How to choose the best baby carrier? Our Complete Buying Guide
Choosing a baby carrier is often a challenge for parents because newborns and older children have different needs. If a newborn likes to snuggle on his mother's chest, an older child will prefer to stretch his legs and look at his surroundings and outside environment. For those who wish to buy a carrier, here is some information showing how to choose the best baby carrier according to your needs.
What is a baby carrier?
A baby carrier is a childcare accessory exclusively dedicated to carrying the baby. It consists of a padded harness that adapts to the dorsal morphology of the child, and straps that serve as fixation. These straps must be adjustable so that the carrier is adapted to both parents, but also to the child, as he grows up.
Today, there is a multitude of models of baby carriers, from the 100% cotton model to the thicker portholes in nylon or polyester. This equipment is chosen primarily according to the age and body of the baby, but also according to the expected activity and frequency of use.
The benefits of carrying your baby
The porting of the baby allows above all to have free arms. It is thus the perfect solution for parents who are often busy and have no one to support them. They will be able to juggle daily tasks while keeping baby near by. Unlike the stroller, the carrier also allows you to walk anywhere without hindrance and on any terrain, whether on stairs, on pavements, on the beach or in the snow.
For the baby, this carrier also contributes to his sensory and physical development. He will learn to adapt quickly to his environment by going out more often with his parents. His muscles will also be stimulated and his social faculties will develop. Finally, the baby carrier is also a way to strengthen the complicity between the baby and his parents. Being snuggled against each other, the child will feel a sense of security while parents feel a better sense of closeness with him.
Baby carrier: the best models by type according to parents
Standard baby Carriers
The Babybjörn Original Baby Carrier adapts to baby's growth from birth. This model has been developed with pediatricians to provide support for your child's head, back and hips. Easy to put on and take off, it can be easily adjusted from the front to allow you to carry baby in front, facing you, or back to you.
Small and practical, it will keep your toddler while ensuring his comfort. Its design and neutral colors (dark blue, dark / gray jersey, black spirit, black cotton and black with white stitching) give it a trendy look, unisex and mat. In addition, it is very easy to wash and dry quickly thanks to its airy net mesh fabric.
Free of dangerous substances (certified Oeko-Tex class 1), it will not present any risk for the baby's health. Finally, it goes back behind the head of your toddler to maintain it well while protecting it from cold, pollution and external aggression, isolating baby to allow him to be carried in peace.
This belly carrier can be used from the birth of your child - thanks to its ergobaby Heart2Heart Baby Cushion - and up to 20 kg. This evolutionary model allows you to wear your toddler on the stomach, hip or back for more comfort.
It is ideal for outdoor activities thanks to its manufacture from technical materials inspired by the sports environment; its Coolmax and mesh lining allows optimal air circulation. Ergonomic and practical, this polyester model is very easy to adjust thanks to its sliding straps.
High quality, it includes reinforced seams, preformed shoulder straps, padded and reinforced and a headrest supporting baby's head to ensure full comfort. Its large pocket on the front, easily accessible, is designed to store small baby kits. Finally, its sleek design with a sporty look is perfect for your family outings
This backpack will suit your child from birth to 3 years old. Developed in close collaboration with pediatricians, it provides support for your baby's head, back and hips as he grows up. Made of cotton and polyester, it is solid and comfortable while letting the air through.
This new generation model gives you four options for carrying your baby in front and on the back. Ergonomic, its shoulder straps and padded belt will allow you to wear it without tiring you for long periods.
This unisex model with both sporty and urban design will suit all styles and all your outings. In addition, the baby's head will be well maintained thanks to the reinforcement that is placed behind his neck and isolate it from external aggression; it is collapsible if necessary.
Infatino Zip Travel
This Baby Carrier is suitable for children from 5.5 to 18 kg. It offers two carrying positions, either facing the wearer or on the back. Very resistant and light, this baby carrier is compact and very easily foldable in a banana bag. In addition, it allows the ergonomic position in "M" facing the wearer, more comfortable for baby.
Its fabric is ideal to isolate your toddler from the cold and rain, but may tend to retain heat during summer outings. Its straps are easily adjustable and its belt allows to wear it comfortably. Finally, its modern and original design make it a nice unisex model that will complement your outfit.
Outdoor Baby Carriers
Deuter Kid Comfort 2
This special hiking baby carrier is suitable for children up to 15 kg. It ensures the comfort and safety of your toddler throughout its growth thanks to its height-adjustable seat and its quilted chinrest, removable and washable.
Vari-quick adjustable back with padded Vari-Flex concave stabilizer belt adjusts easily to the wearer's hips and movements. Robust and solid, it is suitable for your outings excursions thanks to its padded and ventilated set, and adjusts in 5 points for the safety and comfort of baby.
