Babywearing is the practice of carrying a baby on one’s body in a sling or other type of carrier. There are many benefits of babywearing for both the baby and caregiver, including babies who cry less and caregivers who are able to be hands-free. How do you know which baby carrier is right for you?
What to consider when choosing the baby carrier that’s best for you and for your baby.
- Consider the child’s weight and age
- Your body type
- Physical limitations or issues
- Whether you will be sharing the carrier with your spouse or other wearers
- Activities you plan to do while wearing
All of these factor into which carrier to choose. If there is a babywearing group such as Babywearing International in your city, that would be the best place to start your research. Babywearing groups often have lending libraries and trained educators who allow you to try on, and check-out different carriers until you find the perfect one.
Here’s a round-up of the different types of carriers and a few of our picks.
Ring Sling: a one-shouldered carrier that is made of a length of fabric with two rings on one end; the fabric is threaded through the rings to produce a pouch where baby rides and has an adjustable tail.
Pouch Sling: a circle of fabric sewn into a tube shape to be worn across one shoulder. These are sized carriers and not adjustable.
Wraparound Sling (“wrap”): a long strip of cloth that is wrapped and tied to hold the baby to your body; stretchy wraps are great for infants, while woven wraps accommodate newborns up to toddlers.
Meh Dai/Bei Dai (formerly known as a Mei Tai): an Asian inspired carrier that features a square/rectangular body panel with waist and shoulder straps that tie.
Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)/ Buckle Carrier: A carrier that uses buckles to fasten the straps rather than being secured by tying or tucking.
Frame Pack/Hiking Pack: A baby carrier that typically has a rigid frame, typically of metal that is made exclusively for back carries.