Continuing on last Thursday’s post about “Knee-to-Knee“, I wanted to discuss the important of baby’s leg and hip positioning when leg’s out in a carrier. Firstly, the carrier should ALWAYS go “knee-to-knee“. If it does not, it is not adequately supporting your little one’s hips.
The ideal position is the “M” position. The blue arrows show Liam’s legs, folded over at the knee, represented by the black circles. The red arrows show the line of his seat, which drops slightly below the level of his knee, the deepest point being at the star. This position gives baby a good “seat” while holding the hips in an open and supported position. The thigh is supported all the way to the knee, because you are in a carrier that goes “knee-to-knee“!
This applies to ALL carriers in which a baby is “legs out” – on your front, side or back!
The “M” position in the Tula…
The “M” Position while wrapped..
(have mercy on my wrapping skills here.. this is the FIRST time I got him on my back!)
We are big fans of Soft Structured Carriers in our house. It’s often our go-to carrier. Quick to buckle on, multiple position options, toss it in the wash when it gets grimy … everything a frazzled new mommy needs!
I’ve seen a lot of people asking about the differences between a Tula and an Ergo. So I wanted to give you a few factual comparisons between the two, then go into my own personal pros and cons of these two.
Here is a little visual of what each measurement in the table is actually measuring…
For day 1 of International Babywearing Week (but day 7 of our babywearing series here!) I thought I’d offer a “peek” into my “stash”. It isn’t complete – a wrap will be added very soon! But for now, here is where it stands…
Only two of my carriers don’t have images for the stash. A stretch swim wrap made by a mom (I bought it from it’s second owner, through a Bay Area mom swap) and one of my vintage carriers (bought through the same swap).
Friday I posted about our 5 favorites from this stash. But I’ve used almost all of them for different reasons and different places – love them all! I’ll be going into more specifics with tomorrow’s Tried & True update and I’ll give you more of what to look for in a carrier with Thursday’s post.
When babywearing, position is REALLY important. Many Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs) come with “infant inserts” that you use until your new bundle of joy is “big enough”. But what exactly is “big enough”? For a legs out position, “big enough” is when the carrier goes “knee-to-knee”.
Knee-to-knee is when their legs not only poke out of the carrier, but that the edge of the carrier actually hits the inside crease of their knee. You want their legs to be able to bend downward. Liam’s legs are able to do this (though his bunched up jeans keep them from bending over at times) – so he is only ever “legs out” now.
Some carriers have a narrower base than others, allowing you to go “legs out” sooner. If you want to go “legs out” sooner, look at the Infantino Sash™ Wrap or the Becco Gemini. The Infantino (or any Mei Tai style carrier for that matter) can have the base of the seat cinched. Some come with a strap to do that, but you can use something as simple as a ribbon or shoelace to tie it smaller. The Gemini actually has a snap option to make the seat smaller and wider.
What do you do if your little one isn’t big enough for “legs out” quite yet? As I mentioned above, there are “infant inserts” available. I prefer the Tula insert, over the Ergo insert, because of the position it holds the baby’s legs in. What’s really nice is that the infant inserts can be used interchangeably with any SSC. For example, you can use the Tula insert in a Becco, Ergo, etc. Now, you may not want to spring for an infant insert, with how short of a time they will need it. Your other option is to roll up a receiving blanket, place it under their bum, and put them in the carrier “froggy leg position”. The picture below, from the Didymos site, shows you how their legs should be situated, inside the carrier, for “froggy position”.
As always, whenever you are babywearing, be sure that:
You can see their face – they should be close enough for you to kiss
The very first wrap I received (as well as used) was my Moby Wrap. Made from a cotton jersey material, it is soft and stretchy. It really cuddles baby and keeps them feeling secure. However, when you first open it, many are overwhlemed by the 5.5 meters (over 18 feet) of cloth. Here is the inside scoop on the Moby:
For babies 8-35 lbs
Made from natural cotton material
Able to be worn on the front and the hip, but not the back
Keeps people’s hands off baby and their little head supported
Gentle against a sore mommy – important after my c-section!
A “gateway” into wrapping with woven wraps
I found it was only good until about 20 lbs – then we needed more support!
No structural support, and you can only wrap it so tight due to it’s stretchy-ness
Complicated (at first) to figure out – resulting in a lot of people “giving up”
Can feel too warm for people who run “hot” or during warm months.
Practice on your own BEFORE trying it with baby – se a stuffed animal!
Give it more than one try – it takes practice and is a new experience. Your baby may cry, may fall asleep, may not sit right. Cut yourself some slack and try again later!
Don’t EVER use a stretchy wrap on your back – it is VERY dangerous! It won’t hold the baby tight, which means they could lean back and flip out!
When wearing a baby, always make sure their chin isn’t on their chest, you can feel/see them breathing, nothing is obstructing their face and that they have a good seat!
Overall, I think it is a great first wrap for new mommies! It’s even better if they have someone to show them how to use it while being their cheerleader. It gave me a lot more confidence to have it demo’d and when I was provided guided practice!