Video Tutorial: Single Hammock Hip and Back Carry with a Toddler

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. 

Video Tutorial: Single Hammock Hip Carry with Slipknot

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. 

Case Study 2: Mark and Elsie 


Mark visited The Sling Doctor for a consult on how to get his granddaughter, Elsie, onto his back In a buckle carrier.  Elsie is 23 months old and has always used slings or carriers as her primary mode of transport. She also uses them to get to sleep, especially if she is away from her mother or is somewhere unfamiliar. 

Mark has babysat Elsie on a couple of occasions and found the sling helpful for getting Elsie to sleep.  He has also worn Elsie on his back for a short walk but relied on other family members to get Elsie on and off his back.  

In two weeks time Mark is going to look after Elsie while her mother and grandmother  run a 10k race. He wants to be able to walk several miles with Elsie and to feel confident getting her on and off his back. 

Using a demonstration doll, I showed Mark two methods of getting a toddler on to his back:

1. The Hip Scoot

  • Identify the hip you normally naturally carry your child on. This is your hip scoot side.
  • Put the carrier on as if you were going to do a front carry but do not put on the shoulder straps.  
  • Lengthen the shoulder strap closest to the hip scoot side.
  • Place your child on your chest and pull the body of the carrier up over their back so that the child is secure when you hold the two shoulder straps in one hand. 
  • Gently scoot the child and carrier around under your arm.
  • Reach around behind you for the extended strap and pull it onto your shoulder and tighten. 
  • Place your other arm in the shoulder strap. 
  • Check child’s positioning and adjust accordingly 

2. The Sofa Lift

  • Put the carrier’s waist belt on and move the body of the carrier around you so that it is laying behind you on the sofa or arm chair. 
  • Place child behind you and, with one hand each side, reach behind yourself and move the toddler onto the carrier until they have one leg either side of the carrier and are sitting as close to your back as possible.
  • Pull the carrier up over the back of the child and put the shoulder straps on as if you were putting on a back pack. 
  • Check the child’s positioning and adjust accordingly. 

We agreed that it would only be safe for Mark to attempt to back-carry Elsie if she agreed to go on his back. 

When transferring a baby or toddler onto your back the child must have their weight supported, and something preventing them from falling at all times.  At each stage of the transfer it is worth asking yourself, what is holding the child’s weight? What is preventing the child from falling? The answer to both questions should be either a) me or b) the carrier.  If the answer is ‘nothing’ then the practice is unsafe. 

Until you are confident and experienced it is advisable to only put your child in your back when you are able to do so over a bed or sofa, or have someone available to intervene. 


Mark practiced both methods with the demonstration doll until he felt confident. He preferred the sofa lift and asked Elsie if she would mind trying it out.  Elsie agreed and they successfully achieved a back carry. Mark found he had to tighten the carrier significantly more than he had expected to stop Elsie being able to lean too far back.  Once this was done they both looked and felt comfortable and secure. I hope that their morning out together is a success and that Mark finds his newly learned skills helpful.  

Case Study 1: Victoria and George


Victoria attended her Sling Doctor consultation on a hot day in July with her 8 week old baby George. George was born full term, was not underweight and is developing as expected. Victoria is recovering well from the birth and also has an energetic toddler and a dog to keep up with.  They had been using a beautiful hybrid 1-way stretchy wrap by Wrapsody in the traditional Pocket-Wrap-Cross-Carry (PWCC) style.

PWCC Optimisation

Victoria asked for advice on the PWCC:  She was finding that the fabric on the top rail (edge of the wrap) of the two cross passes nearest her neck and going down over George’s back were quite tight.  This was making them uncomfortable and difficult to flip over her shoulders (to create space around George’s face). Victoria also asked was there was a way of supporting George’s head without tucking it under one of the cross passes? She found that when he was awake he did not want the back of his head covered, this was meaning that she needed to support his head with one of her hands.

Victoria and I went through the basics of the PWCC, looking for places where she might be over-tightening or introducing excess slack in the fabric.  When Victoria placed the Demo doll in the tied wrap we found that the top rail was, as she had said, tight.  However, the top rail of the pocket (the external wrap pass) was slightly loose.  I showed Victoria how to feed the slack from the pocket, along the top rail, round her back to the cross passes on her shoulders and chest.  This relieved the problematic tension and allowed her the space to flip the shoulders of the wrap as she had wanted to.

In order to support George’s head without tucking it under a cross pass we tried rolling up a muslin cloth, placing it over the front of the wrap and folding the top part of the pocket over it so it sat in the nape of his neck.   This enabled Victoria to go ‘hands free’ while George was awake.

Single Layer Carries with a 1-way Stretchy Wrap

Victoria asked if there were any cooler ways of wearing George in the 1-way stretchy wrap.  The PWCC results in three layers of fabric over the baby, which can make it too hot on warm days.  As Victoria’s wrap is a 1-way stretchy and her baby is still relatively light she is able to use carries that only involve one layer of fabric.  I showed her how to do a Front-Wrap-Cross-Carry (FWCC) and a Kangaroo Carry.  As George gets bigger Victoria will notice he begins to slump with just one layer of fabric,which will make the carry less safe.  when this occurs Victoria will need to introduce another layer of fabric or transition over to a woven wrap.

Follow Up

I have sent Victoria links to video tutorials for both the FWCC and the Kangaroo Carry.  I am available to troubleshoot both and will be happy to help her when she reaches the next step in her babywearing adventures.