Why back carry?
There are many benefits of babywearing in the back carry position. One benefit of the back carry allows you to do many tasks that would otherwise be difficult with a baby on the front, such as doing laundry, going to the farmer’s market, grocery shopping, and hiking. In other cultures, moms have used the back carry when they needed to work but still care for their young child. Yay for achieving freedom and convenience while still being able to tend to and hold your baby close!
With the back carry, your baby is also centered on your hips, which makes your baby’s weight a lot easier to support for longer periods of time. In fact, it takes an average of 16% more energy to carry a baby in your arms than if you have something like a baby carrier to carry him or her in. Soft-structured carriers with wider waist belts also help evenly distribute your baby’s weight, so you shouldn’t have any lower back pain when back carrying. The Ergobaby 360 All Positions Carrier is one of the best baby carriers for back support thanks to its lumbar-support waist belt and padded shoulder straps.
What age can a baby go in a back carrier?
Every baby is different and will grow and develop at different rates, but typically once your baby is able to sit up on her own, you can consider the back carry. To err on the side of caution, though, we recommend waiting until your baby is at least 6 months old and weighs around 17 pounds before wearing her in the back carry position with our 360 All Positions Baby Carrier. Because you can’t constantly watch and supervise your baby when she is on your back, it’s safest to wait until your baby has strong head and neck control and can comfortably and firmly sit on her own on a firm surface and in a carrier for longer periods of time. You also want your baby’s legs and hips to naturally open into an “M” or frog-leg position.
How do you use a baby carrier on your back?
Back wearing, also known as back carrying, seems to elicit both interest and a little bit of fear from babywearing parents. While back carrying is one of the most liberating types of carries–it enables you to be hands–free and keep the baby safe from whatever you are doing–it seems to be one of the most daunting carries for parents. But with a little practice, you can master the art of the back carry.
Here’s how to do it with our 360 baby carrier:
Double-check that the outer buttons on the bucket seat are on black and not grey. Grey is for the forward-facing position, while black is for the other carry positions. The black outer buttons also widen the seat for a more comfortable sitting position for your baby.
Attach the waist belt around your waist. Make sure it’s tight, yet comfortable, for you.
Pull the shoulder straps up over your arms and shoulders. For even more comfort, you might consider buttoning up the back panel on the carrier. If you want to use the baby privacy hood, unzip the pouch in the back panel and remove it now.
Pull the shoulder straps down, loosen both shoulder straps, and then center the carrier on your right or left hip.
Pick your baby up and hold him in an ergonomic frog-leg or spread-squat position. Place your baby in the center of the bucket seat, secure him by placing your right or left hand at the bottom of the carrier (under your baby’s bum), and then slowly push the carrier until it’s at the center of your back. You may also need to ever so slightly bend forward as you move the carrier and your baby onto your back. Throughout this step, always be sure you are safely supporting your baby.
Carefully slide your arms under the shoulder straps and pull to tighten them to secure your baby. Do this one arm at a time. Next, you want to fasten and tighten the chest strap, and then tighten the shoulder straps a little more until your baby is secure but still able to move, you are comfortable, and both straps are the same length.
Adjust your baby and the panel of the bucket seat to ensure that your baby is sitting in an ergonomic position in the center of the seat and has an open airway.
You may think that you need an extra pair of hands to help you get your child in a baby back carrier. But guess what? You don’t! It really is possible to do it all by yourself! We do recommend that you practice with a babydoll or stuffed animal a few times until you learn the correct movements. Babywearing involves some muscle memory. Once you feel comfortable doing it with your fake baby, you can put your real baby in the back carry position.
Refer to the video for a slightly different but still easy-to-do visual guide for how to do the back carry in the 360 baby carrier. You got this!