Cross Straps or Rucksack Straps? What is the difference?

Many carriers offer the option to wear the straps either crossed or rucksack style across the wearers back. However, parents often don’t realise what this means and aren’t sure which one to use.

What is the difference

The difference is best explained by looking at the graphic above. For crossed straps the straps cross over the parents back. This means the strap at the left shoulder plugs into the right side of the panel and visa versa. While for Rucksack style, the strap that the right shoulder plugs into the right hand side of the carrier and a chest strap connects the two straps. The same chest strap need not be used when crossing.

Both ways are very secure and safe, but they do give very different fits. As such

Which one is better?

I am always being asked which one is better. Both methods are safe and secure, but they do give very different fits. As such different shaped backs, shoulders and torsos will find one fits more comfortably than the other. There is no, this one is always better, but for an individual there will be one of the two that fits you personally better. I always encourage parents to try both ways before purchasing a carrier.

Why is it important to try both before you buy a carrier?

While most carriers that I sell offer both strap configurations, there are a great number of carriers that offer only rucksack or only crossed. It is always frustrating for parents to realise they have bought a carrier that only offers one but their body shape is better suited to the other. And even among carriers that do offer both, some are better at one than the other. For this reason, when working with clients I will always make them try both crossed and rucksack styled first and help them work out which one suits their individual body shape first and then suggest carriers that cater for this preference. And for couples where one prefers one and the other the other, I can ensure they try only carriers that offer both configurations equally well!

Which one is easier?

Again this this person dependent. Some people find crossing straps behind their back really hard, some find it an absolute piece of cake. Some people find doing up a strap behind their back easy, some its completely impossible! The key is to try and see! And once you find which one is most comfortable, take advice from a trained babywearing educator to find the easiest way for you personally. I recently had an online consultation with a couple who had decided not to purchase a particular carrier because the sales rep in John Lewis had told them the strap was difficult to do up without help. That couple were really surprised to learn that that particular carrier could also be crossed and that even if rucksack style was more comfortable that there were a total of 5 different methods for doing that strap up and they could easily do it up themselves without help using one of my alternative methods. All things that the sales rep did not know, but a trained babywearing educator can help you learn in just a few moments. So if your carrier is feeling too difficult, this is definitely a sign to look up your local babywearing consultant and see if they can help you find a method that is easier for you. Because I am willing to bet there is one!

-Madeleine

Carrier shown here is the Beco Gemini and is available here.

New Social Distancing Friendly Services and how to get Sling Help over the next few weeks…

When I was studying viruses and what would happen if a new virus spread through a naive population as part of my MRes in Infection and Immunity I have to say I never really imagined actually being in a pandemic in my lifetime.  It feels surreal.  The scale and the daily changes to the guidelines and feelings of uncertainty about what’s best has felt hugely overwhelming.

But now is not the time for wallowing!  I have been so struck by how amazingly well my local community has pulled together, ensuring everyone is supported while remaining distant and following the guidelines.

Likewise I want to ensure everyone in my local community still has access to sling help if they need it.  While Sling Library sessions, One to One consults and all direct face to face contact is suspended for the time being, I will still be offering help in the following ways:

  1. Door-step Hires and Sales
  2. Postal or Hand-delivered Hires and Sales
  3. Video Consults

This is how each of these will work:

Door-step Hires and Sales

If you know what sling or carrier you’d like to borrow and know how to use it, simply get in contact.  Tell me what day you’d like to come and collect and I’ll firstly ensure it is freshly laundered and then popped out into my front porch for you to collect.  I’ll pop it out there just before your due so it doesn’t come into contact with anyone else.  You won’t need to see me or any other member of my family.  Likewise if you wish to purchase a sling or carrier, your new in box carrier will be placed in my porch for you to simply grab.  We’ll organise payment online so no need to handle cash.

Postal or Hand-delivered Hires and Sale

I can also come to you!  While we are still allowed outside for exercise, I can cycle over to you and drop carriers for hire or sale off with you at your doorstep.  Again we’ll organise payment online so no need for contact on the day, just drop me a message to set this up.

Video consults

All our consults are moving online via Zoom!  If you’d like some help – discovering new slings or carriers that might be right for you, or help with something you already own we can set up a mutually agreeable time to video chat on Zoom.  I can also use WhatsApp video or Facebook messenger.  Cost depends on your needs – a full consult costs £25 for 1 hour, but I can also do mini consults (perfect if you just want a quick fit check and a couple of tips) and these cost £5 per 10 minutes and you simply pay for the time you need (i.e. £5 for 10 minutes or £15 for 30 minutes etc etc you get the idea!)

These can also be perfect if you need a sling and are not sure what to hire or buy, we can have an initial video conversation where I demo and show you the options.  Then I can get whatever you choose over to you and we can have a follow up second video chat where I can help you ensure your completely confident fitting and using the sling you’ve borrowed or bought.

 

-Madeleine