying, the pressure is on!
So try to practice a few times when it’s NOT an emergency. In this video, my baby was not yet asking to nurse, so it goes pretty smoothly 🙂
This one shows nursing in a Front Cross Carry. This only works if you’ve got baby wrapped up with both legs beneath both crosses, a FCC variation I like a lot as it holds my baby very close to me and is great for impromptu nursing sessions!
So I’m putting up the video for nursing in a Front Cross Carry and a second video showing how I put Cassidy into the FCC variation in the first place. I’ll try to do a similar video for Front Wrap Cross Carry soon.
The Front Cross Carry is perfect for lots of ins and outs with a new baby, but the two of you will only enjoy it if you wrap baby high on your chest.
If baby tends to sink down deep into the wrap, try holding your baby and putting the wrap on around him or her for more of a custom fit.
As you go, be sure to pull each part snug across the entire width of the wrap. Take it slow and steady. Do it when your baby is happy just being held so that baby stays content while you take the three minutes to get this just right.
Be sure that the middle of the wrap that is behind your back is high on your back–right below your armpits is probably good. Make sure there are no loose or floppy bits of wrap back there. Do this by pulling carefully on each strand of the wrap as you make the first pass over baby, and just as carefully with the second pass.
Front Cross Carry is most convenient when you pretie, but wrapping it around baby for a couple of days can transform your pretied FCC into one that stays snug. Remember that your baby should be high enough to kiss!
When your little one grows enough that he or she is no longer content always nestling against your chest, pulling one of your baby’s shoulders and arms out of the wrap keeps him close while giving him a little more of a view of the world that is beginning to catch his attention. This age (3 months, in the picture) wonderfully combines the cuddly closeness of babywearing with the burgeoning awareness and absorption of the world and your activities. Before you know it, your baby’s sharp eyes will be taking in everything, whether it’s a natural wonder or how to pay for groceries.
Education isn’t just for big kids–it is a constant process for any human being and the younger you are, the faster you’re learning! It’s no coincidence that my love of wrapping my babies progressed to a discovery of the unschooling philosophy!
Keeping your baby close in your wrap means that your baby is learning from your every move–whether his muscles are learning balance from your muscles, or he is taking in the delicacy of human interaction. When you see an old friend, how does your breath, heartbeat, and body language change? How does your voice sound, and what expressions do you make? How about when you interact with a panhandler in the parking lot. Baby notices the differences and is learning all the time, effortless for both of you.
How cool is that?
We’re crossing state borders regularly now, and so far we haven’t escaped Summer. Most of the country is HOT right now! Mothers of babies are, perhaps, destined to be a little warmer than the rest of the population. Like pregnant women, it is part of the package: we trade uninterrupted sleep and bodily autonomy for the joys of motherhood.
Well, growing a baby in your womb is hot work, and producing milk on demand is hot work, and holding a hot little bundle of joy is hot work. The last thing you want is to wrap all that warmth up in a thick piece of fabric!
What to do?
Keep your baby’s comfort in mind, too. Make sure neither of you are getting overheated. If you need to, find an indoor playplace to replace outdoor playground outings. Stay hydrated. Use a hand held fan. There are lots of options, and here are a few more ideas for staying safe and comfy in warm weather.
What tricks do you experienced babywearers have for staying cool while staying close?
My wrapping style, like my parenting in general, has gotten more comfortable and relaxed now that I’m on the third baby. You know how they tell you that your newborn baby needs to wake up to nurse every two hours, should have 6-8 wet diapers per day, and needs to wear a hat? These are rules designed to help out new, nervous parents, and they’re designed to reassure them too: baby’s peeing enough, thank goodness! The rules are training wheels.
Like riding a bike, once you learn to parent you never forget. And you never need training wheels again. So I haven’t counted diapers, have no idea how often Cassidy is nursing, or how long he’s slept in between. I know enough to know he’s healthy and thriving without those measurements.
Wrapping has rules, too, and once you understand what they’re for and what really matters, you don’t need them anymore. For example, if you know why your baby’s knees should be positioned higher than his or her bottom, you understand enough to know that your baby is positioned well without checking knee-butt level ratio.
Sure a Front Cross Carry is supposed to cross in between your baby’s legs, but as long as your wrap job provides a good seat, you can cross over the legs instead, rebozo style.
