Super Mama extraordinaire and Maman Loup BFF, Adrienne, is a very passionate babywearer. She was the one who dragged me (okay, I didn’t resist in any way) to the Babywearing Flash Mob that took place last Sunday to kick off International Babywearing Week!
Since Tuesday is “Teach Me Tuesday,” I asked Adrienne to share some tips on how she tandem wears her 2-year-old son and his 2-month-old brother. Her first tip, which I noticed she did not include in her final version, was “Make sure the bigger one can’t smack the little one.”
Tips for Tandem Babywearing
Guest contribution by Adrienne
I hate double strollers. Side-by-side, sit-and-stand, I hate them all. Either they’re too bulky to fit in my minivan, or too wide to push through a crowded store. Having 4 kids has actually made me dislike even single strollers, since pushing one leaves me with no free hands and unable to run after my other three children. My two older girls have been trained to hold each other’s hands, and listen to directions reasonably well. Our problem when we’re out and about is with the younger boys (ages 2 years and 2 months). When I’m holding or wearing the baby, I can chase the toddler, but I’m not able to pick him up without squishing the poor little dude strapped to my front. This is where tandem babywearing comes in handy. With my big boy in a toddler Tula on my back, and the little guy in an Ergobaby on my front, I may be a bit weighed down, but I can go anywhere! With two free hands!
Here are a few tips for successful tandem baby carrying with 2 SSCs (Soft Structured Carriers, ie: Ergo, Tula, Beco etc):
1- While it’s easy to do alone once you’ve done it a few times, practice with another adult who can help do up the buckles and hand you the straps.
2- Since the straps from both carriers will overlap, put the smallest child on first. You won’t be able to adjust the straps when you’re carrying both children, and you need the snuggest, most supportive fit for the youngest one. The waist belt on the front carrier will be higher up on your torso, and the shoulder straps will be closer to your neck.
3- The back carrier’s waist belt should fit below the front carrier’s, on your hips. The shoulder straps should sit further out on your shoulders than the front carrier’s.
4- Don’t bend down to get something unless you’re sure you can get back up! Even with a small baby and a toddler, that’s an extra 40-50lbs that your legs aren’t used to lifting.
Some of the sweetest memories I have of babywearing is watching the boys interact while they’re both being carried. While it’s certainly the most practical mode of transportation for us these days, it’s also the most rewarding.