In front carries, twisting or flipping the wrap at shoulder can help to keep the wrap from creeping into the wearer's neck, it helps pin the top rail (or top edge) down to prevent leaning, and it also looks really cool! Shoulder flips show off both sides of a wrap really well and they make amazing pleats at both the shoulder and the side.
In this week's live tutorial session we work on tips to help you make successful front shoulder flips. Our weekly sessions give you an opportunity to ask questions and get feedback in real time! Make sure you're following the Amy Wraps Babies Facebook Page to get our live notifications every Tuesday at 9 AM Pacific time. Check our events section to find out what we're up to next!
Today in our live video we tie a Kangaroo Carry and even though it's structurally fairly simple, I wouldn't call it a beginner carry because these flips can take a little getting used to. With practice, though, you'll gain what can be one of the most comfortable carries out there! So let's talk through some issues.
Here's the recording of our live video. I'll point out specific time stamps in the text below so you can skip straight to all the good parts.
1. Leaving too much space
First, when we pre-tie a Kangaroo carry, leave the same amount of space in the pocket that you would for a front wrap cross carry. For me and my baby, that is hardly any space at all - babies, even big ones, just don't really need that much space! So make your pocket small - just a couple inches of give is all you need. I'm sorry I didn't get to demonstrate this in the video this week! But just think that the more space you leave the more tightening you'll have to do, so just save yourself some time and effort by leaving a little less space when pre-tying.
2. Over tightening
It's also really common to over-tighten the bottom rail. At around 6:30 in the video I go over this tip: don't forget that the twist or flip at shoulder switches the top and bottom rail, so when we tighten over shoulder we need to remember not to pull out the seat with our new TOP rail (where usually we're thinking of not over-tightening the bottom rail). Remember knee-to-knee coverage is going to be the most comfortable for baby's seat and for you to feel like the load you're carrying is supported.
3. Tightening tips
When tightening through the flip, remember we're dealing with a couple opposites here because we flipped the wrap - I talk us through this at 8:00 in the video. When I tighten with the tail sticking out at my right side, the left shoulder will tighten. While I "strand by strand" tighten with my right hand I "shimy" my left shoulder to help the slack through. Don't forget to shimy!! There's a quick demo of this move at 11:20.
I'll start with the new top rail which corresponds to the old bottom rail, so make sure this doesn't pull out baby's seat. keep up that tightening in thirds that we've been talking about in each of our live tutorials so far this year. Give a healthy tug at the middle - remember this is where the bulk of baby's weight is sitting so if we have some sagging later on, the middle is where we'll need to focus our tightening efforts. Lift baby's weight and tighten, just like I do at 10:30 in the video. Then finish with the new bottom rail slash old top rail - here's where we really "seal up" the carry and prevent leaning so give some thorough attention here.
4. Pleats cheats
Now that we've pre-tied, made our seat, and tightened, let's make this pretty right?! Sometimes a wrap will pleat itself really nicely and you're already done, and sometimes you just don't care about pleats. But for those other times when you want these pretty finishing touch, I show you my cheat at 12:50 in the video. Start at the outside of the shoulder and finger walk your way in, gathering and pleating the wrap as you go. Every couple inches, pull the bulk down to spread it on your back. When you get to the neck, spread the bunching back out and you should have some nice pleats! It may take a little more manipulation depending on your wrap, but hopefully that gives you an idea of how to cheat on pleats a little!
--Bonus-- Carries to try
So now that you have some shoulder flip tips, you have a bunch of carries to try them out on! There's Kangaroo that has a short and a base-size version, there's also a Hip Kangaroo carry with one shoulder. Yesterday in the #newyearnewcarries challenge we did an Inside Out Front Pirate carry that has one flip. There's also Front Double Hammock... and I like to do a flip when I do carries like Front Wrap Cross Carry Poppins and Front Cross Carry. So lots of stuff to try!
Thank you Cassiope!
Now let's talk a little about the wrap we're using this week! This is a Cassiope, Castalia Hummingbird in my base size, a size 6. This is a great medium-weight wrap - it's 290 gsm. Very easy to use and the pink cactus flower color really pops on the black warp. It's 45% mercerized cotton so it has a lovely sheen too and it breaks in super fast and easy. The pattern is based on "the old english whimsy of brooches & bouquets in bloom adorned with pearl accents," and that's a quote from Heather, the owner and creative mind behind Cassiope. This brand is really cool because Heather hand-draws the patterns, which really gives all the wraps in the Cassiope line a unique aesthetic. Cassiope is starting to get into really fun fibers too - their Hadara pattern was just released in a lovely blue made from Eco2 cotton. Mat, my partner in the Art in Babywearing series, debuted the Hadara Eco2 in his last live video, so check that out for more info on the fiber and pattern.
A big thanks to Cassiope for sponsoring our videos this month, and we'll do some into February with Cassiope as well. We're doing shoulder flips on back carries next week which are totally different that front shoulder flips, so join us next Tuesday for that! Check our events section to find out what we're up to next!
Our LIVE videos for late January and early February 2017 are sponsored by Cassiope Woven.