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 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).
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.
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:
Baby K’Tan are baby wraps without the wrapping. A carrier that gives you an easy Pocket Wrap Cross Carry without all the work. A great beginner carrier. I teach them often and recommend for people who struggle with wrapping.
The instructions provided with the carrier are great and easy to follow. However, it’s not how I like to teach using this carrier. My method is not too different or unique really. Just simply different way.
Another carry for my Pregnancy Babywearing Series. A Pirate Carry with a Candy Cane Chest Belt. This is formerly called a RRRR (Reinforced Rear Rebozo Ruck). I encourage you to take the time to learn about the movement to take back the word Rebozo in the babywearing community. This wonderful graphic explains it all:
I love this carry for hiking in general, especially while pregnant. It’s done with a shorter wrap (base -3), so less layers. You stay cooler and more comfortable. No waist belt, so no bump pressure. And the Candy Cane Chest Belt looks fancy, and doesn’t put pressure on your sensitive breasts. The added leg pass also keeps seat-popping toddlers in place!
I love wrap conversion mei teis. I really need to do more posts about them. They are especially a great option for hiking while pregnant in your third trimester. They are great to contain a wiggly toddler quickly without much pressure on your bump.
A knotless finish is great way to keep pressure off your bump, and it can make you feel pretty! I like to spread the straps out wide over my toddler’s bottom for more support. Also, my breast are pretty sensitive right now, so I like chose a knotless finish that does not cover them.
You are tired, sore, and swollen. And sometimes, you feel anything but pretty. It’s all part of the pregnancy experience. The only real cure is to get through it and deliver your baby. One thing can give you some temporary relief: belly wrapping.
I’m not talking about those weight loss shrink wraps or coreset waist trainers. (Your supposed to get a big belly while pregnant, it’s unsafe to try to prevent it). I’m talking about supporting your belly gently while it grows with a babywearing wrap.
It is a safe way to give you little extra support. It’s similar to belly bands and belts commonly found it in maternity stores. They are so much prettier and easier to adjust to your body shape. It’s also a great way to break in a new wrap before baby comes!
There are several ways to wrap your belly during pregnancy. There is no best method, it will depend on your body’s needs and personal preference. Here are four basic methods, give them each a try and see what you like. However, there are two schools of thought when it comes to this subject: cover the belly or not. Some believe that it’s bad for mother and baby to have the entire belly covered. Stating it constricts fetal movement, possibly effecting growth and causing stress. Others believe that as long as you don’t over tighten and cause pain, there is nothing wrong with covering your entire belly. Most maternity pants cover all the belly, often with elastic to add tension support. There is little scientific evidence to proof/disproof either school of thought, so at this time it is not fair to say either one is correct. As for my personal opinion as an educator, I am comfortable recommending the entire belly covered as long as the wearer can still move easily and the wrap is truly giving her relief. I will post some links at the end of this post for more information.
This first one uses a stretchy wrap to basically do a Front Wrap Cross Carry without a baby.This carry provides full upper body support. The cross in the back provides support to your back and shoulder, while the giving your belly an extra lift at the same time. Great for back pain and general muscle pain from carrying a heavy belly around. I really recommend a stretchy wrap over a woven wrap for this. I find a woven wrap just does not get as tight over your shoulder to give you that nice lift.This would work with a Moby, Boba, or other stretchy brands. I am using a Wrapsody Hybrid Stella One Size. This wrap is equal to a size 8 woven wrap or 5.7 meters. For this carry, your need a long wrap. As you can see in the video, I had a lot of tail left over. I’m petite and only 19 weeks along in this video. On a non-short person who is further along, there would be less left over and tying in front would not be an issue.
Next is a long woven wrap. I guess this would be similar to a Torso Carry, just around your belly without a baby.This one provides support to your lower back, belly, and most importantly the pelvic area. It’s great for round ligament pain, too. Just a little lift, without all the passes limiting your range of motions on your shoulders.The key to this one is getting the bottom rail nice and tight. This carry should be done with your base size (keeping in mind that during pregnancy it may change, I went from a base 5 to a 6). If you want a less bulky knot, use a thinner wrap. I used a Bijou Babywearing Wildthing Crush Size 6.
The last of the fully belly support is the ring sling. It’s pretty much like doing a front carry in a ring sling, but on your belly and not cover one shoulder. The ring sling provides all over, even belly support for those days it feels like your skin is about to burst into pieces. And there is the added bonus of no bulky knot getting in your way. Just make sure the rings a laying flat so they don’t dig into your side (threading properly will keep them from turning into you). There isn’t much lift, but a gently tug keeping everything supported. Any ring sling that fits around your belly will work for this carry. I recommend medium size rings if possible, the smaller the rings the less likely they will be to dig into your side. I used a Wrapsody Cara Ring Sling 78″ (about a size Medium).
Lastly, a carry that does not cover the whole belly. There really is no babywearing carry like this, it’s more like a support belt. This is perfect for those days when your body starts loosen all the joints and your hips feel like they are going to rip apart. Just enough tension to gently push them back together so you can walk without pain. It also offers a dash of back support to keep you from wanting to cry stand-up to go to the bathroom for the millionth time. And your baby is free from constrictions, able to move and grow as they please. I am using a Little Frog Pyrope Size 3. I recommend a base minus 2 for this carry. Keep in mind what I said earlier though, your base size may have changed from your pre-pregnancy size. I had to tie on the tails because I guessed too small, a size 4 would have fit much better.
There you go! Four ways to wrap your belly during pregnancy. I hope of them gives you relief and you use a wrap that makes you feel beautiful.