Babywearing of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Carry Of The Month: Ruck


Please read our disclaimer before trying this carry. 

This is probably the quickest back carry of them all. It will force you to learn how to make a great seat and that will help you with all of your back wrapping. There are a few variations like reinforcing the passes which we’ll show you here too and you can always incorporate a chest belt later to make the carry more comfortable for longer trips.

As I mentioned, this carry really depends on a great seat.  There are a few different ways to get baby on your back and in a good seat. In our back wrap cross carry post, I showed you how to get baby on and seated using a Santa Toss and by tucking the wrap into baby’s pants. This is super ideal if your baby is very young, has little to no head control, and is difficult to reach while on your back.  Let’s review this technique.

Santa Toss

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.
Hip Scoot
You can do this with a younger infant but I believe it would be difficult to support your baby’s head while hopping and scooting and think that this technique may simply be best for infants with some head control. You can use this technique with the wrap on your baby’s back and even with the wrap pre-tucked into baby’s pants. Just simply sling the wrap over your other side and over your shoulder so it doesn’t get twisted as you hip scoot.

Start by holding your baby on your hip, raise your hip to support your baby and prepare to scoot! I use my other arm to support baby while the other works on guiding baby over. You can also use your arm to sort of cradle baby. This takes a lot of hopping and scooting and hopping and scooting because once you have your baby on your back, they’ll be rather low. Once baby is centered on your back, support baby with your hands and hop again so they closer to your shoulders!

Superman Toss

One last technique before we get started on wrapping. An important note: Midori (my lovely weighted model baby) is too young for this superman toss. I would suggest this for babies with full head control so around 6 months or older. You can do this toss also with the wrap pre-tucked into their pants or with the wrap simply over their shoulders. This is a really great way to get baby on your back and it gets them excited! It looks super scary but it is so easy. I do recommend practicing this one several times with a teddy or even just a pillow until you understand hand placement and the motion. It takes a few times but it will come naturally very soon.

Make sure baby is facing away from you when you grab your baby.  You will have a firm hold of their torso as well as their arms so you are not actually lifting your baby’s arms. You can see how I have my hands around baby, this is important for how you will be twisting your baby over your head. You will start to swing baby over your shoulder and it won’t matter which way you decide to go, whatever feels most comfortable for you, and voila! Baby is on your back!

Okay, we can finally start wrapping! I used a size 4 for this and have done so even when Carmen was much younger. I’m about a dress size 8/10 and wear about a medium sized shirt. You can use longer wraps but your tail at your waist will increase in length.

If you haven’t already pre-tucked your baby’s seat, this is how I encourage seating your baby. It is probably the most effective way to get a deep, secure seat and once you get it down it is amazing! We’re starting our wrap right in the middle and I am grabbing the top rails bringing them over my shoulder and placing them either in my teeth (gently biting!) or pinning them under my chin. It’s important to keep these tight because if there is too much slack, it can be uncomfortable when you are finished. Be sure you are leaning forward and reach your hands behind you. You want to reach between baby’s legs with both of your hands, grab the bottom rail and pull it upward and bring as much fabric as you possibly can between you and your baby. If you need to, hold baby with one hand and tuck the fabric between you with one hand in case any has slipped.

Once your seat is deep enough, pull that bottom rail up and over you shoulder. Make sure you are pulling the wrap evenly over your baby. If your baby is squirmy, do one at a time. It is very important that your seat be deep and that it stays there in order to continue so take your time while learning. If your top rail seems loose, take this time to pull and tighten it before continuing.

Now we are just getting ready to finish. Start by storing one of the passes between your knees. This keeps it nice and secure and gives you the chance to use both hands, if necessary. When you become more skilled, you’ll be able to finish both of these at one time. Bring the pass directly under your arm and over your baby’s knee just as I have in the large picture. The very big and important part of this is overlapping that fabric. This keep the seat from slipping! Then pass it across your back and under baby’s other leg. When you are finished with it, store it between your legs and begin to work with the other one just the same.

Finally, tie off at your waist! A nice and simple ruck! But that’s not all…

If you’re wanting a little more support (and this makes a huge difference), try reinforcing the passes by spreading them out. This will take practice and it’s normal to feel like you have “t-rex arms.” I like to work with the top rail and swing it over baby’s bottom. I find baby’s bottom to be the most in the way. Once you get it over their bum, you simply pull the top rail as much as you can from the other side and the goal is to get it as high on their back as possible. 

Once you have it as high as you need it, start to gather it on the other side of you and then lift baby’s leg and pass the wrap under baby’s leg. You then repeat the other side and tie off at your waist again. That’s really all it is!

We hope this helped and please do not be afraid to ask questions!
You can email questions to our Education chair at
Education (at) BabywearingHamptonRoads (dot) Org any time.
Photo tutorial not doin’ it for you? No worries. Check out Babywearing International of Hampton Roads’s YouTube channel for more information and tutorials!

2 thoughts on “Carry Of The Month: Ruck

  1. This is really clear and well written. Thank you for posting it! I am waiting for my first woven to arrive so I can try this with my third baby.


  2. I'm still practicing this carry! I want to master it.


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