Which Baby Carrier Is Right For Me?

Does your baby love to be held? Do you wish you could keep them close while keeping your hands free to play with your toddler, do the laundry, read a book or run errands? If so- read on!

Babywearing has benefits for both babies and parents. Carried babies feel more secure because they are close to your heart, your scent and they feel your warmth. This helps baby sleep more and cry less. For parents, this means having your hands free to do things that may be difficult to do with a baby in your arms. Read more about the benefits of babywearing from Babywearing International here.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH TYPE OF BABY CARRIER IS RIGHT FOR YOU?


WRAP CARRIERS:

A wrap carrier is a very simple baby carrier constructed from one large piece of fabric. At first glance a wrap can seem overwhelming but with practice it becomes second nature. Most wrap carriers can be used with babies from 7-35 lbs, depending on which wrap you choose.

It’s recommended that babies are carried either facing in, on your hip and in some cases on your back. Since baby wraps are soft and flexible they're highly adjustable for any body type and can easily be used by more than one wearer. This means only buying one carrier for both you and your partner.

A wrap is great for newborn and smaller babies who love to be close. They're great for parents who need their hands free while still keeping baby close for long periods of time.

BEGINNER TIP: Put the wrap on at home before going out – when you get to your destination pop your baby out of their car seat, into the wrap and tighten it up.  Easy peasy!

THINGS TO CONSIDER: Not all wrap carriers are created equally, look at the width and length of the fabric while considering your specific needs. Is the fabric breathable? Is organic fabric important to you? Are you looking for a made-in-Canada product or is price a larger consideration for you? Does it wash well? - because you'll need to wash it a lot!


SLING CARRIERS:

A sling carrier is one piece of fabric that's securely attached to two metal rings. One end of the fabric is threaded through the rings to create a nest for baby.  The weight of the child secures the fabric in the rings to keep it from slipping. The long tail on ring slings can double as a nursing cover or a sleep and sun shade. Sling carriers are great for babies from 7-35 lbs, depending on which sling you choose.

They're great for parents on the go because they're quick and easy to get babies and toddlers in and out. It's a no fuss solution for the up and down toddler stage. Keep it in your car for trips to the store when you need an extra hand or you have a tired toddler that needs to be popped in to fall asleep.

THINGS TO CONSIDER: Not all slings are created equally. Be sure to ask about the material and construction of the rings and how the seams and pressure points are reinforced. Which fabric is best for you? Silk will keep you cool and is wrinkle free but it is a more expensive choice. Will there be multiple wearers or just you? Does the length of the tail matter? Do you want a sized sling or a one size fits all?


STRUCTURED CARRIERS:

A structured carrier is simple and easy to use. They have a padded waistband and adjustable shoulder straps offering a comfortable fit for both the wearer and the baby. Most structured carriers offer front (inward and outward), back and hip carries for babies from 7-45 lbs, depending on which structured carrier you choose.

A structured carrier is a great choice for beginners to babywearing, people who don't want to fuss with extra fabric and people who spend a lot of time outdoors doing physical activities such as long walks or hikes. With a structured carrier you won't need to re-adjust even after a long period of use. Slings and wraps can sometimes require tightening because they stretch out after a few hours of wear.

The price of a structured carrier is typically higher than a wrap or a sling because of the buckles, the extra material and sewing and the extra features they offer such as different carrying positions.

THINGS TO CONSIDER: Is this carrier ergonomically correct for baby? Is it comfortable for the wearer? Is the baby’s weight distributed evenly or is there shoulder or back pain? Will you be wearing it in hot weather? Is organic important? How much does the baby weigh? What's your price range


Babywearing has been around forever and in some cultures Mom’s used a scarf or large blanket to secure their baby to them. This kept their baby warm, safe and secure. We talk about safe baby wearing at Cheeky Monkey several times a day.  Parents and Grandparents come in to ask questions, learn how to safely wear a baby and find out which carrier is best for their needs.

Your needs may be different than another friend or family member so it’s important to take the time to figure out which carrier is best for you and your baby. Lots of people start out with a wrap carrier for their newborns and then add another carrier later when they need to pop their older baby in and out. Some people start out with a structured carrier and this is all they ever need.

Everyone is different, what are your needs?

So many different needs – so many solutions – so much help available at Cheeky Monkey!

- Becky, Cheeky Monkey


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