That fiddly baby carrier chest strap!

That fiddly baby carrier chest strap!

Chest strap, back strap, connecting strap – what ever you call it, that fiddly baby carrier chest strap is often the one thing that puts people off using a baby carrier in a front carry when the straps can’t be crossed over your back. Here are a few ideas to help you fasten that strap – try them out and see how they work for you! The main thing to remember is that the baby carrier chest strap is not fixed in one position. Slide it up and down the shoulder straps until you find a place you can reach, and feels comfortable on your back. They also adjust in width – have someone help you and experiment with how short or long you want to have this strap. Having the shoulder straps sit a comfortable distance apart can make a big difference. 1: Loosen off your shoulder straps before you start. Having the shoulder straps too tight can make it difficult to reach and fasten the connecting clip. 2: Try having the connecting strap low down on the shoulder straps. Reach behind your back and fasten it from underneath. 3: If that doesn’t work for you, try sliding the connecting strap up towards the top of the shoulder strap. Reach over your head and fasten it from above. Note – if you have the shoulder straps loose, the connecting clip will move further down your back when you tighten the shoulder straps. 4: If you can’t reach the connecting clip on your back at all, you can fasten it first, loosen off your shoulder straps, and put the fastened connecting strap over your head. (This is often...
How to use the Hoppediz Rain Cover

How to use the Hoppediz Rain Cover

The Hoppediz Rain Cover is a great little item to pack in your bag and carry around with you. ShowMe Slings is based in Scotland so we get a lot of rain whatever the season! Use it over your sling in the summer for protection from the rain without extra heat, or use it over a warm fleece cover in the winter to keep you both warm and dry. Here are some photos to help you use your Hoppediz Rain Cover – the photos show it being used for a front carry, but it can be used for back carries too – either cross the straps over your front or use them rucksack-style. The Hoppediz Rain Cover folds away into a little bag, with a strap that can be clipped around your waist or carried over your shoulder when you’re not using it. Unfold the rain cover and hold it by the straps at the top. Position the top of the carrier at the top of your baby’s shoulders. There is a hood for your baby tucked into a little pocket at the top of the panel – unfold the hood if you need to use it. Hang the cover straps over your shoulders. Pull one shoulder strap over across your back. Thread it through the loop at the side of the panel. Repeat with the strap on the other side. Take the two strap ends behind your back, and tie in a bow.   Now you can adjust the panel to fit. Find the toggle on the side of the carrier and pull the elastic through until the cover...
Using the full width of your wrap

Using the full width of your wrap

Using the full width of your wrap – a quick fix to obtain maximum support. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – woven wraps are so versatile that you can use them from newborn to whenever you want. Although they are “one size fits all”, there is a certain amount of adjustment to make to use them with different sizes of children. One of the most common problems that people come to see me about is the top rail working loose in a front wrap cross carry (FWCC), and not providing enough support. So what can be done to remedy this? Whatever size your child is, you will find the weight is distributed more evenly and you will gain maximum support if you use the full width of your wrap. What does this mean in real terms? To illustrate this, I’ve used a newborn doll lying on a wrap so you can see clearly what I mean. Here’s a “newborn” in the middle of a woven wrap. Obviously, there is too much fabric at the top and the bottom, so we need to deal with this, but this fabric plays a big part in distributing the weight. When you pull the wrap up to cover your baby’s back and shoulders, pull it up until it’s level with the top of the head then fold it back. If you gently gather the excess fabric behind your baby’s neck, and tuck up the excess wrap under the bum, the centre of the wrap is still supporting the weight of your baby, but the gathered wrap at the top...
Get down with Double Hammock!

Get down with Double Hammock!

Get down with Double Hammock! (part of a series of quick fixes) Have you ever wondered why there are so many different ways to tie a wrap? Well, the obvious one is fun, of course, but different carries work for different situations and sizes of child. The variety of shapes and strengths of people are also factors in what makes a comfortable carry for you.  If a carry isn’t working for you then don’t abandon it for ever! Give it a chance to become your new favourite carry, maybe not just now, but perhaps when your baby is bigger, or maybe you just need to stop and think about it. Take the Double Hammock (DH). This is by nature a low back carry. In the DH, the weight is supported by the wide chest pass, so for it to work well, the weight of the child has to be opposite or lower than the top rail which is level with your armpit as you can see below. The most common difficulties I see with most wrap carries results from the weight being out of synch with the supportive part of the wrap.  Have a look at the photo of the high Double Hammock in the Little Frog rainbow wrap below and you’ll see what I mean – all the weight is above the chest pass, so it’s the “hammock” (or rebozo) passes that are supporting the weight on the shoulders. This might be comfortable for lighter weights of babies but usually becomes a problem when they grow. Height is also the main reason why people can’t get the chest...
What are dual-adjustable straps?

What are dual-adjustable straps?

What are dual adjustable straps on a soft-structured carrier? (and how do I use them?) You’ve probably heard about soft structured carriers having “dual-adjustable straps” or “single-adjustable straps”. So what exactly are they? First off, dual-adjustable straps have a piece of webbing (the black synthetic stuff) coming out of each side, so it has two ends you can pull to tighten in either direction, forward or back. You can see the two ends in the photo below of a Boba 4G carrier, one coming from the panel, and one coming from the shoulder strap (click to see the full photo) . Single-adjustable straps are fixed at one side, and the strap can only be pulled in one direction to tighten. You can see in the photo of a Tula baby carrier below that the strap is sewn into the panel, and only the end attached to the shoulder strap is adjustable. So what is the advantage of dual-adjustable straps on a baby carrier? Let’s have a look at the photos below:   When the carrier is on the front, you can reach for the strap at the back (in this case, the end coming from the shoulder strap) and pull forwards.  When the carrier is on the back, again you reach for the strap at the back (this time, it’s the one nearest the panel), and again, pull forwards.     Seems easy enough, so why do some people not get on with them? Well, if you’re new to buckle carriers for carrying your baby, having two ends to choose from when tightening the straps can be confusing, and people...