Workshop Trials

I am looking to run trials of each of the following workshops:

1)An Introduction to Babywearing (Ante-natal version)

2)An Introduction to Babywearing (Post-natal version)

3)An Introduction to Babywearing (Older babies)

4)An Introduction to Wearing your Newborn in a Wrap (covering both stretchy and woven fabrics)

The trials will run with just two participants in each at my home in Borstal.  Please find me on Facebook or contact me via my contact page to express an interest or ask for more information.

For more information about what each workshop involves please visit my workshops page

The Difference Between One-Way and Two-Way Stretchy Wraps

The typical method of tying a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC) assumes that you are using a two-way stretchy wrap, this means that the fabric stretches along the length of the fabric and across the width. When this is the case you can tie your wrap so it fits like a skin-tight top, then rely on the ‘stretch’ and your baby’s weight to give enough to accommodate your child.

Not all stretchy wraps are ‘two way’; some only stretch across their width or ‘one way’. These will stretch to accommodate your child width ways, but not length ways. This means you will need to ‘fit’ the length of your wrap to your child, this means you will require a slightly different technique.

How do I tell if my Wrap is a One-Way or a Two-Way Stretchy Wrap?

If you already have a stretchy wrap you can tell whether or not it is a two way stretchy wrap by taking a section (not the hem) of fabric which is exactly parallel with the top or bottom edge and attempting to stretch it. If it is a ‘Two-Way’ then it will stretch, if it is a ‘One-Way’ then it will not. (If you take a section at a right angle, across the width, this will stretch for both a one way and a two way stretchy wrap).

If you have not yet bought your stretchy stretchy wrap you should be able to tell by looking at the sellers/manufacturers website. I’ve listed the most common brands below*:

One-Way Stretchy Wraps

Two-Way Stretchy Wraps

Which is Better?

It really is down to personal preference.  The one way stretchy wraps require a little bit more work in the initial set-up when you are doing a pre-tied carry but some people prefer the fit that this gives them.  Be aware that there are other differences between wraps (regardless of whether their stretch is one or two way) in terms of how stretchy and thick they are which you may also wish to consider before making a purchase.

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, if you have appreciated this content and want to support the the Sling Doctor please click through to their site.  

Triple Layer Stretchy Wrap Carries 

Triple layer stretchy wrap carries are generally the first carries new parents learn.  These carries can be used with babies and young children for as long as you like so long as the fabric is supportive enough to maintain your child’s position and your child does not exceed the manufacturers recommended weight limit (which normally goes up to at least 35lb).  The fabric must hold your child tight to your body so that they are not able to slump (restricting their airway) and to prevent putting an unnecessary strain on your back and shoulders.

This post contains two options for triple layer carries with a stretchy wrap, the Pocket Wrap Cross Carry and the Front Double Hammock  (see below). It is also possible to use your stretchy wrap to tie a Front Wrap Cross Carry (video tutorial coming soon!).

Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC)

When people first buy, or receive, a stretchy wrap (e.g. a moby or a Boba)they are generally advised to use it for their newborn baby in a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC).  This is a three layer carry which you pre-tie then are able to pop baby in and out of as required throughout the day.

The way a PWCC is tied depends on whether your Wrap is a One-Way or a Two-Way stretchy wrap.  If you don’t know which kind of wrap you have them please read this post.  Video tutorials are provided for both types of wrap below:

Pocket Wrap Cross Carry with One-Way Stretchy Wrap

Pocket Wrap Cross Carry with a Two-Way Stretchy Wrap

Once you have learned how to tie the PWCC you can use the same method to tie a Front Double Hammock (FDH).

Front Double Hammock in a Stretchy Wrap

The Front Double Hammock (FDH) carry is tied in the same way as the Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC) but, once tied, the baby is inserted differently.  While the two diagonal passes go between the babies legs and are stretched from knee to knee on a PWCC they are used as hammocks instead in a FDH.  Both legs go through both diagonal passes and out of the bottom of the cross.

Which is better?

Which ever works for you and your baby.  Some people find they love the PWCC and the security of having the passes between the baby’s legs so much they do not want to do anything else.  Other people find that using a FDH makes them think more about getting a deep seat and helps them to avoid over extending the baby’s hips.  Please let me know which one you prefer and why.

Please note this post contains amazon affiliate links,  if you have enjoyed this article please consider supporting The Sling Doctor by clicking on them.

Case Study 7: Gemma and Jacob


Gemma contacted The Sling Doctor asking for advice on which sling she could use with Jacob.  Jacob had been born by emergency c-section at 34 weeks due to reduced growth.  He was 4’10” at birth but was gaining weight well and at the age of 5 weeks had reached 6’5″.  Jacobs weight, although much improved still put him below the minimum weight limit on most buckle carriers.

