Your Guide to Tandem Carrying
from Carrying Consultantancy Mother Rucker
When I became a mother for the second time, one of the things I was most excited about was that I could start tandem carrying her with her two-year-old brother! The options and choices for carrying both of them together were vast and I was so excited to try them all. You can use pretty much any type of sling or carrier to tandem carry your child, I quickly became adept at using one woven wrap to carry them both! However, when my toddler son wanted to get up and down a lot and my newborn daughter was sleeping this swiftly became impractical outside of nap time.
Stretchy wraps and buckled carriers soon became my “go-to” carriers. They offered flexibility, variety and I could get both of my children in and out independently of each other. As they grew, this evolved into using two buckled carriers for speed. They are now 2 and 4 years old and I still tandem carry them from time to time.
As a Slingababy trained Carrying Consultant, I have also worked extensively with parents of twins and multiples to help them carry their babies singularly and together from birth. For the purposes of this article, I will be focusing on carrying two children at a time, both twins and siblings. If you need to look at how to carry more than two children at once, I encourage you to find your local carrying consultant or sling library for help. If you are in the UK you can use Sling Pages to find them.
The first thing to consider about tandem carrying is the ages of your children. If you have twins, then the tandem carries available to you at different stages are different from those available to parents of siblings of differing ages. If you are looking at carrying siblings, it is very important that you have two carriers that are the correct size for your child.
Tandem carrying is really useful when caring for more than one child, it allows you to meet both of their needs at the same time and still have your hands free to care for yourself. It is also great when you are out and about as it means you are free from the restrictions a double buggy may place upon you whether you’re hiking for a picnic or shopping in town. We call it a “ Mummy Sandwich” and it always makes my two giggle, especially when they’re playing peekaboo over my shoulder!
It is really important to ensure that you are well balanced when carrying two children. You need to ensure that their weight is level whether tandem carrying both on your front, or one on the back and one on the front. It is really important to maintain a comfortable alignment. If one child is lower than the other, this can pull your back and as your body tries to compensate it can cause aches and pains.
We’re going to look at two twin carries, one for newborn twins using an Ergobaby Aura Stretchy Wrap, and one for when they are 6m+ using two Ergobaby Omni carriers. We’re also going to look at two sibling carries, one using an Ergobaby Aura Stretchy Wrap with an Omni and one using an Ergobaby Embrace with an Ergobaby Omni carrier. I have also created a video series on YouTube demonstrating how to perform each of these tandem carries.
Twins | Newborn | Ergobaby Aura Wrap
- Tie the stretchy on tightly, with enough room for both babies.
- Place one baby in one side of the passes, ensuring airways are clear and the fabric stretches from knee to knee.
- Use your forearm to hold them in place whilst you pick up the second baby and place them in the opposite side, ensuring airways are clear and the fabric stretches from knee to knee.
- Retrieve your horizontal pass from underneath the babies and, bunching it up into a rope, bring it over all four legs and nestle it under their bums.
- Pull the top hem up to their necks to hold them securely in place.
Twins | 6m+ | Ergobaby Omni x2
- Clip both Omnis around your waist, with the back one on top of the front one.
- Use your favourite back carrying method to get one of your twins on your back. Ensure they are secure.
- Now, place your other twin in the carrier on your front and ensure they are secure.
Siblings | Ergobaby Aura Wrap & Omni
- Tie on your Aura wrap and ensure you have enough room for your newborn child.
- Get your older child on your back using your favourite method.
- Place your newborn into the stretchy wrap on your front, ensuring the airways are clear and the fabric is spread knee to knee.
Siblings | Ergobaby Embrace & Omni
- Clip both waistbands around your waist, with the Omni on top of the Embrace.
- Loosely clip the straps of the Embrace around your torso.
- Use your favourite back carrying method to get your older child on your back using the Omni Ensure they are secure.
- Place your younger child in your Embrace on your front, tighten up the pre-clipped shoulder straps.
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The MotherRucker Podcast is also available on all major podcasting platforms.
Tandem Babywearing Tips How to Carry Two Small Hikers
Whether your own family is growing, you have twins or you’re helping out a friend by watching their child, adding another heartbeat to your hiking routine can be a challenge. But rather than stressing about it, know you have options for getting out on a fresh-air adventure with everyone. On stroller-friendly trails, a double all-terrain stroller – or wearing one child and pushing one (or two) children – is a great option. But in the cases where you want to get farther out into nature, you’ll want to tandem carry.
