My interview with Tacoma, Washington locals and baby carrier manufacturers John and Anna Jo of Kangaroo Karry [Image of a dark pink stretchy wrap in use, with the tag of the wrap displayed. Text around the tag reads quote, Baby carrier manufacturer interview with Kangaroo Karry by Amy Wraps Babies, end quote.]
Finding a new babywearing company is so fun for me. I love figuring out the motivation of the people behind the brand - what drives them to create a product that is so essential for so many caregiving journeys?
Kangaroo Karry is a new manufacturer that has sprouted from Tacoma, Washington. I met the owners, husband and wife team John and AnnaJo, at a recent baby expo and I was really intrigued by their products. They seemed to be filling a niche in the local community that I didn’t know existed. Here’s the Q&A of a virtual chat we had this week...
Interview with baby carrier manufacturer Kangaroo Karry [Image taken over a hikers shoulder as he wears a baby on his back and is followed by his family on a wooded trail.]
A: Hi John and AnnaJo! Thanks for “chatting” with me about Kangaroo Karry! So first and foremost - what brought you both to babywearing?
John: Hi Amy, thanks for having us! Like many residents of the Pacific Northwest, we enjoy hiking, camping, biking, fishing, crabbing, clamming... outdoorsy type stuff. We noticed friends giving up their hobbies after having kids. But not all. We are believers that you can still live your life, and do your hobbies, but yes - probably might need to modify accordingly and progress as the kids do. Clamming and crabbing are great activities to do with kids - they love to pull ropes and dig holes! Babywearing has made it possible for us. Our kids are learning to love the same activities we do - which motivates us to get back out there. WIth our first baby, AnnaJo loved her Moby, and I favored the Ergo Sport. For any 'big outing' we geared up with the backpack carriers.
Amy: Why did you decide to make the Joey Wrap?
AnnaJo: I really loved the Moby wrap… and yoga pants, so I never wore pants with pockets. I'd tuck my phone, the bink, and whatever else I had with me into a fold of the wrap. These would all hit the floor when I unwrapped. John noticed that other Moms did the same and thought they should put a pocket on the wrap. We searched and didn’t find other wraps with pockets on the market. Somebody said that we should make one with a pocket. Light bulb.
John: I made a sample and bounced the idea off of our friend groups. Response was great. And so, the Joey Wrap was born. I made a few myself, approached it like a wood project - with a template, some jigs and a dedicated work-space. Pretty simple with serger sewing machine. Getting the pocket straight was tricky. At the same time, we were reaching out to our business networks, seeing about manufacturing. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Interview with baby carrier manufacturer Kangaroo Karry [Image of a man in the stands of a packed soccer stadium, wearing his baby on his chest in a black carrier.]
Amy: You have a second product - The Little Hopper. Tell me about how that came to be.
John: I could not use the hiking carriers in the stadium for [Seattle] Sounders matches, and our buckle carrier just wasn’t enough support for the hours of walking and standing. We were season ticket holders, and attending games is something we did not want to give up. It didn't dawn on us then, that there was a lack in the baby carrier market for a front carrier that offers the same load distribution that the backpack carriers provide. Also, us inflexible Dads tend not to be able to easily buckle and unbuckle these common carriers ourselves, which makes solo use difficult.
AnnaJo: We were introduced to the the hip seat concept, but the size didn’t work well for us at all. We modified the design (bigger seat, steeper angle, firmer belt attachment) and used it ourselves for 6 months before we took the leap to produce a batch order. Our kids our bigger than most, 95% growth chart - so we figured if we could comfortably carry our big kids with it, it would work for most as well.
AnnaJo: We did not realize initially how much ‘want’ there was in the market for the Little Hopper; we just wanted a better carrier for ourselves mostly. But truly, it allows caregivers of many sizes to carry bigger kids, longer and more comfortably. This is particularly the case for parents of special needs kids. We’ve also learned that many people with previous shoulder and/or back injuries feel more comfortable with less of the weight load carried at the shoulders. So, with the Little Hopper supporting the child's weight around the parents waist, it eliminates the pull and strain on the back and shoulders. It has been uplifting to learn that we developed a product that people not only ‘want’ but some actually ‘need’ - which is very rewarding.
Interview with baby carrier manufacturer Kangaroo Karry [Image of a woman standing on the shore of a body of water, holding her daughter on her hip with the help of a hip seat baby carrier.]
