One of the most truthful things about having a child is that, eventually, they will grow up. When they are first born, carrying them in your arms can be a perfect option to keep your baby close. However, when they get too heavy to be held all the time, what’s your next step?
This is where a quality baby carrier comes in. When you decide to purchase a baby carrier, several questions emerge about which one to buy. You want to be sure to get the best baby carrier for your child to ensure that they are comfortable and safe each time they use it.
To help, we’ve narrowed down all the options out there into our 10 Best Baby Carriers in 2020. We hope that our list will help you make an informed decision to keep your little one safe and comfortable for a long time.
How To Choose The Best Baby Carrier – Buying Guide
Considering the fact that you will be using your baby carrier almost every day, you need a quality one that you can count on and made to last. The best baby carriers have important criteria taken into consideration during manufacture and you should look for exactly the same.
When buying a baby carrier, look for a carrier that can grow with your baby. You only want to buy a carrier once.
The best baby carriers with wide, well-padded straps or with sturdy fabric that distribute your little one’s weight evenly can save your shoulders, neck, and upper back from muscle strain. Ensure that your carrier straps are adjustable.
When selecting a front baby carrier, you want to look for padded leg holes that are loose enough not to constrict your little’s one thigh, but not so loose that they could slip through.
Ease of Use
Having a baby carrier that is easy to use, especially with one hand is a big plus. There will be times where you will need to put it on and take it off and get your little one in and out without any help. Some structured carriers can be unbuckled easily, so moving your child into a stroller or their crib is easier without the risk of waking them from a nap.
Before you use your front-facing carrier, you will always want to make sure that the seat and the carrier straps will be able to support your little one safely and securely and that all the buckles, snaps and belts are in good condition and in good working order.
Types of Carriers
There are a variety of different carriers on the market:
- Sling: A sling is a single piece of fabric that is large enough to go over one of your shoulders and form a pouch that can be used to hold your baby in front of you or on your hip.
- Soft-Structured Carrier: Made for older babies and can be used until they weigh about 35 pounds, or well into their second year, this carrier is designed to distribute your baby’s weight to your hips instead of your back. Many can be used in either front carry or back carry positions.
- Wrap: A baby wrap is much like a sling. It is a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around you and your baby to keep them snug and close to your body.
- Mei-Tai: A mei-tai is kind of a hybrid baby carrier. A combination of a wrap and a soft-structured carrier, a mei-tai has 4 straps attached to the body of the carrier. It offers various ways to be tied to secure your child.
- Baby Backpack: A baby backpack is a carrier with a metal frame that is built for the intended use by your older baby or toddler by placing them on your back for more extended periods. A backpack can allow you to get stuff done while carrying your child.
Wearing Your Baby Safely
Even though having the best baby carrier can make it easier for you to keep them close while you accomplish other tasks, there is a right way and a wrong way to keep your baby close while using a baby carrier. We wanted to make sure that before you choose which one to use, we provide you with enough information to help you safely hold them.
The T.I.C.K.S. Rule
The T.I.C.K.S. Rule is an acronym to help parents ensure that when they are using a carrier with their child, the child is in the proper position for their optimal safety. T.I.C.K.S. stands for the following:
- In view at all times
- Close enough to kiss
- Keep Chin off the chest
- Supported back
When using a carrier, you want to ensure that their airway is monitored closely, especially with a newborn. In a carrier, suffocation can be a genuine risk if your little one moves into a position where they put their chin on their chest.
When using a soft structured carrier, you want to use only a forward-facing carrier with your child and make sure that their head and neck are fully supported. It’s a good rule of thumb to make sure that their head is supported with 2 vertical finger widths between their head and chest.
When you’re using a baby carrier, one of the key safety features is how your baby is carried securely. If they were to fall from your chest height, it could be very dangerous for them. Your baby should always be held close to you, and younger babies should be provided with a high back that can fully support their head and neck. Some tips to remember:
- If you must pick something up off the floor or off a low shelf, bend at your knees, not at your hips. This is to ensure that your baby stays upright. If you choose to bend at the hip, while carrying your little one, you could run the risk of a back-dive fall.
- The carrier’s fabric should cover their entire back to ensure that your child is fully supported and seated securely in the carrier. If your child is unable to support their own head, the fabric should also support their head and neck.
