The tiger in a tree hold – what is it and why is it great?

  • Ergobaby
  • Dec 14, 2023
tiger in a tree hold

Have you heard of the tiger in a tree hold? Or know why most babies love it? And most importantly, do you know how to do it?

This carry is super practical, and our expert Katrin Ritter is here to share how to do this helpful position correctly and the benefits it brings.

Tiger in a tree: for tummy ache, flatulence or just for fun

Why do babies like tiger in a tree?     

The tiger in a tree hold is just one of many different positions in which you can hold your baby, but it is a very helpful one. This is because your baby lies comfortably in a prone position on your forearm (just like a tiger lying on the branch a tree!) and this has several benefits. In this position, they experience gentle pressure and warmth on the tummy area. The small abdominal massage allows trapped air in the stomach to escape more easily and relieves bloating and tummy ache. However, it’s best not to use this position directly after eating. This could lead to milk being expelled again.

The tiger in a tree hold is also suitable for preparing babies for tummy time. This allows them to familiarise themselves with this new perspective and strengthens their neck muscles. And their sense of balance is also trained along the way. After all, with every movement, your baby is “balancing” on your forearm – well supported, of course.

For little explorers – tiger in a tree

Speaking of perspective: sometimes you just don’t know why your baby is being fussy or seems unhappy. This is when the tiger in a tree, which you can use from birth, is a good choice. Because this new perspective on the world around them is exciting. It is also ideal for all older explorers who get bored quickly and prefer to explore the world in a side-lying position (back against mum or dad’s tummy). When holding them facing outwards, simply tilt baby slightly, into the side position.

How do I get my baby into the tiger in a tree hold?

The basic rule is that even with a newborn, you should always take a firm and conscious hold. This is safer than being too hesitant. There are two simple ways to get your baby into this position. Firstly, you can pick up your little one directly from the prone position: one hand reaches under the upper body, the other hand from behind between the legs to the stomach. Then you can pick up baby.

Or you can of course also place your baby on your shoulder. Newborns in particular love this close-to-the-body, chest-to-chest position. Now let them slowly slide down onto your forearm until their head is resting on the side of your arm. The other hand reaches between the legs under the baby to the tummy and supports the lower half of the body.

Another option is to reach through to the crotch with your upper body hand so that your little one is lying completely on one arm. The other hand then lies on your little one’s back and can stroke and soothe them.

How long should you hold your baby in the flying hold?

How long you can hold your baby in the flying hold is entirely up to you. This position is completely safe although some babies, particularly newborns, don’t enjoy being on their stomachs for too long, which is normal. You should change your arm from time to time too so that the baby does not develop a one-sided body or head position.

Tiger in a tree – will you try it?

If you’re an expecting parent and before baby comes you forget how to put little one into the tiger in a tree position in the hustle and bustle of everyday baby life, then simply use our search function here on the blog. You’ll be back up to speed in no time. Enjoy snuggling your little tiger cub!