The infamous Double Hammock. That ever so versatile woven wrap back carry. Mastering it is a sure fire signal that you are truly wrapper.
I spent most of 2016 getting through a difficult pregnancy and did not get to wear as much as I wanted.During this time, I did notice an interesting tread in the wrapping community though. Every week there seemed to be a new “finish” or Double Hammock Variation. So many in fact I was struggling to keep up. And honestly, this variation experimentation is continuing to this day. At first was I overwhelmed and mad I couldn’t try them all right away. But I slowly began to realize this was growth in our community. Wrappers of all skill levels are taking charge of their knowledge. Expressing themselves as a wearer. And trying new things to grow their confidence. Now I embrace every new variation I see as a piece of the World’s babywearing journey.
What the heck is the magical carry that is uniting us all? In a nut shell, it is a multiple pass carry that offers great support for most people and babies. Two opposing sling passes and bunched passes to support’s baby whole torso equally and lock the seat in place.
But it’s that magical torso pass that distributes baby’s weight across your WHOLE upper body evening that brings the wrapping magic. It brings the weight off your shoulders while also sitting baby lower on your back so baby’s weight stays centralized on your torso.
As long it is tightened properly, that is. If that torso pass is too loose, be prepared for major tugging on your shoulders and killer back pain. This is common issue for beginners, and sadly turns them away from this amazing back carry.
This torso pass is the key to all the amazing variation for the Double Hammock. And there are numerous. Plus, new ones are being made-up all the time!
The series is a journey into the Double Hammock. My attempt to catalog all the known variations and continue to add as new ones appear.
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!
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).
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 Weave: Jacquard 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.
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!
Right away I smiled at the squirrels. I love when carriers have fun little details like this. The deep warm colors are so inviting. And it’s thick and soft like a blanket. I was excited for some newborn hiking snuggles.
Dendron Harvest went for a very fun trip to the Columbia River Gorge while my in-laws were visiting. Multnomah Falls is truly an Oregon treasure. The fourth highest falls in America, and only 30 minutes from Portland.
Location: Multnomah Falls Distance: 0.78 miles Trail Type: Paved concrete Weather: Raining and windy Trail Conditions: Wet, muddy and busy
Of course, it had to be POURING down rain when we got there. But Oregonians always do it in the rain, so just bundled up everyone and headed out anyways. The falls themselves are just a short walk from the parking lot.
Then another short but switchbacking hike takes you to the bridge at the first falls. Michael, Jack, Bear and I ran up that one while everyone else checked out the gift shop. It’s a well maintained, paved trail with some wooden bridges along the way. It is not toddler friendly, the trail has steep drop offs and is not smooth. Please take your toddlers and babies (it’s a beauty they need to see!), but keep them in carriers at all times.
It was very crowded at the bridge, EVERYONE was posing for photos and clogging up the bridge. We quickly snapped the best one we could and ran back down.
I wore Bear in a Front Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist. He was warm and fell asleep in minutes. This wrap is seriously like snuggling in a big soft blanket.
Then we had lunch in the lodge, and of course Jack finished quickly. He begged me to go wander so I took Bear out the waiting area to nurse while Jack looked around. That went to hell quickly,so as soon as Bear finished, I had to wrap them both up to keep the place from being destroyed.
So, I did my first tandem carry with the same wrap! I put Jack on my back in a Ruck Tied Tibetan, and took the Tibetan Passes to do a Front Cross Carry with Bear. It was sooo comfortable, and I credit a lot of that to the cushion of the wrap. However, it was a bit hard to pull the Cross Passes up around Bear at first because of the thickness, but I got it done. We walked back to the parking lot with pride.
Two weeks later, we went on another awesome adventure—Halloweentown! I totally forgot last year that the movie was filmed in St. Helens, Oregon. But this year I made sure to take my family. I realized this wrap was the perfect colors for the occasion!
Bear strolled around town in a Front Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist (and I had to do my tutorial video at the plaza with all the decorations).