It includes several storage compartments (front mesh pocket, large zipped compartments, storage for water bottle) very practical. Its recently redesigned sports design evokes the traditional hiking bag and will suit your sporting outings.
The Osprey Poco baby carrier is equipped with the AntiGravity 3D cushioning mesh system, which is characterized by a lumbar belt guaranteeing comfort for the wearer. This model includes an easily adjustable backpack allowing it to suit each wearer.
Baby is maintained thanks to its safety harness, comfortable seat and adjustable stirrups for its feet. Its many adjustments allow it to suit a wide range of weights. Robust and airy, it is suitable for the comfort of baby and wearer. Its multiple storage and expandable ensure you carry little baby kits easily and its small parasol protects it from the sun. In addition, its cut and color give it a sporty look that will suit hikers.
Phil & Teds Escape
The Phil and Teds Escape carrier is suitable for children aged 6 months to 3 years thanks to its quick and easy adaptability. It includes an adjustable aluminum frame, light and foldable while being very stable. The seat, in addition to being comfortable, is fully adjustable thanks to its five-point safety harness.
Your baby will be comfortable with its adjustable head and neck support, leg rest, padded support points and breathable mesh. its extra mattress to ward off small accidents.
The rain and sun protection will protect baby from the vagaries of time. Its multiple storage capacities are designed for your little one's small gears. This simple design model is perfect for sports outings and is suitable for all wearers thanks to its quick and easy settings.
Physiological baby carrier
This Physiological Baby Carrier is made from durable cotton canvas for the comfort of your little one. Ergonomic and flexible, it has three carrying positions (dorsal, ventral or side). Its many settings make it a very easy-to-use model that can adapt to your baby's evolution, from birth to 20 kg, as well as to the wearer's measurements.
The crossover shoulder straps are padded and reinforced, the hip belt is padded and the headrest keeps baby's head while sleeping, ensuring maximum comfort and safety. Its large pocket is ideal for storing your child's little items and its sober and elegant design is suitable for all occasions.
Slings and Warps
Baby Wrap - Ergo Baby Carrier
This baby sling is made of 100% organic cotton certified GOTS (standard of biological certificate), without polyester or elastane. It is 5.5 meters long and is designed for carrying your baby gently. Your toddler is in direct contact with you, developing your communication.
This scarf ensures the stability and comfort of your child thanks to its elastic and very breathable fabric. You will be able to carry baby safely up to 3 years by adapting it to its growth very easily. It comes in many colors (ecru, red, black, royal blue, turquoise blue, chocolate, gray and green anise) to meet all needs.
The Different types of baby carriers
This is the most classic model, which can carry the baby in front of the stomach. If it is conducive to complicity between the child and his parents, it is also the ideal security solution for the baby to feel completely safe in the arms of his mother. This one on his side will be free of his movements while watching over his child. Babies under 9 months are the most suitable for the baby carrier. Beyond this age, parents will have difficulty carrying their child because their weight will be felt intensely on their backs and shoulders.
The dorsal baby carrier succeeds the ventral model, because it is especially recommended for babies from 9 to 24 months. This carrier is designed to reduce the physical effort of parents when they carry their child while offering optimal support. It is a model that is chosen with textiles and straps more solid and well padded, so as to relieve the pressure of weight on the shoulders, back and pelvis of the wearer. The child will enjoy a comfortable position throughout the carrying, which is why it is a model suitable for long trips, holidays, and even for hiking.
Of all the carrier models, it is undoubtedly the easiest to use while being also the most ergonomic. It is very comfortable for the baby and parents, and can support a weight of up to 20 kg, depending on the model. Its main asset is that it adapts perfectly to the baby's morphology. Physiological carriage is available as a ventral model for carrying small babies and as a backpack for children weighing more than 10 kg.
Baby Carrier for hiking
This baby carrier is ideal for parents who like to travel or hike regularly. It is specially designed for long walks in the mountains, because it optimizes the distribution of weight. This carry is suitable for babies from 5 to 24 months, as soon as they begin to sit and provided they are able to withstand long journeys. Depending on the model, it can also have several storage pockets for the baby's accessories such as baby bottle, diapers, cream exchange, etc.
The carrier sling is a versatile carrying solution that can be used as an alternative to the ventral and back baby carrier. It takes the form of a strip of fabric 70 cm wide and between 2.50 m and 5.20 m long.
There are two types of carrier slings:
- Stretch sashes, which are made of an elastic fabric and are very suitable for premature infants and newborns.
- Twill cotton scarves designed with rigid fabrics and intended for older children. To enjoy a comfortable carry, it is necessary to properly adjust the baby and stretch the fabric to the maximum.
