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What is the best position for my baby in the carrier?
You can carry your baby forward, on your hip or on your back. He can be in a cradle, facing forward or in a frog-like position. The cradle position is the same as if you were breastfeeding. The baby is on his back with his legs together. If your child suffers from hip deformities, consult your doctor before trying this position. In such a case, it is not recommended to have the child’s legs together. It is better to choose a frog-like position, especially on the hip which allows for the legs to be spread apart. Furthermore, many babies do not like the rocking position. They prefer to be vertical or in the frog position which most resembles the fetal position (legs apart with rounded back).
The frog position is best, ergonomically speaking. It offers the proper support for the spine with good weight distribution in the legs, not the genitals. The legs are correctly spread apart. Babies also generally prefer it to the cradle position. However, the cradle position is very practical when breastfeeding in which case baby can easily feed without mom always having to be seated.
Comparison between each position.
On the front
Placing baby on his tummy is comforting for the newborn and offers a reassuring closeness with him. The reply and change of positions is easier for breastfeeding and becomes practical with frequent feedings. The visual contact is comforting for the first 3 months. On the other hand, wearing a baby on your tummy can be cumbersome. Body movement is limited by the presence of the baby. Lifting objects is more difficult and having to work with your arms so far out in front makes the wearer clumsier. It is difficult to bend down; you must always check that the baby’s head is being supported.
On the hip
Carrying on your hip is a good compromise for the wearers who are not at ease with a back position, when baby starts to want to turn towards the front or when he becomes a little to big to be placed in front. This is a natural wear and brings the advantage of proximity of the regard and the hugs…and a greater liberty of movement than that of carrying on your tummy. All hip positions, on the other hand, provoke an asymmetrical weight distribution, and are therefore less comfortable for long periods. The kangaroo on the hip is the most adequate position with a long wrap. It allows you to distribute a little more weight over the hips than with a simple ring (short wrap, pocket or adjustable sling) but it is more difficult to adjust. One arm is always more limited in use.
On the back
For the maximum liberty of movement and the optimal comfort, the expert wearer would choose to babywear on their back. The muscular build and the structure of the spine permit us to support a weight charge more important than on the side or front. A weight of 35-40 lbs. representing an average weight of a young child 3-4 years old can be supported by the majority of people without being in exceptionally good physical form. There is no doubt that certain activities done with a child on your back will vary in intensity from one person to another according to their physical condition but with a minimum of practice and more frequency, wearing on your back is almost accessible to anyone. The moment to start backwearing is personal for each person. For a first baby, the average is around 6 months before the parent feels at ease installing and giving up eye contact for a more body to body language. Mirrors and store windows are often an essential tool in reassuring the parent on the position of the baby and his well-being. Not as hot in summer particularly with shoulders free like the African position.
What are the different positions on the front?
Tummy to tummy or Frog-like
Legs are open, the pelvis is tilted forward so that the knees are higher than the baby’s bottom and the soles of the feet are facing towards the back. The baby must be well supported under his legs. You must open up the wrap from the ears to the knees. Otherwise, baby will be supported by the crotch, which could cause discomfort and even injuries.
The frog position is best, ergonomically speaking. It offers the proper support for the spine with good weight distribution in the legs, not the genitals. The legs are correctly spread apart. (70 to120 degrees).
The cradle position is very practical when breastfeeding in which case baby can easily feed without mom always having to be seated. The cradle position is the same as if you were breastfeeding. The baby is on his back with his legs together. If your child suffers from hip deformities, consult your doctor before trying this position. In such a case, it is not recommended to have the child’s legs together. It is better to choose a frog-like position, especially on the hip which allows for the legs to be spread apart. Furthermore, many babies do not like the rocking position outside of breastfeeding moments or sleep and prefer to be placed vertically in the frog position or facing the world.
* Always pay particular attention to the position of the head so that there is no suffocation. You must always be able to pass one or two fingers between the baby’s chin and thorax to insure that his airways are clear.
The position facing the world forward can be interesting, but it is not recommended to place the legs of baby astride in the wrap with his legs dangling, the weight of the baby is totally supported by the crotch and the back is unsupported. It is best to use a position where baby has his legs folded like an Indian inside the wrap.
