The Worn Baby

Onbu Hotness

Flashback with me will you? 10 years ago, a few awesome WAHMs were making and selling onbuhimos (onbus) with rings. The fad died off because the onbu is a bit more difficult to find the "sweet spot" when wearing. Fast forward to 2015. Everyone is raving about this awesome carrier called an onbuhimo. The onbu love is back and this time, most are made with buckles. There are some things to keep in mind about onbuhimos:

  • They are mainly for back carrying which means your child needs to be AT LEAST 6 months old
  • With no waist band, they are excellent carriers for expectant mothers
  • Padding doesn't necessarily mean comfort
  • Keep adjusting until you do find that sweet spot, but keep in mind that it may not happen immediately

Here at The Worn Baby, we carry 2 different brands of onbuhimos - Fidella & Lenny Lamb. Below, you will find the measurements of both and I hope that it helps you pick the right one for you!

Fidella Measurements

7.5" wide cinched down

16.25" at narrowest point of leg padding

19.25" at widest point of leg padding

20" tall (not including hood)

15" tall with sides cinched down (not including hood)

3.5" wide shoulder straps

36.5" length shoulder straps fully extended (PFAs not tightened)

15.5" length shoulder straps fully tightened (PFAs not tightened)

0.5" thick shoulder padding

Shoulder straps unbuckle from carrier

Lenny Lamb Measurements

8.5" wide cinched down

16.5" wide including leg padding

14.5" tall (not including hood)

3.5" wide shoulder straps

43.5" length shoulder straps fully extended (PFAs not tightened)

19.5" length shoulder straps fully tightened (PFAs not tightened)

1" thick shoulder padding

Shoulder straps do not unbuckle from carrier

The Mei Tai Movement

Man on man do I love a good mei tai. And these are MAY DIE not MY TIE. We can't drink these *womp womp* In my classes I've been teaching, I go over mei tais. I always suggest a wide strapped mei tai due to comfort for the wearer, but offer a narrow strapped mei tai for attendees to try on. In all my years of teaching, no one has chosen the narrow strapped mei tai. As a mom of giant children, I am accustomed to wearing big, heavy babies and found narrow strapped mei tais very uncomfy. To top it off, most mei tais shouldn't be used with newborns since there's no adjustment to keep baby closer to the wearer. A newborn can slump into the mei tai body and that is NOT a good thing.

When I purchased my first wide strapped mei tai, the clouds parted and the heavens shined on us and it was a glorious, comfortable epiphany - these are what I had been looking for! However, in 2006, there were very few brands of wide strapped mei tais and none of them had the ability to cinch down to properly fit a child knee to knee. But people were working on it!

When Didymos released their Didytai, I was one of the most excited people EVER! FINALLY!! The exact carrier I wanted! Wide straps. Long straps. Adjustable body. No more rigging a mei tai body with a rubberband or rope or ribbon. Now, many mei tai makers are producing wide strapped mei tais with adjustable bodies and I am THRILLED! And with the wide straps, a mei tai can now be used to wear a newborn!

Besides wide straps and adjustable bodies, I'm a big advocate of purchasing a carrier that will last more than a few months. If you're going to invest the money into a good carrier, it should be one that you can use and use and use and use. Am I right? A mei tai can be used for front carries and nice, high back carries. They fit most wearers and are supportive for both the wearer and baby.

Here are measurements of the wide strapped, adjustable body mei tais that I have. If I add more to TWB, I will be sure and update this post!

 

Didymos Didytai

18.25" wide

17" tall (not including the hood)

85.5" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

12.5" wide shoulder straps

Unpadded body

Unpadded shoulder straps

Unpadded waist straps

Diva Milano Mei Tai

15.75" wide

17.75" tall (not including the hood)

87" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

9.25" wide shoulder straps

Unpadded body

Unpadded shoulder straps

Unpadded waist straps

Fidella Fly-Tai

New Size

18" wide

18.75" tall (not including hood)

87" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

11.5" wide shoulder straps

Unpadded body

Partially padded shoulder straps

Partially padded waist straps

Toddler Size

17.5" wide

18.5" tall (not including hood)

87" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

12" wide shoulder straps

Leg padding

Partially padded shoulder straps

Partially padded waist straps

 Lenny Lamb Wrap-Tai

Mini

14" wide

13.75" tall (not including hood)

92" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

13" wide shoulder straps

Leg padding for child

Unpadded shoulder straps

Unpadded waist straps

11.5" wide waist straps

117" waist strap (from longest tapered ends, across the body)

Toddler

16.25" wide

17.5" tall (not including hood)

89" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

11.5" wide shoulder straps

Leg padding for child

Unpadded shoulder straps

Unpadded waist straps

11" wide waist straps

115.5" waist strap (from longest tapered ends, across the body)

 

I'm now including measurements for other popular brands of mei tais. I like to have all of the information at one spot!

