Need help choosing the right baby carrier for you? Here are our top tips for babywearing and choosing your perfect baby carrier!
Baby carriers are very important – they allow you to go hands-free when carrying your baby! Whether you live an active lifestyle or are a stay-at-home-mama, a baby carrier is a must-have to help you bring your baby with you wherever you go.
Strollers are great for going out and about (check out our list of fave strollers here), but we often bring the baby carrier out and stash it in the stroller for when baby fusses or when we want to get them to fall asleep. Many babies – especially newborns – also seem to prefer being worn or carried to riding in their stroller, too. Baby carriers are favoured by many mamas and dads because they come in a wide variety of sizes and models to suit each family’s needs.
Because of a baby carrier’s versatility and variety, it can be hard to decide which baby carrier is right for you. Here is a list of things to consider when choosing your very first baby carrier!
Think about your needs
You have to choose a baby carrier that fits you and your baby’s lifestyle. Are you always on the go and need a baby carrier that is easy to clip on and off with material that’s not going to be too sweaty to wear? Or are you a busy stay-at-home-mama who prefers a super soft wrap that may be more complicated to tie but is snuggly and easy on bub’s skin as they cocoon against you? The baby carrier you will need depends on how you intend to use it.
Check the types of baby carriers available
Wraps are often long, stretchy pieces of fabric that can be wrapped around you in multiple ways to carry baby safely and close to your body. They’re often the most comfortable type of all the baby carriers and are best for newborns since they’re so small and fragile in the early days. The wrapping may take some practice to get right, but once you have a favourite style you’ll be a pro in no time!
Slings are non-stretchy fabrics that are often slung on one shoulder with a pouch created in the middle to put baby in. There are methods that allow for weight distribution on both shoulders. Babies can be carried in the front, while toddlers can be carried on the hip and back with a sling.
These are baby carriers that often have thick, padded shoulder straps, a structured waistband and adjustable buckles all over. They’re great for carrying slightly older tots since they’re sturdier, but there are many buckle carriers in the market that can be used from newborn to toddler, such as the MOBY Move.
Hybrid carriers marry the best of a structured carrier and a soft wrap-style carrier. They’re easier and more straightforward to use than a wrap, while being softer and more comfortable than a sling. A very popular hybrid carrier is the Konny Baby.
Some of the things you should remember when choosing a baby carrier include that it should keep your baby safe and secure while allowing your hands to do other functions. It should enable you to hold your child close enough without suffocating the baby. The openings for the legs should be wide enough to allow them to kick freely, without restricting their hips.
Versatility and ease of use should be one of your criteria when choosing a baby carrier. Your choice of baby carrier should be flexible enough to make you carry the baby close to your body either on your side, in front or on your back. Check if the buckle carrier can be worn in the front so your child can have a good world-facing view. The carrier must also be light enough for you to carry anywhere with baby without experiencing a terrible backache in the long run. You should also consider how long you can use the carrier for – is it best for newborns only, toddlers only, or can it be used from birth up to toddlerhood?
Comfort for you and your baby
A baby carrier must of course provide you ease and convenience of use. Buckle carriers should have durable buckles that should be easy to fasten or unfasten with straps that are easy to adjust as well. Always ask the salesperson if you can try out the carrier before actually buying it. If you are buying the buckle or sling types, it should not only fit snugly on your body, your baby should also feel comfortable sitting or laying in it.
If you’re a nursing mom, you will appreciate a baby carrier that hugs close to your body when it’s feeding time.
Easy to use & clean
Always check the label if the cushioned cloth coverings are machine-washable! This is essential – if you can throw the carrier in the washing machine all the better.
Make sure the carrier is made of durable and non-toxic materials. Living in Singapore, you will probably prefer a carrier with cooler and lighter materials. Make sure there is ample support for the baby’s back but is high enough to allow some air to circulate around the legs. The design should have enough shade to keep out the glare of the sun (some come with a flap to cover baby’s head loosely).