Want your baby’s weight off of your shoulders and distributed over your torso and hips? Try a torso carry … or a modified torso carry.
I’ve blogged about the simple African-style torso carry before. You can do this carry with a beach towel, short wrap, curtain, or authentic African kanga. It’s really low-tech. It’s good to know in case you’re at the pool and it’s time to leave and your toddler is not in the mood to sweetly hold your hand and go with you to gather up your pool bag and your other kid … ask me how I know.
Here’s a cool torso carry video:
I can do this carry, but I’m really lame at it. Which is kind of a bummer, because yes, I DO want my baby’s weight off my shoulders and evenly distributed over my torso and hips.
Good thing that’s not my only option. In addition to the kanga-style carry with a really short carrying cloth, there are some cool torso carries that can be accomplished with longer cloths. I love this video of a torso carry with a 9-foot Bara Barn knot shawl:
Instructions for yet another option, the torso cross carry, are included in the Gypsy Mama wrap instructions booklet. (For those who are familiar with the back wrap cross carry, the torso cross carry is the same except you bring the fabric under your arms instead of over your shoulders, and you make sure it’s really snug.)
All of these carries are true torso carries: “Look ma, no shoulders!”
Those of us who are just not great at true torso carries are not without hope, however. My favorite new carrier is actually a Korean torso carrier with shoulder straps called a chunei. It’s a new take on the traditional Korean torso carrier, the podaegi. What’s new about it are the shoulder straps, buckles, and a large area of hook and loop closure at the front (that’s Velcro to most people). The shoulder straps don’t bear much weight at all; they’re just there to keep everything in the proper position. The weight is distributed evenly over my torso when I use it, and I’m actually pretty amazed at how light my 32-pound toddler feels when I carry him in it. That’s us on the right in our denim chunei from HosaUSA. (Yes, we’re on the HosaUSA website too. No, I’m not a paid spokesperson.)
Another way to cheat and have pretty much a torso carry with a strap is to do the “Semi-FWCC” with a short wrap. This carry amounts to a front torso carry with a one-shoulder “cheater” strap. I blogged about it before, complete with truly scary photos (ah, back in the baby mullet days before the big boy haircut), but I wasn’t really thinking of it as a torso carry then. But, cheater strap notwithstanding, it is a torso carry, which is why it’s so comfortable even though it only has one strap.
I wonder what other ways there are to cheat at a torso carry?