The Basics of Back Wrapping

So you’re ready to back wrap and looking for a place to start? That long piece of fabric does seem a bit scary at first, but don’t let that discourage you.  Here’s a guide I put together to help you as you begin your journey into back wrapping. There is no right or wrong carry to start with, but if you are just learning you may find it less intimidating if you progress through the back carries in the same order as detailed in this blog. I  have intentionally ordered the videos from least difficult to most difficult. They can all be done with your base size wrap as well. How convenient! I made the mistake of jumping into advanced carries way too soon and ended up beating myself up when I couldn’t get it just right. Many times I got so frustrated I threw my wrap across the room and swore I would never try again. I’m so glad that was just the anger talking because eventually we got it! Don’t be surprised if your baby is a little resistant at first. You are both learning something new so it may take some time to get used to it.

Before you begin back wrapping be sure your child is ready first. It’s best practice to begin putting your baby on your back when they are able to sit up unassisted. It’s true some parents out there will begin this journey sooner than this, but trying to wrap a newborn is very advanced and should not be done if you are just starting out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need assistance. Visit your local babywearing group or consult with a Certified Babywearing Educator. There are plenty of educators out there that love babywearing and would be happy to help you wrap. You might even learn a few helpful techniques.

COZY KANGAROO-1005imageThere’s more than one way to get your baby on your back.  The three most popular methods are: Santa Toss, Hip Scoot and Superman Toss. What does this all mean you ask? It means you have options. Yay! With that said; one isn’t better than the other, it’s all about what you like best and what makes sense for you and your baby. I find the Santa Toss to be beneficial for beginners who have smaller babies. The hip scoot is my favorite and what I do the most since that’s what we started with and what my kids are most used to. Once your kid is a bit older and able to sit or stand unassisted the Superman Toss really comes in handy. Occasionally we will do the Superman Toss but not every time.

Since you are just starting out don’t be afraid to ask for help from a loved one or friend. Also, back wrapping over a bed or sofa is a great start and keeps your sweet baby safe.

Now that you’re familiar with getting your baby on your back let’s talk carries. The Rucksack Back Carry holds a special place in my heart. It was the very first back carry I learned when I started wrapping and that’s why I think it’s important to start here when you and your baby are ready to back wrap. What makes this such a great beginner carry is the fact it does not require extra passes around your baby. It also gives you the chance to practice getting your baby on your back, making a deep seat and reaching behind you to tie off your carry.

I know I suggested starting with the Rucksack when you are starting out, but the Back Wrap Cross Carry is another beginner carry that is really easy to learn. What makes it so easy is you tie a half knot at your chest right away. This gives you time to adjust your seat, take a break and think about your next step while your baby is secure. Sure there are a couple of passes that go over your baby, but what a great way to start practicing!

If you liked the Back Wrap Cross Carry but you’re looking for another carry that lets you tie a half knot at the beginning you can try the Secure High Back Carry. Just like the BWCC you tie a half knot at the very beginning. It’s hard to think about all the steps when you have a wiggly baby on your back so this gives you a second to take a break and think about what your doing while keeping your baby secure. It’s also a great way to practice doing an over the shoulder flip which is tricky for a lot of people…even me.

Double Hammock is one of my personal favorites. It’s the most versatile carry in my opinion and you can do this with various size wraps. You will just need to get creative with how you tie off your carry. The original version finishes off just like the Rucksack which you should be familiar with anyway.

Back wrapping can be very difficult and frustrating and often ends up being the only way older children want to be worn. As your baby gets heavier this is also more comfortable for the babywearer. Wrapping is an art form so keep practicing and pretty soon you and your baby will become Picassos. As you become a seasoned babywearer you may find playing around with different size wraps fun. Some advanced carriers require longer wraps while others require shorter wraps. Have fun and happy babywearing!

If you have any questions on the wraps shown on the videos please feel free to comment below or send me an email. You can also visit The Cozy Kangaroo and browse around at the different wraps and slings.


Back Carry with a Ring Sling

Did you know you are not limited to just front and hip carries with your ring sling? You can also wear your sling as a back carry. It’s really easy to learn and a lot of fun! This is perfect for kids that are able to sit up unassisted so keep your small babies chest-to-chest until they are developmentally ready to be on your back.

This is not the most ideal back carry but it is very helpful when you are needing to get stuff done around the house and would like to free up the front of your body. I resort to this carry when I’m cooking, doing laundry, hanging diapers, etc. You don’t want your child in this position for a long period of time because it will hurt your back. The ring sling is a one shoulder carry so listen to your body and take your baby off your back if you start to feel discomfort.


Ruck It!

Woven wraps can be down right intimidating! I was 7 months pregnant with my second child when I got my first wrap. It was a Wrapsody Bali Breeze and I had no clue how to use it plus I had this huge pregnant belly and a toddler with zero interest in being worn. It was gorgeous though and all I knew was, I wasn’t giving up.

I decided I would spend the rest of my pregnancy practicing wrapping so I could get the hang of it before my youngest daughter arrived. Lucky for me I got the opportunity to take a babywearing class provided by Babywearing Institute when my daughter was just 2 months old! I received tons of knowledge on front carries and I felt very confident wearing my newborn, however, I didn’t have the same confidence when it came to back carries. My little squish and I were traveling alone and she was too young to be worn on my back at the time so I didn’t get the same practice as some of my other new mom friends with bigger kids. Not to worry, they had weighed dolls so I wasn’t completely left out. They just weren’t the same as a real baby.

Once I got home my focus was front carries. I wanted to practice as much as possible until I mastered the basics of the woven wrap. After my daughter turned 4 months old I started to experiment with back carries. Most back carries if not all are based off the rucksack so it’s a great launching point when starting out. Little did I know about how difficult and frustrating wrapping a baby on my back would be. I had a leg straightener on my hands so getting her to bend her knees and keep her spread, squat position in the wrap was a major challenge! I wasn’t sure what to do except practice and take breaks. it wasn’t until Harper was a little over 5 months old before she was content being on my back and seeing the world as I see it. Even though she may have been ready to backpack, it didn’t take away the fact that she liked to straighten her legs. I talked to some friends from my babywearing class and read a ton of Facebook posts from moms discussing the same exact thing. A solution that seemed to work for us was tucking the bottom rail of the wrap in my kid’s pants. Sounds weird I know but it works and it allows me to interact with my toddler and get stuff done around the house that I wouldn’t have been able to easily do if she was on my front. Also, working with one tail at a time seemed to make a difference. I’m short and with that comes short arms. Bringing the tails behind my back and under my baby’s bum one at a time allowed me to reach for the tail with the other hand.

As I said earlier, woven wraps can be very intimidating but don’t let that scare you away. They are amazing once you get the hang of it and with a little practice you will become a pro. If I can do it, anyone can do it! Happy babywearing!