As soon as baby shows an interest in seeing what’s in front of him, he can be turned to face outwards occasionally. This position is less comfortable for the wearer and for baby. Past a certain age, baby will no longer want to have his legs crossed or stuck in the wrap. Also babies’ weight is predominantly towards the front, which makes the total weight heavier for the wearer. Up until the age of 5 or 6 months, baby will appreciate this position especially during a family meal or with friends so he can participate.
What is the easiest baby carrier to use?
Comparison of the level of difficulty in using Chimparoo baby carriers.
The woven wrap is probably the most comfortable, versatile and secure baby carrier when used properly. The wrap has more of a learning curve than either the mei tai, the TREK or the MULTI 2.0. It is this learning curve that can be the deciding factor, as the less structure a carrier has, the more difficult it is to use initially.
A wrap is nothing more than a simple piece of cloth. At first glance, without any instruction, it may not be obvious how the scarf could be used to carry a baby. The woven wrap’s unparalleled comfort and ergonomic fit depends largely on the wearer’s skill and agility. Improperly used, the wrap could be among the worst baby carriers… Fortunately, basic techniques are simple to pick up. You just have to invest the time and effort for wrapping to become fast and easy. Thousands of wrapaholics can attest to this!
The carriers which are the easiest to learn to use are the ring sling and the TREK. Next is the mei tai, which is easy to tie once you understand the structure of the carrier. The MULTI 2.0 is similar to the mei tai, in that you need to familiarize yourself with the different settings and adjustments. The woven wraps and stretch wraps are more complex and take more time to learn.
Woven wraps: How to decide what length is right for you?
The woven wrap is available in four lengths that will support your baby no matter what age or weight in any carrying position, with little difference in terms of comfort. The choice of carries will determine what length of wrap you want. Short and medium lengths appeal to the experienced wrapper who already has a longer wrap and wishes to do kangaroo and hammock carries without tails that drag on the ground. In most African and Central or South American countries, babys are worn in fabrics that are similar in length to the short (2.5m) or medium (3.6m) wraps. Short wraps have a tendency to distribute weight onto one part of the body.
The advantage of a longer length is that the weight can be more evenly distributed throughout the torso. A regular (4.6m) or extra (5.2m) wrap is required for the basic wrap cross carry, whether it be on the front, hip or back. Hands-free breastfeeding is possible in the front wrap cross carry. The wrap cross carries are practical, easy to master and ergonomic, allowing for weight distribution on both shoulders and the back. It is for these reasons we recommend the regular or extra for your first wrap, depending on your size. Those who wear a medium or large clothing size will be best served by a regular length wrap. The extra is for those who are a size XL or XXL, or for an average person or who does not want a knot in the back with a front wrap cross carry. The extra fabric allows you to tie off in the front. Those wanting to wear baby in a snowsuit outside his coat will also find the extra useful. Babywearing covers (see Babygloo, Polaroo and Babyzoo) help you to avoid dressing baby in multiple layers or having to change the length of your wrap.
Which length of wrap is required for the different carries?
Knots possibilities with each woven wrap length
What is the difference between the different knots of the woven wrap?
Hammock, sling or pouch
On the hip, back or the tummy in the frog position, cradle or facing the world, the knot that forms a sling, a pocket or a hammock is perfectly adapted for the short wrap.
For those who are looking for simplicity and rapid use, the sling is a very good option. Once the wrap has been well adjusted with the baby in the position of your choice, it’s easy to take off the wrap without undoing the knot and to put back without losing the adjustments.
The sling is a good compromise because of its simplicity compared to its comfort and versatility. Its use is mainly done with the short wrap but it can be used with other lengths by knotting around your waist.
The African knot is inspired by the African body wrap and can be easily done with the short wrap but also with the long one. African style, you wear the wrap on your back and pass it under your arms attached on your chest.
This knotting allows not having to support the weight on your shoulders which suits certain wearers. This also allows for relaxing of tired shoulders when you have been babywearing on your shoulders in the kangaroo or cross wrap position. This is a very practical knot when it’s hot outside.
The kangaroo knots create a pocket of sorts which takes the baby’s shape depending on the type of fabric and its strength. It works well with the frog position. It is recognized as the most ergonomically correct for the child because it supports the spine letting the back curb naturally.
They are really popular knots once the basic wrap principles are mastered. They are very comfortable, support the baby well, and distribute the weight correctly on the carrier’s body. There is a little more weight on the shoulders than with the cross wrap.
