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From The Journal

Education

Education Series #2: Traditional Sling Carry

By Liz Taylor

The Traditional Sling Carry (TSC) is a simple, one layer carry that can be utilised to secure the wearee on either the wearer’s front or hip. It is an effective carry ideally suited to shorter baby slings or wraps. Base -2 through base -5 sizes are ideal, depending on your base size and size of wearee. For further info on base sizes, please refer to this previous article in our journal. For some recent history on the renaming of this carry, please refer to this previous article.

Pros

There are several pros about the TSC. It is a quick and easy carry to use, once you’ve mastered it. It is a ‘poppable’ carry - meaning that it can be pre-tied prior to putting your wearee into the carry, and it can remain in its tied state after the wearee is removed from the carry. 





Additionally, as previously mentioned, the TSC is suitable and adaptable to a wide variety of ages of wearees, from newborn through to toddlerhood and beyond.

Cons


As this is a single layer carry, its supportiveness can lessen as wearees get heavier; however, there are a few different ways to combat this - there are multi layer variations to the carry, or using a more supportive fibre in your sling or wrap will provide additional support.



Probably the biggest issue that new users of the TSC face is the slip knot finish. My advice: don’t be afraid of the slip knot! Learning how to do a slip knot will not only assist you in an easy to adjust TSC, but is also an effective and useful knot to use for other finishes in different carries. Take the time to practice your slip knot - it will up your skill set and change your wearing journey!

Jenice practising her TSC in Mako Sundae with a demo doll.

Karlie wearing her toddler in Quarry Granite.

Steps to the TSC

The TSC carry can be broken down into four simple and small steps.

  • Firstly, decide which shoulder you wish to have the single shouldered carry sitting on. You may like to use the opposite shoulder to which you would normally carry your child if you were placing them on your hip. Some people do prefer different shoulder sides, so don’t be afraid to switch sides if you’re uncomfortable.

  • Begin the carry itself by placing one end of the sling or wrap over your preferred shoulder that you’ve chosen from the above step. The tail end of your sling or wrap should sit somewhere between your hip and thigh, depending on the -(minus) base size you are using.

  • Bring the other, longer end of the sling or wrap that is draped behind your back, around to the front your waist. You should now have one shorter rail over your shoulder, and one longer rail in your opposite hand.

  • To finish the TSC, you can either secure the carry with a double knot or a slip knot. To finish with a double knot, simply bring the rail in your hand up to the rail over your shoulder, and tie the double knot at corsage height (or roughly in line with your armpit) on your chest.

Tip: If finishing with a double knot, you may need to bring the knot up and over your shoulder prior to placing your baby into the carry, depending on the size of your wearee, and whether they are positioned on your front or hip.

Most users of the TSC prefer to finish with a slip knot.

Slip Knot steps

1.To finish with a slip knot, bring the longer rail across to the shorter rail of the sling or wrap that is on your shoulder. Then, place it over the top of the shorter rail. This will create what is known as a traditional sling pass at your chest.

2.Bring the longer rail underneath the traditional sling pass, around the back of the shoulder rail, and then bring it upwards.

3.Then, bring the longer rail downwards to rest over the top and vertically alongside the shorter rail (that is at your shoulder).

Here is an image that outlines these first three steps of the slip knot:

Steps 1, 2, and 3 of the slip knot. Photo credit to Abergavenny Babywearing.

4.With the longer rail that should now be hanging downwards (not the one that is hanging over your shoulder!), bring it underneath the shorter rail that is alongside it, and create a loop.

5.Pass your arm (the opposite arm to the one where the shoulder rail is!) through the loop, and grab the end of the longer rail and bring it through that loop. 


6.To finish off the slip knot, pull in a downwards direction on the rail coming over your shoulder, and pull on a diagonal downwards direction with the opposite rail. You should know have a triangular shaped knot, with two separate loops clearly visible around the shoulder rail.

Tip: At this point, do not over tighten the slip knot, as you will find it difficult to tighten effectively when you are completing the carry with your wearee! Just secure the knot in place with a gentle tug and ensure you can manoeuvre the slip knot upwards and downwards.



Here is an image that shows the last three steps of the slip knot:

Steps 4, 5, and 6 of the slip knot. Photo credit to Abergavenny Babywearing.

And now you’re ready to pop your wearee into the carry!

Placing your child into the carry



Begin by shuffling your slip knot further up your shoulder, towards your neck and possibly over your shoulder. Similarly to a ring sling, if you wish your wearee to sit on your hip, you will need to bring the slip knot further upwards to accommodate your wearee’s positioning, as you tighten the carry. How far you will need to bring your slip knot up at this point will depend upon the size of your wearee. If you wish your wearee to sit on your front, you will not need to bring the slip knot as far up.



Place your wearee into the carry by bringing them downwards, as you would with a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) or a ring sling. Ensure that your wearee’s seat is secure, and that the sling or wrap is fastened from their knee to knee, and to their upper shoulder blades or back of the neck. For wearees without proper head and neck control, you should ensure that the sling or wrap is supported up to their neck.

Once your wearee is in position, you can finish off the carry by tightening your slip knot ‘strand by strand’ within the slip knot itself. Take the shoulder rail by one edge, and gradually tighten sections of the rail within the slip knot. You should start to feel the sling or wrap tighten around your shoulders and back. 

To remove slack, feed it towards the knot.

Tip: If you’re having difficulty doing this, your initial slip knot may have been over tightened. See above tip about over tightening the initial knot!

Once you’re satisfied with the secureness of your carry, you can finish the carry off by fully tightening your slip knot. To do this - at the same time, pull downwards on the shoulder rail, and diagonally downwards across your body with the opposite rail.



And there you have it! The Traditional Sling Carry - either with a double knot or a slip knot finish.

Here’s a video tutorial of how to tie a TSC with a slip knot, whilst holding onto your wearee, done by Tandem Trouble.

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Ankalia Wrap Carriers

Some Ankalia carriers that would be suitable for TSC 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!

Are you a member of Ankalia Embraced? Why not come and share your experience with the TSC - positive and negative - with our supportive community! Here’s some additional images from the Ankalia community members using the TSC.

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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