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Baby Carrier Buying Guide

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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 baby carrier

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.

Pros:

  • Adjustable straps
  • Ergonomic
  • Versatile, can be used for both newborns and infants
  • Easy to remove for sleeping infants

​Cons:

  • Difficult to breastfeed
  • Combined body heat can get uncomfortable

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Backpack

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.

Pros:
  • Adjustable straps, ergonomic options
  • Safety harnesses
  • Great for traveling
Cons:
  • Difficult to get on and off
  • Not for newborns

sling baby carrier

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. 


Pros:

  • Simple, soft construction
  • Great for newborns (similar to swaddling)
  • Easy to breastfeed
  • Options for carrying (wraparound, ring sling, pouch slings, mei tai front wrap)

Cons:

  • Often hard to put on
  • No safety restraints
  • Less weight support and adjustability 

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Carrying Position

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

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Baby Carrier Materials

Cotton
  • Soft, natural material
  • Comfortable for around the house
  • Usually used for slings and wraps

Polyester
  • Durable and breathable for outdoor and around town use
  • Often used for padding in support straps
  • Additional support



Covers & Accessories

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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