Many parents who want to carry their baby opt for a baby carrier. It’s practical, seems simpler to use than a wrap and serves just as good, if it meets the standards of ergonomic baby wearing. How to choose the right carrier type? There are many different types of suitable as well as unsuitable carrying aids, therefore it’s important to be extra careful when selecting one.
To start with, we will quickly summarize standards each baby carrier should comply with:
- It’s important that the carrier body is soft and pliable and won’t cause the baby back to suffer. The right type of carrier let the baby back be in a position of a letter C.
- Another crucial sign is the width of fabric at the waist belt, baby should have it from knee to knee, and not less, not more, so the correct position is maintained to support the healthy development of hip joints.
These are two most important features of ergonomic carrier, among others are material safety certificate and product safety certificate.
Buckle carrier is composed of waist belt with one, rarely two buckles, body part and two shoulder straps. These could be buckled into cross or are sewn firmly and are connected in the shoulder blades area with extra strap. Buckle carrier is very practical and buckled up very quickly. Just fasten two buckles and baby is safely positioned on your body. It’s very useful especially when getting baby on and off the car when you don’t want to mess with long baby wrap tips.
It’s also a good alternative for parents, who are afraid to use the wrap or who just don’t fancy it. As a disadvantage, it is necessary to adjust the buckle carrier after each use by somebody else. This could be quite irritating. Also, baby grows out of it quite fast, unless it could be adjusted to the width as well as to the height. In that case it could cover the entire carrying period. There are only little buckle carriers that are suitable for newborns, they are usually recommended, based on many experiences, for the babies who are at least three months old.
It’s a “hybrid” between a wrap and a carrier. It’s made of fabric or a wrap. Waist belt and shoulders straps could be padded or not. There are no buckles; you need to tie waist belt as well as shoulder straps. Someone could be put off, as the shoulder straps are quite long and could roll around on the floor. It’s very practical and comfortable type of carrier, you don’t need to adjust it, comparing to buckle carrier.
You will tie your baby into Mei-Tai as quickly as into the buckle carrier. These carriers are made in newborn, standard and pre-school sizes. For some types of Mei-Tai carrier, it’s possible to adjust the width and height of seat, so they might be suitable for longer period of time.
There is also a combination of these two carrier types, i.e. a carrier with buckled waist belt and shoulder straps you need to tie up. As there is only one buckle on a waist belt, you can handle it more easily as the carrying person just adjusts his/her waist size and ties the straps.
Nowadays, there are many different carrier brands on the market. Sometimes it’s really hard to choose the right one that will meet all your expectations. The best is, if you have an opportunity to see the carrier, or even to try it on. Usually it is possible at regional support groups of carrying parents. If parents don’t have such opportunity, there are many reviews or video reviews which could be helpful.
Among the best known brands of buckle carriers are Tula, Ergobaby, LennyLamb, Fidella, Manduca and many others.
Mei-Tai carriers are made by Fidella, LennyLamb, Diva Milano, and Didymos.
Combined carriers are made by Storchenwiege and Kokadi.
It’s very important to say that carrier that fit many, doesn’t need to suit you. Therefore is the selection process very specific and could not be generalized. It’s good to contact your baby wearing consultant in your neighborhood who could show you several carrier’s types. There are libraries with carriers for rent, which will allow you to try the carrier out together with your baby before you buy one. Other possibility is a personal communication with an e-shop representative. As they are familiar with many different types of carriers, they will be able to advise you on which carrier would be the most suitable for you, feel free to ask!