The first few months of parenting are challenging. No doubt. Your baby needs your constant attention, and even if it doesn’t, as a parent, you will feel safest when your baby is near you. Or even better - on you. But still, you will have to do other things besides nursing, right? This is where baby slings and baby wraps come in handy, as you can simply carry your baby on you wherever you decide to go.
What is The Best Baby Carrier?
In my opinion, all kids of baby carriers are really practical. But in deciding which one to choose, I would always opt for a baby wrap (or a baby sling). They are the closest you can get to having skin on skin contact. Your baby can feel you breathe and listen to your heartbeat. Also, depending on the wearing position, you can use it from a newborn to toddler stage. Now, choosing the best baby wrap can be challenging as they all seem to be the same - this is why I have created my own top list for you!
Moby Wrap Classic, Amazon, £44.99
If you are wondering about which baby sling to purchase, and you’re not into experimenting, plus you have a budget you can stretch, then a Moby wrap/sling is the one to go for. It’s one of the most popular baby wearing wraps at the moment. It’s made from 100% good quality, breathable cotton and it’s ideal for all climates and seasons. It is great for babies from 8-30 lbs and it grows with the baby because it offers the possibility of different wearing positions. It’s a kind of a child sling that you just wrap your baby with and don’t worry about anything.
Mamaway Baby Ring Sling, Amazon, £29
A baby wrap known as a ring sling is similar to wraparound baby slings but it uses a ring and a different method of wrapping your baby on you. It still offers the same closeness to your baby and the same support in the first few months. This particular baby sling carrier is designed for babies from the newborn phase until they no longer want to be carried around - saying it can hold up to 100 lbs as its made out of super strong nylon. It may look a bit different but it’s still as comfortable and as useful as all other baby carriers and slings once you get used to it.
Ailuros Petal Baby Carrier, Etsy, £153.27
Now I know that this baby sling is perhaps a bit extravagant due to its high price, but hear me out. I love going to Etsy to seek unique pieces that I know I will use, cherish and enjoy each time I look at them. This baby carrier is handmade, made from cotton and beautiful! Having fashionable baby wraps and slings is very much a thing right now, so if you are looking for a present for someone close, or you just want to indulge in a beautiful piece, explore Etsy would be where to go.
Love & Carry® Love Tie/Mei Tai, Amazon, £48.32
Finding a beautifully designed wrap around baby sling can be a bit of a challenge if you are looking through mainstream online shops. Most of them come in neutral colours - I guess it’s because people prefer a baby wrap carrier to go well with their other equipment. But I just love to have at least something on a baby sling wrap. This is the one that I found to be great quality, but also a cute alternative to the expensive Etsy sling carrier mentioned above.
Ergobaby Aura Baby Carrier, John Lewis, £49.90
This is a really lightweight baby carrier and as such, it is very comfortable for both the mum and the baby. The material is 100% viscose, made from eucalyptus and acacia (which sounds kind of delicious). I love the Indigo colour of this baby sling, it really does make it look luxurious. And as fancy as it may be, it is one of the best choices for beginners, great newborn sling/wrap, and a safe buy if you are new to this subject and worried on which baby carrier is best. And as all things John Lewis, this one would be a perfect choice for a gift for someone close to you.
Cozy Baby Wrap, Amazon, £12.99
If you are really on a budget but you are still looking for a baby wearing sling, then this one will also do the trick. Your baby will be close to your body at all times, as comfortable as he needs to be. The fabric is made from 95% pure cotton and 5% spandex, which is a quality combination thanks to which you don’t need to worry if you’re challenging your baby’s safety by trying to reduce costs (oh, that mum guilt!). These baby slings have been tested and certified. And as all the others, you can use this wrap carrier from the newborn phase all till your baby becomes a toddler and decides it’s more fun to keep you running after him!
Are You A Baby Wearer?
As in all things baby, there are different opinions on this matter. Some people believe that carrying your baby around all day in a baby wearing wrap will make him spoilt or more difficult to learn how to self-soothe or just be independent in general. What are your thoughts on baby wearing? Are you pro or against slings for babies? Which baby carrier is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
Baby carriers, wraps and slings
Carrying your baby against your body is a gorgeous thing to do. Feeling my daughter snuggled up and sleeping in her baby carrier as I wandered around the shops on a beautiful day in town is one of my favourite memories. We could both feel each other’s heartbeats and the feeling of contentment was wonderful.
Why would you need or want a baby carrier?
Simply because it’s lovely to feel close to your baby while having your hands free to go about your daily tasks. However, there are other great reasons for investing in a baby carrier.
- You can parent your other children much easier while carrying the tiniest member of the family along with you.