Amy: Uplifting, haha - I do love a good pun. Tell me more about yourselves professionally and where you want Kangaroo Karry to go?
AnnaJo: I’m currently a senior manager for a distribution center for a major company. I am a UW-Bothell business student graduate with an MBA from Walden.
John: She is the business brains of our operation. I work for a small manufacturer of building products, in short I can get things made, tested & certified and on the market. I went to WWU with a degree that would be considered ‘front-end web development’ in today’s terms. I also have 12 years of product testing and certification experience, including standard and specification development.
Interview with baby carrier manufacturer Kangaroo Karry [Image of a woman holding hands with a toddler while they're walking in water together; she's wearing a newborn baby in a green stretchy wrap on her chest.]
Amy: You must be extremely busy! How do you stay active within the babywearing community that you serve?
John: I am very motivated to encourage Dads to get out again and bring their kids. I am involved in a local 'Dads Club' and somewhat engaged in a few online versions of the same. But I think the bigger picture would be to engage more in hobby-focused industries - to encourage more Dads to gear up and involve their kids, and not simply hang up their hats.
AnnaJo: I have been more and more involved our local BWI groups, and I am looking forward to the Center for Babywearing Studies course coming to Seattle this fall. Our kids are constantly providing us inspiration for new products, and we love being around the community to learn more about what babywearing needs we can help to fill.
Amy: If there's one thing you'd like people to remember about Kangaroo Karry, what would it be?
John: Our focus is gear for active parents like us; products that are not simply marketing gimmicks, but fully functional & practical, for Moms and Dads.
Amy: Thank you so much for virtual chatting with me!
John and AnnaJo: Thank you for having us!
Check out Kangaroo Karry on their website, kangarookarry.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/kangarookarry, and on Instagram at instagram.com/kangarookarry.
Get 15% off your Joey Wrap or Little Hopper with code AMYWRAPS!
And don't forget to check out our both the tutorial from the stretchy wrap series that use Kangaroo Karry's Joey Wrap! Front Wrap Cross Carry tied at shoulder AND Hip Wrap Cross Carry.
Amy Wraps Babies is a Kangaroo Karry affiliate. This post was not sponsored by any company or group.
A review of a buckle carrier by a wrapper - what surprises could be in store? Here's the full review of the Kol Kol Onbuhimo, a waistless buckle carrier. [Image of a white woman wearing a white toddler on her back in a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier.]
Review: Kol Kol Baby Carrier Onbuhimo
Manufacturer: Kol Kol Baby Carrier
Pattern and Colorway: Onbuhimo, Cobalt
Fiber: 100% handwoven cotton panel, lining, shoulders; nylon webbing
Release date: June 2017
Size tested: panel is 18" wide x 22" tall, shoulder straps measure 11" to 30", chest clip 5" to 22"
Stats of (willing) wrappee at time of test: 22 months, ~24 pounds, ~33 inches
Shoulder padding thickness: thick
Shoulder padding density: airy
Shoulder padding cush: very
Shoulder padding moldability: very
Panel floppiness/moldability: very
Panel contour: some
Panel layers: woven wrap, fabric skeleton, woven wrap
Panel knee padding width and length: 7" long, 1-1/4" wide
Panel knee padding stats (same or different than shoulders): Same
Shoulder strap adjusters one way/two ways: one way
Chest clip type: standard buckle
This is a review of a buckle carrier by someone who uses wraps almost exclusively, so let's level-set on my personal carrier preferences real quick: it's not that I dislike buckle carriers. I'm a wrapper because I love wraps; I find them most comfortable for me. Buckles totally have their place, I just haven't found one that really clicks with me and I love as much as a cozy wrap.
Enter the Kol Kol Onbuhimo. Maybe it's that my baby and I are at what feels like just the right time for an onbuhimo for us - baby is 22 months, he tolerates being wrapped but prefers very fast ups, we usually wear while out more than at home, and the weather is hot right now. All wonderful conditions for onbuhimo wearing.
[Image of the back of a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier worn by a white woman and her white toddler. They're in front of a leafy green background.]
It took a wear or two for us to find our sweet spot, but once we did the three of us - my toddler, the Kol Kol, and myself - began a beautiful relationship.
