A wrap carrier, such as a Moby Wrap is not much more than a long swath of fabric, but the magic of this baby carrier is all in the wrapping technique. There are several ways to tie the wrap to accommodate fit, position and even size of your baby. Wraps can be used as soon as baby is born and offer strength, breathability and stretch. Many come with an instructional video to help users learn the proper wrapping techniques to ensure a safe and secure hold for baby.
Ring slings, like the Maya Wrap, are another popular baby-wearing option much like a shawl with a pair of rings. They are adjustable to a variety of positions and ideal for nursing baby on the go. They can be used for newborns, as well as bigger toddlers up to 35 pounds.
Pouch slings, such as Hotslings, are constructed of a tube of material with a curved seam. They are easily taken on and off and easy to toss in a diaper bag for travel. They are suitable for newborns but are recommended for babies about four months and older.
Soft-structured carriers, like the ERGOBaby carrier, are much like a baby backpack. They can generally be worn on the front or back of the body so baby can face toward or away from the carrier. Many soft-structured carriers are designed for older babies -- around four or five months -- and toddlers. However, many have inserts that can accommodate newborns.
Please note, certain baby carriers require safety precautions to ensure baby does not suffer asphyxia, which happens when baby's head is pushed down into its chest restricting his airway. Carefully research any baby carrier before you buy it and follow the instructions to ensure baby's safety.
Before you shop for a baby carrier, consider your needs. Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine what kind of carrier is right for you:
- How soon do you want to start baby-wearing?
- Do you want to wear baby in the front or on your back?
- Do you plan on nursing while baby-wearing?
- Will you use your baby carrier for your toddler too?
- Do you need to conserve space in your diaper bag?