A baby carrier is now considered a ?must-have? for parents who have babies aged 0-3 years old. The convenience it brings to parents who have a lot of things to do, in addition to keeping an eye on their babies, is priceless. Doing housework or completing jobs, while their baby enjoys undisturbed sleep on their chest, becomes possible and easier.
Aside from convenience, a baby carrier enables parents to ?wear? their babies. Research shows “baby wearing” can lessen the chance of having a colicky or picky offspring, increase a mom?s chance of winning the fight against postpartum depression, and contribute to the development of parent-child intimacy.
Which Baby Carrier Is for You?
There are many types of baby carriers out in the market today. Purchasing one without much thought may cause you to waste your money on a baby carrier that does not cater to your needs or one that is lacking in baby safety features.
Knowing the types and their corresponding baby safety features will help you identify which of the baby carriers is best for you and your little one. Below are the different types of baby carriers:
A baby sling is made from a cotton cloth or other type of fabric. It goes over the shoulder of the caregiver and allows the caregiver to carry the baby in a cradle-like position. It is used in various babywearing positions, depending on how old a baby is (front for infants aged 0-6 months; back or hip for older babies).
Those who have used a baby sling recommend that new users take extra care when using it. The baby may fall or suffer from injuries on the head, neck, and back due to lack of support if the baby is not positioned securely.
A sling is most ideal for babies up to 10 pounds. The babywearer may experience back pain when the baby exceeds this weight.
A front baby carrier is ideal for infants weighing 7-20 pounds. It is considered safer than a sling as the former has a thicker fabric material than the latter. On the other hand, breastfeeding is easier when using a sling instead of a front carrier.
Placing the baby in a front carrier may be a struggle for first time users. The straps for leg support should not be too tight as it may restrain the baby from normal movements, nor should it be too loose as the baby may slip through the leg hole. The back and head support should be fastened properly. A wearer must be careful not to hold it too close to his chest as it may suffocate the baby.
The wrap, also known as the wraparound, is considered by many babywearers as the most comfortable baby carrier type. It has the versatility to transform into a sling, or a front carrier. It is made of a 3-6 meters long fabric that is used to wrap the baby around the wearer?s body. A wrap can be worn in various positions. It goes over both shoulders and the waist of a wearer; thus, providing great support and security as well as spreading the weight of the baby to the shoulders, hips, and back of the wearer.
Aside from knowing the different types of baby carriers, you should also take note of the following tips when buying a baby carrier:
??A baby carrier should be versatile. This means that it should give the wearer the ability to adjust to situations that may call for changes in the baby?s position without sacrificing the safety of the baby.
??Ensure your baby?s safety by only purchasing baby carriers that have sturdy straps and support. Injuries or death due to frail support of a baby carrier is not uncommon.
??The baby carrier?s fabric should complement with the weather. The rule of thumb is the cooler the environment, the thicker the fabric. Also, keep in mind that darker colors invite more heat while lighter colors provide a fresher and cooler feeling.
??Buy machine-washable carriers.? Carrying and tending a baby for a day can become quite messy.? Might as well go for carriers that you can easily clean up in the washing-machine.
??Test the carrier before buying it. Make sure that it is comfortable for you and for your baby. If you have friends who have carriers, you can always try to ask if you can test them with your baby before buying a baby carrier.