The Best Baby Carriers are hard to find. With so many brands and styles of to choose from, it’s no wonder you’re doing a little research before you buy. Knowledge is POWER, the more you know about what features are available, the more satisfied you’ll be with your purchase.
The Soft Structured Carrier is definitely one of my favorites. I’ve owned a couple wraps in the past, but when it comes to safety and simplicity, the soft structured carriers are the best baby carriers. I love the durable buckles, and carrying options, but most of all, I love how easy they are to use. Let me give you an idea of what features you’ll find on the best baby carriers.
Fabric & Buckles:
The best baby carriers usually offer either cotton or polyester shells, and fill. Most offer a mix between the two fabrics. Keep in mind, if it’s made mostly of cotton it will be quite a bit warmer than one made with polyester. If you live in a warmer climate, one of the best baby carriers for you may be one with lightweight mesh material, or in some cases lycra material for added breath-ability. As far as durability is concerned, cotton and polyester blends are pretty durable. Some of the best baby carriers, like the ERGO Performance, offers reinforced stitching, and interior rip-stop reinforcements at critical intersections.
High quality buckles are also important, and the best baby carriers are often strength tested to endure sometimes double it’s maximum weight recommendation. Other baby carriers, like the Beco Gemini, offer safety buckles, which are great but they require two hands to operate instead of one.
Comfort & Adjust-ability:
Comfort for both you, and your little one is perhaps one of the most important aspects of finding the best baby carriers. Shoulder straps with plenty of padding, as well as a padded waist belt. The waist belt and sternum strap are probably the most important when it comes to proper weight distribution. The best baby carriers offer wide waist belts that sit comfortably on your natural waist, not your hips. The adjustment straps should also be wide, with plenty of adjust-ability. Some baby carriers are not as adjustable as others, so make sure that the strap adjustments will fit your body type.
The best baby carriers offer ergonomically correct sitting positions, verses hanging positions. Baby Carriers that position your baby in a hanging position can actually cause damage to developing spines if worn for long periods of time. Also, if you plan on using it for a newborn, its important to have proper head support. Carriers that offer wide seats are the best baby carriers for toddlers. For instance, the Boba Carrier 2G offers extra seat height and width, which is not only more comfortable for your child, but it also gives you a better center of gravity. In other words, you don’t feel like your child is leaning away from you.
The best baby carriers are designed to grow with your child and offer a maximum weight capacity of around 40 to 45 pounds, except for the Babybjorn’s, which are meant to carry infants from 8 to 26 pounds. Minimum weight recommendations vary quite a bit from carrier to carrier. For instance, some of the most popular soft structured baby carriers, like the ERGObaby Carriers, have a minimum weight recommendation of 15 pounds, therefore you can’t carry an infant. However, you do have the option of purchasing an infant insert sold separately that will accommodate your baby from 7 to 15 pounds. Then there’s the Beco Butterfly II, which actually comes with a removable infant insert right from the start, and offers a maximum weight capacity of 45 pounds.
The best baby carriers offer multiple carrying positions, including front, back, and hip carry positions. The Babybjorn Baby Carriers are once again an exception to that rule. They are the best baby carriers for newborns, offering front positions only, either front facing in or front facing out. The ERGObaby Carrier offers 3 positions, front facing in, hip, or back carry. Personally, my favorite, or should I say my daughters favorite, is the front facing-out position. She likes to see the world, not my chest. Not surprisingly, only a few soft structured baby carriers, like the Beco Gemini or the Pikkolo, offer this position. There’s a bit of a debate going on about whether or not this position is healthy for your baby. Personally, I feel if it’s used correctly, with the right baby carrier, it can be beneficial. The Pikkolo and the Beco Gemini are considered ergonomic, and are probably your safest bet for the front facing-out position. The front facing-in position is also important, especially for breastfeeding Mom’s who want to multi-task, and let’s face it, all Mom’s are multi-taskers. As Baby gets older and heavier, you’ll find it rather straining trying to carry your little one on the front of your body, therefore the best baby carriers for toddlers are the ones offering the back carry position.
Unique Features on the Best Baby Carriers:
Some of baby carriers offer unique features that set them apart. For instance, the Babybjorns offer a unique two-piece design that allows you to transfer your sleeping baby from the carrier to the crib without disturbing him/her. That is one of the reasons why they are considered the best baby carriers for newborns. The Beco Butterfly II offers an internal sling that allows you to safely transfer your baby, and carrier, from the front carry position to the back carry position without having to remove your little one. The Boba Carriers offer innovative, detachable foot stirrups that help support proper leg alignment and blood flow. The Lillebaby 5 Position EveryWear Carrier offers the most carrying positions, front facing in, front facing out, hip, cradle, and back. The Scootababy Carrier is one of the best baby carriers for the hip carry position. It is designed specifically for the natural hip carry position, offering one shoulder strap that cups your shoulder.
Some of the best baby carriers come with sleeping hoods, either attached or removable. These are especially nice on sunny days, giving your little one extra protection against UV rays. They also come in handy by providing more privacy for napping, or breastfeeding.
Some of the best baby carriers also offer small storage pockets for necessities, like keys, cell phone, etc. That way there is no need for an additional bag or purse.
One Last Note:
When choosing the best baby carrier for you and your little one, do your research. Read reviews, and verify that it has not been recalled for any reason. Also, once you’ve purchased your baby carrier, practice with it first. Read the instructions thoroughly! Improper use is the 3rd major cause of infant injury associated with baby carriers.
Good luck, and Happy Babywearing!
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