best baby carrier
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What You Need To Know About Baby Carrier In The 1st Year

First-year baby carrier

This post is not about ‘the best’ baby carrier of 2020.  This post is about what are the best functions to look out for when buying baby carriers and helping you find a suitable one. I will review the 5  that I own as a case study for you. Hopefully, this will help you navigate through all the baby carriers out there and find a suitable one for you and your husband. This post contains affiliate links. It is embedded in the images and sometimes text. If you purchase anything from my affiliate links, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I will only recommend products that I believe in and use myself. All opinions are unfiltered.

How to choose a baby carrier?

Over a span of 9 months, I have purchased 5 baby carriers and have learned from my purchases. I have learned to look out for these 4 things:

Safety for newborns

I discover that there are 2 main requirements for getting a carrier for newborns. The baby must be snuggly facing the user’s chest, and the legs must be in the shape of an ‘M’. This shows that the baby gets adequate support. If not, the baby might not get good hip development. I realize that not all carriers are suitable for newborns.  If you are wearing your baby from newborn to toddlerhood, you will need to get 2 different types of carriers. Click here for more details about baby hip health. Info on baby hip-dysplasia and the ideal ‘M’ sitting position. Here is a quick guide on when to wear the baby forward facing.

Shoulder and hip support is important

After wearing the baby for 30minutes, you will begin to feel the strain. The strain will either be in your shoulders or on your back depending on which type of carrier you get. If you have a sling, the strain will place on one shoulder. If you have a baby carrier with 2 shoulder straps, you will have weight distributed on your shoulders. But the gravity will start to pull on your shoulders. However, this is better than having weight only on one shoulder. And if you get the ones with hip support, the weight will greatly lift from your shoulders. So it is important to choose a carrier with shoulder and hip support if you are wearing the baby to toddlerhood.

Temperature suitable materials

Depending on the country you are from, you might look out for different materials. I come from a tropical country and am looking for a carrier that is cooling and have high ventilation. While a mom from a temperate country will not mind thicker materials. This post prioritizes on seeking lightweight breathable material for warm countries.

Convenience vs. support

As we are already bringing a lot of baby essentials when we are out, it will be great to have a lightweight carrier to use. But I realize sometimes we have to forgo the convenience of support and vice versa. we can’t have both. There’s no way around it. This is because the ones with good support are usually big and bulky. And the convenient ones are smaller and flexible. This is where I decided I needed two different carriers. One which focuses on convenience and another focuses on good support to meet every occasion. There are many types of baby carriers out there. From one mommy to another, below are the 5 that I own and my thoughts on the alternatives.

Types of Baby Carrier: Reviews

Baby carrier sling

Baby carrier brand: Daiesu ring sling

This carrier is closest to the method back in the days when baby products were still limited. You will sling a long piece of cloth over one shoulder and knot the two ends across the other side of your body. The baby will sit in the little sack in front of you. In this case, it has 2 convenient rings for easy adjustment. Suitable age This type of sling is suitable for newborns and toddlers. Pros
  • It is portable and lighter compared to structured carriers
  • It is suitable for newborn
  • Baby can be in many positions. I.e. cradle, kangaroo, swing, and etc.
  • One size fits all
  • Machine washable
  • Suitable for newborns
  • Suitable for warm countries
Cons
  • Adjustments may not hold in place.
  • As I start to do chores, it starts to loosen bit by bit.
  • Adjustments are not easy to calibrate for first-time users
  • Not so convenient to share between spouses of different sizes
  • Weight strain on one shoulder
  • Cannot face toddler outwards
  • Not good for the shoulder when the baby or toddler gets heavier
  • The cloth is too thick to do a seamless adjustment
I used Daiesu ring sling and did not like it as much. My main issue with it is the thickness of the cloth, the strain on one shoulder, and how it does not stay tight when I go about getting things done. But if it is something you will like to try, click the image for more details. Alternatively I found Vlokup Baby Water Ring Sling Carrier better for the warm climate. This is ideal for warm climates because the whole thing is made out of lightweight breathable mesh! Apparently you could also swim in it! I wouldn’t mind using this in the pool since the water would carry the baby’s weight leaving little to no weight on my shoulder.

Baby Carrier Wrap

Baby carrier brand: Wrapsody

This carrier is a long piece of stretchable cloth. It wraps around the body many layers and holds the baby snuggly. This carrier requires the user to learn to tie the wrap. Suitable age This type of sling is suitable for newborns and toddlers. Pros
  • It is portable to carry
  • One size fits all
  • You may wear baby front, facing inward and outward, and even on your back
  • It can keep you and baby warm in temperate countries
  • It wraps over both shoulder, distributing baby’s weight
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Steep learning curve tying the wrap
  • A hassle to tie if the baby is crying
  • Wrap from end to end is 16 ft long or 5 meters! May dirty if you do the tying outdoor
  • As a beginner, I always need an extra hand to wrap
  • Even though you can put the baby front, facing outward, you should not do so for it does not provide good hip support.
  • Not convenient to put on and take off
  • Not suitable for outdoors in warm countries
  • It is expensive
I barely use Wrapsody baby carrier due to the cons above. The wrapping takes too long, and my baby grew impatient. It was overwhelming. Plus My main purpose for wearing her is to go outdoors, the layers made it too hot for the both of us. Alternatively The ready-to-wear Konny baby carrier summer will be a better choice. This ready-to-wear cuts the hassle and stress of wrapping the carrier. On top of that, this comes in lightweight breathable mesh, like the Vlokup ring sling. And what’s more, it covers both shoulders, which means the baby’s weight will be distributed evenly. The only thing that’s keeping me from buying it is its steep price. On top of that, the product is determined by sizes. This means that you cannot share with your spouse or anyone else who is a different size.

