Hot days lend themselves to single layer carries and/or less fabric to mess with. It also means less room taken up in the diaper bag or wagon, which means more room for snacks and water bottles that you’ll need for walks to the park or for enjoying the local festival parade! Below is a list of woven wrap carries that use a base minus 4 (“base size” is typically determined by what length one uses to comfortably tie off in a front wrap cross carry double knotted in back).

  • Front, Hip, or Back Traditional Sling Carry
  • Kanga Carry
  • Manipuri Meitei Back Carry
  • No Sew Ring Sling
  • Rucksack Back Carry Tied At Shoulder
  • Rucksack Back Carry Tied Under Bum
  • Strap Carry

 

Front, Hip, or Back Traditional Sling Carry*

You may have previously heard this carry called the “rebozo” carry. A “rebozo” is actually a fringed shawl that is a traditional female garment in Mesoamerican culture, used for a variety of purposes including labor/childbirth support, goods carrier, and baby carrier. With cultural significance, these handwoven fabrics are often passed down through families. From the mid to late 1900’s, several traditional carriers were commercialized as babywearing became popular in Western parenting. As a result, credit and respect to the tradition of babywearing was often lost and carriers were culturally appropriated. In the English language usage, the word “rebozo” wrongfully referred to all shorter length wraps, wraps tied at the shoulder, and a wrap pass going from the caregiver’s shoulder to under the arm without passing between the child’s legs. In efforts to move towards terminology that respects and acknowledges the history and traditions of wearing, the word “rebozo” should be used appropriately. Thus, this carry is not referred to as a “rebozo” but as a “traditional sling carry” (TSC). A TSC uses a woven wrap base size minus 5 (if you use a longer woven wrap, you’ll just have longer tails). When worn on the front or hip, this carry can be pre-tied and is poppable (can take baby out and put back in without re-doing the carry). 

4 image square collage of a one-shouldered, one layer woven wrap carry referred to as "traditional sling carry." Top left: purple and teal dyed woven wrap on a caregiver wearing a child on back. Top right: brown skin Black woman wearing a brown skin Black baby on her hip in a purple and white woven wrap. Bottom left: a white man and woman outside and smiling at the camera; the woman has a white infant in a floral wrap in a traditional sling carry on her hip. Bottom right: from the back of a tan skin bespectacled Asian woman wearing a toddler on hip in a variegated green and ecru wave patterned woven wrap.

 

Photo Tutorial:

Woven Wrap Tutorial: Traditional Sling Carry (formerly known as rebozo)

[2 minute 8 second video of a back carry no-voice-audio tutorial with captions]

 

Kanga** Carry and Towel Torso Carry

The kanga is a multipurpose piece of cloth, traditional in East Africa, consisting of one or, most often, a pair of approximately 1 meter by 1.5 meter rectangles made of woven cotton. Kangas are often used for torso carries. The Western adaptation of the carry often uses other woven fabric for this no shouldered lower back torso carry.

Four image collage. Right image: mirror reflection selfie of a brown haired woman carrying a blond toddler in back torso carry in a purple scarf. Top right image: a white woman wearing her white kid on her back and a striped woven wrap in a torso carry; they are outside, both freckly and bespectacled, and both smiling at the camera. Middle right image: a white toddler wrapped in pink embroidered fabric on the back of a caregiver who is mostly out of the frame. Bottom right image: a smiling red headed freckly white woman with sunglasses on; she's got a sleepy white baby on her back in a torso carry with red white and blue beach towel; baby has a blue and white hat on. In the background is a shady yard with an inviting looking pool.]

 

[3 minute 32 second video of a back carry with audio and captions]

[1 minute 49 second video of a back carry with audio and captions]

[2 minute 18 second video of a back carry with audio and captions]

[1 minute 42 second video of a back torso carry using a beach towel, with audio and captions]

Manipuri Meitei Back Carry

The Meitei (also Meetei, Meithei, Manipuri) people are the majority ethnic group of Manipur, a northeastern state of IndiaMeitei is the name the people use to refer to themselves while Manipuri is the external name for the group people used by those not of the linguistic community. They primarily settle in the central plain region of Manipur.***

[Four image collage of a tan skin bespectacled Asian woman, wearing a toddler on her back in a neutral striped tablecloth. The carry goes over one shoulder and the two ends are twisted together before being tucked under.]

