I had the pleasure of consulting for Amalia and Molly over the weekend. They have been kind enough to let me share the details of their consultation.
Amalia has worn Molly in a stretchy wrap and an Ergo since she was a few weeks old. She reported finding the Ergo tricky to do up without help from another person and found the panel went too high up Molly’s back. Amalia wanted to try to improve the usability of the ergo by optimising the front carry . She also wanted to try a hip carry with the Ergo and a woven wrap to see which she preferred.
Molly is a healthy 6 month old baby who can roll and sit with a little support. She enjoys being carried on Amalias hip and is keen to interact with the people around her.
Using a demo doll we experimented with placing the ergo waistband higher on Amalias waist. We allowed the panel to fall down from the waist band and placed the doll so that its bottom sat level with the bottom of the waistband in a seat of fabric made from the main panel of the ergo. This tweak made the panel sit lower on the dolls back which Amalia found preferable. Next, we experimented with different ways of doing up the carrier across Amalia’s back during a front carry. She had been reaching over her shoulders and attempting to connect the chest strap (the small connecter between the two shoulder straps) this way but finding she wasn’t flexible enough to achieve this. We tried moving the strap lower on the arm straps and doing it up by reaching behind, under her arms. Amalia also found this difficult. Finally we tried pre-fastening the chest strap but loosening the arm straps so that she could pass the chest strap over her head, then secure the carry by tightening the arm straps. Amalia found this to be the easiest option so we practiced it a couple of times.
Ergo Hip Carry
We experimented with the ergo in a hip carry as per the manufacturers instructions. Again we found this required a higher degree of mobility than Amalia found comfortable. So we tried a hip carry on a woven wrap.
Hip Carry in a Woven Wrap
I demonstrated and walked Amalia through both a Single Hammock Hip Carry and a Coolest Hip Cross Carry(CHCC). For my Single Hammock tutorials please click here, and for my Coolest Hip Cross Carry tutorial please click here. Amalia tried both out with the doll and, although she liked the single pass of fabric, and therefore, how cool the single hammock was, she preferred the added security of two (cross) passes in the CHCC. We practiced this a few times with the demonstration doll before trying with Molly herself (see photo above) who seemed very happy in this position. Amalia is going to practice this carry and come back to me with any issues. We will either optimise her CHCC or look at other options for hip carries, or maybe, when Molly is a little bit older, back carries.
The Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC) is a 2-cross-pass-hip-carry with a Slipknot finish. It gets its name because there is never more than one layer of fabric on the wearer at any time (and just 2 on the baby). This version is described as ‘inside out’ because the second pass is taken inside the outer pass, this is not necessary but I find it makes tightening easier and I like having the outermost pass closest to my back.
The CHCC can be achieved with a size 3 or 4 wrap depending on your size (I am using a size 3) you can do it with a longer wrap but you will need to tie up the tails to prevent them becoming a trip hazard.
This carry is one my personal favorites. It is easy to tie and you do most of the work before putting your child in. The Slipknot means you can adjust and tighten to suit you both. It can be worn on your chest or your side and you can move between the two positions without re-tying.
Crucially, for getting in and out of the car, or indecisive toddlers, it is poppable meaning that once tied, you can pop child in and out.
Hip carries are not suitable from birth. Your child needs to be developmentally ready to have their hips ‘open’. You can tell by looking at whether your baby is rolling or trying to roll and by how you are naturally carrying them without a wrap. If you find that you and baby are naturally walking around with them on your hip, with their legs straddling your middle then they are ready.
As always, make sure that baby’s airway is clear and you are able to monitor them by looking at their face, Check they have access to their hands, that the fabric is smooth on their back and they are not slumped in the sling. Make sure they are supported knee-to-knee and that their bottom is lower than their knees. If your child wants their arms out then make sure you have tightened the sling with them in this position.
Please let me know what you think of the video
I use this carry frequently with my 32lb 23 month old. It is great for days when she wants to get up and down a lot and I don’t want to carry lots of fabric around with me. It is a very easy carry to transition between front, hip and back, which is great for indecisive toddlers.
Elsie tends to like being on my back when we are walking about and looking at things, on my hip when we are chatting with friends and on my front to sleep (although she will mix it up!).
This is not a wriggle proof, nor a particularly secure back carry. So it’s safety depends on your technique but also, somewhat, on whether your child wants to be in it and picking up on their cues when they start to get bored or fed up with it.
I have previously demonstrated how to set up a single hammock carry so I have not repeated that information in this tutorial.
This video shows how to transition from hip to back with a toddler. Please let me know what you think.
The Single Hammock with a Slipknot finish is a quick and versatile carry. As it only involves one pass of fabric over you and your baby it is one of the coolest ways to carry your child. It can be used to carry your child on your hip or on your chest (or somewhere in between the two) and can be used from birth right through to pre-school age with only minor adjustments. It is poppable meaning that you can take your child in and out without re-tying.
Both videos below show the carry in the way appropriate for a baby who has head control and who is comfortable having their legs spread.
The first video is long, and includes verbal explanations:
The second video is much shorter but doesn’t include explanations:
Please let me know which you prefer.