A buckle carrier, also called an Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) is basically a panel with a waist strap and shoulder straps that buckle or clip into place. They are like mei tais but have the security of a buckle closure. Most are suitable for front or back carries, and some such as the Manduca can be used for hip carriers. It is very easy to get the right position with buckle carriers and therefore less daunting if you are new to baby carrying. They are usually quick and easy to use. In a buckle carrier the baby is carried in a seated M position with the knees higher than the bottom. The baby’s legs should be supported from knee to knee.
Buckle soft carriers are comfortable and perfect for heavier babies and toddlers and also when carrying for long periods.The weight is taken on both shoulders making them comfortable to use. They are easy to adjust for different adults to use the same carrier so it is easy for parents to share the same carrier. It is worth noting though that many do not adjust small enough for some petite frames.
Buckle carriers made from wrap fabric can be worth considering as the body of the carrier often moulds better to the baby’s shape. As well as off the shelf carriers there is a market in custom mades so you can design your own unique carrier.
There are a host of accessories for SSC, most important I would say are dribble pads for the shoulder straps so you don’t have to be constantly putting the carrier in the machine as this will shorten its life.
Buckle carriers tend to retail around the £100 mark so it is worth checking first which brand suits you and your baby. We have a number of buckle carriers for hire so hopefully something to suit all shapes.