Babywearing Glossary

Do you have sometimes the feeling you get overwelmed with all the Babywearing Terms and Abbrecibations?

This page will help you which providing some answers.

General Definitions

Babywearing (BW): Carrying or holding a baby or young child ( also called Toddler)  by means of wearing a baby carrier.

Baby carrier: An item made exclusively or primarily of fabric, worn on a caregiver’s body and used to carry or hold a baby (or child) perfectly with no support from the caregiver’s arms. In common usage, it may also mean specifically a structured baby carrier (SSC).




Carrier Types and Features

Adjustable pouch:A pouch which uses snaps, zippers, ties or other similar means to adjust the length of the loop of fabric, allowing the overall size of the pouch to be adjusted to fit different wearers, or accommodate weight gain/loss, bulky winter clothing, etc.

Asian-style baby carrier (ABC): A baby carrier of a style based on those traditional in Asian cultures, consisting of a roughly square or rectangular panel with straps attached at some or all of the corners. Includes mei tai (the best known style in the modern West), podaegi, onbuhimo, and others. Sometimes known as an “Asian back carrier” although most types may be used for front carries also.
Body or Panel : The part of a baby carrier in which the carried child’s trunk is supported. Used most often in reference to ABCs and buckle carriers, but also refers to the central portion of a ring sling or pouch.
Buckle carrier or fullbuckle : An Asian-style baby carrier or one based on the same general construction and use, but which uses buckles to fasten the straps. Sometimes used interchangeably with “soft structured carrier.”
Frontpack:A variant of soft structured carrier that is used exclusively for front carries, and typically lacks any waist or hip belt.
German-style woven wrap:A woven wrap made using a particular style of fabric and weave that originated with German brands and is specifically designed to function well as a baby carrier.

Halfbuckle or (Buckle Tai)A Carrier that is constructed and functions much like a MeiTai, but uses buckles to fasten the hipbelt. It can be a hybrid of MeiTai and soft structured carrier (SSC) where the shoulder straps are long straps secured by tying a knot.
Hip carrier: A variant of Asian-style or buckle carrier designed primarily or exclusively for hip carries, consisting of a panel or seat for the baby, a waist or hip belt across the wearer’s upper body. Usually fastens with buckles, especially at the wearer’s waist, but may use ring sling style rings.
Hood/ Headrest or head support: A flap of fabric at the top of a carrier body, sometimes reinforced with padding, extra layers or special stitching, attaches to the carrier’s shoulder straps with narrow straps or cords, which may be fastened by clips, snaps or similar used to help support the baby’s head.

Hybrid: Any carrier that incorporates defining features of any two or more different carrier types. For example, a ring sling with a curved pouch seam in the body is known as a “hybrid sling” or “hybrid pouch.”
Kanga or khanga: A multipurpose simple piece of cloth, traditional in East Africa, consisting of one or, most often, a pair of approximately 1 meter by 1.5 meter rectangles made of cotton and decorated with bold designs which frequently include a Swahili motto or slogan. Frequently used for torso carries.
MeiTai (MT): An Asian-style baby carrier with four straps, one more or less at each corner of a generally squarish or rectangular panel, worn by seating the baby in the panel and tying the straps around the wearer. Traditional in China; modern versions are the most popular type of Halfbuckle in Western countries.

Onbuhimo: An Asian-style baby carrier with two straps, one at each upper corner of a rectangular panel, and rings, loops or buckles at each lower corner of the panel, worn by seating the baby in the body panel and tying the straps around the wearer. The straps are threaded through the rings , loops or buckles near the wearer’s waist. Similar to a mei tai, but without separate long waist straps.
Padded ring sling:

A ring sling with padding sewn inside the rails and/or shoulder area.
Podaegi (or podegi):An Asian-style baby carrier consisting of a large rectangular blanket attached to one long top strap that extends from each upper corner, worn by wrapping the blanket around the baby and wearer and securing by tying the straps. Traditional in Korea and other parts of Southeast Asia; often used for torso carries. (See also, “Bei bei.”) Available in “wide blanket” and “narrow blanket” variations; the body of the narrow blanket type is approximately the same width as the body of a mei tai or onbuhimo, but longer.
Pouch or pouch sling:A more-or-less rectangular piece of cloth sewn into a closed loop, used as a baby carrier by wearing the loop around the body, generally from shoulder to hip, and usually folded in half lengthwise so as to form a pocket or pouch for carrying the baby. Typically has a curved seam which forms a more secure seat for the baby. Sometimes known as a “tube sling”.

