How to Choose a Baby Carrier

Parents say that baby carriers are one of their favorite items on their baby registry regardless of the brand. Baby carriers let you wear your baby attached to your body. This is very convenient when parents need to do something other than hold their baby, and babies love being held close to your body. It can help calm them when they are upset and keep them sleeping for longer, especially when they are very little.

Parents also love carriers when they are hiking or in crowded places (like a market or stadium). It can be hard to manage a stroller in crowds, too tiring to carry a baby in your arms and scary to let a little toddler run around.

Types of Baby Carriers

There are three main kinds of baby carriers to consider.

Baby Carrier Wrap

These are long pieces of fabric, kind of like a scarf, that you use to tie the baby to your body. They are great for newborns who like being held close and cannot hold their heads up. However, wraps take some practice to get used to, and some parents feel they are just too tricky. If you get the hang of it, though, newborns love them, and they are easy to throw in a diaper bag and bring with you on the go. Here are the five best baby wraps to choose from.

Structured Baby Carriers

These carriers are like backpacks (or front packs) for your baby. Most can be used a front carriers or back carriers. They have straps that go around your shoulders, a buckle across your back and a large buckle around your waist to support the baby. Many of them can’t be used until your baby is around six months old and has neck control. They are great to use with older babies because they distribute the weight across your body.

These carriers tend to be more expensive than wraps, but you can use them until your baby is a toddler. Parents also love them because they are easy to put on—just a snap or two—and they can be adjusted for different caregivers. Check out the five best carriers.

Sling Carriers

Sling carriers, also called ring slings, are another option that many parents love. Made of one long piece of fabric and two rings, they allow more airflow than other kinds of carriers and can be customized to lots of different carry positions. A ring sling tends to be easier to use than a wrap, but harder than a structured carrier. One big drawback, though, is that most cannot be machine washed. Here are four of parents’ favorite ring sling carriers.

How to Choose the Right Baby Carrier

Many families opt to get both, a wrap for newborns and a structured carrier for older babies. If you know you want to babywear but don’t want to buy two, look for a structured carrier that can be used from birth. The carrier will either have adjustment straps or you will have to purchase a separate infant insert.

Whenever you are wearing your baby, make sure that they are safe. For newborns, it is especially important that their heads are tipped up so their airway is clear. It is not safe for their chin to rest on their chest or for their face to press into the chest of the adult wearing them. It helps if the baby is in an upright position so you can keep an eye on them whenever you are wearing them.

When the baby outgrows newborn positions, it’s important to make sure their hips are safely positioned as well. Their knees should always be higher than their to support healthy growth.

If you haven’t seen anyone babywearing before or worn a baby yourself, check out a local Babywearing International group so you can try on a range of carrier options.

Have you created your baby registry yet? If not, head to Babylist now where you can create the perfect baby registry, quickly and easily.


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