top of page

How to Wrap a Baby on Your Back - African Style

I have three kids and when they were babies, it was tough at times getting them to sleep. An art that I learned to get the kids to sleep is to carry them on my back, African Style. My mother in-law taught me how to carry my kids on my back and it was one of the richest, most fulfilling lessons that I learned from her. (There have been many, but this is one of the gems.)

She brought me 3 yards of ankara fabric to use to wrap the baby, and it helped me when the kids would wake up at 1 or 2 am. It also helped when they wanted me to carry them, but I also had to finish housework, or cook.

The feeling of your baby on your back is one of closeness, tenderness, and love. I remember those days and I cherish them. I want to share my experience with you, so here is how you can wrap your baby.

Note: Many places sell stretchy or silky African "inspired" prints. Do not use these because they will be too flimsy. The best type of fabric to use is 100% cotton because it is breathable and sturdy.

Steps to wrapping a baby with Ankara Fabric

  1. Get 2-3 yards of ankara fabric. We got you covered order here

  2. Put the cloth on your waist but do not wrap it yet. Imagine wearing a wrap skirt, that you are about to wrap.

  3. Lean slightly forward to put your baby on your back. Wait a minute, HOW? No worries, we have two videos to show you how to put the baby on your hip and then move them to your back. If you are a beginner, make sure that you have another person help you to put the baby on your back.

  4. Pull the cloth up from your waist and over the baby just enough to cover it's bottom and back.

  5. Decide whether the baby will have their hands inside the wrap or out free.

  6. If the baby will have their hands inside the wrap, make sure that the baby's hands are giving you a hug, then pull the cloth up over the baby's arms and under your arms and around the front of your body.

  7. Tuck the cloth in so that the upper part of the baby is set and secure.

  8. At this point you may need to adjust your baby to move it up. You can do this by thrusting your upper body upward GENTLY as if you were going to jump but you feet are staying on the ground. Do this very gently. (See the videos for a demonstration of this)

  9. Once the baby is adjusted, gather the bottom part of the cloth and bring it around the body. Hold the two ends and twist them together twice pulling them until the baby feels secure. Tuck the ends of the fabric under the cloth at the bottom.

  10. For added protection, use another rectangular fabric to wrap around the baby's bottom and bring the ends to the front and tie in a knot.

This art is truly an art and it is a blessing to know the art. This helps babies to stop crying and to fall asleep next to Momma. Wearing babies on the back also gives Mom two free hands to continue doing other things while the baby is sleeping.

For a video tutorial, check out our new You Tube Channel, Silhouette Africana, with a video on how to wrap a child on your back.

14 views0 comments


bottom of page