Baby: 14" wide
Standard: 16" wide
Toddler: 18" wide
Preschooler: 20" wide
Inbetween: 15", 17" or 19" as requested.
So that seems pretty straight forward doesn't it? Or does it ... ?
Because our carriers are contoured it seems there has been some confusion over what the measurements refer to.
The measurements given above refer to the width of the carrier as measured across the base of the carrier body where it meets the waistband, and the height of the carrier as measured from the top of the waistband to the top of the curved top edge of the carrier body.
For custom carriers you may of course request a carrier that is taller than it is wide or wider than it is tall, but these are the standard sizes that we offer and the most practical in terms of resale value and general fit.
For the Kitten Creations brand of carrier these measurements will remain the same regardless of the addition of seat darts. We cut the carriers wider across the bottom to compensate for the seat darts should they be requested. A standard size carrier will always measure approximately 16" across the base of the carrier no matter what features or optional extras have been added.
The carrier picured above measures 18" across and 18" high. It is therefore a toddler sized Mei Tai.
So what size carrier do you need?
With a simple Mei Tai (MT), whether it is too big or too small, there are lots of things you can do to make a carrier work. You can roll the waist, flip the shoulder strap, cinch the base, use a lexi twist, support the legs under the knees using the shoulder straps, etc, etc.
You have a very similar array of techniques at your disposal with a half-buckle.
In fact, if you can't get a MT comfortable then it might be time to book a consultation with a qualified babywearing consultant so they can assess your technique and give you a few pointers.
With the right technique you will be able to use a MT of any shape and size to comfortably carry your child in a safe, supported and comfortable position no matter how old they are or how big they are.
When it comes to Soft Structured Carriers (SSC), and by SSC I mean a structured, shaped waistband, structured, possibly even shaped shoulder straps, and often made from Drill or Canvas rather than softer more mouldable fabrics (although not always), you have a lot less options available to you in terms of tweaking how you use it. This is where a well fitting carrier of the correct shape and size becomes a lot more important.
At Kitten Creations we don't offer a SSC. What we offer is a Full-buckle; it's soft, floppy, unstructured, lightly padded, and as close to the MT as we could make it, with buckles instead of long straps.
The result of this is that, if a Kitten Creations full-buckle isn't exactly the right size, there are a few things you can try to make it work for you. These include rolling the waist or changing the position of, or the way you use, the leg pads for example - although ultimately, a well fitting carrier is your best bet when it comes to full-buckle carriers.
Depending on the size, shape and weight of the individual child, a Kitten Creations Standard size full-buckle can be used from about 3 months of age up until about 3 years, but fits best from around 6 months to 2.5 years.
The Toddler size can be used from about 18 months up until about age 5 years and fits best from around 2.5 years to 4.5 years.
We don't generally recommend the baby or preschooler sizes since the former tend to be outgrown very quickly, and the latter tends to be too big for most children of babywearing age, requiring too much adjustment and tweaking to be used comfortably.
**This will vary considerably from child to child and size/age recommendations are a guide only. Adjustments will need to be made in order to comfortably use your carrier with a child who is bigger or smaller than the ideal age or size range for the carrier you are using.