Getting a good seat is both one of the most important and hardest parts to master of babywearing because it is the foundation for which the rest of your carry is built. An ideal seat places baby’s knees higher than his or her bum in a M-squat position with the bottom rail extending from the back of one knee to the back of the other. It is not unusual for beginning babywearers to find making a seat difficult nor is it unusual for more experienced wearers to share tips and tricks for making a seat easier.
Some of the tricks offered by other babywearers are especially important such as ensuring that baby’s knees are, indeed, in a deep M-squat while other tips make it easier to get the bottom rail in place yet may not produce an ideal seat. These tricks include tucking the bottom rail into baby’s pants or diaper. This trick essentially holds the bottom rail so that it is already postioned between wearer and baby prior to executing the rest of the carry. While tucking the seat might not be inherently wrong, tucking the seat is not enough to make an ideal seat. Tucking the seat is tantamount to learning to swim using a kickboard. The kickboard keeps you from going under but at some point, you are going to need to learn how to swim on your own, without a flotation device. Notice the above definition of an ideal seat: an ideal seat places baby’s knees higher than his or her bum in a M-squat position with the bottom rail extending from the back of one knee to the back of the other. This definition does not dictate the depth of the seat. It does not say the bottom rail needs to extend to the baby’s diaper/navel area. Why? Because it is not actually the depth of the seat, rather the positioning of baby’s legs that determine a good seat. Think about it… SSCs, MTs, and pods do not have a panel of fabric between wearer and baby. What they all have in common is that they support baby’s legs in a M-squat position extending from the back of one knee to the back of the other.
Why is tucking the bottom rail into baby’s pants or diaper not enough to create an ideal seat? Besides potential wicking of urine on to your wrap, when you tuck the bottom rail into baby’s pants or diaper, you are creating a pocket of loose material between you and baby. This loose material can create just enough give for baby to pop right out of their seat.
I hear you when you say your arms aren’t flexible/long enough to create a seat without tucking. I’m not saying you have to stop using this method altogether; however, with practice you won’t need it anymore. What I am saying is that you are not done. You still need to reach between you and baby and pull out the excess slack in the bottom rail and ensure that it extends from the back of one knee to the back of the other. Now, stand up so baby sinks into the seat. Like in a hammock chair, the back of the knees should be supported by and just spill-over the bottom rail which runs horizontal to the ground without any peaks of loose fabric. You can also pin a seat in place with your tails like a pod; essentially, even using the method above, the seat is pinned in place with your tails.
The next time you are making a seat, concentrate on making sure that baby’s knees are higher than his or her bum in a M-squat position and that the bottom rail extends completely from the back of one knee to the back of the other rather than the depth of the fabric between you and baby. Without the extra loose fabric between you and baby, the potential for seat popping is decreased and you have more width to spread higher on baby’s back.
Thank you Z&S Photography www.ZSPhotoVideo.com www.facebook.com/ZandSPhotography
and Allonsy Photography https://www.facebook.com/allonsyphoto