All About Baby Carriers
Baby carriers are incredibly handy for busy new parents. Carriers let you keep baby close while you're completing chores, and save your weary arms when you're out and about with baby. Choosing a baby carrier can be hard, though, given the wide variety of baby carrier styles available. Here's a quick highlight of baby carrier styles to help you choose the baby carrier that will work best for your lifestyle.
For the Traditionalist
Classic front-pack baby carriers are easy to use, adjust easily for either parent's height and size, and can be found in most stores. Baby can face forward or towards the parent, which is an advantage over front-packs, which aren't as accommodating. Men often prefer the simple look of the front-pack over other baby carriers. The weight limit is usually 20-25 pounds. Some new front-packs can be converted for use as a backpack baby carrier and can be small enough to fit inside a diaper bag.
For a Baby on Your Back ...
Backpacks are popular choices for outdoorsy parents who want a rugged baby carrier. These carriers help baby participate in outdoor family fun because they often feature sturdy metal frames, extra-padded straps, sunshades, cushy seats for baby and more. While backpacks are very nice for long trips, they are less convenient if you need to get baby in and out of the carrier a lot. Remember that most backpack carriers can't be used for newborns and the weight limit is usually around 40 pounds.
Why Carry When You Can Sling?
Padded slings are comfortable to use, thanks to the padding along the edges and on the shoulder portion. Padded sling baby carriers are available in many stores and come in many fabrics and colors. Adjusting and using these baby carriers is slightly more difficult than unpadded styles, and they take up more space in a diaper bag. A small price to pay for lots more comfort. Baby can be carried on the hip, at the chest, in the cradle hold, or on the back.
How to Choose
The best way to buy a baby carrier is to try several on, preferably with a baby inside, and decide which is most comfortable for you. Ask other parents which carriers work for them, and what they like or don't like about the baby carriers they use. Many parents who use baby carriers frequently end up with several styles. You may also prefer a different style when your baby grows from newborn to wiggly toddler.