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When it comes to baby carriers, there are a few different types to choose from. You can go with a sling, wrap, mei tai, or carrier panel. Each one has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at the different types of baby carriers available on the market today and give you some tips on how to pick the right one for you and your little one.

There are a plethora of parenting guides. As I studied this subject, I discovered carrier purchasing guides that singularly advise parents to choose carriers that support the baby’s head and neck properly.

Similar to what I found with strollers, several buying guides lack the details to give new parents the meat of what they need to know to select a carrier. So, I decided to write a comprehensive guide filled with the details new parent needs when they set out to purchase their first baby carrier.

What is a carrier?

A baby carrier is a fabric with a pouch and straps that parents use to wear their baby on their chest, back, or hip. The benefit to using a carrier is that it leaves the parent’s hands-free to complete other tasks while still carrying and bonding with their baby.

The use of carriers dates back to ancient times. In fact, baby carriers were found in an Egyptian tomb that was over 4,000 years old.

Types of Baby Carriers

1. Wrap:

A wrap is a long piece of fabric that parents use to tie their baby close to their body. Wraps are one of the most versatile types of carriers as they can be used to carry a baby in various positions, including on the front, back or hip. Wraps are ideal for newborns as they are made of soft fabrics and are very comfortable.

There are many different wraps on the market, some of them shorter or longer. Go for those made of fabric that provides excellent breathability and can be able to use it in hot weather.

Some common fabrics include;

Cotton: Cotton is a popular choice for baby carriers as it is a natural, breathable fabric.

Linen: Linen is another natural fabric that is made from the flax plant. It is strong and durable, making it a good choice for parents who want a carrier that will last. They are considered to be more breathable than cotton.

Wool: Wool is a warm, natural fabric that is perfect for carrying babies in cooler weather. It is also a good choice for parents who want a carrier that will last.

Buy Sleepy Wrap Baby Carrier, Dark Grey Stretchy Ergo Sling from Newborns  to 35lbs Online in Kenya. B01CYTYSR0

When to start using:

  • The general recommendation is from birth but some have a minimum weight limit of 8 pounds.

Wrap limit:

  • The weight limit to use wraps ranges from25 to 35 pounds. For example, Baby’K Tan has a limit of 35 pounds while Happy Baby Wrap has a limit of 25 pounds.

Pros:

  • Can be used to carry a baby in various positions
  • Supports baby’s spine and hips in the correct position
  • Can be shared between caregivers
  • Distributes baby’s weight evenly
  • Parents can breastfeed while wearing baby in a wrap

Cons:

• Takes some practice to get used to tying the wrap correctly

• May be too hot to wear in warm weather

What to look for in a baby wrap:

• Material: Look for a natural, breathable fabric such as cotton, linen, or wool.

• Length: Some wraps are shorter than others. Choose a wrap that is long enough to tie in a comfortable position.

• Weight limit: Make sure the wrap you choose has a weight limit that is appropriate for your baby. For example, don’t pick a wrap with a weight limit of 25 pounds when your baby is already 20 pounds as your baby will quickly outgrow the wrap.

If you live in a warmer climate, you may want to consider a baby wrap made of a breathable, natural fabric such as cotton or linen. If you live in a cooler climate or if you want a carrier that will last, wool may be the best choice. Also, consider the elasticity of the fabric. A wrap that is too stretchy may not provide enough support for your baby, while a wrap that is not stretchy enough may be uncomfortable to wear.

It is also important to get a wrap that has multiple carry positions. This way, you can use the same wrap as your baby grows and changes position.

To wear a wrap, start by tying it around your waist. Then, put the baby in the pouch and adjust the fabric so that your baby is in a comfortable position. Make sure that your baby’s spine and hips are supported in the correct position.

When putting your baby in the wrap, make sure that they are in the M-position. M-position is when the baby’s knees are slightly higher than their bottom, and their thighs are supported in an M-shape. This position is important for your baby’s hip development.

To do this, start by putting the baby in the pouch and then adjusting the fabric so that their knees are slightly higher than their bottom and their thighs are supported in an M-shape.

