What You Need To Know When Buying a Baby Carrier
You need to ask when buying a baby carrier
So you’ve decided you want to babywear? Great. But how do you know what carrier to buy?
When there is so much choice and variety, how do you know what one you want? How do you know which kind of carrier will suit you best?
There’s a huge range of carriers available but it doesn’t have to be hard to find the right one for you. You just need to know what to look for.
To keep it simple, there’s really only 10 question you need to ask yourself.
10 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Carrier
1. How long do you plan to baby wear?
Do you want to wear your baby only for the first 6 to 12 months or do you want to wear them well in to toddlerhood?
Stretchy wraps are great if you only want to carry a newborn or smaller baby, but you’ll need a stronger woven wrap if you want to carry a toddler in a wrap.
If you want to get lots of use out of a carrier a more structured carrier may be the better option for you. Structured carriers have lots of support so you can carry a heavy toddler for longer and nearly all brands are suitable for newborn use too.
2. Who will use the carrier?
Will you be the only one using the carrier or will your partner use it too? Most men tend prefer to babywear in more structured carriers. Although perhaps your hubby won’t mind rocking a wrap or sling either.
3. What climate do you live in?
This is particularly important if you live somewhere hot. If you do you’ll need a carrier that’s lightweight and breathable.
Structured carriers, especially ones that require a newborn insert can often be quite hot, both for bub and the wearer. However, there are some great lightweight wraps and slings available, especially by Australian owned companies who know what the Aussie summer is like.
4. What do you want to do while babywearing?
Will you do most of your babywearing at home? Or will you do lots wearing out and about, possibly for hours at at time?
Structured carriers are great for walks, especially when babies start to get heavier. You can also buy carriers that are specifically designed for hiking if that’s something you plan to do lots of. But hiking carriers aren’t great for your standard day-to-day use.
I like to wear wraps or slings while at home or on quick trips to the shops, but they’re not my go-to choice for longer stints of babywearing.
5. Are you happy buying more than one?
It’s not necessary to own more than one carrier, but having multiple means that you can get the benefits of two very different styles of carriers. You can have one to use while your baby is little, and another to use when they’re older. Or one to wear at home to help your baby sleep and another one for your daily walks.
I personally own three, but again, you don’t need actually that many.
6. How much are you willing to spend?
The expense of baby carriers can put some people off, but when you factor in how often you’ll use it, you’ll see that many provide great value for their price.
If you’re buying something that can only last 6 months will you use it with a second or third child or will you be able to gift it to a friend?
Do you want to find a carrier that suits your needs for less than $100 or are you not restricted by a budget? There are some great carriers available in low-range prices so you don’t need to spend more than you want to.
7. Is it hip safe?
Most carriers these days are designed to be ergonomically safe for your baby’s developing hips but it is always good to check.
8. Do you want to breastfeed in it?
Again, most carriers will allow you to breastfeed in them. Some more easily than others, some more discreetly than others.
9. How do you want to carry baby?
This one can be a huge deciding factor for many people. Most carriers will allow to to carry your baby on your front, facing inwards but do you want the flexibility to carry your little one in other ways?
Do you want to carry bub on your hips or on your back? Do you want them to be able to face outwards while on your chest?
10. Can you machine wash it?
This was a must for me because your carrier will definitely get dirty. Being able to machine wash your carrier makes it so much easier to keep it clean and I personally really hate hand washing.
Once you know what to look for in a carrier you’ll quickly be able to find the right one for you. Most websites have a FAQ section where you’ll be able to find whether their carrier ticks all of your boxes, otherwise you can use our free comparison chart that features over 50 different carriers.