It’s hard to put your newborn baby down in the first few months, and they are often so much easier to settle when they are physically close to mom or dad. Being able to keep them close in a baby carrier can be a godsend. But how do you choose a baby carrier – where do you start. Let’s get on with our 2021 selection guide to baby carriers.
Different Types of Baby Carriers
These days, baby carriers are often used for babies until they are 36 months old and, in some cases, even older. Given that these baby carriers enable a mom or dad to go about their everyday lives, it has helped make baby carriers more popular than ever before.
There are several types of baby carriers, and if you are planning to purchase one, you need to check them out.
- Wraps: These are some of the oldest baby wraps that you may come across today; they have been in vogue for the last few centuries and are still actively being used by new mothers all over the world. A wrap is a type of soft fabric that easily stretches, and it is tied in such a way that it suspends the baby from the front torso, while the wrap goes over both arms for a snug and safe fit.
- Sling: The sling baby carrier usually is more common in South East Asia; here, the fabric is similar to a wrap with one end of the material going over one of the shoulders for support. The other end goes over the middle of your torso while snugly holding your baby slightly off-center as you go about the rest of your tasks.
- Fleece lined soft structured carriers: These carriers are usually constructed from polyester and come with a carrying pouch to hold the infant. The ‘seat’ is generally lined with soft material, and in some cases, it is fleece-lined as well to ensure that the baby is warm, snug, and comfortable. It comes with thick, sturdy shoulder straps and waist straps that can be adjusted with fasteners’ help to ensure that the fit is firm and fair.
- Framed carriers: These carriers are similar in structure to the soft structured carriers except that these come with a metal frame that supports the carrier. The ‘seat’ is usually found at the back, and it comes with the requisite shoulder and waist straps as well. You wear this baby carrier like a backpack, with your infant seated on the back of your shoulders, in comfort. These forms of baby carriers are more suitable as the baby grows, and the frame helps to take on a bit of the weight so you would not have to bear the whole weight on your own. Incidentally, these baby carriers often rank as one of the best baby carriers for hiking.
How To Choose A Baby Carrier?
You must not pick any random baby carrier. Instead, it needs a lot of consideration before you buy. To help you with your purchase, we have listed some of the points you need to consider before buying a Baby Carrier.
Type – We have already talked about different types of baby carriers available. We will not talk about this point here, but it is just a reminder to consider the kind of baby carrier you are purchasing.
Comfort – Comfort is one of the essential factors that you need to consider. Remember, the baby carrier should be comfortable not just for you but also for the baby. If the carrier is not comfortable with the baby, he might cry every time you use the baby carrier. Ensure that there are ample back and shoulder support for you as well as the baby. We also recommend you check the baby carrier’s padding as it can improve the comfort level and weight distribution when you plan to use it for a long time.
Size – Size also corresponds to the fitting of the baby carrier. You will come across several carriers that can fit in automatically as per your body shape and as per the baby’s growth, but some need to have an exact fit. Our suggestion here is to opt for baby carriers, which can fit your body shape automatically. This would be less hassle in the long term.
Ease of Use – Apart from all the factors listed above, you need to check how easy it is to use a Baby Carrier. It should be effortless to use, and it should not involve a lot of steps to fasten the baby carrier. Most of the time, you will notice that the sling is much easier to use.
This is also true for a soft structured carrier. You must also check the direction of use. Most of the time, you will find the multi-direction ones more flexible. We want to add another point here, and this is regarding the Sling carrier. The sling carrier is relatively compact, which makes it very easy to carry as well.
Fabric – Next thing to consider is the climate of the place you live in, and in addition to this, you also need to check the fabric that the baby carrier is made of. If you live in a place that has a warm or humid climate, then opt for a carrier that has mesh and breathable fabric used.
