Babywearing of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Carry of the Month: Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC)

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Before we pick up the wraps, I figured we’d talk a little about why we love the Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC)! (please read our disclaimer before attempting this carry)
If you’re still learning to wrap, you are probably familiar with the sweating, the sore arms, and the sore stomach from standing at that awful 45* angle! This carry has great stopping points for you to catch your breath without totally messing up your wrap job. The steps are a bit repetitive so if you have a short memory or attention span (like mine) you will like this carry! 
 I incorporated a chest belt into this BWCC. It keeps the wrap out of your arm pits and is really easy on the shoulders,  especially since you’ll be molding the wrap perfectly to them. If you are struggling with your seat, this is going to be perfect for you. Those last two passes of the carry compensate for a popped seat as long as you have it nice and spread across your baby’s back and bum.
 This carry is naturally low because of how the wrap comes under and over your shoulders from the front rather than under your baby’s bum and over your shoulder’s from the back which would then lift baby and keep baby up. That’s why I deem this as a “cuddly carry” or a nap time carry because baby can really snuggle into your back. I don’t do this carry if we’re on the go and baby wants to be super active.
Enough chatter, let’s wrap!

 You will want your base size wrap for this carry. A base size wrap is a size that will work with most  multi-layer carries. This size will differ based on the wearer’s size and the baby’s size. In this tutorial, I’m using a size 6 wrap that measures about 4.6 meters and I am using a newborn baby doll (I can still accomplish this carry with my 2-year old but prefer a size 7 and I’m about a dress size 8/10 or shirt size M/L.

Disclaimer: you are allowed to laugh at my still shots. 
 They are funny, especially the Toy Story 3 shots in the back and my goofy faces.
 This is how I would suggest putting a baby on your back with a newborn or a young infant, maybe the 0-4 months range. There are many techniques to get your baby on your back, this is just how I feel most comfortable using my “newborn” weighted doll. She weighs a solid 7lbs and her name is Midori. You’ll see her pretty often in different carries. 
 First, lay the wrap nice and flat. Then, place the baby into the middle of the wrap and pre-tuck the seat of the wrap into the baby’s pants. I do this because reaching behind me is crazy difficult and, this way, I can get a really secure a seat. All you have to do is check on it after the baby’s on your back. 
Next, while the baby is on the floor, gather the wrap and make a hammock for her. I make sure the wrap doesn’t cover her face but is supporting her neck. This is especially important if the baby doesn’t have any neck strength or head control of her own. I like to grab the top rail and gather the rest into my hands, little by little. Put both sides of the wrap into one hand and you’ll lift her this way but you want to support her with your hand like I have in the 3rd picture. 
 Now, you lift the baby over your shoulder. This will definitely take practice. Make sure to practice over a bed, near a couch, with a doll or a stuffed animal until you are comfortable. 
Start to lean forward so your baby can lay on your back, using your shoulder to support baby’s head. Lift the other side of the wrap over your head and onto your other shoulder so you have a pass on each side (not twisted!). Always make sure to keep a hand on your baby. In the third image, I am simply adjusting my baby onto my back, allowing her to lay nice and flat and in the center of my back.

Now that the baby on your back, let’s double check the baby’s seat. Still there?? If not, just tuck fabric between you and the baby again. Remember, those last two passes are going to help in case you’ve lost it by the time we’re done here! 
Next, while holding onto your baby with one hand, put each pass under your arms. Tighten the rails if you need to. Tug on the top & tug on the bottom of the wrap. Simply make sure it’s snug!

 Now, simply tie a knot above your bust on your chest. Ready for a break? If you need one, hold onto the knot (it has the potential to loosen) and take a good, deep breath. If you have grumpy baby, take this time to calm them, distract them with treats, whatever!

 Ready again? Now we’re going to start those passes that go over the shoulder. I like to start with the top of the knot. The first pass has mostly secured your baby. As long as your seat is deep enough, your knot and wrap are snug, and you stay leaning forward, you may work with both hands BUT stay in touch with your baby at all times. Spread your pass out really wide and have hold of both rails.

Flip the pass onto your shoulder. Keeping it as high possible and your hand turned up. You’re going to sort of “push” the wrap to the back and hand it to your other hand. Once you make the pass you are going to spread it up as high as possible onto your baby’s back. If you’re working with a new wrap, this may be tough; it could be “grippy” and get stuck in some places. Just keep pulling and working with it. It will get better in time as it gets broken in.

 Now you will simply start tightening and molding the wrap to your baby and your shoulder. I like to start with the rails, sometimes the top or the bottom. It kind of depends on the wrap and how I’m feeling. 
 Simply lift it from your shoulder and pull on the other end. Pull until it’s tight and smooth. Keep working with it, top rail and bottom rail. You’ll see in the 3rd picture that I have a ton of slack still on my shoulders. All you  have to do is pull on the tail of the wrap that corresponds with the slack in the shoulder. 
See how I’m grabbing the middle of the wrap since that is where my slack is on my shoulder?? Pull, pull, pull! You are almost half way done! Yay! 

 Don’t worry, your second break is coming up here! Now that you are finished tightening and pulling everything snug, gather the wrap by your baby’s knee and make sure it’s totally snug. Lift your baby’s leg if you need to and put it in under baby’s leg. 
 So, you have made a diagonal pass over your shoulder, over baby’s one knee and under the other knee. Now simply “store” that pass between your legs or your knees. You can take another break! Whew! I promise this will be such a breeze once you have the hang of it. 

 Look familiar? Good! Simply do exactly as above. Spread the wrap, flip it over your shoulder, pass it to your other hand and get ready to tighten and pull. You are so close to being done! 

 Here we are tightening the wrap again. I started by pulling the top rail tight, then tightened the bottom rail over baby’s leg, and finally tightened the middle again. 

 Again, gather the wrap, under baby’s leg and tying at the waist. Make sure to double knot however you’d like! Square knot or Reef knot! 
(Baby does look low in my second picture, really low. To be fair and honest, all the stopping to take a photograph myself loosened my wrap pretty good! This isn’t uncommon for a beginner either so don’t worry. It will come with time and practice to get everything nice and tight.)
Last step: Feel like a Babywearing goddess for doing a back carry in a woven wrap.

Photo tutorial not doin’ it for you? No worries. Check out Babywearing International of Hampton Roads’s YouTube channel for more information and tutorials!

We have really tried to accommodate everyone by using a couple of methods of teaching. Explanation, picture tutorial, and video tutorial. We’d love feedback on what helps you, so please leave a comment if you have any questions or tips!

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