Rail: The long edge of each side of a ring sling, pouch, or wrap. In a ring sling or pouch, may be padded or unpadded; is sometimes embellished with embroidery or trimming. The “inner rail” is the rail next to the wearer’s body; the “outer rail” is the rail supporting the baby on the side opposite the wearer.

Rebozo: A fringed shawl that is a traditional female garment in Mesoamerican cultures or by Mesoamerican decendents, used for a variety of purposes including labor/childbirth support, goods carrier, and baby carrier. As a baby carrier, it is similar to a short (2 to 3 meters) wrap, usually worn shoulder-to-hip, but fastened by knotting or twisting the ends together.

RingSling (RS): A more-or-less rectangular piece of cloth with two rings sewn to one end, used as a baby carrier by threading the “free” end through the rings and wearing the sling looped around the wearer, generally from shoulder to hip.

Shorty or short wrap: A wrap between less than 4 meters long. Functionally very similar to a long or “regular” wrap but more convenient for wrap methods requiring less cloth, including one-shoulder hip carries, and not usable for other wrap methods that require more cloth.

Shoulder style: The method by which the width of the fabric of a ring sling is gathered or pleated to fit through the rings. The shoulder style of the sling affects the way the sling fits to the wearer’s shoulder.

Soft structured carrier (SSC): A structured carrier which incorporates padding, stitching and/or stiff fabrics, rather than a rigid frame, to provide the structure.Most often refers to a modernized version of a mei tai that has a firmly padded hip/waist belt in place of the waist straps, and well-padded shoulder straps with buckle adjuster/fasteners. Sometimes called a “technical carrier.”

Stretchy (elastic) wrap: A wrap made of knit or otherwise stretchy fabric.

Unpadded ring sling: A ring sling with no padding sewn in.

Woven wrap: A wrap made of woven fabric; used to distinguish from stretchy wraps.

Wrap: A long, more-or-less rectangular piece of cloth used as a baby carrier by means of wrapping the entire cloth around the caregiver’s and baby’s body and tying or otherwise securing the ends, without the use of separate ties or fasteners such as buckles or rings. Sometimes called a “wraparound carrier.” Most often, but not always, refers to a long wrap, 4 meters or more.

Carrier Usage Terms

Back carry (BC) : Any carry in which the baby is worn on the back of the wearer’s body.

Braid: A method of twisting/tying a wrap for compact storage, which can also help “break in” or soften the fabric. Not used for wearing.

Carry: (1) The position of the baby on the wearer’s body; e.g., front, hip or back; (2) The position of the baby in relationship to the carrier or the wearer; e.g., cradle or kangaroo (which are different types of front carries). (3) The method of wrapping and/or tying the carrier around the wearer; e.g., cross carry, wrap cross carry.

Cradle carry: A carry in which the baby is cradled across the wearer’s body in a reclining or semireclining position. In a one-shoulder carrier, the baby’s head is pointed toward the weight-bearing shoulder.

Cross: In describing a method of using a wrap carrier, such as “wrap cross carry” or “hip cross carry”, to “cross” means to bring both ends of the carrier over the wearer’s shoulders in such a way that they form an X (cross) on the wearer’s back and/or chest. Also used to refer to ABC straps forming an X on the wearer’s back or chest.

Froggy position or froggied legs (M position) : A position of the baby’s legs, knees bent upward with feet near the hips like a squatting frog. Generally used for upright carries with a newborn whose legs are too short to straddle the wearer as an older child would do. This is a natural, healthy position for a young infant.

Front carry (FC): Any carry in which the baby is worn on the front of the wearer’s body.

Front facing out (FFO): Any front carry in which the baby faces outward, away from the wearer’s chest.

High back carry: A back carry in which the lower part of the baby’s body is positioned above the level of the wearer’s waist, often requiring that the fabric of the carrier be wrapped around the wearer’s chest or ribcage rather than waist or hips.

Hip carry: Any carry in which the baby is worn at or on the wearer’s hip. Sometimes called a side carry.

Kangaroo: An upright front carry position with a woven short wraps, where baby faces inward on the wearer’s chest and the shoulders are flipped to tighten the top rail.

