Baby Carriers for Every Kind of Parent
No matter how cozy a swing or bouncy seat is, babies like being cradled in your arms best. But toting your love around all day isn’t really feasible unless you have arms of steel and a bunch of minions to do your daily tasks. That’s where a baby carrier comes in handy.
Do You Need a Carrier?
Getting a carrier isn’t a necessity—you could use a stroller when you’re out and about and a bouncy seat or swing at home. But a carrier is the only gadget that lets you do your own thing, hands-free, while your little one relaxes against you.
Most parents say it’s their favorite baby product, no matter the type or brand. It gives your arms a break and can easily sub in for a stroller, especially if your child gets upset when they can’t see you, or you need to navigate crowded spaces like airports and stadiums. It’s also great to use if you like hiking and want to bring your child along.
When Do You Need a Carrier?
Some parents only use a baby carrier when their child is small—newborn through six months or so. Other parents continue to use a carrier well into the toddler stage. You’ll get the most out of it before your little one learns to walk and wants to roam free.
Most parents swear those baby carriers are a lifesaver, so you really can’t go wrong adding one to your registry.
TYPES OF BABY CARRIERS
While a baby carrier is anything that physically holds baby close to your body, there are different ones that fit your family’s needs. Here, a quick and dirty summary to help you figure out the best baby carrier for you.
• Sling - Shaped like a fabric loop, a sling is perfect for carrying newborns who want to be held close 24/7. Since they’re meant to hold lightweight infants, there is no heavily padded shoulder strap. You simply wear the sling over one shoulder.
• Fabric wraps - It’s the origami of baby carriers: spectacularly versatile depending on how you fold the fabric. Some fabric wrap baby carriers are specifically meant for the 1-and-under set; others can hold a baby of any age once you get the hang of the different ways to wear them. The one caveat: it does take some practice to learn how to put one on.
• Soft, structured carriers - While this baby carrier is good for any age, it’s great for an older child since the supportive pieces—shoulder straps and waist sash—evenly distribute your child’s weight to minimize back aches and pains.
• A Mei Tai carrier - This minimalist baby carrier does away with buckles for straps that tie off for a personalized fit every time. The downside: no padded fabric.
• Frame carriers - This type of baby carrier provides back support when you’re babywearing for long periods, for instance, hiking. These are recommended for older babies who can sit up and have good head and neck control.