Glossary of Sling Terms

Asian Back Carrier (ABC): Carriers from Asia such as the Mei Tai, Podaegi and Onbuhimo. Usually a square shaped piece of fabric attached to the wearer’s body with straps that come out from either just the top or all four of the corners.

Attachment Parenting (AP): Parenting philosophy based on the concept of allowing the child to ‘separate’ from the parent at its own pace. Term coined by Dr Sears to cover what is in effect an age-old way of gently raising children. See the Resources section for further reading and links.

Back Hold: Baby is carried on the back, usually facing towards the wearer, although sometimes facing outwards. Also referred to as the Rucksack or Backpack hold. Only suitable once the baby has good head control.

Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC): A carry using a woven wrap where the baby or child is worn on the wearers back and has 3 layers of fabric covering their body. Usually uses minimum of 4.5 metres of fabric and is a very secure and comfortable carry.

Body: Term usually used to refer to the main part of an soft carrier such as a Mei Tai excluding the straps.

Buddha Hold: Baby is worn on the front with their back to the wearer, with legs crossed. Good for once the baby has head control, and is getting nosy! (Also referred to as the Kangaroo Hold)

Chest Belt: Part of a back carry with a woven wrap where the fabric is crossed or tied in a half knot at the wearer’s chest. The alternative is rucksack style straps where the fabric is just passed over the shoulders and under the arms. Also found on some Soft Structured Baby Carriers where a strap joins together the two shoulder straps with a buckle.

Cradle hold: Baby is cradled in the front of the wearer. If in a Ring Sling the baby’s head is pointing towards the rings. Also sometimes referred to as the Peapod hold if using a wrap sling.

Front hold: Baby is carried on the wearers front usually facing inwards but can also be facing outwards e.g. in a Kangaroo/Buddha hold

Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC): Exactly the same as the Back Wrap Cross Carry but the baby is carried on the wearer’s front facing inwards. This is a good carry for very young babies.

Head Rest: Top section of the body of a Soft Carrier which supports a child’s head, especially while they are sleeping. On some models this will fold down when not in use or roll up and tuck into a pocket.

Hip Cross Carry (HCC): Wrap carry where the child is supported on the wearers hip and the fabric goes over the opposite shoulder but also around the waist to better distribute the weight. Only suitable when the child has good head and neck control.

Hip Hold: Suitable for babies once they can sit unaided and have good head control (usually 6 months onwards). Can be facing outwards, although usually the baby faces inwards with legs straddling the wearer. Possible in a Wrap, Ring Sling, Pouch, Mei Tai and some Buckle Carriers.

Hip Scoot: Method of transferring a child onto the wearers back to be put in a woven wrap or soft carrier. Child is placed on the wearer’s hip and then slid round to the back.

Kangaroo Hold: Baby is worn on the front with their back to the wearer, with legs crossed. Good for once the baby has head control, and is getting nosy! (Also referred to as the Buddha Hold)

Mei Tai: Traditional carrier originating in China. Many modern updates are available, usually referred to by brand name e.g. Kozy Carrier, Babyhawk Mei Tai. Design is based on a square or rectangular piece of fabric with waist and shoulder straps.

Nursing hold: Baby is cradled in front of the wearer, enabling breastfeeding. If in a Ring Sling, head is pointing away from the rings.

Onbuhimo: Meaning literally ‘carried on the back’ in Japanese, these carriers were developed after WW2; prior to that babies were often carried in kimono. A small piece of fabric with two long shoulder straps which are passed through loops on the waist. Referred to by brand name e.g. Baby Space Onbuhimo.

Podaegi: Traditional Korean carrier, based on a blanket design with a strap around the top. Usually ties around the torso therefore ideal for parents with shoulder problems.

Pouch: A simple sling design based on a tube of material, folded in half and worn over one shoulder. Either adjustable or non-adjustable.

Rails: The edges of the sling – usually a term referred to when using pouches, ring slings or wraparound slings.

Rebozo: Term for a piece of cloth at least 30 inches wide and 6 feet long used by the indigenous people of Mexico and Guatemala

Ring Sling: Carrier that is a piece of fabric with 2 rings (usually either nylon or metal) attached to one end. The fabric is threaded through the rings to make a pouch part for the baby and a tail which can be adjusted. More versatile than a pouch sling as it can be used by different sized wearers.

Rucksack Hold: Back carry usually with a woven wrap where there is usually only one layer of fabric over the child. Can be achieved with a shorter length wrap than a BWCC, usually around 3.5 – 4 metres depending on the size of the wearer.

Santa Toss: Another method of getting a child into position for a back carry by swinging them over the wearers shoulder.

Shoulder Flip: A technique for pulling a pouch in closer to the body, especially useful with fitted pouches that are slightly too loose on the top rail while fitting on the bottom rail.

Shoulder Straps: The part of a sling or carrier that goes over the wearers shoulder. Usually refers to the top straps on a soft carrier.

Simple Piece of Cloth (SPOC): Term coined by the Mamatoto Project to reinforce the idea that any piece of cloth can be used as a sling and that slings are all around us!

Sleep Hood: Fold away/fold down part of a soft carrier that supports a child’s head when they fall asleep.

Soft Carrier: Type of carrier based on the traditional carriers of Asia. Some are structured (known as soft structured carriers or SSCs) and fasten with buckles e.g. Ergo Baby Carrier while others are more traditional and have straps that tie e.g. Mei Tai or Podaegi

Stretchy Wrap: A wraparound style baby sling made of jersey or similar fabric. Usually thinner than a woven wrap and very forgiving to use thanks to the give in the fabric. Ideal for newborns.

Tail: The part of a ring sling that hangs down allowing the wearer to adjust the fit. Some types have a pocket in the tail.

Tibetan: Type of carry that can be achieved with either a woven wrap or a Mei Tai where the child is carried high on the wearers back and the fabric or straps that would usually be tied around the waist are threaded through the shoulder straps and tied at chest level.

Tummy-to-Tummy Hold: Baby is on the front of the wearer, with head held at neck height. Younger babies can have their feet in the carrier, whilst older babies have them out. An ideal soothing position for babies with reflux.

Woven Wrap: Style of wrap sling which is made from a heavier fabric than a stretchy wrap with just a bit of diagonal ‘give’ in the weave. Suitable from birth, these are also very good for carrying even heavy toddlers.

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