How to do Hip Carries in a Woven Wrap

Woven wraps are beautiful and versatile! You can do a ton of different carries with woven wraps! Here are resources for learning hip carries in your woven wrap. They are organized by the size wrap that they need. If you are a wrap beginner, start with this post.

Base Size Carries
These carries all use a base size wrap. If you aren’t sure what size is your base size, see my Woven Wraps for Beginners Post

Hip Wrap Cross Carry
This is the only hip carry that takes a base size wrap. However, you can do any front carry as a hip carry by simply placing baby on the hip instead of the front. If you don’t love Hip Wrap Cross Carry, you could try a front carry (see this post) instead and simply position baby on the hip instead of on front. You can also do a carry that uses less wrap and wrap the tails around an extra time or two. Hip Wrap Cross Carry is essentially Front Wrap Cross Carry positioned on the hip. This is the only two shouldered hip carry.

Base Minus One Carries
This carry requires a wrap that is your base size minus one. So for example, if your base size is a seven, then you would use a size six wrap for these carries. You could also use a base size wrap! You would just have a bit of extra tail.

Reinforced Hip Kangaroo
Reinforced hip kangaroo is a comfortable carry! This can be done as a hip carry, front carry, or burp hold carry. This video shows how to do the carry as a burp hold and then lower baby into an off center front carry.

Base Minus Two Carries
These carries require a wrap that is your base size minus two. So for example, if your base size is a seven, then you would be able to do these carries with a size five wrap. You could also use a longer wrap! You would just have a bit of extra tail.

Robin’s Hip Carry
Robin’s hip carry is a wonderful first hip carry. This carry is easy to learn and tighten. It’s also wonderful because it can be treated as a poppable carry (where you pop baby in and out as needed).

This photo-tutorial shows the secret to tightening the carry. This tutorial is also available in Spanish here.

This video shows how to do the carry:

This video shows how to do the carry with a newborn as a front carry. This video also shows the secret to tightening the carry and demonstrates how to pop baby in and out of the carry:

Poppin’s Hip Carry
Poppin’s hip carry is also a wonderful and easy hip carry! The secret to this carry is in how you pin the tail while you tighten. This video shows the secret to tightening the carry (pin the tail behind you!)

This video shows how to tie the carry around your baby and demonstrates positioning on the hip:

Inside out Coolest Hip Cross Carry
This variation on Coolest Hip Cross Carry reverses the order of two of the passes. Switching the order of these two passes makes the carry really nicely adjustable through the slipknot.

Base Minus Three Carries
These carries require a wrap that is your base size minus three. These can also be done with a longer wrap (such as base minus two) with a bit of extra tail. All of these carries are one shouldered front carries. For more front carry options, visit the hip carries page. Most hip carries can also be tied as front carries by simply placing baby on the front rather than on the hip.

Hip Cross Carry
Hip Cross Carry (HCC) is a quick and easy to tie carry. This carry is poppable, which means that you can tie the carry before you leave the house and then pop the baby in and out of the carry as needed.

This video is by BWI of Atlanta:

Hip Reinforced Torso Sling
Hip Reinforced Torso Sling (HRTS) is quite similar to Semi-FWCC. The only difference is that the wrap does not come between the baby’s legs. This carry is quite comfortable for a one shouldered carry.

Coolest Hip Cross Carry with a Sling Ring
Coolest hip cross carry can also be done with a sling ring. Using a sling ring allows you to use a slightly shorter wrap than coolest hip cross carry with a slipknot. It also makes it quite easy to adjust the carry.

Base Minus Four Carries
These carries require a base wrap minus four. You may find you can eek out some of the base minus three carries with your base minus four wrap. You can also do base minus five carries with a base minus four wrap.

Traditional Sling Carry
Traditional sling carry (TSC) is a wonderfully simple carry. This carry is almost like wearing a ring sling. The only difference between sling carry and a ring sling is in the direction that you feed fabric for tightening. In a ring sling, you feed fabric around to the front toward the rings to tighten. In TSC, you feed the fabric around behind you toward the knot to tighten.

Slip Knots
The key to doing many of the shorter wrap carries is learning to tie a slipknot. Learning to tie a slipknot can take a bit of time, but is SO WORTH IT! It opens up a lot of carry options, particularly for shorter wraps.

Base Minus Five Carries
This carry requires a wrap that is your base size minus five. You can also do this carry in a wrap that is a base size minus four with a bit of extra tail.

