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Baby Carrier Guide 2017

Baby Carrier Guide 2017

For years, baby carriers were considered a bit boho, but these days, they are far more mainstream; ‘wearing’ your baby is very à la mode. Easier to travel with, and more portable than a traditional buggy, not only do carriers promote closeness and security for baby, it leaves hands free to get on with other things (which, let’s face it, in today’s world, is a God send).

The benefits of a baby carrier are many and varied:

  • Convenience. Being able to move around without the encumbrance of enormous pushchairs or lugging baby equipment in and out of cars and buildings (using the escalator in a busy shopping centre and not having to wait for the lift – hurrah!). Being able to multitask whilst keeping a (very) close eye on baby. Preparing food is always easier without a little one screaming at your feet.
  • Baby entertainment. Babies seem much more content when able to look around and interact at adult level. Older ones can participate without getting tired legs and little ones have a whole new level of vision to investigate.
  • For young babies a carrier is much more akin to womb like conditions than the isolation of a crib, cot or pram. Feeling close to mum, hearing her heartbeat and breathing enable baby to regulate their own body system far more quickly. We are beginning to understand more fully the physical benefits for baby of being in close contact. Creating a bond is easier and much evidence suggests that babies are happier and healthier when held close.
  • Baby wearing is also healthy for mum. Want to shed those last few pounds? Nothing better than strapping some weight to you and going for a brisk walk. There’s something to this baby workout…
  • Slings are great for dads too. Dads can get real emotional benefits from exploring the world with their little ones when using a baby carrier. And not just dads – all family members can get use out of the baby carrier.

private pregnancy giveaway baby carriers babybjorn caboo littlelife ergobaby 2

Things To Consider When Buying Your Baby Carrier

Carriers are many and varied and all serve different purposes. It’s important to remember that your carrying objectives will change as baby grows into a toddler. Are you happy with carriers that face outwards? If you have an inquisitive toddler you might have to change tact once they are adamant that they want to explore the world from your height!

Some parents will want to swap to a carrier that enables them to carry their older children on their back, some on their hip. It does pay to do your research as it can be an expensive purchase. Better to get one you are happy with than have to spend more at a later date.

Positions

Baby carriers generally come in one to four carrying positions; facing parent, facing world, hip and back. The ideal position for carrying baby is parent facing. This keeps very young babies in the desirable C shaped position, with spine curved and legs tucked up in frog position. For younger babies, parent facing is the better option because it prevents over stimulation. Introducing a young baby to a busy shopping centre face forward could cause your tiny baby to become distressed. Outward facing is not suggested until a baby is over six months.

As your baby grows and can support his own head, most likely he will want to face outwards to see what’s going on the world.

Hip and back position are great alternatives. Back position can be more comfortable for rambles and long walks. Hip is ideal around the house where you don’t have to stretch both arms around baby to carry out everyday tasks.

Price

Prices vary greatly. As with all products, you can focus your search from practical to fashionable to all singing and all dancing. The most important thing is to do your research and make sure you’re confident that what you buy is suited to your lifestyle.

Comfort

You’ll most likely be spending a lot of time with your baby carrier on – making sure it’s comfortable should be a key consideration. A lot of thought and design effort goes into creating baby slings, so most companies have good focus on comfort.

Baby Björn One Baby Carrier

Baby Björn Original

Baby Björn has been a favourite since it was first ‘born’ in 1973 and the BabyBjörn One carrier is also very popular and for good reason. You can rely on its safety and comfort. The carrier is suitable for babies from newborns to 3 years (or 15kg) and it has adjustable leg openings which can be adjusted for maximum comfort and to adapt to your growing baby.

The ergonomic Baby Carrier One is designed with comfort in mind, so you’ll find padded, form-fitting shoulder straps and a sturdy waist belt which allow you to support your baby’s weight on your hips, avoiding discomfort in the shoulders and back. TheBaby Björn One boasts four positions for baby to sit in. It allows you to carry baby facing inwards (great for making baby feel safe and for bonding) with two height positions and outward facing (from five months old) so that they can explore the world with you as they get older. You can also carry baby on your back.

The inbuilt infant insert means that you don’t need to buy any extras and the carrier can easily adapt as your baby grows.

The best thing about the Björn is how easy it is to use. Quick and simple buckling makes use a dream, and it can be rolled up small for travelling.

Baby Björn Original

The important bits: Machine washable to 40 degrees. Suitable for weight 3.5kg-15lbs.

Durability: 60% cotton, 40% polyester. Baby Björn has stood the test of time in terms of quality and safety.

Stand out features: Cleverly designed, the Baby Björn One has four carrying positions to allow for older babies and adjustable leg openings to ensure your baby is comfy.

Positions: Front inward. Front inward lower height. Front outward. Back inward.

Price: £134.99

Review from Anuranhani on Amazon UK: the best sling ever and the only one you will need. puts no pressure on my back, i can comfortably carry my 7 kg daughter around for a lot of time, she also loves it. straps and buckles are robust and click on beautifully product looks good, is very comfortable for both parent and baby. looking forward to getting a lot of use out of it.’

