Soft Structured Carriers (SSC)

February’s topic was Soft Structured Carriers which are also referred to as SSCs.

Soft structured carriers are carriers many people love to use.  You may have heard of the Ergo, Boba 3G, or Beco carriers.  These are all examples of soft structured carriers.  Soft structured carriers come in all shapes and sizes so keep in mind what works for your friend may not work for you and vice versa.  If that happens do not worry.   The babywearing world is filled with many wonderful carriers and you will find one perfect (or a few :)) for you and your little one!

Safe babywearing is very important.  Please verify manufacturer age and weight recommendations before using any carrier. If you have questions feel free to come to a meeting, call, or email for help.   No matter which carrier you choose you will want to have your child be safe, comfortable, happy and healthy.   The optimal seating position is a spread squat seated position with the knees higher than the bum.  The base of the seat should extend to and allow knee to knee coverage for your child.  This simply means that the carrier is underneath both knees which allows for a comfortable seated position, not a dangle position.  The carrier should also allow your little one to have a nice C-Curve in their spine.  This allows for proper spine development.  You should also look at the height of the carrier and make sure it provides adequate support for baby’s head and neck.  When babies fall asleep this is very important.  Forward facing is not recommended as it often leaves baby in an uncomfortable dangling position, can throw the wearer’s center of gravity off, and lacks head and neck support especially when baby falls asleep.  Boba has a great post on why forward facing is not optimal.  You can read it here.

Soft structured carriers are great carriers, but like everything they have pros and cons.  Soft structured carriers are great for wearers who prefer not to wrap.  They are quick and usually easy to adjust.  Soft structured carriers, like many carriers come in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors.  Many carriers have very adjustable waist belt ranges for the wearer, some have waist extenders.  Some carriers require an extra infant insert, which may be to hot for your little one in these lovely Missouri Summers.  Infant inserts and waist extenders do cost extra.  Some carriers are have wide seats and you will need to watch your little one’s hip spread while getting them into the carrier.  You may have to wait until they have a wider spread.  You will find an abundance of features depending on the carrier.  Some carriers have infant inserts that are needed, some seats adjust to fit smaller babies, some have cool panels for hot weather, some even double as a portable high chair! This is one of my favorite things about babywearing! There really is a carrier for everyone!  It may be a Soft structured Carrier, but it could be a Wrap, Mei Tai, Ring Sling, or one of many other carrier types.   You have so many options.

beco gemini

Beco Gemini                                                                                               

  • Great for smaller babies
  • Manufacturer allows 4 carries, but we do not recommend forward facing carrying
  • Too short in the body for older toddlers
  • No sleeping hood, but it does have a headrest
  • Width at the seat is adjustable and ranges from 7-11″
  • Hieght is 14″ with headrest down and 18.5″ with headrest up
  • Waist belt range is 28-57″
  • Weight range is 7lbs-35lbs
  • Made in the USA
  • You can nurse in this carrier
  • Great for petite wearers
  • Plus sized may have issues with using this carrier
  • Straps can be crossed in back for comfort

becobutterfly2

Beco Butterfly 2

innerypanel

Thanks to this photo by PAXbaby you can see the inner Y panel of the Beco Butterfly 2.

  • It has been discontinued
  • Works best for newborn to 18 months
  • Newborn insert needed for smaller babies
  • Allows for front and back carries
  • Hood for sleeping babies
  • Y panel to hold baby and enables you to easily switch wearers or positions without removing baby from carrier
  • Width of seat is 13″
  • Height is 16″
  • Waist best range is 24-57″
  • Great carrier for all sized wearers
  • Weight range is 7lbs-45lbs
  • It can be difficult to nurse in due to the inner panel
  • Made in USA and China

boba

Boba 3G

   bbobaair2

BobaAir

  • Great carrier for toddlers, but can be too wide for newborns
  •  Sleeping hood
  • Allows front and back carries
  • Width at seat 14.5″
  • Height is 16.5″
  • Waist belt range 28-57″
  • Weight Range 7lbs-45lbs
  • Works for all sized babywearers
  • Cannot cross straps
  • Made in China and Taiwan
  • Breastfeeding is easy in the Boba 3G.
  • BobaAir weighs only 0.7lbs and is perfect for travel.  It folds into a small pouch.

ergo-origanal-med

Ergo Original

                                                   

Please use caution when purchasing an Ergo baby carrier.  Unfortunately Ergo is highly counterfited.  Please purchase carefully  or through an authorized dealer.  If you find a counterfit carrier or think you may have, please contact Ergo.

