Beco Butterfly | Soft Structured Carrier SSC | Review

 

This carrier is:

  • Beco brand.
  • “Butterfly” is the name Beco has given to this size/structure carrier.
  • Soft structured carrier (SSC), sometimes called a buckle carrier.
  • 100% cotton.

Words I would use to describe this carrier:

  • structured
  • petite
  • affordable
  • complicated (if attempting to use newborn insert)

We would be thrilled if you would add YOUR OWN review of this carrier! Reader reviews located at the end of the post near the comments section.

OVERVIEW

The Beco Butterfly has a built-in (non-removeable) infant insert. With a baby larger than needing the infant insert, the insert would add bulk (thickness and warmth) to the body panel, but does not get in the way of usage.  It has a structured, padded waist and shoulder straps, and the straps are quite petite (can be cinched down much shorter than many other SSC carriers). It cannot be worn with straps crossed over the back, as the shoulder straps are attached and cannot be unbuckled from the body panel. It is made in a variety of fabric prints and colors. It is sold at an affordable price point new, and quite cheap secondhand. It appears to be discontinued, as it is no longer listed on the manufacturer website.

Here is additional information including videos, for wearing the Beco Butterfly.

http://paxbaby.com/beco-butterfly-instructions/

Here is the manufacturer manual:

https://www.becobabycarrier.co.uk/docs/BECO_PRESS_2011_MANUAL_BUTTERFLY.pdf

FABRIC

The canvas is about medium in texture, not as rough as some brands, and not as soft as others, as cotton canvas goes. This black color hides stains (important for a Daddy carrier!). It has proved durable even after several washes, with only very mild fading. The canvas is solid black. The center panel is soft, thin cotton fabric, stitched over the top of the body structured.

SIZING

The Beco Butterfly was marketed as one-size-for-all type of carrier. The built-in newborn insert means you don’t need to purchase a separate piece, to use it for infant wearing. The body panel is small on my one-year old, but still usable if necessary. The body panel is roughly 13×13, what I would consider infant size.

EXPERIENCE

I experimented with wearing my newborn-size doll inside each of the newborn insert panels. I personally found that insert panels were narrow enough for a newborn. After taking these photos with the doll, a friend borrowed the carrier to use with her six-week old baby. The baby fit comfortably in between the two smaller panels, as shown in the Beco Butterfly manual. The baby’s body was supported in an ergonomic position, and her face came up above the fabric so as to have her face against her caregiver’s body, rather than her face against the fabric insert. My friend really liked the fit of the Beco Butterfly with her average-sized six-week old baby.

Another idea I’ve heard for using the Beco Butterfly insert, is to place a child in them, so the carrier can be removed even with the child still inside it. For example, say you are hiking, and baby is asleep, and you want to move the sleeping baby from your own body, to your partner’s body, so you can take turns carrying the baby. In theory, you could keep the baby inside the carrier, while switching the carrier between people. I haven’t tried this, and it would certainly be advisable to use caution and common sense to keep baby from falling out of the carrier while being switched around this way (using caution and common sense s is true with all babywearing).

Inside the body panel is a nylon strap and cinch, for wrapping up the carrier when not in use, to provide for easier transport. My friend who borrowed the carrier, and I, both had trouble getting this cinch to function properly to hold the carrier rolled up. It wouldn’t be a deal breaker on the carrier however, as it could be folded or rolled in a different manner for storage.

In a front carry, the wearer would adjust the tightness of the shoulder straps, the height and tightness of the chest clip, the waist tightness, etc.   As with any buckle carrier, the more buckles, and the more straps, the more adjustments are necessary between differently-size wearers, to achieve a comfortable fit. At first pass, it may seem quite uncomfortable. This can usually be remedied by adjusting various strap lengths, until the fit feels more natural, and the wearer does not experience pain or an awkward sensation from any part of the carrier. It may seem a little complicated putting on at first, but once adjusted for the wearer’s preference, is simpler going forward.

The straps cannot be crossed over the wearer’s back, so in a front carry, the only option is to buckle the chest clip between the shoulders.

