If you’re looking for the best child and baby carrier for your precious cargo then this is the guide for you.
Packed full of answers to frequently asked questions like ‘What is a baby carrier anyway?’, ‘Am I missing out?’ and ‘Which is the best carrier for me?’.
This guide will not only have your mind free of these questions but also your hands free of baby – giving you the ability to multitask like a super-parent and to get out and explore with baby on board.
Think you already know you want one, check out our range of baby carriers here.
What is a baby carrier?
Think of an extremely updated and technical version of a kangaroo pouch.
Essentially a baby or child carrier is there to keep your little ones close, safe and comfortable on your body while allowing you to have the freedom and convenience to be hands free so you can take on the world with baby included.
Babywearing products (the umbrella term for carrying your kiddo on your body) come in a range of styles and fits from the common sling and a wrap, all the way now to the front or back carriers that we will be discussing.
What are the benefits of a child carrier?
There are a ton of benefits to a child carrier from freeing up your hands, to getting to the tops of mountains. Here are our top 3 benefits:
It keeps baby close to you at all times
So you know exactly what even the most mischievous of little ones are up to and that they’re safe and sound.
You have to take out the laundry and hang it out on the line. You don’t want to leave mini-me in the kitchen alone while you go in and out to hang up the washing. And you definitely need both hands to hang out the endless baby socks.
Well, pop your baby in their carrier and bring them along for the fun adventure of doing laundry.
Keeping baby and mum close relieves any anxieties that either have of being separated in the younger stages, as well as calming and soothing young babies through being close to your smell, your breathing, and the sound of your heartbeat, all which encourages bonding (awww!).
It can go where no pushchair has ever gone before!
Depending on your lifestyle, space constraints or budget, you may decide that a baby carrier is the most convenient option for you when taking baby along for the ride.
“Sara is a city mum. She lives a flat that is up on the 6th floor and she uses a lot of public transport to get around.”
Gone are the struggles and out of breath stitches from pulling the buggy all the way up the stairs. And gone are the awkward manoeuvres onto trains and bumping peoples ankles in rush hour.
“David and Sam love the outdoors and can’t wait to explore it more as a family.”
Having a baby back carrier is perfect for exploring and heading off on more robust journeys where you don’t have to worry about sore arms or only going part way due to buggy restrictions.
It allows you to multitask
Have other children that are starting to feel the pangs of jealousy that baby is getting all the attention? Knowing that baby is safe and sound in their carrier you can focus on making sure your other little one knows you are there for them too.
What age are baby and child carriers for?
Generally speaking most baby and child carriers are suitable from birth to around 3 or 4 years of age.
Some come with special inserts or booster packs as well as adjustable straps and seats to help keep baby cosy, secure and supported as they grow, where they need it most.
Often new parents use slings and wraps while the baby reaches up to 3 months, They then move onto the more structured front baby and child carriers. After around 3/6 months once your baby is able to sit up on their own a back carrier is a perfect carrier choice.
But don’t worry each product will have it’s own recommendations in terms of age and weight.
Are baby carriers safe?
Yes. When used as instructed, safely and responsibly baby carriers are a very safe addition to your parenting lifestyle.
Here are some safety tips that are good to follow for babywearing.
Baby Carrier Safety Tips:
- Be sure to change a newborns baby’s position often even if it is simply removing baby from its carrier and lying them on their back or in your arms for short periods.
- Make sure your little one’s hips, head, neck and back are supported with their arms and legs able to move freely.
- Make sure you buy a carrier that suits your body type and you understand the weight that you will be carrying.
- Avoid strain on you by adjusting the backpack so your hips are bearing most of the weight.
- Make sure to protect your child from the heat and sun.
- Follow the T.I.C.K.S guidelines for babywearing slings and wraps.
Which is better? Front Carriers or Back Carriers?
This totally depends on what you are personally happiest with.
Front carriers are perfect to keep little newborns all snuggled up where you can keep an eye on them while still having the freedom of your hands.
A front carrier consists of two shoulder straps that support a fabric seat that is positioned on your chest. It has been recommended that baby faces inwards particularly in the first 4 to 6 months as it helps with cognitive development. Once baby has good head control and can sit up you can turn them around to face the world.
The back carriers are perfect for when your little ones get a little bit bigger and becomes more curious about the world around them. The back carrier fits like a rucksack with your baby as your cargo allowing them to see the world from your point of view.
Check out our range of amazing child back carriers here.
Both front and back carriers are designed not only for babies comfort but also for yours.
With padded and easy to adjust straps as well as good back support you should be able to find one that is perfect for you.
And with features and designs specifically for usability you should have no problem getting it on as well as packing it away.
What important features of a child carrier should I look for?
Here are some questions to ask yourself when buying, and things you should test out.
Check out the harness, straps and if the openings are the perfect size for safety and comfort. Does it have safety endorsements?
Does it feel sturdy enough to support your baby’s weight and are all the buckles, straps and belts strong and supportive.
Can you adjust the straps and seat as your child grows? Is there attachments that come with it or you might need to buy some?
Does it come with pockets or extra storage? How about rain covers or sun protectors? Does it stand on its own? Does it pack away easily?
Easy to clean
Is the fabric easy to clean as well as durable? Some are machine washable or have removable parts that are.
Will it be comfortable for both you and your child? Is there padding on the straps? Will it spread the weight to your hips where it is safest? Is it stable and sturdy that you feel confident wearing it? Do you feel as if you are straining your neck or your back?
Think a child carrier is for you?
Check out our amazing range of Child Carriers from LittleLife.