I love that the onbuhimo is a simple panel and shoulder straps. The only obvious extra to the carrier I guess is the hood, which is amazingly convenient to pull up even in a back carry. It has nice long straps that are easy to reach...
[Image taken from over shoulder of a white woman wearing a white toddler on her back in a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier. She's pulling the carrier's hood up on the baby's head.]
I had assumed that I wouldn't be as to wear this carrier for long stretches of time - all that weight just sitting on my shoulders didn't seem like it had the distribution that I felt like I needed. But I assumed wrong! The shoulder straps have padding that isn't super dense but is just thick enough to have a nice cush. I haven't felt any discomfort or pressure points - the weight is distributed well across the width of the strap.
[Image taken from over shoulder of a white woman wearing a white toddler on her back in an onbuhimo carrier. The image focuses on the padding of the shoulder strap and the baby's face peaking over shoulder.]
We've mostly used this Kol Kol for back carries while out and about, but I have really loved it for front carrying too. It was quick for me to switch from a back carry to front - I loosened the PFAs (personal fit adjusters at the top of the shoulder straps) and scooted baby around front, raised the chest clip and we were good to go.
[Image of the seat of a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier worn on the caregiver's front.]
The wrap conversion panel is wonderfully floppy and moldable. Making a seat was a pleasant experience and the panel seemed to conform to my baby really well. The bottom edge of the panel didn't dig into me, and I like that the bottom edge has reinforcing fabric and stitching. It seems like the carrier would take a lot of wear really well with these extra reinforcements that I haven't seen on any other onbuhimo so far.
When I'm not wearing the carrier I like to fold it up by tucking the shoulder straps into the panel, then rolling it from the base of the panel through the hood - it ends up in a cute and compact little package that tucks into a bag.
How to roll up a Kol Kol onbuhimo for storage [Image is a collage of 6 images of a blue onbuhimo carrier spread out on grass and being rolled up. The carrier starts with shoulder straps out, then folds the straps in until the carrier is narrow. The carrier is rolled from the bottom of the panel up to the hood, then the hood straps are snapped together to keep the carrier from unrolling.]
Overall I am super impressed with the Kol Kol Onbuhimo. It's a convenient, comfortable, stylish carrier with a great price point from an ethical company.
Find more information about Kol Kol on their website, kolkolbabycarrier.com, on Instagram instagram.com/kolkolbabycarrier, their official Facebook page, facebook.com/kolkolbabycarrier, and the fan chatter group, Kol Koling! facebook.com/groups/kolkolbabycarrier.
Amy Wraps Babies and Kol Kol have partnered with my babywearing consulting page Adjoyn to offer all our followers a sweet 10% discount on all Kol Kol carriers!! Use code FORADJOYN at checkout.
Thank you to Kol Kol for sending this carrier for review! This post is not sponsored by any company or group. Adjoyn is a Kol Kol affiliate.
A fine wrap for all skill levels, the Limited Edition Delicate Pink colorway of the Babylonia BB Slen is not only easy to use, but it's easy on the eyes as well. Here's a thorough review of this gorgeous woven wrap. [Image of a woman from chest to waist wearing a baby on her back in a pink and off white woven wrap Babylonia BB Slen Delicate Pink tied in a Freshwater Rapids back carry. Baby's foot hangs at her side and there's a pink rosebush in the background.]
Review: Babylonia BB Slen Delicate Pink woven wrap
Pattern and Colorway: BB Slen Delicate Pink (Limited Edition)
Fiber: 100% cotton
G/m²: 264 (calculated)
Release date: 2017
Size tested: 4.8 meters (4.83 meters, 73 cm wide, 931.9 grams)
Stats of (willing) wrappee at time of test: 22 months, ~24 pounds, ~33 inches
Wrap Qualities Summary
Thickness (thin to thick): medium thin
Softness (soft to scratch): medium high
Density (airy to tight): medium, slight airy
Texture (raised or flat, coarse to smooth): fine, from the pattern
Soap (dry to soapy): leans to soapy
Grip (glide to stick): medium low grip, medium high glide
Support (light to heavy): newborn to toddler, prefer 2+ passes for toddler
Stretch (none to lots): medium
Cush (none to marshmallow): medium low
Moldability: medium to medium high
Flop (none to silky): medium
Care: (easy to difficult): easy
[Image of a tie tied on a woman's back with a pink and off white woven wrap Babylonia BB Slen Delicate Pink, which is carrying a white toddler whose foot rests at the woman's side.]
