my back carry predicament-BabyHawk and Beco - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 03-29-2009, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For my baby's first 3 months, we used a Moby. Loved it!

From 3-8 months we have used a BabyHawk Mei Tai EVERY DAY...it has been perfect for us in every way. I've only been using it in a front carry. I have never had a sore back, not once...despite walking for long distances and even carrying groceries at times. Now that he's getting bigger I have been trying to back carry with the BabyHawk. I'm not fully comfortable putting him on my back alone...it freaks me out...but aside from that...once it's on, it hurts my back. I feel like the straps want to fall off of my shoulders and it lacks a supportive strap across the chest. Know what I mean?

So I found a nice looking Beco Butterfly on sale and I went for it...hoping it was the answer. It feels good initially, but after a good walk I have pain between my shoulders. I keep fussing with the buckles and re-adjusting to no avail. My dh had the same experience, but he only tried once.

My question is...am I supposed to not notice this heavy baby on my back...should a good back carrier feel fairly weightless? Or could it be that my muscles aren't trained enough yet? I'm small and thin and not particularly strong I guess. Or should I have gone with an Ergo? I didn't because I heard they aren't great on petite mamas.

How comfy should the Beco be on a little mama with a big 'ol baby on her back? Do I have unrealistic expectations? I NEED a great back carrier.

Thanks!

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#2 of 17 Old 03-29-2009, 04:52 PM
 
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It shouldn't be hurting you. I would keep messing with the straps and see if you can get more comfortable. Search over on the Babywearer or post there, you may get some great tips.

I have a Babyhawk, Beco Butterfly and Ergo. Comparing comfort for back carries, I would have to say that the Ergo is the most weightless option, followed by the Beco, then lastly the Babyhawk. But that's just me, and many mama's prefer Mei Tais over SSC's. My LO will be 2 tomorrow and is about 30 lbs.

Because you have played with the straps and still are sore, I do wonder if it's just the lack of back carries up until this point. It does take some time to build up those muscles, it's nice to do back carries from a couple months of age; that way baby is getting bigger while you are building the muscles and slowly getting used to added weight.

You could try limiting back carries for 20 min. a day and then work up to extended periods of time. If you are only used to front carries, a 2 hr back carry will likely leave you a bit sore; even with the most supportive carrier. I do think different muscles are used with front vs. back babywearing.

Hope you find a way to get comfy with back carries.

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#3 of 17 Old 03-29-2009, 05:15 PM
 
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You sound like me: I've used my Babyhawk everyday for months and months, but I started using a Beco Butterfly around 11 months for the back carry.

DH had problems with the Beco straining his shoulders and with the chest clip digging into his chest when we first got it. I watched how he was using it, and he didn't have the waist/hip strap low enough on his hips and it was also too loose. If you have it on the right way, almost all the weight should be sitting firmly on your hips. The shoulder straps really just balance the baby on your back - almost none of DD's weight is supported by them. Does that make sense? Try tightening the waist strap with it unbuckled. It should squeeze a little as you buckle it, but it shouldn't be hard to buckle. Make sure that it's going around your hips and not sitting above your hip bones. I hope that makes sense.

When I have the Beco adjusted correctly, it's really much more supportive than the Babyhawk. I hope you figure it out soon!
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#4 of 17 Old 03-29-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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Can you add a ribbon tie to the babyhawk? I don't see why you couldn't look a ribbon around the straps and tie it over your boobs (or under). It won't solve everything, but it will make the straps stay on.

Have you ever tried a frame backpack carrier? You can go to REI or something and try them with the kiddo. Craiglist might be your friend.

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#5 of 17 Old 03-29-2009, 05:58 PM
 
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try tieing a chest strap if you hav enough strap left. here's how.....

get babe on back w/ BH tied around waist...pull up over babe's back...have straps over your shoulders like a backpack...when you bring each strap around back put it over the 1st leg & under the 2nd...when you have both straps back around the front pull up & pass under opposite side's shoulder strap... then tie together

like the tibetan carry on here
http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/rucksack.htm

I love carrying DD in the wrap rucked Tibetan, but the wrap isn't always practical for when we're out. I was using a scarf to tie a chest strap on my BH. One day I forgot the scarf & did this. It was way more comfortable.

Just practice getting your LO on & off your back & you'll get more comfortable w/ it & so will your LO.

