So you are trying to wrap your head around babywearing and want to know what types of carriers there are out there. From wraps to slings to buckled carriers, there is a whole world of devices out there you can wear your baby in and we don't want to overwhelm you so let us simply introduce to you 4 main types of carriers that you can wear your baby or toddler in and links to the brands we stock.
A few points to note when looking for the right carrier for you:
The seat of the carrier goes from baby's knee to knee
Baby's bottom is in an optimal M shape - Bottom lower than knees
The carrier supports (and doesn't straighten) the baby's spine from the neck all the way down to their bottom
The carrier allows the wearer to keep baby above their belly button
The carrier is tight so that the baby becomes part of the wear's center of gravity
A wrap consists of a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around baby and the wearer. Wraps can be stretchy or woven.
You tightly wrap the jersey fabric around your body and tie it at your hips. Once it is on, slide baby in so that their head is close enough to kiss.This carrier is perfect for new born babies as it best mimics the womb and is great for doing skin to skin. We recommend a stretchy over an insert in a soft structured carrier. A stretchy wrap is recommended for wearing premature babies in as there are no buckles, straps or seams to press on the tiny baby's body.
Woven wraps come in a range of sizes, designs and combinations of fabrics from gauze (good for warm weather), cotton, linen, wool, and other fabrics. Although it can take some getting used to, a woven wrap can be very versatile and allow you to carry your baby in a great variety of positions.
02 Ring Sling
A ring sling is a long piece of fabric (about as long as a bath towel) that has 2 rings (made of continuous pieces of metal) sewn securely into one end of the fabric. You need to thread the fabric through the rings like a belt and wear the sling across your shoulder. Baby either sits on the front or side of the wearer. There are other positions you can use with a ring sling, but these are dependent on their age and baby's developmental milestones. A ring sling is a fast and convenient way to carry your baby when you need to quickly pop into the shops or pick up another child on the school run.
03 Mei Tai
The Mei Tai is an Asian invention! It is a square piece of fabric with shorter straps that tie around the wearer's waist. Then there are longer straps that go over the wearer's shoulders and cross around back and hips until there is no more fabric. The Mei Tai is very comfortable and can be a lot lighter to wear than a woven wrap. It is also more flexible for baby and wearer.
04 Soft Structured Carrier
The design of the SSC (also know as a Buckle Carrier) comes from the Mei Tai. Instead of using long pieces of fabric to tie around the wearer's body there are adjustable bands that click around the wearer's waist with a strong buckle and adjustable straps that go over the shoulder. Like a backpack, but worn in front. These are the most common and favoured carriers.Please note that these types of carriers often need an insert for newborn babies.