For such seasons, avoid the baby carrier, which has a lot of padding. If you live in a place that experiences a cold climate most of the year, you can undoubtedly opt for the baby carrier with heavy padding and knits. You need to choose the fabric carefully, which can also define the baby’s comfort level.
Maintenance and Cleanliness – You also need to check how easy it is to maintain the baby carrier. It should be washable, and it should not take a lot of time to dry as well. The advantage of having a washable baby carrier is that it would not stink over time, and you can also maintain the hygiene easily for the baby. You can certainly check that the baby carrier should be machine washable.
Nursing Friendly – Next thing to consider while purchasing the baby carrier if your baby is tiny, then you must buy a baby carrier that is nursing friendly. It will make it easy for you to breastfeed the baby without having to remove the baby carrier. As per a general observation, it is easier to use the slings for breastfeeding the baby. You can certainly check the same before making the purchase.
Durable – You also need to check if the baby carrier is durable. The latches and the locks should be durable, and they should not break with extended usage. There should be no critical failure points for the baby carrier, or it can lead to an injury to the baby. Ensure that you make a choice very smartly.
Review – Check for the thoughts of the baby carrier that you are planning to purchase. You can check this with your friends and family. They would be able to suggest you or give you different tips for baby carrier usage.
Budget – The last thing to check is the budget. The baby carrier should not be over-priced. You will surely come across a lot of variants and a lot of brands. Some of them may be a little expensive as well. Just ensure that the carrier should fit into your budget.
These were some of the points that you must consider while purchasing the baby carrier. This will help you ensure that you are purchasing the best baby carrier, which is not only comfortable but also easy on your pocket.
Baby Carrier Mistakes Parents Need to Avoid
- Carrying the child too low:
If you are wearing your baby too low, it is dangerous for your baby and painful. When you wear your child too low, the carrier may get loose, and your child may slide. You should place your baby’s head on your chest or shoulder and avoid this mistake by wearing the carrier tightly.
- Covering the face of the baby:
It is a common issue that most parents make. If you cover your baby’s face completely, there will be a common suffocation issue. In the sling, you should always be able to see your baby’s face. So, you should avoid this mistake for your baby’s safety.
- Fastening the baby too tightly.
Some parents wear babies too tightly to ensure they are placed correctly, but this is not good. If you wear your baby too tightly, the baby may face breathing issues. Also, the baby gets forced into a risky pose, which may trigger some physical issues. In this pose, your baby also may get suffocated.
- Changing the baby’s position to front-facing:
Many parents instantly change the position of their babies to front-facing. It would help if you didn’t change the position quickly, as the necks of newborns don’t have sufficient strength for that position. So, you should wait for at least 4 to 5 months before changing the newborns’ position.
- Allowing the baby to overheat:
Generally, during the winter months, parents cover the babies in many layers to protect them from cold. But, as the day increases, the babies start to feel hot. Sometimes, they feel hotter than you think. So, you should consider this issue before covering your baby with many layers.
- Not changing the positions:
Some parents carry their babies in one position only when they find that a specific position is comfortable. When you carry your baby in a constant position all the time, there is a risk of muscle imbalance and flat-headedness of your baby. So, it is important to change the positions frequently for the health of your baby.
- The sling is fastened loosely:
It is also important to place your baby in the sling tightly. Some parents always put their hands on the back of their babies while carrying them. This represents that the slings are not tight enough to carry the babies. So, you should bind the sling in such a way that your baby is placed in it comfortably, and you can move freely. By doing this, you can get the proper benefits of carrying your baby.
- Not using the correct size of sling for the mother and child:
The baby sling should fit the size of the mother and child to offer the required comfort. Also, some children like to move freely in the sling, while some other children like to be bound tightly to sleep easily. So, you should select a sling that fits you and your baby correctly.
I hope you now have an excellent understanding of the different types of baby carriers and feel confident in to choose a baby carrier. You know the important features you should consider before purchasing one. If you are ready to purchase one, here’s our list of the ten best baby carriers.