FAQ – How do I get my baby onto my back in a buckle carrier on my own?

Carrying your child on your back can be truly freeing!  Back carries completely free up your hands to get on and get stuff done, and they are generally more comfortable too as most of us load bear better on our backs than our fronts.  Plus once your child is tall enough to see over your shoulder they can have an absolutely great view of the world and can chat to you right next to your ear where you can hear them even on a busy street.

There are so many pros! But, actually figuring out how on earth to get them onto your back can be pretty intimidating.  There are actually loads of different methods and this is where a trained Sling consultant can be really helpful, they can work with you – with your individual flexibility, coordination and learning type to help ensure you are completely confident moving your baby on and off your back on your own unassisted!

While there are many many methods, the “secure hipscoot” method is the one I teach most often.  Or at least this is the starting point I teach most often, I will frequently modify it here or there depending on the individual and depending on the carrier used… but the video below shows my starting point.

Carrier in the video is a Beco Gemini, but this method will work with the vast majority of buckle carriers including Ergo Omni, Adapt, Original and 360 models, Lillebaby, Boba carriers, Manduca, Kahu Baby, Connecta and many many others.

It is my personal favourite method because it feels really secure at all times! It doesn’t rely on cooperation from the child, and in fact can be done with a very active wiggler once your confident.  I once used this method to put my then 2.5 year old onto my back on a moving tube train while he was in a full temper tantrum… I simply would not have managed to get off the train with him and our bags and coats and other stuff any other way!

If you are giving this a try at home, do give it a go over a soft surface like a bed or a sofa.  I learnt to back carry when my son was about 8 or 9 months old and he absolutely loved a controlled fall when I messed something up and got stuck!!  But if your struggling at all do remember that this is by no means the only method!  One of the downsides of this method, at least in this form, is that it does rely on a fair degree of shoulder motility, and as such isn’t a great option for those with stiff or injured shoulders.  So if this is you or if your struggling at all learning to back carry do contact your local sling consultant who will be able help you find the method that works for you

Happy Back Carrying!

-Madeleine

DidyKlick Review

Didymos are best known for their wonderful woven wraps, and their new half buckle carrier – the DidyKlick – sees them marry wraps and buckles together into one perfect package.

20171124_115259I would describe the DidyKlick as a great halfway house between a woven wrap and a buckle carrier.  It combines the pros of both – the perfect fit, softness and flexibility of use of the woven wrap combined with the intuitiveness, ease of use, solid waist support and satisfying ‘click’ of a buckle carrier.  In fact it does seem almost literally like half and half of each – with the bottom half most resembling a buckle carrier and the top half behaving and feeling more like a wrap.

It has a heavily padded waistband that feels very supportive and does a great job of taking the weight off of the shoulders and onto the hips and waist.  The buckle is to one side and tightens in one direction only.  So very easy to use and very secure.  Although I have to say I personally don’t like having the buckle to one side as much as central but that’s a very personal thing! I know other people who find it easier at the side.

20171204_082552For the baby the panel adjusts in two ways.  Firstly the overall width of the seat can be adjusted via velcro attachment to the waist band.. the whole thing can be scrunched down to fit a smaller baby or pulled taut for a bigger child.  I was really impressed by just how big a size range it covers.  There are no preset ‘jumps’ its possible to get an exact knee to knee fit all the way from a tiny baby to bigger toddler.  There is also a drawstring to help make a pouch for a smaller baby.  I would say realistic age range would be a month or two all the way to at least 3 years old.  In fact I was honestly staggered to find it gave a reasonably good fit for my 4.5 year old and he certainly found it comfortable!

While the panel doesn’t adjust in height, it is possible to adjust the height by altering how you put the baby in – putting a smaller baby in deeper to shorten the panel and visa versa sitting an older child directly above the waist band to lengthen the panel.  For me this is the one thing I’d like to see altered about this carrier – the width adjustment is really amazing and covers such a range, it would be absolutely brilliant if the height adjusted to the same extent and as smoothly.  However, this really is quite a nitpicky thing, it works absolutely fine without it!

