Holding baby in your arms and carrying him or her around the house is great, but sometimes you need your hands free to dust or shop with. That’s where the baby carrier comes in. We’ve listed several types below to help you choose the kind that’s best for you and your baby.
These baby carriers are the most versatile, but sometimes the hardest to learn how to use. There are multiple ways to wear wraps; the trick is figuring out what’s most comfortable and best for your body and your baby’s. While you can’t carry baby on your back with a wrap, it does provide optimal support for baby’s head, neck, back, and legs when you carry her on your front.
Slings are easy to put on and take off. They can be used for nursing. All of baby’s weight, however, is on one shoulder, and cause back and shoulder problems in the long run for you. If you’re just going to be carrying baby for a short time, like a quick trip to the grocery, a sling is probably a good option for you.
A Mei Tai is a traditional Chinese carrier. It provides both front and back carrying options and is often small enough to fit in a purse when you are not using it. It can be used for infants all the way up to toddlers. Keep in mind, though, that it doesn’t provide much head support, so a wrap or sling might be better if you have a smaller baby.
A soft-structured carrier is easy to use and often has straps that are comfortable for your shoulders. This kind of carrier also distributes baby’s weight a little more evenly. It also provides good ergonomic support for your baby, aligning his hips, spine, and pelvis. It works for infants through toddlers, but it does not provide head support and there often large gaps in the sides that may not be good for an infant.
Front-facing carriers are easy to put on and take off. If you are looking for a carrier your can use for your baby for longer term, try out one of the other options: this carrier can only hold babies up to 15 pounds. It is also not best ergonomically for babies because it places their weight on their spine before their spine is ready to handle it.
Now that you know the facts, head to a store to try out a couple carriers. If your baby isn’t here yet, take a sack of potatoes or something with similar weight to get the feel for how each carrier will feel when a child is in it. And if more than one option works for you, invest in a couple! Each of these carriers has its own unique advantages.
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