Once you have your baby in the wrap, you can adjust the fabric to make sure that they are comfortable. You can also breastfeed while wearing your baby in a wrap.

If you are new to baby wearing, it may take some time to get used to tying the wrap correctly. There are many video tutorials and online resources that can help you learn how to wear a wrap.

2. Ring Sling:

A sling is a type of carrier that consists of one long strap of fabric with an attached pouch. The strap can be up to 2 meters long.

The free end must be threaded through one ring and then tucked under the other. This way, you may personalize it to your figure and discover the ideal snuggling for your infant. There’s no need to be concerned about the sling coming undone since the weights keep the rings in place.

Slings can be worn over one shoulder or both, depending on the style. Slings are easy to use and are perfect for carrying newborns and young infants.

Baby Tula Ring Sling

Unlike wraps that are stretchy, ring slings are made of woven fabric that are not stretchy.

Pros:

  • Easy to use/easy to adjust
  • Offers various carrying positions
  • Can be shared between caregivers
  • Supports baby’s spine and hips in the correct position
  • Can be used to carry a baby in various positions

Cons:

  • very long
  • Not ideal for people with back/shoulder pain 

When to start using:

The general recommendation is from the 4th month. Infants under the age of four months are unable to support their necks, making them prone to being trapped in the sling and suffocating.

Sling weight limit:

The weight limit to use slings ranges from 15 to 45 pounds, although some have a range that starts at 8 pounds with a maximum of 35 pounds.

Baby sling age range/limit:

You can use a baby sling until your child is 2 years old.

What to look for when purchasing a ring sling:

Go for ring slings that come with two rings, as this will allow you to adjust the tension of the fabric. It is also important to get a ring sling that is adjustable so that you can change the size as your baby grows. Since they are not elastic, woven slings will not stretch over time, so it is important to get the right size.

Directions for use:

When putting your baby in a ring sling, start by holding your baby in one arm and then threading the free end of the sling through the ring. Then, put your baby in the sling and adjust the fabric so that they are in a comfortable position.

Also, make sure that your baby’s spine and hips are supported in the correct position. You can also breastfeed while wearing your baby in a ring sling.

3. Soft Structured Carrier (SSC):

A soft structured carrier (SSC) is a type of carrier that has a hard frame with padded straps and a buckled waistband. Soft structured carriers are easy to use and can be worn on the front, back or hip.

THe straps are adjustable allowing you to customize the fit. SSCs also have a built-in sunshade and padded leg openings for your baby’s comfort.

Structured carriers allows your baby to have a frog-leg position, which is the recommended position for the baby’s hips.

Buckle Carrier -Ergobaby Adapt

When to start using:

The general recommendation is to use it from birth while other brands recommend a minimum weight limit of 8 pounds. We recommend starting to wear structured carriers after the 4th month.

SSC weight limit:

The weight limit for SSCs is usually between 8 and 45 pounds but some brands have a limit of 35 pounds.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Can be worn on the front, back or hip
  • Adjustable straps
  • Built-in sunshade
  • Padded leg openings for baby’s comfort

Cons:

• May be too hot to wear in warm weather

  • More expensive

4. Mei Tai:

A mei tai is a type of carrier that consists of a rectangular piece of fabric with four straps that extend from the corners. Mei tais can be worn on the front, back or hip and are perfect for carrying babies of all ages.

When to start using:

The general recommendation is from birth.

Weight limit:

The weight limit to use mei tais is usually between 8 and 35 pounds but some brands have a limit of 40 or even 50 pounds. For example, BabyHawk OhSnap! has a weight limit of 45 pounds.

Pros:

• Can be worn on the front, back or hip

• Supports baby’s spine and hips in the correct position

Cons:

• Takes some practice to get used to tying the mei tai correctly

5. Backpack carriers:

Backpack carriers are perfect for carrying older babies and toddlers. They have a hard frame with padded straps and a buckled waistband, similar to a soft structured carrier. They are generally recommended if you want to wear your baby for a longer period when doing tasks such as walking and hiking. Toddlers or preschoolers may also enjoy being in a backpack carrier as they can explore their surroundings while still being close to their caregiver.

