The base size variation of Front Wrap Cross Carry tied at the shoulders is one of my favorite carries. It's just as supportive as Front Wrap Cross Carry, but ties at the shoulder. The tied at shoulder look is very pretty and also makes for a carry that can be easily raised and lowered for feeding or adjusted while wearing. Another benefit to this carry is that it lies flat in the back, which makes it a comfortable carry for sitting. Here's a photo-tutorial!
Begin your carry just like regular Front Wrap Cross Carry, except start with one tail just long enough to hang to your hip. To begin, you will have one short tail (about hip length) and one long tail. Guide baby's legs through the horizontal pass and seat baby on the bunched horizontal pass to position baby. Bring the top edge of the fabric up over baby's back.
Holding baby with one hand, reach under baby's leg and grab the bottom edge of the fabric. Use the bottom edge to sweep baby's knees upward, bringing her knees higher than her bottom. In between you, the bottom edge of the wrap will make a straight line from knee to knee.
Tighten each strand of both tails until the horizontal pass is evenly snug around baby.
Bring the long tail straight across your back.
Take the tail under the knee and then across baby's bottom to the crook of the other knee. Keep the wrap over the second knee.
Finally, bring the long tail up to meet the short tail. Tie a slipknot at the shoulder.
If you choose, you can spread out the cross passes over baby's back. It is also fine to leave them bunched. Spread passes tend to be a bit warmer and a bit more supportive for an older/heavier baby. Bunched passes are airier and cooler.
One day this week, my oldest daughter who is seven now, was chilly and asked for a blanket. I didn’t have a blanket nearby and wrapped her in one of my favorite wraps. When I draped it over her, it hit me suddenly that the last time she was in that wrap was the last time I had ever worn her. I can remember the day just like it was yesterday. I was SO pregnant and waiting for our third baby to be born. Anna and I had just gotten home from school (I was a teacher at the school she attended) and there was a surprise package on the doorstep. When I opened it, I found a sweet gift from my best BWI SO MD friends. It was this lovely green wrap, one that somehow they had known I wanted.
It was just Anna and I in the house and I asked her if she’d go up in the wrap so that we could test it out. She was five, almost finished with Kindergarten. She had always loved to be wrapped and so of course, she agreed. I sat down on the couch and let her climb onto my back herself (since this 40 week pregnant woman was not superman tossing or hip scooting her!) and I wrapped her in a simple ruck that I could barely tie off because of my belly. We twirled and danced a little, and then went to the mirror to take a selfie.
Had I known that was the last time I’d ever wrap her, maybe I would have taken a few more selfies, or just soaked it up a bit more. Maybe I would have taken one more twirl around the living room. It’s funny how your babywearing time can just end like that, a weaning so slow neither of you even notice it happening. Slowly, you are wearing them less and less. Then one day, you wear your child and it never happens again. I can still wrap my arms around her and wrap her in love. I will treasure our last "baby" wearing selfie.
So, when your toddler, or preschooler, or kindergartner asks for a ride in your carrier, enjoy the moment. Take a photo, breathe in their sweet baby (or kindergartner) smell, snuggle them for one extra minute. Remember, even when you can no longer wrap them to your body in fabric, you can always wrap them in your arms and in your love.
BWI of SO MD
Babywearing International of Southern Maryland's mission is to promote safe and comfortable babywearing and to build a community of families in Southern Maryland.