Being hands-free and able-bodied, is there anything sweeter? New parents will know that this is a rare pleasure when you’re dealing with a newborn and why we need to find you the best baby carrier!
There will be times when your baby doesn’t want to be put down anywhere – including the cot, the stroller and even the swing! A baby carrier allows parents to give babies the cuddles they require, while still being able to prepare food, run errands – and just generally have use of their limbs!
What you should look for when buying a baby carrier?
When it comes to choosing the right carrier for you and bub, there are a few things you need to need to consider, like safety and comfort – not just for bub – but for you, too!
Most carriers can only carry babies up until a certain weight. Keep this in mind when selecting your carrier, as choosing one designed for babies under a certain weight may mean your carrier becomes unsafe as your baby gains weight. Ensure you choose a carrier that’s easy to tighten before you put your baby in it, and one that you can make more snug once your baby is inside. Ensure the sling allows you to position your baby’s head comfortably to the side, and that you can constantly monitor the position of their nose and mouth to ensure neither are covered at any time.
Always check that the carrier comes with easy-to-understand written, visual or video instructions that show you how to use it safely.
Broad, padded shoulder straps are a must if you’re planning to carry your bub past the newborn stage. A broad waist strap will help to distribute baby’s weight evenly. It also stops the carrier moving from side-to-side too much as you walk.
- Ease of use
Try to find a carrier that allows you to complete most of the fitting before your baby is placed in the carrier, and is then easy to adjust for a snug fit with one hand once the carrier is on and secured.
You may also want to think about the type of clothing you like to wear, and how the design of your carrier will work with that clothing. This has a lot to do with comfort, but also with design. Some carriers with a tie instead of a broad waistband tend to ride up as you walk, this can be a problem if you’re wearing singlet tops or short dresses.
If you’re looking to use your carrier year round, it may be worth selecting a carrier featuring mesh panels, or one made from a breathable material – nothing synthetic! This is because you’re able to dress your baby warmly in winter, but you don’t want them overheating in the carrier in the summer months.
If you’re hoping to have the option of using your carrier past the newborn stage, it’s worth opting for one that allows you to turn your baby around to face outwards. They prefer this as they get older, as they don’t need to be cuddled into your chest anymore – rather, they want to be able to see what’s going on! Some carriers even allow you to carry baby on your hip or back. Options are never a bad thing!
Baby carrier features to consider:
- Mesh panels
Create breathability for your baby by allowing air to travel through the carrier and reach your baby’s body.
- Easy-to-use toggles
Toggles with long straps that are easily reached with one hand and can be clipped and unclipped with one hand.
- Newborn insert
A newborn insert is often a pillow-like inclusion with carriers that cater to a wider age and weight bracket, as it allows your baby’s head to be in a safe position above the lip of the carrier when they’re a newborn, and are then able to use the carrier long term once they outgrow the newborn insert.
Simple, sturdy and breathable carriers with padded support straps are often the most safe and comfortable for you and baby. Anything too complex can mean you forget to tighten a toggle, and any materials with too much ‘give’ can mean that your baby’s head isn’t secured in an ideal – or safe – position whilst being carried.
Here are the 10 best baby carriers of 2020:
Real review: Kehley M, Babydink.com.au
“My 3 week old loves going for walks in our BabyDink, he falls asleep immediately and it’s so easy and comfortable for me to wear! A bonus I have discovered is I can wear this around the house when he’s unsettled and he’ll settle or fall asleep straight away! It’s such a huge help especially with my husband working away and me not having family in the area. He legitimately just woke from a 3 hour sleep in the Dink while I prepped dinner, did the washing, dishes and I also ate breakfast before 12!!”
Real review: Janel. R, zarparbebe.com.au
“This is the only carrier that has worked with my little one!! We love how soft and lightweight it is and it is by the far the best easiest carrier to put on – trust me we’ve tried so many!”