This wrap has some of my favorite wrapping qualities, especially for beginners. It isn't too extreme on anything, making it really nice to use for all skill levels but especially beginners. There's no quality that one has to work around in order to get a spectacular wrap job every time - the wrap allows the user to get it done.
Texture is my favorite wrap quality and Pink doesn't disappoint. The pattern has thin lines that run the length of the wrap; the lines have small circles fused to them every inch or two. The scale of the lines makes the wrap have little bumps or ridges of texture along the length. My tactile-loving heart thoroughly enjoys running my fingers along the ridges of the tails. AND the ridges seem to help the passes glide across each other yet also lock passes into place against each other. It's like a perfect click-and-lock system, I love it.
[Image taken from under arm showing the side of a Double Hammock back carry in a pink and off white woven wrap Babylonia BB Slen Delicate Pink worn by a white woman and a white todder.]
[Image of a flat shot of a pink and off white woven wrap, showing the lines of the pattern running long the length of the wrap.]
The pattern certainly adds to the visual pleasure of this wrap. It is subtle yet definitely catches the eye - classic simplicity, really. And I cannot get over this pink, it is so pleasing to me. I am not a pink person for the most part, especially in my carrier collection, yet this pink draws me in. It is subtle yet striking. It catches the light with a subtle shimmer and variety of hue. One of my favorite photo sessions with Pink was on a sunset walk - the changes in light give us light, almost washed away to white, pink in the beginning then morphing into a rose gold as the horizon catches the last bits of burning light.
[Image of the side of a Double Hammock back carry worn by a white woman and a white toddler in a pink and off white woven wrap Babylonia BB Slen Delicate Pink. The wrap has taken on a golden hue in sunset light.]
Thin - Pink is surprisingly thin in hand. It's a lovely summer weight. Tossing light and breezy passes over shoulder is a delightful experience. Pink has a slightly denser weave than Champagne, the last Babylonia Slen that was here, but only slightly more dense. "Dense" doesn't feel like the right word, really the weave just feels more locked into place than it did before, but I guess that is density! I would not say Pink is a dense weave when comparing to the greater scheme... not at all. It still has that light and airy quality but with some support too.
My 24-pound toddler felt great in this wrap. I'm definitely feeling more of his weight and size lately, regardless of the carrier (and they tell me he's only going to keep growing) but multi-pass carriers defied gravity well. Wearing for over an hour in supportive carries such as Double Hammock and Reinforced Kangaroo was no problem. Not only is Pink supportive but also soft - definitely newborn-worthy.
I can't get over this gorgeous wrap, so here's a bunch of photos! (Click for captions or to expand image,)
[12 Images of a pink and off white woven wrap Babylonia BB Slen Delicate Pink, described in gallery image captions.]
Find more information about Babylonia on their website, babyloniausa.com, on Instagram instagram.com/babyloniausa, on their official Facebook page, facebook.com/BabyloniaUSA.
Delicate Pink is a limited edition colorway from Babylonia and at last publishing time only the 4.6 and 4.9 meter options were available so get on this asap! https://babyloniausa.com/collections/all-baby-carriers/products/bb-slen
Thank you to Babylonia for sending this carrier for review! This post is not sponsored by any company or group.
Win a FREE onbuhimo from Kol Kol Baby Carriers - with free worldwide shipping! An onbuhimo is a waistless buckle carrier for babies with full torso control. [Image of the back of a blue wrap conversion onbuhimo carrier worn by a white woman and white toddler. Text over the image reads quote, onbuhimo giveaway with Kol Kol and Amy Wraps Babies, end quote.]
This week we are super excited to host a giveaway of an onbuhimo carrier from Kol Kol Baby Carriers!! Check out the post on Facebook to enter.
One winner will also receive a gift certificate for a FREE 30-minute online mini session with ME via Adjoyn so you can learn more about your new carrier if needed!
Get yourself over to the giveaway ASAP, and follow the page for a review of the Kol Kol Onbuhimo this week!!