Baby carrier half ready-to-wear

Baby carrier brand: Boppy baby carrier

This carrier is half ready to wear. In the middle of the wrap has a sewn-in soft baby-seat and shoulder straps for the user. The wraps are attached to the shoulder straps like wings. It also has a buckle for the waist. The baby can slide in securely while you tie the two ends of the wrap to adjust the fit. Suitable age This type of sling is suitable for newborns and toddlers. Pros
  • Easier to put on since it’s half ready.
  • One size fits all
  • You may wear your baby front, facing inward and outward.
  • Easy 3 steps: buckle, slip baby, tie a knot.
  • Each wrap is 4.6ft or 1.4 meters. Phew
  • Many layers can keep baby and you warm in temperate countries
  • More portable compared to structured carriers
  • Two shoulder straps that distribute the baby’s weight evenly
  • Machine washable
  • It has a mini pocket to store phone or keys
Cons
  • Not so suitable for tropical climates
  • It comes with a small pouch, but it takes some effort to fold it into the small pouch
  • It is heavier compared to Wrapsody’s 16ft cloth.
  • User with broad shoulders will pull forward when wearing the baby
  • Even though you can put the baby facing forward, you should not do so for it does not provide good hip support
I used the Boppy baby carrier in my baby’s early months until she starts to get heavier. It was useful in the air-conditioned spaces, but it is not practical to use in the park in my warm country. Alternatively I have no alternative for the Boppy baby carrier. It is a hybrid between wrap and a soft structure. If I were to make a choice, I would replace my Boppy baby carrier with Konny baby carrier summer.

Structured baby hip seat baby carrier

Baby Nari Hip Hugger

This baby carrier has 2 separate pieces. The first and most essential piece is the hip piece with a firm baby seat base supported with frames. The baby seat can then add an accessory that allows the user to be handsfree. Suitable Age
  • Not suitable for newborn
  • Suitable for babies that have learned to sit.
Pros
  • You may wear your baby front, facing inward and outward and even on your back
  • The hip piece can be worn on its own
  • It is easy for a baby or toddler to get in and out quickly and at the same time provide good support.
  • The extra accessory allows the user an option to go handsfree
  • Baby’s weight is distributed on your hips
  • It has many pockets for storing keys, and phones.
  • Baby gets to sit facing forward with healthy hip support.
  • May adjustable straps and shoulder support easily
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • It is very bulky, it requires another bag to contain it all
  • It can be heavy
  • The carrier is not as portable as the wraps or sling
I used Baby Nari Hip Hugger most frequently once my baby starts to sit. She wriggles a lot and loves facing forward to see the world. As she gets heavier, her weight is now supported by my hips rather than my shoulders which takes the load off my back. Alternatively There is a better version of hipseat baby carrier which is the Ergonomic 360 baby soft carrier. I would have gotten this if only I knew about it sooner! This is far superior to my current Baby Nari hip hugger because it also comes with a soft carrier and additional features. It basically is a 2 in 1 baby carrier! This has more flexibility compared to the Baby Nari Hip hugger. I highly recommend this over Baby Nari if you are looking to get a structured hipseat baby carrier.

Soft Structured baby carrier

Sweet Cherry Baby Carrier

This is a soft structured baby carrier. It has velcros or clips on the sides to adjust the width, and the user puts it on like a knapsack. It can be worn front or back. Suitable Age  This baby carrier is better for older babies and toddlers Pros 
  • Can slip baby in easily without help
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • You may wear baby front, facing inward and outward, and even on your back
  • Lighter compared to the Boppy and the Baby Nari
  • Uses shoulder straps that distribute baby’s weight evenly
Cons
  • Not suitable for newborns. The carrier is too big for newborns and does not fit the newborn snuggly.
  • The width around the baby’s leg can’t be adjustment
  • The adjustment is quite limited
  • Weight is entirely on the shoulders. Shoulders will sore and get backache if wear for a long time
I only used Sweet Cherry baby carrier briefly because it was too big for my newborn. Subsequently, when she was old enough to sit in it, my husband finds it uncomfortable because her weight pulls on his shoulder. Additionally, he gets tired and sore in less than 30 minutes. This is after adjusting all the necessary straps to fit my husband. Alternatively I found a better alternative to Sweet cherry baby carrier instead. It is the Infantino Carry on. This is a better alternative because it solves all the cons above. It has many adjusting points that make the baby snug and safe. It has a good shoulder and hip buckles allowing good posture and support for the user by distributing weight on the hips. I would have gotten this instead of my Sweet Cherry baby carrier if I knew it exists! IF YOU’RE A NEW MOM YOU MIGHT FIND THE LINKS BELOW HELPFUL:

Last Thoughts on baby carriers

I realize I essentially need two types of carriers. One that can support a newborn snuggly and at the same time provide good support for her. Since a newborn is still small, her weight is not a big deal. So a small flexible ready to wear carrier will be best. The second one will be for when the baby gets older and can hold her own head and can sit. This is where we need a well-structured baby carrier for the user, not so much for the baby. This is because as the baby gets heavier, wearing a baby becomes tiring.

Wishful Thinking

If I were to choose which is my ideal newborn baby carrier, it will be Konny baby carrier summer. However, If I were to choose the alternatives between the Ergonomic 360 vs. the Infantino Carry on, I might need some time to deliberate on this. Because both are good in their own right. I believe this is where your lifestyle and need will come into play in deciding which is better for you. But since I will be having a Konny as my first baby carrier, then I will pair my second one with Ergonomic 360 to accommodate the heavier toddler that is to come.

Comment

I hope you find this helpful, from one mommy to another. Do leave a comment below on the carriers you have tried and which is your favorite! Happy hunting!

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