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#6 of 17 Old 03-29-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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I've never used a babyhawk, but you should be able to cross the straps over your front (instead of doing rucksack style) in any mei tai. See how I do it on this page: http://www.wrapyourbaby.com/meitaiback.htm
(and how cool that someone on this thread already recommended my site, albeit for the wrap tie--that's so cool )

That way the straps don't feel like slipping. You might also find that it offers better weight distribution since it crosses your torso. The other variations shown on that page might help too, in that you never know what little adjustment is going to propel you into babywearing heaven! So you could try crossing or twisting the straps high on your little one's back, too.

I've never used a SSC, but I do know that you should be able to acheive a painless back carry with a Mei Tai! Generally, a high and tight carry will be more comfortable than a looser or lower one, and it is important to have the waist straps and shoulder straps both tight enough, so that your whole torso is being used to bear the weight.

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
Wrap Your Baby Comfy, versatile baby carriers and lots of wrap instruction.
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#7 of 17 Old 03-30-2009, 04:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by FernG View Post
Make sure that it's going around your hips and not sitting above your hip bones. I hope that makes sense.
aha...we may be onto something here! i've been wearing it well above my hips. i'll try it this way and report back.

and thanks everyone also for the mei tai tips. i'm inspired to experiment more with the babyhawk as well!

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#8 of 17 Old 03-30-2009, 10:10 AM
 
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I get a lot of strain if I don't wear DD really tightly tied (luckily she is fine with that) and as high up as can be. DH was military and he knows a lot about weight distribution and he showed me the best way to carry without strain.
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#9 of 17 Old 03-30-2009, 04:15 PM
 
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Try pulling the chest strap down on your back as low as it can go! This will give more support to your back! You may need to buckle it first and then pop it over your head
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#10 of 17 Old 03-31-2009, 12:36 AM
 
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As for the Beco, I suspect you have the waist belt at the wrong place. You might need to lower it a little.

The easiest way to find what you're doing wrong is to snap a photo of two with carrier and babe.
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#11 of 17 Old 04-02-2009, 02:43 AM
 
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As for the Beco, I suspect you have the waist belt at the wrong place. You might need to lower it a little.

The easiest way to find what you're doing wrong is to snap a photo of two with carrier and babe.

Also, make sure the waist is TIGHT as you can manage comfortably. No low-slung sagging for babywearers.

DS was 30 pounds at 1 year when I got my Beco for back carries and I carried him up until DD was born a year later and the only times it hurt my back after the first couple weeks of getting used to it was when I'd wear him in the front!

You can also cross the straps in front with the Beco if you want something extra to try
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#12 of 17 Old 04-02-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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You can also cross the straps in front with the Beco if you want something extra to try
I believe she has a butterfly so you wouldn't be able to cross the straps in the front.
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#13 of 17 Old 04-02-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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Adasmommy -- I looked at your site (nice pix!) and was wondering on the variation of the mei tai back carry you linked for us, where the straps are crossed over the baby's back -- do you bring the straps around the baby's back, cross them, then go under the legs to tie at the waist? I want to try that, but want to be sure I have it right.

Calynde -- have you tried putting the babe on your back on the bed a few times? That's what I did with DD until I got comfortable doing the back carry. I was SO worried I'd drop her. They're pretty secure in there. I just needed to experience it for myself

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#14 of 17 Old 04-03-2009, 03:51 AM
 
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I believe she has a butterfly so you wouldn't be able to cross the straps in the front.
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#15 of 17 Old 04-03-2009, 11:30 PM
 
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#16 of 17 Old 04-07-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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Adasmommy -- I looked at your site (nice pix!) and was wondering on the variation of the mei tai back carry you linked for us, where the straps are crossed over the baby's back -- do you bring the straps around the baby's back, cross them, then go under the legs to tie at the waist? I want to try that, but want to be sure I have it right.
Yes, just as you said. The straps come down under my arms rucksack style (or crossed in the front, as preferred), then come around the side of the baby, cross or twist, then under the opposite knees. Just like you usually do MT straps but crossed up high on back instead of under the bottom. And when I do that, I like to spread them out flat like in the picture so it's comfortable across baby's back. It's really supportive and sturdy this way!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#17 of 17 Old 04-08-2009, 09:02 AM
 
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Cool. I have been doing it this way and it's really supportive. Thanks!

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
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