Carry of the Week - Torso Love!
Ok, i’m going to be honest - I did NOT want to do this post. Torso Carries were requested, talked about it, videos linked, promises made. But I didn’t want to do it. The primary reason is I have no core strength. Zero. I’ve alluded to my “back problems” in our group but the fact of the matter is, I have much more than “problems”. A five level spinal fusion to help correct scoliosis when I was 16, with 3 levels collapsing during the pregnancy with my first son, have left me with virtually no core stability. I babywear because I HAVE to (I also love it - so that’s a plus!). Slings are literally the only way I can carry my babies for more than a few feet at a time. So the prospect of putting all that weight solely on my midsection scared me to death. BUT, I love you ladies. So I delved in. And here is what I found: It isn’t that bad! I still prefer to distribute the weight as much as possible but a torso carry was definitely doable. Even for an extended period of time! And Solomon LOVED the freedom of having his upper body free. I almost felt like I wasn’t wearing him because I had so much freedom of movement. And let me tell you, if you have any neck or shoulder problems you are going to love me after this post! :)
When I started researching Torso carries I found that it is basically one carry, used primarily in African cultures, that uses a towel or short piece of cloth to wrap a baby on your back. It honestly is a LOT like wrapping up with a towel - they use the same top rail flip over and it goes under your arms the same. It was very familiar. But I was able to look further and come up with a few far more secure feeling carries. So I am going to show you several methods to Torso carry so you can pick what is best for you. Here is the first video with the “towel” method (I did this with a size 4 gears and tied under bum): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ6h64S-oto
The first method is a front Torso Carry that is based off a Front Wrap Cross Carry. The idea here, is after you have baby secured in the torso pass you bring (carefully) both shoulder straps under your arms. You still cross over baby, pass under legs and tie in back. I would say this would work best with smaller babies as toddlers can easily lean back in this one. Be aware, this carry is lower on your body so make sure you are always aware of babe’s neck and face and be familiar with babywearing safety (make sure their chin is never on their chest, etc). The good thing about this carry is you could use a size up or down from your base size and make it work (basically sizes 4-7). The key to keeping this one comfortable is TIGHTNESS. Always start with your bottom and top rails and don’t forget to tighten the middle as well.
Here is the video Tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyfwI46s7Wk
The next method is a back torso carry and is based on a double hammock. This is best for older babies because they need to have really good head and neck control to be on your back without the support of a wrap higher up around them. This carry is done with your base size or a size up (usually a 6 or 7). You start this carry like the traditional double hammock (refer back to our earlier blog post on a DH), and when you get to the cheerleader Y pull, you bring both passes under your arms and tie in a knot at your chest (you can see this in my picture). I used my base size so brought my ends back around and tied under bum. If you are sized up you can cross over and under babies legs and tie in front. Whatever is most comfortable for you and what size you have. Here is the Video Tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ny_jR0DDKhE
There is a similar Torso Carry to the one above done with a shortie (size 3 or 4). It is similar to the DH variant above, but ends with the chest tie. I did this with our size 3 Cheetah and wrapped the tails back under the wrap. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwum3eybbl8
Finally, we have a Torso carry using a Ring Sling! This is starts out just like a back carry in a ring sling (get baby in the sling then scoot them on to your back) but you slip your arm out before doing the final tighten. Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ_qhMfysEU
OK! I think the Torso Carry compendium is complete! I hope you guys find one of these variations you like and PLEASE post pictures in the group! I love to see people trying a new carry because I suggested it - just makes my day! And, as always, if you have a suggestion or request for the next CotW please let me know and guest writers are ALWAYS welcome.
Tiffany Johnson is a breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, attachment parenting mama to three beautiful children. She is currently taking a leave of absence from her busy career as an estate planning attorney to focus on her home and family. In her spare time she loves crafting, reading a good book, red wine, all things geeky, and loving on her babies.