When to start using:

The general recommendation is from 6 months old but some brands have a minimum weight limit of 10 or 15 pounds.

Weight limit:

The weight limit range for backpack carriers is usually between 15 and 40 pounds but some brands have a limit of 50 or even 60 pounds.

Pros:

  • Can be worn on the front or back
  • Great for active parents
  • Good weight distribution with adjustable torso length, wide padded shoulder straps and waist belt
  • Allows kids to explore
  • Has a lot of storage

Cons:

  • Takes some practice to get used to putting on the backpack carrier
  • Big and bulky

Factors to consider when choosing the best baby carrier:

When choosing the best baby carrier for you and your family, there are a few key factors to consider.

1. Consider Your Baby’s Age:

The first factor to consider is your baby’s age. Babies under 4 months old need to be worn in a carrier that supports their spine and hips in the correct position. This position is called the “M position” or the “spread-squat position.” Carriers that allow babies to recline in this position are best for young infants.

After 4 months, babies can start to be worn in a carrier with their legs in a “frog-leg” position. This position is better for baby’s hips and will be more comfortable for them as they grow.

For a newborn, go for a wrap, a-in-1 carrier/convertible carrier, or mei tai.

For an infant 4 months+, go for a structured carrier, mei tai, or backpack carrier.

2. Consider Your Baby’s Weight:

Another important factor to consider is your baby’s weight. Make sure to check the weight limit of the carrier you are considering to make sure it will be able to support your baby’s weight as they grow.

If you use a mei tai or a ring sling, you may need to buy a new carrier once your baby gets too heavy for it.

3. Get a carrier with a decent height limit:

You will also want to consider your baby’s height when choosing a carrier. Some carriers have an adjustable panel that allows you to change the height of the carrier to better fit your baby. This is especially important for tall babies or parents with a petite frame.

This does not apply to ring slings or mei tais as they are not adjustable.

4. Consider your body type:

When choosing a carrier, you will also want to consider your own body type. If you are petite, you may want to choose a carrier with an adjustable panel so that you can make it smaller to better fit your frame.

If you are plus-size, you may want to choose a carrier with a wider waistband to better distribute your baby’s weight.

5. Consider How You Want to Use the Carrier:

Think about how you want to use the carrier. Do you want to be able to wear it on your front and back? Do you want to be able to breastfeed while wearing the carrier? Do you want a carrier that is easy to take on and off?

Some carriers are more versatile than others. For example, ring slings can be worn on the front or back but they are not as easy to breastfeed in. Mei tais can also be worn on the front or back but they can be challenging to put on and take off.

Wraps are the most versatile type of carrier as they can be worn on the front, back, or hip and they are easy to breastfeed in. However, they can be challenging to put on and take off.

6. Stick to your budget:

Carriers range in price from around $30 to $200+. When choosing a carrier, you will want to consider your budget.

If you are looking for a more affordable option, you may want to consider a ring sling or mei tai. If you are willing to spend more, you may want to consider a structured carrier or a wrap.

7. Try Before You Buy:

If possible, try before you buy! Carriers can be expensive, so it’s important to make sure you choose one that is comfortable for both you and your baby.

Many baby stores have “demo days” where you can try on different carriers and see which one you like best. You can also ask friends or family if you can borrow their carrier to try it out.

8. Consider the breathability of the material/fabric:

You will want to make sure that the carrier you choose is made from a breathable material. This is important for both your comfort and your baby’s safety.

Breathable materials will help to keep you both cool and comfortable, even in hot weather.

The breathability of the fabric usually is about how the fabric is woven- for example, a loosely woven fabric will be more breathable than a tightly woven one even if the fabric is the same.

Linen and cotton are usually good breathable fabrics, while synthetics like polyester and nylon are not as good.

9. Get comfortable carriers with padding:

Some carriers have more padding than others. This can be important for your comfort, especially if you plan to wear the carrier for long periods of time.

Padding also can help to protect your baby from being poked by the carrier’s straps or buckles.