The baby is covered by one layer of fabric as opposed to the cross knots where there are three layers. This technique highlights the qualities of a good cross twill weave fabric. A good fabric will create a sort of second skin which is supple, soft and cozy. Worn on the back, the kangaroo is called the backpack. It allows for the highest carrying position and is the most popular knot once baby has reached 5 or 6 months of age. The baby is very comfortable and can see over mom’s shoulder without being in the way during her activities.
The simple cross permits baby to be in the same positions as with the cross wrap. Instead of being in 3 thicknesses of material, baby is placed in only the cross formed by 2 thicknesses. This will permit you to take baby out or place baby in the wrap without undoing it. Others will tell you they appreciate the back support with this knot.
Otherwise, the only thing a little more difficult or long is the fact that you have to do the final adjustments in your back with baby already in the wrap. Once well adjusted, the baby is fully supported and very comfortable. The experimented wearer chooses this knotting when one does not wish to unwrap and rewrap without taking baby in and out to do all of this. Very practical on rainy days when you don’t want to knot the wrap when getting out of the car. You install it before leaving… once well adjusted, just pop baby in and out of the wrap without having to readjust again.
The cross knot can be used in baby’s’ first weeks and with older children. From this knot, baby can be placed in the frog position, facing the world or in the cradle position.
The cross wrap is the same knot as the simple cross but it is inversed. In this way the baby is wrapped in one extra thickness. This extra thickness is the middle of the wrap placed horizontally in front of you if you opt for the tummy position.
You can also use this technique on your back, this allows for comfortable babywearing during a long period such as when hiking. On the other hand, in the cross wrap, one must re-knot the wrap with each use. Once in place, this position is very well appreciated for its prolonged comfort.
We suggest you start your learning of this knotting technique first. It is simple enough to install and will permit you to easily place baby tummy to tummy in a frog or cradle position, for breastfeeding and facing outwards, legs folded Indian style.
This position is as comfortable for the baby as the wearer. It can be used right from birth. Until the age of about 1 month or until baby desires, the legs can be folded in a foetal position inside the wrap by lightly spreading them against the wearers stomach. You will adore this knotting because of its solidity and complete support that it offers the baby...
Once you have learned the basic techniques, there are absolutely no limits to the variations of positions of the baby or of the wrap. By using the wrap the way you want, you are doing what is best for you and baby.
Which baby carrier is the most comfortable?
Comfort is based on how weight is carried on the wearer, and the weight distribution can be spread out in various ways. Baby carriers may be symmetric or asymmetric in how baby is carried, with baby’s weight resting on any combination of the shoulders, torso, back and hips. Shoulder straps also factor into the equation, with the construction, materials, width, thickness and density of the straps influencing the comfort of a carrier.
Ring slings are a one-shouldered, asymmetric baby carrier. As such, they are less ergonomic and are not recommended with a heavy baby, for long periods of use, and when the wearer has back, neck or shoulder problems.
The longer a wrap, the more you can distribute weight over a larger part of the body. The regular and extra length woven wraps provide superior comfort, as they allow you to do the symmetrical wrap cross carries.
The Mei Tai, TREK and MULTI 2.0 are similar in how they distribute weight. The load is spread out symmetrically throughout the shoulders and the back with the padded waist belt and shoulder straps that can be worn rucksack style or crossed.
The waist belt and shoulder straps on a Mei Tai are the most thin and flexible out of the three carriers. This carrier is very comfortable, compact and lightweight when properly adjusted. The TREK and MULTI 2.0 are identical to the Mei Tai in terms of comfort, and offer additional support when used appropriately.
Comfort is subjective, dependent on our physiognomy and our ability to use a carrier, so it is difficult to say which carrier is the most comfortable. One thing is certain: all Chimparoo baby carriers are comfortable!
How do I wash my woven wrap?
The woven wrap is easy to care for. In the early months, your wrap is bound to get dirty often with spit-up and leaky diapers. Wash your wraps daily if needed! The wrap is built to last for as long as you carry your child. Don’t be afraid to wash it. In fact, the wrap becomes softer with each successive wash. The colours will not fade, even when washed in warm water. You will hardly notice the difference, even after many months. Line drying is preferable, but the quality of the cotton fibers can tolerate being placed in a dryer. You may even tumble dry it briefly to help soften and break in the wrap. There will be minimal shrinkage, and this is already factored in during the manufacturing process.
