Half Buckles or Meh Dai style carriers are extremely versatile, offering a range of carrying positions and options for tying. Fitting tiny newborns and growing toddlers alike. Often parents don’t realise that these can be used for back carries, when in reality it is often easier to get a baby onto your back in a half buckle or Meh Dai than it is in a full buckle carrier. The reason that they are easier is to do with the straps – you don’t have to worry about when to get your arms in or need to let go of anything to get your arms in, you simply tie the straps around once baby is on your back.
While there are various methods that will work, my favourite is the secure hip scoot method because
you can check baby is well positioned and comfortable in the panel before you bring baby onto your back
it feels secure at all times so you know baby is safe and securely held even if they wiggle or start to fight when you are bringing them onto your back
Here is my full video tutorial, including 2 ways of tying the straps at the end – a straight forward knot at the waist and a “tied Tibetan” style knotless chest band which is helpful if you find the shoulder straps are liable to fall off your shoulders or dig in:
This carry can be used once baby has good neck and trunk control, typically around 6 months. Although it is worth mentioning that many babies don’t enjoy this position until they can see over their parents shoulders, typically around a year. Placing the waistband higher on your waist can help give them a better view earlier, although many parents simply choose to wait until baby is taller.
It is worth noting that generally most parents will find baby feels lighter on their back, because as a species we generally load bare better on our backs than our fronts. So mastering the back carry can be a really good option if your starting to find baby is feeling heavy on your front. Back carrying is a skill and does take practise, so if you are finding it hard it is well worth looking up your local babywearing consultant for a face to face consultation or booking an online consultation as often one to one real time help can really flatten the learning curve.
The carrier shown in this video is the Limas Baby Plus carrier, but this same method will work with many if not all half buckles and Meh Dai including the Didymos DidyKlick, DidyTai, Hoppediz Hop-tye and many many others.
Didymos are best known for their wonderful woven wraps, and their new half buckle carrier – the DidyKlick – sees them marry wraps and buckles together into one perfect package.
I would describe the DidyKlick as a great halfway house between a woven wrap and a buckle carrier. It combines the pros of both – the perfect fit, softness and flexibility of use of the woven wrap combined with the intuitiveness, ease of use, solid waist support and satisfying ‘click’ of a buckle carrier. In fact it does seem almost literally like half and half of each – with the bottom half most resembling a buckle carrier and the top half behaving and feeling more like a wrap.
It has a heavily padded waistband that feels very supportive and does a great job of taking the weight off of the shoulders and onto the hips and waist. The buckle is to one side and tightens in one direction only. So very easy to use and very secure. Although I have to say I personally don’t like having the buckle to one side as much as central but that’s a very personal thing! I know other people who find it easier at the side.
For the baby the panel adjusts in two ways. Firstly the overall width of the seat can be adjusted via velcro attachment to the waist band.. the whole thing can be scrunched down to fit a smaller baby or pulled taut for a bigger child. I was really impressed by just how big a size range it covers. There are no preset ‘jumps’ its possible to get an exact knee to knee fit all the way from a tiny baby to bigger toddler. There is also a drawstring to help make a pouch for a smaller baby. I would say realistic age range would be a month or two all the way to at least 3 years old. In fact I was honestly staggered to find it gave a reasonably good fit for my 4.5 year old and he certainly found it comfortable!
While the panel doesn’t adjust in height, it is possible to adjust the height by altering how you put the baby in – putting a smaller baby in deeper to shorten the panel and visa versa sitting an older child directly above the waist band to lengthen the panel. For me this is the one thing I’d like to see altered about this carrier – the width adjustment is really amazing and covers such a range, it would be absolutely brilliant if the height adjusted to the same extent and as smoothly. However, this really is quite a nitpicky thing, it works absolutely fine without it!
The hood, however, does adjust smoothly and attaches via loops onto the straps, with simply to use poppers to secure. I love that the loops have been included on both sides of the straps so it’s possible to purposefully twist the straps if desired.
The straps are what really makes this carrier so comfortable and fit your body like a glove. Made from wrap fabric they just hug your body and go where you want them too! Like them really spread out? Or prefer them bunched up? You choose! You have complete flexibility to do what you like just as you would with a wrap. As mentioned you can even purposefully twist the straps – which seems like an odd thing to do but something I often teach to parents with nosy babies as it gives babies more space to see things while still giving great support and comfort for the parent’s shoulders. In terms of length the straps were plenty long enough to come round under babies bottom and back behind me to tie, but not so insanely long that i couldn’t tie in front with bow if I didn’t want a knot in my back (i.e. for sitting down).
But what’s really fab about this carrier is the flexibility of its use. As well as covering a huge age range it offers 4 carrying positions. Front, Hip, Back and even a Onbuhimo style carry. Most buckle and half buckle carriers offer the front, hip and back carry positions and while front and back are usually pretty straightforward the hip position is often less comfortable or more of a faff. This is not the case with the DidyKlick, the hip position is every bit as comfy, mainly because there are no bulky straps to get in the way – the wrap straps can be adjusted perfectly to make this position really work. Which is great as a hip carry is a great option for a nosy baby or in our case one who wants to ‘help’ with dinner. Additionally the instructions for this position are really good and easy to follow, making it really easy for someone new to carriers to pick up. Likewise the back carry position is really easy and straightforward to do, and the long straps give you lots of flexibility to tie how you find comfortable or even play around with fancy tie-offs!
But it was the Onbuhimo carry that really fascinated me. You see an Onbuhimo is a totally different type of carrier entirely – originating from Japan, Onbuhimos are a waist bandless carrier used for wearing baby high on the back, just like a rucksack. I have only ever tried one once before and don’t currently have one in the library currently as I see them as quite specialist… they work best for older babies and I see them as great for people who are pregnant or for some other reason don’t want to have a waist band. I thought about purchasing one when I was pregnant but it seemed like a waste as I would only use it for such a short time. So what really fascinates me about the fact the DidyKlick can be converted into an Onbuhimo style carrier is that you can use the Klick as a half buckle on front, hip and back in half buckle mode as usual with baby number 1 from 1-2 months through to todderhood, and then continue to carry through-out pregnancy with baby number 2 in Onbuhimo mode before using the Klick as a half buckle all over again with baby number 2 and likewise for any more children… all the way until you no longer need to carry. The flexibility of this carrier is just amazing!
Plus I really loved the Onbuhimo mode as I could get such a high back carry with my daughter that we could just chat over my shoulder. And even without a waistband it was so comfortable, and light and easy! To convert into an Onbuhimo style carrier, you simply remove the waistband from the panel and instead loop the long straps through the waistband pocket. From there I simply followed this video. I have to say the setup was a bit of a faff, as was re threading the waistband later so I probably wouldn’t want to be switching between these two modes all the time, but switching only occasionally while pregnant or for the middle of summer when you want a lighter, higher back carrier etc, I could definitely see.
All in all the DidyKlick is an absolutely fabulous carrier. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for one carrier that will last them a long time because not only does it realistically fit from 1-2 months all the way to 3 or 4 years of age, but it also offers such flexibility of use with 4 different carrying positions that it caters beautifully for different developmental stages and phases. Plus, like all Didymos slings, the Klick is really well made and designed to last so really can grow with your family as your family grows. Additionally, I can see this carrier working particularly well for anyone with a history of back pain, and for families with very different sized partners – because the exact fit provided by the wrap strap shoulder ties allow for perfect weight distribution and a super comfy perfect fit every time regardless of who wore the carrier last.