Baby Carrier 5
One of the most popular items on any baby registry is the baby carrier, and it’s no wonder why. Baby carriers provide parents with the freedom to move about while still being a nurturing presence for their baby. Mothers have been using some variation of a baby carrier for as long as time, and across all cultures, and today they’re still essential! It’s not rocket science that a baby is most content when in physical proximity to mom or dad, but that doesn’t change the reality that life needs to be lived and things need to get done! A carrier is great because it allows for both.
Simplicity and Mobility
Baby carriers are your best bet to keeping things simple on the go. While the average stroller weighs over 15lbs, a carrier is almost weightless can be stored anywhere. Getting out the door with a baby is hard enough, so parents will love the ease of setting baby in the carrier and having their hands free to grab the diaper bag as they head out.
If you’re ready to enjoy some hands-free parenting and start baby wearing, you’ve got several options. Here’s the low down:
Slings and wraps
These lightweight, fabric carriers are beautiful and simple. They weigh next to nothing and can fold into your purse or diaper bag when you’re not using it. I love how close baby can be to mom and dad and how truly perfect they fit a newborn’s body. They’re especially great for breastfeeding, and for newborns and preemies as they’re soft and snugly. These aren’t the carrier for babies over six months old, ideally, as they don’t provide a ton of back support for mom.
My favourite part about slings and wraps is the aesthetic – no buckles or plastic, just lovely fabric. The downside of slings is that they’re not great for mom’s back, so be prepared to upgrade to a more structured carrier when baby is around 20lbs or six months (whichever comes first). The downside here is that wraps aren’t quick and easy to put on – they require some time and work to get just right.
Front and back carriers
These carriers are the most popular for parents, and can be used up to 45lbs! They’re designed with the child’s safety and carrier’s back in mind and evenly distribute the weight of even the heaviest toddlers. My kids loved being carried, well into their toddler years, and a solid front and back carrier like the Beco Gemini or the ERGOBaby was our best friend.
The most popular carriers tend to be soft structured carriers like those by ERGObaby, Lillebaby, BabyBjorn, Beco and Tula for good reason – they are diverse, affordable, and long-lasting. Our favourite was definitely the Beco Gemini. Like other soft structured carriers, you can use the Beco Gemini carrier on your back, front, or side to side, but what we loved about this one was that the back straps criss-cross, giving more security and comfort, especially if you don’t have broad shoulders.
These are not everyday carriers as they’re rather large, but they are extremely supportive. If your family is active and regularly goes hiking, you’ll want a backpack carrier. These aren’t for newborns, but can accommodate a heavier weight so you’ll use it for many years.
Try them out!
As with all baby gear, it’s best if you can test a few brands and styles before you buy. And make sure both parents have tried on the carrier, as carriers will fit certain body types better than others. All of Snuggle Bugz’s stores have a selection to try on to make sure you are getting the perfect fit. If you aren’t close to a store, ask around and borrow a friend’s carrier to see if you like it. Don’t be shy! I’ve had moms at the park ask me if they can test out my baby carrier. It’s totally normal, and doesn’t it take a village? You want to make sure you’re comfortable taking the carrier off and putting baby in, so practice as much as you can before baby’s arrival. If you’re not comfortable with your carrier, you likely won’t use it often, and trust me, you don’t want to miss out on the glories of baby wearing!
As a mom of 3 I have used and loved many different carriers, slings and wraps with the kiddos, all at different stages, ages and activities. The one carrier I used for the majority of time is the Beco Carrier, especially once Baby #2 and #3 arrived. There are so many reasons to babywear and really I just wanted to be able to take advantage of all of them (bonding with baby, hands free carrying and so on…). I loved using my Beco Carrier, I used it all the time at home, work and on vacations.
For me it really was all about comfort. I loved that the carrier put all the weight on my hips as I struggled with comfort with some different carriers until I tried the Beco. It fit me perfectly and is adjustable so that my husband and I could both wear the same carrier and be just as comfortable in it.
Unfortunately I was out of the baby wearing stage when the Gemini came out… but believe me I actually considered having baby #4 just so that I could use this new model!! The Gemini had all the things that I wish my original Beco Carrier had while continuing with some of my favourite features:
Four different Ways to wear the Carrier (New feature)… very specifically baby on front but being able to face out. This is the one feature that I really love that was added to the Gemini, probably because my kiddos are so curious and wanted to be part of everything, looking out, observing the world, waving at the puppies as they walked by. With a couple little snaps on the front it easily converts from baby facing in to allow baby to face out.
Criss Cross back straps (Favourite Feature Continued)…. Although the carrier sits nicely on my hips and distributes the weight really well, being able to criss-cross the back straps relieves even more weight/pressure. Depending on a persons body style, different people prefer wearing the carrier with the straps in a regular backpack style or criss-cross. Personally I prefer the criss-cross but I have fitted many people who prefer the regular back pack style of the straps. I would suggest trying both ways, you will know right away which way fits you the best.
Ease of use (Favourite Feature Continued)… This carrier is so easy to put on… as again with other carriers I often struggled with getting all the straps to sit properly, and to tighten nicely. With the Beco Carrier I could easily slip it on and adjust all the straps with ease, without having to turn myself into a pretzel to be able to do so.
Long Wearing Weight options (Favourite Feature Continued)… I loved being able to wear my babies extended into the toddler years. There are many occasions that I wore my toddler girls on my back in full comfort. The Gemini has a weight allowance up to 35 lbs which allowed me to wear my 2 year olds in the carrier with absolutely no problem. This carrier was perfect for vacations as we could take a stroller and carrier and switch the kiddos around depending on the different scenarios. It was great to be able to adjust the carrier for the range in sizes of our babies and the positions in which to hold them on me.
