Reader Q | Styling Around a Post-Partum ‘Beer Belly’ While Wearing Baby On Your Back?


Reader Question:

Hi Shana,

I was wondering if you had any thoughts/ ideas on what to wear when carrying your baby or toddler on your back?  I carry my son around a lot & find I have to think carefully about what I'm wearing as the belt of my ergo is obviously quite tight & so even though I'm pretty slim it makes me look like I have a bit of a beer belly ( I'm from the UK, I think you'd call this a "pooch"!).

At the moment I usually wear a long tshirt underneath the belt then pull my sweater or sweatshirt over the top so it kinda hangs over the belt, hiding (hopefully) the squidgy, bulgy bit. Im not sure how this looks from behind….i think its ok, as long as my jeans/ trousers aren't too skinny. Thoughts?

Thanks so much, I love your blog & congrats on finishing your treatment.,your hair looks great btw!

Chloe x



Thanks, Chloe!  And YES.  I totally get what you are saying.  Both of my boys have spent a good deal of their lives in my well-worn Ergo, but Superchunk Pax has been, more often than not, on my back.  

So.  I have two words for you, my friend:  Ponchos and CropTops.


Crop Tops

Crop tops, now that they are becoming a thing again, are starting to actually show skin.  I don't think I need to tell any new mom that we don't want those.  Find a short, swingier top that hits right above the Ergo belt.  Ergo….  (ha ha – get it?)



I've so helpfully switched this pic to black-and-white so you know it's from yesteryear.  (Which is also why I have hair.)

But see how my shirt is short?  Actually, "Short Shirts" may be a better moniker than "Crop Tops" now that I think about it….but my point is the same:  something with a little bit of swing, something a tad short in the front will help hide a beer belly – even while babywearing. (I typically layer mine over a cami, just in case of wind, but if your stomach is in better shape than mine, you could skip the extra layer.)




Ponchos are basically large trapeze tops (which means that the swing starts at or above your bustline).  So anything with a bit of a trapeze-top-like-swing will work, as long as it isn't too long.  



Let's see if I have a side pic….



sweater: similar, 30% off at Juicy

windbreaker: K-Way

cropped sweater (layered underneath): similar at Forever 21

denim: Rag and Bone

boots: wish they were these

Bag:  Lily Jade

Carrier: Ergo organic carrier in "dark" chocolate (not so dark now, after 6 years of hard use….gosh, I love this thing still)

on Pax: windbreaker, leggings, shoes


Honorable Mention:  Dolman Sleeve Tops

Here's another old pic – this time I'm wearing my old J.Crew dolman-sleeve sweatshirt.  If you can't find a poncho, dolman sleeve tops may offer enough volume to hide the belly. Either let the hem hang over the babycarrier belt, or do a half-tuck into the belt (pretend the babycarrier belt is the waistband of your jeans).



sweatshirt: similar on sale at 6pm

shorts: Madewell

sandals: Saltwater

hat: similar, $20 at Nordstrom

Carrier: Kokopax carrier (Kokopax was bought by Sassy, new product won't be available until later this summer.  To be notified, fill out the form located here.  Just put "kokopax updates" into the comment section.)



Thanks for writing in, Chloe!  Hope this helps!!

And Mamas – any other tips for dressing around a baby backpack?  The beer belly thing is no joke.  




  1. You’re wearing that Ergo super low! I tend to wear the waist belt of my carriers right below my bra band, so it nips in at my narrowest point and defines my waist, plus it’s more comfortable! ☺ For larger children, it may also be worth looking at toddler carriers, like the toddler Tula or Kinderpack. Knee to knee support for kiddo means less hanging/digging into you!

  2. Sara, I was coming to say the same thing! The belt should be on top of the hips with the belt coming right across your belly button. 🙂 As for what to wear, well I’m fat so there’s no fooling anybody, but I do like to let my shirt hang over the front of the belt when my baby is on my back.

  3. When I wear mine, I like to hide it with layers — usually a slimmer t-shirt under the belt (so it doesn’t chafe my belly) and then I add on a slim hoodie (usually from Under Armour) and 1/2 zip it. I put the hoodie OVER the belt so that it hides my pooch. =)

  4. I loved our Ergo for front carrying but it never fit me right when we switched to the back. It rides up and digs into my stomach. I ended up trying some other brands and the Boba (we got the lightweight Air model) is amazing! It doesn’t dig into my stomach at all and is much more flattering and comfortable to wear with my daughter on my back. My husband and I have both done 2-3 hour hikes with her in it.

  5. I have wondered about this myself so many times, so almost laughed out loud that someone else voiced it…and of course that you had thought it through! Thank you for this!!

  6. I put the layers over the Ergo belt. Aah, the ErgoPooch. Indeed. Know that very, very well. I spent two weeks in France when my DD was 7-8 months old and carried her everywhere. There are many, many photos of me (and her) in that Ergo. I wore cardigans too, longer, drapier cardigans so I could actually pull those tails out so they were on top of the Ergo belt.
    It seems no matter how small you are, you’ll get ErgoPooch – and my children preferred the all-day, all-night milk bar to any solid food for like 10 months EACH, so I was a shadow of my former self by the time they tried a Cheerio, but my belly STILL stuck out over the Ergo belt. I went for the bloused look – looser fitting tops I could pull up and blouse over the Ergo belt.
    I also tried to really wear the belt on my hips as much as possible, and being short, this was the only way to actually wear the Ergo (any carrier that a 6’2″ man and a 5’3″ woman can share means it fits her not as well.) This helped, although it always seemed like my jeans then needed to be one size smaller, I had that belt cinched so tight.

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