Another fun wrap from DBG! The Geeks are back after Spellbound with another fan favorite, this time themed after the Supernatural series. I'm getting some major points with my teenager on this wrap! But he'd never admit to that, of course. [Image taken from under arm showing the side of a Double Hammock tied at shoulder in a black and white woven wrap covered in street signs with phrases from the show Supernatural.]
[Image showing the side of a Robin's Hip Carry in a black and white woven wrap covered in street signs with phrases from the show Supernatural, worn by a white woman and her white toddler son.]
Manufacturer: Designed by Geeks
Pattern and Colorway: Carry On, Baby
Fiber: 100% cotton
Release date: July 2017
Size tested: 4.7 meters (size 6), 66 cm wide
Stats of (willing) wrappee at time of test: 22 months, ~24 pounds, ~33 inches
Wrap Qualities Summary
Thickness (thin to thick): medium thick
Softness (soft to scratch): medium soft
Density (airy to tight): medium, slight airy
Texture (raised or flat, coarse to smooth): medium, from the pattern
Soap (dry to soapy): leans to dry on the dark side, leans to soapy on the light side
Glide/Grip (glide to stick): medium grip, medium low glide
Support (light to heavy): newborn to toddler, single pass
Stretch (none to lots): medium low
Cush (none to marshmallow): medium
Flop (none to silky): medium high
Care (easy to difficult): easy
DBG is now synonymous with well-textured patterns in my mind. Their patterns really pop, and not just visually but from a tactile perspective too. This raised texture provides a nice contrast to the glide of the wrap, giving it the grip to hold passes in place.
[Image showing the front of a Double Hammock with a Kai Belt in a black and white woven wrap covered in street signs with phrases from the show Supernatural, worn by a white woman with dark hair.]
Carry On, Baby wraps fairly true to size, maybe a touch short... or maybe my baby is getting bigger. It is a nice wide wrap at 66 cm/26 inches, so that can also contribute to wrapping a bit short too. No complaints here - I expected a 5 and didn't measure so I had nice long tails until I got wise!
[Image taken from under arm showing the side of a Ruck back carry with a Tibetan finish in a black and white woven wrap covered in street signs with phrases from the show Supernatural, worn by a white woman with dark hair and her white toddler son.]
Like the series of DBG wraps released so far, Carry On, Baby is very easy care - not pull-prone, machine washable and dryable. It is suitable for newborns, especially the soft and slightly soapy cool light side. New wrappers of newborns might want to note that this wrap is on the wide side, and that width could feel like a bit much until you and baby get used to it. And as baby grows, the supportive qualities will shine through. My 24-pounder felt great in this wrap, which we usually used for two-pass carries.
[Image taken from over shoulder showing the side of a Double Hammock back carry in a black and white woven wrap covered in street signs with phrases from the show Supernatural, worn by a white woman with dark hair and her white toddler son.]
At 315 gsm post-wash, Carry On Baby leans to the heavier side. We wore this out in about 80 degree heat and of course we were hot because it was a hot day and babywearing is hot in general, you know? This wrap wouldn't be my first choice on a hot day but it wouldn't be a horrible choice either. I'd prefer to use it in the evening or inside on hot weather days.
Weather advice aside, the wrap wasn't bulky heavy or a trouble to maneuver in place at all. Not too thick to get a good seat, tighten well, make a chest pass, etc. It was still floppy and moldable with just a little less stretch than Spellbound. Easy to use, easy to care for, easy on the eyes. Freakin' worth it.
[Image of the front of a Ruck back carry with a Tibetan finish in a black and white woven wrap covered in street signs with phrases from the show Supernatural, worn by a white woman with dark hair and her white toddler son.]
Find more information about DBG Baby on their website, dbgbaby.com, on Instagram at instagram.com/dbgbaby, their official Facebook page, facebook.com/DBGBaby, and the fan chatter group, DBG Baby Geek Speak and Sneak Peaks facebook.com/groups/dbgbaby.
Hunt down a Carry On, Baby of your very own via preorder at dbgbaby.com!
Thank you to DBG Baby for sending this carrier for review! This post is not sponsored by any company or group.
We're celebrating Father's Day Week with a special giveaway!
Thanks to Maya Wrap we have TWO ring slings to give away, and they can be the winner's choice from any in-stock sling! PLUS winners will also receive their choice of a full 90-minute babywearing session or a "mini" 30-minute session with me via Adjoyn (my babywearing consulting business).
