Baby Carriers

Baby carriers should be considered a necessary accessory that can be worn to carry a baby from birth. It can also be referred to baby wearing. There are many different types of baby carriers such as, infant carriers, slings, Mei Tai, front facing carrier, pouches and baby wraps which are strapped to the body and the baby is positioned inside it. Although each style has its own advantages and disadvantages, it helps you to move around with your arms free, so that keeping your baby close while getting other chores done is easier. Choosing a good carrier to carry your baby can be hard a hard decision, because of the availability of a variety of carrier styles in the market. Below are some types of baby wearing available in the market, along with their pros and cons.

Types of Baby Carriers

There are lots of different types of baby wearing which include

1. Baby slings
It is one of the most popular baby carriers available today and suitable for new born and toddlers for hip and front carries. They are also known as ring slings, which is a length of fabric with 2 rings sewn on one end that creates an adjustable pocket for the child to be carried in. It usually takes a little practice for the parent to properly fit and adjust them. Ring slings are considered more fashionable among some women.

Pros:
a. Quick and easy to use
b. Adjustable and comfortable than pouch slings
c. Folded and carried easily
d. Used for newborns and toddlers
e. Used for discrete breast-feeding

Cons:
a. May cause shoulder or back problems because the weight is supported on one shoulder only
b. Custom made slings cannot be used once the baby grows big
c. No back carry, only side and front.

2. Asian style carriers
Traditional carriers used in Asia have influenced the creation of many different types of carriers; the most popular one is Mei Tai. Mei Tai is an American version of Asian baby backpack carriers. It is a rectangle fabric with 4 straps, 2 for the shoulders and 2 for the waist. The straps can be tied to wear the baby on your hip, back or front. Mei Tai’s are suitable for carrying toddlers, babies, and also infants.

Pros:
a. Simple design, quick and easy to use
b. Can be used for infants to toddler
c. Can be easily folded and fitted into a small purse
d. It is bilateral, as it goes over both shoulders

Cons:
a. No waist or shoulder padding can cause pinching or digging
b. Due to open sides, it is not suitable for new born or small infants
c. Different sized carrier may be needed for older or younger children

3. Front carriers
Front carriers are suitable for carrying newborns and are available in all major retailers and online stores. These carriers are like front backpack that holds the baby in a harness either facing outwards or facing the parent. It works by first attaching the harness to the parent, and then keeping the baby in the harness.

Pros:
a. Straps go over both shoulders
b. Easy to fix and remove
c. Designs are male friendly
d. Can be used from birth
e. Cheap and widely available in the market

Cons:
a. Fits babies only up to 15 pounds
b. Infants head, neck, hips, pelvis, and legs are not supported
c. Baby is not in a seated position. This causes pressure at base of spine
d. Hard to get a good fit due to structured shape
e. Baby is not always held close to parent’s body
f. Adjusted between different users

4. Framed backpack carriers
They are structured carriers designed with a metal frame to support a seat for the child.

Pros:
a. Often have storage spaces to not only carry the child but also other stuffs
b. Suitable for long carrying periods
c. easily available for purchase
d. Often it can be used as a baby chair

Cons:
a. Little heavy and bulky to carry as well as to store
b. Quite difficult to use it alone
c. Getting a comfortable fit is difficult, especially for women
d. Quite suitable for long carrying periods

5. Pouches
Pouches are somewhat similar to the ring sling, but instead of rings it has no adjustability. So, it is essential to buy a pouch that fits exactly without any adjustments or tying. But, recently adjustable pouches are also available with zippers or snaps to change the size of the pouch. It is suitable for front or hip carrying new born to toddlers.

Pros:
a. Quick and easy to use.
b. It works well for carrying twins.
c. Adjustable pouches can be used for new born to toddlers
d. Easy for discrete breast feeding

Cons:
a. Babies weight is supported by one shoulder, leading to shoulder or back pain
b. Back carrying not possible
c. Not suitable for longer carrying periods
d. Adjustability is less, which can lead to less comfortable fit

6. Baby wraps
Wraps are one of the oldest types of baby wearing. Baby wraps are long continuous cloth that is tied around your baby and you. Wrap carriers offers many different positions to carry your infants and babies including cradle, facing in, facing out, back and hip.

Pros:
a. Quick to use once tied (without untying the baby can put in and taken out)
b. Fabrics used in baby wraps are soft and supportive
c. Easy to share among adults
d. very ergonomic and easy to wash

Cons:
a. Suitable for very small babies only (6 to 12 months)
b. Available in a variety of fabrics, and some may be hot during summer seasons
c. Back carrying is not possible

Conclusion
Baby carriers not only benefit the parents but also the babies in many ways. It makes your baby happy that is backed by research, which states that babies cry up to 40 to 50% less when held. With the variety of baby carrier styles available in the market, it is best to choose one that suits your life style and the comfort of the baby.

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