Sometimes my baby’s feet are wrapped in the wrap, sometimes they stick out. Sometimes one sticks out.
And when I lower my baby to nurse, in an upright position, he often ends up reclining in more of a cradle position–without my having rewrapped him. And it doesn’t matter whether he’s upright or cradle, just that I know he’s supported ergonomically and can nurse comfortably.
I don’t want to give the impression I’ve given over to lazy wrapping. Rather I feel that it’s effortless (for the most part) and more like improvisation. Maybe I don’t plan exactly what carry I’m doing. I just get my baby positioned where I want him and when I’m done, he’s all wrapped up!
And while I’m worrying less about the details, in a way, I pay more attention to them, too. For example, this baby is my littlest and as such I pay closer attention to his vitals. I’m not worried, I just want to make sure his face isn’t buried in a blanket, since he’s not as buff as my others (yet). And by this point in my babywearing career I understand the physiology behind the danger of letting my baby’s chin fall against his chest. And I recognize that this can happen in an upright position as well as a cradle position, so I am attentive to his chin position and far more likely to tilt his head back, than I am to worry so much about supporting the back of his head.
From this perspective, I have advice for babywearers that perhaps haven’t gained this confidence: RELAX! Yes, it is important to use your carrier correctly for safety and comfort, but remember that you can adjust on the fly, you can take it off and try again, and you can learn something from every attempt. So try to keep it light. And if it’s working, don’t fret over whether it looks just the same as in the picture. In fact, don’t be afraid to mix it up, some! Remember, wrapping isn’t just functional…it’s an art! Art is meant to be a unique expression, not a reproduction!
Anyone who sells or promotes a product should accompany that pitch with advice for using the product safely. But it’s lately occurred to me that “babywearing safety” is mostly the same thing as “baby safety” and is good for any parent or caregiver to be familiar with, whether or not a baby carrier is in use:
What did I miss? Leave a comment to let me know!
I recently added to my store several options for cold-weather babywearing. Of all of them, I picked a kindercoat for myself and this is why:
Predictably, the cold weather dissipated immediately upon arrival of my kindercoat. I tried it on a few times but couldn’t get any real use out of it until yesterday. I used just the fleece insert, which was the perfect weight jacket to keep us both warm for a chilly evening walk. The fleece insert is pretty much identical to the fleece kinder jacket, which can be bought separately for a significant savings if you don’t anticipate encountering heavier weather.
With only my six year old around to photograph, here’s what we looked like:
I actually love that last photo! And speaking of love, this is what I loved about the kinder coat insert:
All of the wraps I use are woven wraps. There is another kind of wraparound carrier known as a stretchy wrap. Stretchy and woven wraps are close cousins in that they are both long pieces of fabric which you tie around yourself and your baby in the position of your choice. They are tied similarly (or, in many cases, identically).
The difference? The stretchy wrap has more give, so it is less sturdy and secure as your child grows heavier, or in a back carry where you cannot keep an eye on the fabric, or quickly thrust out your hands to adjust as needed!
All the advice I give applies to woven wraps. Stretchy wraps are great, too, but have a more limited use, and I have very little experience with them from which to give advice. Look for tons of tips and experience on the premier (and free) babywearing discussion forums: www.thebabywearer.com
Do not consider my instructions as applicable to stretchy wraps! This is the only tutorial I have for a stretchy wrap: http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/pocketwrapcrosscarry.htm You can find plenty more from more knowledgeable users on Youtube. Have fun!
The fist thing people think of when it comes to babywearing with a view, is facing baby forward in a baby carrier.
Forward facing. Facing outward. Whatever you call it, the idea is that you are wearing or wrapping baby with baby’s back against your stomach.
While this position has been popularized by many strapped baby carriers readily available at baby stores and big box stores, it is not always the best way to give your child a view.
So my first message to you is that there are many ways to give your baby a view in a woven wrap! Read on to learn about each method and find the one that will work best for you: Read More
How do you babywear in cold weather? As it turns out, there are many options.
