Types of Baby Carriers: Pros and Cons

How to choose a baby carrier

Parents swear by the benefits of baby carriers, especially during the first year of the baby’s life. There are several types of baby carriers to choose from. Knowing what each type is and its pros and cons will let you make an informed decision on the best baby carrier for you and your baby’s needs. 

Baby carriers are mainly divided into three categories: wraps, carriers and slings. Then there are subcategories, and you’ll have to choose between them based on what suits you best. 

Soft Structured Baby Carriers

This is probably the most common type of baby carrier. Soft structured carriers have padded shoulder straps and a thick waistband that is meant to be fastened around the waist. Upon securing it, the carrier creates a pouch for your baby in front of your chest. 

Pros

Easily Adjustable

Soft structured carriers have adjustable straps so the user can find the most comfortable fit for themselves and their baby. 

Versatility 

Since soft structured carriers are adjustable, they can be used for long term as well. 

Ergonomic 

The padded shoulder straps offer comfort to the user. Some models even come with a special waist strap that reduces lower back pain. 

Cons

Pricey

Soft structured carriers are relatively pricier than most other types of baby carriers. 

Mei Tai Carriers

The Mei Tai carrier is an amalgamation of the buckle and wrap carrier. Although it looks similar to the soft structured carrier, there are soft straps that the user needs to secure around the body. Here, instead of buckles, there are straps. You can wear it on the back, hip or around the waist. 

Pros

Adjustability 

This baby carrier is suitable for several body types. This is because it is easily adjustable owing to the various straps that you can fasten according to your comfort.

Padding 

The soft padding allows ease to the user. It mitigates the burden on the shoulders, especially if you are carrying a relatively older child.

Variety 

You can find lots of different colours in Mei Tai carriers, which you can lovingly choose for your baby. 

Cons

Takes Practice

Mei Tai carriers may take some getting used to. You need to know how to secure the baby and evenly distribute their weight. 

Ring Slings

Ring Slings are the best option as they are both portable and compact. The ring sling is usually made of cotton or linen instead of any stretchy material.It creates a pouch for the baby, from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Ring slings allow you to hold your baby in front of you or on your hip. 

Pros

Easy to Use

Ring slings are a great option when you need to make a hurried trip for running errands as they are very easy to use and wear. This is why it is great for new parents. 

Suitable for Breastfeeding

Ring slings allow you to easily breastfeed your baby, wherever you may be. 

Adjustable 

Ring slings can be adjusted to make the pouch as wide or as narrow as you want to suit the baby’s size.

Cons

Discomfort

If you have shoulder pain, ring slings may not be the ideal choice for you as they exert strain on one shoulder.

How to Choose the Best Baby Carrier?

Are you wondering what is the best baby carrier for you? The answer is, there is no one right or wrong choice. Choosing the right baby carrier depends on three things primarily. First of all, take into consideration the age of your baby. Do factor in the safety of your baby to avoid any neck discomfort.

Secondly, do consider your own ease. Some baby carriers provide discomfort, more so than other types. When choosing a baby carrier, you should ensure you feel comfortable using it to avoid shoulder, neck or back strain. For example, if you plan on carrying the baby for long hours, avoid the ring sling as it exerts pressure on just one shoulder. Slings are suitable for running short errands.

Lastly, you should think of how easy the baby carrier is to use. If you don’t understand how to choose the carrier properly, you may pose a risk to your baby’s safety. Instead, choose a baby carrier that is easy to use and wear. 

When you consider these things, you will be able to settle on a suitable baby carrier to make parenthood easier—for the most part! 

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