If you’ve only ever worn one child at a time, wearing two at once will be an adjustment. There are lots of things to consider: Age of your children, mobility level, how they’ll want their snacks and last, but most important, your own comfort. We’re here to tell you that it’s totally doable and can be a lot of fun, so here are some helpful tips on how to tandem babywear your smallest hikers more efficiently!
Photo by Kim Ives
Tandem Babywearing Tips
Yes, that’s carriers. Plural. It makes sense: two children, two carriers. There are a few notable exceptions like the TwinGo, which is designed to carry two children. Otherwise, plan on one carrier for each child. The type of carrier is up to you, but the most popular way to wear two children at once are using either soft-structured carriers like the Onya Baby or woven wraps.
We’ve seen people mix and match on the trail and, ultimately, it’s up to you. But if you’re new to carrying two, consider a soft-structured carrier simply for ease of using a buckle on and off.
2. Loading Them Up
The “standard” rule of thumb is one kiddo on the back and one on front. Typically, the heavier child will go on the back and the lighter on the front. You’ll want to load the back child first to avoid jostling the smaller front-carried baby. And, if both kiddos are the same age/size, you’ll want to ensure that the smaller child is old enough to ride on your back (typically 6 months or so with good head control, but, again, contact your local babywearing expert if you need assistance with determining this). Once the child on the back is securely in place, add your front child.
Tip: If you have an older child in back who likes to get up and down, an option is to strap that child in second for convenience. Natalie Kendrach includes a tip on how to do it successfully when youre alone with no one around to help:
I personally prefer putting the baby on first so that I have the toddler’s carrier on top (for easy up and down). I put the carrier hood in my teeth to support the baby’s head when doing that method. That allows me to use the ‘Superman’ toss to get my toddler on my back. But when others are there, they just lift her to my back.
3. Get Help
Some ideas for getting the kiddos on board include using the back of an SUV or a picnic table to get loaded. But theres no substitute for a friend’s help, so if youre hiking with friends, wait until you have them nearby in case you need assistance whether that’s holding a child, keeping watch on an escape artist or helping with knots or buckles.
4. Clothing and Gear
You have an extra body with extra body heat, so you’ll want to keep that in mind in your own layers, potentially wearing one less layer. If it’s summer, you’ll have twice the amount of straps on your shoulders, so you may want to consider a tee shirt instead of a sleeveless top. Also, if you use cooling towels, you’ll want to have an extra on hand!
For your kids, you’ll want to utilize standard layering/clothing considerations. If in winter, you’ll want to dress your children in appropriate winter layers (more on this here). If in summer, wicking material will be your – and their – best friend.
- Hiking poles – If wearing one child throws off your stability and balance, then two will do so equally. Hiking poles are a great idea anytime you’re hiking with kids, but especially when you’re carrying tandem.
- Quality shoes – Having great shoes is always important when getting out, but again, especially so when tandem carrying. See this article for tips on finding the right shoes.
Photo courtesy of Natalie Kendrach
5. Snacks & Water
If you have ever done anything with a toddler, you know that snacks are critical. In fact, many of us would consider it an emergency to not have snacks at the ready. With this in mind, consider how you’re going to carry snacks and other important things like a phone and car keys. (See how high snacks rank?) Remember, you’ll have limited access to your pockets.
Water is also top priority, as you’ll want to keep yourself AND the kids hydrated. Here are options for carrying snacks and water:
The carrier itself
Your carrier may have pockets designed for storage. Just make sure the items you need the most access to are in the front carrier so you can more easily get to them. Otherwise, that friend that helped you load up will need to get them out of the back carrier.
Attached to the carrier
Using a carabiner, you can attach a snack cup to your carrier so your kiddo can help themselves. However, if you have two snackers, you may want to be in control so one doesn’t end up with fewer snacks. In my experience, it’s tough to have too many carabiners out hiking. This isn’t quite as easy for water, but it can be done!
Another option for attaching to the carrier is a pouch like the Onya Hipster pouch. Think of it like a waist pack that slides on the carrier strap instead of another strap around your waist. Its big enough to hold the essentials without being clunky and in the way.
