Baby & Toddler / 13 February, 2024 / My Baba
There’s so much to buy when you’re expecting a baby, and working out which stroller, which bouncer, which baby carrier etc. is going to be the best for your growing family can be tricky! We’ve gone to the experts, Ergobaby, to help put together a list of exactly what you should be looking for to make sure you get the right baby carrier for you.
Different families have different reasons to babywear. It could be that you get a so-called ‘Velcro baby’ who won’t be put down (this is totally normal – you are their safe place, and their instinct tells them to stick close). Or because you have an active lifestyle that you want to enjoy with baby, and a carrier makes that possible. Or maybe you have another child to look after, and you need your hands free for them. But no matter why you’re considering a carrier, there are some things you should always look out for:
A carrier that is ergonomic and comfortable for baby is a must, obviously. But if it’s not ergonomic and comfortable for you as the wearer too then you just won’t use it and that defeats the point of having it in the first place. Look for accreditation from recognised, evidenced-based, international bodies like the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and AGR (campaign for healthier backs) who rigorously test products to ensure they meet the highest standards in ergonomics and comfort. If you can, we recommend heading to a local sling library or retailer and trying a few on for size. That way you can really get a feel for each carrier and what might suit your body best.
Another thing to check before buying is that if baby has more than one parent or caregiver (particularly if they have a different body size or shape to you), that it will work for both of you and is easy to switch between users. Look for a carrier that is easy to put on and adjusts with every wear. That way, every time the carrier is used it can be perfectly tailored to who’s using the carrier, what clothes they’re wearing (pro tip: bulky clothes can negatively affect the fit for you and baby), the carry position they’re using etc. without the rigmarole of multiple settings. This saves a significant amount of time and energy and we’re yet to find a parent who doesn’t want life to be made easier!
With that in mind – help is out there while you’re still getting used to your carrier! If you’ve never used a baby carrier before then even the most easy-to-use model can be overwhelming when you’ve got a fractious, wriggly newborn and everything you read in the instruction manual has suddenly fallen out of your head. Our top tip – practice before baby arrives. There are universal guidelines to follow like the TICKS rules for safe babywearing but some brands go above and beyond to support you both before and after you’ve bought your carrier. For example, Ergobaby have a squad of fully qualified babywearing consultants in their customer support team ready to support you with any babywearing questions. Whether it’s putting your carrier on solo, a fit check to make sure baby is positioned correctly, help with certain features or carry positions; anything you can think of, they’re on hand to help.
And if you’re planning to use it for more than one baby – either of your own or friends or family members? Look for a carrier that comes with a guarantee that will last a lifetime. The Ergobaby ErgoPromise™ Limited Lifetime Warranty covers all their baby carriers and provides a limited warranty against manufacturing defects for the lifetime of the product. Ergobaby will provide a replacement part or replacement product, subject to certain conditions, so you can carry your precious cargo with confidence.
We’ve touched on most of the big things to look for in a baby carrier but what about the little things? They’re just as important when you’re running low on sleep or have a thousand things on your mind. We can’t stress this enough – find a carrier that makes your life as easy as possible. What does that look like? A carrier that can be popped in the washing machine when it gets grubby to save you a complicated clean-up. A carrier that has extra safety features as standard. A carrier with storage for a nappy, some wipes and your keys for when you want to travel light. A carrier that fits your lifestyle!
There are lots of things to consider but the most important feature of any baby carrier… anything, or everything, that makes you want to use it every single day. Because it makes life easier. Because you and baby love it. Whatever your motivation, the right baby carrier swiftly becomes something you can’t live without. The thing you rave about to all your friends. The thing you urge all new parents to add to their list. This means it’s certainly worth investing the time and energy into finding the right baby carrier for you. And when you do find it? The right baby carrier becomes part of the story of your life together. It’s something you’ll struggle to let go of. An heirloom of your family that gets loved and used and relied on for years to come. Good luck!