Babywearing of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

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Educator Training: Tandem Wearing

This blog post is not a tutorial. Tandem wearing is an advanced skill. If you have any questions, please read our disclaimer and/or email an educator. 

So, our educators have definitely noticed the increase in tandem wearers in our area. We couldn’t be happier to have you guys join us but we thought you’d be interested to see all the work we put in to make sure we can help you as best as we possibly can.

On Wednesday, May 14th, our volunteers and educators got together to practice some really awesome (and some not so awesome) tandem carries. We thought it was a good idea to kind of walk a bit in a tandem momma’s shoes! We were kind of in for a surprise…

So first off, we started with ring slings. We had some good thoughts and bad thoughts. Overall, it wasn’t too bad or too uncomfortable but it was a lot of jumbling with rings, heads, and breasts. Finding the space for all three was a bit of a task! We agreed that a petite wearer would easily hate this carry and you’d have to be fairly skilled with a ring sling.

Most educators loved this carry. Jasmine’s hip carry. It was very comfortable but took a lot of preparation especially if you added two rings like I did in the photo. We also had to take a lot of time to make sure the shoulder passes were tightened evenly otherwise a couple of threads were cutting right into your shoulder. The carry without rings took less time but I suppose loading two infants is gonna take a bit of time anyways! The great thing about the rings though was that you could unload one infant at a time without disturbing the other. Again, lots of love for this carry and we did agree that if you were careful, you wouldn’t have to take the rings out every time.

Here’s where we were ready to take off tandem momma’s shoes. Jumbling two kids is not an easy task and we salute you twin mommas! This is a good time for me to mention (again) that tandem wearing is an advanced skill because of loading and unloading two children and that’s why we suggest making sure one child is entirely secure before working on another. You can see this in both of the photos above. The infant already in the Boba stretchy wrap was sitting in the cross pass and I had lifted the horizontal pass to secure the infant before I started putting my other baby in the wrap. Jade also secured her baby in before adding another which is very obvious as Eliza is leaning and clearly “hanging out” but is entirely secure.

We started experimenting with woven wrap carries. We tested out a classic ruck (double knotted under the bum) and then added a child in the tied tibetan passes.  We agreed it was very comfortable and having full arm movement was very nice unlike the hip carries. Definitely not ideal for kiddos who would like to be up and down as it did take a bit of work but would be great for a nice walk with a newborn and a tot on your back.
Overall, it was a great experience and we all learned a lot. We left the meeting feeling very confident and we can’t wait to serve you better at meetings and future events.

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Babywearer of the Month: Tonya

Meet Tonya!

We asked Tonya to share a little about herself and her family, here’s what she shares:
I am 34 and was born in Iowa, but raised in SE Tennessee (Go Big Orange!). I moved here in 1996 with the intention of only staying until my husband at the time got out of the Navy, but then I got divorced and met my current husband which is while I’m still here. We have 4 boys total… Grayson & Garrett are from his first marriage and they are 20 & 18. Our miracle babies, Kellan & Kaeden, are twins and just a few short months shy of turning 2 (insert sad face). 

How long have you been babywearing?
I’ve been babywearing since the boys were just a few months old. I always knew I wanted to wear them but wasn’t educated on proper positioning.  We had a Chicco and a Baby Bjorn that were quickly replaced with a Storch woven wrap, but I was so intimidated by wrapping that I sold it and went straight to tandem wearing with 2 SSCs [soft structured carriers]. For over a year I’ve only had two carriers, an Infantino Balance that I wore on my back and an Ergo Options for the front. Now that we’ve added a Kinderpack, the Infantino will be either donated or sold, and we have two wraps. I am very excited to get back into wrapping and now that I have such a wonderful group of friends to guide me I know it’ll be so much more fun than the first time around. 

What does babywearing help you accomplish?
Wearing is an absolute necessity for me because with twins there are never enough hands to do all that needs to be done and someone always needs you. We also live on the 3rd Floor so getting to and from the car would be impossible if I didn’t wear them. Outside of all that, wearing the boys has brought us even closer and just made life with twins in general much easier.  Up until this past month I’ve not had much experience with different carriers. I have friends who have many different types but I’ve just stuck with what works for us. Then I was offered the opportunity to try out a size 7 wrap which I had heard would make tandem wearing in a wrap possible. So last month I stepped out of my comfort zone and asked for help. I am a generally social person but have high anxiety in big crowds with people I don’t know well so it was a big step for me. Now I could go crazy buying all the pretty carriers I like, lol. Our Ergo has really served us well over the past year and our Infantino has held up well. We now have a KP  [Kinderpack] which we love and I’m excited to have a couple Natibaby wraps on the way.

As for my biggest babywearing accomplishment; until today I would have just said wearing twins overall was it but today for the first time ever I nursed while wearing…they took turns and waited so patiently (huge deal since they tandem nurse 99% of the time).

Have you had any babywearing struggles?
My biggest struggle with babywearing has been not having the budget to buy all the awesome carriers I wanted. Well, that’s not really a struggle I guess…honestly just being the center of attention while wearing twins is a huge struggle for me. I am usually a wallflower and prefer to be behind the scenes.

What do you want others to know about babywearing?
I want others to know that wearing their babies doesn’t make them become co-dependant or spoil them…in fact it teaches them trust, love, and security with their surroundings. 

If you were going on an awesome vacation, what carrier(s) would you take?
If I were on a cruise with the boys we’d be headed to some place warm and tropical and since we’re definitely fantasizing here, lol, I would take our KP and I would buy Starry Night because it is my dream wrap!!

Anything else you’d like to share about babywearing?
All in all babywearing is a no brainer for me. The boys love it, I love it, and I look forward to lots more wearing for hopefully the next year or so depending on how big these little dudes get.

Tonya is wearing a woven wrap (Natibaby) on her back and a Kinderpack on front.

Thank you for sharing tandem babywearing and your sweet boys with us Tonya!