How To Choose A Baby Carrier
Babies bring so much joy to everyone around them, especially their parents. However, let’s be honest, sometimes they can literally be a handful which is why new parents choose to include a baby carrier in their lives. A baby carrier is a soft and padded harness seat or carrier that allows parents to have their hands free to perform daily tasks such as carrying groceries while wearing their baby on their back or front.
When Can You Start Using A Baby Carrier
Babies can be carried from the time they are newborns, but an important factor to consider is that it takes almost 4-5 months for their neck muscles to develop to support their head. If you choose to carry a baby younger than the 4-5-month mark, pick one out that will provide adequate support for the baby's head.
Most parents prefer to wrap their newborn in soft and comfortable materials, such as a soft sling or wrap. Other structured carriers are designed to provide firm support for a growing child.
Types of Baby Carriers
Baby Carrier Wrap and Slings
These carriers use a long piece of fabric similar to a scarf that keeps your baby close to your body. They don't take up a lot of space and are quite basic, even if it might take a little while to get the hang of using them. Wraps and slings are a great option for newborns as they can be adjusted to make them comfortable.
Structured Baby Carriers
These are the most popular options, and they look like backpacks with adjustable straps and padding throughout. These carriers provide more support when carrying your baby. Be sure to strap your baby in properly so they are not uncomfortable, whether it's front or back facing. Structured baby carriers rely on the M-position, which ensures the baby's knees are above the hips creating the "M" shape, which is a healthy position for the baby's development and comfort.
This model combines the support offered by structured baby carriers along with the flexibility and comfort offered by wraps and slings so you can get the best of both carriers. These carriers have straps for your waist and shoulders with the fabric for tying around your baby in the middle.
Choosing the Right Baby Carrier
Apart from considering which type of baby carrier you wish to use for your baby, you should consider other factors to figure out which carrier is the best fit for you and your baby.
The carrier should be suitable for the weight of your baby. Most babies weigh around 7 to 8 pounds at birth and gain 12 to 15 pounds over the next 12 months, which is why it's best to find a carrier that can easily support a child for their age and weight, such as the Cybex Yema Tie Denim Baby Carrier which can carry up to 33.1 lbs.
Some carriers only allow you to carry the baby in either the front or back-facing direction. Consider the age of your baby when figuring out what direction to carry them in. For example, newborns should be carried facing towards you so they can rest their head against your body and sleep, but once babies are more than five months old, they might wish to see their surroundings with their backs towards you.
It might be worth investing in a carrier that provides both carrying options, such as the Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier. There are also backpack options available such as the Phil and Ted Parade Baby Carrier, which can carry babies older than a few months on your back.
The carrier should be comfortable for both you and your baby. It should fit properly on your body type and allow you to carry your child without causing any strain. Your baby, especially their head, should feel supported. There are many ergonomic baby carriers to pick from, such as the Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier, which comes with multiple position options making it easier to find the right fit for your baby.
The fabric is another important factor as it should be easy to clean, so choose a machine-washable option like the Diono Carus Essentials 3-in-1 Carrying System. The material should also be suitable for different weather conditions and be breathable for walks in the summer months.
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