Baby Carriers – A Complete Guide
The popularity of baby carriers is on the rise. Over the recent years, many moms have realized the need for babywearing and the numerous benefits it comes with:
The fact that infants love to be carried on your chest and toddlers love to be carried on the back says it all. Babywearing is known to create a stronger bond between you and your baby, make your baby feel happy, and even free your hands to perform other meaningful tasks.
All this can be boiled down to one single statement- baby carriers make life easier for the baby, mom, and even daddy!
In this post, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about baby carriers- from their unlimited benefits, types, and safety.
As a bonus, we’ve also selected for you the THREE BEST baby carries on the market right now- smile!
Why Purchase Baby Carrier?
As we’ve just stated above, the benefits to babywearing are unlimited. Below here, we’ll share with you just a few reasons why babywearing is a pretty fabulous practice for you…
-Newborns really love to be held. Believe it or not, the physical contact between you and your baby has both physical and physiological benefits to your child. A great carrier is, thus, a great way to provide the baby with the physical comfort they yearn for, and make them feel happy.
-The tale of women’s ability to multitask has been there too long. Unfortunately, when you’ve your baby in your arms, it’s almost impossible to concentrate on other things. This is where babywearing comes handy. It helps you keep your child close, comfortable and monitored while freeing your hands to do other tasks- e.g. running errands around your house.
-As your health care provider might have advised you, an upright posture is always good for babies with reflux issues. This is well taken care of when you carry your baby with a carrier. Also, the slight pressure on the tummy that develops from being worn aids in gas issues.
-Have a colicky baby? This is your part… The most effective way to sooth the baby is by snuggling and rocking him/her in the carrier. Plus it becomes incredibly easier for your arms when the carrier helps with the holding.
-Unlike the stroller, you can go to many places with your baby in a carrier. Imagine yourself maneuvering in highly crowded places, hiking, walking the dog, using public transport, or sightseeing with the baby in a stroller? It would almost be impossible to do these tasks, right? But with a carrier, everything is as easy as pie.
-With time, your developing baby becomes aware of his world. As such, a carrier gives him the best view of his surroundings. Remember that it’s much easier to make worn baby apart of the action.
-If you’re an experienced mother, you know that even walking toddlers love to be held. If you’ve a good carrier, you’ll be able to hold them with their developing weight while freeing your arms for other tasks.
-There’s no easier way to sooth or comfort sick or grumpy babies or toddlers than carrying them in a carrier!
-The list of benefits of babywearing is endless…
Types of Baby Carriers?
Today, there are many baby carriers out there than ever before. These modern carriers have evolved designs compared to those used in the past.
It’s also important to note that these carriers are designed by small companies and experienced work-from-home moms and are readily available online or at your local sociality stores.
The main categories of baby carriers are:
Starting off with one of the most popular carriers:
Wraps are basically a long piece of fabric that you tie around yourself and your baby. Surprisingly, they’re also the oldest types of baby carries, and you’ll find clothes of varying lengths being used across different cultures all over the world.
The market, however, is saturated with stretch and woven wraps. Stretch wraps are usually deigned from jersey fabrics and are great for snuggling newborns when used safely and securely (we’ll talk about the safety of a baby carrier later in the post- keep locked in). Also note that you can use stretch wraps in different positions such as chest-to-chest and upright.
Woven wraps can be utilized in similar carry positions. But unlike stretch wraps, they provide an additional option- the carry back for older babies.
All wraps are infinitely adjustable.
Mei Tais trace their origin to traditional Chinese cultures. They’re rectangular shaped carriers with tie waists as well as shoulder straps that come around your baby and the tie. They support both front and back carries.
If you fancy the adjustability of a wrap but want something you can get on a bit faster, MTs will work for you!
Other variations of this carrier include the Podaegi (Pod)- an MT without waist straps, and Onbuhimo (Onbu)- has a similar design to the MT but features rings at the waist rather than straps (the shoulder straps are threaded via these the rings).
Ring slings are unlike all the other models we’ve discussed before in that they’re one shoulder carriers. They involve a piece of cloth that has been threaded through the rings. They’ve been particularly design for hip and tummy-to-tummy front carries. However, experienced wearers can use them to back carry older babies.
For a quick and compact carrier, this is your go-to carrier.
Buckle or Soft Structured Carriers
Like the Mei Tais, soft structured carriers are also soft bodied carriers and can be used for both back and front carries. Carriers that fall under this category have buckle waists and shoulder straps (some variations feature tie shoulder straps or tie waists).
The soft structured baby carriers are ideal for those looking for a quick carrier that has no straps or long fabric to deal with.
A pouch come either in simple tubes of fabric that must be bought in the right sizes, or adjustable pouches with buckle or snaps attachments. Similar to the ring slings, they enable you to carry your baby in an upright seated position.
Pouches fold up quite compactly making them an excellent choice for those looking for quick and extremely compact carriers.
Important Note: pouches are sometimes tricky to use especially for newborns as they MUST be sized correctly to offer adequate support for small babies. We’d, therefore, advise you against using a pouch with your newborn or seek the aid of experienced wearers.