A waist pack, the new hip way to say “fanny pack,” is a great way to carry extras. One of the best ways to wear them is underneath the back child, almost as a seat below the carrier. You can load these up with snacks and other essentials, and it doesn’t (theoretically) add much to your load. Some waist packs are also hydration packs. (Pro tip: if you have a child with new teeth and they chew through the valve you use to get water, purchase extra valves. In bulk.)
Mesh cinch backpack
These are awesome for wearing OVER the back carrier. The layering order for this is going to be back child/carrier first, then the mesh pack OVER the back of that carrier, then your front child in their carrier. You can load up this pack with snacks, other essentials and even a hydration bladder. The only challenge with a backpack is access. Youll need to stop to get items from the backpack, or ask a friend to help.
6. A Dry Run
Last, but not least, a dry run is something you’ll want to consider. Try gearing up and loading up everything from snacks to kids in a comfortable environment, ideally your own home. That way you can get a solid feel for how it all pulls together, where you might need some help, and what is going really well.
In the end, we just want to see you on a trail and hope you and your family have a great time!
We’d love to hear your experiences! Share your tandem carrying tips, tricks and questions in the comments below.
Disclaimer: We are not babywearing experts, but we’ve done a lot of hiking with kids. These are some top tips we’ve discovered from lots of hiking with lots of families over the years!
Read on to find out guest blogger Jenny Silverstones top reasons to try our tandem carrying. Check out more from Jenny at her blog, Mom Loves Best.
Were you blessed with two babies close in age? Or are you the proud parent of twins? If so, then you may want to consider tandem babywearing.
Want to learn more about tandem carrying with twins? Check out our post!
If you’re not familiar with what that means, the definition is simple. It’s when you wear both your babies at once in their carriers, slings, or wraps.
It may sound intimidating, but there are an abundance of benefits for both you and your babies. Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll love about tandem babywearing.
1. People Will Think You’re a Rock Star
If you like to give off the impression that you’re capable of anything, tandem babywearing will do it. Not only will people wonder how you’re pulling that off, but you’ll feel like you’re an unstoppable Mom force to be reckoned with.
The big secret about tandem wearing is that while it may look difficult, it’s actually quite easy once you get the hang of it. So be prepared to get some stares of amazement when people see you headed their way.
2. Your Hands Are Your Own Again
The hardest thing about being a mom, besides the sleep deprivation, is always wishing you had extra hands. Whether you’re struggling to pull out some cash from your purse at the grocery store, or you need to check the occasional email from the office, tandem wearing gives you your hands back.
That can be a lifesaver when you have two kids to deal with who both need your attention.
3. You’ll Be Fitter
You’ll be carting around a lot of weight with you. With two babies strapped on, you’ll be getting some great weight-bearing exercise.
You’ll be working your body much harder than you would if you were walking without carrying either one. But it doesn’t feel as hard as carrying them both in your arms does. You won’t have those sore, achy arms that moms often get.
If you wear one in the back and one in the front, the weight is distributed in such a way that it doesn’t feel overwhelming, even as you get a good workout. Check out our Slow Yoga Flow!
4. The Extra Snuggles
If you crave closeness with your babies, this is a much better option than pushing them around in a stroller. You’ll get skin time or snuggles with your baby, instead of having them at arm’s length. That can give both of you the closeness you want and can lead to a tighter bond between the two of you.
5. Your Older Child Wont Feel Left Out
Even when your older child is excited about having a younger sibling, it can be easy for that excitement to give way to partial jealousy. They’re used to having your undivided attention and all the hugs, snuggles, and carrying time. Suddenly, you’re going to be spending more time with your baby for their basic care.
That can leave you with an upset toddler or baby. Tandem wearing gives them the chance to still get their quality time with you too, plus it can be more fun knowing their younger sibling is just over your shoulder.
6. It Helps With Space Invaders
We don’t mean the alien kind, but the strangers who think it’s perfectly acceptable to walk up to your babies and touch them.
Sometimes people touch their hands or fingers, which can drive germ-conscious mothers absolutely crazy. Other times, people feel it’s okay to reach into a stroller or car seat and touch a baby’s face. You don’t know where their hands have been, and you definitely don’t want them on your child.
Tandem wearing tends to help that situation. You have both babies close to your body so people feel less prone to invading your baby’s space. Adults seem to have more boundaries with other adults than they do with babies. Just by keeping your baby nestled against you, you’ll cut down on how often strangers feel the need to touch your babies.