Check out the details on Facebook and get your funny jokes ready - they are required to enter the contest!
Babywearing dolls are so useful! Often when I'm learning a new carry, my baby isn't always as patient as I need him to be. And sometimes he naps, yet I still need to practice or teach! Thank goodness for dolls, and thank goodness for dolls that can be made without breaking the bank or needing expert sewing skills. This is the fastest and easiest way I know to get a newborn size doll for less than $20 and less than an hour. Here's a step-by-step of how I do it:
Step 1: Gather supplies. You'll need a toy doll, weighted stuffing material, maybe a funnel, and a safety pin. The easiest place to get a doll is the local toy store. I look for the largest doll that has a soft body. This "You and Me" doll from Toys R Us fits the bill for today. It retails for $19.99 and at the time of this writing it was on sale for $14.99. For today's weighted material I'm using rice (more on that in Step 4). Get started by removing the doll's accessories and clothing.
Step 2: Begin modifications. This particular doll has a "voice box," so I remove the batteries. I cut a small hole in the lining below the voice box so I can begin to remove the doll's lightweight stuffing.
Step 3: Remove all the stuffing. We need all the airy lightweight stuff out so we can replace it with weighted material. Don't forget to dig into the arms and legs to get every last bit of stuffing out. Set it aside and reuse in another project.
Step 4: Add weighted material. For this doll I'm using two pounds of rice as my weighted material. The benefits of rice are that it is inexpensive (usually about a dollar a pound), it is readily available, it has a good weight, and it is easy to stuff into this doll. The only downside to rice (other than it goes everywhere if it doesn't get inside the doll, even with the aid of my funnel) is that if rice gets wet it can become a mess inside the doll. I'm okay with this risk because I dress my dolls well (it makes them last longer) and I pack them inside my babywearing suitcase when I tote them around. Other weighted material options are small rocks, beans, or maybe sand depending on the thickness of your doll's fabric body.
Step 5: Close up the stuffing opening. I am using a safety pin here because I want to be able to easily add more stuffing later, or even remove stuffing if my doll is too stiff. Some people might also take this step to seal off the openings between the dolls legs and body, and maybe also at baby's knees. This would be done to make baby get into an obvious "M" position with easily posable knees and hips. This is an optional modification and can be done with hair ties or rubber bands.
Step 6: Dress baby for use. A layer of fabric over baby will help to protect plastic pieces from discoloring, prevent stains to the doll's body, and generally prolongs the doll's use by protecting from routine wear and tear. I haven't added accessories to this doll yet, but I'll be using a cloth diaper to help give baby a nice chunky bum that aids in seat-making. Hats are great for protecting doll heads from bumps and scratches (and from the real germs of the real humans who love to kiss and sometimes slobber over fake babies' heads). I used the clothes this baby arrived in, footie pajamas, which often opens the conversation about whether or not footie pj's should be left on for babywearing (here's an article about that and spoiler: footie pj's are fine).
There you go! An inexpensive and quick demo doll that took me less than an hour to put together. In the end she's about 19 inches long and 4.5 pounds. A doll's weight feels heavier than it actually is so this doll feels just a touch smaller than an average sized newborn. Happy doll making!!
This post was not sponsored by a company or group
I change up the collection of carriers that I take to each meeting, consult, playdate, and class depending on what the focus is for that event. On this particular day I had no idea what was ahead so I had a really well-rounded bunch of carriers with me. I thought it'd be fun to go over what I have and why!
To cart around all my gear, I use an old suitcase that is pretty much too big for us to use when we travel so I'm free to keep things in it between events. At first I thought the suitcase was going to be too large for what I need to cart around but it's really just the right size. Especially for an event like today when I have a little bit of everything. In my giant suitcase we have:
1. Dolls. Weighted dolls are great stand-ins so the new babywearer can gain some confidence before they turn their attention to baby again. It can be difficult to care for an infant and focus on learning a new skill, so the dolls come in handy when they're needed. Today I have my toddler size doll in my case (Dietz Demo Dolls) and my newborn size was in use (diy article coming soon for that one!). I also had my baby with me but he was off playing.
2. 2Lambie Reverse Onbuhimo. I love having this option around for babywearers who want to expand their skills to more types of carriers. This one is really fun to show off because of the beautiful wrap conversion, the nice wide wrap straps, and all the fun things that can be done with it. This carrier really adds some excitement and inspiration to my bag.
