Darolotty's Guide to Carrier Types (w/ photos)

Posted by Tracey Valade on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 Under: Educational

Darolotty's Guide to Baby Carriers

Photo Guide

Stepping into the world of baby wearing can be overwhelming for new wearing parents. Here is a photo guide to different styles of carriers. I will include both photos of carriers alone, and action shots in different positions. At the bottom I will include a warning of carriers to avoid. The photos in the collage where found online, and not all people with to have faces on photos so I have removed the faces in most photos. I included a couple of my own little being worn. Note that I do not make carriers and this is a guide to help beginners start with basic info on different carriers and examples.

Soft-Structred (Ergonomic) Carriers

Full Buckle

These are soft-structured carriers that have a buckle around your waist and shoulder straps. They are adjustable straps but need to be buckled. They usually also have hoods for infants, infant inserts for younger babies and other various accessories.

Half Buckle

These are soft-structured carriers that have only one buckle either on the waist or shoulder straps, and usually tie on the other. I have seen some that buckle on the waist and just have straps on to for shoulders as well.

Mai Tei (Wrap & Tie)

These are carriers that you need to tie up the straps of. They are the same concept as full or half buckles, with out the buckles. They usually do not need to have inserts for infants as they fold under.

Wrap Conversions

You can get wraps converted into ay of the above styles, or the ring slings below. There are various stores and manufactures that specialize in doing this. IT makes for a very comfortable carrier and have very unique patterns.


Ring Sling

These are make of strips of 1 or 2 strips of fabric that are looped through rings. They can be adjusted at the rings. You can get gathered, pleated or padded shoulders to fit your personal comfort and come in a variety of sizes.

Pouch Sling or Peanut Shell Sling

These are a single peice of fabric that is sewn together to make a pouch. The baby lays or sit, depending on age and size, in the pouch.

Water Sling

Water slings are made with waterproof material or mesh material and are designed to be able to go into water.


Woven Wrap

Woven wraps are cotton, linen or blended wraps that have no “give” to offer a comfortable but more secured hold for heavier infants and toddlers. Their are various sizes, colours, patterns and manufacturers. You can carry from birth up to preschool years in these wraps. You can do a wide variety of wrap positions, on your back side or front.

Stretchy Wrap

Stretchy wraps are usually a cotton spandex blend and are designed for smaller babies (newborns in particular). Much like the woven wraps, they come in a variety of colours and patterns, but usually smaller sizes. And like the woven wraps, you can do many different carries.

Water Wrap

Like the slings, water wraps are made with waterproof material or mesh material and are designed to be able to go into water.

Hard Structured or Hiking Carriers

These are designed for people looking to carry for a long time (hiking). They are hard structured with steel or hard plastic and are heavy carriers, but also heavy duty. The good ones should sit a child inside like a soft-structured ergonomic carrier above.

Warning: Avoid “Crotch Dangle” Carriers

Snuggli type carriers might seem convenient, but they can cause spine or hip injuries to infants, especially under 6 months old. They compress the spine into an unnatural position and can cause hip displaysia. They also put the full body weight of the baby on the genital area what cannot be very comfortable for them, and it pulls baby away from you more then against you. I do Not recommend these carriers! I tried one, we both hated it, and this was before I learned the dangers!

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About Me

Owner of Darolotty's. Mother to 3 young children and wife. Believer in stength, love, compassion and passion.