Education Series #8: Up Buckle Baby Carriers | Ankalia

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Education Series #8: Up Buckle Baby Carriers

The Ankalia Up buckle baby carrier is a convenient, easy to use, and easy care tool for your parenting toolkit. It has sizes suitable for use from age newborn through to toddler, right through to preschooler age; and best of all, it is 100% Australian owned and made entirely in house at Ankalia's headquarters, to the highest standards from quality Ankalia fabrics. You can carry your child knowing they are safe and secure in your Ankalia Up!

Fit check

The Standard size panel is 13.5"/35cm wide and 15.0"/38cm tall. This carrier should fit comfortably up to around 2 years old, depending on the height of your child. The Standard size is suitable from birth or 3.5kg with the infant adapter.

The Toddler Up panel is 18.0"/46cm wide and 18.0"/46cm tall. Fitting into a Toddler Up buckle baby carrier is less about weight and much more about height and length of legs. To fit into a Toddler Up your child should be wearing size 2 pants that fit them in length.

The Preschooler Up panel is 20.0"/51cm wide and 20.0"/51cm tall. This carrier is suitable for children that range in weight from 21kg/46lbs - 27kg/60lbs.

The Up waistband cinches to 27.0"/68cm and expands up to 2 metres. It is widest (4.5"/11.5cm) at the middle, with a taper up to where the padding stops.

A newborn infant in the Ankalia Up

Positioning

When using a standard size Up buckle carrier for an infant, it is important that the carrier stretches 'knee to knee' - that is, the body panel of the carrier sits behind each of the infant's knees.

For newborn and smaller babies, the infant adapter cinches the body panel to adjust for the shorter width of distance between the baby's knees. The Ankalia Up can be used with the infant adapter from when the baby is 3.5kg in weight.

From approximately 4 months of age, or about 7kg in weight, the standard size Up buckle carrier can be used without the adapter, pending on the overall size of the baby. It is important to ensure that the panel is comfortably fitting behind the baby's knees, and isn't over extending their legs. This will ensure optimal positioning for support and comfort.

A newborn infant with the cinched panel, allowing the carrier to reach knee to knee without over extending the legs.

An older infant in the Standard size Up. This infant fits comfortably knee to knee without a cinched panel.

With any size of the Up buckle carrier, the body panel should reach the top of the child's shoulders until they are able to sit independently. Once this milestone is reached, it is possible for the body panel to sit under the baby's arms, or at their shoulder blades.

Strap adjustments

The Ankalia Up shoulder, chest, and waist straps are fully adjustable, with the waist strap being dual adjustable. The Perfect Fit Adjusters (PFAs) on the shoulder straps allow for precision tightening.

Your shoulder straps should sit comfortably on the top of your shoulders and under your arms, and be loosened or tightened so they sit neatly on your shoulders and don't feel as if they will slip off. This can take some fiddling from person to person, so make sure you take the time to adjust for comfort and safety.

With the chest strap, when front wearing it should sit between your shoulder blades in a H position (not an A position!). If the chest strap is sitting too high, it will not provide functional support, and your shoulder straps may feel out of position.

TIP: By loosening your shoulder straps slightly, your chest strap will creep up higher on your back, which will make it easier to reach when clipping it together. You can then tighten your chest strap, and then tighten your shoulder straps, which will bring the chest strap lower on your back in the H position. Check out the photos below for optimal positioning for your chest strap when wearing your child on the front.

For back wearing, your chest strap should sit across the top of your chest and under your arms, in the H position.

By slightly loosening the shoulder straps, the chest strap will become higher on the back, allowing you to clip and tighten.

Once the chest strap is clipped and tightened, simply re-tighten the shoulder straps, and the chest strap will lower into the H position across your back!

Back Carries

The Ankalia Up buckle carrier can be used for carrying your child on your back, once you as a parent or caregiver feel confident that your child can be carried safely this way, according to their abilities. It is important to ensure that your child's airways are clear, and that your carrier fits them correctly, when using an Ankalia Up buckle baby carrier in a back carry.

Before attempting to back carry, check your panel fit with your child's size to ensure that the panel fits appropriately, and isn't too wide for them to slump or slip sideways within the carrier. Generally speaking, an average sized child between 6-18mths of age will be suitable in size against the panel size.

Additionally, when back carrying your Ankalia Up buckle carrier will position your child slightly lower on your back than when you are front carrying. This means you will need to monitor your child more closely. It is important to keep an eye on your child when back carrying, especially if they fall asleep! You can do this in several ways:

  • Using a mirror

  • Using the 'selfie' camera mode on a mobile phone

  • Checking your reflection in a shop or car window

Getting your child onto your back using an Ankalia Up buckle carrier can be done in different ways. As with any back carrying, you should practice this skill near a soft surface such as a bed, or with someone to 'spot' you.

Here's a tutorial that gives you some tips and hints on how to get your child onto your back.

Back carrying tutorial by Brittany Brown Marsh

Whether using your Ankalia Up buckle baby carrier for front or back carries, the two most important tips are to ensure a correct fit for safety and comfort, and that your child is positioned correctly to enable clear airways at all times.

Ankalia Up buckle baby carriers are available to purchase via Ankalia's shop, and are available in a variety of sizes and designs. Why not check them out now?

Ankalia respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and cultures. We acknowledge past, present and future Traditional Owners of the land that we work on.

DISCLAIMER

Ankalia's online journal is written and edited by white Australian women. As such, our articles are written from our cultural standpoint.

To understand and improve our knowledge of the practice of babywearing across a varied dynamic, we may seek input from our friends and peers who identify as belonging to culturally and linguistically diverse groups, and groups who are marginalised within our society.

We aim to be insightful, meaningful and respectful of those who identify as belonging to these groups at all times. If we publish something that you feel is inappropriate or offensive, please bring it to our attention promptly. We are still learning and are mindful of our privilege.

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