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Babywearing Tips: How to Back Carry in a Full Buckle Baby Carrier (Tula Explore)

Are you and your baby ready to try a back carry but unsure how to do this safely and easily? A full buckle baby carrier is the easiest carrier to wear your baby on your back.  And with a few simple steps, you can do it by yourself!

So why back carry?
Back carry is amazing for so many reasons!

  • Your front is free so you can do more
  • A high back carry means that your baby or toddler can see easier
  • It works your core
  • It’s perfect for when you feel touched out but your baby still needs cuddles
  • Is so much more comfortable with heavier babies or toddlers especially if you have neck or back issues
  • You can show and share the world with your baby
  • Little legs still get tired even when they start walking so it is a great quick option
  • Feels more comfortable for petit wearers or if you have a bigger baby and their bodies get in the way in front carry

When can I back carry in a full buckle baby carrier?
As exciting as it can be to back carry, there are a few manufacture and safety requirements that we want to meet.

  • Follow your baby carrier’s manufacture instructions about when to back carry
  • If your baby carrier requires an infant insert, back carry is only recommended once they can fit the carrier in height and width without an infant insert
  • A general guideline is that you can back carry once your baby is sitting independently (eg they can get in and out of a seated position and they aren’t propped up)

It is important to follow these guidelines as you can’t adjust your baby as easily as front carry and it is harder to monitor them (although we do want to be able to see their little faces over our shoulder).

Steps to Back Carry
I’m using a Tula Explore baby carrier in the video below (closed captions are also available) but the same steps can be applied to a range of full buckle baby carriers such as Fidella, Ankalia, Ergobaby, Boba and more.

My favourite method to teach is the ‘One Arm Up, One Arm Down’ Method (also referred to as the ‘walk like an Egyptian’ method) as it is the safest and easiest to master.  And even better, you can do it by yourself!  As you start on the front, you can settle your baby, make sure they are positioned correctly and the carrier is on properly.

Before you start, make sure your carrier is set up correctly for your baby, your shoulder straps have been loosened and you may want to completely do up the perfect fit adjusters if you have them on your carrier.

  1. Put on the waist belt on your front like you are doing a front carry (but higher so you can see them over your shoulder easily).
  2. Position baby in front carry, pull up the back panel to a safe height and put on the shoulder straps and back strap.
  3. Bring one arm up between the shoulder strap and your neck so the strap now goes under your arm pit.
  4. The opposite arm then goes down between the side of your body and the shoulder strap.
  5. Hip scoot your baby to the side that the top of your shoulder is clear (you can’t go the other way), move that arm over them as they move across your back.
  6. Position them onto your back and lean forward if your baby tends to push on you.  Put your arms back through the shoulder straps as normal.  You may want to tighten your waist strap at this point and move it upwards if necessary.
  7. Pull the shoulder straps over your shoulders and down and hold onto this slack as you stand up straight.
  8. Tighten the shoulder straps one at a time with a tricep curl backwards (use your opposite arm to lift baby’s bum if they are heavy).
  9. Enjoy those back carries!
  10. To get them off it’s all in reverse – so loosen the straps, one arm up, one arm down and then hip scoot them back to your front and take them out of the carrier or enjoy your front carry.

And that’s it!  If you have any questions about back carry in a full buckle baby carrier please let me know either via pm or at info@babywearingandyou.com.au

Enjoy those babywearing snuggles,

Kylie
Certified Babywearing Consultant
Kangatraining Instructor