If you’re looking to keep baby close and centered, a front carrier might be just what you need. Front carriers are constructed of soft material for optimal comfort of both baby and parent. With a front carrier, infants are positioned facing the parent with their head supported by a firm head support. Once baby has gained better control of their head, however, they can be positioned facing outward so they can see the world around them. Many front carriers accommodate babies up to 25 pounds; although, weight capacities vary by model and manufacturer, so the maximum weight capacity should be checked on an individual basis. Some of the most popular models on the market today include: the Baby Bjorn Active Carrier, Baby Bjorn Synergy and the Chicco UltraSoft Frontal Infant Carrier
If you’re looking for a carrier that promotes more natural positioning for baby, you might want to consider a baby sling. Baby slings from brands like Boppy, Hotslings and Infantino, position baby in a natural, cradle-like sleeping position as they rest comfortably against your body. Many mothers who are breastfeeding also find that baby’s positing in their sling makes nursing easy, discrete and comfortable.
A baby wrap is another option for infants as well as older children. A wrap consists of a long piece of soft fabric that is wrapped around you and baby. Unlike traditional carriers, the fabric is wrapped around your entire upper body so that baby’s weight is equally distributed over your body. A wrap may take some getting used to, but with some time, many parents feel that this is one of the most comfortable options available. A baby wrap will conform to the shape of your body, allowing for a secure, custom fit. Many of the baby wraps available such as those from Moby Wrap and Baby K’tan are versatile and allow for baby to be positioned in a variety of ways.
Hip carriers are a tried and true alternative. Many parents feel comfortable with a hip carrier because it holds the child against their hip – a position naturally used to hold a child. By setting baby at your side as opposed to your front, a hip carrier can offer parents more mobility and flexibility to partake in household chores or other tasks. Many hip carriers also have a higher weight capacity than other carriers, making them a good alternative for older babies and toddlers. Many hip carriers lack head supports and are not recommended for use with infants who have not developed adequate head and neck control. They are usually used with babies once they are about 5 or 6 months old.
Do you love the outdoors and want to take your little one along for the adventure? Then a backpack, or frame carrier, might be just what you’re looking for. Backpack Carriers are usually constructed of frames made from metal or plastic, covered with padded fabric with a supported cushioned seat. Many are perfect for use with babies over 5 or 6 months old and will work well into their toddler years. Brands such as Kelty, ERGO and Chicco have made comfort, durability and safety top priorities in their frame carrier designs. Kelty’s line of K.I.D.S. FC 1.0 Frame Child Carriers, for example, features a lightweight aluminum frame, 5-point adjustable safety harness, curved, padded shoulder straps and plenty of storage for all those necessities.
If all these choices still have you wondering what to get, you might want to consider a multi-position carrier. As the name implies, multi-position carriers will hold baby in a variety of positions. With this type of carrier, you won’t be pinned down to carrying baby in a specific position. You can choose from the multiple positions that are available to you, and choose the position that works best for you and baby in certain situations. The available positions will vary by model and manufacturer, but such a carrier will provide you options that you won’t have with a standard carrier. The Baby K’tan Wraps, for example, allow you to carry baby in at least 8 different positions – now that’s versatility.
Whether you’re out-and-about or doing chores around the house, a baby carrier will offer convenience and flexibility. There are many different styles, colors and patterns to choose from. Even dad will be able to find a style that he loves just as much as mom.