Knee to Knee (panel width) : Knee-to-knee simply refers to the seat of the carrier extending from the back of baby’s left knee to the back of right knee, fully supporting both thighs. This is ideal for supporting a child’s legs and bottom in a carrier. In a wrap or ring sling, you achieve knee-to-knee support by spreading the fabric as wide as needed. In a mei tai or buckle carrier, the carrier body is a certain width, so it isn’t always possible to have *exactly* knee-to-knee support. In some cases the body can be “cinched” narrower for a smaller baby, and in most cases a toddler will be fine with the seat not being literally knee to knee, as long as it comfortably supports their thighs. If the seat is narrow enough that the child’s legs hang down, with knees below the level of the hips, then you may need a different carrier.

Pocket: In describing a method of using a wrap carrier, a “pocket” is formed when the ends of the carrier are tucked inside the horizontally wrapped portion of the carrier. A “pocket wrap cross carry” is the most common method of using a stretchy wrap. (May also refer to a storage pocket sewn into or on any carrier, most often the tail of a ring sling.)

Reverse cradle carry: A variant of the cradle carry in which the baby’s head is pointed away from the weight-bearing shoulder. Also known as a “nursing carry” although it is not the only position in which a baby may be nursed in a carrier.

Rucksack or ruck: Refers to fastening a baby carrier in a manner similar to a backpack or rucksack, with the fabric or straps coming over the wearer’s shoulders, straight down in the front (rather than crossing on the chest), and then winding to the back. Used with respect to wraps, mei tais and buckle carriers.

Tibetan tie or Tibetan finish: A method of tying either a wrap or an ABC, in a back carry, in which the fabric is wound over the shoulders in a rucksack style, crossed behind the baby and then each end is tucked under the opposite shoulder strap (forming an X on the wearer’s chest) and brought back to the center of the sternum to tie.

Torso carry: A back carry in which the carrier is wrapped around the wearer’s torso and no weight is borne on the wearer’s shoulders. Typical of certain traditional carriers including the podaegi and kanga.

Tummy-to-tummy (T2T): An upright front carry in which the baby faces the wearer; could more accurately be termed a chest-to-chest carry. Also known as a snuggle hold.

Twist: When describing a method of using an Asian-style carrier, refers to twisting the straps around each other, usually behind the baby’s back so as to provide additional security and support for the baby’s weight, but sometimes as an alternative to crossing the straps on the wearer’s chest (in a back carry). Sometimes called a “Vietnamese granny twist” or “traditional twist.” When used in reference to a wrap, may mean a method of tying a rucksack carry that is essentially the same thing as for an ABC (often called a “Lexi twist” after a woman who popularized the method), or may mean to twist a section of the entire carrier around itself so as to form it into a thick, narrow, rope-like shape.

Upright carry or upright hold: Any carry or hold in which the baby is positioned with his or her torso vertical.

Wrap: In describing a method of using a wrap carrier, such as “wrap cross carry”, to “wrap” means to wind the carrier horizontally around the wearer’s torso.

BWCC = back wrap cross carry

BWCC with CB = back wrap cross carry with a chest belt

CB = chest belt

CCCB = candy cane chestbelt – a chestbelt where the wrap ends are twisted

CCC = charlies cross carry

CHCC = coolest hip cross carry

DH = double hammock

DHDR = Double Hammock double rings

DRS2S = Double Rebozo Shoulder to Shoulder (currently being renamed)

FCC = front cross carry

FFO = front facing out

FWCC = front wrap cross carry

HJBC = Half-Jordan’s Back Carry

HCC = hip cross carry

JBC = Jordan’s back carry

Lexi twist = created by twisting both tails of the wraps one or two times

Pirate’s carry = RRRR

PWCC = pocket wrap cross carry

Rebozo = Traditional piece of cloth, but this term has been used for a pass (now referred to as sling pass) and carry too (now referred to as traditional sling carry)

Reinforced = spread out cross passes (opposite = bunched)

RR = reinforced ruck

RRRR = reinforced rear rebozo ruck 3 pictures inside studio (75eur)

RTAS = ruck(sack) tied at shoulder

RTIF = ruck(sack) tied in front

RTUB = ruck(sack) tied under bum

SBCC = short back cross carry

SCC = short cross carry

SHBC = secure high back carry

Tandemwearing = wearing two children at the same time

TUB = tied under bum

T2T = Tummy-to-tummy

TAS = tied at shoulder

TC = Taiwanese carry

TIF = tied in front

TT = tied tibetan

TUB = tied under bum

WCC = wrap cross carry

WPBC = Wiggle-proof back carry