Give It a Try
Tandem wearing isn’t as difficult as it seems at first glance. With a little practice, a comfortable carrier, and some great tips, you’ll have it down in no time flat.
Babywearing has a learning curve, but you may find it rewarding once you get the hang of it. Many moms can’t imagine not doing it because they find it so convenient and beneficial.
Have fun with it, and remember to enjoy these moments while they last!
About the Author:
Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, an editor for the popular parenting blog Mom Loves Best, and a huge advocate of babywearing because of the benefits and convenience it offers for both parents and their babies.
Twin Baby Carriers
Planning on braving the outside world by your lonesome? If you want to go anywhere and have two free hands while carrying your twins (or for hanging out at home, for that matter), a baby carrier for twins is your best option.
Since oftentimes newborn twins are smaller than other babies, you may have a hard time using a normal soft structured carrier, like the Ergo, for the first few months – it’s a bit big for tiny ones.
Baby Carrier for Twins: Newborns
For the first few months, you may want to start by using a wrap-style carrier. Our favorite is the Boba Wrap, which is $10 less than the Moby and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-e-r, so it’s perfect for tandem-wrapping.
Other of our favorites are Happy Baby wraps and Solly Baby wraps, which offer a variety of beautiful and trendy colors and patterns.
You can check out YouTube for tons of videos (or just check out our faves below) of different ways to wear your twins in various wraps.
Make sure you are using the correct wrap style for the carrier, as stretchy and woven wraps work and act differently.
Baby K’tan (pronounced Ka-TAHN) ~ $49
With the double loop design, the Baby K’tan is an easier wrap to get on because you dont have to learn how to tie anything. Its perfect for wearing newborn twins together (up to 10 lbs each). Note that the K’tan is sized to fit you (the wearer), not your baby. Choose your size carefully and know that it’s very stretchy.
*Note that due to new CPSC guidelines, Baby K’tan can no longer “officially” recommend their carrier for twins, but that’s not to say it can’t be done….
NuRoo Pocket ~ $59
The NuRoo Pocket is approved for preemie and twin use (while sitting). You wear the pocket like a shirt and the babies fit into the little pocket in the front. Awww. Tested on babes up to 45 lbs, the shirt comes with a support belt to ensure a secure hold on your littles. This carrier is perfect to pack in your hospital bag for skin-to-skin for both mom and dad.
Nesting Days ~ $98
The Nesting Days carrier is different because you wear it around your tummy, like a shaper, which makes it very secure, comfortable, and totally hands-free. This carrier also gives much needed tummy support after giving birth, which may be helpful in postpartum recovery. Twin moms love this carrier, especially those who have had c-sections.
Nesting Days is ‘made-to-order’ in small batches in San Francisco. Immediate delivery is $ Pre-orders that ship in 4 to 6 weeks are $ Sizing is based on your pre-pregnancy dress size.
This carrier runs a little small, so size up when you order. If your carrier arrives and you realize its the wrong size, Nesting Days will send you the right size within a few days, and a pre-paid envelope for the return.
Again, per the CPSC guidelines, the Nesting Days Carrier is not officially recommended for twins. Talk with your pediatrician if your have concerns.
Available exclusively Online at nestingdays. Enter discount code LUCIESLIST to get a $5 discount off any order.
MiniMonkey Twin Carrier ~ $ USD (~ $27 shipping charges to the U.S.)
Recently a reader clued us into the Minimonkey TWIN a new double wrap carrier for twins (but with some structural features for added safety and ease of use), and we think it’s awesome!! As a twin mama myself, I struggled to find a comfortable way to carry both my twins simultaneously (as well as get them situated in a carrier by myself). The Minimonkey seems like an awesome, easy-to-use tandem-carrying solution for twin parents.
It’s comfortable for the babies due to its ergonomic design that allows both babies to be carried in the hip-safe “M-Position” (see example of M position below though with the Minimonkey, twins ride on each hip and not in front as the illustration shows), with their backs and necks fully supported.
Younger babies ride with their arms in the carrier, while older babies can tuck their arms in our let them stay out (cue adorable photo ops of twins holding hands while riding in the Minimonkey TWIN!).
The Minimonkey TWIN can safely hold newborn babies (without an insert) all the way up to approximately 26 lbs per baby (!!).
The Minimonkey is also comfortable for the babywearer too: its wide waistband and shoulder straps distribute the weight of the babies over the wearer’s upper body. This helps lighten the load, as well as prevent any babywearing backaches.