[4 minute 2 second Manipuri back carry and hip carry no-voice-audio video tutorial with captions]

 

No Sew Ring Sling

Maybe the slip knot (aka lark’s head knot) is creating some frustrations. Maybe you have some rings you’d like to use. One shoulder. One layer. A base minus 5 can be turned into a ring sling without sewing! This is an awesome option if you like the way adjusting feels through rings and also great for another way to use a super short woven wrap.

Ice dyed purple and teal wrap resembling a ring sling. The white presenting boy rests his arm on his Mama's shoulder.

[4 minute 7 second video of a no sew ring sling no-voice-audio video tutorial without captions]

[3 minute 46 second video of a double threaded no sew ring sling no-voice-audio video tutorial with captions]

 

Rucksack Back Carry Tied At Shoulder

Open in front, two shouldered, single layer, double knot at shoulder. This is a cool way to spend summer and that bunched pass under baby’s knees can help pin a seat down!

[2 minute 14 second rucksack back carry tied at shoulder no-voice-audio video tutorial with captions]

 

 

Rucksack Back Carry Tied Under Bum

Similar to the rucksack back carry tied at shoulder, but this carry starts with middle marker centered on baby’s back and the double knot is under baby’s bum instead of at the shoulder. That double knot in back under bum may take some muscles you didn’t know you had. For practice, it may be less frustrating to start with a slightly longer wrap (base minus 3 or 2) so there’s enough wrap to double knot at the end. Tip: getting that baby nice and high will give you more wrap length!

[Two image collage of a tan skin bespectacled Asian woman wearing a child on her back in a white and black loons patterned woven wrap carrier that goes over woman's shoulders, over child's back, and is double knotted under child's bum.]

[2 minute 17 second video of a rucksack back carry tied under bum no-voice-audio video tutorial with captions]

Strap Carry****

The strap carry is a traditional carry in South America and Asia that uses fabric approximately six to ten inches wide to wear a child on the back by supporting under the arms and lifting up the legs. In the Western wearing, woven wraps are used to mimic the traditional strap carry with babies who have more upper body strength and are accustomed to an arms out carry.

[1 minute 51 second video of a strap carry no-voice-audio video tutorial with captions]

Additional Resources:

Amy Wraps Babies “15 Back Carries for a Short Woven Wrap (UPDATED! Now with 20 carries!!)” – https://www.amywrapsbabies.com/15-short-wrap-back-carries.html

Amy Wraps Babies “8 Front Carries for a Short Woven Wrap (Updated! Now with 9 Carries!!)” – https://www.amywrapsbabies.com/8-short-wrap-front-carries.html

*Babywearing International “A Statement on Rebozos” – https://babywearinginternational.org/2016/06/25/a-statement-on-rebozos/

**Babywearing International “Glossary of Babywearing Terms” – https://babywearinginternational.org/what-is-babywearing/babywearing-resources/glossary-of-babywearing-terms/

Chichi+Naneng “Find Your Base Size – FWCC” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilFM6nDP2MA

****Tandem Trouble “Strap Carry” – https://youtu.be/kwb_U78ilTc

The Babywearing Dad “Base Size” –  http://www.thebabywearingdad.com/2017/07/base-size.html

Sleeping Baby Productions “No Sew Ring Sling” – http://www.sleepingbaby.net/jan/Baby/no_sew.html

Sling Rings – http://slingrings.com/

**Swahili Language & Culture “Kanga History” – http://www.glcom.com/hassan/kanga_history.html

Wearing Wiki “Base Minus 4 Carries” – http://wearingwiki.com/wp/base-minus-4-carries/

***Wikipedia “Meitei People” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meitei_people

 

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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.

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