Jacob had been prone to vomiting after feeds so Gemma had been advised to keep him upright for 30 minutes after each feed. This meant that Gemma was spending a lot of time holding Jacob and was hoping a sling would enable her to be ‘hands free’ during this period.

Gemma had been warned that Jacobs positioning in the womb put him at increased risk of hip dysplasia which would need to be assessed in the future. Gemma wanted to take this into account when choosing a sling for Jacob.

Gemma had noticed that some slings and carriers have a minimum weight limit of 8lb and was concerned that some carriers might exacerbate any potential hip problems Jacob had.

The Consultation 

I talked Gemma through Babywearing safety focusing particularly on maintaining Jacob’s airway and optimum hip positioning.


I explained that newborn babies like to curl up as if they are still in the womb.  This positioning is ideal for their lower bodies but, as babies do not need to breathe in the womb, does not protect their airway.  To keep the baby’s airway clear in the sling it is crucial that:

  • Baby’s chin is kept off their chest; you should be able to get two fingers between their chin and chest.
  • Baby is not allowed to slump; the sling holds them close to the wearer and supports their back well, so that if you push them on the back gently towards you, they do not move.
  • Baby’s mouth and nose is unobstructed; e.g. from clothes, fabric or breasts.
  • There is good airflow around babys face.
  • The wearer continues to be aware of and monitor baby’s positioning in the sling.

Optimum Hip Positioning

Optimum hip positioning in a sling is a position where the ball (femoral head) of the ball and socket hip joint is held centrally in the socket (acetabulum) of the child’s pelvis.  This encourages the deepening of the socket which would decrease the risk of dysplasia. Optimum positioning in a sling will decrease the risk of hip dysplasia and actually mimics the effects of the Pavlik harness which is the current treatment for hip dysplasia.  In order to achieve this optimum positioning the following needs to be achieved:

  • The sling should support the baby from knee to knee.
  • The knees should be held higher than the baby’s bottom so that they are level with their belly button.
  • The baby’s pelvis should be tilted inwards so that their tailbone is pointing downwards.
  • The baby’s knees should not be separated more than is developmentally appropriate (see diagram).

For more information on hip dysplasia and Babywearing please see this informative article. 

Sling Options

I suggested that Gemma and Jacob could achieve safe positioning for his airway and hips in any of the following:

I suggested that Gemma and Jacob avoid buckle carriers for now because he is below the minimum weight limit and that they avoid narrow based carriers due to his increased risk of hip dysplasia.

Gemma was keen to see how each of the options worked for a small baby so I demonstrated all four options with a newborn sized demonstration doll. Gemma decided she would like to try the stretchy wrap herself and thought if she found it too hard she would try the caboo.  I talked her through how to use it and she managed to achieve optimum positioning with the demonstration doll.

Gemma was so happy with the stretchy wrap that she didn’t want to try the caboo or the woven wrap. Jacob was content so we agreed to try the stretchy wrap with him.

Gemma was able to get Jacob into the optimum positioning.  He automatically tucked his pelvis in as she picked him up so she was careful not to interfere with his hip positioning. His head and neck required a little more work but Gemma found that she was able to tuck the back of Jacob’s head in the cross-pass enabling him to have his head supported in the correct position without her hands.

Gemma decided to buy a stretchy wrap and was able to get next day delivery.  I will be happy to offer her reduced price follow ups and short sessions should she needs to more help with using the wrap or if she would like to explore her other options as Jacob gets bigger.

I wish them all the best in their Babywearing  adventures.

Case Study 6: Nikki & Lucie


When Lucie was a small baby Nikki wore her in a Baby Bjorn Carrier and got on well with it.  As Lucie grew bigger Nikki found she preferred to use the pram and later the pushchair.  They do not have car so get about by walking a lot. Now Lucie is a two year old she sometimes wants to get in the pushchair, sometimes wants to walk and sometimes wants Nikki to carry her.  Nikki often ends up carrying Lucie while pushing the pushchair, which she finds very uncomfortable.

Nikki contacted The Sling Doctor asking for advice on which buckle carrier to buy. She felt overwhelmed by the options and was not able to travel to one of her local sling libraries.

