The ABCs of Babywearing: an internet lingo dictionary

If you’re just venturing into the world of babywearing, you might be startled (as I was) by the appearance of an entirely different language surrounding wraps, slings, and carriers. What does MMAO mean? And what’s a top rail? That’s a wild what?

Take a deep breath; I’ve got you.

Here’s a dictionary of some of the more common acronyms and phrases you’ll come across on the internet as regards babywearing.

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A:

ABCs: This is an acronym meant to remind you of three principles of babywearing safety: airway, body positioning, comfort. (for more tips on babywearing safety, check out this video!)

action shot: a picture of a wrap, sling, or carrier in use. You might ask for one of these if you want to see how the piece fits or if you’re apprehensive about a seller’s honesty.

A&L: Aloha and Light, a brand that makes slings, wraps, and carriers. https://alohaandlight.com

B:

base size: This is the size of wrap you would need to complete a front wrap cross carry (here’s a great video on how to do that). This will vary based on your size and the size of your baby. You can certainly use a wrap that is bigger or smaller than your base size wrap! This is just a way to communicate what kinds of carries you might be able to do with certain lengths of wrap.

back carry: a hold in which the squish is on a wearer’s back.

My daughter and I exemplifying a back carry

BNIB: brand new in bag/box. This piece hasn’t been taken out of its original packaging, or it has been taken out only for a picture.

BST or B/S/T: buy, sell, and/or trade. This acronym is usually part of a group name on the internet indicating that any of these actions are allowed within that group.

C:

chicken: scared. The owner might back out of a trade or sale because they’re unsure of whether they really want to part with the item.

CISO: casually in search of. For example, “CISO HB OG any color” would mean, “casually in search of a Happy Baby original carrier in any color.” The use of the word “casually” indicates either the level of desperation someone feels (not much) or the amount of money they are willing to pay (market value or a little higher). See also: DISO.

collection: a person’s assortment of babywearing pieces (wraps, slings, and carriers). This term replaces “stash.”

colorway: the colors in which a piece or style is available, or the specific color or set of colors a particular piece has. Basically, if you see this term, just replace it in your head with “color.” For example, “Does anyone have an A&L in a blue colorway?” just means, “Does anyone have a blue A&L?”

CopperRose: a brand that sells khangas, a type of wrap. https://cooperrosebaby.com/

D:

Designed by Geeks: a brand that sells geek-themed woven wraps. https://designedbygeeks.com/

Didymos: a brand that sells slings, wraps, and carriers. https://www.didymos.com/en/ 

DISO: desperately in search of. For example, “DISO HB OG Agave” would mean, “casually in search of a Happy Baby original carrier in the color Agave.” The use of the word “desperately” indicates either that someone has been searching for this piece for a long time or that they are willing to pay much more than the retail price, or even market value, for the item. See also: CISO.

DOND: deal or no deal. A style of sale where potential buyers make an offer and the seller accepts or denies the offer. Groups often have very specific rules on this style of sale, so be sure to check the group rules for more details on how DONDs can work.

E:

Elsa: this term usually marks that a particular thread is devoted to people listing pieces at their “Let It Go” price (the price at which they will part with a beloved piece).

EUC: excellent used condition. Standards for what qualifies as EUC vary by group or by seller. (see also VGUC, GUC, Fair, Play)

F:

Fair: not in great condition. Standards for what qualifies as “fair” vary by group or by seller. (see also EUC, VGUC, GUC, Play)floppy: a stage of breaking in that means the piece has been fully broken in. It will probably be more malleable than most other pieces for this reason. (See also: loom state.)

My mom and daughter exemplifying a front carry

front carry: a hold in which the baby is in front of the wearer.

FSO: for sale only (don’t offer any trades for this item).

FSOT: for sale or trade (feel free to offer money or items for this item).

FTO: for trade only (don’t offer money for this item). 

G:

Girasol: a brand that sells slings, wraps, and carriers. https://www.girasol.de/en/

GUC: good used condition. Standards for what qualifies as GUC vary by group or by seller. (see also EUC, VGUC, Fair, Play)

H:

HB: Happy Baby, a brand that makes carriers and wraps.  https://happybabycarriers.com

HBC: Happy Baby carrier, a carrier from the brand Happy Baby.

hip carry: a hold in which the baby sits on the wearer’s hip.

hip scoot: a maneuver to get a squish onto a wearer’s back. Check out this video for instructions.

Helina Babyz: a brand that makes carriers. https://www.helinababy.com/

Heritage Baby Designs: a brand that makes wraps and slings. https://www.heritagebaby.ca/

hold: how the baby is positioned while worn. 

HSA: highly sought after. This usually indicates that a seller thinks this piece is something a lot of people will want to buy (and is therefore charging a higher price for it). 

HTF: hard to find. This also usually indicates that a seller thinks this pieccec is something a lot of people will want to buy (and is therefore charging a higher price for it).

