THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BABY CARRIERS
So you would like something to carry your baby in. You have heard of a baby carrier, and have probably only seen the ones that you can buy on the high street, baby facing out, parents backs arched back to accommodate for the forward pull.
Well fear not my friends, here is your own guide all all types of carriers!
Stretchy Wraps such as the Amawrap are wraps that you can tie around yourself, then pop baby in. As they have a little give, you don’t have to get it exactly right in order to get a wonderful, supportive fit for you and your baby. They can come in varying fabrics, and usually measure approx 50cm by 5m. They are ideal for newborns as they give the most perfect fit, and are relatively lightweight. As it is a wrap, it is not only one size fits all, but it also doesn’t matter whether you are 4’2 or 6’7, it won’t be too big or small for you! And they are really great for just chucking in the wash if (and by if we mean when) baby pukes, pees or poos onto it.
NB: It will happen. You were warned.
A woven wrap is woven to have no stretch, and minimal give. Its usually transitioned to once you have sufficient experience with a stretchy wrap, and carries quite a learning curve. You can also back carry in a woven wrap with enough practise. Due to having minimal give, you will tie the wrap around you and baby in order to ensure no looseness. Again its one size fits all due to being a wrap.
A warning however – once you find yourself buying one, you’ll have the bug. And you’ll have to buy more and more because the patterns out there are just beautiful! Prices vary from approx £60 up to near £1000!
A Ring Sling is a piece of wrap which is stitched to two rings on one end. You thread the rings, place it over your head and on one shoulder, pop baby in, and tighten. They are made from woven fabrics, which mean that they are soft but with minimal give, giving a very supportive hold. They are not recommended for people with back problems, as they are one-shouldered, but they are easy to use (once you’ve had a go or two.) It can be used for newborns, but first time parents have never usually heard of these!
This was Miss Ama and I a few years ago when I made our own summer ring sling, what do you think?
A Meh Dai (originating in China) is essentially a rectangle piece of fabric, with straps coming off each side. The top straps are for the shoulders, and the bottom ones are to tie around the waist. They are generally one size fits all and can be used for front, back and side positions. They are lightweight and versatile.
SOFT-STRUCTURED CARRIERS OR BUCKLE CARRIERS
These are the carriers that you are most likely to find on the high street. If choosing a buckle carrier, please try and find one with a wider seat area, which is more likely to support babys legs up to his knees (See our page on Hip Health). They are usually good from about 4 months, but should you wish to use them beforehand you may need to buy an insert. They will come with padded straps, and have a number of adjustment spots.
In our experience men like buckles because they men GRRR! You know, buckles, clips, anything that sounds a bit A-Team-ish. (Only kidding, sorry guys!)
And let us not forget about Sling Libraries! A veritable haven of slings, wraps and carriers for you to try on. If you are really struggling to find the carrier of your dreams, we recommend visiting your local one. Same goes if you have a carrier and need help getting it perfectly comfortable or need a safety check – take it along with you.
Are there any that we have missed out or want information on? Let us know!