Baby Carrier Mei Tai
The Mei Tai is a traditional Chinese baby carrier that can carry baby in different ways, either on the stomach, back or hip. This carrying system can not only accommodate newborns, but also 4-year-olds who weigh about 20 kg. His thongs, which you just tie, spread the baby's weight all over the body. This carry is also physiologically designed and can be used both inside and outside the house.
Choosing a baby carrier: The selection criteria
For What Use
Baby must feel comfortable when he is in his carrier. The physiological model is the one that adapts most to its morphology and ensures that it has a well-set back so as not to tire its spine. His thighs are also raised to find the position he had when he was still in the womb of his mother.
Once installed, it is also important for him to reach the height of his parent's chin so that he feels comfortable during the walks. A headrest is recommended on his side so that he does not nod his head when he sleeps. Finally, a good baby carrier is also breathable and removes heat in an optimal way.
Comfort for the wearer
A baby carrier must always be well moored on the wearer's body so that it does not pull on his shoulders. It is also necessary that the straps are well padded so as not to attack his muscles.
In the case of a dorsal model, the presence of an additional belt around the pelvis is recommended so that the weight of baby is well distributed on the back and hips.
If the model is ventral, it must be firmly attached so that the weight is carried by the pelvis. In addition, the shoulder straps should not compress the shoulders while the ventral strap allows to better flatten the baby carrier against the back.
Finally, a last requirement to consider when buying this equipment is that it must be easy to remove baby without waking up and without doing too much manipulation.
Ease of adjustment
In general, it should not take more than 10 minutes to adjust and fasten the shoulder straps. It is also important that the straps stay closed and not loose during transport, regardless of the size and weight of the baby. Finally, the closures must be done with fastening systems that clip and open in one gesture, without the need to be helped by anyone.
The choice of the baby carrier is made according to the age and the size of baby, but also taking into account the morphology of the parents. The hammock model is perfect for an infant up to 3 months, but the more the child grows, the more his needs will change and you will need a model in which he can move and by which he can get out the head.
Moreover, it is sometimes difficult for corpulent people to find the best product, so the best alternative is to lean for the wrap that has a good length so that it can be wrapped around the body.
Material of the baby carrier
The material of the baby carrier will affect the comfort of baby and his parents. The ideal model must have a cotton lining because this material is breathable and hypoallergenic. The outer coating can then be polyester or nylon. There are also models that are entirely made of fabric and are very light
Compliance with safety standards
During the purchase, care must be taken to ensure that the child carrier complies with standard NF EN 13209-2 and standard NFS 54006.
For long walks, accessories such as the bottle holder, the cushion, the hood, the rain cover, the small pocket are all accessories that make life easier for parents.
The color of this accessory is made according to the tastes of the parents. In general this accessory is offered in classic colors such as black, blue, red, gray. Carrying scarves are often more colorful.
The purchase of this equipment is carried out according to the budget of the parents. An entry-level model costs between 25 and 30 dollars while a more sophisticated child carrier with several accessories can reach 150 dollars.
Some Precautions To Take
This device must allow the air to circulate well so that baby is not too hot inside, because this discomfort can in the long run irritate his skin and make it irascible. It is also important that the material is easy to clean and ideally it can be machine washed.
Baby Carrier or Carrier Sling?
Baby carrier vs wrap, which one is the best? Here is a match started a long time ago and to date, there is still no confirmed winner. The baby carrier seems more practical and ergonomic, however, the followers of the scarf say that it would be less comfortable for the child. The scarf allows him to move while ensuring a firmer support. Nevertheless, the scarf has a disadvantage of size: the difficulty of the knots to attach it correctly.
The Best Brands for baby carrier
Babybjorn is one of the most popular brands of baby carriers for moms and dads because of the ergonomics of its products. The brand that was born in Sweden in 1961 continues to innovate its products so that they are more design, ergonomic and comfortable for children and respectful of their health.
Manduca offers several types of baby carriers: dorsal, ventral and hip. Its products are distinguished by their modern design, their practicality and their comfort. His baby carriers are available for children from birth until he weighs about 20 kg. His physiological models expand by simply opening a closure.
Ergobaby is a brand specialized in the manufacture of well-designed carrying accessories to ensure optimal comfort for babies and parents. Its mesh child carriers are very breathable.
Deuter is a German leader in the manufacture of hiking backpacks since 1898. It specializes in the manufacture of comfortable and airy baby carriers for outdoor activities and hiking. His models usually have a lightweight and ergonomic structure that facilitates the transport of baby.
This brand specializes in the manufacture of designer and ergonomic childcare items that greatly facilitate the life of parents while fully contributing to baby's comfort. Its products are always innovative and at the cutting edge of technology.