Stretchy wraps are generally pre tied which makes them easy to use for those new to slings. Due to their stretch most users find that they want to move on to another carrier around 6 months, although some brands can be used with older babies, or many parents continue to use stretchy wraps for a sleepy baby, and use a different carrier for quick shopping trips. Much loved for newborns due to soft material and snug feel.
Some wraps have qualities of both a stretchy and a woven wrap which is why they are referred to as Hybrid wraps. It may for example be possible to back carry with a hybrid wrap which has a large amount of stretch.
Two way stretchy wraps are mainly used for front carries, with hybrid stretchy wraps being used for front, hip and back.
Woven wraps are a long piece of woven cotton. There are various sizes 2-8 depending on your body size, your baby’s age and the type of carry’s you wish to do. There are a wide variety of carries that you can do- front, hip and back. Suitable from birth to toddlerhood. Huge variety of manufacturers and patterns, as well as blends of cotton.
A ring sling is a length of fabric with two rings sewn in at one end. The other end of the material is threaded through the rings like a belt to form a pocket for the baby with a tail of fabric hanging down. Ring slings allow for adjustability in different positions and for different wearers. The baby can be carried easily on your hip or on your front.
They come in a range of fabrics, shoulder types, padded/unpadded. Learning to adjust the rings for a comfortable fit can take a bit of practice – the rings are meant to sit just below your collar bone.
Suitable from birth to toddlerhood. Can be easy to breastfeed a newborn in a ring sling. Note it is important to get the hang of the sling and the feeding separately before trying to combine. Also once the baby is finished feeding it is important she goes back into the upright position.
These are a traditional type of Asian baby carrier. They consist of a shaped piece of fabric to fit around the baby’s body with long straps at the base and the top. The lower pair of straps tie around the wearer’s waist and the top pair are crossed over the wearer’s body, brought forward to cross over the baby’s bottom and then tied around the wearer’s waist.
Many can do from birth to toddler with some adaptations.
Mei dais can be used on the wearer’s front or back, and, as the weight is spread across both shoulders, they are very comfortable for long periods and with heavier babies. They can be used by different sized adults without any adjustments, and depending on the brand many are suitable from birth until well into toddlerhood.
They are very easy to use and often it is possible to order a custom design with a fabric of your choice.
Soft Structured Carrier
Soft structured carriers fasten with straps and buckles and often have a padded or structured waist. In design they are based on Asian Style Carriers like the Mei Dai. They can be used on the wearer’s front (some allow hip carries aswell) or back, and, as the weight is distributed across both shoulders, they are comfortable for long periods. Some have straps that cross at back, and some are rucksack carries.
They are quick and easy to put on, but if the carrier is to be shared with a different sized adult you will have to learn to adjust the fitting of the buckles. Many models come with sleep hoods. They are suitable for babies of about three-months-old until well into toddlerhood although some makes have the ability to adapt to use with a smaller baby.