Buying Guide For Baby Slings And Carriers
Toting around your little one can feel like one of the most challenging experiences a new parent can go through. Carrying your baby at home presents its own issues when you're trying to do 10 things at once, but when you're out and about, finding a means to protect your bundle of love and remain hands-free tops the list when it comes to priorities.
Read through the following choices and corresponding questions. If you answer YES to one or more and the features match up to your needs, you've found your baby carrier!
Baby Slings And Wraps
- Are you a mother who is breast-feeding?
- Are you simply a parent looking for a no-frills approach to maintaining an extremely close emotional connection with your little one throughout the day?
- Are you looking for an easy-to-wash option?
- Do you maintain a green lifestyle and prefer to use organic materials?
Essentially, the difference between a sling and a wrap is that a sling is positioned over one shoulder with your baby cradled at your front or near your hip. Slings are available as either solid pieces of material with ring enclosures or you simply knot the fabric ends. A wrap is a flat, rectangular piece of fabric which can be tied in a variety of ways around your upper body so your baby can recline, sit up and be placed in front, at your side or in back.
Making the decision is fairly simple. If you're looking for a way to carry your baby close to your body in a manner that most resembles cradling your baby in your arms, go with the sling. However, if you're looking for a multi-functional option which allows you to carry your baby in the sling manner, in addition to a bunch of other positions, go with a wrap.
Consider the Sakura Bloom Pure, a classic knots-at-the-shoulder sling. It's available in several colors, and it washes in your gentle cycle. These easy-to-maneuver slings are ideal for breast-feeding.
Take a look at Hotslings Adjustable Pouch Carriers, as well, if you're looking for a multifunctional option. Affixed with adjustable straps and buckles and a padded pouch for baby, you can adjust everything as needed.
If you're crafty, you could buy material from a fabric store and make your own for under $30. If you're going to purchase a manufactured one, expect to pay around $45 to $90.
Backpack Baby Carriers
- Does carrying your baby on your front cause too much back stress?
- Do you need complete freedom of movement in the front of your body?
When you're trying to work with your hands, having them free doesn't necessarily mean you can actually accomplish what you're working on. If you need to move your baby to the back for a bit, opt for a backpack baby carrier.
Give Ergobaby backpacks a try. They’re fitted with pockets and a place for your water bottle. It’s like having a backpack and carrier in one.
Don't need the extra storage, but prefer a soft backpack carrier to keep your little one close? Check out the Infantino Balance Soft Baby Carrier. You can spin it around to your front when you're ready to bring your baby back to your chest. This option also offers padded shoulders and keeps your baby sitting upright and comfortable.
You'll end up shelling out around $45 to $110 for a backpack carrier. The more bells and whistles, the greater the cost.
Front Baby Carriers
- Are you looking for an easy-to-use upright carrier that offers head support until your newborn (or young baby) is able to hold his/her head up?
Choose a softly framed front baby carrier. These carriers offer extra protection for your baby as well as neck support. The BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Air includes head support that folds down once your baby is no longer in need of it.
- Is your baby holding his/her head up without assistance?
- Is having your baby in front of you for closeness and bonding time a top priority?
- Do you prefer more structure than a sling?
- Do you prefer your baby's weight to be evenly distributed across both shoulders?
- Would you prefer your child to be seated upright against your chest rather than reclining?
The wonderful thing about carrying your baby in front is that you can still bond and keep your baby close while getting those million items accomplished on your daily checklist. Make your life easy and look for a soft front carrier in which your baby can face inward (perfect for young babies) and outward (when they're older and want to see what's going on around them). Check out the CatBird Baby Pikkolo. You can cross the straps, leave them uncrossed and can even use it as a backpack style, if you so desire.
For a more traditional approach, consider the Infantino Breathe Soft Baby Carrier which offers adjustable legs for growth and an easy-to-use buckle.
Overall, you're looking at spending anywhere from $20 to $140. The more ergonomically-focused and advanced the design, the more expensive.
Hip/Side Baby Carrier
- Do you naturally tend to carry your baby (who is sitting up on his/her own) on your hip?
This is simple. If you like the idea of a sling, but prefer to use a ready-to-go carrier with padding and a convenient external zipper pouch, go for baby hip carrier like this one by Luvable Friends or the Aprica Side Baby Carrier.
The cost of a side carrier typically ranges from $15 to $60.
Everyone told you that parenthood was something you couldn't comprehend until you actually had your own little one. What they didn't mention was how overwhelming it could be to select items like baby slings and carriers. Do your homework ahead of time, and you’ll find the perfect carrier or sling for your baby.