Image featuring an image of a white woman with long dark brown hair in a side braid with wide eyes and unsure face surrounded and covered by accessories related to wearing babies. Blue semi-transparent rectangle to the left has yellow text "ABCs of Babywearing Accessories" above the black logo of a little loon on the back of a larger loon next to hand-lettered text "Babywearing Twin Cities." Background of the graphic is a chalkboard with writing.

What’s that buckle for? If I want to do ring finishes with my woven wrap, do I need special rings? How do I carry stuff around if I’m wearing a child on my back? What do you call that piece of fabric on someone’s back when they’re wearing a buckle carrier with the baby on the front – it looks comfortable! Any of this seem familiar? Below is a list of babywearing accessories with definitions and pictures that might help. It isn’t exhaustive of all possibilities out there but it covers many of them! Note, these are accessories – many of them are not required or necessary to wear a baby or child (though some are!).

Image of several Lenny Lamb babywearing items on a sand colored back ground. All the items are in the same Lenny Lamb wrap material in the Coral Reef pattern which involves thick stripes of orange, lemon, cream, turquoise, magenta, and blue violet. On the left is a toddler carrier, including matching suck pads on the straps and reach straps leading off the hood. Above that is a waist sack (fanny pack). On the right top is a shopping bag laid flat with a pocket in the front that is big enough to hold a folded carrier, and on the right bottom is a hobo bag with thick straps tied into a knot that is big enough to hold 3 carriers. Or 1 carrier and diapers, wipes, wallet and snacks.
Matching accessories made out of the same material as the carrier!

ABCs of Babywearing Accessories

  • Carrier cover or babywearing coat
  • Comfort Pad/Lumbar Support Panel
  • Demo Doll
  • Hipsack/Waist Pouch/etc 
  • Hood
  • Infant Cinch Strap
  • Infant Insert
  • Reach Straps
  • Sling Ring
  • Stirrups
  • Suck/Drool Pads
  • Waist Extender
  • Waist Support Panel

Carrier Covers and Babywearing Coat 

These range from basic little ‘pouches’ that fasten onto or around a carrier to jackets made with babywearing in mind with panels that zip in and out and cover you and baby in front and back carries. This is another thing on DIYer lists and that accessory artisans make. Some baby carrier companies also make these, like Ergo, Lenny Lamb and Baby Bjorn. Watch for these to be added to the library in the near future!

[image of a brunette female woman in a white fleece jacket wearing a brunette female toddler on her front in a soft structured grey carrier. A purple carrier cover with a hood covers most of the toddler up. Suck pad covers that are white and multi colored leaves are attached to the SSC. Both females are outside and looking at the camera]
Carrier Cover

Comfort Pad/Lumbar Support Panel/Waist Support Panel

If the webbing on your soft structured carrier feels diggy on your abdomen you can give the comfort pad a try. This is a rectangular piece of foam that has loops for the webbing to go through. Lillebaby is one manufacturer that offers these. Lumbar support panels are great for caregivers that want a little extra support for their back. Made of foam, they have loops that the waist webbing can go through to hold it on. Lillebaby, Beco and Ergo offer models of carriers that come with these. You can also buy them from Lillebaby.

The waist support panel will turn a non-structured waistband of a soft structured carrier (or certain meh dais) into a structured waistband. We have several in the library – Catbird Pikkolo and Connecta brands.

Three image collage of a navy blue soft structured carrier that has a removable lumbar support panel. Left image is the back of a caregiver wearing a demonstration doll in front. The support panel supports her lower back. Top image is of the carrier laid out on the floor with the lumbar support panel to the side looped through the waistband webbing. Bottom right image is a close-up of the lumbar support panel.
Lumbar Support Panel

 

Two image collage of a white man wearing a toddler on his front in a carrier. Left image has unstructured waist band. Right image has added on waist support panel turning the unstructured waist band into a more structured one.
Waist Support Panel

Demo Doll

When trying on a carrier to see the fit and fell on your body, a demo doll comes in handy. These dolls are weighted for a realistic feel. We have these at every meeting. Educators and educators in training also use these to practice teaching and trying out new carries.

 Image of a redheaded white woman snuggling several demo babies with various skin tones.
The Snuggle is Real
Image of a smiling white woman wearing a demonstration doll in a blue soft structured carrier using an infant insert so that the demonstration doll is fitted properly, close enough to kiss on her chest.
Infant insert puts the baby (or demonstration doll in this case) close enough to kiss!

Hipsack or Waist pouch

These are handy for when you need somewhere for your keys, a spare diaper, lip balm, phone, etc. Waist pouches are made by several carrier manufacturer to fit onto the waistband of the carrier – Kol Kol meh dais come with one, Ergo sells them separately, with some basic sewing skills you could make one. Or, find a small business that makes baby carrier accessories. A couple companies have made their version of fanny packs to match their carriers – Tekhni offers a Hipsack and Tula calls their version a Hip Pouch – which can be attached to a Tula or worn on a waist belt.

