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From The Journal

Education

Education series #3: Kangaroo Carry

By Liz Taylor

The Kangaroo Carry (KC) is a one layer wrap carry for carrying your wearee on your front. It is ideally suited to a base -2 wrap; however, it can be done in a longer wrap, with the carry tied in back. Your required wrap length can also vary depending on the size of your child. For more information on base sizing, please refer to this previous article in our journal.

Pros

The KC is a great carry to learn for warmer climates. It has the ability to create more airflow between you and your child when wearing, due to the lack of passes and rails around your upper body. It is also ideal for nursing. 

Our Ankalia Embraced community also highly recommend it as a carry to be utilised for sleep. It’s also an excellent carry to ‘sleep transfer’ - that is, to remove a sleeping child from the carry without waking them - due to the carry’s ability to untie with little disturbance of your child on your front.

Another pro to this carry is that you can either pre-tie it (see below for variations to the regular method of tying), or you can complete the carry whilst seated. This has enabled some users of the carry to complete it more effectively than wrapping whilst standing.

The KC in a base -2 wrap is tied under the child’s bottom (TUB), which also creates more comfort when sitting, as you don’t have a knot at your back!

Cons


Probably the biggest con to this carry for users is the shoulder flips. A shoulder flip is when you take the rail of fabric that is closest to your neck, and bring it underneath the wrap, running it along your shoulder. This creates a ‘flipped’ effect on your shoulder. It can be tricky to tighten effectively, and has meant that this carry is the arch nemesis of carries for some wrappers. Eds note: That would be me!

The capping on the shoulders that is created from the shoulder flips can also restrict movement of your arms. Some people find it uncomfortable to have their arms restricted in this way.



The regular way to begin this carry is with your child on your front, and placing the wrap over them whilst you tie. This can also be tricky, especially with wriggly or less compliant wearees; however, this issue is best overcome by using the pre-tied method.

Tips

One of the keys to a successful KC is efficient tightening of the wrap. To tighten the KC effectively, it is suggested to wriggle your shoulders to assist. See the video tutorial below from ‘Wrap You In Love’ that shows this technique in action.

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You can also attempt a pre-tied variation (see below) to assist with the shoulder flips.

Try tying your KC when seated, as opposed to standing. This may assist you in successfully completing the carry, especially if your child is happy to sit on your lap whilst you do it!

Steps to the KC

Please note these steps are not for the pre-tied variation.

  • Begin with placing your child on your front. Find the middle marker of your wrap, which will be placed under your child’s bottom.

  • Neatly gather the wrap up together, ensuring you don’t twist it. Place one gathered rail over each shoulder, with the part of the gathered wrap with the middle marker under your child’s bottom. The rails should be behind each of your child’s knees, creating a U shape on your front.

  • Bring the top rail up to the top of your child’s neck (or shoulders, if your child has sufficient head control), and spread the wrap evenly across their back.

  • Next comes the tricky part - the shoulder flip! With one hand on your child, bring your other hand under the shoulder strap on the same shoulder. Grab the top rail (that is closest to your neck) and bring it underneath the shoulder strap, to the outside of your shoulder. This should create a capped effect on your shoulder. Pull the rail tight.

  • Swap hands, and do the same step to the opposite shoulder.

  • Cross both these rails behind your back, taking care not to twist them.

  • Bring the crossed rails back around to your front and pull to tighten.

  • You can then begin to tighten each section of the rails (known as ‘strand by strand’). As seen in the video tutorial above, wiggling your shoulder will assist with this process.

  • When you have sufficiently tightened your wrap, either tie the wrap in a double knot under your child’s bottom; or, if you have a longer wrap, cross the rails as you would in a Front Wrap Cross Carry over their legs and bring to the back to tie off in a double knot.

Variations

Here is a pre-tied variation to the KC:

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You can also do a reinforced version of the KC:

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And, you can use this carry as a hip carry:

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Ankalia Wrap Carriers

Some Ankalia carriers that would be suitable for KC are listed below. Click on the link to view more pictures!

Infant Options

Toddler Options

The carriers above are available for purchase from Ankalia’s online shop. You can also look to purchase additional Ankalia carriers secondhand, or obtain assistance or troubleshooting tips, by joining our chatter group Ankalia Embraced!

I’m off to practise this carry again - feel free to join me in Ankalia Embraced to share your successes or failures!

Ankalia respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures. We acknowledge past, present and future Traditional Owners of the land that we work on.

DISCLAIMER

Ankalia’s online journal is written and edited by white Australian women. As such, our articles are written from our cultural standpoint.

To understand and improve our knowledge of the practice of babywearing across a varied dynamic, we may seek input from our friends and peers who identify as belonging to culturally and linguistically diverse groups, and groups who are marginalised within our society.

We aim to be insightful, meaningful and respectful of those who identify as belonging to these groups at all times. If we publish something that you feel is inappropriate or offensive, please bring it to our attention promptly. We are still learning and are mindful of our privilege.

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