So… why not win a Gemini Carrier and see for yourself why it was all the rage in my household!! All you have to do is in the tally below tell us about your first baby wearing experience. Good? Bad? Fun? A Nightmare? And, for an added entry, retweet our Beco tweet!
This contest is closed. See Rules & Regulations here
Baby Wearing: The Mamakangaroo pouch/sling is put to the test! Finding the right carrier for you and baby!
Last week I put the wrap to the test and loved it! This week as promised I have been testing out the good ol’sling- the mamakangaroo pouch to be exact. I have a ring sling that I use(d) for both boys so I knew what I was in for but it’s always fun to try something new! I love baby wearing and its benefits for baby- I seriously believe you can’t ‘wear’ baby too much especially when they are super fresh.
Out of all the carriers I think this ‘guy’ is probably the most user-friendly – no straps to adjust, literally you just pop it over one shoulder and then pop your babe in. Myles loves hanging out close to me in the sling and it was put to good use as I wore him to a recent wedding – perfect because you can sit down without the sling getting in the way. He was super happy in it and looked pretty cute too!
Check me out with the mamakangaroo pouch (btw how cute is that name?) 😉 Love that this fabric has a bit of give which makes putting babe in and out a breeze.
Here is my list of pros and cons:
– Easy to use. This is a one-step deal- a great way to begin baby wearing
– Folds up nice and small. This is perfect to toss in the diaper bag and not a burden to take out with you.
– Lots of different positions for baby (cradle, hip, facing in/facing out)
– Great to nurse your baby in (did this during the wedding ceremony and nobody even noticed) 😉
– Machine washable
– Not completely hands free. You should still be supporting the baby.
– Great for newborns but not awesome to wear as the baby gets heavier for long periods of time as the weight is not distributed over both shoulders.
– One size does not fit all. They are sized to your pre pregnancy t-shirt size (if you are like me and you are in between sizes always size down- better for babe to be snug and secure)
Overall I do like the sling a lot. Perfect when you want to be stroller-free….there has been a-handful of times when I LOVED my sling & it was my ‘couldn’t do without it item’- perfect for flying, taking to a wedding & grocery shopping. Sometimes you don’t want a ton of people to touch your new little bundle….the sling is the perfect solution – just pop babe in and people will just admire your cutie! 😉
Check in next week to see what I have to say about the ergo carrier- I know I am excited too!!
I am a huge fan of baby wearing/carrying, and who wouldn’t be? It is such a great way to bond with your new bundle and it is also super convenient. Both boys found it soothing to be right next to my heart and I love having my hands free to get things done chase my 2 year-old! 😉
Just like any baby purchase, finding the perfect carrier for both you and babe can be pretty daunting. To help you out over the next few weeks I am going to be blogging about different carriers that are on the market. I will put each one to the test with mister Myles and go over the pros & cons.
There are 2 different ‘styles’ of carriers:
- Slings/wraps- wearing baby with the help of fabric
- Structured carriers- wearing baby with the help of straps & clips that can be adjusted
Both are great ways to carry baby and it’s just about finding what works best for your lifestyle and needs. I always tell customer to get educated and then come in after baby arrives and try a bunch on with baby. Not all babies like the same style so it’s best to see what they are most happy in (that’s most important) and what fits you (without your belly ;)).
This week I put the Cuddly Wrap to the test – love that the super soft fabric is 100% organic cotton!
I know that a lot of you loooove your wrap and it is easy to see why- The wrap is one piece of fabric that you tie on yourself (there is a manual and after a couple of times it is a breeze). When you put baby in there is hardly anything between you and baby.
Here is my list of pros and cons:
– One size fits all. Both my hubby and I can wear Myles without having to adjust straps/clips etc…
– Hands free. I could cook, clean, make my bed, change Kellan’s diaper all while wearing Myles. I also know a lot of Moms who sleep with their newborns this way.
– Many different positions to use. The wrap really grows with your babe- from cradle, facing out, to wearing your toddler on your back (Kellan even went for a ride)
– Washable. Who’s kidding who there will be spit-up or poo explosions so having a carrier that you can just toss in the wash is a HUGE bonus!!
– Baby loves it! Myles was so content to be snuggled right next to me with no clips or straps jabbing into his thighs. He was instantly soothed and very happy to be tucked into the wrap
– Great support. You wouldn’t think this but the fabric can be fanned out over your shoulders distributing the weight plus you get great lower back support.
– Not convenient to just slip on. I found I would put the wrap on before going out so I don’t have to play around with it in the mall/grocery parking lot.
– It can be hot. Since there is quite a bit of fabric things can heat up quickly. Perfect for in the winter not so perfect while walking in the summer months.
Overall I loved this carrier and would highly recommend it to any Mom (or Dad). There are sooo many advantages to baby wearing. After carrying your babe for nine months, there is a sense of security found nowhere else except close to Mommy! I am still kicking myself for not coming up with the wrap idea myself, such a simple design that works!
Well ladies and gents that’s a wrap! 😉
Check in next week to hear why a sling may be perfect for you!
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Lesley Stewart host from Terra @ Home about carriers.
There are so many carriers you can choose from, but ultimately you want one that will be comfortable for both you and baby.
Check out the video … When I’m done chatting, keep watching the video where you can see some great carriers in use at a local Salsa Baby class.
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