Introduction: How to Tie a Kangaroo Carry With a Woven Baby Wrap
Figure 1: Baby doll and woven wrap. Figure 2: Completed Kangaroo Carry with doll in Lenny Lamb Charmed Butterfly Wrap, size 4. Figure 3: Kangaroo carry with sleeping baby in Ethos Green Argyle wrap, size 5. Figure 4: Kangaroo carry with a toddler in Natibaby Rainbow Piano wrap, size 6.
This article will teach you how to tie a Kangaroo Carry with a woven wrap (Figures 1-4). This is a front carry, good for age newborn and up.
This way of tying the Kangaroo Carry uses less arm and shoulder movement than the standard method. You can do the Kangaroo Carry sitting down, which makes it good for wheelchair users and many others with disabilities.
You can even tie this carry over a sleeping baby if needed.
- A woven baby wrap (Figure 1).
- A baby, doll, or pillow to carry in the wrap (Figure 1).
Step 1: Pick Up the Baby and the Wrap.
Figure 5: Holding the wrap and baby.
- Hold the baby with one hand (Figure 5).
- Cradle the baby against your body, with the baby facing you.
- Hold the baby high enough to kiss.
- Hold the wrap by the middle of the length with your other hand (Figure 5).
- Most wraps have a middle marker to show the center.
- You can also fold it in half the long way to find the middle.
Step 2: Center the Wrap on the Baby's Back.
Figure 6: Placing the wrap on the baby.
- Put the middle marker of the wrap on the upper middle of the baby's back (Figure 6).
- The wrap should cover the baby's lower body.
- For a child old enough to sit up, put the wrap at least as high as the baby's armpits.
- For a newborn, center the top of the wrap at the back of the baby's head.
Step 3: Lift the Bottom Edge of the Wrap (Figure 7).
Figure 7: Preparing to tuck up the bottom rail.
The hems on the long edges of a wrap are called the "rails."
Step 4: Tuck the Bottom of the Wrap Up to Make a Seat for the Baby.
Figure 8: Tucking the wrap up under the baby. Figure 9: The wrap between the caregiver's and baby's bodies.
Push the loose part of the width of the wrap up between your body and the baby's body (Figures 8-9).
Step 5: Spread Out the Wrap Across the Baby's Bottom.
Figure 10: Spreading out the wrap, with baby's foot out.
- Check to make sure the wrap goes all the way to the baby's knees and is tucked well under their bottom.
- Make sure the baby's feet are out (Figure 10).
Step 6: Spread the Wrap Across Your Arm.
Figure 11: Extending an arm under the wrap.
- Hold out your lower arm with the wrap over it (Figure 11).
- Keep the right side of the fabric (the same side showing on baby's back) facing up.
- Make sure there are no twists in the fabric at this point.
Step 7: Flip the Edge of the Wrap Up Onto Your Shoulder.
Figure 12: Putting the wrap onto a shoulder.
- Grab the rail of the wrap closest to your hand.
- Put the rail that was in your hand over your shoulder, against your neck (Figure 12).
- You are creating a flip in the wrap.
- The wrong side of the wrap will now be showing on your shoulder.
- The front of the wrap should be going under the flip.
Step 8: Adjust the Wrap on Your Shoulder.
Figure 13: Fixing the shoulder pass.
- Pull out as much slack (loose fabric) as you can across the baby.
- Arrange the wrap so that it is smooth and snug across the baby and your shoulder (Figure 13).
- Pull along the length of the fabric.
- Pull the slack over the baby up through the flip and over your shoulder to your back.
- Leave the end of the wrap dangling loose down your back.
- The loose end of the wrap is called the "tail" of the wrap.
Step 9: Spread the Other Side of the Wrap Over Your Other Arm.
Figure 14: Outstretching the other arm under the wrap.
- Switch hands so you are holding the baby with your other arm.
- Stretch out your free arm so the wrap is draped across your lower arm (Figure 14).
- The right side of the wrap should be facing up and not twisted.
Step 10: Flip the Wrap Up Onto Your Shoulder.
Figure 15: Lifting the wrap to the other shoulder.
- Put the rail in your hand up to the top of your shoulder as you did on the other side (Figure 15).
- You have now created a shoulder flip.
- The wrong side of the wrap should be showing on your shoulder.
- Adjust and tighten the wrap across the baby and your shoulder.
Step 11: Grab the Opposite Tail of the Wrap (Figure 16).
Figure 16: Reaching behind to the wrap.
- Reach behind your back, underneath the nearest tail of the wrap.
- Grasp the nearest rail of the tail hanging over your other shoulder.
Step 12: Pull the Wrap Across Your Back.
Figure 17: Pulling the wrap out to the side.
- Pull the tail of the wrap underneath the hanging tail and out the other side across your back (Figure 17).
- The wrap should now be at a diagonal angle from your shoulder past your waist on the other side of your body.
Step 13: Gather the Tail of the Wrap in Your Hand.
Figure 18: Gathering strand by strand.
- Starting at the top rail, gather and pull on the wrap a little at a time across the width of the wrap, from top to bottom (Figure 18).
- Pull as much slack out as you can along the length of the wrap, from the baby across your shoulder.
- Keep doing this a few inches at a time until you have the entire width of the wrap in your hand.
- This is called tightening "strand by strand."
- You are gathering the width a little at a time while pulling the slack out along the length of the wrap.
- You may want to wiggle your shoulder to help pull slack off the baby.
- Move the tail of the wrap back and forth to help tighten it as you pull.
