Trying to choose between the three most popular and well known brands of Soft Structure Carriers (also known as Buckle Carriers) on the market? As I see it, the ERGOBaby, the Beco Butterfly II, and the Boba are the most compared and inquired about SSC’s on the market today. Since I have used all three with both of my children I have decided to film videos comparing each carrier in different aspects of useage. The videos will be a visual reference for my written comparisons.
This post will focus on each carrier’s version of a Back Carry. Wearing your baby or toddler on your back is easily the best way to keep them close and safe while accomplishing tasks around the house, tending to your other children, or while enjoying outdoor activities.Please note that practice is KEY to safe babywearing, especially for some of the methods described below. Using a spotter and/or practicing over a bed or low to the ground is recommended (and just plain common sense) until you feel confident in your abilities. [hr]
There are various ways to put a baby on your back using the ERGO. The safest and easiest would be to have another person that yout trust place your baby on your back and help you secure the carrier buckles. We all know that most of the time this isn’t an option. Here are a few other ways:
The Superman Toss- After placing the ERGO around your waist and fastening the buckle, keep the ERGO facing backwards and let the back panel hang down. I like to check my straps to make sure I have them untwisted and get a feel for which way I will be sticking my arms in since it is easy to do it the wrong way. Have a happy baby either laying down, sitting, or standing nearby. (This is only for babies with great head control and strength). Cross your arms in front on you and grab the baby under their arm pits, then swing them over your head and onto your back while you are bent over. ALWAYS keep a hand on the baby, preferably under their rear ends or behind their back. Place one arm at a time in the straps and double check that the back panel is high enough on their backs. Buckle chest strap and make appropraite adjustments.
Couch Corner placement- This method is best for non mobile (with head control) babies. Using a couch or chair lay your ERGO down into the corner with the front facing the couch. Lay your baby into the carrier in such a way that their legs are in the appropriate position when you are wearing them. Back onto the couch and on top of them (without smothering them of course) then buckle the waist belt around yourself. Next reach behind you and grab your straps and put them on. As long as your baby holds relatively still this can be done but it is harder than the Superman Toss in my opinion.
Hip Scoot- This is my least favorite way to put a baby on my back in the ERGO but I know others who prefer it. Buckle your ERGO around your waist and have the panel in front of you. Place your baby in the carrier just as you would for a Front Carry but don’t buckle the strap on your back. Scooch the baby around to your side, then move your arms and bend forward to scoot the baby to your back, all the while keeping one hand on them at all times. (This move is far easier in the Beco due to the internal harness)[hr]
Beco Butterfly II:
Laying down/ Couch Corner- Thanks to the internal harness of the Beco almost anyone can do a back carry. One way would be laying the Beco down on a bed or soft floor and placing the baby into the internal harness. Clip the buckles of the panel to the internal structure, then lean backwards and very close to the baby and carrier. Buckle the waist belt first, then put your arms in the straps. Lift from the surface slowly being aware of your baby’s position and well being. Clip your chest strap and tighten as needed. Can be done similary to the Couch Corner method as well.
Hip Scoot- The Hip Scoot maneuver is easier since the baby is attached to the carrier while you are moving it around your body. Put your baby inside the Beco making sure to utilize the internal harness properly (see video). Take your arms back out of the straps (if you put them in) and then slowly scoot the baby around your body, under your arms, and to your back being sure to bend over once the baby is on your back. Put your arms back through the straps and secure your chest clip, then make any tightening or adjustments as needed.[hr]
Boba:The Boba is intended for babies 15 lbs + or over 1 year. It has a higher back panel, wider seat, and foot straps.
Superman Toss- I use this pretty much exclusively when I am wearing my son in the Boba. The Boba is designed for babies 1 year and older so you may find that the child you intend to wear in the Boba will be cooperative and assist by holding onto you. This doesn’t mean you should trust them, but it will make things easier. Have your toddler stand up or sit facing you and cross your arms in front of you. Put your hands under their arm pits and lift them over your head then twist them around and place them onto your back. Keeping a hand on their bottom, reach behind you and pull each side of the strap up onto your arms and the back panel high over their backs. I have mistakenly not checked the back panel and then noticed that it wasn’t as high as it should be (and thus not as safe since the child could lean backwards). Once they are secure and straps are on, buckle the chest clip. You can also then place the child’s feet into the straps on your waist belt if their legs are hanging down low.
If you aren’t comfortable with this toss you can kneel down and ask your (older) toddler to clib onto your back, or have them sit on a safe place like your sofa then allow them to climb on. If the child is too young for this try the couch corner idea as described for the ERGO.
Hip Scoot- Boba recommends a modifed Hip Scoot where you place 1 set of straps on yourself (left shoulder for most people) and place the baby on your hip, the reach in between the carrier and your body to grab the baby’s foot and hold from one side while scooting them into the carrier. I am not very good at this particulat method however it is perfectly safe and many will find it easier than tossing. Boba has a great video demo.[hr]
Which is best for Back Carries?
Each carrier has strengths (and weaknesses) in different areas. To say one carrier is superior to others wouldn’t be true; they are all good carriers. It will truly depend on more variables than can be written but I am going to tell you how I prefer to use these carriers and when.
ERGO- For back carries I like the ERGO for babies from about 6-8 months and up. I use the Superman Toss pretty much exclusively unless my husband is around to put the baby in the carrier. The Sleep Hood stays attached to the ERGO so I don’t run into the issue of forgetting to bring it or attach; if my son falls asleep it is always within reach.
Beco- I used the Beco for back carries more when I first started back carries and wasn’t comfortable tossing. It gave me a way to wear him on my back that was easy and safe for a newbie. It still takes practice but it is fairly straight forward. I don’t like it for front carries to it only gets used on my back.
Boba- When my second son gets big enough the Boba will be my go-to carrier for my back. It is my go-to for my 2.5 year old since the back is higher and the seat is wider. As with the ERGO, it gets used with the Superman Toss. The foot straps are very handy once the child is taller; it keeps their legs from dangling and keeps them in a comfortable seated position.SSC’s will leave younger/shorter babies very low on your back; the baby will only be able to see your back unless they want to look to the side. Don’t be surprised if you find that your baby doesn’t enjoy being worn on your back at this stage. There are other carriers that can give your baby a better and higher view over your shoulder. Try a Mei Tei or a Woven Wrap. Also, remember that only babies with great head control should be worn in a SSC on your back.
I’m sure there are numerous other methods of putting a baby on your back but there are the ones I have personally tried. If you have a favorite method leave it in the comments!
Don’t forget to view the How to Breastfeed in the ERGObaby, Beco Butterfly II, and Boba video/post and the other installments in the ERGObaby/BBII/Boba Series.
If you are looking for an ERGObaby, Beco Butterfly II, or Boba they can all be found at my affiliate- Granola Babies! Shop at Granola Babies & use code NEW4147 for $7 off $75 first time order.