Friday, January 8, 2010

The Sling Library

Beltway Babywearers maintains a lending library available to those who attend our meetings.  This post lists items available to be borrowed for a term no longer than one month.  Members who have attended more than one meeting are allowed to borrow from the library at no charge, however late returns will encounter a late fee.  Late fees will be applied to carrier maintenance and to the fund to add new carriers to the library.

Wraparound Slings--- AKA Wrap, SPOC
A simple strip of cloth makes an elegant and comfortable baby sling. A little learning is required to wrap and tie the cloth, but basic methods can be mastered in minutes. Wraparound slings can be short, for quick one-shoulder carries, or longer, to distribute the baby’s weight evenly over
two shoulders and the caregiver’s torso and hips. Wraparound slings come in a variety of fabrics, but natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, hemp, wool, and silk are more breathable and have a more appropriate texture than synthetics. Some wraparound slings are specially woven to have exceptional performance as baby carriers, offering strength, breath ability, just the right amount of diagonal stretch, and the right texture for holding the baby securely; these highly prized textiles are sometimes known as German-Style Wovens because this type of sling was developed in Germany.

Vatanai 3.7m-   (red with birds)

Ellevil Zara 4.6m -


Ring Slings
In its simplest and most elegant form, a ring sling is a shawl with a pair of rings attached to one end. The rings replace the knot or tuck-and-twist method of fastening used with traditional shawl carriers such as Mexican rebozos or Indonesian selendangs.  Some ring slings have padding
where the sling rests on the caregiver’s shoulder or along the edges of the sling, and some depart further from traditional shawl carriers by having the fabric at the end of the sling folded and stitched into a rope-like tail.

Sleeping Baby Productions--- (pictures to come)

Comfy Joey---

Maya Wrap -

Zolowear -

Pouch Slings
Simply a tube of fabric with a curved seam, a pouch sling is a sleek carrier option. Pouches are sized to the adult wearer, and what they lack in adjustability they make up for in convenience. Few carriers take up less space in a diaper bag or are as quick to put on and take off as a pouch,
and few are available in the variety of fashion fabrics offered by pouch manufacturers.

Hotslings -

Comfy Joey -

Mei Tais
The modern take on a traditional Chinese baby carrier with a body panel, shoulder straps, and waist straps still carries the traditional name, “mei tai” (say “may tie”). The new-generation mei tais typically have either wide, padded shoulder straps, or extra-wide “wrap-style” unpadded straps for the wearer’s comfort. They also offer a variety of features such as headrests or sleeping hoods for the baby, pockets for diapers or other essentials, and fabric choices that range from strictly utilitarian to truly luxurious.

Toddlerhawk, same as a babyhawk, just slightly bigger---

Kozy -

Catbird Baby -

Maya Tie -

OctiMeiTai -

Soft Structured Carriers
Also with a body panel and shoulder and waist straps, soft structured carriers replace knots with buckles and add a thickly padded waistband and shoulder straps. The result is a different weight distribution and overall different look and feel from a mei tai, putting this style of carrier into a category of its own. Soft structured carriers offer the convenience of buckles yet are vastly different from framed backpacks in that they hold the baby securely against the wearer’s body. Unlike framed backpacks, soft structured carriers are suitable from birth through toddlerhood and provide the benefits of body-to-body contact for the baby.


Action Baby Carriers---

Beco Butterfly 2---

Beco 4th gen (no longer available new)---

Pikkolo -

We would especially like to thank the vendors and individuals who have donated carriers to our lending library.  Your contribution is helping to spread the joy of babywearing to others in the DC Metro area. 

Thank you to Babywearing International for the descriptions of the types of carriers.


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