Soft structured (SSC) or buckle carriers are a modern version of the mei tai and relies on buckles for a quick, more structured carrier. They are one of the most widely used carriers available in the market.
- SSCs can be used for front carries from birth and for back carries from about 5-6 months (when baby can sit unassisted). They can be used for hip carries although can be a bit awkward in that position (with the exception of dedicated hip carry buckles).
- If the idea of wrangling a long piece of fabric or dragging mei tai straps around doesn’t appeal to you, you’d probably love a SSC.
- SSCs are a good choice for outdoor activities and when out about since they are easy to get on and off without dragging on the ground.
- They are a bit more intuitive to use since most of us have worn a backpack of some sort. You have to try pretty hard to get an unsafe carry in buckles.
- While some SSCs do have features such as infant harnesses or inserts or adjustable width seats that make them newborn friendly, newborns will need to be worn “legs in” in most SSCs. Some newborns decide they don’t like this position before they are large enough to go legs out.
- SSC's cannot, in general, be used for high back carries. This means baby will sit lower on your back and may not be able to see over your shoulder. Because of this, babies who can not yet sit on their own should not be worn in a back carry in an SSC in order to make sure they are not slumping and compromising their airway.
- That said, many find SSCs easier to back carry in since you don’t have to tie anything.
- Many find SSCs the most convenient carrier for children who are walking as they make for “quick ups and downs.
WHICH STRUCTURED CARRIER SHOULD I CHOOSE
There is never a one size fits all answer. Some people have minimal needs and prefer a low cost option without all the bells and whistles, others want all the features included. We only choose carriers with a good reputation for comfort, so next step is to ensure it is one that will fit both you and your baby and has the features you need. The following chart will help guide you in your decision.
|Name||From Birth||Weight Range||Types of Carries||Inclusions||Waist Band Fit||Cross Strap Options||Adjustable Height/Width||Body Length||Width|
|Ergobaby Original||Yes - infant insert required (purchased separately)||3.15 - 20 kg||Front, Back, Hip||Sleeping Hood, Small pocket||66 - 140 cm||No||No||36 cm||37 cm|
|Manduca||Yes - infant insert included||3.15 - 20 kg||Front, Back, Hip||Sleeping Hood, Pocket||66 - 140 cm||Yes|
Width adjustment (optional extra)
|33 cm - 41 cm||32 cm|
|Moby Go||No (approx 6 months)||7.2 - 20 kg||Front, Back||Sleeping Hood and Pocket (excludes Barberry)||66 - 137 cm||Yes||No||45 cm||37 cm|
|Moby Comfort||Yes - infant insert included||3.15 - 20 kg||Front, Back, Hip||Sleeping Hood, Pocket tbc,||tbc||Yes||4 width adjustments|
/ toddler length extension optional extra
|Moby Aria||Yes - infant insert included||3.15 - 20 kg||Front, Back, Hip||Sleeping Hood, Pocket tbc, teething pads, mesh panel, toddler extension||tbc||Yes|
4 width adjustments
/ toddler length extension included.
|TwinGo||Yes||4.5 kg to 18 kg (per carrier)|
32 kg combined weight subject to physicians approval
|Front, Back Hip (attachment carrier)|
Front, Back (base carrier)
|Large pockets and Sleeping Hoods on both carriers||Single carrier (51 - 127 cm)|
dual carrier (68.5 - 152 cm)
|Yes (attachment carrier only)||No||34.5 cm||35.5|
|Tula Baby||Yes - infant insert required (purchased separately)||7.2 kg - 20 kg (smaller infants use infant insert)||Front, Back||Sleeping Hood||68.5 - 150 cm||Optional extra||No||37 cm||37 cm|
|Tula Toddler||No||11.5 kg - 23 kg||Front, Back||Sleeping Hood||68.5 - 150 cm||No||No||45.5 cm||48 cm|
|Patapum Baby||No (5-6 months plus)||6 - 14 kg||Front, Back||Sleeping Hood||72 cm - 114 cm||No||No||33 cm||33 cm|
|Patapum Toddler||No||Approx 18 months up to 18 kg||Front, Back||Sleeping Hood||72 cm - 114 cm||N||No||41 cm||33 cm|