"What buckle carrier do you recommend? My friend told me I should get a Tula. She loves hers!"
This question has been asked many times! When someone finds a carrier they love, they cannot wait to tell everyone about how awesome it is. Comfortable babywearing is life-changing for a family! So, if your friend has found that her Tula has made such an amazing impact on her life, it makes sense that she would recommend it to you as the BEST carrier.
However - no matter much your friend loves her carrier, and no matter how wonderful it might be for her, it may not be the right carrier for you! Every carrier fits differently, and every body (and baby) is different. Would you buy a new cut of jeans without making sure they fit just the way you wanted? Probably not. You try them on, check yourself from every angle, sit down, bend over, and make sure they are the perfect fit.
Buckle, or soft-structured carriers are very much like jeans. They might fit your hips, but the shoulder straps might rub under your arm. The panel might be the right height, but the seat might not be deep enough for your (or your baby's) preference. The construction of a buckle carrier means it is adjustable only to a point. There are some things that just cannot be changed, and those are the things that may impact your comfort.
Ingredients of a Buckle Carrier
There are a few different types of features that contribute to the fit and function of a buckle carrier, and why you may (or may not) like it.
Go to the Fitting Room!
When you have a stack of jeans to try, you take them to the fitting room, try them on, and compare. Similarly, the best way to figure out what works for you is to try on a variety of carriers. Most people can tell fairly quickly (as long as the carrier is being used correctly) whether or not a carrier feels good and fits well. Little tweaks in position of carrier and straps do make a big difference, so it helps to have a person knowledgeable about carriers help you. The quickest way to do this is to attend a babywearing group meeting, or to schedule a consultation with a babywearing educator. At a group meeting or a private consultation, you may have access to a wide variety of carriers to try on, and can get assistance with the tweaks and tips that may help you find the right carrier for your body.
Just like jeans, when you have found the carrier that fits, you KNOW. And you can buy with confidence, knowing it is the right choice for you and your body!
Beth. The babywearing lady.
copyright 2016 Beth Secrist
All photos used under the Creative Commons license through Flickr. Photography by: littletuesday12