Buying Guide: Best Baby Carrier Models and Features
Strollers are not the end all be all when it comes to baby transportation. Sure, they have their advantages, and you can safely leave your baby in them if you have to maneuver quickly, but recently a very hot item which has been growing in popularity has been the use of baby carriers. For years the idea of strapping your baby on seemed very practical, but people shied away due to the lack of research and social vetting. Today however, with mountains of research and some trendy appeal, carriers are making a full court press to unseat strollers as the choice of parents to move our little ones around.
“Baby wearing” has been proven to do several things, which strollers are unable to do. First and foremost, it frees up your hands for day to day excursions. You can conveniently go shopping or stroll through a store without much hindrance, which a stroller would normally cause. Second, research has backed the emotional and psychological benefits that our eye tests have given us, that our new borns and infants desire to spend long periods of time within very close proximity of their parents, and touching helps soothe them. Although I don’t advocate that you strictly go with a carrier instead of a stroller, they supplement our roles perfectly, and you should get one. Here is a list of some of the best baby carriers on the market, and a guide which should help you make a purchasing decision.
Types and Uses
Carriers are incredibly versatile, but there are also distinct models which are designed for specific purposes
Front Carrier: Front carriers are pretty standard, and are the most versatile of all of the models. This style consists of two shoulder straps for you to support the weight of your child, who sits comfortably in a padded seat. With the way they are designed, the baby will sit very close to your chest and point inward, but as they grow you can flip the carrier around, helping you support the additional weight and giving your little one an amazing view. The downside to this style is that the angle that it is worn at prevents proper breastfeeding, and they aren’t designed to comfortably handle newborns who might want something softer and less sturdy.
Slings: Slings are worn diagonally across one shoulder, and down to your torso. They can be padded, but also come unpadded with adjustable rings and are perfect for breast feeding when you want to be discreet. The problem with this style is that once your newborn begins to age and pack on some weight, it won’t support them, so it is a quickly used purchase.
Wraps: Wraps are kind of a hybrid between slings and front carriers, in that they go around both shoulders and can be worn in multiple configurations. Breastfeeding is a cinch. The problem with these is, similar to the sling, a larger baby cannot fit comfortably and they lack the support that you would get from a front carrier. In addition, these can be incredibly time consuming to manage as they are confusing to take on and off.