Buy the BabyBjörn One.

Caboo +Cotton Blend Baby Carrier

Caboo +Cotton Blend

Caboo make five excellent baby carriers:

Caboo +Organic – the original and organic version. Soft but structured
Caboo Lite – easy soft carrying for even prem babies
Caboo DX+ – 3 in 1 and thermo regulated
Caboo DX go – can be used on the front or back of the body as your baby grows into a toddler

It’s been 10 years since Caboo started promoting ‘hugs’! And for their 10th anniversary, they have produced a fifth, special edition, printed anniversary collection of the Caboo +Cotton Blend. Inspired by current trends with a nod to the environment, these beautifully designed carriers are making a splash.

Caboo (urban definition – to be close to someone) is the premier soft baby carrier. The material is a poly cotton blend making it durable, wearable and easy to keep clean. This is a less structured wrap than the Baby Björn One and can be worn in different positions with baby inwards facing or on the hip. It’s super soft (made from 60% cotton and 40% polyester), flexible and grows with your baby from birth upwards to 35lbs. They call it a perfect ‘cocoon’ as it’s just your baby and the material that encloses him, rather than straps and buckles; a very comfy place for a little doze! There are soft wide straps which distribute baby’s weight evenly, making it a comfortable carry.

It’s also useful for breastfeeding as you can manipulate baby’s position in the sling for comfort and privacy. The Caboo has a reinforced back panel, providing stable support for your baby, including excellent support for head and neck. The carrying positions aid and support developing hips and spine.

Caboo +Cotton Blend

The important bits: Machine washable. Suitable from birth to 33lbs.

Durability: Polycotton fabric, secure and durable.

Stand out features: Comfortable. Handy zip pocket.

Positions: Eight different positions including discreet position for breastfeeding.

Price: £69.95

Review from Anna on Amazon UK‘I love my Caboo sling. It’s easy to put on, comfortable to wear and my 5 week old seems to love it, keeping her close and snuggly. She sleeps soundly in it. I love the colour too. Excellent quality, soft and strong material, and so clever with the storage bag too.’

Buy the Caboo +Cotton Blend Anniversary Printed Design.

Littlelife Adventurer Child Carrier

Littlelife Adventurer Child Carrier

The Littlelife Adventurer is a carrier built for long walks and difficult terrain, great for exploring the outdoors on long walks as well as popping to the shops. As a back carrier, this allows you to carry for long distances with minimal effort. It is suitable for children from six months to three years and is a great idea for older ones who want to explore the world with Mum and Dad.

The great thing about the Littlelife is its ease of use; literally you can strap your child in quickly and be out the door in a flash. Unlike other carriers, the unit stands on the floor, the child climbs in and you swing it up onto your back. There are other great features too, including a good amount of storage space for wipes and nappies. With such a sturdy frame (tubular aluminium) it might look as if this carrier would be uncomfortable, but on the contrary. The extra wide body straps distribute weight comfortably and the pivoting hip belt means the unit moves with you whilst you walk, so no uncomfortable rubbing.

It’s lightweight but hard wearing and ergonomically designed to give your child a comfortable carry. You can choose which height your child sits and the soft face padding means that your little one can enjoy a well deserved nap in the fresh air.

Littlelife Adventurer Child Carrier

The important bits: Wash with damp cloth and mild detergent. Six months to three years. Max load – 44lbs. Min height of carrier 5ft 2”, Max height 6ft 2”.

Durability: Aluminium, polyester and nylon.

Stand out features: Sturdy but lightweight. Comfortable and fully adjustable.

Positions: Back carrying.

Price: £119.99

Review from Phil on Littlelife: Brilliant piece of equipment, last minute purchase for holiday to Cornwall, no regrets, little man loved it, (9 months) comfortable to wear, good space for storage, excellent portable high chair too with the kick out stand. Highly recommending to friends and family.’

Buy the Littlelife Adventurer baby carrier.

Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier

Ergobaby 360

The Ergobaby carriers have been wildly popular for a number of years. Well designed, good looking, comfortable and functional, they come at a hefty price but do a wonderful job of giving parents a sense of freedom.

Not only is the Ergobaby 360 good looking, it’s also extremely versatile with four seating positions; front facing inwards, front facing outwards, hip and back carrying. This variety is good news for parents when out and about and carrying needs change from one minute to the next. Most useful is the fact that you can change positions with baby in situ.

This is a carrier that grows with your baby and has won many ‘mummy’ awards online.

It comes in standard cotton material or in the more breathable lightweight mesh (ideal for hot summer days). However, in order to use it from birth you have to buy the infant insert which comes as an extra. The insert is very padded, so extremely comfortable but not suitable for warmer weather. Also you have to keep an eye on what baby wears whilst in the insert so they do not overheat.

It’s easy to see why it’s so popular. With wide waistband and shoulder straps, the soft luxurious material and great design has been created to make this the most comfortable carrying experience possible for mum and dad by distributing weight more evenly. The bucket seat keeps baby in the best position with spine in recommended ‘C’ position.