Image from the side of a white woman with dark brown hair and sunglasses wearing a toddler on her back in a turquoise woven wrap that matches her tank top. At her waist is a yellow and green pouch with a zipper for carrying little things on the go.

Hood

Some carriers come with an attached hood. Other carriers have the hood snapped or buckled to the carrier. Some manufacturers sell hoods separately, in case you lose one or want a different color. There are many accessory artisans that sell custom hoods – made of wrap scrap, with details like pintucking or bear ears, or different ways of cinching them smaller and attaching the top to the carrier.

[Image of a tan skin bespectacled tired smiling Asian woman wearing her favorite rainbow-plaid top. She's sitting on a rocking bench outside at the park in the cloudy afternoon breeze while wearing a sleeping toddler on her front in a black chambray and pinkish-orange-ish linen meh dai baby carrier. In her hands she has knitting needles and purple yarn in the works. In her lap is a natural white cotton drawstring bag holding the skein of yarn. Behind her are green leaves turning yellow with the changing season.]

[image taken over the back of a brunette caregiver wearing a grey shirt. A toddler is barely shown underneath a carrier hood. The carrier has orange straps and the hood is brown with multi colored cars on it. The toddler’s face from nose down is showing but she has a green pacifier in her mouth attached to a monkey. They are standing outside on the sidewalk]

Infant Cinch Strap

This strap comes standard on Integra carriers. It is used to make the panel narrower to fit a small baby. Lillebaby Complete models have a similar strap, except it loops through the inside of the carrier and buckles around baby as a harness.

 

Infant Insert

This is one accessory that is not really optional (blog post on “Newborn Insert”). Some inserts look like little pillows (Beco 8, Lillebaby, Boba and Kol Kol) and give a needed height boost for baby. Other inserts have a full body support that surrounds baby and keeps them from slumping. (Tula, Ergo) Manufacturers suggest that only the insert that goes with the carrier (Ergo insert w/ Ergo carrier) be used as they have not been safety tested otherwise. We do have several inserts in our library that can be checked out. Let us know which style/brand you are looking for!

Image of different size and brands of infant inserts

image of a demonstration doll seated in an infant insert that goes in a soft-structured carrier

 

Reach Straps

These little straps are attached to a carrier hood to make putting it up on a sleeping kiddo a little easier. Some carriers come with them – the hood cinches along them and they are long enough to reach. You can make a set yourself or find someone who makes carrier accessories.

Image from the back of a toddler in a yellow linen onbuhimo carrier with the hood partially cinched with the dangling black chambray reach straps along both sides of the hood.

Sling Ring

These rings are specifically made for babywearing – they are aluminum or nylon, have no weld joints, and are safety & weight tested. Available in sizes small – extra large they are used not only to make ring slings, but no-sew ring slings, chest belts, ring waists or on traditional or reverse onbuhimos. Sling Rings also are handy to have on hand if you are a woven wrap user as they extend what you can do with your wrap – also handy as bracelets, tunnels for toy cars or hula hoops for dolls. They come in a variety of colors and a few different finishes.

Image of different colors of aluminum rings made for safe babywearing on a white woman's wrist

[Image of me, a light tan skin Asian woman, from lips through torso, wearing a sleeping toddler on my back in a pink and black concentric square patterned woven wrap using a pink ring in the center. We are lit by an overcast sky.]

Stirrups

These foot supports can be attached to a baby carrier to make it more comfortable for a larger wearee. Often a toddler will not quite fit a carrier knee – to – knee, and although that is perfectly safe to continue using, an added stirrup will help keep their legs bent and give a little support. They can also help contain wild, swinging legs.

 

Suck/Drool Pads

These handy strap coverings are to offer baby a place to suck or chew on, keeping your carrier safe. Some styles have little loops to attach toys or pacifiers, some are rectangular and some are curved to cover a little more space. Easier to toss in the wash than your entire carrier and a faster drying time too! Many carrier companies offer their own, but they are generally interchangeable. This is another accessory that can be made with basic sewing skills or bought from an accessory artisan.

Image of a navy blue Lillébaby Airflow on a white background. The carrier has suck pads made out of Tekhni candy delta wrap scrap. The material is a bold candy pink with white geometric lines that intersect to form triangles. Laying in the middle of the carrier is an ID/card wallet made out of matching Candy Delta material.

Waist Extender

This buckles onto the existing waist strap of your carrier to extend the length. Lillebaby makes one and Ergo used to. Ergo has since made the the waist straps of their carriers longer. Manufacturers suggest to not use with a different brand as they have not been safety tested with other carriers.

Blog post written by Adele (Librarian for Babywearing Twin Cities) and Stephanie (Digital Marketing Coordinator for Babywearing Twin Cities).

**********

If you have any questions about babywearing, we encourage you to contact us and/or come learn in person at one of our meetings! Check out our Instagram @BabywearingTwinCities and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Babywearingtwincities/).

Images have image descriptions in the alternative text accessible to those who use screen readers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *