Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Perfect Ruck

The elusive is the fastest carry to do once mastered, uses little fabric & is supremely comfortable. I believe (as per my ClauWi training) that the "kangaroo" carries, where only one layer of fabric covers the baby, are the most supportive (read comfortable) due to the fact that they can be perfectly tightened. Back carrying maximises the convenience of babywearing, as well as being the most comfortable place to carry a baby.
All of these factors mean the Rucksack carry is the ideal carry for many wrappers! To kick off International Babywearing Week we are excited to post our instructions for The Perfect Ruck.

First, the disclaimers: This carry & these instructions are assuming that you are an experienced wrapper/babywearer, as well as that you are familiar with safe ways to put your baby on your back. If you are not, stay tuned- detailed instructions for those aspects of babywearing will be here soon! You will be able to try The Perfect Ruck once you have mastered safely putting your baby on your back. Your baby's safety is your own responsibility- wrap with care, please. Lastly, I only recommend/teach back carries with woven or gauze wraps. DO NOT back wrap with a stretchy wrap! One exception - Gypsy Mama/Wrapsody is made with a type of fabric that is wide enough & can be safely tightened in a back carry.

SO, here it is!

Start with your baby centred on your upper back, with your wrap centred & draped overtop. Pull your top rail tight to keep your baby in place

Tuck top rails between your knees, reach back between your baby's legs & pull the fabric underneath them, making a seat. It should cover their entire bum & thighs, stretching from one knee to the other. Pick the top rails back up, holding on tight to maintain the tension.

Hold one bottom rail in your right hand, top in your left. You can tuck one tail between your knees while you work with the other.

Bring the rails together by folding the wrap underneath itself, matching up the top & bottom rails. Lift the wrap up off your shoulder as you do this, allowing the wrap to continue to fold down your back. This tightens up the sides of the pocket being created for the baby, keeping the carry safe & stable. Repeat on other side.

Hold both rails in front of you, pulling the fabric tight. Pay special attention to the top rail- your baby should be pulled flat against your back.

Bring the tails straight back underneath your arms...

Cross the tails and bring them back under baby's legs to your front. Maintain the tension on the wrap at all times, so you don't lose the careful tightening you have done!

Tie in front- either a half or a full knot. Push your baby's feet up to seat them deeply in the wrap & help ensure their rounded spine.
You have finished your Perfect Ruck!

Photography by Trish Agrell-Smith


  1. The elusive ruck, infamous for butt poppage. You make it look so easy!

  2. Creating the pocket helps with most butt poppage (unless the baby is determined to wiggle out!)...the deeper it is, the less likely the poppage!

  3. Great tutorial!
    I have been practicing my ruck daily and could never get the wrap spread across the thighs. I tried again this morning after seeing this and SUCCESS!! A nice deep pocket. :)
    Thanks Arie!

  4. I have narrow shoulders and the "straps" never stay on my shoulders! So to avoid this...instead of tying in the front at my waist...I feed the tails, crossed over thru the should straps and then tie between my boobs. No more slipping shoulder straps!

  5. Christie- you tie "Tibetan"! That's a great way to redistribute the weight across your upper body too :)

  6. Really miss those we together through the day, but is already past. We can never go back to a time of the former. We regret.
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