Simple Hip Carry
Simple hip carry is quick and easy! It essentially turns your short wrap into a pouch sling. The secret to a comfortable simple hip carry is in learning a flat reef knot.

This video is by Tandem Trouble and gives a wonderful demonstration of the carry. This carry can be done as a front carry or a hip carry:

Flat Reef Knot
A flat reef knot is the secret to really loving Simple Hip Carry. This knot lies flat on your back, making it more comfortable. It also does not slowly loosen over time. A double knot can loosen slightly over time, but a flat reef knot only tightens as you put tension on it.

This video by Babywearing with Kathy gives excellent instructions for tying a flat reef knot:

No Sew Ring Sling
With a pair of sling rings and a base minus 4 or 5 wrap, you can make a no sew ring sling. This is a lovely way to get more versatility from your super short wrap.

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How to do Front Carries in a Woven Wrap

Woven wraps are beautiful and versatile! You can do a ton of different carries with woven wraps! Here are resources for learning front carries in your woven wrap. They are organized by the size wrap that they need. If you are a wrap beginner, start with this post.

Base Size Carries
These carries all use a base size wrap. If you aren’t sure what size is your base size, see my Woven Wraps for Beginners Post

Front Wrap Cross Carry
Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) is a wonderful beginner carry. This carry works well newborn to toddler. If you are just starting wrapping, this carry is a great one to start with.

Front Cross Carry
Front Cross Carry (FCC) is a quick and easy poppable carry. You can pre-tie this carry before you leave the house and then pop your baby in and out of the carry as needed.

Front Wrap Cross Carry Tied at the Shoulder
Front Wrap Cross Carry Tied at the Shoulder (FWCC TAS) is a variation on Front Wrap Cross carry that (as the name says) ties at the shoulder. This variation takes a bit more time, but has a few benefits. For one, the carry lays flat in the back. This makes it a good carry if you are planning to sit down with the wrap on. For two, it ties with a slipknot. This makes the carry easy to adjust for feeding.

Front Double Hammock
Front double hammock (FDH) is actually quite similar to Front Cross Carry. The difference in these two carries is that Front Cross Carry has two cross passes and front double hammock has two sling passes. (See this “Pass Glossary” if you are interested in learning about the types of passes). This carry can be either tied around the baby or pre-tied. The carry lays flat in back and is lovely for times when you need to sit down while wearing the baby. It’s also incredibly supportive and comfortable when well tightened.

Front Double Hammock, Pre-tied
Front Double hammock can be pre-tied with almost exactly the same steps as Front Cross Carry!

Base Minus One Carries
These carries require a wrap that is your base size minus one. So for example, if your base size is a seven, then you would use a size six wrap for these carries. You could also use a base size wrap! You would just have a bit of extra tail.

Reinforced Kangaroo Carry
Reinforced Kangaroo Carry is a wonderfully comfortable and snuggly carry! It might help to learn kangaroo carry (see the Base minus two section) before learning the reinforced version.

Short Cross Carry, Tied at the Shoulder
Short Cross Carry Tied at the shoulder (SCC TAS) is a shorter variation on Front Cross Carry. Like FCC, SCC can be pre-tied and the baby can be popped in and out easily. Also, because this carry ties at the shoulder, you can easily adjust the carry for feeding.

Half Front Wrap Cross Carry, Tied at the Shoulder
Half Front Wrap Cross Carry, Tied at the shoulder (Half-FWCC) is a variation on FWCC that uses slightly less wrap length. This variation lays flat in the back, which can be nice for sitting down. It also ties at the shoulder with a slipknot, which can be lovely for easily adjusting the carry to feed or for taking baby in and out.

Base Minus Two Carries
These carries require a wrap that is your base size minus two. So for example, if your base size is a seven, then you would be able to do these carries with a size five wrap. You could also use a longer wrap! You would just have a bit of extra tail.

Front Wrap Cross Carry, Tied under the Bum
This variation of Front Wrap Cross Carry ties under the baby’s bottom and is a wonderful variation of FWCC for a shorter wrap. The secret to Front Wrap Cross Carry Tied under the Bum (FWCC TUB) is in how you tie the knot. Focus on getting the first half knot slightly between you and baby so that it stays secure. Then tie the other half of the knot below baby’s bottom.

Kangaroo Carry
Kangaroo Carry is a wonderfully cozy and snuggly carry. This carry is easy to wrap around the baby and can be a great one if you are holding a sleeping baby that you would rather wrap than lay down. It can also be nice if you don’t have a place to set baby while you are preparing the wrap. The secret to Kangaroo Carry is in the shoulder shrug while tightening.

