Checklist for a Perfect
Beco Gemini Fit
1) Where does the
The waistband is
worn by most people at the top of their
hipbones, resting on the pelvis. Do not
wear it up around your natural waist near
your ribcage, and do not wear it down *on*
your hips (it will put pressure on your
sciatic nerves running down your buttocks).
More important than the exact spot though,
is to make sure that the waistband is EVEN
front to back. You don't want the waistband
high on one side and low on the other. If
you can't get it to even up and stay in
place, tighten your belt a little and try
For example, in a back carry there is
a tendency for the buckle on the waistband
to ride up above the belly as the body of
the carrier sinks down on the opposite side
from the weight of the child. Nope! Push
it down so that the buckle and the black
nylon webbing go *under* your belly (your
belly is useful here! ;-), and the waistband
is more or less even front to back.
2) How tight should
the shoulder straps be?
shoulder straps are too tight, they will
actually lift your baby's weight up and
support it with your shoulders. You don't
want that. You want your baby's weight to
drop down and be supported at the hips.
The shoulder straps just serve to pull your
baby in closer to your body. If the padding
of the shoulder straps feels like it's chafing
your armpits, or you feel pressure on your
shoulders, you might have the shoulder straps
too tight. If your baby is sagging outward,
or sagging downward, or you feel like your
baby is not snuggled closely into your chest
or back, tighten them up.
3) Chest strap placement
and armpit rub
The chest strap
(connecting the two shoulder straps) should
be at the base of your neck (in front carry),
or just below your collarbone (in back carry).
If not, slide it up or down the runners
to be in the right place. Armpit rubbing
can sometimes be relieved by wearing the
chest strap placed *lower* on your body,
so experiment with positioning and see if
that helps pull the shoulder straps out
of your armpits. Armpit rub is also typically
caused by having your shoulder straps too
tight. Try loosening them up.
4) How tight should
the chest strap be?
Are the shoulder
straps resting just inside your shoulder
caps? They should not be resting *on* your
shoulder joint, nor too close to your neck,
but right in between. If they are slipping
out too far onto your shoulder cap, tighten
up your chest strap so that it pulls them
in. NOTE: If you have your shoulder straps
worn crossed, you won't need the chest strap.
The chest strap is for straps in backpack
(aka rucksack) style, it connects them and
keeps them from slipping off your shoulders.
5) I feel wobbly!
or My back is sore!
If you are wearing your baby for the first
time on your back, and your baby is older,
then your core muscles will need to adjust
to babywearing. Keep your babywearing sessions
short at first and increase gradually as
your back and shoulder muscles strengthen.
Make sure your posture is good, stand up
straight, and go for a walk with your baby
instead of standing in one place.
6) What about facing
out? Babies need to be able to hold
their own head upright before facing out
in the carrier. Facing out is much harder
on the wearer than facing in. When facing
in, a baby's heavy, dangly parts (head,
arms, legs) are leaning toward your body
and/or wrapped around your body. Your center
of gravity doesn't change so much. When
your baby is facing OUT, the head is angled
away from your body, the arms and legs are
hanging out away from your body. You have
to work harder to maintain your center of
gravity, so you arch your back farther backwards
and clench your muscles tighter to do so.
Personally, I think 16-17 pounds is about
the comfort limit for front carry facing
out, 20 pounds for front carry facing in...but
listen to your body.
Please also note that the facing out
position is not optimal for the baby's spine.
While the Gemini allows for a slightly seated
position (as opposed to dangling suspended
by the crotch, as with the BabyBjorn and
other carriers), the ideal ergonomic position
for a baby's spine is to sit with knees
spread at the level of the seat. Prolonged
use of the facing out position is not recommended,
but it is fine for short periods.
You might also hear from Ergo and other
carrier manufacturers that babies cannot
stand to be facing out, as they become easily
overwhelmed and overstimulated. Frankly,
each baby is different. Some babies LOVE
to face out, and practically insist on it.
Other babies might prefer to face in. Your
own baby will let you know what he/she prefers
at various stages of development.
The only downsides to facing out that
I have found are a) a baby that falls asleep
facing out has no head support, b) facing
out position is hardest on the wearer's
back and c) facing out is not optimal ergonomically
for the baby's spine, but is not harmful
or damaging for short periods.
A good compromise is to use back carry.
Then baby can see what you see (especially
if you turn sideways) but still nap comfortably
with good head support, or turn away if
overstimulated, and baby can be in close
physical touch contact with the wearer.
Back carry is also the easiest wearing position
for long periods, and puts the least stress
on the babywearer's body.
7) When should I
switch to back carry?
you can put your baby on your back once
your baby has good head control. This means
that if your baby's body is vertical, he/she
can hold her head upright without it flopping
over. Back carry is almost always more comfortable
than front carry. Humans are built to carry
weight on their backs, not on their front.
If front carry doesn't feel good, then give
back carrying a try. If your baby is 20
pounds or over, you should be *primarily*
wearing your baby on your back.
I personally GREATLY prefer back carrying
to front carrying, except with very young
babies. I don't like having my shoulders
pulled forward, and I don't like not being
able to see my feet. I had my second baby
on my back at 2.5 months and it was great!
Much easier on the back, neck and shoulders
overall. Pulls your shoulder back so you
can stand up straight and tall with good
posture. If you have an older child to take
care of, then you won't have the baby between
you every time your older child needs a
hug or some attention.
However, see #4...when you switch from
front carry to back carry you use an entirely
different set of muscles, so there might
be a new period of adjustment for you as
your core muscles strengthen and adapt.
I've been babywearing for years, and it
still happened to me when I went from primarily
front-carrying to primarily back-carrying
my babies. Adjustment should not take longer
than 3-4 days at most though.
8) My baby doesn't
seem happy in the carrier
sure that you are trying the carrier with
a recently fed, changed, happy baby. Don't
try the carrier for the first time with
a hungry, cranky baby. This will frustrate
both of you. Also be prepared to walk around
a LOT when you are trying to carrier for
the first time. If your baby is not used
to being worn in a carrier, he/she might
need some soothing walking motion to get
used to it and feel reassured. Above all
do NOT put your baby in and then just stand
around like a statue. It's best if you can
put your baby in the carrier and then go
for a walk. Even walking around your house
is fine, if that's all you can manage. Just
Babies go through phases. They may hate
being in a carrier at three months, then
at six months they LOVE it. I have had dozens
of parents return carriers because "I love
it, but my baby hates it!", and then they
turn around and buy the same carrier months
later because they tried again with a friend's
carrier and now the baby adores being worn.
So keep that in mind, especially if you
have a print that you love...it might not
be available at a later date.