The Consultation

We met at Nikki and Lucie’s home and discussed their options. We discussed basic sling safety and the safety features on buckle carriers. I explained that Lucie would need a ‘toddler sized’ carrier and that the way in which toddler buckle carriers vary in several ways including:

  • The amount of padding
  • Where the waist belt sits
  • Whether the shoulder straps disconnect and if so, where
  • How many adjustment points there are and which direction the adjust in.
  • Whether you can cross the shoulder straps on your back
  • Whether you can wear the shoulder straps uncrossed (like a rucksack)
  • Whether there is a chest belt between the shoulder straps

Most of these points come down to personal preference for both wearer and wearee; there isn’t a ‘best carrier’ for everyone.  There is, however, probably a set of carrier characteristics that each person prefers.  A detailed comparison of buckle carriers has been written by my colleague Zoe at The Sling Consultancy.

There are so many toddler buckle carriers available to buy that I am not able to stock them all.  For the purposes of consultation I try to demonstrate the individual features and provide samples of at least two very different carriers.  I hope that this will help the wearer to work out which options suit them best and to become familiar with how to achieve optimum positioning in different styles of carrier.  This information should enable them to identify the features they want on their carrier, or at least a shortlist to take to a sling library.

I took Nikki a Toddler sized Connecta and a Toddler Sized Lenny Lamb Buckle Carrier.

The Connecta

The Connecta has no padding,  this means it folds up really small. The waist belt sits high up and the fabric of the main panel decends from it creating a deep seat for your child.  It has detachable shoulder straps so it is possible to cross the shoulder straps.  There is no chest strap but there is an accessory strap which is seperate but can be used like a chest belt.  It is often recommended as a cool and lightweight option, available in a wide range of appealing fabrics.

The Lenny Lamb Toddler Buckle Carrier

The Lenny Lamb Toddler Buckle Carrier has a padded and structured waist belt and shoulder straps.  The shoulder straps detach and there is an integrated chest strap. The waist belt is worn lower than that on the Connecta.  I originally bought mine because it was a good low budget option, however,  they have since increased in price and are comparable with others on the market.


Nikki tried on the Lenny Lamb Toddler Buckle Carrier with a demonstration doll first.  She seemed to like it immediately and was keen to try Lucie in it.  Lucie happily obliged and got into the carrier.  Nikki described feeling shocked by how light Lucie felt in the carrier.  They both seemed very comfortable.

Nikki and Lucie also tried the Connecta but didn’t find it as comfortable.

Nikki was so impressed with the Lenny Lamb that she decided to buy one.  They were both happy with a front carry for now but might like to explore back carries in the future.

I hope they enjoy their buckle carrier and will be happy to provide reduced price follow up consultations on other uses,  such as back carries in the future.

Case Study 5: Katharine and Annabella


Katherine and Annabella have enjoyed Babywearing since Annabella was a small baby. They have used both a stretchy wrap and a baby bjorn carrier.  Katherine found that despite liking the idea of the stretchy wrap, it was not very practical for meeting their needs and ended up reaching for the baby bjorn much more.

Both Katharine and Annabella have enjoyed using the Baby Bjorn, however, at the age of 8 months, Annabella has grown considerably and it has become progressively less comfortable.

Katharine contacted The Sling Doctor asking for advice on finding the right sling or carrier to help them continue their Babywearing journey.  She did not have a strong preference for a type of carrier and was happy to visit me at my home address which was ideal as we needed access to all of my slings.

The Consultation

We discussed the problems Katharine was having with her existing slings:

The Baby Bjorn

Katharine was finding that although they both liked  a front, chest to chest carry in this carrier, after about 10 minutes it began to hurt her lower back and was no longer a sustainable option.  I explained that the Baby Bjorn does not support the hip tilt (bottom tucked in, tailbone pointing down) in the way many other slings do.  This causes the child to have a straight back which means that their weight is carried further away from their wearer.  In more ergonomically designed carriers the child’s pelvis is tilted which allows their back to curve around the parent (see diagram below).

This positioning means that the child’s head automatically falls towards the parent and their weight is carried closely. This is similar to the difference between carrying a load with outstretched arms or hugging it close to you. When a sling or carrier is correctly fitted it should not feel like you are carrying your child, rather, that your weights are combined and you are heavier.

While babies are still relatively light the weight distribution provided by the Baby Bjorn may not be a problem for the wearer, however, as the baby gets heavier a different carrier, designed to hold the baby as seen above, will be more comfortable.

The Stretchy Wrap

Katharine and Annabella had not got on very well with this sling when Annabella was a newborn, finding the length of fabric overwhelming and too time consuming to be used regularly.  While stretchy wraps can be used beyond six months, if the child is heavy, and/or the stretchy wrap very stretchy, they would need to have additional passes added to the traditional three layer carry.  Given that Katharine and Annabella had not got on well with the three layer carries it seemed unlikely that more layers would be an attractive proposition.

