Baby-carriers are a fun and practical way to travel with your little one and more and more of us are doing it each year.
The unmistakeable scent of a newborn baby is one of life’s little joys. So what could be more irresistible than being able to do your weekly shop while getting a whiff of your little one?
The market for baby carriers is unsurprisingly booming, so you’re spoiled for choice. As long as you take note of the safest ways to do so, it’s never been easier to wear your baby all day long.
Given the practicality of babywearing, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular, and celebrities from Nicole Kidman to Giovanna Fletcher have all been seen rocking their babies hands-free.
Keeping your little one close to you is not only a total joy, but in the early days of motherhood a brilliant way to help you enjoy skin to skin time while leaving your hands free to get on with other activities.
But alongside the various different styles of baby carrier, there are safety considerations to think about too. Here, we’ll help you pick the best carrier for you and your bundle of joy as well as giving you our top safety tips.
Slings vs. carriers
Broadly speaking, baby carriers fall into two different types of product: soft sling-like carriers or the more structured sort. Within that, there are a few other options to entice you into the wonderful world of babywearing.
With the mind-boggling number of carriers out there, from ring slings to Mei Teis and Soft structured carriers, choosing one can be tough. As the NCT points out: “Slings are very much like jeans or shoes – one style doesn’t fit all. Try different ones to see what suits you and your child best.”
Which is where Sling Libraries come in handy. A lending library of slings hosted by volunteers and sometimes by sling experts, you can try before you buy for a small cost (fees vary).
Regardless of the type of carrier you choose to transport your baby in you’ll need to make sure you’re doing it safely.
For a start, don’t make the mistake of thinking your carrier will work for a newborn and an older baby. Most will have guidelines to show you how to adapt your carrier to make it suitable for your baby’s changing weight and/or height.
Positioning is key with babywearing, so start by reading the T.I.C.K.S guidelines created by the British Association of Babywearing Instructors. T is for tight, I is for in view at all times, C is for close enough to kiss, K is for keep chin off the chest and S is for supported back.
Take note of the weather — is it hot? Or do you need to add an extra layer? Remember the carrier is a cosy cocoon, so you might not need to dress your little one in as many clothes as usual.
Following these guidelines will ensure you are practicing safe babywearing. But which one should you pick? Check out our faves:
A Mother & Baby Gold Award-winner, the Ergobaby 360 carriers can be worn four different ways, making them super versatile. They say: “All Ergobaby baby carriers are certified and recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) and the Federal Association of German Back Schools.”
Water and dirt repellant, this award-winning carrier has a built-in newborn insert making this suitable for your baby from day one.
Designed by an expert babywearing consultant, and approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, the Izmi carrier is a combination of soft sling and structured carrier.
If carrying too much bulk is an issue, the Caboo soft sling is perfect for you. Made from 100% cotton, the sling offers several different positions for you to carry your baby — something that helped win it’s silver Mother & Baby Award.
Created by Founder Shabs Kwofie in 2012, AmaWrap is a home-grown UK-based company. It’s soft, stylish and easy to store due to it’s lack of buckles and clips.
Made from 100% cotton, this cute, lightweight carrier can be worn on your front or back. Available in four cute colours, we love the adjustable headrest that ensures your little bundle’s neck is protected at all times.