Babywearing of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013


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Carry of the Month: Front Reinforced Torso Rebozo

A Front Reinforced Torso Rebozo, also known as FRTR, is a front carry that utilizes a shorter to midlength wrap. This is great for nursing and a personal favorite with a newborn. A pretied version is demonstrated, which is great for getting the wrap set before heading out for the day. No mucking the wrap up in muddy parking lots this wet fall season.

This carry can be done with a wrap that is 2-3 sizes smaller than your base size. Base size varies from person to person depending on the size of the person. A size 6 is the most commonly used base size; however, a size 5 (4.2m) or size 7 are also common. In this tutorial, a size 4 (3.6m) is used. Now onto the carry: 

1. To start grab your wrap and put one tail over your shoulder. It should end around your hip if using your base -2 (size 4 shown). If using a shorter wrap, start with the tail ending higher along your torso.
2. Take the long tail flat across your back. This is the side you will be working with.

3. Cross the wrap around your front, under the standing short tail.
4. Bring the wrap around your back. It should lay smooth on your back without any twists.
5. Bring the long tail across your chest and tie a slipknot.
Note: How to Tie a Slipknot
1. Start with a standing tail (ST) over your shoulder and a moving tail (MT) horizontally across your body. Tying a slipknot follows the shape of the number 4 twice.
2. Cross the MT over the ST like the horizontal line of a 4.
3. Bring the MT behind the ST and up through the top. This makes the diagonal line of a 4.
4. Bring that pass straight down, like the vertical line of a 4.
5. Hold the MT with one hand and pass it behind the ST with the other. There should be slack here. This makes the diagonal and horizontal pass of the 4. The ST makes the vertical pass.
6. Take the MT around the front of the ST and through the loop you made with the hand holding the slack. Lightly tighten. 
7. If done correctly, your knot should slide up and down the ST. A little trick for when you’re done adjusting, pull on the loop towards the ST to tighten the slipknot and keep it from moving. This locks your knot in place.
Need a video? Check out this one: How to Tie a Slipknot

6. Once tied off, you will have created a poppable pouch. There should be two layers on your chest. You want enough slack to slip baby into, but not so much that you’ll have excess slack in the wrap.
7. Now grab your baby and slip her down through both layers of the pouch. 
8. Create a seat for baby. The wrap should reach knee to knee, hammocking baby’s bottom.
9. Work out any slack. Start with the top layer, moving the slack along through the bottom layer and up to your shoulder.
10. Pull all the slack now at your shoulder through the slip knot. Tighten.

 There you have it, a Front Reinforced Torso Rebozo (FRTR)!
You can email questions to our Education chair at
Photo tutorial not doin’ it for you? No worries. Check out Babywearing International of Hampton Roads’s YouTube channel for more information and tutorials!


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Ask a VBE: Babywearing & Breastfeeding

Have you ever been in the middle of grocery shopping and your baby starts to fuss?  You know that baby is going to want to nurse soon and you’re only into the canned goods aisle.  Your heart races as you anticipate the fussing building to a scream as you frantically throw food into your shopping cart.  Then you realize, “Hey, I can nurse right here in my ring sling and still have my hand free to push the cart and grab stuff off the shelves!”  Problem solved!

With World Breastfeeding Week 2013 wrapping up, it seems only fitting to talk about how breastfeeding and babywearing can work really well together.  Breastfed babies nurse a lot, especially in those early days.  We often feel like we’re trapped on the couch under a baby and unable to tend to the home, run errands, or take care of older children.  While this can be good at times (ie, postpartum recovery or just using it as an excuse to have your husband make dinner) it can also be very frustrating.  Many women seem to struggle with nursing in their carriers at first, but once you learn some tips and tricks it can make your life a lot easier. 

One of the big rules in babywearing safety is to make sure your baby is at kiss height.  That means you can easily tilt your head down and kiss the top of your babies head.  This is to ensure that your baby has unobstructed air flow.  Obviously for most moms your baby is not in an ideal nursing position when they’re at kiss height.  The key to nursing in a carrier is to be able to loosen and/or shimmy the carrier down to get baby closer to the breast.  This will be different for each style of carrier or carry you are using.  In mei tais or soft structured carriers you can simply loosen the straps a bit and loosen your waist strap while you support baby with your opposite hand, then lower the carrier and baby down.  In a ring sling, you can loosen the rings, lower baby into an ideal position, and then retighten across baby’s back and under their neck.  In a wrap you will have different carries that work best for nursing such as Front Cross Carry or Hip Cross Carry.  You may also have to shift baby over to one side or the other.  This can be achieved in a cradle or hip hold in wraps or ring slings.

It gets much easier with older babies who have good head control.  When your baby is still little and without head control it’s important to support the back of their neck but not to completely cover their head so as not to push their face into your breast.  You want their chin tilted upward and you want to be have a good view of their face.  Always remember to make sure the carrier is tightened and supporting baby’s back so they’re not curling into your breast and so there is space under their chin.  Last but not least it is important to bring baby back up to the kiss height after the nursing session is complete.

One of the benefits to nursing in a carrier, aside from having your hand(s) free is that it is easier to nurse out in public with a bit more discretion, if this makes you more comfortable.  The fabric of the carrier curls around your body and baby and most people will just assume they are sleeping.  In a ring sling you can even use the tail to drape over you, just make sure that it never covers baby’s head or face.

Once you get the hang of nursing in your carrier you will be able to grocery shop, do the dishes, and chase a toddler at the playground all while baby happily suckles away, leaving you feeling like Super Mom!  Well maybe that’s pushing it, but it’s sure to make your life a lot easier!

If you need one on one help with nursing in your carrier, please feel free to come ask a VBE at our next meeting.  We’ll be glad to help!