Choosing a Baby Carrier: How to find the right one for your family

Family in woodland laughing with child in toddler carrier

With the right carrier you can carry your baby easily, safely and comfortably.  But with a bewildering range of options available, how do you know which sling or carrier is right for you?

Before you start, remember that everyone is different!  What’s perfect for one family may be completely impractical for another.  Reviews and articles can’t tell you what a particular sling or carrier will feel like when you use it with your baby.  So the best way to discover what feels right for you is to try things out for yourself.  You may be very surprised by how something feels when you actually try it on, so be open minded.

 

“My stretchy wrap is so easy and comfy to wear. My baby and I love it!”

“My carrier is fantastic; so supportive and easy to put on. I could wear it all day!”

 

Whatever sling, wrap or carrier you like the idea of, there are some basic essentials to check:

  • Safe, comfortable support for your baby’s spine, head, and airways. Your baby should be held high and snug against your chest with their face visible. To make sure you’re using your Izmi correctly check out our user guide – here.
  • Good fit for comfortable weight distribution. Don’t assume that structure and padding make a carrier more supportive; a carrier will only be comfortable if it fits your  Wraps or less structured options which contour to your body can offer excellent weight distribution!
  • Easy to use. If you don’t find your carrier easy then you won’t use it.  Everyone finds different things ‘easy’, so try things out and check you can get your carrier safe, comfortable and hands free by yourself.

Questions to ask…

 

How long do you want to be able to use it for?

A newborn baby has very different needs to an active 1 year old so it’s worth considering different options for different stages.  ‘Birth to toddler’ options can be great if you want to just buy one, but be aware that guideline age or weight ranges don’t always reflect a carrier’s true lifespan.

Who will be doing the carrying?

If two adults will both be using your carrier then make sure you choose one which is easily adjustable.  Tie-on options are more easily ‘sharable’ than buckled carriers as you won’t need to change settings between users.

How are you going to use your carrier?

Carrying for short trips:  You won’t necessarily need the most supportive option.  Choose something quick and easy to use.  A lightweight buckled carrier or sling that can easily be popped on/off may be all you need.

Carrying for longer periods: Choose something that’ll support you and your baby well.  A carrier that distributes your baby’s weight evenly around your torso and over both shoulders will support good posture and reduce pressure points.  Wraps, Mei Tais and Soft Structured Carriers are all good options.

What does your baby think?

If you are confident and comfortable using your carrier, then your baby will usually be happy in it too.  It’s very common for a baby to cry or seem unsettled when first trying a new carrier; getting moving is a great way to soothe your baby and help you both relax.

Do you like how the carrier looks?

Don’t underestimate the importance of how you feel when you’re carrying your baby!  Make sure that the carrier you choose is one that you’d be happy using and confident to walk down the street in!

 

What next?

There are many ways to try out different carrier options in person.  Sling Libraries offer carrier advice, demonstrations and many lend and sell carriers too.  You could also try a specialist shop, a social Sling Meet, or even book a professional Carrying Consultation for expert help. Have a look at our stockist and Sling Library maps for places to try carriers near you!

 

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