Join   Sign In  

A Guide to Buying Baby Carriers

 

Soft-structured carriers are worn like backpacks. Baby sits in a pouch with two adjustable straps that go across the shoulders. Two more straps secure around the waist, keeping the carrier safely fastened. This adjust-ability means you can share your carrier with multiple caregivers - your spouse, parents or nanny. Soft-structured carriers usually have padding for baby's comfort, and some have little pockets to store snacks or small toys.

Why you should get a baby carrier

Baby carriers aren't for every mom, but they do have their advantages. First, carrying baby on your hip or torso puts less stress on your arms and shoulders. Plus, your baby's weight is distributed more evenly, so you won't have to shift arms like you would with a removable car seat.

Baby carriers make feeding a lot easier, too. The constant contact they offer helps you better recognize your little one's signs of hunger. You may even come to anticipate feeding time before baby makes a peep, and some carriers even allow for breastfeeding.

Finally, baby carriers have a variety of mood-boosting benefits for both mother and child. Babywearing, the act of keeping your child in a carrier, is sometimes prescribed to treat post-partum mood disorders. It's also thought to stimulate your child's physical and neurological development, and babies transported in carriers are less likely to cry.

Baby carrier shopping tips

Ready to buy a baby carrier but don't know where to start? That's perfectly understandable; carriers come in so many styles and patterns that it's hard to choose the right one. Just keep in mind, the best baby carrier is one that suits your lifestyle. With that in mind, here are some things to consider when you're finally ready to buy:

a mom carrying her baby in a baby carrier

Budget

Expect to spend between $40 and $100 on a new, quality carrier. Used ones will be cheaper, but you want to make sure the carrier's structure is still solid enough to hold your baby before handing your money over. Also, keep an eye out for counterfeit versions of expensive or high-end brands. You might think you're getting a deal, but the quality can leave much to be desired.

Length of use

Do you plan to carry your baby throughout toddlerhood, or just for the beginning months? Will you get a wrap that adjusts with your baby's growing body, or will you buy progressively bigger carriers as your little one gains weight? The answers to these questions will narrow down the carrier type that's right for you. Pouches and ring slings don't leave much room for growth, but wraps and soft-structured carriers do.

Other caregivers

Who else is going to wear the carrier? Your spouse? Your parents? Your child's godparent? You'll need an adjustable carrier if you want to share one among multiple people.

Now that you know what your carrier options are, let's look at some safety tips.

 

Popular in Baby