Babywearing of Hampton Roads

Keeping caregivers and children close since 2013

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IBW 2014: Emergency Babywearing Workshop Recap

Please read our disclaimer before making or using any of these make-shift carriers. These are for emergency purposes only. 

So a little while ago, Jade held this awesome emergency babywearing workshop. After her and a few other of our educators attended the Babywearing Conference, they learned some really neat tricks to wear your baby in an event of an emergency such as a natural disaster. Here’s a list of some of the stuff she used:

  • Belt
  • Scarf
  • Duct Tape
  • 3 Cotton Knit Tshirts
  • Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Bed Sheet
  •  Beach Towel

First Jade started out by demonstrating carries with a scarf. It made for quite a versatile carrier but with it being so thin and short, it may work best for smaller infants and short trips. She also reminded us that the make shift carriers might be excellent for other purposes. If you had a lot of stuff to carry, it would be easy to load them into the carrier and attach them to you. A more skilled wearer may be able to fasten the scarf around themselves like a front torso carry as well. Here are some photos of the rebozo she did. Depending on how slippery your scarf is and how much length, you could finish off with the slip knot or square knot.

The beach towel torso carry was probably the most popular carry to try! It’s tricky but with practice, it gets easier. We experimented with different ways to tuck and finish off the rails of the wrap but the group agreed that twisted the ends and then rolling them into the sides of the towel was the most helpful. This carry actually comes in handy for the beach or pool but it is difficult to get used to baby being so low and feeling like it’s secure enough.  

Jilliane and Eliana were quite comfortable in this make-shift K’tan carry! Jade cut two cotton knit shirts at the armpits and created essentially pouches out of the shirts. When you put them over your shoulders like a sling, they create two passes for you to situate your baby into. Then the scarf comes into play by acting as a horizontal pass to protect the cross passes from sliding down baby’s back. Flipping the shoulders like Jilliane did in the photo made for a better fit for Jilliane’s petite frame. 

The strap carry is probably the most unusual looking carry we tried out of the bunch. It looks unsafe but it’s quite secure and comfortable. It’s essentially a ruck with no seat but baby is kept arms out. Carmen (4 years old) used to love her arms in so this was a tough carry for her but she could tell that the pass was keeping her up as well. There are different ways to finish this off but this is generally done with a bed sheet which doesn’t always offer a lot of length so tying it under baby’s bottom is what’s most commonly done.

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Carry of the Month: Kangaroo Carry

Please read our disclaimer before trying this carry.

It’s August already! Can you believe how fast this year is flying by? It is going by too fast. This month we are going to be doing a kangaroo carry for the carry of the month which is great because we have been seeing many new babies. This carry is great for newborns and up.  When I first started wrapping, I was intimidated by this carry because it looked complicated. It really isn’t!  With practice, it has become one of my favorite front carries, especially when my baby is asleep.

With the kangaroo carry, you can use a short wrap or a long wrap. I used a size 5 for this. 

Starting with the wrap’s middle marker in the center of your chest, put both sides of the wrap over your shoulders. Keep the wrap flat on your shoulders and make a pocket in the front for your baby.
Once you made your pocket, you will put your baby in the pocket and make a seat. If your baby seems too tall to slip into the pocket, feel free to pull the pocket over their head. Tuck some of the fabric between the two of you, with the wrap spreading from knee to knee and as deep as you can with the wrap still reaching baby’s neck. This can be a little tough since there is no anchor point yet, but it will be snug soon. If you struggle and need an anchor point, feel free to cross the passes behind you and tuck them between your knees.

This step is tricky at first. To do this shoulder flip, reach under the wrap on your shoulder and grab the top rail. Pull it straight out . Tada! 

Reach behind you with opposite hand and pull the side of the wrap that you just flipped to tighten it over your shoulder. I always shimmy shrug my shoulder to help tighten it fully. Bring this tail to the front and hold the tension. Just make sure to hold onto your baby in front with one hand while you work with the other to tighten.

 Do the same with the other shoulder. Reach under the wrap on your shoulder and grab the top rail. Pull it straight out . Reach behind you with opposite hand and pull the side of the wrap that you just flipped to tighten it over your shoulder. Shimmy your shoulder while you pull to help get the flip snug. Bring this tail to the front as well and hold tight.

Now we tie off! With a shorter wrap, you will tie under baby’s bottom. Take the passes over the legs and tie a double knot under baby’s bottom and be sure to tighten it so it stays snug.  If the knot is difficult to tighten, place them as tightly as you can against baby’s bottom and roll those passes into a knot. It’s a neat little trick if you have a really grippy wrap.

With a longer wrap, you will take the tails over, then under baby’s legs. You will then tie a double knot in the back to secure the carry. Try as best as you can to overlap the fabric of the pass over baby’s knee. This will maintain your seat.
Tada! You just did a kangaroo carry!

We hope this helps 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!