Working in the Cotton Babies retail store, the staff and I often get asked, “What is the best baby carrier?” We can only truly begin to answer this question by understanding more about our customer and how they envision using their baby carrier. We need to understand a customer’s wants and needs before helping them to choose a baby carrier.
Keep in mind that many people choose to own multiple carriers to fit their various needs. Here are some things to consider when choosing a carrier:
- Will you be using your carrier primarily in your house?
- Will you be using your carrier at the store?
- Will you be using your carrier mostly outside for hikes and outdoor events?
- Will you and your partner be sharing the same carrier?
- Do you want the option to wear baby on your back and/or facing outward?
Keep these questions in mind while you read more about some of the types of carriers we love and have found that our customers love also.
A wonderful stretchy wrap is perfect for the first couple of months with baby. You will love how soft this wrap is and how it just hugs you and your baby together. Another benefit of this carrier is that you have full use of both your arms. I loved using this carrier with my oldest; I will never forget the sense of pride and wonder the first time I successfully got her in the wrap. She was so sweet and I adored the feeling of her heart beating next to mine in our Moby wrap.
A great ring sling is another popular style for the newborn period and beyond. While a stretchy wrap is super comfortable and cozy it is not the quickest carrier to get on and off. The ring sling provides the perfect solution for those times you need to get into and out of a carrier at the speed of light. This is my go-to carrier for anything from grocery shopping to picking up my older kids at school. I also love how the look when you are wearing a ring sling.
Meh Dai is another carrier that is great for the first couple of months of life but continues to be a favorite well into the toddler years. This carrier provides great support and ease of use. We sell this carrier often to couples who will be sharing their carrier and they are very different sizes. A Meh Dai style carrier requires no adjustments between uses since it ties on so it is perfect for both partners to use. It provides a comfort for your baby when they are days old and also when they are a year old. It can be worn on the front or on your back. This is hands-down one of our favorite carrier types in the store for the ease of use and the support it provides.
Soft Structured Carrier
The type of carrier we sell the most in the store is a soft structured carrier. These carriers are great for going to the store, hiking or outdoor events. We also find that people have seen this type of carrier in use the most often so it brings a sense of familiarity to them. My husband feels most comfortable with a soft structured carrier and used ours to put our daughters to sleep when they are younger. There are so many different brands in this category. You will want to find one that is right for you. Some carriers need infant inserts and some have a built-in infant insert. Some soft structured carriers can also accommodate the child in the outward facing position and some cannot. There are also soft structure carriers for toddlers.
A woven wrap is one of the most versatile baby carriers available. You can do simple wraps in them or you can learn fancy wraps that create beautiful finishes. You can use most woven wraps from birth well into the toddler years. The weight limits tend to go high on this type of carrier. They do have a bit of a learning curve, but they provide the most flexibility once you have conquered that curve.
Babywearing has been a love and a passion of mine since my first was born nine years ago. It has provided comfort for baby and me on stressful days, it has given my baby a safe place to be while I got work done and it has bonded each of my girls to me in a very special way. Whatever carrier or carriers you pick enjoy your little one and snuggle up together as you embark on your babywearing journey.