Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wearing a toddler on your back

Here, I decided a video would be the most helpful. Trying to figure out just what pictures would convey the most important information didn't seem productive. And I'll add text instructions to clarify. I'm using "him" since that's what I've got! :)

Starting with the center of the wrap, place this on the baby's shoulders. I like to wrap it over his arms a bit to make sure it stays in place. Grab the shoulders and swing him up over your back. If you like higher up, just make sure to start him out there. Then, leaning forward, pull the wrap tightly to the front. My Hoppediz wrap has color highlighted selvages which is very helpful! Keeping these sides tight in your hands, wad up the wrap and tie once in front. For higher up babies, tie above your breasts, for lower, below. Women how have a bit "more" than me seem to like to tie above the breasts too.
Holding one end between your knees, pull the other end up over your shoulder and behind baby. Make sure not to twist as you do this. Before E decided he always had to have his arms free no matter what, I always wrapped his arms in too. Much more secure. Cross the wrap over the bum and under the opposite leg. Hold that end between your knees and repeat with the other end.
Now bring both ends together and tie in a secure knot. I used to tie at my belly, but now I tie over my belly.
A slight variation of this is to make sure the wrap begins off center. That way, when you get to the final knot, you will be able to tie it off to the side. This is helpful for doing household chores--like dishes, cleaning bathrooms, that kind of thing. Or anytime you are worried about the knot in front.
As long as you make sure you are keeping the wrap taut as you tie, this is a very secure way to carry your baby. I think E lived in this wrap for several months! I was able to get chores done, go on hikes, take walks with the kids (without worrying about whether or not a stroller could go there!) go shopping, and go to cultural events. Wrapping keeps the baby close, warm and secure. I never have to worry about dealing with strollers, baby getting fussy, or darting away. It also means that he doesn't change my center of gravity much. We decided that this beat the Kelty backpack hands down! Baby just feels so much lighter in the wrap.
There are also lots of instructions on the web for front carries for younger babies. I did use the rucksack carry some when E was little. If I get a chance (and can remember how!) I'll try to get a video up of that one.
This tie looks complicated, I agree. I always get tons of looks, and nervous offers of help when I tie it in public. But after a few practice runs, I felt comfortable enough to do it on my own, and I never looked back. This is hands down the most comfortable way to carry a baby. I encourage you to try it. If you don't own a wrap (and why don't you??!!), a purchased one is indeed very nice. But you can also make one by purchasing 5-6 yards of fabric, cutting down the middle, and finishing the edges. Cheap, simple lifesaver.


MMM&M said...

you make it look so easy!! hahaha.

you know, is it uncool to admit I was a total failure at wraps??? I needed someone to HELP me I think, and everyone around here in the buckle of the bible belt seriously would look at me like I was crazy. I ordered one from online, but couldn't ever get it to work right..

he looks like he loves it!!! I bet that is easier on your back too.

RasJane said...

Not at all! I think for a lot of people it's much, much easier to be shown how. Sorry you couldn't find someone to help you.
Hmm, you wouldn't happen to still have your wrap and want to sell it to a certain beloved family member would you?? :)

mason said...

Wow, I'm still impressed by the way you wrapped E in August. I still don't remember how we did it. But of course by that time we only had one kind. The easy probably not the most safe one. And that's why I didn't use it too much.
What about your pregnancFeeling well, looking forward to it ?


Mommy Bee said...

So even with his arms up and out like that, he doesn't arch his back and flip out? That was always my worry about back-carries was that he wasn't supported high up enough, and would flip himself over or out...obviously not a problem I want to have!

RasJane said...

He hasn't ever flipped over, and yes I do worry about it. However, he learned to be worn with his arms in. Just like a lot of parenting things, if they get used to it when they are little, it's easier later on. Honestly, I don't wrap him on my back as often anymore. He's getting really independent! So I usually put him on my back in the mei tai. That way it's a quicker up and down.
Ria, I will have to do a pg update post soon, huh?

MMM&M said...

if I HAD it I would give it to you!!! in a fit of drama I gave up and returned it (maya wrap), and they were wonderful about returning my money & shipping--- they were great.