Short Front Wrap Torso Carry
Want the support of front wrap cross carry but the comfort of a torso carry? Well, you can totally have both!
Try a Front Wrap Torso Carry, and with a short wrap tied under bum! Starts like a nice supportive Front Wrap Cross Carry, but you take the wrap under your arms for no shoulder straps.
Best of both worlds!
I am a using a base -1 for this carry.
What Is Base Size?
The most common question, after how the heck do I use this thing, is what is my base size?
Why different lengths? There are a few reasons. First of all, so you can find the right size for your and baby’s needs. Not everyone is built the same, so it’s wonderful to find a wrap that will be the size you need.
And different lengths are used for different carries. It would be impossible to do a Double Hammock in a wrap that was way too short. Likewise, it would be frustrating to have so much tail in a Traditional Sling Carry with a too long of a wrap.
When I started wrapping, I had no idea what base size. I bought my first wrap based on price, and bought a wrap smaller than my base size. I was SO frustrated that I struggled to squeeze out a Front Wrap Cross Carry. Then later a VBE told me about base size and that my wrap was cheaper because it was shorter!
So, what is base size?
It’s simply the wrap that you can do most carries with easily. This varies person to person.
It will depend on your body and baby’s body. The standard way to determine base size is with a Front Wrap Cross Carry.
You should have enough tails to tighten and tie easily.
Too short and you cannot tie a secure knot.
Too long and may have so much tail hanging you may step or trip on it.
Base size is totally arbitrary, the number or length itself does not matter. What matters is you and baby are comfortable and happy.
The best way to determine your base is by trying sizes on.
The “average” size person is usually a base size 6. If you are “average”, than give a 6 a try. If you are larger than average, start with a longer wrap. If you are smaller, try a shorter wrap.
Keep in mind that even people the same height/weight can be different base sizes. Everyone is built different, so make sure you get the correct size for your unique body.
So grab some wraps, find you base, and embrace the wrapping love!
Double Sling Opposite Shoulders
Love the idea of a chest belt but the loops dig into your arm pits?
Try how I do it, with the loops going the opposite directions. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing, but it’s very comfortable for long-term wearing!
In this video, I paired it with a Double Sling Carry (Formerly a Double Rebozo). This a great carry for smaller babies who need lots of support but aren’t seat poppers yet.
Indestructible Back Carry
The very first day I put Jack in a carrier at 3-days-old, he screamed while I got him secured. Seat popping, leaning, and wiggling—all the things that make wearing frustrating. But once I finished, he was happy and never wanted to be taken out.
And this trend continues as a toddler. Screams to be picked up, cries as I wrap him, but has a meltdown if I even suggestion taking him down. He’s very opinionated and strong. He’s a challenge to wrap (and parent). But I love his spirit, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
My husband is half Fijian-Indian, Avinash is his Indian name and was beaming with pride to share the name with his son. Avinash means “Indestructible”, which is the perfect name for Jack. My indestructible boundless ball of energy. I needed a carry that was just as indestructible as him. So I thought out what I wanted/like in other carries.
I usually gravitate towards rucks because they are quick and you can do a variety of fun finishes. But he such a seat popper, I end up redoing them—which is a pain on on hiking trails. But I like how easy it is to get knee-to-knee support. This makes it harder for to break free.
Legs passes solve the seat popping problem, which is why I fell in love with the Wiggleproof Back Carry. But doesn’t stop the leaning problem.
So a Half Jordan’s Back with a tight horizontal pass is another carry that I love. But it’s not comfy long term for me (I have a permanent back injury).
I need more torso support to take the pressure off my back, which is I have a new found love for all chest passes and belts. But he can still wiggle out of them….so we are back up the top of the list.
To summarize, I need: knee-to-knee support, leg passes, a horizontal pass, a chest pass, and a fancy finish.
So after much trial and error, I came up with this. The Indestructible Back Carry for my Jack-Avinash. And it really works! He has to try VERY hard to get out of this carry. The day I finally got this, I started dancing around the room while he was trying to bust out, and it barely budged.
It starts with making a good ol’ deep ruck seat knee-to-knee seat. I am not normally a stickler for a deep seat, but this child needs one.
Next is chest pass like a Double Hammock, but do a Reinforced Pass instead of a Sling Pass.
Than Wiggleproof Pass with opposite tail.
