Baby carriers make lives of many parents easier. Firstly, when you use a carrier, you can fulfill baby’s need to be close to you, in your arms and at the same time you can do what you want or need to do, at home or outdoors. Secondly, a baby carrier makes you mobile when you’re out of your home and much more mobile than when you have to take a stroller with you. Baby and toddler wearing has huge benefits for active families, wanderers, travelers and doers. But how to choose the best baby carrier? Below are our tips from our four years of being parents to two energetic Boys.
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How to choose the best baby carrier?
Before doing a research to choose a carrier for your family (yes, I write family, not baby, because a carrier is about the carried baby and the carrying parent, and their comfort) think about why you plan to use it. What are your baby’s need, your needs, how the carrier should help you, in which situations and places you plan to wear the kid.
There is no one best carrier just like there is no one best pair of shoes. Some people need sandals, others need trekking shoes.
When you’re aware of your main requirements, let’s see what is also worth to check to choose the best baby carrier.
Which features should you check when you compare best baby carriers?
1 | Kid’s age or weight
Every carrier has in its specification information about for what age or kid’s weight it is appropriate. Some carriers cannot be used for bigger babies and toddlers, because they are designed with infant’s need in mind. Some carriers cannot be used for newborns or require having an additional infant insert (like MiaMily Infant Insert for MiaMily Hipster Plus 3D Baby Carrier and Ergobaby Infant Insert for Ergobaby 360 Ergonomic Baby Carrier and all other Ergobaby carriers).
Be sure about the age of the baby you want to carry.
If you plan to wear your kid from newborn to toddler, you can choose
– a highly-adjustable carrier which grows with the baby
– buy two or more carriers designed for a baby of a certain age, with specific newborn’s needs in mind or safe for parents’ spines while wearing a bigger kid.
2 | Kid’s legs and hips position
Newborns’ and babies’ natural hip and legs position is the M position. Carrying a baby for longer periods of time in other position may cause discomfort, pain and above all else, health problems.
You definitely must search for this information in carrier’s description!
How to recognize it in the photos? Baby’s legs cannot just hang down. They have to be supported from the hip to the knee.
And what about toddlers and bigger kids? They also aren’t comfortable in narrow seats! Imagine yourself hanging for half an hour in a narrow seat.
Look for wide seats.
Here, at Active Family Store you can be sure you’ll find only carriers supporting the healthy and comfortable hips position.
3 | Supportive waist belt which distributes the weight of the kid for your comfort
A carrier is a product for both of you, the parent and the baby. So don’t forget about your comfort and – especially when the baby weights more – your back’s health.
The lack of a waist belt was the only reason why I, the Active Mama, gave up our carrier and looked for a new one. how to choose the best baby carrier? – Take lessons from my mistakes.
Carrying a baby older than let’s say one year without a waist belt for long periods of time is just irresponsible.
4 | Back carry option
This is exactly what active parents love!
Newborns and little babies should be carried only in front of the parent. Having baby in a carrier gives a parent more freedom than having them in the arm, but when you already can carry the kid on your back, the relief and comfort is awesome.
You have not only free hands but also nothing big in front of you stuck to your belly 😉
So if you’re thinking about carrying a toddler 1 year+, I recommend you choose a carrier with back carry option (called also backpack option).
5 | Breathable material
How to choose the best baby carrier? Don’t forget to check the type and properties of the fabric.
Think about it in terms of your and your kid’s comfort but also have in mind that overheating a baby or kid for a longer time or overheating newborn for any length of time can be just dangerous.
The hotter climate you live in, the more look for a lighter carrier or a carrier made of a material that supports air-flow.
6 | Photos of a kid in every position
Looking for a baby carrier suitable for your family needs, make sure that the offer has photos of every possible position, showing the kid and the wearer in every position. Make sure you have an image of the carrier’s construction.
So, for example, if you need a carrier for older kids, look for photos of kids in this carrier, older than newborns!
7 | Appearance
In terms of appearance, think of a universal color or pattern that will suit most of your (and your partner’s) clothes.
If you live in a hot climate or plan to carry your little one in summer, think of choosing a light color. Light color reflects sun rays but dark colors don’t, so a black carrier would get hot – very uncomfortable for the kid.
I hope this little guide about how to choose the best baby carrier and my almost four years of experience as an Active Mom will help you make a better choice and find the best carrier for you and your little boy or girl.
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