Short Front Wrap Cross Carry, Tied at the Shoulder
Short Front Wrap Cross Carry, Tied at the Shoulder (SFWCC TAS) is a short front wrap cross carry variation that is easily adjusted (because it ties at the shoulder). This variation is nice for hotter weather because there is only one pass over the baby.

Base Minus Three Carries
These carries require a wrap that is your base size minus three. These can also be done with a longer wrap (such as base minus two) with a bit of extra tail. All of these carries are one shouldered front carries. For more front carry options, visit the hip carries page. Most hip carries can also be tied as front carries by simply placing baby on the front rather than on the hip.

Semi-Front Wrap Cross Carry
Semi-Front Wrap Cross Carry (Semi-FWCC) is a wonderfully comfortable front carry with a shorter wrap. This one shouldered carry has an extra pass around the back which can make it quite comfortable for a one shouldered carry. It also lays flat in the back and is easily adjusted through the slipknot.

Hip Cross Carry
Hip Cross Carry (HCC) is a quick and easy to tie carry. This carry can be done as a slightly off center front carry or a hip carry. It is poppable, which means that you can tie the carry before you leave the house and then pop the baby in and out of the carry as needed.

This video is by Greater Atlanta Babywearing:

Front Reinforced Torso Sling
Front Reinforced Torso Sling (FRTS) is quite similar to Semi-FWCC. The only difference is that the wrap does not come between the baby’s legs. This carry is quite comfortable for a one shouldered carry.

Base Minus Four Carries
These carries require a base wrap minus four. You may find you can eek out some of the base minus three carries with your base minus four wrap. You can also do base minus five carries with a base minus four wrap.

Traditional Sling Carry
Traditional sling carry (TSC) is a wonderfully simple carry. This carry is almost like wearing a ring sling. The only difference between sling carry and a ring sling is in the direction that you feed fabric for tightening. In a ring sling, you feed fabric around to the front toward the rings to tighten. In TSC, you feed the fabric around behind you toward the knot to tighten.

Slip Knots
The key to doing many of the shorter wrap carries is learning to tie a slipknot. Learning to tie a slipknot can take a bit of time, but is SO WORTH IT! It opens up a lot of carry options, particularly for shorter wraps.

Base Minus Five Carries
This carry requires a wrap that is your base size minus five. You can also do this carry in a wrap that is a base size minus four with a bit of extra tail.

Simple Hip Carry
Simple hip carry is quick and easy! It essentially turns your short wrap into a pouch sling. The secret to a comfortable simple hip carry is in learning a flat reef knot.

This video is by Tandem Trouble and gives a wonderful demonstration of the carry:

Flat Reef Knot
A flat reef knot is the secret to really loving Simple Hip Carry. This knot lies flat on your back, making it more comfortable. It also does not slowly loosen over time. A double knot can loosen slightly over time, but a flat reef knot only tightens as you put tension on it.

This video by Babywearing with Kathy gives excellent instructions for tying a flat reef knot:

No Sew Ring Sling
Another way to use your base minus 5 wrap is to make a no sew ring sling with a pair of sling rings. This is quite comfortable and secure!

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How to Use a Woven Wrap for Beginners

Woven wraps are beautiful, versatile, and comfortable! This resource will help you with selecting a wrap and learning a few beginner carries.

Wrap Sizing
One thing that people find confusing about wraps is that they come in different sizes. Different sizes can be used with different carries. Some carries work well with a shorter wrap and others work well with a longer wrap. Every person can use every size wrap.

Wraps come in sizes 1-10. Each size is a different length of fabric and can be used for different carries. Some wrap companies have slightly different sizing, but generally each size is a specific length in meters.

Size 1: 2.2 Meters

Size 2: 2.6 Meters
Size 3: 3.2 Meters

Size 4: 3.6 Meters

Size 5: 4.2 Meters

Size 6: 4.6 Meters

Size 7: 5.2 Meters

Size 8: 5.6 Meters
Size 9: 6.2 Meters
Size 10: 6.6 Meters

To begin wrapping, most people choose to work with a base size wrap. A base size wrap is the size wrap that you need to do a Front Wrap Cross Carry (a beginner front carry). The best way to find your base size is to try on wraps in different sizes at your local babywearing group. Tie the wrap in Front Wrap Cross Carry and see if you like the amount of excess tail that the wrap has. Two people who are the same size and have the same size baby might have different “base sizes” because they might prefer different amounts of tail.

