One of the most popular items on any baby registry is the baby carrier, and it’s no wonder why. Baby carriers provide parents with the freedom to move about while still being a nurturing presence for their baby. Mothers have been using some variation of a baby carrier for as long as time, and across all cultures, and today they’re still essential! It’s not rocket science that a baby is most content when in physical proximity to mom or dad, but that doesn’t change the reality that life needs to be lived and things need to get done! A carrier is great because it allows for both.
Simplicity and Mobility
Baby carriers are your best bet to keeping things simple on the go. While the average stroller weighs over 15lbs, a carrier is almost weightless can be stored anywhere. Getting out the door with a baby is hard enough, so parents will love the ease of setting baby in the carrier and having their hands free to grab the diaper bag as they head out.
If you’re ready to enjoy some hands-free parenting and start baby wearing, you’ve got several options. Here’s the low down:
Slings and wraps
These lightweight, fabric carriers are beautiful and simple. They weigh next to nothing and can fold into your purse or diaper bag when you’re not using it. I love how close baby can be to mom and dad and how truly perfect they fit a newborn’s body. They’re especially great for breastfeeding, and for newborns and preemies as they’re soft and snugly. These aren’t the carrier for babies over six months old, ideally, as they don’t provide a ton of back support for mom.
My favourite part about slings and wraps is the aesthetic – no buckles or plastic, just lovely fabric. The downside of slings is that they’re not great for mom’s back, so be prepared to upgrade to a more structured carrier when baby is around 20lbs or six months (whichever comes first). The downside here is that wraps aren’t quick and easy to put on – they require some time and work to get just right.
Front and back carriers
These carriers are the most popular for parents, and can be used up to 45lbs! They’re designed with the child’s safety and carrier’s back in mind and evenly distribute the weight of even the heaviest toddlers. My kids loved being carried, well into their toddler years, and a solid front and back carrier like the Beco Gemini or the ERGOBaby was our best friend.
The most popular carriers tend to be soft structured carriers like those by ERGObaby, Lillebaby, BabyBjorn, Beco and Tula for good reason – they are diverse, affordable, and long-lasting. Our favourite was definitely the Beco Gemini. Like other soft structured carriers, you can use the Beco Gemini carrier on your back, front, or side to side, but what we loved about this one was that the back straps criss-cross, giving more security and comfort, especially if you don’t have broad shoulders.
These are not everyday carriers as they’re rather large, but they are extremely supportive. If your family is active and regularly goes hiking, you’ll want a backpack carrier. These aren’t for newborns, but can accommodate a heavier weight so you’ll use it for many years.
Try them out!
As with all baby gear, it’s best if you can test a few brands and styles before you buy. And make sure both parents have tried on the carrier, as carriers will fit certain body types better than others. All of Snuggle Bugz’s stores have a selection to try on to make sure you are getting the perfect fit. If you aren’t close to a store, ask around and borrow a friend’s carrier to see if you like it. Don’t be shy! I’ve had moms at the park ask me if they can test out my baby carrier. It’s totally normal, and doesn’t it take a village? You want to make sure you’re comfortable taking the carrier off and putting baby in, so practice as much as you can before baby’s arrival. If you’re not comfortable with your carrier, you likely won’t use it often, and trust me, you don’t want to miss out on the glories of baby wearing!