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 little one close.
However, when they get to be too big 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, there can be many questions that you will have before you decide on which one to purchase.
You want to be sure to get the best baby carrier for your child to ensure that they are comfortable and safe each and every time they use it
To help, we did a lot of shopping for you to narrow down all of the options out there into our 10 Best Baby Carriers in 2018.
We hope that our list will help you make an informed decision to keep your little one safe and comfortable for a long time.
If you’re ready, let’s get started!
How To Choose A Baby Carrier – Buying Guide
When we started to create out recommendations for the 10 Best Baby carriers in 2018, we wanted to make sure that our choices met a high standard of criteria. After all, we’re talking about the safety of your little bundle of joy. By holding each item to such a strict list of criteria, we can feel confident with our choices that appear on the list of recommended baby carrier. Here is some of the criteria we used
When buying a baby carrier, looking for one that can be used for many years can be a better option than one that is only designed for your baby. This is a good idea not only because it saves money, but will grow with your child as they do.
Comfort for you
Carriers with wide, well-padded straps or with sturdy fabric that can distribute your little one’s weight evenly can save your shoulders, neck and upper back from muscle strain. Unless you plan on buying more than one carrier, if you plan on sharing the carrier, make sure that the straps are adjustable to ensure a comfortable fit.
Comfort for your baby
When selecting a front baby carrier, you want to look for padded leg holes that are loose enough to not constrict your little’s one thighs, but not so loose that they could slip through. It’s quite likely that your child we sleep in the carrier, so having one with a padded headrest will be able to support their head and neck.
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. There are some structured carriers that 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.
For some, being able to nurse while using a baby carrier is important to them. While it can be tougher to do this using a structured carrier, using a sling or wrap can make it easier for you to do this. Just be sure that your baby is secure first before trying to nurse your little one.
Dark-colored carriers can heat up in the summer months. This can make some carriers too warm to use in the hot and humid days of summer. If you know you may need to carry your child during the summer, you may want to choose a lighter fabric.
Let’s face it, kids are messy. Having a carrier that is machine-washable is not only important but can be very convenient.
Benefits of a baby carrier
Owning a baby carrier can be one of the best things that you can purchase to help in the development of your new baby. But there can be many benefits that come with a baby carrier you may not know about
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 designed, it will still be able to give your little one the closeness that they need.
If you have a child that tends to only nap when held, then a baby carrier makes this easier by keeping them close and not keeping you from getting things around the house completed.
Wearing a baby carrier, or babywearing, as its 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 baby with less effort. For preemies and sick infants, babywearing can help them grow and heal faster, especially when they are skin-to-skin. This can be 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.
Carrying your baby upright also helps massage your baby’s belly, which can promote healthy digestion and can help prevent physical abnormalities that can be associated with infants that spend large amounts of time on the bellies or their backs.
Types of Carriers
When you decide to purchase a baby carrier to use with your little one, at first glance, you will see a lot of different options on the market. What we wanted to do is shed a little light on each one so when it comes time to making a purchasing decision, you will feel much better knowing which is which and any cautions that may be associated with them
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. There can be some concerns about using this type of baby carrier though. Risks of suffocation and hip dysplasia can be more common in newborns being held in a sling.
Soft-Structured Carrier– When most parents picture a baby carrier, this is likely the form that they envision. Made for older babies and can be used until they weigh about 35 pounds, or well into their second year, the carrier is designed to distribute your baby’s weight to your hips instead of your back. Many of these can be used in either front carry or back carry positions and should not be used as a front facing carrier as some have stated this can cause physical problems for a baby.
Wrap – A baby wrap is much like a sling in that it is a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around you and your baby to keep them snug and close to your body. Like a sling, the risks for suffocation can be high with this type of baby carrier.
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 and offers various ways to be tied in order 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 longer periods of time. A backpack can allow you to get stuff done while carrying your child. However, like any other carrier, using one too much can run the risk of causing hip dysplasia.
Wearing Your Baby Safely
Even though having a 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 and we wanted to make sure that before you choose which one to use, we provided you with enough information to help you hold them in a safe way.
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, that your 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 very real risk if your little one were to move into a position where they put their chin on their chest .
When using a soft structured carrier, you want to only use 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 have to 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 backdive 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 little 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 are able to, their head and neck should be properly supported. 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 keep them content.
My Babies Planet Overview
Choosing the right baby carrier for your little one is one of the biggest purchases that you can make for them. It can get a bit confusing when it comes to choosing one, whether it be 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 and while all of 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 2018 has helped you make an informed decision.
Not just for your benefit, but for your child’s as well.
My Babies Planet Baby Carriers Review