This great graphic by Babywearing International gives more information on wrap sizing:
Woven-Wraps-A-Sizing-Guide-265x300

Beginner Front Carries

Front Wrap Cross Carry
Base size wrap

The first carry that most people learn is Front Wrap Cross Carry. Front wrap cross carry is a great first carry to learn because it teaches you how to tighten the wrap. The secret to wrapping is to tighten each strand of the wrap (and not pull on the whole tail). If you imagine that your wrap has stripes, you can tighten each stripe of the wrap individually, rather than pulling on the whole wrap at once.

This video demonstrates Front Wrap Cross Carry with particular attention to how to tighten the carry.

The video shows how to nurse in the carry and readjust the baby after nursing.

Front Wrap Cross Carry Tied under the Bum
Base size minus two

Front wrap cross carry can also be done tied under the baby’s bottom. This is a wonderful quick carry that works well with a wrap that is shorter than your base size.

The secret to Front Wrap Cross Carry is in the tightening. The key to tightening a woven wrap is to tighten each strand of the width of the wrap one at a time (instead of pulling on the whole tail at once). I like to imagine my wrap in fourths and tighten each fourth (the top fourth, a middle fourth, the next middle fourth, the bottom fourth). Tightening like this makes the carry snug evenly across your baby’s body. It can be tricky to tighten the top fourth of the wrap. If you’re finding you have a lot of slack in your wrap near your baby’s upper shoulders, try lifting your elbow while you are wrapping. This allows the fabric to slide under your arm. In this image, you can see that one hand is pulling straight up on the wrap to tighten the top fourth of the width. The other elbow is lifted outward to allow the fabric to slide under my arm and around my back.

FWCCtip

Front Cross Carry
Base size wrap

Another wonderful first carry is Front Cross Carry. Front cross carry is wonderful because you can pre-tie the entire carry and then pop your baby into the carry, adjust, and go! If you are not loving Front Wrap Cross Carry, give this carry a try! It’s wonderfully convenient. You can tie on the whole carry before you leave the house and pop baby in and out of the carry as needed. This is similar to the Pocket Wrap Cross Carry in a Stretchy wrap. If you’ve loved your stretchy wrap, you will likely also love this carry.

This video shows how to do Front Cross Carry:

If you prefer Photo-Tutorials, try this one.

Robin’s Hip Carry
Base size minus 2

Robin’s hip carry is an easy first hip carry. This carry is easy to tighten and can also be treated like a pop-able carry. This photo-tutorial shows the secret to tightening the carry. This tutorial is also available in Spanish here.

This video shows how to do the carry:

This video shows how to do the carry with a newborn as a front carry. This video also shows the secret to tightening the carry and demonstrates how to pop baby in and out of the carry:

Simple Hip Carry
Base minus 5

If you are beginning wrapping with a very short wrap, Simple Hip Carry is a good place to start. This carry is quick and easy. This video by Tandem Trouble shows how to do the carry with a toddler. This carry works well with a newborn as well! You can position baby in front or on the hip. It makes your wrap feel like a pouch sling.

Getting a Great “Seat”
A great seat is key to a comfortable carry! It can be confusing to understand what a seat is, especially because it’s the part of the carry that you can’t see! This wonderful image by Modern Babywearing shows what the wrap should look like between you and baby:

seat graphic

Notice that the bottom edge of the wrap makes a straight line from one knee to the other. A good seat means that the baby is supported from knee to knee in the wrap.

greatseatgraphic.001

Positioning the Baby
This great image from Babywearing International shows how a baby should be positioned in a woven wrap at different ages.

Copy-of-Wrap-85x11-01-2

Wrapping Terms Glossary

Sometimes when learning wrapping online, you come across wrapping specific terms. Here are definitions of common terms.

Base Size: The size wrap that a wrapper needs to do Front Wrap Cross Carry with their preferred amount of tail.
Middle Marker: The tag in the center of a woven wrap marks the middle of the fabric.

Mid-Length Wrap: A wrap that is one or two sizes smaller than your base size.
Pop-able Carry: A pop-able carry is a carry that can be pre-tied. Then baby can be popped in and out of the carry as needed.
Rails: The rails of the wrap are the top and bottom edges of the wrap.
Shorty: A wrap that is 3 or 4 sizes smaller than your base size.

Strand by Strand: A tightening technique where the wrapper tightens each inch of the width of the wrap one at a time rather than pulling on the whole tail to tighten. 
 


If you’d like to learn more woven wrap front carries, check out this post. If you would like to learn more hip carries, head over to this post.

