- Uneven legs
- Seat popping while wrapping
- Loose chest pass
- Saggy seat/baby too low
- Centering the middle marker
There is a companion video for this post available on Facebook that goes over all the same points with movements. I'll call out specific time stamps in the text below so you can skip to a spot you need:
1. Uneven legs
When baby's legs are uneven there's basically two causes - no, 3 if I'm being honest.
- The seat is popping on at least one side, allowing a leg to hang down
- The seat is extending past the knee making the leg over extended
- And 3, the honest part: the legs were uneven to begin with.
I'll show you all three in the video above at 7:00 minutes in. After I make the seat I check that the knees are even to start with. Make the chest pass but with just the top rail. Now I can turn my focus to the bottom rail and I'll start by checking that my first seat hasn't crept up baby's thigh. Then I follow that bottom rail around and place it where I want it to be the second seat. I'll be sure it doesn't extend past the knee to over extend that leg. Finish by double-checking for even legs and you're good!
2. Seat-popping while wrapping
My forearm trick is shown in the video at about 11:00 minutes in. I use my forearm as much as I can to "protect" my seat. Make a seat, then use your forearm to prevent leg-straightening. This works well until you start the second sling pass. Then the protection is lost and the seat can be popped BUT, all hope is not lost!
This quick trick is at about 12:30 minutes on the video - if a seat pops, place the top rail of the second sling pass and hold tension, then simply fix the first seat before starting to secure the second. Hold tension in top rails, pull wrap down taught again and remake the first seat. Place the bottom rail of the chest pass and get those bunched cross pass placed asap to pin the seats in place!
3. Loose chest pass and tightening
This is probably the most common issue I am asked about. At just before 14:30 in the video I show the wrap has three "zones" along its width: top, middle, and bottom. The chest pass will really focus on the top and bottom. Focus on just the top rail first and bring it all the way back to the sling pass and over the opposite shoulder. Then hold tension in both top rails and turn to the bottom rail, adjusting it around baby's knees and really placing it where you want it to go. Don't forget to be checking those knees like in tip #1! Place the bottom rail, don't let it find a spot on its own. Now that those two part are in place, the L-pull should pull out any extra slack. Stand up straight for this part so there's less slack in the bottom rail. Still have some untightened pieces? At about 17:30 in the video I L-pull strand by strand to get out every last bit of slack. Remember to pull behind you and in a true L shape. The fewer curves fabric has to travel over the better!
4. Saggy seats and low babies
A saggy seat is all about more tightening. This time, instead of focusing on the top and bottom edges we need to check the middle of our wrap. Baby's weight is resting on their bum and thighs and those precious bum and thighs rolls are resting on the middle of the wrap. So that's one thing to remember here, which I talk about in the video just before 19:00 minutes in. Before you start to adjust the middle of your wrap, though, release the weight on the wrap by lifting baby's weight with your forearm. Then follow the color block of the middle of the wrap up to your shoulder and use your free hand to tighten the middle of the wrap while pinning the top rail to hold tension. I demonstrate this move at 19:40 in the video.
Otherwise as far as baby feeling a bit low, keep in mind that the Double Hammock is not a high back carry like a ruck. This is because of the chest pass, and is a conversation for another post. But that being said, nice and snug tightening will result in a more comfortable carry even if baby is a little lower than ruck height.
Speaking of tightening, there are 3 key places for tightening the double hammock.
- The chest pass. We went over this in tip #3.
- Right shoulder
- Left shoudler
We haven't talked about tightening over shoulder at all yet. That's because I don't tighten my DH "strand by strand," that is to say, through the width of the wrap, until after I make the chest pass. I find this method helps prevent me from over-tightening that first seat, which often lead to popped seats and uneven baby legs for me. I start gather the wrap over my first shoulder but I don't actually thoroughly tighten until both sling passes are in place. I'll show thorough tightening when we put it all together at the end of the video - skip forward to 29:00 to see it.
5. Middle marker centered
So this one has little to nothing to do with the comfort of the carry, but it is a fun part of a DH when you nail that "middle marker on point." Here's my process, which I start just after 23:00 minutes in to the video:
- Measure - sternum to spine. Start baby this far from the middle marker.
- Start with one end of the wrap under arm instead of both over shoulder so you can assess the middle marker placement before you make a seat. Pull the top rail back and forth to adjust. (Use caution if your baby likes to lean to the side.)
- After placing the chest pass and second sling pass, use the top rails (closest to your cheeks) to pull the middle marker back and forth again like we did before making the seat (I show this at 26:00 minutes).
Here's a run-down of how I put it all together:
- Measure the middle marker placement from sternum to spine.
- Start with the long end of the wrap under arm and adjust middle marker.
- Make a seat and check for even legs. Protect the seat with a forearem.
- Bring the top rail around to make a chest pass and the second sling pass.
- Adjust the middle marker by pulling at the top rails over shoulder.
- Check the seat is not over-extending baby knees or creeping up baby thighs. Bring it back down and under knees if it has been popped.
- Follow the bottom rail around the chest pass and second seat.
- Stand up straight and L-pull the slack out of the chest pass. Pull in an L shape and behind you as far as possible. Strand-by-strand L-pull if there's still slack that's being stubborn.
- Tighten the wrap through the inside top rail, the middle where baby's weight rests, and the sensitive outer or bottom rail, tucking the lower third up under the bunching to sandwich the shoulders.
- Use the bunched passes to pin the seats in place and tie off.
And final, post-wrapping adjustments:
- If the carry starts to sag, lift baby's weight up with a forearm and then tighten just the middle of the wrap over shoulder while holding tension in the top rail.
- If the middle marker moves, adjust the top rail at shoulder to move it back. This will also remove excess slack from the top of the chest pass.
- Feed the slack you picked up through the bunched cross passes and into the knot.
Did your issue get covered in this post? Are you having other problems with a Double Hammock that could use a solution? Let me know!