Back Carrying - How High?
Updated: Jan 8, 2019
I love back carrying, and so does my boy. Not only am I entirely hands free but he can see the world as I do, chattering away in my ear and pointing out things that interest him.
When people move to back carrying from front carrying in a carrier, a common misconception is that the waist band has to stay at your waist. While this isn't unsafe, you may find your baby is a little unsettled - since they can't see much more than your back and side to side.
He was grumpy anyway - honest!
With a soft structured carrier such as a Beco, Boba, Tula, Ergo, Isara, Connecta etc, the ideal place for me personally, is to have the waistband just under my chest so that my child can see clearly over my shoulder. They are often more settled as they can enjoy the view, and it's comfier for me too. Obviously you may be different to me, and prefer the waistband lower, but I'd encourage you to try it at a few different heights and see what you find most comfortable.
If you are petite you may find it difficult to get the straps tight enough because you run out of webbing and simply can't tighten any more. Options like the petite straps Connecta, Integra, Beco 8, or Beco Soleil, Tula Free to Grow, should work for this.
With wrapping you can often get baby much higher as you are not restricted by the waistband hight. A way to get a good feel when learning is to take a selfie (any excuse) and look at how the wrap goes over both of your shoulders. Ideally it'll be straight over both of your shoulders so the wrap is horizontal until it goes down their back*.
Beautifully horizontal over our shoulders....
And not so much!
A perfect height with a happy mum and baby - and this was their first ever go!
You should be able feel baby breathing on the back of your neck, and if you look behind you should be able to glimpse their face peeping over the top!
If you want to learn more about back carrying please get in touch at www.closeandcalm.co.uk. It's often hard to demonstrate at busy sling meets, but we can find a time and place that would suit.
For more on when can you start to back carry see this fab article by Dr Rosie Knowles: http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/beginning-to-back-carry/
*Some carries including torso passes (e.g. Double Hammock, are intended to be lower carries as the height is constrained by the pass)