- Try to get the wrap snug and smooth across the baby, your shoulder, and your back.
Step 14: Switch Hands.
Figure 19: Repositioned hands.
- While continuing to hold the tail of the wrap, change hands so you are holding the baby with the same hand as the gathered wrap (Figure 19).
- You will be holding the gathered tail between your hand and the baby.
Step 15: Grab the Other Tail Behind Your Back.
Figure 20: Reaching behind for the other tail.
With your free hand, reach across your back and grab the nearest edge of the loose tail (Figure 20).
Step 16: Pull the Other Tail Across Your Back (Figure 21).
Figure 21: Pulling the second tail of the wrap across the first tail and out to the side.
- The two layers (passes) of the wrap will now be making an X across your back.
- The wrong side of the wrap should be showing on your back.
Step 17: Gather the Tail in Your Hand.
Figure 22: Gathering the second tail. Figure 23: Front view of pulling on the gathered tail.
Tighten the wrap strand by strand, pulling the slack out as you did on the other side (Figure 22).
Pull the wrap as snug and smooth as you can (Figure 23).
Step 18: Check the Baby.
Figure 24: Checking the baby's seat. Figure 25: Checking the baby's feet.
- Hold both tails of the wrap in one hand.
- Use the other hand to make sure the baby has a good seat (Figure 24).
- The bottom edge of the wrap should be securely held between your body and the baby's body, supporting the baby's weight. Make sure it is not coming out from underneath the baby's bottom.
- The wrap should extend from knee to knee under the baby.
- The baby's knees should be higher than their bottom, tucked up in a froggy position.
- Check the baby's safety.
- Make sure the baby's airway is clear and open.
- Do not let the baby's chin rest on their chest.
- Check the baby's breathing, color, and circulation.
- Check the baby's feet (Figure 25). They should be pink and warm if the wrap is not too tight.
- Check that the baby is secure.
- The wrap should be snug but not tight across your body and the baby's.
- At this point, if you are holding the ends securely, the wrap should be holding the baby up.
Step 19: Pull on Both Ends of the Wrap.
Figure 26: Pulling on both tails.
- Continue pulling and tightening both ends of the wrap, getting out as much slack as you can.
- You can tighten one end at a time, or both sides at once depending on your comfort level and wrapping experience (Figure 26).
- You may find it helpful to gently bounce slightly while pulling on the wrap to tighten it.
- Flex and wiggle your body and your shoulders if you can.
Step 20: Cross the Tails of the Wrap Under the Baby's Bottom.
Figure 27: Crossing the tails.
- Pass the tails of the wrap over the top of the baby's legs.
- Cross the tails under the baby's bottom, making an X (Figure 27).
- Pull the wrap snug under the baby's bottom, up against your body.
Step 21: Tie the Wrap.
Figure 28: Tying a knot in the tails.
- Make a double knot under the baby's bottom (Figure 28).
- Pull the knot firmly against the baby and your body to make a secure seat.
Step 22: You Can Now Carry Your Baby Hands-free!
Figure 29: Completed kangaroo carry with a doll in a Lenny Lamb Charmed Butterfly wrap, size 4. Figure 30: Completed Kangaroo carry with a sleeping baby in a handwoven Inda Jani Binni Rayado wrap, size 5.
You have finished tying a kangaroo carry (Figure 29-30).
Remember to monitor your baby and use safety precautions while using the wrap.
Step 23: Optional: Tie a More Secure Finish.
Figure 31: Crossing the tails under the baby's bottom. Figure 32: Side view, showing passing the tails under the baby's legs. Figure 33: Secured kangaroo carry on a doll with a Lenny Lamb Eclipse Black and Yellow wrap, size 6. Figure 34: Secured kangaroo carry on a toddler with Ethos Solace Vesper wrap, size 6.
If you have a long wrap, you can do an alternative tie to make a more secure "unpoppable" seat. (Unpoppable means the baby cannot push with their legs and pop their bottom out of the wrap.)
Instead of tying a double knot under the baby's bottom, make another pass with the tails.
- Cross the tails under the baby's bottom (Figure 31).
- Pass the tails under the baby's legs (Figure 31-32).
- Tie a double knot behind your back or at your side (Figure 32).
- Figures 33-34 show the completed kangaroo carry with an extra pass, a.k.a. secured kangaroo carry or unpoppable kangaroo carry.
Step 24: Learn More About Babywearing.
Figure 35: Rebozo carry with a handwoven size 1 wrap over a baby with arms out. Figure 36: Poppins hip carry over a nursing toddler with Lenny Lamb Galleons Turquoise and Navy in size 4. Figure 37: A toddler in a back carry (Rucksack tied Tibetan) with Natibaby Piano Rainbow Hemp, size 6. Figure 38: Front view of a toddler in a double hammock back carry tied in a freshwater finish with Ethos Green Argyle, size 5. Figure 39: A preschool-aged child in a Lenny Lamb ergonomic carrier, Galleons turquoise and red pattern, toddler size.
This is only one of many ways to tie a woven wrap. You can wrap a baby on your front, hip, or back in over a hundred different ways. Figures 35-39 show a variety of wrap and carrier styles.
Woven wraps are versatile and appropriate for all ages and sizes of parents and babies.
Babywearing can be a great way to bond with and comfort your baby, and it can help you do more things while caring for your baby. Wraps and carriers can be important assistive devices for anyone, including people with disabilities.
If you need more help or would like to connect with others who babywear, look for babywearing support groups and coaches in your area or online.
The Babywearing International website has many resources and instructions for using wraps and carriers.