The hood, however, does adjust smoothly and attaches via loops onto the straps, with simply to use poppers to secure.  I love that the loops have been included on both sides of the straps so it’s possible to purposefully twist the straps if desired.

The straps are what really makes this carrier so comfortable and fit your body like a glove.  Made from wrap fabric they just hug your body and go where you want them too!  Like them really spread out? Or prefer them bunched up?  You choose!  You have complete flexibility to do what you like just as you would with a wrap.  As mentioned you can even purposefully twist the straps – which seems like an odd thing to do but something I often teach to parents with nosy babies as it gives babies more space to see things while still giving great support and comfort for the parent’s shoulders.  In terms of length the straps were plenty long enough to come round under babies bottom and back behind me to tie, but not so insanely long that i couldn’t tie in front with bow if I didn’t want a knot in my back (i.e. for sitting down).

 

But what’s really fab about this carrier is the flexibility of its use.  As well as covering a huge age range it offers 4 carrying positions.  Front, Hip, Back and even a Onbuhimo style carry.  Most buckle and half buckle carriers offer the front, hip and back carry positions and while front and back are usually pretty straightforward the hip position is often less comfortable or more of a faff.  This is not the case with the DidyKlick, the hip position is every bit as comfy, mainly because there are no bulky straps to get in the way – the wrap straps can be adjusted perfectly to make this position really work.  Which is great as a hip carry is a great option for a nosy baby or in our case one who wants to ‘help’ with dinner.  Additionally the instructions for this position are really good and easy to follow, making it really easy for someone new to carriers to pick up.  Likewise the back carry position is really easy and straightforward to do, and the long straps give you lots of flexibility to tie how you find comfortable or even play around with fancy tie-offs!

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But it was the Onbuhimo carry that really fascinated me.  You see an Onbuhimo is a totally different type of carrier entirely – originating from Japan, Onbuhimos are a waist bandless carrier used for wearing baby high on the back, just like a rucksack.  I have only ever tried one once before and don’t currently have one in the library currently as I see them as quite specialist…  they work best for older babies and I see them as great for people who are pregnant or for some other reason don’t want to have a waist band.  I thought about purchasing one when I was pregnant but it seemed like a waste as I would only use it for such a short time.  So what really fascinates me about the fact the DidyKlick can be converted into an Onbuhimo style carrier is that you can use the Klick as a half buckle on front, hip and back in half buckle mode as usual with baby number 1 from 1-2 months through to todderhood, and then continue to carry through-out pregnancy with baby number 2 in Onbuhimo mode before using the Klick as a half buckle all over again with baby number 2 and likewise for any more children… all the way until you no longer need to carry.  The flexibility of this carrier is just amazing!

20171127_161256Plus I really loved the Onbuhimo mode as I could get such a high back carry with my daughter that we could just chat over my shoulder.  And even without a waistband it was so comfortable, and light and easy!  To convert into an Onbuhimo style carrier, you simply remove the waistband from the panel and instead loop the long straps through the waistband pocket.  From there I simply followed this video.   I have to say the setup was a bit of a faff, as was re threading the waistband later so I probably wouldn’t want to be switching between these two modes all the time, but switching only occasionally while pregnant or for the middle of summer when you want a lighter, higher back carrier etc, I could definitely see.

All in all the DidyKlick is an absolutely fabulous carrier.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for one carrier that will last them a long time because not only does it realistically fit from 1-2 months all the way to 3 or 4 years of age, but it also offers such flexibility of use with 4 different carrying positions that it caters beautifully for different developmental stages and phases.  Plus, like all Didymos slings, the Klick is really well made and designed to last so really can grow with your family as your family grows.  Additionally, I can see this carrier working particularly well for anyone with a history of back pain, and for families with very different sized partners – because the exact fit provided by the wrap strap shoulder ties allow for perfect weight distribution and a super comfy perfect fit every time regardless of who wore the carrier last.

 

-Madeleine