Carry of the Month for December/January: Rebozo & Front Torso Carry

COTM #6: Rebozo & Front Torso Carry

This month, we are going down to some basic, more traditional front wrap carries: the Rebozo and Front Torso Carry. Although this post is kind of lengthy, these are both pretty simple carries once you get them down!

Rebozo

“Rebozo” is a term referring to a carry (or pass) where the wrap or sling has one end going over the wrapper’s shoulder while the other end goes under the wrapper’s arm. The basic Rebozo carry is typically done with a short woven wrap (size 1-3) and some babywearers even use a simple piece of cloth (SPOC), DIY “tablecloth” wraps, and other appropriate pieces of fabric (although not ideal for stretchy/jersey knit type fabrics). It is a carry that can be used from the newborn stage through toddlerhood.

The Rebozo is a great carry to have in your repertoire…it is appreciated for its simplicity, ease of in and out, and also for its lightness in warm weather (perfect for our hot climate!)!

A Rebozo can be worn on the front/tummy-to-tummy (ideal for newborns and small infants), on the hip (great from about 6 months through toddlerhood!), and for very experienced and skilled wrappers, on the back.

The Rebozo is a quick and easy carry, it can be left “pre-tied”, is great for lots of popping baby in and out (ie. shopping and errands…or an older infant/toddler), and many babywearers learn to prefer a Rebozo over a ring sling!  Learning to tie a slip knot is probably the most difficult part of the Rebozo, along with learning how to tighten it…but once you have it down, you’ll probably learn to love it as much as we do and be popping baby in and out all day long!

As with all wrap carries, importance is placed on creating a nice, deep seat for baby, with baby’s legs being in a good M position (knees above bum) and fabric supporting under the legs from knee to knee.

Younger babies should have fabric supporting them up to their necks, whereas older babies should be supported at least up to their armpits.

One important note: Much of the difficulty babywearers have when learning the Rebozo (besides the slipknot) relates to getting and maintaining a good seat, and with sufficiently tightening the carry along babies back and shoulders. When practicing the Rebozo, be sure to focus on these aspects to create a safe, comfortable, and supportive carry!

Front Torso Carry

Once babywearers have perfected some of the other front carries like Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) and Front Cross Carry, they are often ready for variations. Front Torso Carry is a variation of FWCC and a lot of babywearers really like this carry because both of their shoulders have free range of motion! It can also be a nice option for babywearers who have neck/shoulder problems.

Front Torso can be used with your base size (+/- 1) woven wrap for tying in back, or a shorter wrap (size 2-4 depending on your build) for tied under bum.

Front Torso is a safe and comfortable carry with a newborn, however, be sure to practice a few times with a stuffed animal or doll so that you are comfortable with making the “pouch” baby sits in and that it is secure while you use your hands to adjust and tighten, and tie off the carry. It can also be used up through toddlerhood…for babies and toddlers who don’t mind arms in and the wrap up over their shoulders – arms out creates too much leaning opportunity, which makes it very uncomfortable for the wearer. Front Torso is a great snuggle or naptime carry!

While this is a great carry, it might not work with all wraps (like ones that tend to sag a bit after some use). And because you do not have the support from shoulder passes, the key to this carry being comfortable is TIGHTNESS – it is incredibly important with this carry, so make sure you are familiar with properly tightening and removing slack from your wrap. Start with your top and bottom rails to tighten and remove slack and also make sure to always tighten in the middle, too (be sure not to overtighten the bottom rail, causing you to either lose the seat and/or have the wrap too tight on baby’s legs).

Important note about Front Torso: this carry is lower on your body, so make sure you are always aware of baby’s neck and face and be familiar with babywearing safety (make sure their chin is never on their chest, etc). We will be going over Back Torso in a future COTM, so keep your eye out!

**BONUS Carry**
From BWI Tucson VBE, Candace: Rebozo and Front Torso are two of my very favorite front carries…combine those two into one carry, and, well, :: swoon ::

Front Reinforced Torso Rebozo combines Rebozo and Front Torso in an amazingly comfy carry for newborn and bigger babies (just keep an eye on leg straightening with the bigger babes!).  I am currently using it for my 7 month, 20 pounder, and it is my go-to front carry and a favorite for naptime. I am a plus-size babywearer and use a size 4 or 5 woven for this carry.

 

Safety: Please keep in mind that if this is your first time using a woven wrap or trying this carry, you should practice over a soft surface such as a bed or couch. If you are attempting the back carry version for the first time, you should have a spotter and/or practice over a soft surface such as a bed or a couch, or even kneeling on a carpeted floor. You can also practice with a doll or stuffed animal first until you feel comfortable.

If you are a beginner with woven wraps, we recommend that your child be approximately 6 months old, with good neck control/head support, and able to sit before attempting ANY back carry.

