Another post in our series on wearing two. This time Steph looks at wrapping a toddler and a baby at the same time in a wrap. The same carries apply to wearing twins. Previous posts on wearing two include Ruby’s post on how to get started wearing two and Sarah’s post on how she wears her toddler and infant in a Mei Tai and SSC combination.
When my younger child was born, my eldest was 2.5 years old. It quickly became apparent that with a newborn and a toddler making a tough transition, wearing them both was one way to keep everyone happy.
I prefer to wrap my kids in the same wrap at once. The advantage of this is that there’s less material involved than trying to wrap them in separate wraps. The disadvantage is that if the one on the back (the bigger child) wants to get down, they both have to come down.
I need at least 4.5m to wear both kids at once. In this size wrap, I can ruck the big one, cross beneath the legs and do a tibetan finish, leave the tibetan finish loose and pop the little one in the FCC (Front Cross Carry) this makes, tie behind the little one’s back. When my younger child was a newborn, this carry was problematic at times because she didn’t have the kind of head support I’d have liked. You can find video instruction on this carry with newborns here and the technique is the same with older children.
If you have a longer wrap (say, 5m+), then you can BWCC (Back Wrap Cross Carry) with ruck straps the bigger child and finish the same way for the little one with greater support. The three passes would give you more support with the bigger child. You can find video instruction of this carry here. A variation is to use a chestbelt rather than ruck straps with the BWCC.
Another possibility, which I have not seen and don’t have a wrap long enough to try; would be the chunei back carry (or double hammock back carry) with ruck straps, crossed between the back child’s legs and bought up in front for a tibetan finish. The smaller child then sits in the cross of the tibetan finish. I’m shopping for a long wrap just so I can try this and see if it works! (Leave a comment if you’ve had a chance to try this. Please?) I suspect it will work well because the heavier child’s weight will be distributed across the entire chest of the wearer, rather than on the shoulders. The latter point being a significant problem in my experience of wearing two as the weight becomes significant. I wouldn’t recommend this for very hot weather, however!
If you have two wraps, then I find BWCC and FCC in separate wraps -wrapping the big one on your back through the pretied (empty) FCC another way to carry two. This leaves you with about 9 meters of material wrapped around you, so you want to do this with THIN wraps! Basically, I pretie the FCC and then get big one on my back in a BWCC with crossed straps in front, passing them through the crosses of the FCC to sit directly on my chest. You could also do this with chestbelt, but I think this is a smoother finish for the little one in front. The advantage of this over ruck straps on the BWCC is that your chest is supporting alot of the weight of the big one and the rest is being passed through shoulders and down to the hips. I find the FCC rides up on the shoulders to the neck this way (there’s only so much room on your shoulders to fit all this material) but when your front wearee is still small, this is fine. Using this method, the two wrapees are semi-independent. It’s possible to remove one without removing the other, although getting the one off the back without waking the one in the FCC would be tricky, but you would not need to remove the front carry.
For very small babies, I prefer to carry both kids in this way as I don’t have to preload the smaller one and bend forward with the baby in the front. As the baby gets older, I find this less problematic.
(1) When wearing two in one wrap, the more supportive the better, but you’re carrying two kids and don’t want to get too hot. Without wanting to add to the “silk hysteria”, compared to my all cotton vatanais, my silk indio is a better bet. That said, I have successfully worn two in a vatanai for a considerable length of time. So although you’re better off with a supportive wrap (say, a storch), I don’t think you need special equipment per se (like pamir) to do this.
(2) Supportive shoes are a must. My kids are about 20kg of combined weight and when walking for an hour or more, good shoes are awesome. That said, I wore the two of them in one wrap in heels at a wedding once for an extended period, so needs must. I did kick my shoes off ASAP though!
(3) Bend from the knees, but getting up ain’t easy 🙂
Further resources for wearing two:
TheBabywearer’s Wearing More Than One forum is excellent for troubleshooting and ideas
The BCD Wearing Twins and Multiples page has a broad variety of personal information, articles and links
Do you carry two? What combinations work for keeping your household happy?