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Choosing Your Carrier

There are so many types and brands of Baby Carrier it can become confusing which one’s to choose.   If you are wanting more hands on help and advice in choosing look for a Babywearing Educator in your area or a store that offers a variety of different types to try on and find one that works for you.   Babywearing is usually split into different categories.

Pouches / Slings / Wraps 

These are ideal for the newborn stage to about 6 months and are useful for encouraging bonding, skin to skin and enabling breastfeeding when out and about.

Carriers

The different carriers will state which ages they are recommended for.  Some are specifically designed for Newborns and others are adjustable allowing room for your baby to grow with your carrier and also allow front and back carry positions.   It is only recommended that babies can try the back carry position or facing forwards position when they have good head and neck control being able to hold their head up easily which usually is around the 5-6 month mark.

Ensure if they fall asleep that the support is up around the back of their head and face is free.

There is also the Hiking type carrier which is specifically for the more active person wanting to take their baby on long walks or hikes.   Again they need to have good head and neck control before trying this carrier (approximately 5-6 months).

Below shows the difference between some types of carriers.  Please note these are not recommendations but just examples.

Twin Carriers

With Twins there is the option of tandem wearing 2 carriers (only possible with some brands) or for ease there are carriers available that are specifically designed for twin carrying.

How To Choose?

There are so many options and factors to take into consideration when choosing a Baby Carrier that it is recommended to try different options out and with your partner if both planning to wear the Baby Carrier especially if you are different sizes.  Either enrol the help of a Babywearing Educator who will guide you which is right for your needs and ensure they fit correctly and you know how to wear safely.   Alternatively go to a shop that has a range of different Babywearing options to try.

Here are some things to consider when choosing your Baby Carrier:

Age of Your Baby

There are Carriers in the form of Slings, Wraps and Carriers that are specially designed for new born stage into the first few months.   There are others that adapt to grow with your baby into toddler stage.   The Carriers will state which age and weight they are suitable for.  You may want to choose one that adapts or choose one for Newborn stage and another for when they are around the 5-6 months and have good head and neck control.

Ergonomical

Choose a carrier that can provide good support to their head, neck and spine.   It is recommended to choose a Carrier that is recognised by the Hip Displasia Institute as a Carrier that allows good hip positioning in the ‘M-position’ to optimise their hip development and avoid Hip Dysplasia.

Their list of Hip Healthy approved carriers can be seen here.

Comfort and Fit

Try the carriers on and make sure they fit your body comfortably and if looking to share with your partner or another caregiver that it can adapt via the straps and belts to fit them too.  Padding in the shoulder straps and waist belt can make a big difference in improving your comfort.

Ease of Use and Adaptability

Look for Carriers that offer multiple carrying positions so that they can be forward facing or moved to your back when have good head and neck control.   Ideally the Carrier will be easy to put on and take off and switch between different positions.  Have a go at taking them on and off before buying.

Durable and Washable

Choose a carrier with high quality and durable materials to ensure it lasts and sturdy buckles and straps that can be securely fastened.   There will likely be milk and drool regularly in the early stages and in the later stages food stains when eating solids.  Choose one that can be easily washed.

Budget

Determine your budget before choosing your carrier but remember durability is key.  They will be used for several months if not years so paying that little more for a better quality one will save having to buy another in the future.

Style and Aesthetics

Choose a style and colour that you like and also your partner if sharing the Baby Carrying will also be happy with.

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