Everything I Needed to Know about Double Hammock, I Learned from Self-Wrapping

Did you know double hammock and front wrap cross carry are very nearly the same carry, just with baby in a different place? Think about it!
This article is for for those just dipping their toes in the back-carry waters with a woven wrap, or those struggling with the nuances of a double hammock carry, and it contains a secret that I wish I had known years ago. You don't need a baby on your back to hone your back-carrying skills. In fact, a hybrid of with- and without-baby practice might be just what you need!
You know what it's like. You're trying to remember the million things you learned from that video tutorial, but your baby has decided your bed comforter is SUPER interesting and is leaning six ways from Sunday, meanwhile you're sweating trying to hold babe with one hand and tightening, tightening, tightening only to end up with both slack in the top rail and a popped seat. And then babe is too mad to start over. Ugh! Back carrying is not easy to learn. So many things to balance, mentally and physically!
Maybe you have mastered a back carry but the supportive awesomeness that is Double Hammock eludes you. It seems like it takes so long to learn ... but then it becomes many people's favorite, so you are determined! 
Find a time when baby is happy or asleep and wrap yourself. Really. It's so simple. Just do it. 
Double hammock is a tightening game. When a pass changes angles, slack is created, and you need to walk your fingers across the fabric to gather up the slack as your hand travels. There is nothing intuitive about this. But if you have your own body to give feedback for when the tension is maintained (and when it is lost), you learn how to KEEP that tension. 
If babe is back there, you can't feel when the tension is lost. It's hard to tell until you tie off what went wrong and what went right. Plus, chances are there's crud on your mirror just like mine, making it hard to see. 
Perfect pleats and a tight chestpass are side benefits, but they are not nearly as important as building the muscle memory to do a double hammock well before you and your baby get fed up with the process. 
Self-wrapping is a time when you can be patient with your learning curve, precise in your movements, upright in your posture, and purposeful in your thinking. 
Post your self-wrapping pictures in babywearing groups to encourage other people to branch out to new carries in a woven wrap, even if they have an impatient baby. You might make all the difference for them in their babywearing journey. 
If you need a boost of confidence to get started, remember what I said at the beginning. Double hammock is the same in most ways as ye olde standby front wrap cross carry. Try this: Self-wrap FWCC without a baby. It looks like double hammock except for the tie off, no? You can do it! Go practice!*
*No baby required! ;) (wink emoji)
Jaime Gassmann
Owner, Bijou Wear

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