Supporting their body
When you take your little one to their doctor, one of the tests they will perform will be to check your baby’s hips for signs of dysplasia. This can be fairly common in the development of their little bodies in the first 4 months of their life. Because of this, you should be sure to take special care with their small hips. Taking frequent breaks from the carrier so that they can move their hips, knees, and the rest of their body can help prevent this.
Another area of concern is your baby’s head and neck. At first, your baby’s neck won’t be strong enough for them to hold their head up on their own. Until they can, their head and neck should be supported appropriately. This typically occurs at around 4 months. Until that point, your baby shouldn’t be carried in a front-facing manner.
With a proper carrier, the material of the carrier will be high enough to support your child’s head and neck while keeping them snuggled right up against you, which keeps them content.
Q: What are the benefits of a baby carrier?
A: Owning a baby carrier can be one of the best things that you can purchase to help the development of your newborn. But there are also many other benefits that come with a baby carrier you may not know about:
- Easier Parenting: Using a baby carrier can make it easier for you to get things done around the house as a carrier is designed to free up your hands to work or even assist in the care of older children if you have any. The way that a carrier is intended, it will still be able to give your little one the closeness that they need.
- Sleeping: A baby carrier helps a lot if you have a child that tends to nap only when held. It makes sleeping easier by keeping them close and allows you to get things around the house.
- Promotes Attachment: Wearing a baby carrier, or babywearing, as it’s commonly called, can help you bond with your baby and learn what their needs are. This also helps mothers who might be suffering from depression nurture their babies with less effort. For preemies and sick infants, babywearing can help them grow and heal faster, especially when they are skin-to-skin. This is known as “kangaroo care” and is becoming practiced more and more in neonatal intensive care units at many hospitals.
- Aids in Development: Using a baby carrier can help your baby develop mentally, physically, and emotionally. According to an article written by Dr. Eckhard Bonnet published on Didymos in 1998, using a baby wrap or sling can hold your baby’s body in a correct and comfortable position, much like when they were in your womb.
- Health: Keeping your baby upright also helps massage her belly, which can promote healthy digestion and help prevent physical abnormalities that can be associated with infants that spend large amounts of time on the bellies or their backs.
Q: Are carriers safe for new-borns?
A: Baby carriers are not recommended for babies under the age of four months because they cannot hold up their own head yet. They are just at risk of getting a head injury. If you make use of a baby carrier that actively supports your new-borns head, then you will be able to safely use a carrier.
Q: Is it worth buying a baby carrier?
A: A baby carrier is worth it to invest in; allowing you to hold your baby close, but it leaves your hands free. A lot of the time, your baby will only be calm when you are holding them, by freeing up your hands, you can still function while providing your little one with comfort.
Q: What age can you start using a baby carrier?
A: It will depend on the type of carrier that you are using. If you are using a carrier that supports your new-borns head, you can use it beginning from birth. Plus, your baby will have to weigh at least 7 pounds, and the carrier will have to be extraordinarily soft, or else your baby could get injured.
Q: Can you use a baby carrier with a newborn?
A: Yes, you can use a baby carrier from newborn, but you have to keep in mind that your baby will not be able to support their own head until the age of 4-5 months. Usually, carriers are made from hard materials to provide your little one strong support, but these are not ideal for a newborn. It is recommended to buy a wrap carrier instead.
Q: Do baby carriers hurt baby hips?
A: Baby carriers can sometimes interfere with healthy hip development if the baby is in an unhealthy hip position for an extended period. Manufacturers do, however, design baby carriers that are safe for you to use if you follow the guidelines.
Q: Are baby carriers bad for the baby’s spine?
A: A baby carrier can be bad for a baby’s spine, but if you make use of a quality carrier and follow the manufactures guideline on how to use it, then you can safely make use of a baby carrier.
My Babies Planet Overview
Choosing the right baby carrier for your little one is one of the most significant purchases that you can make for them. It can get a bit confusing when it comes to choosing one, whether it is about safety features or price.
However, at the end of the day, the final decision will come down to your own preferences. One preference that should take precedent is your child’s safety. While all the options on our list will keep your baby safe and comfortable, the features are not the same for every choice we made.
When you decide to start the process of choosing the best baby carrier for your child, we certainly hope that our list of the 10 best baby carriers in 2020 has helped you make an informed decision.
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