Having become more and more popular, the baby carrier is almost on par with the pram in as far as ‘items required’ when you have a baby. Our modern lives are so busy and the baby carrier is perfect for when you need your hands free, if you’re in a hurry or you’re going somewhere that is difficult to access with a pram.
Baby wearing is a way for you and your baby to get more ‘touch time’, while for Mum, there is plenty of this, sometimes for Dad’s it can be compromised. Baby wearing is a wonderful tool for bonding between your baby and your partner. Men who frequently wear their babies report a closeness similar to that of mother and baby, so when you are making a decision, consider buying a carrier that works for both Mum and Dad.
Asking the following questions will help you in choosing the right baby carrier to buy:
Does it offer Ergonomic support for babies?
Choosing a carrier that has head and support is very important as newborns have no head or neck control. This will develop as they grow, but while they are still tiny it’s important that your carrier offers appropriate support.
Hip support is also another important consideration. The healthiest hip position for a baby is in the frog position, with hips naturally apart, thighs supported to the knees and knees held just above the baby’s bottom. This is also known as the straddle, jockey or spread-squat position. It helps prevent hip dysplasia or dislocation, so it’s worthwhile considering it.
Will It Be Comfortable For You?
Carrying your baby around on your front (or back) can become tiring and they can start to feel heavy. Choosing a carrier that distributes the baby’s weight evenly across your hips and shoulders will help with this.
Will It Be Comfortable For Your Partner?
Some baby carriers are easier to adjust than others, but if you want to ensure it is comfortable for your partner as well as you, consider choosing one that is easy to adjust so it suits different wearers’ size and body types. You may be out and need to swap over, so adjustments need to be uncomplicated and quick without compromising on weight distribution and baby’s comfort.
What Will You Be Using It For?
Being able to carry your baby in a variety of positions is helpful. For example, you may have them facing you if you’re out on a walk so they can sleep or feed while you’re on the move. Your partner may prefer carrying the baby on his back, particularly if playing or walking with other siblings. If you are planning to travel with your baby, also consider holiday activities when choosing your carrier. Having a carrier that allows you to change position without too much trouble means you can move your baby between you with ease.
What’s Your Climate Like?
If you live in a warm climate year round you are better off going for a light weight cotton or mesh carrier. If your climate includes the four seasons, then a mid-weight cotton carrier is ideal. You can dress your baby appropriately for the weather on the day, and on particularly cold days you can wrap blankets around them once they are inside the carrier. Extra padding and heavy layers of material can make you both hot and uncomfortable. Keep this in mind if your partner will be baby-wearing as men tend to heat up faster than women.
Other Things To Look For:
- Make sure it can be easily laundered in the washing machine – they can get pretty grotty, so you want to be able to wash it without too much trouble.
- Look for age or weight ranges, not all carriers are designed from newborn through to toddlerhood.
- Some brands are endorsed by the Chiropractor’s Association of Australia and acknowledged by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as “Hip-Healthy”.