10. Go for large-Storage carriers:

Some carriers come with storage pockets which can be handy for carrying your keys, phone, or a diaper and wipes.

Storage pockets are not a necessity, but they can be a nice feature to have.

11. Patterns and Colors:

Carriers come in a wide range of patterns and colors. When choosing a carrier, you may want to consider what colors or patterns you like best.

Some carriers are also reversible, so you can change up the look of the carrier.

12. Ease of Use:

Some carriers are easier to use than others. If you are a first-time parent, you may want to choose a carrier that is easy to put on and take off.

Wraps can be a bit tricky to use, so if you are new to babywearing, you may want to start with a ring sling or mei tai.

Once you get the hang of using a wrap, you will be able to use it in a variety of ways and positions.

13. Machine Washable:

You will want to make sure that the carrier you choose is machine washable. Babies are messy, and carriers can get dirty quickly.

Being able to throw your carrier in the washing machine will make it much easier to keep clean.

14. Adjustability:

Some carriers are adjustable, which can be helpful if you plan to share the carrier with someone else (like your partner or a grandparent).

Adjustable carriers can also be helpful if you want to be able to change the way the carrier fits as your baby grows.

15. Safety:

When choosing a carrier, you will want to make sure that it is safe for both you and your baby.

All carriers should have clear instructions on how to use them safely.

You also will want to make sure that the carrier is made from safe materials and that it does not have any loose straps or buckles that could pose a choking hazard.

Other Factors:

  • comfort: You should consider the comfort for yourself and your baby. For your baby, make sure you find one that gives your baby a hip-healthy “M” position. For you, make sure the fabric is soft and breathable.
  • convenience: Choose a carrier that’s easy to put on and take off. Wraps have a longer process to wear while slings are relatively easier. If you find wraps challenging, go for slings.
  • Period of use: If you want a carrier that you can use when your baby is an infant to when the baby is a toddler, go for those that will accommodate the higher weight with front-facing positions ideal for kids above 12 months.
  • ease of breastfeeding: When your baby is fussy, quickly positioning them to feed will help ease their discomfort. Slings are great because you can tuck the baby’s head within the fabric so they’re in an ergonomic position to feed.
  • Style: Slings are great because you can easily switch the positions of the baby when they get fussy or want to be held in different positions. However, wraps and mei tais have a more structured appearance that some moms prefer.
  • price: If you’re on a budget, go for wraps and mei tais. They’re similar in price but they offer different types of benefits. Carriers with inserts are more expensive than carriers with no inserts.”

Parts of a Carrier:

1. Shoulder Straps:

The shoulder straps are what you will use to carry the carrier. They should be comfortable and adjustable so that you can find the perfect fit.

2. Hip Belt:

The hip belt helps to distribute the weight of the carrier and can help to prevent back pain.

3. Headrest:

Some carriers have a headrest or hood.

The hip belt helps to distribute the weight of the carrier evenly across your hips. It should be comfortable and adjustable. Also, make sure you go for light models of carriers.

4. Padding:

Some carriers have padding in the shoulder straps and/or hip belt. This can be helpful for your comfort, especially if you plan to wear the carrier for long time or for long distances.

5. Waistband:

The waistband helps to distribute the weight of the carrier evenly across your body. It should be wide and comfortable, and it should be adjustable so that you can find the perfect fit.

6. Storage Pockets:

Some carriers come with storage pockets which can be handy for carrying your keys, phone, or a diaper and wipes.

7. Leg straps:

Some carriers have leg straps that help to keep the carrier in place. They can be helpful if you plan to wear the carrier for long periods of time or for long distances.

8. Sunshade:

Some carriers come with a sunshade or hood that can help to protect your baby from the sun or wind.

9. Removable lining:

Some carriers have a removable lining that can be helpful for keeping your baby warm in cold weather or cool in hot weather.

10. Reversible:

Some carriers are reversible, which means you can change the way the carrier looks by flipping it inside out. This can be a nice feature to have if you want to change up the look of the carrier.

