Choosing A Baby Carrier
How are you going to get anything done while caring for your baby? If you’re a planner, you might start thinking about this while you’re still pregnant. Many moms, however, find themselves at home with baby and realize that meeting the needs of an infant is a full time job with no breaks! Sometimes it’s even hard to find an opportunity to use the bathroom!
Baby carriers are an excellent way to keep baby close while you fix lunch for yourself, clean the house or start in on the piles of laundry that baby seems to generate. Baby carriers even let you meet baby’s needs, feeding hands free and discretely while on the go.
When deciding which baby carrier is right for you and your little one, many factors come into play. It is important to take into consideration baby’s age and weight; what positions you would like to carry him in, on your front or back; and any physical restrictions that you as the wearer may have. This page will help you take a look at the different baby carrier types and their uses.
A versatile and adjustable baby carrier, the baby sling is a length of fabric, usually between 2 and 2.5 yards, with two rings sewn on one end. The fabric is threaded through the rings and then worn like a sash. The rings lock the fabric in place so baby is supported. Padded and unpadded slings are available. Padding can restrict the adjustability of a sling, so be careful to choose the proper size.
Ages and Weights: Newborn through toddler, up to 35 pounds.
Positions: Cradle carry, vertical snuggle hold, facing out, hip carry, back carry.
Popular Brands: Maya Wrap, Sakura Bloom, Sleeping Baby Productions
Advantages: Can adjust to fit multiple users, can carry a newborn in an upright and cradle position, hands-free breastfeeding.
Disadvantages: Learning to adjust the sling can take some time, some people don’t like the look of the extra fabric that hangs out of the rings (sometimes referred to as the “tail” of the sling).
Mei Tai (Asian Style Baby Carrier)
With it’s roots in Asia, the Mei Tai carrier has become a very popular baby carrier in recent years. It is simply a rectangle of fabric with four long straps. The straps tie around the wearer while the fabric rectangle supports the baby. The Mei Tai is best used with older infants, and is also useful and comfortable with heavier children.
Ages and Weights: Newborn through toddler, up to 45 pounds.
Positions: Front facing in or out, back carry.
Popular Brands: Kozy Carrier, Freehand, EllaRoo
Advantages: Fits a range of users, easy back carries, dad-friendly, distributes weight to both shoulders hips.
Disadvantages: Can only carry baby upright, is not as usefulfor smaller infants, long straps can be overwhelming.
Simply a long piece of fabric, the wrap can be tied in many different configurations making it useful for carrying baby many different ways. Wraps come in a variety of fabric types, some have more “give” to them (called stretchy wraps) and are good for infants, others are more supportive (woven wraps) and work well for heavier children. Learning to tie a wrap is an art and takes time and practice.
Ages and Weights: Newborn through preschooler, up to 45 pounds.
Positions: Cradle carry, upright snuggle carry, facing out, hip carry, back carry.
Popular Brands: Moby Wrap (stretchy), Didymos (woven), EllaRoo (woven)
Advantages: Can carry newborns through preschoolers with many different positions, can be shared by different size users.
Disadvantages: Learning to do the different ties can be time consuming, the length of fabric can be overwhelming.