Babywearing Terminology

Babywearing Terminology

Back carry: Any carry in which the baby is worn on the back of the wearer’s body.

Braid: A method of twisting/tying a wrap for compact storage, which can also help “break in” or
soften the fabric. Not used for wearing.

Carry:  (1) The position of the baby on the wearer’s body; e.g., front, hip or back;
(2) The position of the baby in relationship to the carrier or the wearer; e.g., cradle or kangaroo (which are different types of front carries)
(3) The method of wrapping and/or tying the carrier around the wearer; e.g., cross carry, wrap cross carry.

Cradle carry: A carry in which the baby is cradled across the wearer’s body in a reclining or
semi-reclining position. In a one-shoulder carrier, the baby’s head is pointed toward the weight-bearing shoulder.

Cross: In describing a method of using a wrap carrier, such as “wrap cross carry” or “hip cross  carry,” to cross means to bring both ends of the carrier over the wearer’s shoulders in such a way that they form an X (cross) on the wearer’s back and/or chest. Also used to refer to mei tai or SSC straps forming an X on the wearer’s back or chest.

Froggy position or froggied legs: A position of the baby’s legs, knees bent upward with feet near the hips like a squatting frog. Generally used for upright carries with a newborn who has not yet relaxed from the tightly tucked position in the womb, or for newborns who are more comfortable being held that way.  This is a natural, healthy position.  Nota bene: the legs should not be crossed underneath or in front of the baby.

Front carry: Any carry in which the baby is worn on the front of the wearer’s body.

Forward facing out (FFO): Any front carry in which the baby faces outward, away from the caregiver.

High back carry: A back carry in which the lower part of the baby’s body is positioned above the level of the wearer’s waist, often requiring that the fabric of the carrier be wrapped around the wearer’s chest or rib cage rather than waist or hips.

Hip carry: Any carry in which the baby is worn at or on the wearer’s hip.

Hold: Synonymous with “carry,” but especially the second definition: the position of the baby in  relationship to the carrier or the wearer, e.g., snuggle hold.

Kangaroo: An upright front carry position in which the baby faces outward, away from the
wearer’s chest, with legs curled and tucked inside the carrier.  Also known as Buddha carry.  Kangaroo may also refer to a specific way of tying a wrap in which the baby is facing towards the caregiver.

Pocket: In describing a method of using a wrap carrier, a “pocket” is formed when the ends of  the carrier are passed through the horizontally wrapped portion of the carrier. A “pocket wrap cross carry” is the most common method of using a stretchy wrap.  This term may also refer to a storage pocket sewn into or on any carrier, most often the tail of a ring sling, or the deep seat formed when using a pouch or wrap.

Reverse cradle carry: A variant of the cradle carry in which the baby’s head is pointed away from the weight-bearing shoulder.  Also known as nursing carry although it is not the only position in which a baby may be nursed in a carrier.

Rucksack or ruck: Refers to fastening a baby carrier in a manner similar to a backpack or rucksack, with the fabric or straps coming over the wearer’s shoulders, straight down in the front  (rather than crossing on the chest), and then winding to the back. Used with respect to wraps, mei tais and buckle carriers.

Semi-reclined: A variant of the cradle carry in which the baby is positioned “sideways” across the wearer’s body but in a slightly more upright seated position.  Also known as upright cradle.

Snuggle hold: See “Tummy-to-tummy.”

Tibetan tie or Tibetan finish: A method of tying either a wrap or an Asian carrier in a back carry, in  which the fabric or straps are wound over the shoulders in a rucksack style, crossed behind the baby. brought forward and tucked under the opposite shoulder strap, forming an X on the wearer’s chest.  The fabric or straps are then tied in a square knot on the breastbone.

Torso carry: A back carry in which the carrier is wrapped around the wearer’s torso and no weight is on the wearer’s shoulders.  Typical of certain traditional carriers including the podaegi, kitenge, and kanga.

Tummy-to-tummy (T2T): An upright front carry in which the baby faces the wearer; could more accurately be termed a chest-to-chest or heart-to-hear carry. Also known as a snuggle hold.

Twist: When describing a method of using an Asian-style carrier, refers to twisting the straps  around each other, usually behind the baby’s back so as to provide additional security and support for the baby’s weight, but sometimes as an alternative to crossing the straps on the wearer’s chest (in a back carry). Sometimes called a “Vietnamese granny twist” or “traditional twist.”

Upright carry or upright hold: Any carry or hold in which the baby is positioned with a vertical torso.

Wrap: In describing a method of using a wrap carrier, such as “wrap cross carry”, to wrap means to wind the carrier horizontally around the wearer’s torso.