Some people do their bundling (mother and baby in winter gear) and then put the babycarrier on top of all the coats, as in the photo above. This is not my favorite option as coats can be slippery and unsafe to babywear over, and the bulk can make it tricky to get a comfortably tight carry. It also eliminates the babywearing benefit of having baby close enough to hear your heartbeat, smell you, etc. Also, your warmth is the best way to keep your baby warm so I like to avoid layers between you. However, in some circumstances it works great and it is nice to have the option.
If you want to wrap over Winter gear, consider that you may need a longer wrap than you are used to (or learn shorter carries that you can do with your wrap). You will not have as much flexibility once you are bundled up, so opt for simple carries with fewer layers or easy to spread passes. And look for warm sweaters, jackets, and coats that are not too puffy or slippery for you both to wear under the wrap, like sweaters and fleece.
You should also think about whether you will want yourself and baby to stay bundled up when you get to your destination.
If you’re going to the mall or grocery store, you’re not going to want to be wearing coats when you get there, and you will probably still want baby wrapped up when you get there, so it will be most convenient to NOT have baby bundled up inside the wrap. One coat over both of you is easiest to remove and carry.
If you’re wearing your toddler to the park where he will want to get down and play, then you will want baby out of the wrap, but with his own coat. I find it works well to wrap the baby up with his arms out of the wrap, and then put the coat on outside of the carrier. His arms will go into the sleeves, hood will go over his head, and the coat will remain open, covering his back outside the wrap while his front is toastily pressed against yours. When you get to the park, you pop him out and you and he leave your coats on and button them up at this point.
Front Cross Carry is the perfect winter carry because it is “poppable” which means that you can tie it on at home and put baby in or pop baby out without retying. This makes it very fast to come in and out of a wrap so that you and your baby are not shivering in the cold while you get wrapped up.
Keep in mind that babies are not supposed to wear coats in carseats if the seat belt has to be adjusted looser to accommodate the extra bulk. A blanket over top of the baby once strapped in is a safer plan. So if you are driving, you want the easiest way to keep baby bundled up on the way to the car, and from the car to the house, without a baby coat or bunting. If you don’t have other things to carry or other kids hands to hold, and your car is just out in the driveway, it may be easiest to simply carry your baby in a blanket or under your coat, climb into the car, close the doors, and get him buckled in and tucked in. When you get to your destination, you can either wrap baby up while sitting in the back seat (may take some practice or a roomy vehicle), or carry bundled baby into the mall (for example) and then wrap him up once you are inside.
If you like the idea of a babywearing coat, but lack the funding, consider making your own:
I’ve not used rebozos much, except for a while when Ada was two and I used one for a quick rucksack tied under the bottom…which is not really a rebozo carry anyway!
Well, I tried some rebozo front carries with Annabelle when she was littler, and it was never as easy, adjustable, or intuitive (for me) as a longer wrap so I pretty much stuck with longer wraps.
Because I love playing with wraps and trying new things, I tried a rebozo back carry a few weeks ago and it was REALLY GOOD! As someone who is familiar with wrap back carries, I found the rebozo carry very similar and easy to manage. The diagonal length of fabric across my back, tied in front, is just like many a back carry with a longer wrap.
I think my hang-up with the front carry is that I have to A) reach around my big ole baby to tie it, and B) I don’t have two wrap ends to pull on for tightening or adjustment. Both of those problems are non-existent with the back carry. As a dedicated wrapper living in hot, humid, Florida, I should really work on those rebozo chops. For now, I’m pretty stoked about the back carry, though!
If you’re new to babywearing on your back, you and your baby both need to become comfortable with it.
If you are worried or uncertain, your baby will be worried and is likely to cry.
I recommend practicing without the wrap. The best place is where you and your baby can both see yourselves in a mirror. This helps you to know what’s happening, and is a source of entertainment. If you are not certain you can keep your baby from dropping, of course you must begin over a bed or other soft surface, or with a spotter hovering behind you. Soon you will find that you can smoothly and easily move your baby from your front to your back and back to the front again safely.
Make it a game for your baby or toddler. Play around with it. Make funny faces and funny sounds. Shout, “Super-baby!”
If your baby becomes upset, scared, or frustrated, stop and try again another time when he or she is clearly in a playful, wide-awake, not-hungry mood!
There are several ways to get your baby onto your back. A toddler can often climb on when you squat in front of her and offer a piggyback ride. Otherwise you can scoot your baby or child around your hip to your back, or lift baby, rotate, and place him or her over your shoulder. Your baby might enjoy your swinging him or her around before settling him on your back.
