Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Babywearing: Shorty love

Normally, I lovelovelove mei tai baby carriers. But with being pregnant and not wanting anything with straps to touch my belly, I've had to find some other equally awesome carriers. I really loved my Hotslings pouch during the first trimester because it was quick and it kept the pressure off of my stomach.

But as I've gained more energy during the second trimester, I have been able to carry the toddler for longer periods at a time. Therefore, I realized I needed something that could stand up to long carries -- a carrier that distributed his weight onto both shoulders but not my emerging and somewhat-large belly.

Enter the shorty.

The shorty is a woven wrap - any brand -- that comes in shorter lengths than a standard size wrap, which usually measure 4.1-5.2 meters. Here is a 4.1 meter Storchenwiege woven wrap in the colorway Albert. Notice how long the tails are after I tied them around my waist.

A typical shorty measures 2.7 meters (for the smaller mama) to about 3.2 meters (for the average mama) to about 3.7 meters (for the fluffier mama). Shorties are limited to performing only certain carries - ruck sack, kangaroo, hip carry and cradle carry. (Click here to learn more about sizing and carries!) Here is a picture of me wearing the toddler when he was 12 months old in a 2.7 meter Bara Barn woven wrap in the colorway Druvor. The position is similar to a hip wrap cross carry.

But the advantage of a shorty is quite extensive. A shorty is quicker to wrap because it has less material to wrap and tie. It is cooler because it has less material. And it is easier to learn to use and tie because it has less material. See? Sometimes less is more!

But the shorty also has the benefits of a woven wrap because it is a woven: It's supportive. It's a work-horse. It gets better and softer with each use. It can be used from newborn through toddlerhood and then through preschool age. And you don't lose the versatility of a wrap regarding different carries like you often lose with other types of carriers.

Here is a picture of me at 23 weeks pregnant carrying the 24-pound toddler in a ruck sack carry at the zoo. I'm wearing a 3.2 meter Didymos woven wrap in the colorway Iris. Look at how short the tails are after I tied under my bust. Not a whole lot of material to fuss with!

Need more for your money? A shorty can be transformed back and forth between a wrap and ring sling simply by adding or removing sling rings.

As I mentioned wraps are great for carrying newborns and beyond. I will be ruck sacking our newborn when he arrives using the Iris, as wraps are one of only two carriers (the other -- a Kozy mei tai) you can safely use to hoist a newborn up onto your back. In this picture, I'm wearing a good friend's newborn ruck sack style in a 4.6 meter Storchenwiege woven wrap in the colorway Inka. You can see how much more material I had to fuss with, and I must say, I do like doing ruck sack carries with shortys much better!
Oh, shorty, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Oh wait. I already did.


  1. Wow, that's so cute and functional! I wish I had those when my kids were babies!

  2. See, these are the things I wish I'd known about before the wee ones were born. But hey... if we ever have an accident, I'll know what to do now ;)

  3. I just discovered shortie love a few weeks ago when I borrowed Susie's Girasol Krookus. It is fantastic. It is just long enough for a ruck-tied-under-bum, a hip carry or a *tight* FCC. I might have to learn that hip-cross-carry because it looks more supportive than a simply slingknot hip carry that I usually do in a hurry.

  4. The shorty sounds fabuulous! I almost feel like I need one NOW - for my almost 4 year old! They're so pretty, too.

  5. Oddly enough, I think the pictures sold me on a woven wrap.


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