Baby Carrier Shopping Guide
Another option for transporting baby while walking is baby carriers. As the baby carriers have grown in popularity, so have the options available with them.
Seat style carriers give your baby an easily portable place to sleep while traveling. Some seat style carriers snap into bases allowing them to be used as infant car seats. The handles are designed to be comfortable to hold, but most parents find it is only comfortable for a few minutes because it becomes very heavy very fast. Without having a place to set the carrier, it is not a convenient transportation option. Some carriers claim to fit shopping carts, however you might want to check the fit of your carrier before you lug it with your baby to the store.
Front carriers allow your baby to be held while your hands are free. Some adjust to a variety of positions as baby grows. Most carriers can be sized for several users, meaning the same carrier can be used by you and your spouse. Consider how easy it will be for you to position baby in the carrier. Purchasing a carrier with back support can help you stay comfortable while carrying baby longer. Because of the harness systems, babies need to be removed from the front carriers for breastfeeding.
Slings are a type of front carrier that are designed to be used in a variety of positions and fit a variety of body types. Some slings are easily adjusted for different body sizes. Slings allow you to discreetly breastfeed while out in public, and you can even breastfeed your baby with one hand while walking or playing with an older child. They are easily portable and easily washable. The biggest complaint about a sling is that it takes three days to a week to feel comfortable walking around hands free.
Backpack carriers give you a comfortable way to walk with your child. Some backpack carriers have storage spaces for small items and some provide a sturdy place for your child to sit or stand when not on your back. Read the instruction manual, as babies may need to be able to hold their head up or sit up without assistance before a backpack carrier is safe.
I was afraid to try a sling so bought a different baby carrier. I hated the way it fit on my body and so went through two other carriers before I finally bought a sling and learned how to use it. Once I figured out the positions my baby liked best it was perfect, and the other carriers found good homes with other moms and babies.
I checked out every possible baby carrier before buying the front carrier I chose because I have back problems. My research paid off. I was able to hold my baby hands-free and I didn't have any problems with my back.
- Who in my family needs to learn to use this?
- How often will it be used?