Then pin that wiggleproof in place with a Poppin’s Pass and a Horizontal pass. Tie it off in front/chest.
An indestructible carry for my indestructible kid.
I am using a Soul Slings Flyaway Base +2.
Give it a try!
Short Ruck with an Over The Top Kai Belt
I kept seeing all these beautiful pics of Kai Belts and decided to give one a try. I loved it right away. No shoulder or chest pressure! But somehow when I got outside for a walk and didn’t have photo in front of me, my brain made up it’s own version. I love this one even more! All I did was add an extra tuck on both sides, but oh man, it’s comfy.
I decided to pair this was a Ruck in a short wrap, to show a great back carry for a smaller baby. The bunched pass over both of baby’s legs secures the ruck pass, but does not put too much pressure on delicate little legs.
Starting the Ruck off center and tying at shoulder/chest is a great way to make a short wrap more versatile. The one long tail can be used a number of ways (such as this chest belt).
Give it a try!
Bear’s Sling Carry
When it’s 2 AM and your baby is WIDE awake. You are exhausted and desperate. Why won’t baby sleep? What I am doing wrong? How can I make you sleep!!?!?!
A month ago this was me with my little Bear. He was feed, changed, and clearly tired. But, we were in a minor 4-month sleep regression. So there we were wide awake standing in the living room.
I figured if he wasn’t going to sleep, I would work on some wrap carries. I started to do a Poppin’s Hip Carry, and he was having none Poppin’s Pass tightening. He only seemed happy in a Traditional Sling Carry, but I wanted something more fun. I was messing around the the tail and suddenly remembered the Lexi Twist finish you can do in a Coolest Hip Carry. A few minutes later I had some Sling/Poppins/Lexi hybrid and Bear was sound asleep. Bear’s Sling Carry was born.
Forward Facing Outward In A Wrap
I already talked about Forward Facing Outward in a Wrap in my Newbornwearing: Best Seat post, :
Oh, the controversial facing forward. In a nutshell, there are several arguments for not facing baby forward. It can be overstimulating, uncomfortable for wearer and wearee, no head or neck support, you cannot see baby’s need cues, and not ideal position for sleeping. I agree with most of these claims. It can be overstimulating if you kept baby in that position all the time. You might naturally hold your baby facing out for a short while, but you probably wouldn’t hold like that for a long time—and probably not while moving around. It would be hard to keep baby secure. You would probably turn them to face you eventually. But, you would do this holding baby, so it is reasonable to do this in a carrier. It is a bit harder to see if baby is giving you any signs or cues, but it’s not impossible. Just pause and take the best look you can—just like you need to do with baby facing towards you as well.
If the wrap is supporting baby in the optimal high and tight position with knees higher than bottom, then it can be comfortable for both baby and you. If you were holding baby facing out, you would probably hold baby up high with their bottom on your forearm lifting knees higher than bottom. This would boost up baby high enough to fairly easily see baby’s cues. Even with baby up high and tight, this may not be enough head or neck support for babies who have little or no head control. Your natural instinct is to totally support a newborn’s body, so you probably wouldn’t hold a baby who couldn’t support there head facing outward. But, you might once baby got a bit more control, so it’s reasonable to try in a carrier.
Check out my tutorial on how to achieve a FFO carry with deep seat in the optimal position:
Front Double Hammock with a Twist
The joy of a Double Hammock can be duplicated on the front! I added a Lexi Twist to keep a newborn’s delicate legs from being squished or spread too far.
I find it too hard to keep tightening and smoothing out the carry with each new pass, so I get all the passes done and then fix it all at the end. If you do it before both shoulder flips done, I find it hard to tighten because there is now resistance to pull against.
Give it a try!
Can You Hike In It: Smitten Gertie Mesozoic
Before I review this wrap, I need to provide full disclosure. I met the owners of Smitten. They lived in the Bay Area the same time I did and I ran into at various local babywearing/mutual friend things. I am also currently a Brand Ambassador for this company. That being said, I would not be working with a company if I didn’t think the owners were good people with good business practices.
I let Jack pick a new wrap this time, he’s been jealous that little brother has been doing all the babywearig lately. I showed him Smitten’s website and he instantly yelled, “DINOSAURS!”. I asked what color, he yelled, “BLUE!!”. Little did he know he picked the new color!
Manufacturer: Smitten With Wovens
Colorway: Gertie Mesozoic
Color: Blue, Sky blue, ecru, and white.