HW: handwoven. 

h&p: hope&plum, a brand that makes ring slings. https://www.hopeandplum.co

I:

ISO: in search of. For example, “ISO standard Tulas.”

L:

LL: EITHER
long length (referring to the length of a tail on a ring sling) OR
Lenny Lamb, a brand that sells wraps and carriers. https://en.lennylamb.com/

LH: LoveHeld, a brand that makes ring slings. Formerly called “Proverbs 31,” so you may see some older pieces still referred to in that way. https://loveheld.com/

loom state: a stage of breaking in that means the piece has not been broken in at all. It will probably be stiffer than most other pieces for this reason. (See also: floppy.)

M:

ML: medium length, referring to the length of a ring sling’s tail.

MM: a middle marker. This might be a tag or change in pattern that indicates where the center of a wrap is. It helps the wearer save time by knowing where to start wrapping with long pieces. 

MMAO: make me an offer. The seller is willing to negotiate on price.

MMARO: make me a reasonable offer. The seller is willing to negotiate on price but is indicating that there isn’t a lot of wiggle room.

M-position or M-seat: a position, especially for a baby, in which baby’s knees are higher than their hips, so their legs form an M. This is also called the spread-squat or the jockey position. This position can help mitigate risks of hip dysplasia. (more information on that coming soon!)

MV: market value. As opposed to retail value, this is the price at which a particular piece typically sells secondhand.

N:

Nati: Natibaby, a brand that sells slings, wraps, and carriers. https://www.natibaby.com/ 

NP: Naked Panda, a brand that sells carriers. https://nakedpandadesigns.com

O:

OG: original. Usually in reference to the standard type of carrier (i.e., HBC OG).

OOAK: one of a kind. Usually referencing a handmade piece or a piece that has been dyed.

P:

PIF: pay it forward. These threads within online BST groups usually involve giving something away or charging only the cost of shipping.

Play: not in good condition. Standards for what qualifies as “play” vary by group or by seller. (see also EUC, VGUC, GUC, Good)

pouch: a type of sling that does not have rings, but rather is simply a circular piece of fabric.

PP: PayPal, a website for payments.

PPD: postage paid domestic. The price listed includes shipping in-country.

PPFF: PayPal, friends and family option. The person wants to transfer money using PayPal but to avoid fees, they are asking for the transaction to be listed as between friends and family.

PPGS: PayPal, goods and services option. The person wants to transfer money using PayPal and paying an extra fee for insurance coverage on the transaction.

R:

rail: the edge of a piece, usually of a wrap or sling. Wrapping instructions will often refer to “top rail” and “bottom rail” to indicate one edge or the other.

Rev: Revolution, a type of carrier, usually in reference to Happy Baby’s forward- or backward-facing carrier. right side: the front or patterned side of a woven piece. (see also: wrong side)Reverse Elsa: this term usually denotes that a thread is focused on people saying what price that would pay for another who has a particular piece to “Let It Go.” Very similar to a DISO list.

Ring sling snuggles

RS: ring sling.

RV: retail value. As opposed to market value, this is the price at which a particular piece typically sells from the creator.

S:

SB: Sakura Bloom, a brand that makes carriers and slings. seat: the part of the fabric surrounding the baby’s or toddler’s bottom in a particular hold.

seat: the part of the carrier, wrap, or sling, that supports the squish’s bottom.

seat popper: a squish that likes to wiggle out of the seat or throw their head and legs back to free themselves from constraint.

semi: a carrier, usually a wrap, that has been cut down so it isn’t as long as it was originally. tandem wearing: wearing two babies at once. 

SfPf: smoke-free, pet-free. There is no smoking or pet hair at the home.

SL: short length, referring to the length of a ring sling’s tail. ssc: soft structured carrier. Another way to refer to a carrier.

squish: a baby or toddler.

suckpads: pieces of fabric that wrap around the base of shoulder straps on a carrier. These are often removeable and easily washable, whereas washing a carrier can be trickier.

T:

tail: the part of the piece that extends beyond the wearer’s body at a given time. A ring sling always has one tail. Wraps, in most holds, have two. Carriers have a different number of tails depending on their type. For example, instructions for a ring sling might read, “pull the tail through the ring.”

Tula: a brand that makes carriers and ring slings. https://babytula.com/

TV: trade value. The dollar amount someone is looking for in other products in order to trade an item.

V:

VGUC: very good used condition. Standards for what qualifies as VGUC vary by group or by seller. (see also EUC, GUC, Fair Condition, and Play Condition).

W:

WB: Wildbird, a brand that makes slings. https://wildbird.co/

Wrapsody Baby: a brand that makes wraps and slings. https://wrapsodybaby.com/

wrong side: the reverse side of a woven piece. (see also: right side)

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Onbuhimo selfie

That’s a quick list of terms you might come across on the babywearing web!

What additional babywearing terms confused or confuse you? Or what terms are you glad you know? Let’s add more to the list! Comment below with your additions.

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