As with anything babywearing has its own language and abbreviations. I thought I would get them all down with descriptions of what they mean. This week I will start with some general babywearing terms.
Babywearing The general term used to describe using a sling or carrier.
Babywearer Anyone who is carrying their baby in a sling (could be parents/grandparents/aunties/uncles/siblings etc)
Fluff Generic term to describe a sling/carrier
Stash Personal collection of slings
Squishy Affectionate term to describe a newborn
Knee to Knee Describes how a baby should be positioned in a sling- the seat of the sling should support the baby’s thighs an dfit from one knee to the other.
Custom Used to describe carriers that are specially made to order
Conversion Describes a sling (usually Mei Tae, buckled carrier or Ring Sling ) made from a wrap
Sleepy Dust More times than not a baby will fall asleep in a sling (as long asthey feel comfortable and safe) – You will quite often see a beautiful picture of a baby asleep in a sling with a caption along the lines of ‘sleepy dust added’.
TICKS Rules of Safe Babywearing: Produced by The UK Consortium of Sling MAnufacturers and Retailers following deaths of babies in ‘bag style slings’ these are 5 simple rules to follow to keep your baby safe in a sling. Tight – keep teh sling tight to the wearers body, In View at all Times – ensuer you can always see your baby’s face to avoid suffocation, Close Enough to Kiss your baby should be worn high enough up in the sling so you can kiss their head simply by bending your head, Leep chine off chest – to avoid suffocation (I always like to add knee to knee support)
Types of Sling
Wrap long piece of material that you tie around yourself and baby – there are two main types:
Woven made using specially woven threads (usually cross or broken twill or jacquard weave). Can be used for a variety of carrying postions and ages from newborn to toddler/preschooler
Stretchy made using jersey material – can only be safely used for front facing in carries and for newborn babies
SPOC (Simple Piece Of Cloth) Can be used to describe a wrap, but also a piece of material not specially desigend for babywearing, can also be used to describe more traditional carriers such as sarongs, kangas, rebozos etc (to be covered in a later glossary)
Mei Tae A more structured or ‘sewn carrier’. Based on Asian styles of carrier. A main square or rectangular body with straps coming from each corner. Waist straps being shorter than shoulder straps.
Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) –Can be used to described any carrier that has been sewn, but more generally used to descibe a carrier that is attached using buckles so it fits similar to a rucksack.
Full Buckle A term used in relation to SCC – full buckle has buckles on the waist and shoulder straps.
Half Buckle Has buckles on waist straps only, shoulder straps are long and tie as a MT
Reverse Half Buckle Not so common – the waist is tied but the shoulder straps are buckled.
Hybrid Carrier Used to describe a carrier that uses a mix of the above carriers some examples are: JPMBB which is a stretchy wrap that also contains spandex – this carrier is safe to use for back carries unlike normal stretchies. EmeiBaby A structured carrier where the seat is made of a woven wrap and rings to give more adaptable seat. Close Carrier This is a stretchy wrap that uses rings and is put on over the head like a T-Shirt, less material is used making it a popular first time carrier. Ring Tai A MT that has rings that fasten and adjust the shoulder straps.