When I first learnt to back carry with a woven wrap I watched many videos. I watched mostly French ones, because I am French, so it seemed to make perfect sense. When I ventured into the world of English (language) ones, I was very surprised in the different techniques used. Since then I have given it a lot of thought!
- In the French videos, babies were held in their final position all the way until the carry was knotted. As soon as a seat was created, the wearer was hardly leaning forward, and mostly with a hollow back.
- In the English videos, babies laid flat on the wearer’s back until the carry was knotted. Wearers were leaning for the duration of the tying.
So why does it matter? And does this make a difference?
When babies lie flat whilst the wearer is tying, which is what I call “the plank”, the adjustment happens around a position which is different to the final one and automatically this induces slack into the carry. Also, it feels unstable for the child and it is often that you witness baby trying to sit up onto your back. Somebody one day compared it with riding a camel and the feeling you get when they first stand up! Even if their legs are apart, it is unlikely their pelvis will be tilted at that moment.
When you wrap with a woven wrap, the whole width and length of the wrap needs to be adjusted (taut) for the carry to be of optimised comfort, for both wearer and baby. When you adjust around your final position, it is easier to “fix” the position and therefore to have an optimised adjustment around baby.
Changing habits is very hard but well worth it! There are many ways of holding a child onto your back in the final position. Get the top secured quickly so that baby is held against you and use one arm to offer support under the bum whilst your hand goes into the knee pit to hold the leg up (and the pelvis tilted!). Try and stand as straight as possible whilst keeping the tension.
If you are happy with your technique and your level of comfort as it is, it is all good too! What matters is for baby and wearer to be happy and enjoying their carrying experience ♥