Babyhawk - Standard

16" wide

21" tall (including headrest)

77" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

3.5" wide shoulder straps

Unpadded body

Partially padded shoulder straps

Unpadded waist straps

Chimparoo

14.5" wide - body does cinch down

14" tall (not including the hood) - body does cinch down in height

71" shoulder straps

3.5" wide shoulder straps

Unpadded body

Partially padded shoulder straps

Partially padded waist straps

Hoppediz Hop-Tye

15" wide

13.5" tall (not including the hood)

89" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

10" wide shoulder straps

Partially padded body

Unpadded shoulder straps

Partially padded waist straps

Infantino

15.75" wide

15.5" tall

73" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

3.5" wide shoulder straps

Edges of body are padded

Partially padded shoulder straps

Unpadded waist straps

Topa Top

18.5" wide - body does cinch down

19" tall (not including the hood)

82" shoulder straps (from body of mei tai to longest tapered end)

12" wide shoulder straps

Partially padded waist straps

 

 

Soft-Structured Widths

The lovely topic of soft structured carriers (SSCs). Many people find them incredibly comfortable due to the padded straps and waist. The issue is that there are very few that are suited for newborns. And as your baby grows, the support needed will change and vary.

In our local lending library, I have gathered many SSCs for members to try, but often get asked which is needed for a certain age/weight of baby or which will last the longest. Let me say this: many babies are the same size but different weights. Many babies are the same weight but different age. It's time to let go of our fascination with the weight. To properly fit your child to a SSC, you will need to go off pant size. It's the support from knee to knee that is the determining factor.

Here's a list of SSCs that I have personally measured. The measurements are of the base, where the carrier would support baby's bottom and knee to knee. You will see they all vary. I will add more as I receive/measure them. I hope this clears the air a bit and helps you find the best fit for your baby!

Babyhawk Mei Tai - 15.75"

Babyhawk Oh Mei - 15.25"

Babyhawk Oh Snap - 15.75"

Beco Gemini - 6.25" snapped down. 12" fully open.

Beco Soleil - 16"

Boba - 14"

Emeibaby - adjustable from 6" on up

Ergo Original - 14.5"

Ergo Sport - 14"

Fidellal Fusion - adjustable from 6" to 19"

Infantino Union - 14.5"

Kinderpack Infant - 7.5" fully cinched. 16.25 fully open.

Kinderpack Standard - 18"

Kinderpack Toddler - 20"

Kinderpack Pre-school - 22"

Lenny Lamb Baby - 14"

Lenny Lamb Toddler - 15" narrowest. 17" widest.

Lillebaby - 6" snapped down. 16" fully open.

MO+M - 12.5"

Olives & Applesauce - 15"

Onya Baby - 16"

Tula Standard - 15.5"

Tula Toddler - 19.25"

Ring Sling Basics

Sometimes, you just need a refresher! Here's a video I put together on using a ring sling for tummy to tummy and hip carries in a ring sling.

This is my first video so go easy ;) I may stumble on my words. My husband calls during one part. But my baby cooperates! In case you're curious, the ring sing in the first part of the video is Storchenwiege Anna. The one you see me using with Callaway is Storchenwiege Leo Café.

If you have any questions or ideas for another video, let me know!

Written by Piper Nard — January 10, 2014

Forward Facing

 Oh boy. Here it comes! My post on forward facing out (FFO) in a baby carrier. This is a pretty hot topic. It rivals that of vaccines, circumcision, epidurals, etc. I'm not posting this in order to get into a debate. I'm not asking for you to talk me out of what I believe. This is an informative post with research & facts. As with any topic, you can take from it what you would like and use what best fits your worn baby and situation.

I'm always open & honest so let me start there!

Written by Piper Nard — December 29, 2013

Let's Talk DIY Wraps

In all of my years of teaching babywearing, one of the most popular questions I've been asked about are DIY carriers. People are looking for more budget friendly alternatives than a $200 wrap. While I do carry quality, lower cost wraps, I'd still rather see you make a safe wrap than putting your child at risk. While these options won't compare to an actual woven wrap, it is a great way to get started and see if wrapping is something that works for you.

Fabrics

The fabric you choose for your DIY wrap is very important. You want to find a woven fabric that isn't too thick & isn't too thin. It is too thick if it doesn't wrap easily around your arm. It is too thin if, when held to the light, you can see everything behind the fabric. Stay with natural fibers as synthetic fibers don't tend to breathe as well. And when you're wrapping a human on you, it does get a bit warm!

