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Manduca carrier troubleshooting checklist

Manduca carrier worn by man with Pepsi bottle
Manduca daddy! If you’ve got it, Max it!

Since I initially wrote about our Manduca carrier, I’ve noticed quite a few people land on my blog looking for advice on Manduca carriers.

They are worried the baby is slumping, how to use the hood, etc.

Like all carriers, the Manduca has a learning curve.  But stick with it and you won’t be sorry!  To help people along, I decided to write up this troubleshooting list.  Don’t give up.  And let’s be honest, how else would you drink your Pepsi Max safely while carrying your baby..!

First of all:  While adjusting, make sure you can still see the baby’s face to make sure he or she can breathe. The baby should not be snoring while in the carrier as this indicates partly obstructed airways due to suboptimal head positioning.

I should also say that I found the Manduca easier to use when Bolle got a little older.  For the first four months, an elastic wrap was way more comfy.  So this advice pertains to 4-5m plus when you can use it without the newborn insert.

Problem:  Head lolling

Solution 1:  Adjust the sleep hood.  The hooks for attaching the sleep hood elastic bands to the carrying straps can be moved up.  By moving these as high up on your shoulders as possible, you tighten the sleep hood and keep the head stable.  Notie also that the elastic running in the channels along the side of the sleep hood can be adjusted by pulling at the bottom and buttoning them to the base of the sleep hood, where it meets the main carrier body.

Solution 2:  Expand the carrier body.  By unzipping the carrier body and tightening the carrying straps, you can use this part of the carrier to partly support the baby’s head and neck, rather than relying on the hood alone.  Making the carrier longer might seem counter-intiutive if the baby is really small, but to the age of 8m we relied on this almost exclusively for head support, rather than the sleep hood.

Solution 3:  Make sure the baby’s pelvis is tilted towards you in the carrier.  This serves to give the baby’s back a c-shape, ensuring the head will naturally rest on you if the baby falls asleep. You can tilt the pelvis by lifting the baby’s knees slightly towards you while tipping the pelvis carefully like a bucket.  The problem might also be that the carrier is too tight.  This means the baby’s body is too straight and the head will fall back, especially if the baby falls asleep.  See below for how to fix this 🙂

Problem:  Baby slumps in carrier.

Solution1:  Adjust the carrier to be tighter to your body. Slumping mainly happens because you haven’t tightened the carrier enough.  How best to do this depends of course in part on the baby’s age, your body shape etc.  Generally though, hoisting the waist band up to sit at the top part of your hips is helpful, as is shortening the top straps (the black webbing closest to the carrier’s panel). The top straps serve to bring the baby closer to you.

Solution 2: Bring the baby higher and tilt the pelvis towards you *before* adjusting the carrier. Hoist the baby up into the desired position while supporting its back, then fit the carrier around it with the Manduca’s gazillion straps. Hoisting the bum up brings the baby’s tummy closer to yours and gives a more comfortable carry for you both.


Solution:  Unlike many high street carriers, the baby’s back should keep a c curve while in the Manduca, not a straight line as in a narrow based carrier.  This means many people keep tightening the Manduca because it feels different.  Chances are you can losen the straps a little.  Position the baby as described above by tilting the pelvis.  Then bring any extra strap to the buckle and keep it there with one hand, tightening it with the other.  This ensures an even and comfortable tightening job!

Problem: Cross strap eating into your neck when front carrying.

Solution:  Move it further down the carrying straps.  It should sit just above or just below your shoulderblades, where ever you can reach it.  It should not be weight bearing.

Problem:   Crosswise strap eating into your boobs when back carrying.

Solution:  Move it further up the carrying straps.  Having that said, I found a wrap much more comfy for back carries than the Manduca, probably because my tummy is bloated and flabby and can’t take the pressure of the waist strap very well.. ahem.

As I said in my earlier post, draft into your coat can be cured with mitten clips.  Cold baby calves can be covered with leg warmers.  If you have any furhter issues or questions, pls leave a comment and I’ll update the post.

Roll on, spring.  I’m tired of pushing a stroller containing wriggling toddler, huge sheepskin sleeping bag and tonnes of winter clothing.