Babywearing is simply a tool that helps you hold your baby close. But when you start looking into it, babywearing can suddenly seem pretty complicated and confusing. There are SO many different carrier types and names that it can be overwhelming for a new babywearer (and sometimes even experienced ones, honestly).
This post is going to talk about four carrier types and terms that can be easily mixed up and confused!
A full buckle carrier is usually also referred to as a “soft-structured carrier”. It consists of a waistband, body panel, and shoulder straps. The waistband and shoulder straps are adjusted and fastened with buckles. This is where the term “full buckle” comes from!
Full buckles are probably the most commonly used type of baby carrier in Australia. They are quick and usually easy to learn.
Sometimes you’ll see this term shortened to FB or SSC.
A Meh Dai carrier (previously referred to as Mei Tai) consists of a waistband, body panel and long shoulder straps. Instead of a buckle, the waistband has extra strap length for tying off. The shoulder straps are very long, and are crossed at the back, then tied at the front (or then crossed under baby’s bottom and tied at the back).
Meh Dai’s originated in Asia. They can be a bit trickier to master than a full buckle, but can be more comfortable and adjust easily to different shapes and sizes.
Sometimes you’ll see this term shortened to MD.
A half buckle carrier is halfway between a full buckle and a Meh Dai. It consists of a waistband, body panel, and shoulder straps. Either the waistband is adjusted and fastened with buckles and the shoulder straps are tied, OR the waistband is adjusted and fastened by tying and the shoulder straps are buckled. This is where the term “half buckle” comes from.
A half buckle is often a great choice if you love the convenience of buckles combined with the snug fit of wrap straps.
Sometimes, you’ll see this term shortened to HB.
A ring buckle consists of a waistband, body panel, and shoulder straps. Usually, the waistband is adjusted and fastened by looping one end of the belt through a metal ring on the other end of the belt. The ring holds tension in place and can be easier to adjust while wearing. The shoulder straps are usually very long (like the Meh Dai) and are crossed at the back, then tied at the front (or crossed again under baby’s bottom and tied at the back).
Ring buckles offer the same benefits as a half buckle, but the ring can be a less bulky and prettier finish.
Sometimes, you’ll see this term shortened to RB.
It’s crazy how many different baby carrier options exist for babywearers these days. We are so lucky! These are just a few options… there’s also stretchy wraps, ring slings, onbuhimos, woven wraps, and so much more.
The exciting thing is that anyone can babywear and find an option that is comfortable and convenient for them.
P.S. If you found this article useful, please SHARE! :-) We love spreading the babywearing knowledge.
P.P.S. We have a bunch of options in our shop (with AfterPay available on everything!), including Kokadi TaiTais (half-buckles), Fidella Meh Dais (Flytais), and Daiesu Meh Dais. If you’re not sure about the best choice for you, just ask Brooke! She’s a qualified babywearing consultant and always happy to help. <3
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Isn’t it fabulous how different we all are? Even though we all use many the same incredible tools to parent with (baby carriers!), we all have different approaches.