I suggest osnaburg. It comes in a natural and is 100% cotton. It can be dyed and softens up very nicely!

Here are some that I dyed myself.

I've seen some DIY osnaburg wraps pop up on babywearing swaps labeled as "osnaburg linen." That isn't a thing ;) Make sure you find out for sure what fabric the wrap is actually made from!

Linen & linen blends can be made into wraps also. Linen is known to be a bit airy and lighterweight. It drapes nicely and softens up nicely too. But again, just make sure it isn't too thin!

Crinkle gauze gets thrown into the mix a lot. The issue with gauze is that some are quite thin and don't offer the support needed and expected from wraps. 

Some seersucker materials can work also. Again, you'll want to make sure it feels supportive, with no stretch. Here's one I made from a seersucker.

Width

I've often seen people make wraps and then resell them on sites like ebay, etsy & hyenacart. They want to make money so they purchase the material and cut it in half. The issue with this is that it makes the wrap too narrow. I've seen some less than 20" wide. This isn't safe, especially for larger babies. I usually stay from 25"-27" in width, just like a standard wrap, but have seen others go up to 30" in width.

Edges

I believe that one of the greatest reasons people suggest making your own stretchy wrap is because the edges won't need to be finished. This is true, however a stretchy wrap won't last and is often difficult to get properly tightened. You will need to finish the edges of a non-stretchy wrap by either serging or hemming them. This will allow your wrap to be used and washed and used some more!

Lessons from a Babywearing Addict

I found babywearing after a long search for a way to soothe my teething toddler and get things done at the same time. Once I discovered all of babywearing’s magical properties, I quickly started buying any and every sling I could find. Within a few weeks I had seen several wraps come and go, had a couple ring slings, a didytai and more on the way. I was ADDICTED!! Luckily I had some help and guidance so I wasn’t just buying anything under the sun, but I was buying anything that caught my eye. People I hardly knew were asking if I needed an intervention! I’m still an addict but  on the road to recovery. 

Trying so many wraps from many different price points gave me the opportunity to compare. I always wondered why one cotton wrap could go for over $400 and one could be $60. No idea! So after testing and trying I learned that not all wraps are created equal. Some brands are great for heavier babies and some have a bit too much give to hold hefty toddlers. Some blends are soft straight out of the bag and others need breaking in. Some wraps have a lot of texture and others are smooth.

The most important thing I learned is that I don’t have to spend $500 to have my baby close to me! There are slings under $100 that wrap just as well as a sling that is $500. The important part of babywearing is having your baby close! There is nothing better than a cranky toddler suddenly soothed by the sway of a mama cooking dinner. I have since sold the majority of my carriers and am left with a small, but well loved stash. So, whether you are spending $60 or $500, get something you love! Use it, love it and love your baby in it! :)

 

-Sarah

We All Start Somewhere - Piper's Story

Babywearing. Many aren't sure exactly what that term means. I happened to be one of those people when I first started.


When my first son was born in 2002, I ended up with severe postpartum depression. I didn't realize everything that I had been doing helped add to that: birth induction, listening and doing what others told me to, not trusting myself and my mommy gut. My way of handling my postpartum depression was to keep my baby close to me. Others told me I was wrong. But I knew better! That's when I first started listening to my inner voice.


I purchased my first sling when my son was three months old. I knew I wanted to keep him with me, but at 20 pounds, I needed some help. I asked my mom friends over at iVillage which sling I should buy. When I got it, I had no clue how to use it and felt lost. We used it as much as we felt comfortable, but with his size, all the padding & no he, we stopped using it quickly.


In 2005, we were expecting our second son. I knew I wanted to give babywearing another whirl and started researching some more on my own. Most mothers will remember what it's like the first time they walked into Babies R Us. Can you say overwhelming?! That's exactly how I felt when I started researching babywearing & found The Babywearer. I can sometimes be a little persistent and stubborn. Lucky for me, that helped in my babywearing experience as I was NOT going to listen to naysayers and not carry my baby. Babywearing the second time made our lives absolutely amazing! There was no sibling rivalry. No carrying a heavy carseat carrier. No struggling to juggle a three-year-old, a baby, and a stroller. It also helped me breastfeed successfully. But you know what? Baby carriers can cost a lot & they weren't in our budget. People often laugh when I explain to them that I sold my husband's clothes on eBay in order to have money to buy and try baby carriers. And in Oklahoma in 2005, there was no other choice but order and have it shipped.

Over 11 years of trial & error with hours of research & training. Babywearing is my life, passion, love.


And look at how things have changed since!!

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