Look over these different methods of putting a baby on your back, and pick one to try. See which you and your baby like best.
Most back carries with a wrap will have either rucksack straps (the wrap comes straight down from your shoulder and goes underneath the same arm like a backpack–or vice versa, from under one arm to over the same shoulder) or are crossed across the chest so the wrap goes from over one shoulder to under the opposite arm.
A lot of people like rucksack straps because it saves having to find a way to spread the wrap across your chest without looking funny. A lot of people like rucksack straps because they’re cooler, and use a little less fabric.
Some people don’t like rucksack straps because they pinch, or cut off circulation, or feel like they’re going to slip off your shoulders. It varies by individual.
If you are not comfortable with rucksack straps, do the same carry but cross over your breasts instead of doing rucksack straps. If your wrap is long enough, you also have the option of tying Tibetan (instead of doing the cross) to pull the straps together in the center and relieve any pressure or prevent slippage.
Conversely, if you do not care for a cross in the front, you can still do your favorite, traditionally crossed, carry, but use rucksack straps instead of a cross.
Today I took advantage of the versatility of a wrap to switch from rucksack straps to crossed in front. Belle was asleep in a short Double Hammock Carry (tied under the bum) and after a while my arms started to feel tingly, even though I am usually completely comfortable with rucksack straps. I switched to crossed and she stayed up there for another hour.
Back Wrap Cross Carry with rucksack straps
2.5 year old
I dedicated yesterday to my 3.6 meter Inka Storchenwiege. It is one of my very favorite wrap colorways, has been used plenty and is floppy soft, and I used it in July in Florida, albeit mostly indoors.
I am something like 5’3 and 115 lbs. The 3.6 was too short for FWCC or BWCC, but there were a lot of carries I could do.
Front carries with 3.6 Inka:
Hip carries with 3.6 Inka:
Back carries with 3.6 Inka:
Tuesday the Pinellas Cloth Diaper Chatter group had a meet-up at the beach. We love cloth diapers, but for me, everything is about baby wraps!
Amy has a new Lou Neobulle in a shorter size than her other wrap and wanted to know what carries she could do with it. She knew she had a good rucksack going for her, but what else? We played around and discovered that she can do an abbreviated Front Wrap Cross Carry, a Short Front Cross Carry, or a hip carry. She did a good Hip Cross Carry, and we considered some variations of the Poppins Hip Carry and Robins Hip Carry, neither of which have I managed to get instructions for up on my site yet! Another back carry option with a shorty is the Reinforced Rear Rebozo Rucksack.
Somehow I managed not to take any pictures of all that, but I did snap one photo of Angela in her new Silver Waves Didymos–I loved it!
We went swimming in our friend Darlene’s pool last week and she took some pictures of Annabelle and I in the water wrap. I tied it in a front cross carry, with the tie behind her back instead of under her legs. And Darlene put Audrey in their new Alice Bali Baby Breeze wrap!
It is true of all human babies that they must be able to breathe. This is true in arms, in bed, in wraps, and in cars. Always and everywhere.
Usually there is no difficulty. But in the case of a very young infant, especially premature or weak infants, extra care is wise as the baby may not be able to move their head to get a clear breath, or to move away any obstruction. They are entirely dependent and should ideally never be out of sight.
I love a baby wrap for keeping your baby always under your attentive eye. What you should be looking out for is that the baby’s face is always clear–not covered by cloth or blankets or anything else; and the baby’s neck is straight–not doubled over with chin close to chest.
Any recommendation that slings and baby carriers be avoided is not necessary when parents understand how to safely care for their infants in AND OUT of carriers. The rules for breathing are the same. Please comment with any questions you may have about this. I teach safe babywearing locally, and will be happy to let you know of any babywearing classes I may know of in other areas.
I finally put up a page for the Double Hammock Carry. Photo tutorial now available, thank you dear husband for photographing!
I also have a couple of videos:
I love this carry, which is also called the Chunei Back Carry. It is easy, secure, gives the baby a view, and my all around favorite wrap carry. Check out the new instructions and give it a whirl!
And let me know if there’s anything that I need to clarify. I aim to serve!