Katharine was keen for Annabella to be able to look around but still wanted to be able to make eye contact while she was in the sling. We agreed hip carries would be ideal for this but that any carrier should also have the option of a chest to chest carry to minimise back strain.

We explored the following options:

1) Woven wrap (such as a Kokadi) tied in a Coolest Hip Cross Carry.

2) Ring Sling (e.g. Amazonas) worn on the hip or the front.

3) Mei Tai (e.g. Hoppediz) tied on the hip or the front.

4) A Buckle Carrier (e.g. Ergo 360) worn on the front or the hip.

I demonstrated each of the options then Katharine chose to practice the woven wrap and buckle carrier option.  She was drawn to the beautiful fabric options of the woven wrap and was able to tie the Coolest Hip Cross Carry effectively but decided it was not fast enough to meet her and Annabella’s needs.

We explored buckle carriers in more detail.  I had a Manducca, Ergo, Boba 4g and Beco Gemini available for exploration.  We quickly worked out that having the option of crossing the straps on her back was going to make using the carrier more comfortable for Katharine.  This is not an option with the Boba 4g so we ruled it out. The remaining carriers all had detachable straps but different parts of the straps were adjustable.  Katharine was naturally drawn to the Beco Gemini as its padding made it more closely resemble the Baby Bjorn Carrier. Once confident with the demonstration doll Katharine was able to put Annabella in the carrier and cross the straps on her back.  She was surprised by how little she could feel of Annabella’s weight and was able to get her into an ergonomic position, with her knees higher than her bottom and her pelvis tilted as below.

Annabella seemed to like being in the sling, but it was apparent that she would soon outgrow it, her knees sticking out a couple of inches on both sides.  We agreed it would be sensible for Katharine to buy the next size up. I would recommend the carrier which is most similar most similar to the Beco Gemini, this is the Beco Toddler which is available from Slumber-Roo with a 10% discount when you quote the code SL10-SLINGDOCTOR.

Katharine and Annabella took advantage of my Model deal which also entitles them to a reduced price follow up consultation.  I would be happy to provide further consultation on the use of the new carrier and perhaps, later,  how to back carry in it.  I wish them both all the best in their Babywearing adventures.

Case Study 4: Amy and Molly


Amy contacted the Sling Doctor and asked for a consultation for her and her daughter Molly who was two weeks old.  Amy had been discussing the benefits of skin to skin contact with her midwife and was keen to try Babywearing despite also feeling  overwhelmed by all of the options and safety advice.  She hoped the skin to skin contact would help with breastfeeding, enable her to get jobs done around the house and aid Molly’s physical and emotional development.

Special Considerations

Molly was born at 36 weeks gestation and, at the time of the consultation, weighed 5 pounds and 11 ounces.  This meant that she was too small to safely use any of my buckle carriers, even with the newborn inserts.  As with all young babies Molly’s positioning needed careful attention to ensure it was not obstructed in anyway.


I met Amy and Molly at their home where we discussed their background, the benefits of Babywearing and safety considerations.  Given Amy and Molly’s circumstances I had taken three options for exploration:  A Woven Wrap, a Stretchy Wrap and a Close Parent Caboo.

Woven Wrap

Probably the most versatile of carriers, a length of woven fabric designed for Babywearing can be used safely with a tiny baby.   Because the fabric is not stretchy,  one layer is very supportive, making it one of the coolest options. Most of the single layer carries require retying each time it is used however, and the skill acquisition required can feel a bit overwhelming.

Stretchy Wrap

The stretchy wrap, is a length of stretchy fabric which can be pretied around the wearers body before they position the baby in the carry they have created.  It is simpler to use than a woven wrap and the multiple stretchy layers mean that the baby can be taken in and out of the wrap without re-tying each time.  Multiple layers can also make it a bit too warm and parents can find the length of fabric a bit overwhelming.

The Close Parent Caboo

The Close Parent Caboo is made of the same fabric as a stretchy wrap but has been constructed to fit in to the wearer without them having to wrap them selves. It is fully adjustable by feeding the fabric through two sets of metal rings which sit just above the wearers hips. The baby sits in the carrier just as she would in a stretchy wrap meaning that it can be used to preserve the child’s natural back, hip and leg positioning.  Like the stretchy wrap, it can still feel a bit hot but it benefits from not requiring as much skill aquisition. Unlike other, more structured, carriers the lower weight limit is 5 pounds, meaning that this was a reasonable suggestion for Molly.