- If you have a fractious new born who simply won’t be put down, then a sling will help you get on with household tasks.
- Studies have shown that a baby who is carried for at least two hours in a day will cry 43% less throughout the rest of that day.
- Trips on public transport are so much easier without a pram the size of a tank to deal with. A baby carrier is the perfect option for a bulk-free trip to the shops.
- Carrying an older baby in a front-facing baby carrier is a fun way to go for a walk. They can see what’s going on from up high with mummy or daddy pointing out tractors, dogs, big trees and other exciting, new things.
What to consider when shopping for a baby carrier
The best baby carrier is a comfortable one. There’s nothing worse than finding the expensive, stylish papoose you just bought makes your back ache or chafes your arms.
- Before you buy, TRY! I would recommend having an initial recce and then once baby has arrived take them with you to ensure the best fit and level of comfort for both you and your cherub.
- Decide whether to buy one carrier for each stage of your baby’s development or one that will adjust to your child’s growth.
- A wrap is a great idea for a small baby but not for a curious 10-month-old. Your choice will depend on your budget as a separate carrier for each age may be more practical and comfortable but might be expensive.
- When guidelines are followed, baby carriers, slings and wraps can be used without worry. However, do keep safety in mind. Read the instructions for the product, visit The Lullaby Trust website and have a look through these guidelines;
- Practice putting your carrier on. Getting the technique right can take a few goes. Cracking the puzzle of how to strap it to you is one thing, doing it with a baby in it or putting a baby in after can be nerve-wracking and stressful.
What type of product should you buy?
- Designed to securely strap to your front.
- They are usually made from structured material with a soft inner and weatherproof outer liner.
- Baby carriers will either be in one piece with carrier and straps attached (Chicco) or in two separate sections. (Baby Bjorn)
- They will keep baby in an upright position with their head supported when needed and little legs either curled up underneath or dangling.
- Can be used with baby facing towards you in the first months and then changed to be forward facing as they get older.
- The straps are designed to be adjusted to fit men, women, indoor and outdoor clothing and for people of all shapes, sizes and heights. But you need to try them on before purchase.
- A baby carrier can be bulky and heavy to wear, pack and store.
- They are usually made of a soft breathable fabric that will regulate your baby’s temperature.
- They are designed to be wrapped around your body and then your baby.
- Baby is carried facing you with their legs tucked up or dangling. Head support can be adjusted easily by wrapping in a different way.
- Adjustable, within reason, they can be wrapped to suit an individual’s shape and size.
- Can be used from birth into the older baby stage.
- Wraps are large, foldable pieces of fabric so are portable and lightweight to wear, pack and store.
- Made of soft, breathable fabric which will keep your baby both cool and warm where needed.
- Worn over one shoulder so can be uncomfortable over a long period of time.
- Usually used with baby in a cradled, reclined position like a hammock.
- Mainly used for young babies but some can be adjusted to become a ‘hip seat’ for older babies and even toddlers.
- Can be used as a discreet ‘cover-up’ when breastfeeding.
- Slings sometimes have a structure to them (high sides so baby can’t roll out) so they aren’t quite as lightweight and portable as wraps.
Our favourite baby carriers
Baby Bjorn Original and Baby Bjorn One
Approx £64.95 and £119.99 from John Lewis, Mother Care and Amazon.
The Baby Bjorn Original is a design classic and has been delighting parents since 1961. Having worked for ten years in a well-known nursery retailer I have helped parents try on MANY baby carriers and the Baby Bjorn range was always the easiest to put on and adjust.
- Easy to put on once the straps have been set to your height and shape.
- Simple to place and secure your baby.
- Super quick adjustment to the layers of clothes you are wearing.
- Quick release buckles to get baby out easily.
- Comfortable to wear, efficient weight distribution.
- Super supportive and comfortable for baby.
- Keeps baby’s hips in a natural position.
- Mesh, breathable fabric and a range of styles and colours.
The Original is best for your child’s first few months and is lightweight. The One is suitable for both tiny and older babies as it can be used in a forward-facing position. It is, however, a little bulkier than the Original.
Approx £19.99 from Argos, Amazon and Mother Care.
This is a fantastic budget buy which Chicco claims to be as comfortable as wearing a T-shirt. The price is brilliant! £19.99 for a comfy carrier that will safely support your baby up to 9kg.
- Added neck and head support for new born babies.
- Adjustable for older babies up to 9kg.
- Soft fabric which feels great for both baby and the person carrying.
- An ergonomic seat which promotes a natural hip position for baby.
- Can be used in both parent and forward facing.
- Easy to put on an adjust to the size, height and shape of both baby and whoever is carrying them.