How can you carry your baby? – Part 2: Hip Carry

It seems like the answer to this question should be straight forward. There are only so many ways how you can carry your baby: front carry, hip carry, and back carry. Those are the three basic carrying positions. But who is each carrying position best for and which carrier can you use?

This post is the second part of a three-part-series about carrying positions. Each post will give you an overview of the featured carrying position and some tips and tricks. You can find the first part of the series here.

In the second part of this series, I would like to introduce you to the hip carry. I started carrying my daughter on the hip when she was about 5 or 6 months old. I’ve had a beautiful ring sling gifted to me before her birth and tried to use it when she was little. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the sling to be comfortable for myself. A few months later I tried again and suddenly it was nice and comfortable. The ring sling was the only carrier I used to carry my girl on the hip, and I did so until she was about one year old. In the last few months, I mainly used a hip carry for quick up and downs at home.

Who can you carry?

Hip carries are great for babies from about 4 months old. At this age, your baby will most likely get curious and wants to see more from the world. Being carried on your hip will allow your baby to look around and see more from the world, while still being able to cuddle into you when she is tired.

At four months old your little one will also be big enough to spread its legs wide enough to fit around your hip. This will be essential for a hip carry. If you are unsure if your baby is ready for a hip carry, try carrying your baby on your hip without a carrier. If it feels natural and comfortable your baby will also be ready to be carried on your hip in a carrier.

While carrying your baby on your hip will be helpful for a time, it is unlikely that you will still carry your toddler on your hip. Once your baby gets older and heavier you will notice that a hip carry puts a lot of strain on your back and that this type of carry is not the most ergonomically.

Which carrier can you use?

A lot of different carriers can be used for hip carries. However, the most common one certainly is the ring sling. With a ring sling, it is easy and quick to carry your child on your hip. However, other carriers can also be used for hip carries: stretchy wraps, woven wraps, and meh dais. Soft structured carriers (buckle carriers) can sometimes be used for hip carries too but are usually not comfortable. Onbuhimos can not be used for hip carries.

How do you use a ring sling on the hip?

Carrying your child in a ring sling on your hip is like carrying your child on the front. The technique is the same. The only difference is that you will place your child on your hip rather than on your front.

Wrap you in Love has created this great tutorial.

How can you wrap on the hip?

Stretchy wraps and especially woven wraps are also good for hip carries. Not many might use a stretchy wrap for a hip carry, but it can certainly be done.

Using a stretchy wrap for a hip carry isn’t as quick as using a ring sling. But if you only have a stretchy wrap on hand and aren’t afraid of trying something different then this tutorial from Wrap you in Love is great.

When using a woven wrap for a hip carry you will have the option of pre-tying your wrap as shown in this tutorial from Wrap you in Love.

Tips and Tricks for hip carrying

  • Do you know yet, which side you prefer for hip carrying? If not, simply try a hip carry on either side of your body and see which side you prefer.
  • When using a ring sling, place your rings high up near your shoulder. You can adjust the rings again before tightening. While tightening the sling, pull the fabric horizontally rather than down to avoid the rings sliding down.
  • The tail of the ring sling can be used in the following ways: fold the top rail over part of the tail, take the whole tail and place it along the top rail, then tuck loosely on the other side of your baby or wrap the tail around the rings.
  • Make sure you spread the fabric over your back nice and wide to distribute the weight of your child evenly.
  • Be aware that you are carrying your child only on one shoulder. Hip carries are best suited to short carrying times.

Let me know…

Do you also like to carry your curious baby on the hip? Which carrier are you using most for this position?

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