A new baby carrier out there has been dubbed the “sash” style carrier. The sash carrier is for carrying babies and toddlers in the front only, facing in or out. You can pop the child in and out quickly and easily like with a pouch or sling, but the weight is distributed evenly across your back and shoulders like with a wrap or mei tai. What’s revolutionary about it is that there are no ties, straps, buckles or rings, yet it is still comfortable and secure.
The sash baby carrier is like a cross between a wrap and a pouch. It is two belts of fabric sewn into two crosses. When you hold it up, it looks like an X or a butterfly. A headrest is sewn across the front X for little babies. There are no snaps, straps, buckles, ties, or rings. It is nonadjustable, simple, and quick like a pouch, but offers two-shoulder support like a wrap.
To wear, you simply slip the whole thing over your head and put your arms through, same as you would a T-shirt. There will be an X over your back and one over your front with a strap over each shoulder. The baby’s butt goes just under the front cross with his legs over the waist fabric as with a mei tai, and his arms tuck in under the front cross as with a wrap.
The first to hit the market was the Beco Obi (Japanese for sash), which retails for $70. It comes in four elegant patterns: Cinnamon Meadow, which is flowery; Lenka, a blue paisley; Anaya, a black and white paisley; and Mia, which features blue seashell-like shapes. They reverse to black or natural. There are two sizes, one for small and medium body types and another for larger moms and dads. A safety removable harness is included for newborns. The front has a flap that can be opened for popping baby in and out and then velcroed shut for a headrest. There is a little bit of padding where the baby’s legs go to prevent chafing.
There is an alternative to the Beco Obi, and that is the Duo, made by a WAHM on Diaper Swappers. Her design is exactly like the original Beco Obi, except that there is no padding near the baby’s legs. Her carriers are custom made to the buyer based on their measurements, and customers can choose from over ten fabrics (whatever is in stock). Best of all, her carriers sell new for $40! They are usually sewed and shipped within 48 hours, which is amazingly fast. The H2Duo, a waterproof version with built-in UV protection, will be available soon for summertime swimming and hands-free showering for about $50. Matching nursing covers are available.
I purchased a Beco Obi from Frog Mama and paid $39.95 plus $7 shipping. It was a second, because the stitching was off. It arrived after only 2 days. I have a size one Cinnamon Meadow, which is a pretty design but on very dull fabric. The fabric is very sturdy, but not too soft. The straps are wide enough that they do not cause me discomfort when spread out, and the weight is distributed evenly across my back and shoulders. The headrest is too low to be of any use to my six month-old baby, but he doesn’t seem to mind. It is a beautiful, simple, comfortable baby carrier that I would recommend to anyone. I will definitely be purchasing an H2Duo the first chance I get for the pool and shower!
The sash baby carrier is the next phase in baby wearing, combining all the best features of already popular carrier styles. It has all the simplicity, ease, and quickness of use of a pouch or sling and all the comfort and snugness of a wrap or mei tai. You do give up versatility and adjustability, but it is a great baby carrier for a baby wearing parent on the go that will hold babies and toddlers up to 30lbs. No babywearing stash should be without a sash style baby carrier, which is perfect for a quick trip into the store or even a day at the park! Buy a Beco Obi or a custom Duo today!