Bird’s Eye View Baby Carrier

I once saw a picture of a japanese mom wearing her baby. He was able to see well over her shoulder. Are there any carriers you know of that do this. I have an Ergo but baby only can see from the side. I would love it if I can get his near my face.

The traditional style of Japanese baby carrier is known as an onbuhimo. It’s a body of fabric with a set of top straps and rings on the bottom that the top straps go through. I don’t know whether the picture you saw was of a mom using a traditional baby carrier or a more modern one. Apparently there has been a real renaissance of babywearing in Japan in recent years and from what I understand there are some types of carriers that aren’t generally known or available in the US.

That said, there are several different options you have for doing a high back carry with carriers easily found in the US. One option would be to do a high back carry in a woven wrap (not a stretchy wrap). Well-known brands of woven wraps include Didymos, Girasol, Storchenwiege, Ellevil, Hoppediz, Natibaby, Dolcino, Vatanai, Wrapsody, and many more. The important thing is not to attempt a back carry with any kind of a stretchy wrap that has a lot of give to it.

Another option would be to do a high back carry in an Asian-style baby carrier. Mei tais are widely available in the US, and you can also find podaegis and onbuhimos. Having a tall-bodied carrier is important to give you enough fabric to support your baby’s body fully.

A high back carry is definitely an advanced carry, and one that you will need to practice thoroughly to be comfortable and confident doing. See if you have a babywearing meeting, babywearing store, or babywearing instructor nearby for help. The Tummy 2 Tummy DVD is another resource, and there are video demos of the high back carry on YouTube. Always practice over a bed or couch and in front of a mirror until you are confident in your skills, and don’t attempt a high back carry with an uncooperative child.

A high back carry can be a great way for a younger baby to see the world. As baby gets bigger, though, you need to watch out for your own physical comfort and ergonomics. If you find that your big baby or toddler is putting too much strain on your shoulders in a high back carry, it’s time to go back to a regular back carry with baby’s weight partially distributed to your lower body as in the Ergo. Most babies get very used to seeing the world from your back by looking around even if they can’t see straight ahead of them. You can always stand sideways to show baby something of particular interest!

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