3. Beco Ring Sling. My bag doesn't feel complete without a ring sling, and this one is what I reach for most because mine has a nice long tail so it is very versatile, it has a teaching rail with orange stitching, and it can fold up even smaller than what I show here so it is very portable.
4. Kindred Montauk Charcoal woven wrap size 6. I have been using this wrap to teach Front Wrap Cross Carry for well over a year. It is soft and broken in and a neutral color that most people like.
5. Emmeline Textiles Amelia Stone woven wrap size 6. This is a new addition I picked up at the WEAR conference. I love it for teaching because it has stripes of alternating weaves structures: wide stripes of satin weave and more narrow stripes of crepe weave. It provides a tactile cue about wear the wrap lies and what to tighten. It is becoming a fast favorite.
6. Tekhni Chloris Chroma woven wrap size 3. This is my super short wrap in case anyone asks what one could do with the really short ones.
7. Lalu Wovens Volare Indigo Bunting woven wrap size 8. I always bring a longer wrap for when a longer base size is needed. Volare is the perfect long wrap because it is light and airy while being cushy and soft.
8. Ergo. Even though I'm a wrapper at heart, I get questions about soft structured carriers all the time so I try to keep a couple options in my bag. The Ergo is a good one to have handy because available everywhere and is a common baby registry item so if people find they really like it they can get it at major stores that same day.
9. CatBird Baby Pikkolo carrier. I like presenting this option of an SSC that doesn't need an infant insert. Almost all the major brands of carriers now have options that don't require an insert, so this carrier lets me talk about features that this one does or doesn't have compared to the others.
10. Infantino Mei Deh. This one is also accessible at local stores and has been brought to me for troubleshooting before, so I keep one handy so I can teach with mine while my student wears theirs.
11. Moby wrap in bamboo/cotton blend. The new Moby wraps are so soft and so much more thin than the originals. People often bring me an old hand-me-down Moby so I keep the softer and cooler version around to compare, and to teach stretchies as a great newborn-to-toddler option (yes I totally think Moby's are good for toddler ups too when they are needed!).
12. My collection of pouches. There are THREE whole pouches wadded up in this small space in my suitcase. I keep XS, M, and XL sizes in my case. Pouches are an inexpensive and very portable carrier, perfect for folding up small and keeping in a bag for emergency purposes, or general convenience. I love to teach this option!
13. Cassiope No. 4 Magpie woven wrap size 4. This is the wrap that I wore my 18-month-old in when we arrived. There's no way I could hold him in arms or chase him down the sidewalk while toting my giant and heavy babywearing suitcase behind me. And if I'm also bringing a mirror, there's no way I have the arms to wrangle my toddler. Babywearing to the rescue!
Other things not pictured: the newborn size demo doll I mentioned, also my Tekhni Tag-a-long filled with sling rings, soft measuring tape, business cards, and my carry journal (basically a written form of the tutorials page with a few more notes). Also by "knotty shawl" for teaching knots. I carry fliers for my Babywearing International chapter and a giant bottle of water so I never feel parched while teaching (that's the worst!).
If you're an educator or group facilitator, what do you bring with you to babywearing events?
This article is not sponsored by any company or group. This article is not an endorsement of one particular carrier or brand over another.
We've been playing with our 2Lambie Creations Reverse Onbuhimo - there are so many ways to tie off the wrap straps! This half wrap conversion carrier was made with the "long option" staps so we have lots of potential for fancy finishes. Let me tell you what I've come up with so far!
My passenger's patience for continued experimentation is short, unfortunately, and after what I feel is not nearly enough time he began to thrash to the sides. But this carrier wasn't going anywhere. I was impressed that it stayed put so well despite the best efforts of my baby... er um I guess toddler now. (Cue all the sad crying faces)
So finishes - in addition to the photos and descriptions below, our Facebook Live last week was all about many of these finishes, so I'll point out timestamps in the video as we go. The video is also embedded at the very end of this article.