Ergobaby 360

The important bits: Machine washable. Suitable from birth to 33lbs.

Durability: 100% cotton.

Stand out features: Unique structured bucket seat to ensure optimal position for baby. Wide straps for extra comfort when wearing. Mummy award winning. Awarded the AGR seal of approval for the Campaign for Healthier Backs.

Positions: Front inward. Front outward. Back. Hip.

Price: £139.90

Review from Jo on Amazon UK‘I love this carrier. I tried so many other slings/wraps before finally finding this one. I wish I’d saved my money and just bought this straight away. My lb has always been heavy but this wrap is still comfortable for both of us. It is easy to use, and I’m able to get lb in and out without any help. It’s strong and a nice colour.’

Buy the Ergobaby 360 baby carrier.

Cybex Yema Baby Carrier

Cybex Yema

Calling all fashionistas! Cybex designs are always eye catching and the Cybex Yema Baby Carrier is no exception to the rule. This beautifully ergonomic and minimalist design comes in a variety of patterns that so you can accessorise at will – although the price tag is high for the more striking designs (think leather, denim, butterflies and glitter). To note, this carrier is only suitable from birth to around two years (or 26.5lbs). However, it is very adaptable and you can carry baby on your front, hip and back with no need for an insert for small babies.

The Yema is luxuriously padded (which can make it slightly warmer than other designs) and is based on the traditional wrap idea, making it quick and easy to get on and get going. Just buckle up and tighten the waist strap, then throw the shoulder straps over your shoulder, wrap around the waist and tie at the back – simple! Hidden in the panel is a sun protector for baby’s head and an extra neck support.

Yema grows with your baby. The clever adjustable panel width comes with an age guide so you can judge at what ages to widen the carrier as your baby gets bigger.

Cybex have consulted with various experts to ensure that the design is best suited for the health of your child, including working currently with the International Hip Dysplasia Institute for certification.

Cybex Yema

The important bits: Machine washable. Suitable from birth to 26lbs.

Durability: Cotton liner. Jersey outer.

Stand out features: Fashion forward. Three carrying positions. Seamlessly adjustable seat panel.

Positions: Front inward. Back. Hip.

Price: £250

Review from Catherine on Mothercare: ‘Very easy to put on. Really comfortable material and the baby is extremely secure.’

Buy the Cybex Yema baby carrier.

Alternatives To Baby Carriers

Straightforward body wraps have been around for centuries. They’re great for quick and easy use, easy to store and ensure your baby is tightly held against you – brilliant for baby bonding.

YogaBellies Baby Wrap

The YogaBellies Baby Wrap

Yogabellies is home grown in the UK and has been designed by the award winning YogaBellies Perinatal Yoga School. YogaBellies likes to point out that this is not a cheaply made; a lot of love and thought has gone into its design. Their product has been made and tested in accordance with the highest quality control. In addition, these organic wraps have passed stringent toxin tests meaning that they are completely free from harmful toxins which is important, particularly for ‘chewy’ babies!

The Yogabellies wrap is a traditional one piece wrap. You start with something resembling a stretchy blanket and end up with a cross body wrap; once you’ve mastered the technique of getting the wrap correct. There is a little of bit of effort required to ensure that the wrap is tightly fitted. However once you get the hang of it, the wrap is a doddle to use and extremely lightweight.

Yogabellies comes with an instructional video to help you master the different carrying positions, together with a cute matching hat and storage bag and is available in four different colours. The wrap is easy, light and comfortable to wear and its design and quality mean that baby’s weight is distributed evenly, therefore eliminating any possible pain points that could occur.

The important bits: Machine washable. Birth to 35lbs.

Durability: Handmade from 100% cotton. Conforms to the highest safety standards for baby carriers.

Stand out features: Affordable. Well made, organic, easy to use and comfortable. Useful for breastfeeding too.

Positions: Front inward.

Price: £23.95

Buy the YogaBellies Wrap.

AmaWrap

AmaWrap

Comfortable and stretchy without complex buckles or straps, the AmaWrap is a firm favourite, particularly with mums whose babies suffer with colic or reflux as the vertical hold position prevents the reflux action. Wraps are a great idea for younger babies who can doze off soundly whilst enjoying the comfort of being next to Mum or Dad, although AmaWrap is not designed for small babies, under one month old.

In a similar vein to the Yogabellies, this wrap is one piece of stretchy material which you tie around yourself prior to placing baby in. Amawrap has a discreet baby feeding position which is ideal for when you are out and about.

Amawrap can be folded up small and put in your baby bag. As it is one piece of material, all you need to do to clean it is throw it in the washing machine. It is useful for getting on with chores around the house and trips on public transport or the school run where bulky equipment can get in the way.

The important bits: Machine washable. Birth to 33lbs.

Durability: Handmade from 100% cotton. Conforms to the highest safety standards.

Stand out features: Compact. One size fits all. Ideal for privacy when breastfeeding.

Positions: Front inward.

Price: £39.99

Buy the AmaWrap baby wrap.

 

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