The main types of baby carriers. Let's make it clear!
I remember when I first approached the world of babywearing, I heard strange words fly: elastic band. rigid band. mei tai. onbuhimo. weight. And who understood anything?!? I was on a social network and the only way I had to see something in person was at Prenatal and in fact I also had a good experience with a non-ergonomic baby carrier that broke my back and made me take a few steps back on my path towards carrying. The best thing to discover this world would always be to find a nearby Fascioteca and go see and touch it. In the meantime, I hope this article will help to clarify at least a little. Feel free@ to comment below asking questions. You can always request a free personalized consultation even by telephone.
There are 5 main types of supports: elastic band, rigid band, ring band, mei tai and pouch.
The elastic band is a very long rectangle of fabric that binds to the body, in jersey cotton and can sometimes contain spandex or elastane. This type of weaving gives it enveloping and soft properties that create a binding that recalls the uterine environment. This is why it is perfect from the first day of life. With a couple of acrobatic maneuvers (hahaha) a binding called "triple support" is created, a pre-knotted binding particularly suitable for neophyte mothers, in their first arms, who can thus first tie and only then insert the baby. It also allows you to leave the binding intact and not have to redo it every time. Unfortunately, the elastic fabric begins to "give" towards the 6-7 kg of the baby, moving the carrier's center of gravity forward. At that point, it will be necessary to switch to another type of more supportive support
The rigid sling can also be used from the first day of the newborn's life but, unlike the elastic sling, it can be used much longer based on some parameters. The standard size is a number 6 and that is 4.60 meters but we find them from 2 meters upwards. The fabric has a diagonal weave which makes it supportive but also receptive to accepting weight without forcing it. Based on its weight it can be more or less supportive and heavy. It is usually 100% cotton but now there are mixed blends containing linen, hemp, wool, silk, bamboo, etc. It is also more versatile than the elastic band allowing you to make different ties, not only belly to belly but also on the side and back.
The Mei Tai is an Asian-derived babywearing support halfway between a sling and a pouch, therefore semi-structured and suitable from around 3 months of age child. It is made up of a central square that creates the panel in which the child sits and 4 long bands: the horizontal ones create the ventral band, the vertical ones instead create wide shoulder straps. The fabric is usually the same used for the rigid band.
The ergonomic baby carrier is a structured support. This means that it has a well-defined structure as opposed to a band, for example, which is a long rectangular piece of fabric to be tied and "structured" each time and according to the anatomical characteristics of the baby and the bearer. Basically, it has a panel (a square of fabric) where the child will sit, a padded belly band that closes with a snap buckle and two padded shoulder straps which also close with a snap buckle and can be adjusted. The pouch is a quality, easy, fast and versatile support. By unloading the weight of the carried both on the shoulders and on the hips of the bearer, it can be used to carry even when the child reaches a heavy weight (20 or more kg). It has different sizes (standard, toddler, preschooler) and can be adjustable or not. Read more about the fanny pack here.