The Minimonkey TWIN was designed to be easy to use, but if you’re like me and need a how-to video to learn how to do anything… check out this Instructional video.
A few months ago, Minimonkey introduced a new version of their twin carrier called the TWIN Mesh (the carrier used to be cotton). Made totally out of breathable mesh fabric, the design has also been improved upon. It is easier to adjust, more comfortable to wear and offers more support and leg room for the babies.
Note that while Minimonkey is a Dutch brand based in Amsterdam, they do ship to the US. The shipping fee is approximately $
Soft Structured Carriers
Weego ~ $
Finally, for newborns (only), there is the Weego carrier. This is a soft structured carrier made for preemie and newborn twins. The carrier holds both babies in the front. It has a short lifespan (approximately 6 months), and then the babes will either be too long or too heavy for the carrier.
At $, its a pricier option than a K’tan or wrap, but the upside is that you dont have to learn to tie it in several different ways. The appeal of the Weego is that its especially great for preemies (from 3 lbs and up).
Baby Carrier for Twins: Infants
Another popular method of carrying young twins together is using double ring slings (that’s right, you need two of them). This way of carrying twins feels very natural – and looks natural as well (vs. some of the other “contraptions” that may garner some strange looks).
The double ring slings are not quite as secure as some of the structured carriers mentioned below, thus, not ideal for vigorous activity; they are great, however, for bumbling around. They’re also better for when your little ones are awake (vs. for when babes are sleeping).
Again, once your twinnies bulk up a bit, you can use a soft carrier made for twins, but the double ring sling works great for infants and comes in many beautiful prints. For some inspiration, go here.
Some of our more favorite, more affordable ring slings include: Hip Baby Ring Sling, the Maya Wrap, and WildBird; and on the pricier end, there is the beautiful Sakura Bloom and the Tula Ring Sling. If you have a lot of people buying gifts off your registry, any of these would be great to ask for.
Structured Carriers for Twins
When looking at the next category of Soft Structured Carriers, you should select based on how and when you are going to use it
TwinGo ~ $
For the heavy-duty user who wants all the options, the TwinGo is our favorite.
It is pricey, but it has the sturdiness for all sizes to comfortably wear both twins at the same time – and also offers the option to wear them separately.
You can tandem-wear twins from 4 months on (head and neck control are crucial for the back-carry position). Both babies can be worn individually in the front from 10 lbs+. But wait, there’s more… If you want to wear the babies at 7 lbs there is an infant attachment you can buy separately. The carrier is tested to hold a combined weight of 70 lbs… WOWZA. Make sure you bend at the knees!
There is some complexity to this carrier as well, but the instruction booklet is very easy to follow with illustrations and color coding. The TwinGo has all the bells and whistles (with the option to purchase additional accessories), including a zipper pouch and a hood on each carrier, which is great for wearing while breastfeeding or napping (their naps, that is). The straps have lots of padding and there is a safety belt for the baby in front.
This carrier is so secure, I feel like I can hike up a mountain while tandem-wearing (I need to lay off the coffee). Bottom line: the TwinGo is awesome!
BottomLine: depending on your lifestyle, having a soft structured carrier is awesome too because it allows you to be hands-free. These will last into the second year (most likely), so choose accordingly. You have some time before you can use most soft structured carriers, so you can always wait to decide when you have a better handle on your needs.
If you are new to baby-wearing, once you start youll see how easy it is to get into; and for twins, let’s just say holding both babies while rocking/bouncing gets old and heavy – fast. The carriers are great for soothing two fussy babies after they get their shots, while making dinner, cleaning, or holding a drink or two (one drink for each baby, right?) 😉
Back to: Twins Index
About the Author
Marissa BaderEditor & Multiples Guru
Marissa Bader is our Twins Editor and mental health writer. She holds a BA in journalism and a MA in marriage and family therapy. Mama to twins girls and their singleton big sis, when she’s not kissing owies, playing dress-up, or mediating sister squabbles, Marissa enjoys dancing (you should see her get down when nobody’s watching!), and writing about topics pertaining to mental health, wellness, fitness and parenthood. Marissa lives in the frozen tundra, aka, Minneapolis, MN.
Carriers tandem baby
.Tandem Babywearing Part 3: Using Two Soft Structured Carriers (Izmi, Isara, Ergobaby, Tula, Beco)
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