What does “making a seat” even mean?! When wearing a baby, the baby often has something that’s part of a carrier, supporting their bottom. This blog post compiles tips, tricks, photo and video tutorials on “making a seat” when using a ring sling, soft-structured carrier, bei dai/meh dai, and woven wrap.
Making a Seat with a Ring Sling
It may feel daunting to use a ring sling but with these tips and tricks, you might just find your sweet spot!
1. Caregiver has on ring sling with rings near shoulder. Tutorials for threaded a ring sling and prepping a ring sling can be found on our Ring Slings 101 blog post: https://babywearingtwincities.org/blog/ring-slings-101/.
2. Caregiver has one hand gently pulling up on the top hem and one hand gently pulling down on the bottom hand to show pocket for wearee and that the carrier fabric isn’t twisted.
3. With toddler over the shoulder opposite of the rings, the feet go down through the pocket as the caregiver pulls up on the top hem to go over the toddler’s back and pulls down on the bottom hem to go between the toddler’s legs.
4. The top hem goes up to the toddler’s neck while the rest of the fabric is bunched to go up between the toddler and the caregiver, spreading the fabric to create a knee-to-knee deep seat.
5. The toddler snuggles into the ring sling with arms in. Top hem is up to the neck. Rings are slightly forward of the shoulder , closer to the armpit.
6. Caregiver tightens top hem by pulling away from the rings on the top hem of the sling. Toddler’s weight sits into the seat.
7. Caregiver is turned to the side with hands pushing gently up on toddler’s feet, helping the weight go on toddler’s bum, making sure the knees are higher than toddler’s bum.
8. From the front view, the seat is nice and deep while toddler’s face is visible and within kissing distance.
Last box has a check mark with text “Seat!” The seat is deep and knee-to-knee. There is no extra fabric up by toddler’s neck. Toddler is snug and secure.
Making a Seat with a Soft-Structured Carrier
Many caregivers enjoy a soft-structured carrier for its quick up and down without needing to think too much about making a seat. Below are a few tips that may help you get the best seat possible!
Whether front or back carrying, position your waistband parallel to the ground.
- Get baby centered on your back. You can use the hip scoot or superman method.
- Pull the panel up over baby’s back and raise the arm straps straight up, gently bouncing to get baby deeper in the panel. Straps can be pre-buckled or unbuckled.
- Tighten arm straps by pulling slack around your shoulder towards the buckle as you tighten, then buckle and tighten the chest clip last.
- Center baby in the bottom of the panel, raising their legs higher than their bum to form an M seat. Pull the panel up their back, slipping your arms through the pre-buckled arm straps. Gently bounce while holding where the arm straps and panel connect to help baby get a deeper seat. Once the panel is up, you can always pull their legs up towards your armpits to help them get deep in the panel.
- Buckle the chest clip behind your back and tighten. This piece often can slide up or down the carrier, so adjust it to comfort.
- Tighten the perfect fit adjusters (PFAs) last if your carrier has this feature. These are near where the arm straps and panel connect and will be webbing you can pull straight down to tighten.
Making a Seat with a Bei Dai/Meh Dai
- Whether you decide to tie the waistband on apron style or non-apron style, it’ll still make a seat.
- For a back carry, pulling the shoulders straps up high over your head with a little bounce and wiggle can help work out any slack or bunching and smooth out the body panel fabric.
- Make sure the body panel is spread up nice and high so it’s smooth. With smaller babies there may be horizontal bunching at the bottom to modify the seat width but the vertical part of the panel should be smooth.
- Some babies/toddlers may prefer their arms out over the top of the body panel or out the sides. It’s personal preference.
- The body panel doesn’t have to go knee to knee for it to be a safe seat. If shoulder straps are wider, you can create a knee to knee seat as desired.
Making a Seat with a Woven Wrap
Making a seat in a woven wrap can seem really challenging but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here we show you two ways to wear and two ways to make a seat. The same principles apply to other carries using a woven wrap.
If you have any questions about babywearing, we encourage you to contact us and/or come learn in person at one of our meetings! Check out our Instagram @BabywearingTwinCities and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Babywearingtwincities/).
Images have image descriptions in the alternative text accessible to those who use screen readers.