Baby Wearing Back Carries for Beginners

back carryBaby wearing is a great parenting tool to have in your toolkit. There are many benefits to baby wearing; it allows you to carry your baby in a way that aids their physical, emotional, and neurological development. Plus, it really does make life a little bit easier.

Sometimes during the 3- to 6-month stage, babies start to prefer a “facing out” type carry so that they can see everything that the wearer can see. The safest way to wear your baby in a “facing out” position is to utilize a back carry.  There are many options for wearing your baby on your back, but when babies are young and haven’t developed certain skills, there are a few ways to back wear that are more optimal than others.

Back wearing in a soft structured carrier like this one or a mei tai like this one is very simple and comfortable, but is only good choice when your baby can sit up unassisted. Soft structured carriers and mei tais typically put the hips and knees in a straight-line position, rather than a froggy-legged position where the knees are higher than the hips. To support proper biomechanics and physiological development, babies should be worn on the front in a froggy-legged position or in a froggy-legged position in a woven wrap on the back.

If your baby sits up well on their own, chose a woven wrap, a soft structured carrier, or a mei tai that you love. Check out this video for four ways to get your baby on your back safely:

If your baby is not quite sitting up but you’d like to wear him or her on your back, choose a woven wrap like this one. For a beginner, a size 6 or 7 wrap, depending on your size, is a great length to practice multiple carries.  For a baby younger than six months, back carries that use multiple passes will feel very secure and will be plenty supportive.

Below are two videos of great multi-pass back carries, the back wrap cross carry and the double hammock.  A few tips for early wrapping; use a “spotter,” practice wrapping over the couch or bed, wrap in front of a mirror, and check your tightening in the mirror. Give it a really good effort, and seek out help from local babywearing groups.

Woven wrapping takes a bit of effort, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll have very comfortable, secure carries and very happy babies.

Back Wrap Cross Carry:

Double Hammock Back Carry:

Good luck and Happy Baby wearing!

Claire Dodge is a wife and mother of two toddlers living in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. She is a Birth Boot Camp natural childbirth instructor and helps her husband part-time in his prenatal and pediatric chiropractic office. She loves all things natural living and attachment parenting, and loves to get lost in books, yarn, and a good run.

 

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