Stretchy wraps (such as the Moby, Boba Wrap, DIY knit wraps, etc) are not designed for the carries described in this Carry of the Month and should NOT be used for back carries.
These video tutorials and more can also be found on our Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/BWITucson/cotm-6-rebozo-front-torso/

 

HOW TO GET A GREAT SEAT:

 

REBOZO

Video Tutorials:

Rebozo Photo Tutorial:

http://www.babywearinghamptonroads.org/2014/01/carry-of-month-rebozo.html

 

HOW TO TIE A SLIPKNOT:

 

Tips for Adjusting a Slipknot:

 

FRONT TORSO CARRY (FWCC Torso)

 

Front Torso Photo Tutorial:

http://www.babywearinghamptonroads.org/2013/09/carry-of-month-front-wrap-cross-carry.html

 

*Bonus Carry* FRONT REINFORCED TORSO REBOZO 

 

 

 

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Babywearing and the Holidays, Pt. 1

Welcome to our multi-part series on babywearing during the Holidays. Babywearing is a great way to keep your sanity, stay warm, and get things done during this busy time. The first installment will cover Cooking & Decorating, the second will be Babywearing Out & About, and the final installment will feature members pictures highlighting babywearing through the New Year (so make sure to bust out those cameras). These posts are a compilation of tips and tricks gleaned from our Tucson BWI members.

Part 1: Cooking and Decorating!

First things first – stay safe while babywearing. Make sure your carries are secure, and be careful not to engage in activities that could lead to injury. A few things not to do while babywearing:

  • Frying latkes, taking things in an out of the oven
  • Climbing on a ladder, step stool, or chair to hang that bundle of mistletoe, decorate your Festivus Pole, or when putting up your solstice lights
  • Lighting candles (menorah, luminarias)
  • Take extra care in inclement conditions such as snow, ice or rain
  • Keep hot drinks in spillproof mugs so you don’t spill hot cocoa/cider/mulled wine all over your baby and your carrier
  • Basically, use your common sense and put yours and kiddo’s safety above all else

Warning out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.

Cooking and Food Preparation

Babywearing can be very helpful when decorating cookies, heading out for holiday parties, or just trying to get a meal on the table. Here are a few tips to combing food and babywearing, without turning your lovely carrier into a makeshift apron:

  • Back carries shine when dealing with food prep. Make sure tails and straps are tucked out of the way to avoid food spills. This isn’t the time for a fancy finish, lest the fabric absorb cooking smells and spills.
  • Soft structured carriers and mei tais are great because the tails/straps are thin and stay out of the way.
  • When wrapping, Nicole recommends, ” I try to focus on carries that keep the wrap out of the way and off my belly, lest it become a dishtowel. This means carries that avoid chest passes, and that use ruckstraps. I prefer to tie Tibetan and tuck the ends under my arms, or tie a candy cane chestbelt. Like I said, I avoid tying in front.”
    • Other alternatives are tying under bum or doing short versions of carries (double hammock double rings, double robozo shoulder to shoulder, ruck with a candy cane chest belt), and tucking long tails back behind your body.
  • Hip carries in a ring sling or robozo will also free up your hands, but keep an eye on your tail – don’t want it dragging in your food – and keep an eye on bigger kiddos, don’t want them leaning out of the carry to “help”.
  • If front wearing, be extra cautious about what you are doing. Even if your baby is small, it’s not the best idea to be doing fancy knife work while reaching around your child – it puts the baby closer to the blade and it can be hard to see and maneuver around them. Similarly, it’s not a good idea to be doing work on the stove, simply because your child is closer to the heated elements. However, much food prep can be done while front wearing – measuring, arranging, mixing, decorating, etc. If you have to do something potentially dangerous, ask for help and/or put the baby down.
  • Nicole adds, “or decorating Christmas cookies, for the love of God, use a wrap or carrier that you could handle staining — or pass the baby off to someone else.”

 

Decking the Halls – Babywearing and Decorating

Babywearing can help you be hands-free while decorating, but there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Get all decorations down from high places before you put your baby on.
  • This is the time to assist (helpfully, from the ground) while some else handles ladder duty, hanging high decorations, or lights on the house.
  • Related, if you are setting up a tree, let someone else set it up and adjust it on it’s base.
  • Take extra caution when lighting candles. Consider having someone else do it or use led “candles” instead.
  • Nicole again, “If you’re decorating and have a grabby toddler, keep their presence in mind so they don’t accidentally yank the whole tree over while you’re hanging ornaments.”
  • On the other hand, babywearing is a great way to keep little ones out of boxes of tiny, shiny, ingestable holiday decorations. I know from experience, at 9 months I ate a small silver ornament thinking it was a Hershey’s kiss.

Some Final Thoughts

The holidays may also be a good time to introduce other friends and family members to babywearing so you can take a break (or queue in line for Black Friday…). If introducing another friend or family member to babywearing remember: Keep it simple, and take your time. Easier is better. Work within their comfort zone. Soft structured carriers are a great gateway, ring slings for the braver, and even a pre-tied poppable woven carry (front cross carry, short cross carry, pocket wrap cross carry) can help someone else get some baby snuggles. Also make sure to take your time explaining what you are doing and how to wear kiddo safely.

Spread some babywearing love this holiday season.

Peace, love, and babywearing,
Kelly, BWI Tucson VBE