Sling Terms Glossary

There are so many different types of baby carrier available that it can be extremely confusing.  It’s very hard to give interested parents just the right amount of information they need and often new parents find they’re bombarded with new terms.  To try to help, here’s a list of many of the carrier types, terms and brands that you might come across (brand names are listed at the bottom).

If there’s any other term that you’re wondering about that isn’t below, please add a comment at the bottom of the page and we’ll update it as soon as possible!

Baby Carrier Types and Terms:

Asian Baby Carrier (ABC) – various different types of carriers that are inspired by traditional carriers used in Asia, including Mei Tai, Podaegi, Onbuhimo and Soft Structured Carrier. All have a square or rectangular body with straps coming out of the corners and various different fastening methods.

Full Buckle (FB) – another name for a Soft Structured Carrier or SSC that has waist and shoulder straps that fasten with buckles.

Gauze Wrap – a gauze wrap is made from thin but strong fabric.  Gauze wraps are usually straight rather than diagonal or jacquard woven, but often still have some give or flexibility in the diagonal direction. Can be used for front, back and hip carries with babies and toddler. Very suitable for hot weather and many parents find them most comfortable with smaller babies.

Half Buckle (HB) – Mei Tai style carrier that fastens at the waist with a buckle, but has fabric shoulder straps that are fastened by knotting.

Hybrid Carriers – usually a Wrap Conversion carrier that is partly made from other fashion fabrics and partly made from Woven Wrap fabric.

Mei Tai (MT) “MAY tie” – has a square shaped body and fastens at the waist and over the shoulders using long ties that can be wrapped around you and your baby.  They are suitable for babies and toddlers and can be worn front, back or hip. Mei Tais are Chinese in origin; “Mei” means ‘to carry on the shoulders’, and “Tai” means ‘belt; band/bring’.

No Sew Ring Sling – a Ring Sling made using 2 Sling Rings and a shorter length of fabric (approx 2-3m).  The rings are not sewn into the fabric and can be unthreaded so that the fabric can by used as a Shorty wrap.

Onbuhimo (Onbu) “on-boo-HEE-moh” – has a Mei Tai style body, but instead of waist straps there are rings at the bottom corners that the shoulder straps are looped through before tying at parent’s waist. Most suitable for back carries. Onbuhimos are Japanese in origin; “onbuhimo” means ‘carried on the back’.

Podaegi (Pod) “poh-DAY-jee” – has a long rectangular body shape (sometimes referred to as a blanket) and fabric shoulder straps that tie around parent and child. There are no waist straps. Most suitable for back carries. Podaegis are from Korea; “podaegi” means ‘baby carrier’.

Pouch – a loop of fabric that is worn on one shoulder across the body like a sash.  The child or baby sits or lies in the fabric on the parent’s front or hip (back carries are possible, though not recommended). Suitable for all parents and children, though must be the correct size to fit the parent for comfortable carrying.

Rebozo – a Rebozo carry uses a short length of fabric (about 2-3.5m) which goes over one shoulder and across the parent’s body.  You can have Rebozo Front, Back or Hip carries. “Rebozo” can also be used to refer to the Shorty Wrap used for such carries.

Ring Sling – A length of fabric about 1.6-2.5m long with 2 rings sewn into one end.  The loose fabric end is threaded through the rings to make an adjustable pocket for the baby/child to lie/sit in. Mostly used for front or hip carries, though back carries are possible. Suitable for all parents and children depending on the fabric.

Shorty (or Shortie) Wrap – a Woven Wrap that is between 2-3.5m long. Can be used for a range of front, back and hip carries. Having less fabric can be more convenient to use, but may be less supportive than using a longer wrap in a multi-layer carry.

Simple Piece of Cloth (SPOC) – see Wrap

Sling Rings - specially made rings designed to be used in ring slings. A length of fabric can be threaded through the rings to use as a Ring Sling, or the rings can be used with a woven wrap of any length as an adjustable fastening instead of knotting.

Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) – a back-pack style carrier that has waist and shoulder straps that fasten with buckles. Suitable for babies and/or toddlers.  Most SSCs can be used to carry your child on both your front and back, and many can also be worn on the hip.

Stretchy Wrap – a wrap carrier made from stretchy jersey fabric. Usually between 4.5-5.5m long and suitable for front (and sometimes hip) carries only. Can be used from birth, but not as supportive as a woven wrap for older babies and toddlers.

Woven Wrap – a wrap carrier made from non-stretchy threads woven into long fabric about 50-80cm wide and between 2-6m long. Many woven wraps are specially made using a diagonal weave technique that gives the fabric diagonal flexibility to wrap comfortabley around parent and child. Is suitable for newborn-toddlers and for front, back and hip carries. There are many different ways to tie a woven wrap to suit all parents and children.

Wrap, Wrap Around Carrier or Simple Piece of Cloth (SPOC) – a length of fabric that can be used for carrying a baby. The fabric may be short, long, ‘Woven‘ or ‘Stretchy‘ and can be wrapped around the parent and child in various different ways. Suitable for all parents and children, and for front, back and hip carries.

Wrap Conversion – any other carrier type made from specially woven wrap fabric. There are many skilled professionals who can convert a woven wrap into a custom Mei Tai, Ring Sling, SSC, Podeagi etc. You can often choose options such as wether or not to have a sleep hood, padding for your child’s legs or arms, a buckled or tied waist, etc.

Baby Carrier Brand Names:

Baby Hawk – a brand of Mei Tai carrier. Also produce a larger carrier called a ToddlerHawk, and Soft Structured Carrier called an Oh Snap.

CatBird Baby – manufacturer of Soft structured Carriers and Mei Tai.

Connecta – UK brand of Soft Structured Carrier.

Cwtshi – UK brand of Mei Tai – no longer in production.

Didymos – German brand of Woven Wrap with many different designs and fabrics. Also make Ring Slings and Mei Tais from their own wrap fabrics.

Ellaroo – company that makes various different types of baby carrier, including Woven Wraps and Ring Slings.

Ergo or ERGObaby – a well-known brand of Soft Structured Carrier.

Front Back and Sides – UK brand of Mei Tai – no longer in production.

Girasol – a brand of Woven Wrap known for their stripey, rainbow designs woven in Guatemala.

Hoppediz – German brand of Woven Wrap with many different designs and fabrics. Also make Ring Slings, Mei Tais and Soft Structured Carriers from their own wrap fabrics.

Kari Me – a brand of Stretchy Wrap.

Manduca – a brand of Soft Structured Carrier.

Maya Wrap – a company that makes various different carrier types, including Woven Wraps, Ring Slings and Mei Tai style carriers.

Moby Wrap – a brand of Stretchy Wrap.

Natibaby – a Polish brand of Woven Wrap made in various different fabrics and designs. Also make Ring Slings from their own wrap fabrics.

Patapum – brand of Soft Structured Carrier that comes in baby and toddler sizes.

PikkoloSoft Structured Carrier made by CatBird Baby.

Pognae – brand of Soft Structured Carrier from Korea.

Ocah (pronounced “Oh-ka”) – a UK company that makes Wrap Conversions.

Rose and Rebellion – UK manufacturer of Soft Structured Carriers in funky designs.

Sleepy Nico – UK manufacturer of Soft Structured Carriers.

Storchenwiege – a German brand of Woven Wrap known for being sturdy and reliable. Also make Ring Slings from their own wrap fabrics.

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