Being a new parent brings enormous joy and energy inside every individual. However, this also comes in the added responsibility of being a parent. Our love and care towards our young ones make us come up with innovative ways to keep our off springs close to ourselves.
In the world of baby carriers or carry bags, we can initially find ourselves to be in unchartered territory, especially with all the different types available in the market! There are all sorts of fancy jargons being used by marketing giants, and sometimes the carriers themselves might look complicated. However, the truth is many of the products available in the market are easy to while a few might be having a slight learning curve. I have compiled this article to help you make an informed decision before you purchase your first baby carrier.
Types of Baby Carriers:
There current carriers in the market can be divided into the following two major categories.
- Sling Baby Carriers;
- Baby Carrier Seats and Backpack Carriers;
A sling baby carrier is more inspired by nature, as many animals to take care of their young ones during infancy also use the same concept. It is not a new idea or phenomenon and has been practised for centuries in different cultures throughout the world.
A splint is a normally stretchy or woven long piece of fabric that wraps around the user and lets you carry your little one against your body (front or back). Ideal for smaller newborns, slings differs from baby carriers in that they do not usually have clips, buckles or buttons, and have to be tied to fit securely, which will take practice.
Baby wraps are slings, which are long pieces of fabric that wrap around you and your baby. You can choose from stretchy or woven varieties and can be super-comfy. Another common type of sling in the market are Meh Dais. Though the name can sound weird and complicated, these are usually a square or rectangle of fabric with four straps. One set of straps is tied around the wearer’s waist and the other over their shoulders. The material forms a pocket for the baby, similar to that of a kangaroo.
Baby Carrier Seats and Backpacks:
While Baby Carrier Seats are specifically designed to securely seat and protect your kid while travelling, the Backpacks are great for parents who like to keep their hands free while holding their babies close to them. Back carriers are not suitable for infants and are designed for babies who can sit up and support themselves. Generally, they are more ideal for babies who are at least six months and can be used until your child is 3 or 4 years old.
Some Options of best baby carry bags.
- BOBA Wrap: This is an inexpensive wrap which is a bestseller that comes in a rainbow of colours. This fantastic wrap comes in one-size-fits-all that may be very helpful with changing postpartum bodies and even fitting other caregivers in the family. There are a variety of customs to tie them, but it may be frustrating for some users, especially when out and about.
- Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling: This is a ring sling that may be a better carrier option for you if tying a wrap is intimidating for you, thus making a smart choice if you are travelling or otherwise out of the house. In short, this Maya Wrap is padded for comfort. Do note it impressive feature that some reviewers mentioned that they could easily breastfeed in this carrier.
- Tula Toddler Carrier: This soft-structured baby carrier adjusts to accommodate a variety of body shapes and sizes. And when this bag gets dirty, you can toss it in your washing machine for quick and easy cleaning. Believe me; this is a significant investment of just $100.
- Mission Critical S.01 Action Carrier: This baby carrier is made from exceptionally durable and lightweight nylon fabric that has a rugged military design with webbing (perfect for attaching toys). And the liner is removable for quick and comfortable cleaning. The one and only concern about this product is the dangling legs, especially in the first few months of life, can increase the danger of hip dysplasia.
- Ergobaby Omni 360: This is a versatile carrier that is adjustable to fit your little to larger body types. The waist belt can alter from 26 to 52 inches, and even the shoulder straps can be made from 28 3/4 inches to 48 3/4 inches. Reviewers mention that the straps are nicely padded and that the material is quite sturdy but soft.
- Tula Free-To-Grow Baby Carrier: The waistband of this bag adjusts from 27 inches to 57 inches. No baby insert is needed — instead, you change the height setting within the bag to fit your child. It also comes in a great variety of prints and colours to suit your style.
- BabyBjörn Original Carrier: You have to consider this carrier when you are thinking to buy baby carry bags. It is a good option for newborns because you don’t need any extra newborn insert. This carrier is not bulky like some others in the market, and, as a result, may be more comfortable in facing the forward position.
- Osprey Poco: This is made of durable nylon, and you would be glad to know that this structured carrier has an aluminium frame for extra lightweight support. There is a “halo harness” in the seating area to help to protect your baby in the transport. Your baby will also appreciate the built-in sunshade on too sunny days or for extra privacy when napping.
