I was recently thinking that it’d be great to have a list of all the components of wrap carries as I understand them. This would hopefully help me to get all the different parts of a carry clear in my head and so that I’m able to explain the differences between wrap carries better. I hope it might be useful to others too, so here it is!
So, as I understand it (and please please let me know if I’m wrong or if there’s just variations in ways of thinking about all this), here are the different features and components of wrap carries.
Positions of the child in wrap carries:
Obvious, but here for completeness as they’re included in some wrap carry names – front, back or hip.
For front carries, tummy-to-tummy is when baby is in a more upright position (this is the best position for a small baby), and cradle is when baby is lying in a more diagonal position (a baby should not be held horizontal in a carrier unless it’s been deliberately loosened for breastfeeding and baby is supported by the parent).
Small babies may also be legs in (have their feet and legs tucked inside the wrap a foetal or froggy position with knees above hips and feet close together); in most wrap carries most children will be legs out (feet and legs sticking out of the wrap in a spread squat or ‘M’ position with legs spread apart and knees above bottom – legs should be supported kneepit to kneepit).
All babies may like to be carried arms in (with their arms tucked into the wrap) and from around 4 months babies and toddlers may be carried arms out (with their arms over the top of the wrap passes – make sure that when arms out a baby has sufficient head and upper back strength and is supported by the wrap right up to their shoulder blades/armpits).
Rebozo/Hammock pass – over both legs of child and only one shoulder of adult.
Ruck/Kangaroo pass – over both legs of child and both shoulders of parent (ruck is on back and kangaroo is on front)
Torso/Straight pass – over both legs of child and under both arms of adult
Cross pass – anything going between child’s legs (so a pass that goes over one leg, and then under the other). Can go under one of both of the parent’s shoulders.
Other variations/types of passes:
Spread – the fabric is spread knee pit to knee pit, and/or kneepit to armpits/neck + uses as much of the width of the wrap as possible.
Unspread/bunched/gathered/sandwiched – the wrap is bunched up or folded rather than spread out. You’d find sandwiched passes in ruck straps to help them to stay on the shoulders, and gathered wrap cross passes in things like a kangaroo carry or basic ruck tied in front (these last will usually go around child’s bottom and tuck into one or both kneepits).
Reinforcing – anything that goes over the first basic passes of a carry to reinforce and add security and support to the carry. Reinforcing passes are usually spread passes.
Ruck Straps – the two wrap ends each go straight over one shoulder and back under the same shoulder to look like rucksack straps. Ruck straps can also pass from under the shoulder, going over the same shoulder (as in a BWCC with ruck straps). They can be spread, gathered, flipped, twisted or folded.
Other wrap carry components/terminology:
Pocket – any part of a wrap carry where you’re making a pocket/pouch/seat for your child to sit into. This could be any type of spread pass (ruck, rebozo, torso or cross) and is usually used to emphasise that you need to spread the wrap rail-to-rail from kneepit-to-kneepit and ensure that child’s knees are positioned above their hips with their bottom sinking into the middle part of the wrap width.
Top Rail – whichever long edge of the wrap is highest up (this one will often be spreading up the child’s back to their armpit or neck).
Bottom Rail – whichever long, hemmed edge of the wrap is lowest (this one will often be tucked under child’s bottom into their kneepits).
Note that in some carries the rails change position (e.g. in some reinforcing passes, the bottom rail is twisted to the top for the reinforcement to help with tension along both rails). Many wraps have different coloured top and bottom rails to help you keep track.
Chest Belt – in back carries where the tails of the wrap are knotted or twisted around each other on the parent’s chest. This can be done at different points in the carry (e.g. you can tie a chest belt in the middle of the carry after a straight/torso pass; or you could tie a chest belt between two ruck straps after tying off at the shoulder) and adds extra support to help take the weight of the carry off the shoulders and distribute it more evenly around parent’s torso.
Lexi Twist – where the two tails of wrap are twisted around each other behind the child (usually at their bum/seat, but can be at their back), to add extra support for the child’s weight or pull them closer into the parent. Can be used in back, front or hip carries.
Flipped shoulder – the wrap fabric is spread, but twisted once before passing over the shoulders. This is usually to add better tension to the rails and tighten the carry, and also enables the wrap to comfortabley ‘cup’ the shoulder.
Crossed – both ends of the wrap cross over each other at the chest (for back carries) or at the back (for front or hip carries) to more evenly distribute the weight around the parent’s torso. I hope this isn’t confusing with the Cross Pass above.
Robins/Poppins twist – usually in a hip carry where the wrap ends are twisted around each other, usually in front of the parent’s shoulder (rather than over the child as with a Lexi twist), and taken back from the direction they came from. This helps to get tension and security at the beginning of the carry.
Sling Rings – wrap carries can be done using 1 or two sling rings. Sling rings can be used with any length wrap, and have the benefit of being flatter and often more easily ajusted than knots or twists. 2 rings may be used at the end of the carry instead of knotting to allow easy adjustment and tightening; 1 ring may be used in the middle of a carry (e.g. instead of a robbins/poppins twist) to help anchor a part of the carry so that the wrap can be taken back over itself.
Ways to tie off:
In Front (TIF) – generally in back carries, when the wrap tails are tied at the stomach.
At Back – generally in front (or sometimes hip) carries, where tails are tied behind parent’t back.
At Hip – for front or back carries when tails are tied at hip
At Shoulder – for any carry where tails are tied in front of one shoulder – often a slip knot will be used when tying at shoulder for easier adjusting/tightening of the wrap carry.
Under Bum (TUB) – tails pass over both of child’s legs (so sit in both kneepits) and are tied under the child’s bum.
Tibetan – in back carries with ruck straps, both ends of the wrap come under the arm, across the body and loop through the ruck strap on the opposite side to make a cross on the chest. The wrap ends can then be tucked around or into their nearest ruck strap of tied on the chest like a chest belt.
Types of carry:
Cross Carry (CC) – any carry that is primarily two spread cross passes in opposite directions so that the child sits with their bottom in the centre of the cross and with both wrap passes giong between their legs. Can be front, back or hip.
Wrap cross carry (WCC) – as above, but with an additional straight/torso pass over or under the cross passes.
Ruck – back carry, usually starts with a ruck pass
Kangaroo – front carry, starts with a kangaroo pass
Double Hammock – usually has two rebozo/hammock passes
(I know there could be more here, but hope that the idea makes sense + will add more later.)
So in my head you can combine these to explain how to do any wrap carry….
So a Rebozo Hip carry is a single rebozo pass with the child at your hip. A Ruck Tied in Front (RTIF) is a ruck pass with ruck straps and bunched cross passes and tied in front. A reinforced ruck is a ruck pass with ruck straps and two spread reinforcing cross passes and tied in front. A Rear Reinforced Rebozo Ruck is basically a rear rebozo carry with another reinforcing rebozo pass + is presumably called ‘Ruck’ because it ends up with ruck straps (rather than an actual ruck pass iyswim?). A Double Hammock (DH) has two rebozo/hammock passes to make the double hammock (and can then end in various ways). A Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) with Chestbelt is a back carry that starts with a torso pass, then you tie a chest belt, then go over the shoulders to make two spread cross passes and tie in front…..etc. etc.
So that’s how I think about it all….I hope it’s all at least vaguely clear!