Tips on babywearing & choosing the right carrier

Basics of ergonomic babywearing

Ergonomic babywearing.
Close enough to kiss, monitoring the breathing and signals of the baby is easier. The carrier should be tied tight enough so that the fabric supports the natural position of the child’s spine. At the picture: Vanamo Kide Malva. Photo: Liinalapsi Oy
Ergonomic babywearing respects the natural posture of the child without compromising on comfort of the babywearer. When being carried ergonomically, the child is in an upright deep squat position natural to them and the woven wrap is tied around this natural position. Little babies often hold their hips slightly less spread apart while bigger wrappees have a more spread position. In a carrier, ideally, the knees of the wrappee are on the same level or higher than their bum. Woven wrap fabric is carefully spread from the wrappee’s knee pit to knee pit. Respectively, if a structured carrier is used, the panel should reach the knee pits of the child. The edges of the panel may reach the knee pit’s fold in a way that the fabric supports the bum and thighs of the baby from the whole way. The panel of a structured carrier should not limit the free movement of the child’s legs.
Front wrap cross carry with lexi-twists under baby's bottom'”
The wrap is tied in front wrap cross carry with additional twists (also called ’lexi twist’) under baby’s bum before bringing the tails of the wrap under baby’s legs and behind the babywearer’s back. The twists ensure that even a thicker wrap will not create pressure on little baby’s legs. Photo: Birgitte Poulsen
When carried in an ergonomic position, the pelvis of the baby lightly turns onwards so that the lower back of the baby may round. Especially when carrying small babies, it is important to take care of sufficient neck and sideways support, however always in a way that the baby can freely turn their head, if needed. Even a small baby can advance the posture control related to the movement in babywearing as long as the hands of the baby rest against the babywearer’s body with elbows bent. This also prevents the baby from curling and the baby’s chin from reaching their chest while they sleep, which could restrict their breathing.

The head of the baby should be close enough to kiss for the babywearer. This way, the centre of gravity is high enough and carrying is ergonomic for the babywearer, too. Close enough to kiss, monitoring the breathing and signals of the baby is easier. The carrier should be tied tight enough so that the fabric supports the natural position of the child’s spine and there is no extra space between the babywearer and the wrappee. Any twists or slack should be removed from the wrap so that the carrier is snug without feeling diggy.

Front wrap cross carry goes a long way

Front wrap cross carry: spread the fabric from knee pit to knee pit.
Woven wrap fabric is spread from baby’s knee pit to knee pit. The upper rail of the wrap secures little baby’s neck and head support. Photo: Liinalapsi Oy
There are numerous carries for woven wraps. Different carries allow a child to be carried according to their developmental stage in front of the babywearer, on the babywearer’s hip or on the babywearer’s back. As the first carry to learn, both Helena and Jenni recommend the front wrap cross carry (abbreviated ”FWCC”) which is pictured in the image above. ”Front wrap cross carry suits even the smallest but is also good with a toddler as you can reinforce the carry by spreading the passes from each side towards the child’s back”, Jenni says. ”Front wrap cross carry is an excellent carry with a long woven wrap. It serves as a basis for different variations such as pond finish or front wrap cross carry tied under bum, the latter of which can be tied with a shorter woven wrap”, Helena adds. Front wrap cross carry can be tied with a base size wrap which for most babywearers is size 6 (approximately 4,6-4,7 meters or 182 inches long woven wrap). Smaller babywearers may tie front wrap cross carry with a size 5 woven wrap (approximately 4,2-4,3 meters or 165 inches) and bigger babywearers may choose a size 7 wrap (approximately 5,2-5,3 meters or 205 inches). In the Vanamo wrap instruction manual you can find some of the most common woven wrap carries demonstrated with images accompanied with written guidelines.

Read the wrapping instructions for Vanamo woven wrap