Standardisation of accepted terms
At ACESL, we believe that defining standard terms in the baby carrying industry is important, to encourage clarity and facilitate straightforward communication between professionals and the public. We are creating this glossary of terms to both explore the current meaning of each term as it has grown organically, and also to provide a point of reference for all, helping to define the terms going forward.
It is important to use straightforward, easily accessible language which respects the origin and background of a term, including making sure any word or name translated to English is done accurately and respectfully.
We have included obsolete terms in the glossary, which must include phrases and definitions which have formed a part of the baby carrying industry in the past, to better explain why a word is no longer considered appropriate. Brand names will not be included, although there are many that bear resemblance to general terms.
We welcome all additions to this glossary of terms, to further refine and sharpen each definition.
Baby Carrier – A item specially manufactured for the purpose of carrying a baby attached to the body of an adult.
Baby Sling – A device used to carry a baby against the body of an adult, often perceived to have primarily fabric construction and to allow the child to be cocooned by the tension of the cloth. Some narrow definitions specify a sling to be carrying device worn over one shoulder, but a wider definition allows for most types of fabric based soft carriers. (See also, Sling, Ring Sling)
Babywearing Consultant (also known as, Baby Carrying Consultant, see also, Carrying Consultant) An individual who has undergone consultant level training with a baby carrying school, and completed any assignment work required, who is regularly working with carrying families and/or understating regular CPD (continuing professional development).
Bag Sling – a carrier with a mattress base section and two fabric sides on a single shoulder strap, constructed for the child to lay in a cradle position on the mattress portion and not against the adult body. The carrying adult would apply the single shoulder strap in a diagonal position across the torso.
Beh Dai (see Meh Dai)
Buckle Carrier (also known as Clip-on Carrier)
A type of carrier which attaches using buckle or clip devices purposely designed for quick attachment. Buckles on carriers can come in many forms, including tri-lock, lockable buckles, slots, quick release, safety buckles, G-clips and carabiner-style. Usually plastic and also known as clips
Carrying Aid – an item which offers extra support to a child when they are being carried in arms, and/or helps the carrying adult to bear the weight of the child without strain. Carrying aids are in addition to support with the adults body and arms, and cannot be used as a hands free carrier.
Carrying Consultant (also known as, Baby Carrying Consultant, see also, Babywearing Consultant) – An individual who has undergone consultant level training with a baby carrying school, and completed any assignment work required, who is regularly working with carrying families and/or undertaking regular CPD (continuing professional development).
Carrying Peer Supporter
Carrying Peer Supporter – An individual who has completed peer supporter level training with a baby carrying school, who is regularly supporting carrying families to get the most out of their carriers safely.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – regular learning opportunities that professionals engage in in order to update and expand their knowledge base, ensuring that practical and academic skilled remain current and do not become obsolete. CPD can take the form of training workshops, gathering of professionals or events, as well as online learning and further reading. Undertaking CPD shows a clear commitment to professionalism and self-development.
Ergonomic Carrier – a carrier which, by design or nature, supports a child in an age appropriate, physiologically respectful manner. An ergonomic carrier should also adapt for the carrying adult, with favourable weight distribution in the carrier design that brings the child and adult weight close to the adults normal centre of gravity, reducing strain and increasing comfort.
Front Facing In (FFI)
Front Facing In (FFI) – also known as parent facing, tummy to tummy, T2T, front carry – carrier positioning with the child’s chest and abdomen against the front torso of the carrying adult.
Front Facing Out (FFO)
Front Facing Out (FFO) – also known as forwards facing, world facing – carrier positioning which centres the carried child’s back against the chest of the carrying adult, so the child is facing away from the person carrying.
Front Pack – a buckle carrier designed to carry a child vertically, made from soft materials without a framed support, which features defined leg holes for the carried child, with a separate harness set of fastenings, straps or belts connecting the child to the torso of the carrying adult. As defined by the European Standard EN 13209-2:2005 prepared by technical committee CEN/TC 252 “Child use and care articles”.
Hipseat – a solid seat on a waist belt construction, to be attached around the waist of the carrying adult, upon which the child can be seated, to aid the adult in carrying the weight of the child. Hipseats can be a carrying aid alone, or form part of a hipseat carrier, with extra harness attachments making the carrier hands free.
Infant Carrying – the act of using a carrier or carrying aid to hold an infant child under the age of four months close to the body of the carrying adult.
Onbuhimo – (abbreviation: Onbu) traditionally a back carrier, of Japanese origin, the Onbuhimo is a square panel of cloth with loops of strap connecting the four corners. They can fasten with buckles, ties or rings to achieve this fit.
Podaegi – (abbreviation: Pod, obsolete. Also spelt Podegi) A traditional style of carrier, of Korean origin. Consisting of a narrow or wide ‘blanket’ section attached to a single long shoulder strap running across the top, or two long shoulder straps attached to the top corners, wrapped around the carrying adult and securing the blanket around the child.
Pouch – a single tube of fabric worn diagonally across the body of the carrying adult, used to support the child against the adult body. Pouches can be sized or adjustable.
Preschool Sized (or, Preschool Carrier)
Preschool Sized (or, Preschool Carrier) – a larger bodied carrier with higher upper weight limits, testing and/or revised design features allowing the carrier to be used solely for children in the pre-school age bracket of 3-5 years approximately.
Sling – (See Baby Sling)
Sling Library – a resource offering hire of carriers and carrying aids to the general public, with or without charging a fee.
Sling Rings – a pair of circular rings, most commonly cast aluminium or plastic, used in the manufacture of ring slings. Also used as a single or pair for a variety of carrying methods in conjunction with a woven wrap.
Soft Structured Carrier (acronym -SSC)
Soft Structured Carrier (acronym -SSC) – usually synonymous with a buckle carrier, a soft structured carrier is primarily fabric in construction, with some structure provided by padding and/or high density foam shaping, but that has no element of tying. The soft structured carrier has ergonomic qualities of fit which include tightening mechanisms which incorporate adult and child rather than separate harnessing, and can usually be used for multiple carrying positions.
Stretchy Wrap – a jersey weave light cotton knit form of wrap that incorporates stretch, allowing the bounce of the fabric to mould around the adult and child. Usually uniform in width until narrowing to tapered ends.
T.I.C.K.S. (Acronym) – safety acronym devised by the Uk Sling Consortium and a common acronym for sling and carrier safety, hosted at babyslingsafety.co.uk.
Toddler sized (or, Toddler Carrier)
Toddler sized (or, Toddler Carrier) – a size up from a standard or baby sized carrier, a toddler carrier is designed with slightly older children in mind, often with larger body panels, higher weight limits or design features more suited to toddler carrying. Usually designed to fit children solely from 18-24 months plus.
Trainer – applying to a baby carrying support professional who trains others within the industry to a peer support or consultant standard. Usually with significant experience and a teaching skill set. Trainers may also offer training services for related industries, eg to childcare professionals, support workers or healthcare providers.
Volunteer – many sling library services or group environments offering support with baby slings and carriers work on a volunteer basis. Defined as an individual who participates in carrying support work on a occasional or regular basis, who offers their time without being paid.
Woven Wrap – Fabric wrap around carriers, usually parallelogram in shape, specially woven and hemmed in numerous sizes for the purpose of carrying babies. Machine or handwoven from warp and weft, the term woven wrap covers a wide range of sizes, fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk, bamboo, wool, and weaves such as cross twill, jacquard.
Wrap (also known as Wraparound Carriers) – a blanket term applied to any baby carrier from the stretchy or woven wrap groups.