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How to Use a Meh Dai

Do you have a Meh Dai that you’d like to learn to use? A Meh dai does a very comfortable front, hip, or back carry and is pretty quick to put on.

Front Carry

A meh dai can be used with a newborn that is over about 8 pounds (depending on the manufacturer – always read the directions and resources that come with your meh dai).

To use a meh dai with a newborn, the carrier often needs to be adjusted. Different brands have different methods of adjusting. Some have places where the carrier can be cinched. If the carrier does not have a place where it cinches, you can roll the waist and cinch the panel by hand to get a good fit for your newborn.

This video shows how to adapt a meh dai to fit a newborn:

It is possible to nurse a baby in a meh dai. It is best to get comfortable nursing your baby and using your carrier before combining the two skills. When nursing in your meh dai, always keep your baby visible to you and monitor your baby while feeding. When you are finished feeding the baby, adjust the carrier back to the snug, high position that you started with. This video shows how to nurse a baby in a meh dai and how to adjust the carrier when you are done:

You can also do a front carry with an older baby quite comfortably. This video by ModGranolaMom shows how to do a front carry in a meh dai:

In the above video, she shows the carry tied non-apron style. A meh dai can be tied Apron style or non-apron style. The manual that comes with your meh dai should say which style of tying works best with your carrier. For an explanation of apron and non-apron tying, visit this blog post.

Hip Carry

A meh dai does a wonderful hip carry. It can be quite comfortable, especially if you fully spread the strap out on your shoulder. This tutorial shows how to do a hip carry in a meh dai.

If you prefer video instructions, this video shows how to do a hip carry:

Please note that in this video I incorrectly call the carrier a mei tai. The correct name for this carrier is meh dai or beh dai.

Back Carry

A meh dai can also do a wonderfully comfortable and quick back carry. Before attempting a back carry in your meh dai, your baby should fit in the panel without any adjustments and support their trunk. If you aren’t certain if your baby is ready to try a back carry, visit your local babywearing group for some help.

This video shows a great method for a beginner back carry. Ask a friend to spot you or try this over a soft surface such as a bed the first few times you try the carry.

Please note that in this video, I incorrectly call the carrier a mei tai. The correct name for this carrier is meh dai or beh dai.

Troubleshooting

A common complaint with meh dai front carries is neck and shoulder discomfort. If you are feeling any discomfort, you can adjust your strap placement. This video shows a trip for getting comfortable strap placement:


Please note that in this video, I incorrectly call the carrier a mei tai. The correct name for this carrier is meh dai or beh dai.

If you feel that your back carry is saggy or you are worried that the panel isn’t coming up high enough on the baby’s back, visit this post for tips on getting a good seat and getting the panel nice and high on baby’s back.

Positioning the Baby
This image from Babywearing International shows how to position the babies of different ages in a meh dai.

Screen-Shot-2017-05-02-at-9.57.57-PM-e1493781745962

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How to Use a Soft Structured Carrier

There are so many brands of Soft Structured Carriers and each come with their own tips and instructions. Before using your carrier, be sure to read the instructions that came with it. Each carrier adjusts slightly differently. When you are reading the directions that come with your carrier, pay attention to how the carrier is adjusted and how the carrier is fit to a newborn. The videos and resources here are supplements to reading your carrier manual.

Front Carry

This video shows how to do a front carry with a toddler:

One thing that can be tricky about front carries in an SSC is clipping the chest clip (which is on your back when you do a front carry). This video by Babywearing with Kathy shows several tips for clipping the chest clip behind you during a front carry:

Hip Carry

This video shows how to put a baby in hip carry in an SSC:

This quick video by Babywearing with Kathy shows an amazingly quick method of switching a baby from a front carry in an SSC with crossed shoulder straps to a hip carry without taking the baby out of the carrier. This can be a really quick and easy way to adjust baby onto the hip for nursing or if you are picking up another child (or item) in arms and need the other hip free.

Back Carry

This video shows several methods of doing a back carry in an SSC with a toddler. The methods include superman tossing, hip scooting, and having the child climb onto the back (like a piggyback ride). It also shows some adaptations for using a soft structured carrier while pregnant.

Troubleshooting

If you are finding some discomfort in your carry, try the tips found here. Often a small adjustment can make a huge difference in how the carry feels.

If you are having trouble getting the baby well seated in a back carry or feel like the your back carry is saggy or that the panel isn’t coming up high enough on baby’s back, check out this post.

Carrier Sizing

One very common question is “when should I try a toddler sized carrier?” This post explains how to tell if your child fits into a toddler sized carrier.

Positioning the Baby
This image from Babywearing International shows how to position babies of different ages in a Soft Structured Carrier:

SSC-85x11-01

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How to Use a Pouch Sling

Pouch Slings are wonderful! They fold up tiny and are so convenient to bring along for a quick carry! A pouch sling can work well from newborn to toddler! With a newborn, a pouch sling does a lovely front carry. With an older baby or toddler who wants to walk or wants to be up and down frequently, a pouch sling is so convenient!

Front Carry

Using a pouch sling with a newborn is quick and easy. This video shows how to put on a pouch sling, how to put a newborn in an upright carry in the sling, and how to adjust so that the baby is well supported:

If you prefer photo-tutorials, this tutorial shows how to do a front carry in a pouch sling and shows how to cap the shoulder to tighten the carry.

This graphic also shows how some tips for getting the carry nice and snug.

pouchslinggraphicjpg

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How to Use a Ring Sling

Do you have a ring sling you’d like to learn to use? This post includes tutorials and resources that will help you love your ring sling from day one!

Threading

The first thing you need to learn to do is thread your ring sling. Getting the threading set is really key to being able to tighten and adjust your sling. This video shows how to thread your ring sling:

Once you have it threaded, you’re ready to put your baby in the sling.

Front Carry

If you have a newborn, this video would be helpful. This video shows how to put the baby in the sling, how to tighten, and how to nurse baby in the sling.

Hip Carry

You can position an older baby in front or on the hip. The best time to start hip carries is when you find yourself naturally carrying baby on the hip. This video shows how to do a hip carry with an older baby:

Back Carry

With a cooperative older baby/toddler you can also do a back carry in a ring sling. This video shows how to do a back carry so that the rings land comfortably on the hollow of your shoulder:

Troubleshooting

After you get baby in the ring sling, you may still need to do a bit of troubleshooting.

If you have any shoulder discomfort or feel like the rings are pressing uncomfortably on your chest, you may want to adjust your ring positioning. Different caregivers prefer different ring positioning. I prefer placing my rings just below my collarbone, but everyone has different preferences! You might prefer your rings lower. It can help to try a few different ring placements and see what feels most comfortable to you.

This video helps with troubleshooting ring positioning:

Another area where caregivers sometimes need a little adjustment is with getting a comfortable “seat” for the baby. This video explains what a “seat” is and shows a few methods for getting a great seat.

Sometimes people come to me and say that they feel their baby is leaning a bit toward their armpit and they feel like they need to keep a hand on the baby to support them. There is a quick and easy adjustment that can solve this problem:


Positioning the Baby
This great graphic from Babywearing International shows how to position the baby in the sling at different ages:

RS-85x11-01

You can use the Acronym TASK to check your carry.
T: Can you fit Two fingers under baby’s chin? This insures that baby’s chin is off of baby’s chest. If you can’t fit two fingers under the chin, you can lean forward slightly, while supporting baby and gently tip baby’s chin upward.
A: Always Visible: You should always be able to see your baby’s entire face, even while nursing. Never cover your baby’s whole head and face with anything (the ring sling tail, a blanket, etc).
S: Snug and well supported. Your baby should be held snugly against you. If you feel like you need to hold your baby with your arms while they are in the sling, you likely need to tighten.
K: Kissable. Your baby should be close enough to kiss easily.

View More: http://photographybygrimm.pass.us/babyb

TASKjpg

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Ten Tips for Enjoying (not just surviving) Long Haul Flights with Kids!

Our family just took our first transpacific flight with our four kids (ages 9, 6, 3, and 10 months) and I was SO NERVOUS!  Anyone who talked to me in the week before we left had to listen to me agonize over which toys to pack and what activities to bring and worry over how I’d entertain the baby for such a long flight.  I was so worried!  But guess what?   IT was TOTALLY fine and WAY easier than I imagined.  I thought it was going to be torture, but it was actually really fun!

So here’s my two cents:  Kids are a lot of work no matter where you are.  However, on an international flight, they have a cool TV right in the seat back in front of them AND someone else prepares and brings all the food.  So it was actually easier than regular daily life.  I didn’t have to cook or clean or mediate any arguments over what to watch on TV.  It was pretty great!

I did pick up a few great tips from friends along the way, and even though I’m still a long flight novice, I’ll share what I learned!