Ergo Original

  • Ideal for 6-18 months
  • Ergo recommends an infant insert that may be hot in the summer and some find it bulky
  • If you choose not to use the infant insert the manufacturer recommends waiting t use until your little one is 4-5 months old and has good head and neck control
  • Can be bulky for petite wearers
  • Allows front, hip, and back carries
  • Sleeping hood
  • Width at seat 14″
  • Height is 13″
  • Waist belt range is 25-43″
  • 15-45lbs (7lbs+ with the infant insert)
  • Fits average sized wearers.  Petite wearers may find it bulky.  Plus sized wearers may need an extender
  • You can breatfeed in this carrier easily
  • Made in China
  • You can criss cross straps

ergo-sport-sm

Ergo Sport

  • Ideal for 6-18 months
  • Ergo recommends an infant insert that may be hot in the summer and some find it bulky
  • If you choose not to use the infant insert, the manufacturer recommends waiting to use until your little one is 4-5 months old and has good head and neck control
  • Lighter weight only weighing 1.5lbs
  • Allows front, hip, and back carries
  • Body vent for heat relief
  • Sleeping hood
  • Width at seat 14.5″
  • Height is 14.5″
  • Waist belt range is 32-55″
  • 15-45lbs (7lbs+ with the infant insert)
  • Ergo built this carrier for larger wearers, but it works well for petite wearers as well
  • You can breatfeed in this carrier easily
  • Made in China
  • You can criss cross straps

ergo-pro-sm

Ergo Performance

  • Ideal for 6-18 months
  • Ergo recommends an infant insert that may be hot in the summer and some find it bulky
  • If you choose not to use the infant insert the manufacturer recommends waiting to use until your little one is 4-5 months old and has good head and neck control
  • Breathable material
  • Allows front, hip, and back carries
  • Sleeping hood
  • Width at seat 13″
  • Height is 14.5″
  • Waist belt range is 29-55″
  • 15-45lbs (7lbs+ with the infant insert)
  • Fits most wearers
  • You can breatfeed in this carrier easily
  • Made in India
  • You can criss cross straps
  • Tapered shoulder straps keep baby closer to wearer and more comfortable for longer periods of time

kinderpack

Kinderpack

  • Comes in four sizes
  • Has a unique design and rounded seat
  • Infant size has an adjustable base to change the width of the carrier
  • Sleeping hood
  • Can breastfeed easily
  • Made in the USA
  • Can be purchased with a koolknit panel for cooler babywearing in the summer months

Infant – 15h x 9-15w        Newborn-18 month (8 lbs+)

Standard – 16h x 17w       8 Months – 3 years (Up to 3 years old 20 lbs+)

Toddler– 18h x 19w          18 Months- 4+ years (35 lbs+)

Preschool – 20h x 20w    3-5 years (35 lbs+)

  • All Kinderpacks have a 50 lb weight limit
  • All measurements are without the headrest.  Add 2″ for overall height.
  •  Sized to fit the wearer.  You get a carrier to fit your body.

Petite size XS and 5’2 or shorter (16″ straps)

 Standard size 4 – 22 (19-20″ straps)

 Plus Size 18 and up (24″ straps) big busted and tall men

tulaTula

  • Sleep hood
  • Front and back carry positions
  • Newborns will need an infant insert
  • Fits average sized babywearers
  • Excellent for breastfeeding
  • Made in Poland

Standard

15-40 lbs

15.5″ height

14.5″ width at seat

Toddler

18 months to 4+ years old

25-50 lbs

18″ height

19″ width at seat

onya_home3Onya Baby

  • Available in two types of carrier Outback and Cruiser
  • Allows for back and front carries
  • It can  even be used as a highchair
  • 25-45 waist range.  An extender is available for bigger wearers
  • 16″ height with headrest folded down
  • 18″ height with headrest up
  • Sleep hood
  • 15 lbs – 45lbs
  • Can criss cross straps
  • Breastfeeding can be done
  • Made in Philipeines

babyhawk

BabyHawk Oh Snap!

  • 15-45 lbs
  • No sleeping hood, but it does have a headrest
  • Great for all sizes of babywearer
  • Great for breastfeeding
  • Carry on front or back
  • 14.5″ seat width
  • 16″ height
  • 25-69″ Waist strap range
  • Made in the USA
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