Soft Structured Carriers are convenient, lightweight, and easy to use. They are designed to position your baby vertically in an ergonomically correct sitting position.
They offer buckles, lightweight fabric, and plenty of support. Soft Structured Carriers are perfect for use around the house, or for quick trips to the grocery store.
I’ve narrowed this category down into three sub-categories.
- Newborn Carriers
- Multi-position Soft Structured Carriers
- Hip Carriers
Types of Soft Structured Carriers
Newborn Carriers, aka Front Carriers
These soft structured carriers are designed specifically for a newborn, with a weight recommendation of 7 to 26 pounds. They only offer the front carry position, either front-facing out or front-facing in. Most offer additional head and neck support for newborns, as well as the correct newborn hold carry position.
Highlights and Advantages:
- Better head and neck support for a newborn
- They offer the correct newborn hold position, aka the Snuggle Hold with knees up (froggy style), or with their feet tucked under.
- Breastfeeding Capability – Some newborn carriers are designed so that you can easily breastfeed while carrying.
- Easy to load and unload – Some newborn carriers, like the Baby Bjorn Carriers, have a two-piece design that allows you to transfer your sleeping baby from carrier to crib virtually undisturbed.
- Front facing-in and Front facing-out carrying position
Now, I feel it’s important to mention that there is a huge debate going on right now about the front facing-out carrying position. There are several babywearing groups that believe that this carrying position is NOT safe. They say it can be unhealthy for baby, both physically and mentally, as well as unhealthy for the wearer. There are plenty of arguments on both sides of the fence.
If you want my opinion, I’ll tell you this. My daughter absolutely loved being carried in this position, therefore I used it. At the time, it was my understanding that after 4 months of age, once your baby’s spine and muscles were sufficiently developed, it was okay to use this position. So that’s what I did. I do NOT regret it, and yes, I would do it again. I will let you make up your own mind on this issue. Check out the following articles for more information.
Babywearing: Why Forward-Facing Isn’t For You, by The Eco-Friendly Family
What Medical Experts have to say about Forward-Facing Out – By Babybjorn
Click here for a list of some of the Best Newborn Carriers.
Back Baby Carriers, aka Multi-Position Soft Structured Carriers
These soft structured carriers offer several different carrying positions, including back carry, and front carry. Some even offer hip carry, and cradle carry. Weight recommendations range from 7 to 45 pounds, and 15 to 45 pounds. These soft structured carriers are extremely versatile. You can use them at home while doing chores around the house, at the grocery store, or long walks through the park.
Highlights & Advantages:
- You can use one baby carrier from birth to toddler-hood
- Multiple positions for each stage of development
- Because of the higher weight capacity, these soft structured carriers are designed to offer the wearer more support, which results in longer wear
- Some multi-position carriers offer additional features, like sleep hoods, and storage. Some, like the Boba 3G, even offer detachable foot stirrups for your child.
- They take up very little space, which makes them great for travel or around town use.
Click here for a list of some of the Best Multi-Position Soft Structured Carriers
There are only a select few soft structured carriers out there that have been designed specifically for the natural hip carrying position. The Scootababy is one of them.
Most multi-position baby carriers offer this position as well. The reason I’ve included it as a separate category is because I get so many questions about them. Hip carry is perhaps the most natural carrying position of them all. Think about it, when you carry your baby around the house, without a baby carrier, where do they usually sit? Exactly!
Click here for a list of some of the Best Hip Carriers.