Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How to wear a heavy baby


You can wear your baby/toddler in the front-carry position or the back-carry position.

By SYAZRINA ISMAIL

So, you’ve read about wearing your wee ones in the JumpSac ring sling. What if your baby is already really heavy to be worn in the ring sling? Is there a carrier than can support your baby’s (or toddler’s) weight? Fortunately there is. It is called the JumpSac Orbit carrier.

What is a JumpSac Orbit carrier?

The JumpSac Orbit carrier is a two-shouldered carrier which fastens by buckles and is constructed to support the weight of a heavy baby / toddler, where the baby’s/toddler’s weight is distributed evenly across the shoulder, chest/back and waist/hip.

It fits a a child from age 6 months to about 3 years old (or till 4 years for petite toddlers).

The best age to start using the JumpSac Orbit is probably when your baby reaches 1 year old.

Are all carriers in the market the same?

No. The differences are in the dimensions on the body panel, width, thickness and length of the shoulder straps and the waist pad, the plushness/stiffness of the various foams or padding materials used for shoulder straps and the waist pad, whether it has a sleep-hood or not, and the various styles of the hood, whether it has a pocket sewn on the body panel, waist pad, shoulder straps, etc, and of course the general differences - in the material and print/colour combo used, and the differences in hardware used to construct the carrier.

What positions can I wear my baby/toddler in the JumpSac Orbit?

You can wear your baby/toddler in the front-carry position or the back-carry position.

I’ve seen a lot of carriers where the baby can face forward. Can I forward-face my baby in the JumpSac Orbit?


No, the JumpSac Orbit is not designed structurally to forward-face a baby, as the bottom part of the body panel is wide, in order to support the baby’s weight by the bum, and to maintain the leg-abducted position, whereby the baby’s legs would be straddling the wearer’s waist/hip.

This is as opposed to the usual baby carriers available on the market which have a narrow base in order to allow forward-facing a baby, and almost always, baby’s legs are seen dangling by the crotch.

Although forward-facing is doable in the JumpSac Orbit (by cinching the bottom part of the body panel with a scrunchie or a shoe string, to make it narrower) it is not recommended to do so. The reasons being:

A face-forward position is awkward, where the baby’s shoulder would be pressed to the wearer’s chest. The baby’s legs would now dangle in front of you, due to the narrow body panel width at the seating area to assume the face-forward position. If you observe carefully, baby’s weight is now supported by his/her crotch instead of on the bum and this is definitely not kind on your baby’s spine.

Gravity-wise, the dangling of baby’s legs in front of you would cause a pulling effect and you would strain you shoulder very quickly.

A face-forward baby might be overstimulated by all the information of the surroundings that he’s absorbing, with no chance of resting their his/her eyes or to hide their face on their parents chest when they feel like it.

What is the best position to wear a heavy baby/toddler?

I would say back-carrying is probably the best position to carry/wear a heavy baby/toddler. You’d feel like you’re carrying a mountain backpack. Reasons being:

- It would feel almost weightless carrying your baby on your back.

- Your tall toddler would not be blocking your view (as he’s now on your back).

- You can continue doing your tasks at hand, shopping, pushing a cart, eating, etc quite easily.

I know I can breastfeed in the JumpSac ring sling. But, can I also breastfeed in the JumpSac Orbit?

Definitely! You can breastfeed your baby/toddler in the front-carry position in the JumpSac Orbit. This is probably the easiest position ever to breastfeed a bigger baby and especially a toddler.

With a little practice, you’d be able to do it fairly quickly with just a couple of adjustments / loosening of the shoulder straps, and maybe a little bit of loosening and retightening of the waist pad to lower your baby/toddler down a bit. Lift up your breast for your baby/toddler to reach for the milk. Latch on, and you can continue with your tasks at hand, as you’d now be able to breastfeed handsfree.

What is the weight limit of the JumpSac Orbit?

It can take up to about 20kg of weight. I suggest only carrying/wearing the weight that you can handle. As for myself, I’m still able to wear my 12kg, 2 ½-year-old boy. I foresee that the maximum weigh limit that I can handle would be around 15kg.

How long can each carry last?

As for myself, two hours of back-carrying a 12kg, 2 ½-year-old boy would still be fine.

When my son was smaller, around 1 year old, weighing about 10kg, 4 hours of wearing was very much wearable for me.

I’d say it depends on how much weight you can take, and your endurance level as well. If you wear a lot, and almost every day, I’d say it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

However, if you have a back condition such as scoliosis, please consult your physician or specialist first.
The writer wearing her then 2-year-old son as she climbs the Great Wall of China.

What are the safety precautions that I should adhere to when using the JumpSac Orbit?

- For comfort and security, wear your baby up high and secure. You can wear the waist pad either on your waist, or on your hip, whichever is more comfortable for you.

- Fasten the chest straps every time you wear your baby in the JumpSac Orbit, whether you’re assuming the front-carry or back-carry position.

- Tighten the shoulder straps, especially when back-carrying, so your child won’t lean backwards, and pull on your shoulder.

- Never leave your baby unattended in the JumpSac Orbit. Communicate with your baby/toddler.

- If you’re back-carrying, whenever you pass through a reflective surface or a mirror, check on your child.

- Do not wear the JumpSac Orbit too tight.

- If your baby is sleeping while you’re back-carrying, fasten the sleep hood so that your baby’s head would stay in place on your back, and not flop about.

- Check if your baby/toddler is grunting, or fussing while in the carrier. That is a sign that he/she is uncomfortable.

- Do not use your JumpSac Orbit while cooking, running, or handling dangerous objects.

- Do not wear an uncooperative baby.

- Please use common sense when wearing your baby in the carrier.

- Read all instructions at http://jumpsacbaby.com/wearing before wearing your baby.

For more information, email: jumpsac@gmail.com or go to http://jumpsacbaby.com/.

Article contributed by JumpSac.
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