        1.  Consider calling the airline and asking for a seat in the bulkhead row with the basinet.  Now if your baby is anything like mine, they won’t sleep in the basinet at all.  However, there is a TON of legroom at the bulkhead seat and the basinet makes a great place to put all the things you don’t want the baby getting into.  We used the bulkhead floor space as a little play area and put all of the toys and things that I was trying to hand him one at a time in the basinet.  They were easy for me to reach, but weren’t rolling all over the floor and getting everywhere either.  Another nice thing about the bulkhead seat is that other people with babies will likely be sitting there too!  It’s nice not feeling like the only one with a baby and you can even help each other a little!  The person next to us on our flight home lent me a wash cloth when my baby flung chicken and rice all over me and she saved our day!  The downside to the bulkhead row is that you can’t put the armrests up.  This can make it less comfortable for a toddler or older child to sleep because they like to put the arm rest up and sleep on you.  We decided to put the kids who would want to lay out on the seat to nap in the row behind the bulkhead row. This way we were all together, but the 3 and 6 year old could put up their armrests and lean on their dad.
        2. Bring a baby carrier for any kids that you typically have to carry if they get tired.  A baby carrier for the baby is a so helpful!  See this blog post for my favorite carry to use on an airplane.  It can be really helpful to bring along a carrier for a toddler or preschooler too.  Our daughter is 3.5 and is an awesome walker.  We don’t need to wear her often at home.  But when we had been traveling for 24 hours and still needed to make it through immigration and find our hotel shuttle, our toddler sized carrier was really helpful!  For tips on how to tell if your child fits the toddler size, check out this post.  IMG_2882
        3. When you’re in the airport waiting for your flight, try to keep everyone awake and get them some exercise!  Some airports have nice little play areas that you can find while you are waiting.  If not, let the kids walk around at the gate.  Take them to look out the window at all of the planes, etc.  Don’t keep them confined during this time. They’ll have to sit still long enough on the plane!  Try to keep them moving.
        4. Feed the baby or give them something to suck on during take off.  If you kept the baby awake in the airport and let them move around, odds are good that they will just fall asleep during take off.  There’s so much white noise during take off and feeding or sucking is very calming and prevents ear pain.  If you’re lucky, you’ll have a sleeping baby before the plane even hits cruising altitude.
        5. Feed the baby or give them something to suck on during landing as well.
        6. When you’re deciding what to pack, think about the things your kids do every day.  The kid who only eats chicken nuggets shaped like a dinosaur will do that on a plane.  The kid who always spills her drink and then refuses to wear a slightly wet shirt, will do that on the plane.  You know what those things are for your kids and you can prepare for that.  Pack a cup with a lid and a spare shirt for the drink spiller.  Pack familiar food for the picky eater.
        7. Don’t worry too much about how to entertain a baby!  Remember that to a baby, everything is new and interesting. I was really worried about how to entertain our baby and packed a million toys.  However, he didn’t play with ANY of them.  He just threw any toy I handed him.  He did spend an hour playing with the airline headphones and another hour velcoing and unvelcroing his sister’s shoe.  He enjoyed tasting all of the airplane food and spend some time removing all of the magazines from the pouch in front of our seat.  He slept a TON too.  Instead of all of those toys, I wish I had just packed a nice pillow so my arm wouldn’t fall asleep holding him for so long while he slept.
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        8. Get a nice pair of kids headphones.  On an international flight, bigger kids will probably spend the entire time enjoying the in flight entertainment, but the airline headphones do not fit kids’ heads well at all!  Get a pair that’s sized for kids. I also recommend getting a headphone splitter. if you’re flying with more than one child.  If one device’s battery dies, or two kids want to watch the same thing, you can just plug both headphones into one device.
        9. If you think there’s a chance your flight will not be full, you can try choosing seats that leave an empty seat between you and anyone else you are flying with.  One of our flights was a domestic flight that connected to our international flight.   I was planning to sit next to my 9 year old daughter.  When I booked the seats, I put her by the window and me by the aisle.  I left the seat in the middle empty. On one flight, someone was in the middle seat and I just offered him the aisle or the window and he was more than happy not to have to sit between us.  On the next flight, no one was in that seat at all and we had an entire extra seat’s space to stretch out.
        10. Remember that for the kids, the flight and airport experience itself is exciting and magical!  For adults, it can be just something to get through in order to get to the destination.  But for kids, it’s exciting and amazing!  You’re hurtling through the clouds in a hunk of metal!  Be positive and excited yourself.  Take the time to show them the planes taking off and landing when you’re at the airport and to watch all of the cool airport trucks and machines.