Pattern Dinosaur Sketches
Size: 7 (base +2 for me)
Materials: 100% cotton
Release date: October 2016
This wrap was design after Gertie the Dino, one of the first animated cartoons ever made. There a few other colors in the Gertie line, but this is the first multiple color wrap—going from blue to ecru gradient lengthwise. It’s very busy visually, but the dinosaurs are not lost in the pattern. I was really blown away by the shades of blue when I opened the package, very rich and calming. It got chucked into the wash right away so it could go on a fun adventure the next day.
Location: Evergreen Aviation Nature Trail
Distance: 1.1 miles
Trail Type: Paved concrete
Trail Conditions: Wet and muddy
A few weeks ago we went to Evergreen Aviation and I noticed a little trail at the rear of the parking lot. First thought was, “I should bring Jack here on a day when he’s driving me crazy.” And that what I did! He was driving me crazy all week, so I called up my friend who lived near by and set-up a playdate for all our munchkins to run around.
The trail is paved and well-maintained. It’s sponsored and dedicated to the Boy Scouts. It’s essentially a short figure eight loop through a small woods. Nothing fancy, but a lovely little stroll for families. Great for walking toddlers (if you don’t mind them getting a bit muddy if they step off the trail).
We did 3 laps total in a Front Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist. Smittens are wider wraps, so it was a bit harder to make a a seat and tighten with so much fabric on a smaller baby. I did the twist so I didn’t put too much pressure on Bear’s little legs by going under them.
I ended up having to fold the wrap at the bottom a bit before I made a seat to make it fit right. As for tightening, I really had to do small strand by small strand. Half inch sections instead of inch sections to get it tightened properly. Not a big deal overall though.
During the walk, I never had to adjust the wrap once I got it tightening properly. Bear was in it for 3 straight hours and it stayed very comfortable. Smittens tend to be smushy soft and cushiony, but this one has a tiny bit of grip to hold it in place as well. Even held up when we had to chase big brother around the playground.
The next day we took Mesozoic out again in the same carry for babywearing playdate, and it was much easier to tighten after being broken in some. I bet this wrap will be very easy to tighten despite the smushy factor once broken in fully. And, considering there was notably better after one use, I bet it will be broken-in in no time.
That night I let Jack stay up later to watch a movie when Bear went to bed. As soon as I came back into the living room to start the movie, he walked to me holding Mesozoic with one tear coming down his cheek (kid you not, he has a flare for the dramatic). He said, “This was for me. Can I have an uppy now? Please?” I felt horrible and put him immediately up on my back in a Double Hammock. Pulled his arms in and snuggled up, and fell asleep 5 minutes into the movie. I decided to keep him up while I watched more of the movie, to keep him my baby for a little bit longer.
I was very comfortable, I had him sleeping on me for an hour with no pain or pressure points. The chest pass stayed tight and the whole time.
This was wrap was amazing for a toddler! Jack is a tall kid, the width was perfect to make a deep, knee-to-knee seat with his long legs. And it was even easier to tighten than in the morning. This wrap is seriously easy to break in.
I decided to give it a try one more time with Bear before I did this review since it was more broken in. I did a new carry that required a lot of tightening, a Front Double Hammock with a Twist.
As I started to do the carry, I ran into the problem of it being so wide that I couldn’t get a good seat on Bear again. I had to fold the wrap down under his bottom again. It definitely tightened easier, but it was just still a lot of fabric for such a little guy. I decided to tie off with a twist again, because I worried it would put too much pressure on his legs again. He was asleep in minutes and I was super comfortable. It also pleats very nicely, making the shoulder flips easy to achieve and tighten.
The key features of this wrap are the width and subtle grip. The width makes it harder to work with on a smaller baby, but is AMAZING for toddlers. But regardless of child size, once you get the carry tightened, the wrap will stay in place. I credit this grip to the dinosaur patterns itself. Those little stitched dinos grip to each other like magic.
Can you hike in a Smitten Gertie Mesozoic? This a great carrier for a infant to toddler, especially on a cold rainy day in the Northwest! It is very soft for great overall comfort. It will stay very supportive even with a wiggly toddler. However, it is a bit wide for a newborn. You can get a good wrap job with a smaller baby if you take your time. Plus, your toddler might love being wrapped in dinosaurs!