Woven wraps are one of the most versatile carriers. They come in many different lengths, colours, fibers and brands. There is a learning curve with them and can be quite daunting at first. Once you are comfortable with wrapping, the carrier can be used as a front carry, back carry and side carry.
Soft Structured Carriers
A soft structured carrier is a buckled carrier that adjusts to fit a wide range of wearers. Soft structured carriers are often the preferred carrier style for people new to Babywearing as they are simple to use, easy to adjust and are comfortable.
Most ergonomic soft structured carriers position the baby/child to face towards the person wearing them and can be worn on the front or the back. There are also carriers that can be adjusted to also allow for forward facing, however it is not recommended for long periods.
Many soft structured carriers can be used from birth with either the ability to be adjusted down to size, or they can be used with an infant insert. Many of these carriers can be used up until your child is 20kgs. Once your child outgrows the baby/standard sized carriers, you can look at toddler sizes carriers. The general rule of thumb is that once your child can comfortably fit size two pants in the leg, then they should be able to fit into a toddler carrier.
When purchasing a soft structured carrier, it is best to try a few on first. Each carrier fits a little differently and what fits well on one person might not fit as well on the next.
A Meh Dai is an Asian style carrier. It has a square panel and two short straps that tie around the waist and two long shoulder straps that are tied around the body. They are great for going between wearers and can be worn on your front, back and hip.
An Onbuhimo is based on a traditional Japanese style carrier. It is a carrier that is designed for children who can sit unassisted and are great for using with toddlers who want to go up and down frequently. They are mostly used for back carries, but can also be worn on the front. Unlike a buckle carrier, an onbuhimo has no waistband, but instead has two shoulder straps with a panel that create a bucket seat for your toddler to sit in with their legs through the straps.
A ring sling is a long piece of fabric attached at one end to a set of two rings. These rings have been weight tested and specifically made for carrying your child. Usually woven wrap fabric is used for the fabric. It is a one shoulder carrier, with the passes spread over your shoulder and across your back to evenly spread the weight.
The ring sling is completely adjustable. Its extremely well suited to using from newborn and up to preschoolers too.
A stretchy wrap is a long piece of fabric, usually with either a one-way stretch or a two-way stretch. It is made from something resembling jersey fabric. Stretchy wraps are amazing for newborns as they are soft and once tied onto your body it stays there for the day! You can breastfeed your baby in the stretchy wrap too.
It is mostly suited to newborns and infants. Babies do tend to outgrow the stretchy before a year old.
A pouch sling is a circle of fabric with a curved seam. It may be single or double layered, and most are cotton or cotton/lycra mix. A few are made from wrap fabric. Pouches rest across one shoulder with baby held in the curved pouch part.
They are simple, quick, easy, great 'starter' carrier, folds down small, easy to DIY.
You will need exact measurement--the parent’s measurement from shoulder to hip bone , caregivers cannot always share, one shoulder may tire after a while carrying heavy baby.