Choosing the right baby carrier depends on you and your baby's specific needs. Consider the age and size of your baby, how much support you need, and the types of activities you plan to do with the carrier. Some carriers are better for traveling and older infants, while other carriers are ideal for swaddling newborns and breastfeeding. We break down the pros and cons below so you can find the best carrier for your infant.
Standard (Front Carrier)
Standard front carriers feature two shoulder straps that secure a fabric seat. This allows newborns to face in and older babies to face out. For carrying newborns in a standard front carrier, look for inserts or adjustable head supports to ensure proper support for your newborn. This type of carrier also a good option for anyone who needs maximum support to carry the baby's weight. Generally holds children up to 40 pounds.
Versatile, can be used for both newborns and infants
Easy to remove for sleeping infants
Difficult to breastfeed
Combined body heat can get uncomfortable
Backpack carriers are a great option for active parents who want to take their infant out walking, traveling, and hiking. These carriers usually feature adjustable straps, a seat, and child safety harnesses. However, backpack carriers are only for children 6 months and older who can sit up unassisted and do not need head support. For infants up to 40 pounds.
Adjustable straps, ergonomic options
Great for traveling
Difficult to get on and off
Not for newborns
Wraps & Slings
The simple design of a wrap or sling features a wide section of soft fabric that can be fastened several ways. This type of carrier is great for newborns and infants up to 35 pounds. Some models come with adjustable straps and safety stoppers, and can be altered to work for different carriers. Newborns can be held close to the chest in the fetal position, while infants can be secured at the hip.
Simple, soft construction
Great for newborns (similar to swaddling)
Easy to breastfeed
Options for carrying (wraparound, ring sling, pouch slings, mei tai front wrap)
Often hard to put on
No safety restraints
Less weight support and adjustability
Also evaluate which carrier is ideal for you based on the carrying position to find the best for your body and your infant. For maximum neck, back, and shoulder support, stick with a standard front carrier or a backpack for older infants with lots of padding support and adjustable straps. The carrying position you choose depends on your personal preference of where you would naturally carry your infant.
Front: Best for newborns, easier to breastfeed, easier to remove
Back:Great for travel and carrying additional items, safety harnesses optional
Hip: Good for older infants, a great alternative comfort option
Baby Carrier Materials
Soft, natural material
Comfortable for around the house
Usually used for slings and wraps
Durable and breathable for outdoor and around town use
Baby carrier covers attach to your carrier to protect your baby from outside elements like sunlight and rain. Baby carriers feature a variety of accessories, from additional support belts and storage pockets to vents for breathability and attached pacifier rings.
When picking up anything, always bend at the knees and hold your baby in place. Not only will it keep your baby safe and in position, it will help save your back!
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