Many wrappers find their child goes through a “seat popping” phase. While this is most obvious with back wrapping, it’s a problem with front and hip carries as well.
Today’s post will give some tips and tricks for preventing and managing seat popping. We’ll focus on back carries but the same principles apply to all carries!
Getting a Good Seat
First, it’s important to understand the mechanics of getting a good seat. One reason we emphasize learning to front wrap before moving to back wrapping is that it’s easier to see a “good” seat in a front carry. As with any carrier, ideally baby/toddler will be supported in the knees slightly higher than the bum or “M” position. With a wrap, it’s possible to get knee to knee coverage for any size child.
This video (from Faith of BWI Central NY) discusses the mechanics of getting a good seat in a back carry. A few key points:
- Many wrappers find it helpful to start in “ruck position” (with both tails over the shoulder) for any carry to get a good seat.
- By pinning the top rail snug, you secure baby to your back. A baby who is old enough to be arms out and prefers that can be wrapped arms out from this point (so the top rail can be pinned high on the back right under the armpits).
- Pulling the excess slack down towards baby’s bum gives more fabric to make a seat and prevents bunching at the top of the carry (which leads to pulling and discomfort).
- Standing up before bringing passes back around really helps “set the seat”. Make sure to maintain tension on both rails as you do this and keep your other hand on baby as you stand. Once you have a good seat, you can bend back over to complete the carry.
Understanding Pass Types
Understanding different pass types can help you decide which carry to chose based on your child.
Remember there are 4 passes in wrapping:
- Ruck (goes across baby’s back and over the wearer’s arms)
- Rebozo (goes across baby’s back and over one of the wearer’s arms and under the other)
- Torso (goes across baby’s back and under the wearer’s arms
- Cross (goes between baby’s legs and over one of the wearer’s arms and under the other) – Unlike the other 3, a cross pass can not stand alone as a single layer carry.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Ruck passes are great for leaners; they tend to stay highest on the child and are easiest to get high on the wearer’s back. But they are the easiest to “pop” with leg straightening.
- Rebozo passes are also generally good for leaners although can be a bit trickier to keep as high as a ruck.
- Toros passes sit the lowest on the wearer and can be trickier to keep higher on the child as a result. But they tend to be harder to “pop” with leg straightening because they are lower on the wearer.
- Cross passes are the easiest to lean out of but impossible to “pop” with leg straightening.
Choosing the Right Carry
The great thing about wrapping is that we can use any of these 4 pass types (plus dozens of tie offs), to create the perfect carry for every occasion!
For children who leg pop, a carry that has at least one cross pass tends to be the most comfortable. Ruck versions tend to be the hardest (although it’s possible to safely ruck a “popper,” fighting to keep a seat may not be worth it).
For children who both lean and leg straighten, a carry that mixes cross passes with a ruck or rebozo pass tend to be ideal.
The following is a list of carries to try (with links to videos) if you have a determined leg straightener…although certainly you can make others work as well!
Carries that are good for leg straighteners:
Back Wrap Cross Carry (rucksack strap version; mid-length carry)
Ellevill Jordan’s Back Carry (base size carry)
Carries that are good for leg straightening leaners:
Jordan’s Back Carry (mid-length carry)
Secure High Back Carry (mid-length carry)
Half Jordan’s Back Carry (shortie carry)