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 pass tight in a DH – there’s no weight on the back to pull it tight. Have another look at the direction the weight is pulling when the top rail is level with the armpit in the first photo (green arrows) – this pulls the chest pass tight so you have the full width of the wrap supporting the weight and your shoulder straps are just there for stability, not taking all the weight.
Apart from anything else, it takes a lot of flexibility to wrap a Double Hammock up high; many people abandon it thinking they will never manage it due to “T-rex arms”! Trying it with the child positioned lower down makes it a lot more manageable for those of us who are a bit less bendy. 😉
If you’re happy with a high DH then by all means carry on and the rest of us will marvel at your flexibility! Why not try a high chest belt variation so the weight is taken off the shoulders, but on the upper part of the chest?
By the way, I know there’s a lot of speculation going around about whether to use a Double Hammock carry with new babies or wait until their older. To my mind, the fact that it relies on the baby being carried lower down your back (for most people) would lead me to suggest it is better suited to older babies. If you want to carry a small baby low down, I’d suggest a simple torso carry – high up, I’d suggest a rucksack carry.
So the next time you fancy trying a new carry, think about where you want your baby to sit on your back. High up, looking over your shoulder or resting on the back of your neck? Try a rucksack carry variation. Low down, sitting in the small of your back? Try any carry where the top rail goes under your arms – Double Hammock variations, and carries like Back Wrap Cross Carry really come into their own here.
Carry with confidence!