Educator to Educator: Crossing the straps of an SSC

posted in: Educator to Educator | 4

It is no secret that I love Soft Structured Carries (SSCs). For my seat-popping babies, SSCs made those tough parenting days a tiny bit easier. All SSCs have slightly different features -which is great as that means they can work for different people. One of my favorite features on an SSC is crossable straps. 

Crossable shoulder straps on an SSC can make a big difference in comfort for some individuals. Petite caregivers and those with narrow shoulders have noted they find the straps feel less bulky and less likely to feel like they might slip off their shoulders. Others with limited flexibility or mobility find that having crossable straps makes putting the SSC on easier since they do not have to try to clip a back clip. Finally, others have said it helps to keep the straps from rubbing under their armpit. 

Crossable shoulder straps come in two different forms. One is the shoulder straps that unbuckle at the body panel. The other is the shoulder strap that is dual adjust, meaning it disconnects and can be adjusted towards the body panel or towards the shoulder strap. If your shoulder strap does not disconnect or disconnects at the bottom of the shoulder padding, then crossing your straps yourself will not work.

Dual adjust unclips and can tighten either direction. Bamberoo, Onya and KinderPack are some examples of dual adjust.
This Beco unbuckles from the body panel, which makes crossing the straps possible.

How to cross the straps on your carrier:

Start by preparing the carrier:
– To cross the straps of your SSC, begin by disconnecting the shoulder strap from the body panel.

– Adjust the buckle to give yourself plenty of length to pull it across your body. If you have a dual adjust, it is helpful to make sure the side of the buckle attached to the body panel is adjusted close to the body panel. This makes it easier to buckle later. IMG_0356

Crossing the straps:
– Put the carrier on as you normally would. Put baby in and pull the body panel over their body. Take both straps over your shoulder so they are hanging down your back.

– Supporting baby with one hand, reach back with the other hand and grasp the strap on the opposite shoulder. Pull straight down, working any slack out from the front by giving your shoulder a little roll. Doing this, rather than immediately pulling across helps to get the slack from the front and also keeps the strap from tightening on the neck.

Tip: lots of folks try to lean backwards to reach the strap. This actually moves it away from their body. To bring the strap into your hand, stand up straight.

– Draw the strap across your body.

– Clip it into place on the buckle on the opposite side. It helps to use the hand supporting baby to hold the buckle steady while you clip it into place. IMG_0359

– Repeat on the other side.
IMG_0361 IMG_0362 IMG_0360

– Holding baby snug to your body, tighten as needed.

That is it! How awesome is that?

The next time you are helping a caregiver with narrow shoulders or having a tough time with the back clip, try crossing the straps! It can make a big difference in comfort for some caregivers!

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4 Responses

  1. Krista @ Stork Guide

    This is a really awesome tip that I haven’t seen mentioned much of at all! I’m updating some baby carrier comparison posts at the moment and will be sure to include information about the ability to cross straps in the comparisons 🙂

  2. Jessica

    My husband will only wear a Mai Tai while back carrying because he likes to cross the straps over his chest. He doesn’t like the backpack style straps of SSCs. We are physically capable of crossing the straps on the Lenny Lamb and he finds it comfortable. Is there any reason he shouldn’t do this? We can’t find any examples of it online, but most sites and videos are of women who wouldn’t want to cross since it would hurt their breasts. Thoughts?

  3. Ellen

    I am crossing the straps of my Angelpack in the back because I have such narrow shoulders. I can’t figure out what do with the back strap though. It stands straight out and looks really funny and is uncomfortable to sit with. Thoughts?