Other baby carriers include:
These are carriers with metal frames and are designed for wearing your older toddler on your back for extended periods.
They’re a combination of the pouch and wrap sling. Like pouch slings, they’re ready to wear, and you must buy them in the correct sizes. They’re often compared to fitted t-shirts and acts as the best options for mommies new to wearing babies- you can easily learn to use them safely.
Baby Carrier Safety
In this section, we’ll explain to you how to use your baby carrier safely.
Why is this important? You might be wondering…
In simple words: understanding safety tips before wearing in any carrier (and in any age) is important. In particular, small infants are susceptible to airway issues when worn as they’ve limited neck and head control.
Let’s now focus on how to wear your baby safely:
The “School of Baby wearing”, located in the UK, has come up with a simplified safety acronym for wearing your baby- the T.I.C.K.S rule- which says:
I-“In view at all times”
C- “Close enough for a kiss”
K- “Keep the chin off the chest”
S- Supported back
Quite fun and simple to remember, right? In addition to the above general rules, ALWAYS observe the following 9 Useful Tips when carrying your baby in a carrier:
1. Keep the Airway Monitored
As for the newborns, there’s a high risk of suffocation and you should, thus, keep their airway closely monitored. Ensure that the baby does not assume a position where their chin touches their chest.
2. Carrying Infants in Soft Structured Carriers
If you intend to carry an infant in this carrier model, use the forward carry ONLY (with the baby facing in). This ensures sufficient support for the baby’s heady and neck with 2 vertical finger widths between the baby’s chest and chin. When the baby’s neck becomes strong enough to support the head on its own, you can try the face-out position.
3. Fastening the Buckle and Knots
Always double-check your carrier to confirm that you’ve fastened them securely.
4. Don’t Wear Your Baby When Driving
Not only shouldn’t you wear your baby when driving a car but also when riding a bicycle. Rather, consider seating them in a properly installed seat belt.
5. Don’t Move When Wearing A Baby
For example, if you want to pick up something, bend at the knee and not at the hip- such that your baby remains upright. Bending at your dorsal while wearing a baby can result in back dive fall.
6. Ensure The Entire Baby’s Back is Supported
The carrier fabric should support the entire back of your baby. This ensures that your baby is securely and comfortably seated.
7. Avoid Back Carry is NOT suitable for Newborns
As you know, back carry reduces support for your baby, plus you can’t easily monitor what’s going on with the baby. Thus, we advise you to avoid back carry until your baby is a bit older- say 6 months old. Sticking to front carry until the baby becomes a toddler is wiser.
8. Protecting the Baby Hips From Hip Issues
Studies have established that most hip development problems occur within the first 4 months in all newborns. If you mind the health of your baby’s hips, ensure regular breaks from a carrier to help the baby move their knees, hips and other parts of the body.
9. Strictly follow ALL the above rules when carrying a baby of any age, and in any type of carrier.
Top 3 Amazon Baby Carriers
Before we call an end to our guide for babywearing, allow us to recommend to you the BEST baby carriers on the market right now.
The top three carriers that are simple, yet ergonomic, comfortable for your baby and highly supportive are:
1. Tula Ergonomic Baby: Overall Best Baby Carrier
The main reason why Tula Ergonomic Baby has won the heart of millions of parents is the simplicity it comes with. All the moms who have invested in this carrier are raving on how it’s incredibly easy to use.
As if that is not enough, the bag continues to outdo its rivals with its greatly crafted seat-making it a bit wider and taller than the rest. This aids in keeping your baby’s hips in the correct, comfortable position at all times. And the tall height of the seat offers the much-needed support for your baby’s head.
Additional features you’ll like in this product include a fantastic fit and a variety of eye-catching patterns.
2. Onya Baby Outback: First Runners UP
Coming second in our list of the best carriers for your baby is the Onya Baby Outback. The carrier gives versatility a new meaning. And apart from carrying the baby, it can also configure into soft chair restraint for your baby when you’re not near. Bear in mind that it comes with toy loops, key rings, pockets and other extra features that make it stand from its competitors.
It also features deluxe padding in its straps leg holes, waistband, and seat to facilitate the most comfortable experience for you and your baby.
The fact that it has a rugged appearance makes it a favorite for many dads.
The best part is that it has the ultimate fit you need in a carrier.
3. Baby K’tan: Best Pick for Infants
If you’ve got an infant right now, and you’re considering buying a baby carrier, Baby K’tan will be a real deal to you. Your newborn will definitely enjoy being swaddled tightly and close to you- and this is the carrier to make that possible.
Baby K’tan is crafted using 100% ultra-soft cotton mix to give your small baby a comfy, womb-like hold. What’s more- you can use this carrier in different positions as your baby grows older.
The simple fact that it arrives with its own stuff-sack makes it truly convenient to deploy on the go.
We’ve come to the end of our complete guide on baby carriers. Hopefully, you’ve learned a lot about these wonderful products that are making life enjoyable for babies and their parents. The benefits of carriers are numerous. As we’ve seen above, there are many different models and you can find one that meets all your needs.
Don’t forget to follow our laid out rules on how to safely use your baby carrier.
Have great fun carrying your newborn in a baby carrier!