After discussion I demonstrated the use of the Stretchy Wrap,  Amy liked the way the demonstration doll looked in the wrap and appeared to feel confident that it was a secure option but she was a bit concerned about how long it would take her to feel confident about using the wrap alone.  She wanted something she could use straight away with minimal learning. We agreed that the Caboo was the best option and Amy tried it out with the demonstration doll.

Once she felt confident with the doll we tried with Molly herself, who appeared quite content in the sling.


Amy decided to buy A Close Parent Caboo and managed to get a next day delivery.  As she has received a full consultation from me I will offer reduced price follow up consultations to her in the future, either for help with the caboo or for learning new skills like breastfeeding in the sling or exploring other Babywearing  options as Molly grows. It was lovely to meet Amy and Molly and I hope they enjoy their Babywearing adventures.

Double Layer Stretchy Wrap Carries 

I have previously written about Single Layer Carries in a Stretchy Wrap.  These can be made safe if the baby is light enough, or the wrap supportive enough, to hold the baby in position and prevent them from slumping. 
 When your baby becomes too heavy for one layer of stretchy wrap to support them adequately you can move on to double layer carries.  These have the benefit of added support while remaining cooler than the traditional three layer stretchy wrap carries.


As with the single layer stretchy wrap carries please make sure baby is well supported by the wrap, their airway is visible and clear, they are not slumped and their chin is off their chest at all times.  

 Semi Front Wrap Cross Carry 

This carry involves one wrap pass and one cross pass.  I believe the combination of wrap and cross passes makes the carry more secure than two wrap passes or two cross passes would be. It is tied at the shoulder with a Slipknot. I found my Slipknot was more ‘slippery’ with a stretchy wrap so you may find it needs extra tightening. The Slipknot is useful for being able to easily tighten after the baby is secure. 

Backwards Semi-Wrap Cross Carry

The passes used in this carry are the same as in the Semi Wrap Cross Carry but the way this carry is tied gives you an inbuilt head support for your baby and replaces the shoulder Slipknot with a hip/back located flat reef knot.  It is not as easy to pass excess slack though a reef knot as it is a Slipknot but it is not difficult either. 

Once you feel your baby is no longer adequately supported by two stretchy wrap layers please move on to three layers or a woven wrap! 

Single Layer Carries in a Stretchy Wrap

Stretchy Wraps

Stretchy wraps, such as the Boba, Moby and Hana Baby wraps are usually used to make a three layer pre-tied carry, sometimes called a Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC).   The PWCC is tied on the parent or carer so that it fits them closely without baby then the stretch in the fabric accommodates the baby. This is brilliant for newborns because it is super-supportive and you can pop baby in and out of it all day without needing to re-tie.

Stretchy wrap fabric is knitted rather than woven, feeling more like t-shirt material.  Wraps vary in thickness and in how much they stretch.  Some stretchy wraps stretch in two directions, and some in just in direction (sometimes called a hybrid). One of the most common complaints about stretchy wraps is how hot they get.  There are three layers of fabric over baby’s back which should be considered as if they were three layers of clothing. Even if baby is naked under the wrap, three layers can feel like too many on a hot day. 
Single Layer Carries

There are several single layer carries, normally used with woven wraps, which only involve one layer of fabric over the baby’s back.  If your baby is light enough and your wrap supportive enough these can be used safely with a stretchy wrap. As stated above, wraps vary in the amount they stretch and babies vary in weight and muscle tone so there is no rule regarding how heavy your baby is.  The lighter your baby and the less-stretchy your wrap the better.

If, once you have  put your baby in a single layer stretchy wrap carry, you feel they are not being held close to you, have room to slump or are bouncing about too much then this is not a safe option for you and your baby.  You might consider a two layer carry, three layer carry or progressing to a woven wrap (you have already learnt the skills you will need to use one!)  which, because of the lack of stretch is safe to be used with just one layer.

Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC)

This carry is normally the first woven wrap carry learned. Because I’m assuming your baby is very young I have shown it here with a twist underneath the baby’s bottom.  This enables the wearer to tie the carry off behind them without applying pressure to tiny ankles. With a bigger baby the positioning would be slightly different and you would not need to worry so much about the ankles. If your baby is bigger and you feel you can tie without applying pressure to the ankles then cross the tails under the baby’s bottom then take them under the feet and tie behind you without twisting. 

Kangaroo Carry

This carry is another good carry for newborns in a woven wrap which translates well into stretchy wrap wearing. Again I have twisted the tails before tying off (please see point above). 

Please let me know how you get on

Case Study 3: Amalia and Molly

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.

Ergo Optimisation

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.