Babywearing of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

Carry of the Month: Rucksack, Alternative Method

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Please read our disclaimer before trying this carry.

We have previously covered a Rucksack in April 2013, going over the commonly stressed practice of making a “seat” for baby. It is an excellent post and goes into great detail on the various methods of getting a child onto your back. 

Getting a seat for baby is a point of stress for many babywearers, new and old. How it is frequently taught requires a bit of flexibility which can be frustrating if flexibility is not inherent to your limbs. This alternative method to a rucksack is a great option if you have a limited range of mobility. Below will mostly highlight these differences.

This carry can be done with a wrap that is 2 sizes smaller than your base size. Base size varies from person to person depending on the size of the person. A size 6 (4.6m) is the most commonly used base size; however, a size 5 (4.2m) or size 7 (5.2m) are also common. In this picture tutorial, a size 5 (4.2m) is used. My base is a size 6.

Now onto the carry: 

1. To start, find the middle of your wrap.
2. Place that on baby’s back.
3. Now get baby onto your back using whichever method you like best. Here i superman tossed the toddler. Different methods can be seen in the above “Rucksack” link. 

4. While bending slightly forward, pin the top edge of your wrap so it is secured. I use my chin. Alternative options are to use your teeth, knees (knees specifically as opposed to thighs as you need to keep the edge taunt), or holding it in one hand.
5. Now reach behind you and pull down the bottom edge of the fabric. spreading the fabric down baby’s back. If you held the top edge in your hand, you will pull down the bottom edge with one hand rather than two. 
6. Taking each side of the wrap in hand, secure one side away for later. Now we will focus on one of the straps. Continue to bend slightly forward.

7. Gathering one side, bring it down under your arm and across baby’s closest leg. Pass this strap to the other hand.
8. Now grab the bottom edge of the wrap fabric on baby’s body and pull it down toward’s baby’s knee. Pin this fabric in place with the strap.
9. Again, pin the bottom edge under baby’s bottom in place with the strap. The strap should lay across your back and over the wrap edge.
10. Bring the strap under the far leg and to the front.
11. Secure the strap you were just working with between your knees.
12. Working with the other side, repeat steps 7 to 10. 

13. Grab both straps in hand and stand upright, keeping tension on the straps. 
14. Secure the carry with a double knot in front. 

And this is how you complete a rucksack using an alternative seat method!
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 YouTubechannel for more information and tutorials!

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