1. What are the different types of baby carriers available on the market today? SUMMARY

There are a few different types of baby carriers available on the market today, including slings, wraps, mei tais, and carrier panels. Below are details of each

  1. Slings: Sling carriers are very versatile and come in many different styles. They’re made of stretchy fabric, so they can accommodate all body types. Slings are great for newborns because you can tuck the baby’s head within the sling itself to support their neck well. However, some moms worry that it may be difficult to adjust the sling correctly for an older child.
  2. Wraps: A stretchy fabric, like a wrap, is used to construct the entire carrier. It’s very comfortable and supportive for both mom and baby. If you’re planning on carrying your child in different positions, then a wrap is your best option because they can be tied in different ways. There are also many brands and styles available to choose from, so look for one that will be comfortable, easy to use, and appealing to you.
  3. Mei tais: Mei tai carriers are very similar to wraps in that they’re made out of a fabric that has lots of stretch. However, because this fabric is only stitched together at the top and bottom, you’ll have a lot more flexibility in terms of how you carry your child.
  4. Carrier panels: Carrier panels can be used as inserts for many different types of carriers. They’re great for newborns because they support their neck well and provide them with lots of head support. However, they can’t be used with all types of carriers, so make sure that the inserts are compatible with your chosen carrier prior to purchasing one.”

How to choose the best sling. What are the features of a good sling?

I will also give some suggestions on what type works best according to your situation.

There are many types of slings, so there is a big variety of prices. The cheapest ones are usually less comfortable and not as well made as the more expensive carriers. In any case I suggest you buy one from a reputable brand, especially if your baby is under 20lbs-the stitching can come loose on cheaper brands and they don’t distribute weight as well. Also, if you buy a used sling I suggest you check the stitching to make sure it’s not coming loose as the carrier ages.

One of the first things people think about when choosing a baby carrier is style and material. The most usual materials are cotton and nylon-cotton is very comfortable but can be too hot in summer and nylon is cooler, but not as comfortable. You also have to choose between a wrap or a structured carrier. There are several places where you can learn how to tie the wraps correctly to make sure they are safe for your baby; it takes some practice, so don’t give up if it doesn’t come out well the first time. The woven wraps are much more comfortable than the stretchy ones and distribute weight better, but wrap slings can be hard to learn how to tie by yourself.

It also depends on your plans-if you plan to use your carrier for walking around town I suggest a structured carrier so you have quick access to your baby and can have him facing out on walks. The stretchy wraps are great for going for a hike or taking a long walk but less comfortable if you plan to be outside for a while. It also depends on the type of carrier-for example, soft carriers are usually not recommended for hiking because of their weight.

   I recommend buying a sling to start with, so you can see what works best for you and your baby-it helps if someone goes shopping with you to let you try different styles. When your baby gets bigger inquire about other types of carriers that are good for toddlers, like soft structured carriers or backpacks. Once you pick the type of carrier that works best for you, the color and fabric are just a matter of preference-there is no need to spend a lot extra on those.

How to choose the best wrap. What are the features of a good wrap?

Wraps are very comfortable, especially for smaller babies. They can be used to carry your baby from day one, although you should keep in mind that the older your baby gets the harder it is to tie securely. It also helps if someone goes shopping with you to help pick out a good wrap and show you how to tie it correctly (there is a lot of misinformation on the internet and it takes some practice to make sure you are doing it right). Most wraps come with instructions but if not, look for tutorials online.

 Most of all, check that there aren’t any loose threads coming undone on your wrap-a good wrap will last a long time and you should check it regularly to make sure it is tied securely.

They are the most comfortable for little babies, so I recommend buying a stretchy wrap to start with-as your baby gets bigger you can look into getting a woven wrap if you want something that will be more supportive as they get heavier.

Wraps are very comfortable, especially for smaller babies. They can be used to carry your baby from day one, although you should keep in mind that the older your baby gets the harder it is to tie securely. It also helps if someone goes shopping with you to help pick out a good wrap and show you how to tie it correctly (there is a lot of misinformation on the internet and it takes some practice to make sure you are doing it right). Most wraps come with instructions but if not, look for tutorials online.