So you want to go out, taking your little mite with you. But how do you carry him? Well it all depends really – there are endless variations of baby carriers out there in the marketplace. Which one you choose depends on the age of the baby as well as your lifestyle, attitudes and levels of activity.
Are you a new-age mom? Do you believe in old-fashioned values? Do you like to be seen in the latest new-mom designer paraphernalia? Do you research endlessly the best and most effective child-rearing and child development techniques? Your general outlook on life and parenting will affect the type of baby carrier you decide to choose. But don’t get too caught up in it – at the end of the day, all you are deciding on is a safe, comfortable transport mechanism for your little one for a few months. Remember that they grow so fast that you will probably have to replace it soon anyway.
So, how do you make a choice of the best baby carrier for you? Well remember first of all that a baby carrier is useful for outings where prams and pushchairs are impractical and for carrying your baby close to you when he needs comforting or won’t settle. There are essentially 3 types of carrier and the one you choose will depend on your lifestyle;
1. Front Carriers
Font carriers are great for busy urban moms and dads who want to look ‘caring but cool.’ These are great for carrying small babies and really useful for short shopping trips or for carrying baby around the house while you are doing your chores. Front carriers can be used for newborns and are useful up until you find that baby is really getting too heavy. Some front carriers can adjust to become back carriers, or enable you to carry baby on the hip or in a cradle position.
2. Back Carriers
Back carriers are suitable for older babies who can sit up and support themselves - usually from around 6 months old. Back carriers are great for more serious walking, or shopping trips, where pushchairs may be impractical or you may need to keep your hands free.
Slings are probably the oldest type of baby carrier, used in ancient cultures and still widely used today in many areas of the world where moms still carry their babies for much of the day often while hard at work. Western-style slings are designed to carry the baby in various positions - front, back or hip – whichever is most comfortable. They are usually made from thick fabric with some sort of fastening device - cloth straps and/or buckles.
Whichever type of baby carrier you select, here are a few quick tips for when you are buying:
1. Make sure its easy to put on, easy to adjust and easy to get the baby in and out of. Can it be transferred to another wearer, without removing the baby?
2. Ensure there is good (adjustable) support for the baby’s head, neck and back.
3. For your own comfort, ensure there are wide, well padded shoulder straps and back straps. This will help to distribute the weight, and prevent the straps from digging in.
4. Make sure leg holes, etc are well padded.
5. Make sure its easy to clean – machine washable or wipe clean.
6. Does it have detachable rain and sun covers and storage areas? These are really useful extras.
One final tip – when you are buying a baby carrier, always try it on first. If it doesn’t feel comfortable, try another one. If you haven’t had the baby yet, check with the store if you can bring it back at later date if you find that it’s not comfortable with the baby in it. You will also find that the first time you try a baby carrier, it will feel really fiddly with lots of straps, zips, fasteners and buckles. But worry not – after a while it will all feel as easy and comfortable as putting on an old favorite pair of shoes.
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Michael Barrows' website has great info on baby names, baby name lists and lots of great baby resources. Get your free ebook packed with baby tips for new parents, visit the baby carriers website.
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