          Make a few laps on the moving sidewalk at the airport and just enjoy the experience with them!  After spending an amazing two weeks in Japan, my 6 year old said the best part was watching the airport trucks.  🙂  It’s all magical and amazing to kids!IMG_3119 (1)

I hope your next trip with your kids is amazing and that you found something helpful here!  🙂
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My Favorite Baby Carrier (and Carry) for Air Travel

Hands down, my favorite carrier to bring on a long flight is a woven wrap!  I love that one length of fabric can do any front, back, or hip carry I want.  It also can double as a blanket, a burp rag, an arm rest cushion, a pillow, etc.  It’s a wonderful all purpose baby tool and I wouldn’t fly without bringing one!

When I fly with a baby, my favorite woven wrap carry to use is Front Cross Carry.

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Here’s why –
  1.  It’s totally poppable.  You can pre-tie the carry before you even leave for the airport.  Then you’re not standing there in a busy airport with a million bags trying to wrangle 6 feet of fabric.  When you get to the airport, pop your baby into the carry.  Any time baby needs a change, or needs to get down and move around, or is going to be carried by someone else for a bit, you can easily pop baby right out of the carry and never need to re-tie.

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  2. If your baby is flying on your lap, sometimes flight attendants will ask you to take baby out of a carrier during take off and landing.  With front cross carry, it’s easy to take the baby out without even waking the baby up (if they’re sleeping).  Just slide the passes down over baby’s back and take them off of baby’s legs.
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  3. It lays completely flat in the back.  This is especially nice if you’re taking a long flight.  There’s not much more uncomfortable than a knot or a buckle digging into your back when you’re sitting for a long time!
  4. It makes a great nursing cover.  I prefer to take baby out of the wrap to feed, especially if I’m sitting down.  I like to use the diagonal passes to cover the top of my chest when I’m feeding the baby, just to have a bit more privacy.
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  5. You can put the baby in the carry forward facing.  This can be nice if the baby is awake and wants to play, but you don’t want the baby to be able to get down and crawl all over the plane floor!  You can put the baby in the Front Cross Carry facing forward and seat them on your lap.  The wrap provides a bit of support and frees your hands for making sure the baby doesn’t knock over your neighbors drink.
If you haven’t already learned Front Cross Carry, give it a try!  It really is a super convenient carry – not just for plane travel, but for every day!
Here’s how to do it:
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Kangaroo Care Basics

What is Kangaroo Care?  

•Kangaroo Care means holding a diaper clad newborn bare chest to bare chest, with baby in an upright positioning, and baby’s head close enough to easily kiss.

•Kangaroo care can be done sitting with baby in a recliner, in a bed propped up on pillows, or while holding baby in a baby carrier.

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How do I position baby for Kangaroo Care?  

Positioning for Kangaroo care is just like positioning for babywearing!  The baby should be centered on your body, bare chest to bare chest, with their head close enough to kiss!  Baby’s chin should be lifted off of their chest and baby’s knees should be comfortably bent in a narrow spread squat position.

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Who can provide kangaroo care?

All newborns, both pre-term and full term, benefit from kangaroo care!

Kangaroo care can be done by anyone the parent chooses.  This might include mothers, fathers, grandparents, siblings, and friends.   For tips on sibling Kangaroo Care, see this post on  Including Older Siblings in a New Baby’s Kangaroo Care!

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How much Kangaroo Care should we do?

The short answer is as much as possible!  The more you do, the more baby will benefit!  Researchers who study kangaroo care typically recommend about 90 minutes of Kangaroo care, four days per week for the first three months.

Why do Kangaroo Care?

There are so many reasons to do kangaroo care!  Kangaroo care facilitates bonding between the baby and caregiver.  It promotes healthy sleep.  Babies in Kangaroo care spend more time in quiet sleep which is so key to brain development.  When paired with breastfeeding, kangaroo care can prevent infection, reduce weight loss after birth, and encourage faster weight gain.   Kangaroo care increases oxytocin production.  In a breastfeeding parent, this boosts milk supply.  Oxytocin can reduce a parent’s  stress and anxiety and increases affectionate behavior toward the infant.  Oxytocin also increases parents’  attachment and sense involvement with the baby’s care.  Kangaroo care lowers infant stress and reduces the infant’s perception of pain.  Kangaroo care can even reduce infant crying.

So kick back on your couch, binge on your favorite netflix shows and snuggle that baby skin to skin!  It’s great for both of you!  🙂

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