A short woven wrap or ring sling?
Short wraps are a popular choice for fast and easy carries, most often in the form of a ring sling, which add an element of quick adjustment to the support and comfort of a woven wrap.
Above-average sized people may need a regular or extra length wrap. A minimum of 4m is required for the wrap cross carries, which are the most comfortable carries. Our videos show these techniques in the front and hip positions. The rucksack carry is shown for back carries because it is more simple when you are by yourself, but the back wrap cross carry remains a more safer and comfortable carry.
A stretch wrap or woven wrap?
The main goal of a wrap is to be able to carry your baby in such a way that it is equally comfortable for both parties. The fact that two different types of wraps exist on the market attest to how unique this experience can be, based on the quality of the fabric.
Advantages and shortcomings of a stretch wrap.
Stretch fabric is light and soft, almost like a layer of clothing on the skin. It is very comfortable to wear a newborn that doesn’t weigh much and sleeps a lot. The fabric is easily manipulated to “pop” the baby out and in without having to undo the wrap. The more stretch in the fabric, the more the fabric gets distorted by tension. A newborn gains weight rapidly in the early weeks, and the more the baby weighs the less likely the stretch wrap can keep baby in a properly seated position. The baby’s weight and the movement of his legs will eventually cause the fabric to bunch up around the groin, resulting in less than ideal comfort for you and baby. When baby’s weight is concentrated by the crotch, even the wearer may experience neck, back and shoulder discomfort. See the section Advantages – Ergonomic for more details.
In general, stretch wraps can accommodate a baby worn in front up to 15 lbs (7 kg). The elasticity in a stretch wrap poses a security risk for back carries. A restless child or a child reaching back to grab an object could wriggle free and even fall! One reason to avoid back carries with a stretch wrap is this lack of direct supervision of the child.
Advantages and some drawbacks of the woven wrap.
The woven wrap has numerous advantages stemming from the quality and properties of its fabric. The cross twill weave has stretch in the diagonal sense and none in the length or width. This enables the fabric to envelope and adequately support baby, regardless of the weight. Once properly adjusted, the woven wrap retains its shape, ensuring many hours of comfort while wearing your baby.
The woven wrap is wider than the stretch wrap, and is thus able to fully support a child from head to knees, from newborn to when he can walk independently. This wrap will be the one to meet all your needs, anywhere, anytime. With a little practice, the wrap will be easy to manipulate, providing optimal support and comfort in any given carry and position.
Once knotted in place, the woven wrap’s stability makes it ideal for hands-free nursing, placing minimal tension on your back and arms! Woven wraps are the only wrap we recommend for back carries.
Stretch wraps are great in the beginning with a newborn. You will gain an appreciation for babywearing with a minimal investment. Due to its limitations, your baby may outgrow it before his first birthday. The woven wrap may be intimidating at first, and demands a certain amount of skill in order to have a proper adjustment. It will take some time in the beginning to get accustomed to using a woven wrap. As with most things, a little bit of practice will grant you access to its many exceptional advantages!
What are the carries recommended with a stretch wrap?
The wrap cross carries provide adequate support and comfort for a stretch wrap. The baby requires a minimum of 2 layers of fabric for support at all times. The wrap cross carry with cummerbund on the outside is a popular option for either hip or front carries. Back carries are best with a woven wrap. Many babywearing organizations recommend avoiding back carries with a stretch wrap altogether.
From what age and what weight can I begin using my baby carrier?
Our baby carriers are designed to work with a newborn born at term, weighing around 7 lbs. They are not made to accommodate premature or low birth weight babies. With competent assistance, doctor’s approval, and strict supervision, the wraps can be used for skin-to-skin kangaroo care with a small newborn. A premature baby demands a high level of vigilance because of the increased risk of positional asphyxiation in a baby carrier.
Is it necessary to use the sleep hood?
When baby is awake and actively exploring his surroundings, the head and rounded spine are ably supported by the pelvis and legs in a spread-squat position. The sleep hood might be needed when you are moving in an abrupt manner that might shake baby’s head, when baby is asleep or wants to take a break. Always take precautions when you are moving with baby. Every Chimparoo baby carrier provides head support, either with an attached sleep hood, or by spreading the fabric over baby’s head.
Is it possible to carry twins or two babies?
For safety reason, we are not recommending to carry two babies. Babies are at greater risk to fall.