When you start wearing you baby on your back depends on a variety of variables:
- How experienced in babywearing are you?
- Can your baby sit assisted?
- Does your baby have good head and trunk control?
- What type of carrier are you using?
If you have been wearing your babies for a number of years and can rock a double hammock in the parking lot while it’s raining without dragging the tails on the ground, you are probably ready to graduate to babywearing ninja and wear an infant high and tight on your back. If this is your first child and you have a general knowledge of how to safely wear baby on your front, you should probably wait until baby has good head and trunk control and can sit assisted for longer periods of time (~6 months).
There are three main methods for getting baby onto your back. These are not the only ways, and if you come to a meeting, the educators can help you to customize an option that will work for you. Here are tutorials for each of the three common methods:
Each of the main carrier types: wraps, mei tais, buckle carriers, and ring slings can be worn on your back. There is a learning curve for each type and we encourage you to come to a meeting for some one-on-one help when you are ready to start wearing your little one on your back. When you do start learning to do this, practice either on your knees on the floor surrounded by your couch pillows, or kneeling in the middle of your bed. That way, if you lose your grip or baby wiggles when he should have waggled, he won’t have very far to go and his landing will be soft.
Just like on your front, you want baby to be close and secure. The carrier should be tight enough so that there are no gaps between your back and baby’s tummy. It should fit well and support baby’s torso so that it comes to between baby’s armpits and ears. If it’s too low, baby may be able to lean her way out of it.
I’ll leave you with some tutorials on getting baby on your back in each of the main carrier types and an invitation to either seek out an educator at a meeting or post a picture/question on our Facebook discussion group if you need help.
Back Carry in a buckle carrier (*This is an Ergo but this method can be used for all buckle carriers)
Back carry in a ring sling
Back carry in a mei tai
Back Carry in a wrap (*There are an infinite number of ways you can wear your baby on your back in a wrap. This is not even the tip of the iceberg! But hey, you gotta start somewhere!)
Crystal Knezek, ABE