Most parents agree that a baby carrier is a must-have item. Baby carriers allow one to carry their baby attached to their baby—which is a very important part of child-to-parent bonding. Moreover, baby carriers are convenient, especially when a parent wants to do something while holding their baby close to their body. A baby carrier can help calm your baby when upset and keep them asleep for longer. With that let’s look at a few things to consider when buying a baby carrier.
What features do you want?
Most people love a ring sling or stretchy wrap for the first few months and then buy a more structured baby carrier, like tie-on carriers or buckle carriers after 4 – 6 months. Others choose one of these carriers at birth, and then buy a buckle carrier once the baby gets older.
The thing is, today we have lots of options and combinations that suit different parents. Also, you must note that a buckle carrier is also ideal for newborns—but the final choice depends on one’s preferences. Besides, woven wraps are suitable for newborns to preschool-aged babies.
Other carriers can allow you to carry your baby facing outwards, carry your baby on your back, or do a hip carry. The thing is, you should consider whether you want a baby carrier for the first few months, or you need a carrier to use until your baby starts to walk.
A standard stretchy wrap costs around $48, and a comfortable baby carrier will cost you between $70 and $220. However, most parents are tempted to buy a cheaper baby carrier, especially those who are not sure how long they will be using the carrier. However, buying a cheap carrier means there’s a possibility that you’ll end up with a carrier that’s not very comfortable to use for extended periods or when your baby gains some weight. Thus, you will find yourself using it fewer times than comfortable options.
Therefore, if you are searching for a baby carrier while on a tight budget, consider getting a pre-owned carrier. Today, there are many groups on different online platforms selling their used baby carriers. These sellers provide more affordable options—and you can even resale your carrier afterward.
Try the carrier before buying
Buying a baby carrier is like buying a new pair of pants—they all fit people differently. With that said, a baby carrier that you love and one that fits you and your baby well might be very wrong for another individual.
Because of that, most baby carrier stores sell their products on a try-before-buying basis. That means parents have a maximum of 14 days to use their carrier, and ensure that it’s the right one for them and their babies. If a parent likes the baby carrier, they can keep it, and if they don’t, they can return the carrier for a refund or exchange.
Keep all the essential safety points in your mind
Whichever baby sling or carrier you choose, make sure it meets the following safety requirements:
- Your baby should always be held as tightly as a cuddle in your arms
- Your baby’s airways and face should always be clear and unobstructed
Now, until your baby gains full head control, the most essential safety consideration is to make sure your baby can breathe comfortably and unobstructed and will do so while being carried. The reason why you should carry your baby as tightly as your arms’ cuddle is to prevent them from slumping and their chin from dropping to their chest.
If possible, the upper edge of the baby carrier should rest at the nape of your baby’s neck. Now, once the baby gains full head control, the upper edge of the carrier can rest between the baby’s armpits and the nape of the neck—this will give them more freedom of movement and visibility. Your baby carrier should always support the baby snuggly and securely. And, as your baby gets heavier, the carrier will start to benefit, since the baby will feel lighter and comfortable if they are held close to the body.