In our video I did many of the finishes listed here but definitely not all of them, and the list here doesn't include everything we did in the video. That's one of the cool things about these wrap straps is there are SO MANY options for using them that you can really just make it up as you go along. This post is for ideas; it is certainly not an exhaustive list. We couldn't possibly cover every single option that can be done with this carrier. So for this post we're confining ourselves to a couple rules: these are symmetrical finishes, they're also all finishes that start with the wrap straps crossed. Crossing the straps is optional. You could wear the Onbuhimo with ruck straps (like backpack straps) and then spread the wrap straps to cross the chest... or don't, it is up to you! How do you think the options presented here would change if the first spread layer isn't there?
Before I get to the tie-off, though, let's talk about how to set up what I've done for this particular series. A Reverse Onbuhimo can be worn a couple ways - I have chosen to cross the wrap straps on my chest before securing them in the rings that are sewn to the shoulder straps. In the video linked below I show how I cross the straps at about 10:30 in. This is not required but for my body, crossing the straps gives me a good comfortable fit. I also like this method because it gives me a nice foundation on which finishes can be layered over.
Also, after I've secured the wrap straps in the sling rings, then I have one of two options for starting the finish. 1 - bring both straps under arm and cross at baby's bum or 2 - cross the straps on my chest again (usually bunched but I could spread them) then bring them behind and cross at baby's bum. When the straps cross at baby's bum, they can be spread out like a wrap (image "a" above) or bunched (image "b" above). They can also be cross above baby's legs (like images "a" and "b") OR cross the straps over baby's knee then bring each one under a knee (like in image "c"). Placing a strap under baby's knee might give you a little more wriggler protection, although the integrated panel of an Onbuhimo does prevent seat-popping so no worries there. I really just put the straps under knee when I need to make the most of the length I have. Just remember if you choose "c" as your method - OVER one knee, the under the second (not under both knees).
I show all 3 methods in the video at various points, but method "a" of spreading the straps wide over baby's seat is shown first at about 13 minutes in.
Okay let's get to these finishes! Here's how I did each one. We also did a Facebook Live video for fancy finishes, so if a finish from the collage made it to the video then I'll point out the timestamp for it in the video. The video is posted at the end of this article, or you can find it here on the Amy Wraps Babies Facebook page.
Did you pick up some good ideas? Please show and tell! I'll be tagging my photos #fancyfinishfriday as I do for any type of carrier done fancy, and I'm adding #fancyreverseonbuhimo to collect these Reverse Onbuhimo finishes on Instagram. Join me in the fancy Friday of your choice!
Finally, here's the video we did live on Facebook all about fancy finishes for the Reverse Onbuhimo:
Our live videos for the month of March are sponsored by 2Lambie Creations. Thanks 2Lambie!
There's so much potential for fanciness in front carries! This article has lots of ideas for your experimentation. I have links listed to my tutorials page where I keep all the latest and greatest education tools for each carry. I also did a quick run-down of some ideas in a Facebook live video, so that is embedded right here in this article for your convenience. As we go through ideas in the article, I'll give you timestamps for demos in the Facebook video, and/or a link to more info about the carry on the tutorials page.
There are a few different finish types I have for our front carries today...
- Slip knots
The cool thing about these is that they can all be applied to base size wraps and short ones. I'm wearing a long wrap in our Facebook live video, it was Tekhni Petradi Ghee in a 7 which is about my base plus one and a half-ish since Petradi wraps a little long. I wanted some extra tail so I don't have to retie, ha! We started in a front wrap cross carry and I had it tied with a Poppin's finish. This is probably my favorite way to Poppin's lately because it's a two-shoulder carry and I like that extra support as my little guy gets heavier.
Some tutorials for Poppins' front carries:
I used a Front Wrap Cross Carry in our Facebook live video because it can also accommodate the Pond finish. This time I will go to just one shoulder though, so that makes this a Front Reinforced Torso Sling carry now. A couple Pond or Pond-like finishes:
Rings are great for giving you a little extra length to tie off a wrap. In the Facebook live video I use a size large ring. I could use a large ring for our next carry, Robin's, or I'd use a medium size ring to tie two tails together at shoulder. In the live video I used two large rings to add a No Sew Ring Sling finish at 14:00 minutes.
Slip Knots always look fancy to me. And they're so functional! They can be used in
Whew, so much fancy! I hope that gives you some ideas on how to fancy up your front carries. Also don't forget all the shoulder flip carries that we did a few weeks ago. Shoulder flips are very fancy too!
This post was not sponsored by a company or group.