Need help troubleshooting your buckle carrier? We love buckle carriers because they are quick to put on, and relatively easy to figure out. Carriers like the Tula, Beco, Pikkolo (with support belt), Boba and Ergobaby carriers are our best-selling carriers, and it’s easy to see why- they are comfortable for almost every babywearer, they don’t have dragging straps or fabric, and it’s usually pretty straightforward to get comfortable in them. But that doesn’t mean you will always feel great the instant you put one on!
For anyone who has a new (or new to you) buckle carrier that isn’t feeling quite right yet, don’t despair! Here are our nine top tips for getting comfortable in your buckle carrier!
Tip 1: Make sure the carrier is worn snugly. You shouldn’t feel you have to lean forward to compensate for your baby leaning away from your body. Instead of just tightening the side straps to pull baby closer to you (and more upright) make sure that you are tightening up the whole strap of the carrier, not just the webbing. Sometimes the padded part tends to stay in position (especially when crossed) and all your tightening doesn’t actually change the snugness of the straps on your back.
Tip 2: On the other hand, make sure the carrier straps are not so tight around your shoulders that it will cause chafing under your arms.
Tip 3: Make sure baby is centered in the carrier. It helps to center the carrier on your body before you load baby up.
Tip 4: Make sure baby has a “good seat” and baby’s bum is sunk fully into the carrier. To get a good seat, grab the carrier behind your baby’s back (or the straps of the carrier if the baby is on your back), give them a good yank and maybe a bit of bounce. Baby’s bum should fill out the bottom of the carrier. If the carrier is too wide for the baby’s bum to fill the carrier, the carrier is too big for him. (This video shows how to get a good seat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVFrOUeK23g)
Tip 5: Make sure the carrier base is the right width for your child. Ideal positioning is for the carrier to come up under child’s knees without scrunching or folding the carrier. Child’s knees should bend naturally and hang down out of the carrier, supported to the knee by the base. When in doubt, err for the smaller carrrier.
Tip 6: Check the position of your waistbelt. It’s important to keep the waistband even from front to back. Try to have the waistband go straight around your body, and tighten the waist band so that it stays there (but isn’t cinched super tightly – there should be a little give!). Most people find the ideal spot for the waistband is at the top of your hipbone, resting on the pelvis. However, there is no One True Position for the location of waistbelt on your body, so if this position doesn’t work well for you, play with moving it higher or lower (while keeping it even from front to back). You want the weight of the baby to rest on your hips, that way the hips support baby’s weight instead of the shoulders.
Tip 7: Check position of the chest strap. It should be at your collarbone when wearing the carrier on your back. The shoulder straps and chest strap should form an H shape, not an A shape. Wearing the chest strap in the wrong position can cause upper back pain.
Tip 8: Check the tightness of the chest strap. The biggest mistake is in wearing the chest strap too loose, so that the straps fall out of the sweet spot is between your shoulder cap and your neck. You don’t want the straps to be on top of your shoulder joint (the ball of your shoulder), as that can cause pain. Likewise, you don’t want to the straps to be in too close to your neck. If the chest strap is too tight, the straps will dig into your neck or press down on your trapezius muscle – this will get uncomfortable for you. Again, make sure the straps and chest strap are in the H position, not the A position.
Tip 9: If you are having trouble attaching the chest strap when wearing your buckle carrier in the front carry, try this alternative method for latching the back strap in your buckle carrier.
Well, there you have it. We really hope these tips have helped you! Have any additional ones to add? Please let us know!
Credit and thanks to the lovely Michelle from Dancey Pants Disco for the photos!