Later Jack decided his legs couldn’t work anymore, so I put him up in a Front Cross Carry. The wrap was very supportive for his 27-pound butt and long legs.
The key feature of this wrap is the design. How can you not love the squirrels and falling leaves? And the deep brunt orange color just pulls it all together. It’s thick like your favorite winter blanket, but tightens easily for lots of support. It can be a bit hard to spread out when bunched or tightened though. And I would not recommend doing carries where the thick wrap goes under a newborn’s delicate legs.
Can you hike with a FireSpiral Autumn Dendron Harvest? Yes! This a great cool weather wrap for all ages. Even when bolting up a switchbacking trail on a rainy day or containing a bouncing toddler, this a great hiking wrap.
Let me fill you in on a little secret for newbornwearing—the key is a supportive seat. Well, actually that’s the key for babywearing in general. A good seat can look different depending on the type of carrier and the carry. But in general, baby should be in a position similar to how you would hold them in your arms long term.
You would probably cradle their legs up, making baby smaller and easier to carry. You would place your hands or arms on their bottom or torso, keeping their body fully supported. What I just described follows the standard rules of babywearing safety: high, tight, knees higher than bum. . These rules weren’t made up at random, they follow you and your baby’s natural tenancies. Let’s take a look at the seat on a few different newborn wrap carries and see how the mimic being held.
Front Wrap Cross Carry Legs In. [Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid Brishen O/S] Recently, there has been a push baby’s legs being out right from birth. People stating legs in could put pressure on baby’s hips, causing hip issues. There is no evidence to support at this time. Think about how you hold baby, do you spread out baby’s legs every time pick them up? Or do you naturally let them fall where they may and just cradle them up for support? Maybe they are tucked up beside them or maybe they in a spread-squat position. I can say from personal experience my oldest’s legs were stuck tucked up until he was 3-months-old. I couldn’t get him to do legs out without him screaming. And my youngest can do either right now, just depends on the day really. So I don’t see the need to shun all legs-in carries. If that’s baby’s natural position in arms, why go against it in a carrier?
There are a few things to watch out for when placing baby legs-in a torso pass like that in a Front Wrap Cross Carry. The wrap should support the natural C shape of baby’s spine, with hips rotated towards your body.
Legs in the a frog-leg position, knees higher than bottom with feet parallel to ground. The cross passes should close off the bottom of the torso pass, preventing baby from slipping out the bottom. These steps will ensure baby is in a natural position without any unnecessary pressure on little hips or feet.
Front Wrap Cross Carry with a Twist. [Wrapsody Breeze Dinah] Some babies are born with legs uncurled, so legs-out from the start is a wonderful choice. However, for some babies bringing the cross passes under baby’s legs in a basic Front Wrap Cross Carry can puts too much pressure on their little legs. If you were holding baby, you probably wouldn’t place your arm under baby’s legs, awkwardly pushing them away from your body. This is not an natural position, so not the best carry for some babies. A lexi twist under baby’s bottom secures the bottom of the torso pass while bringing the cross passes away from baby’s little legs.
This a simple variation that even a beginner can easily achieve. Once baby is in and the wrap tightened, instead of a just once, cross several times—I usually do 3 to 4 times—under baby’s bottom into a twist. Then take the tails behind you like normal and tie. The key is to keep the tension while twisting so baby stays high and tight.
Also note that even though baby’s legs are spread out, the area between them is still small. Not much room to get a lot of fabric between you and baby. For this reason logistical reason, don’t stress about making a deep seat with a newborn. You should have some fabric between going between baby’s knees so baby is bottom is supported (like how you might place baby’s bottom on your forearm).But no need to stress about mastering a deep seat yet, this a crucial skill you can work on later.
Pocket Wrap Cross Carry Facing Forward Outward.[Wrapsody Stretch-Hybrid Kailani] 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.
The biggest reason lack of head support is an issue is it could compromise baby’s airway. Baby’s head rest against your body when facing inward, making it easier to keep chin off their chest. Facing forward with no head support could force baby to slump forward and close off their airway—especially when sleeping. This is why I agree to never keep baby facing forward when they fall asleep. I do not suggest this carry until baby can hold their head up independently. My son has good head control so I am comfortable placing him in this carry occasionally. Get baby high and tight in the wrap. Take time to make sure you can easily peep down at baby’s face. When you gently sway back and forth, you baby should move as one unit. Baby should swing around in the wrap. Just like your arms would move with your body holding baby, not swing baby away. Rotate baby’s hip’s forward so baby is in a seated position with knees higher than bottom. And I mean actually rotate them. Reach into the carry, gentle grab baby on both hips. Tip them backward and downward. Adjust the cross passes as needed, making sure baby is supported from back too belly button and knee to knee. Keep the torso pass off of baby’s face to keep their airway clear. And keep it off baby’s legs, this might add unnecessary pressure.
I hope you have some insights into how to give your newborn the best seat possible. Remember to take your time getting yourself and baby comfortable in any carry. It’s not a race, it’s loving journey!
You know that feeling when you finally get your hands on something you pined away for? That glorious, satisfying feeling when you touch it and everything you imagined? This was my feeling when I opened the box and pulled out this wrap. Tiny Tiger Everlasting Gobstopper came out when I started really getting into babywearing and I wanted it the minute I saw it. Sadly, at the time I couldn’t afford it and then it sold out when I could. I thought it would always just be a dream. So, you can imagine my excitement when I got the chance to have it visit!
Manufacturer: Tiny Tiger Baby Colorway: Everlasting Gobstopper Color: Purple, blue, green, yellow, and red Pattern: Small stripes Size: 6 Materials: 100% cotton Weave: Plain Release date: February 2015
This wrap showed up back in February when I was suffering from very bad first trimeter hyperemesis, so it took it me while to get enough use out of it to review. We first took it on a stroll through our cute little downtown. Jack loved having an uppy in the bookstore to grab everything possible off the shelves.
I did a basic Ruck. It was easy to make a seat with a wiggly toddler. And held nicely despite his bouncing around to grab books.
I finally–two months later–got to take it out on a trail! We went to a great local park, Rood Bridge Park. It has wide, paved trails great for strollers or curious toddlers. Plus some dirt trail with a tiny bit of incline in the back.
There is a lots of shade, plus several water features like creeks and ponds. Jack loves the big open fields and the playground. I am pretty sure he is well behaved on the trail so he gets plenty of time to play after.
Location: Rood Bridge Park Distance: 1.21 miles Trail Type: Paved concrete, gravel, and dirt Weather: Sunny and warm Trail Conditions: Clear trail, slightly busy
Jack was getting impatient to get to the back part of the park where the frog pond is, so I gave him an uppy to get him there faster. I did a quick (and pretty sloppy now that I see the pictures), Ruck again.
The grip on this handwoven is so good that the carry held well even while not properly tightened.
After some major bridge exploring, Jack said he wanted to go to the playground. So up he went in a Secure High Back Carry. Once again, it was a bit sloppy because he was impatient, but he still very secure due to the grippiness.
I did a ring finish instead of a knot, mainly because I was starting to get a baby bump and didn’t want the added pressure on my waist. It threaded through the ring nicely and held great.
The key feature of the wrap is the handwoven texture. It is very grippy, no issues locking down a seat on a wiggly toddler. That being said, I prefer a little more glide on my wraps, so it was tad (a very tiny tad) too grippy for me. But overall, I was not disappointed in this wrap. The stripe pattern is very fun and looks amazing in person. It’s got that classic bandage-feel wrapping quality. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to play it for a few months.
Can you hike in a Tiny Tiger Everlasting Gobstopper? Yes, this is a wrap that will not fail you (even with a wiggling toddler) on the trail. The grippiness may be a bit intimidating for new wrappers, but once you get the hang of wrapping, it should not be an issue. The all cotton blend should not get too hot or cold, so I would recommend this for all seasons. I wish I had a squish to try a Semi-Front Wrap Cross Carry when it was here, I bet it would have held up like a champ on a good hike.
I’ve always been a big fan of Kokadi designs. Unique patterns, colors, and themes. My DISO was their Kurma and I cried when it arrived in the mail. That being said, they tend to be too soft for my taste. I like more grip to a wrap. I’ve also heard they are really prone to snags. So I tend to shy away from them.
However, the Arielle Eclipse is a totally different story. As soon as I pulled it out of the package, I was impressed with the thickness. Soft, but thicker than the average Kokadi. And the pattern did not disappoint. A modern scale/shell pattern. I was excited to test it out, but when it arrived I was still dealing with Hyperemesis, so it sadly sat around for awhile before I was well enough to try it.
Colorway: Arielle Eclipse
Color: black and nude
Size: Size 6
Materials: 68% Cotton, 32% Bamboo/Bamboo-viscose
Release date: November 2015
First I used it for a wrap nap at a Babywearing International of Portland playdate. Jack fell asleep as soon as I got the Ruck with a Ring Finish tied. Clearly someone loaded it with sleepy dust! It threaded nicely through the ring, and didn’t slid around.
It also went to the park across the street from us one day. I can honestly say it was the easiest to tie and most supportive Robin’s Hip Carry ever. I didn’t even need to spread the shoulder out to make it more comfortable.
Then one day I felt great and the weather was pretty nice, so we headed out for a family hike. We picked the Rock Creek Trail, easy but some interesting stuff to look at along the way.
Location: Rock Creek Trail
Trail Type: Paved, concrete, wood boardwalk
Weather: Overcast, light showers then sunshine
Trail Conditions: Some debris on trail from a recent storm, muddy, but overall well-kept. A bit crowded as it a popular trail.
We started out trying to get Jack to ride his bike, but he thought the umbrella was more fun. The trails are so wide and even, it was easy for him to walk so distracted.
There is a bird sanctuary in the middle, which Jack loved. We saw a hawk, stellar jay, and two woodpeckers.
A quarter of the way in Jack decided he wanted an uppy. I started with Jordan’s Back Carry, but Jack some how popped one of the passes down. It wasn’t until I took a photo did I notice.
It wasn’t uncomfortable at all, no digging or straining my back. But it bugged me to not have it right.
So I switched to a Ruck Tied Tibetan. And took a picture while we continued walking to make sure the seat was right!
Very comfortable still and wonderful grip. The seat held well while I was bouncing Jack to sleep on the way back.
Since he was asleep, we decided to walk to the shopping center down the road for lunch. It stayed very comfortable the whole 30 minute walk. Plus I felt so pretty, the pattern and colors are perfect for an suburban/urban setting. It was nice to feel pretty after several weeks of feeling like crap.
After lunch and a little shopping, Michael wore Jack back to the car. We started in a Ruck Tied Tibetan (Michael ties up his tails regardless of a knotless finish), but the top rail was a bit loose and I could foresee Jack popping the seat quickly.
So we switched to a Wiggleproof Carry Tied Tibetan instead. Jack couldn’t pop it, even when he started to bounce saying daddy was a horsey. This is when I fell in love with the grip of this wrap.
I asked Michael how he liked the wrap, he said “Fine. I like the colors a lot.” I asked if it felt comfortable, was it digging anywhere? He said nope. If he didn’t like it, he would have simply said “I don’t like it”. Seriously, man of few words.
The key feature of this wrap is the texture. It’s soft like your standard Kokadi, but thick enough to support a giant sleeping toddler comfortably. I really credit this to the bamboo. In general bamboo is amazing in almost any wrap, but it really makes a difference with Kokadi’s design.
So, can you hike in a Kokadi Arielle Eclipse? Yes. I would really recommend this wrap for almost any hike and almost any age of child. It’s soft enough for a snuggly newborn nap, but supportive enough for a longer hike to a waterfall with a toddler.