- ClevrPlus Cross Country Child Carrier: This baby carrier backpack is a budget-friendly carrier option and surely works for babies and toddlers between 9 months and about four years old. It comes with soft padding on the straps, lumbar area, plus plenty of pockets for carrying water bottles, diapers, and your other must-haves. Some Petite users complain that the size of the carrier does not work for them.
- LILLEbaby Complete Airflow: This bag has added lumbar support for parents as the straps and belt on this soft-structured carrier are made from 100 per cent cotton. While doing our survey, we have noticed that some reviewers say they appreciate all the diverse carrying positions, but that it is hard to figure out how to do them all.
Pros and Cons for Different Types of Baby Carriers:
Both the significant types of baby carriers mentioned above have their advantages and disadvantages, which must be considered before making a purchase decision so that you buy the airline-specific to your requirements and circumstances.
For the Sling type Baby Carriers/Wraps, you will want to keep a few safety considerations in mind. An excellent place to do that will be the manufacturer’s instructions. You should follow their advice for whether the size, weight and age of your baby are right for the specific sling. Other advantages of using slings are that it is considered to be more practical, whatever your lifestyle as it keeps your hand free to take care of other chores. It’s worth saying that there is a lack of evidence around some of the claimed benefits of using slings and carriers. It is a personal decision, so don’t worry too much if you do not feel comfortable to use.
Moving ahead, it is safe to say that there is not enough evidence to assure us that whether carrying your baby in a sling carrier increases your bonding with your kid. Still, some of the slings are designed to be breastfeeding-friendly and allow you to nurse more discreetly and without taking the baby out. However, some parents do believe that slings help them and their child to bond enormously. A sure shot problem with evidence is that slings can get sweaty.
The other type of Baby Carrier we need to review is Backpack Carriers. The first thing to ensure before using a backpack carrier for your baby is that your child should be able to support their tiny weight before you strap them in your backpack. Additionally Backpack Carriers are mostly more expensive as compared to sling carriers. Although the backpack carriers are designed to keep your baby safe and provide cushioning and flexible head support for comfort and safety of your baby, it involves some risks as the baby is not in your sight and visual vigilance is not possible. Even the most comfortable carrier bag will strain your shoulders, back and hips after a few hours. Using it for more extended periods may be tiring, and so it is not the right choice for a person having back pain, problems with posture etc.
RISKS and SAFETY Measures Using a Different Kind of Baby Carriers
All Baby Carriers pose some risk to both the users, i.e. the baby and the parent as well. However, some of these can be mitigated by following few simple guidelines like ensuring that when inside a Baby Seat Carrier or pouch, the bottom of your baby should be in the deepest part of the carrier. This would avoid additional pressure on your baby and prevent their chin from pressing towards their chest. An easy way to access this is by putting your hand on your baby’s back and pressing gently, and they should not uncurl or move closer to you.
Although one universal way, which suits everyone, is the one that mum/dad and baby are happiest with. However, experts recommend that the baby should be facing the parent at least in the first 4-6 months or until they can support their weight and keep their head straight as they require neck support at initial infancy. Once they can hold their head up, many babies enjoy facing forward and discovering the world with the warm feeling of the parent. Moreover, the position of a newborn should be changed often, and it is best if you alternate between a baby carrier and carrying your baby in your arms. Another essential factor in ensuring safety is that while it is necessary to keep hips, head, neck and back of your Baby securely strapped while using a carrier. Still, their arms and legs should be able to move freely.
Though obvious, it is imperative to mention that when your baby’s in the sling or carrier, do check them often to ensure that nothing is blocking their nose and mouth as some incidents have been reported that ignoring this combined with incorrectly securing the baby in the carrier resulted in fatal consequences.
Slings and carriers have to be tightened very precisely so that it’s tight enough to hug your baby close, as any loose fabric type will enable your baby to slump down in his carrier, which can hinder their breathing and put unnecessary strain on your back as well. While at the same time, it should lose enough, so you can kiss your baby on the forehead by tipping your head forward.
Another essential safety measure while using backpack carriers is to try to position the baby such that the baby has their thighs spread around the wearer’s torso. The baby also has their hips bent, so their knees are slightly higher than their buttocks or at buttock level with the thighs supported.
As by now, you must have realized that there is no one specific, criterion for choosing the best carrier for your child as it depends on a variety of factors and most of which are subjective. The child carrier backpack is somewhat expensive than standard fabric slings but often can provide many conveniences over standard carrier storage options. Whether you are in the budget or have money to buy the best, we really hope that this article was able to help you to understand your options and make a well-known shopping decision.