April 16th, 2012
From the moment of birth, babies love to be close to their parents. They love to be cuddled, snuggled, and held close to those who love them. Baby carriers can offer parents a great way of doing this while still being able to have use of their hands. During fussy periods this can be a godsend, and it is something most parents can sympathize with. There is a house that needs to be cleaned, laundry that needs to be done, and the list can go on and on, but what carrier is the right fit for you?
Baby carriers are broken down first into four categories/styles and then by brand. The first step in choosing which carrier to go with is deciding which style would work best for your family. Some have the ability to grow with you, others will have a specific weight limit, and still others will be somewhere in between.
The first option is a wrap. This is probably the most versatile of all the options out there. A wrap is a long piece of cloth that you wrap around your shoulders and then knot in a way that the baby has a seat to sit in. Because the child's weight is carried on both of the adult's shoulders, it is a great option for parents who have neck and shoulder concerns. With a little practice, this wrap could be the perfect fit for a growing baby.
Your next option is the sling, a one-shoulder wrap that is also great for babies starting from day one. The only drawback is that it is not as ergonomically friendly, but it can be the perfect fit for a new parent who is looking for quick and easy access to soothe and calm a crying baby. This type of sling is no longer being recommended due to some concerns over its safety, though, so please take that into consideration.
Another option is an Asian Back Carrier or ABC. This is a great option for breastfeeding moms. Since the wrap goes over the shoulders, pressure is removed from the breast. It also has great flexibility; it can be used not only as a front carrier but as a back carrier. Because these wraps are made of lighter fabric, they can be great options for people living in warmer climates. Some of these can be safe for newborns, but they are really recommended for older infants. Make sure to read the manufacturer's recommendations before buying.
The most recognizable option are pre-shaped carriers. As the name suggests, these are pre-shaped carriers that a parent straps on and places the baby in. On average, these are recommended for babies that are 2-4 months and sometimes even 6 months of age. In comparison to a wrap, sling, and ABC, pre-shaped carriers can be bulky, so they're not the best option for storage-minded families. If space is a concern, any one of the other carriers would be a better option.
Now that you have a little more information, get out there and find the one that is the perfect fit for you and your new baby. With so many colors and designs, the options are endless. Have fun with it, enjoy, and don’t forget to add an extra one for dad.
4 comments on "Which carrier is right for you?"
I am going to throw my hat in the ring for the Ergo!
By FAR the best carrier I had. As someone who walks a lot and can't handle anything bulky or convoluted to put on, the Ergo was by far the best investment I made as far as gear goes for my little girl.
I would also like to point out that although I bought my Ergo for about $125. I was able to sell it on Craigslist (my little girl is too big for me to carry now...) and recoup about over 85% of my original cost, making it truly a great investment!
My Pampered Child
Is My Preschooler Gifted?
Ergo is a great brand and I believe one of the more popular ones.
I miss snuggling with my little ones in stretchy wraps. Comfy, comforting, and easy to nurse in, hands-free!
I never bought a carrier (other than the Snuggli that my husband used), I always made them. 'Made' is probably too strong a word, though, as there was no sewing, just a quick snip with a pair of scissors. I'd get about 4 metres of t-shirt fabric, then cut it into 3 long strips. Voila: 3 stretchy wraps!
Once, I'd thought my wrap was in the car when I went out to the store, but when I got there I found that it wasn't. My arms ached too much, carrying my little one, so I headed to the fabric department at a store, got the assistant to cut me a 4 metre length, then asked her to hold the baby while I cut the fabric into three strips. Then I put on one of my new wraps, popped the baby in, and did my shopping (with the tag pinned to the wrap so I wouldn't forget to pay for it at the checkout!) Cost me about $20 for three wraps!
I also made a couple of different mai-tais for when they were older, but they were much more difficult to make! We nursed in those, too, but not as easily as in the wrap. I haven't used a mai-tai for ages, but now that my 2-year-old has started throwing tantrums and my neck problems make carrying a kicking, screaming toddler a literal 'pain in the neck', I might start using it again!
Here's a great resource for making carriers ... http://www.thebabywearer.com/lists/Sewing.htm