In a back carry, the only trouble I experienced, is the padded section of the shoulder straps is quite short compared to most SSC carriers. This would be excellent for a petite user who had trouble getting other SSCs to cinch down small enough in a back carry. Usually I like petite shoulder straps. However, the padded section on these was so short, that the nylon webbing is what ended up underneath my armpits. Since I was wearing a sleeveless shirt, it rubbed my inner arm skin, which was uncomfortable for me. This most likely wouldn’t cause discomfort had I worn a blouse with longer sleeves. But it is worth noting.

BODY PANEL

The main portion of the body panel is two layers of fabric with thin padding between. The interior of the panel has two additional panels, which is the newborn insert. The top of the body panel has buckles that unfold the body panel away from one of the infant insert panels.

The main body panel measures as follows, if the infant insert is not being used (as shown with my one year old in the photos).

13″ wide

15″ tall from top of waistband to top of panel

14″ tall from top of waistband to top of shoulder strap (which is the maximum height that can support baby’s body, as the remaining inch of height is floppy padded fabric)

INFANT INSERT

This has two sections of fabric to create a built-in (non removeable) infant insert. One section is attached to the body panel, and can fold down with the body panel using buckles at the top of the body panel near each shoulder strap. The other section stays against the wearer’s body.  Despite how many carriers I’ve tried, I had a little challenge figuring out the best way to use the insert. Below is the instructions from Beco’s own manual. I followed their placement of my newborn size doll (they also use a small doll in the linked manual). I felt the fabric was too much over the baby’s face. Placing the baby inside the second panel (instead of the first as shown), had a slight improvement to the fit on the baby’s body. But I could see the usage of this carrier with an infant, to be a bit tricky. The manufacturer instructions show placing the child in the carrier, prior to placing the carrier on  the wearer’s body. This is different than most other carriers. I could see the method being something certain people would prefer, and find useful. It would be important to have a good fit for a small infant, to be sure the baby’s airway is open and clear (which is true for all carriers), not blocked by fabric, and with the baby held upright (not slumping down inside the carrier). In my photos, I have shown the baby in both positions – in the insert the way the manual shows, and in the insert in the smaller section instead.

https://www.becobabycarrier.co.uk/docs/BECO_PRESS_2011_MANUAL_BUTTERFLY.pdf

The insert portion shown against the wearer’s body in most of the photos is 6″ wide and 11″ tall. The smaller section is 8″ wide and 9″ tall. My newborn size doll fit better in the smaller section, but that is not how the manufacturer recommends using the carrier. I am not recommending one way or the other – just explaining how the carrier is structured.

WAISTBAND

The waistband is thickly padded with contoured padding. It is sewn into three separate firm sections. There is an extra flap of fabric, shaped like a belt loop but very wide. There is an elastic safety for the buckle. Wide nylon webbing extends on both sides of the fabric waistband. There are no elastic loops for rolling up the nylon webbing.

4″ tall at center, tapers to 3″ tall at sides

22″ padded section

16″ nylon webbing on each side

2″ nylon webbing width

24″ minimum waist length

54″ maximum waist length

SHOULDER STRAPS

The shoulder straps have thick padding, and the padded section is quite short compared to most other SSC brands. This allows the straps to cinch down very small in a back carry, making this a good carrier for a petite person who may have difficulty with other brand shoulder straps being too long. However, it also means that the nylon webbing might be the part ending up under the wearer’s armpit, which is scratchy if on bare skin (if wearing a tank top). It may also be too short for someone needing extra strap length. The straps have a contoured shape.

17″ padded section length

3″ padded section strap width

19″ nylon webbing (no elastic at ends for rolling up)

1″ width of nylon webbing

16″ smallest shoulder strap length (can be tightened shorter than padded section)

36″ longest shoulder strap length

HOOD

This carrier is sold with a hood, however the one I have was purchased second hand, and did not come with a hood (I presume it was lost at some point).

 

We would be thrilled if you would add YOUR OWN review of this carrier! Reader reviews located at the end of the post near the comments section.

 

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