"Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me what the difference between the Beco 4th Generation and the Beco Butterfly Carrier is?"
Good question! And one that many people have been asking me...
Now, keep in mind that I haven't actually seen or tried the Butterfly yet, as I'm still waiting for my first shipment to arrive. Once I get them in I'll be able to write more of a review.
In the meantime, here's what I've been able to glean from the information out there as to how the Butterfly is different from the 4th Generation:
- The Butterfly features ergonomically curved shoulder straps that are adjustable at both the top of the carrier and at the sides of the body. This is supposedly to enable easy nursing access. The 4th Gen straps only adjust at the sides. Both carriers feature dual adjusting buckles though, a huge plus over other carrier brands.
- Another feature of the Butterfly shoulder strap is that the base of the strap is not attached directly to the body of the carrier (as with the 4th Gen) but to an inside panel (see next point) that attaches to the waist belt. The other end of the shoulder strap attaches to the body of the carrier.
- The most innovative and unique feature of the Butterfly is that it has an inside panel of fabric which keeps baby securely inside the carrier even when the waist belt is open. The baby can be put in the carrier first and then the carrier put on the wearer (although you can still put the carrier on first and then the baby if you prefer this order, but it seems like this would be a bit more awkward). The panel of fabric is in a "Y" shape so your breasts are apparently not covered up. This would make nursing possible but probably not as easy as with the 4th Gen.
- Another feature of the Butterfly is a built-in infant insert. With the 4th Gen carrier you had to purchase a separate infant insert. With the Butterfly, it's built in but it lays flat against the back of the carrier if it's not used. The insert is narrower than the actual carrier base so small infants can comfortably spread their legs while retaining the recommended position of knees higher than their bottom.
- The Butterfly also has an attached chest strap that's not independent from the shoulder straps as on the 4th Gen (a minor annoyance!). Instead, it's connected to the shoulder straps and slides along their length.
- Although both the 4th Gen and the Butterfly have sleeping hoods, the 4th Gen carrier has a storage pocket for it on the body of the carrier. The Butterfly has a storage sleeve at the back of the waist belt.
- The Butterfly comes with an instructional DVD included in the price.
- you are new to babywearing in general
- a bit nervous about putting your baby on your back by yourself
- want to be able to do back carries with a very young baby
- like the idea of being able to pass the baby from one wearer to another or to switch easily from front to back carry
- you prefer the prints the Butterfly is offered in
- you have an older baby and thereby no need for the infant insert
- you are a fairly experienced babywearer who is used to simply hoisting your baby onto your back and strapping a carrier on and would find the inside panel bothersome
- you like being able to easily nurse your baby while in the carrier
- you prefer the prints the 4th Gen is offered in