Real review: Jui Bhadra, mummaetc.com
“The best impulse buy ever! I was breastfeeding late one night and came across the ad on instagram as you do. After thinking about it for all of 2 seconds I ended up buying the sling as one more thing to test that doesn’t work for my baby or will be too clumsy for me to wear. I must admit baby and I love this sling, its super easy to wear and use and after the first couple of times you become a pro. Bub loves it as she’s close to me and sleeps as I walk around the house or the shopping center or go for long walks in the evening hands free.My favourite is where you can roll up the sling and tuck it in to support bub’s neck. Very handy if you have a cling baby.My husband loves it too!”
Real review: Leah, amazon.com
“So glad I purchased. Much easier to use than the wrap style and perfect for wearing around at home and sitting on the couch, but also works as a first layer with baby if I’m popping outside. I do keep my arms around her/ wouldn’t say it’s tight enough to be totally hands-free. Does run a little small- I am normally a small and did a medium for this.”
Real review: Amy Barnett, Bubs N Grubs Baby Store
“Easy to use, baby loves the carrier. Lightweight and perfect for warmer weather. Baby can face inwards or out and it’s easy to clean.”
Real review: Jennifer. R, ergobaby.com.au
“Extremely happy with this carrier. Very easy to use and bub is very comfortable in it! Have used it to go fishing on the boat, shopping and chores around the farm. Well made, sturdy, comfortable and breatheable. I live in a very hot humid climate (the Kimberley in northwest Australia) and this carrier is still useable in the heat. I recommend it to all my mum friends!”
Real review: Jess Anderson, pognae.com.au
“This is my 3rd different type of baby carrier. My baby hasn’t liked the others. Pognae is by far the best. So easy to put on, comfortable, supportive, lightweight and folds easily to fit in my nappy bag.
My baby loves it. She has more freedom to move her arms. She loves to suck on the hand and this carrier allows her to do so. Bonus is that you can also wear baby forward facing. Amazing!!”
Real review: Jennifer S, babybunting.com.au
“Life changing may sound like an exaggeration, but this carrier truly is. My daughter is 2 and due to developmental delays is unable to walk. While the world is meant to be accessible for strollers and wheelchairs, it isn’t always. With our Lillebaby carrier, I can take my daughter anywhere that I can walk myself. It has been instrumental in getting our family back out in nature and enjoying life “where the sidewalks end.”
Even though our joy in our Lillebaby may be due to circumstances beyond what is typical, any parent or caregiver will find this useful. It is hands free baby care while still holding your little one close to your heart.”
Real review: Mlaushman, babybunting.com.au
“Nuna really took the time to think out the process and functionality of of this Cudl Baby Carrier! I have never owned a carrier that my child has actually enjoyed being in. This one is it! It’s super easy to apply because of the locking magnetic buckles. The comfort for both myself and my child is incomparable to any of the rest on the market. It comes with many features like a cotton bib attachment that is easy to remove for cleaning. Removable head and neck support. Zippered pockets. The versitality of of the carrier is also amazing! You can wear it four different ways and use it up to 9+ months of age. I have never felt so hands free while still providing the comfort and bond that my growing baby needs!!!
Real review: Anna, babybunting.com.au
“This product was a game changer for me. My bub is 3 months old and my first. She was also premmie and only 2.6kg when she was born and I’ve used this from the start. She absolutely LOVES it in there and falls asleep straight away and also calms immediately when she’s chucking a bit of a wobbly. I clean the whole house with her in it and it means you have your hands free to make food or whatever. I swear by it and can imagine it would be a lifesaver if you have a baby and a toddler to chase after as well. They are pretty expenno but the amount I use it, it’s paid for itself tenfold. I also have one in cream but the black one looks a bit more fancy pants ) I am buying all my preggo friends one cos I love it so much!”
To ensure your baby’s safety in the carrier, you should always follow The T.I.C.K.S. rule to help you remember how to position your baby safely in a baby sling, as per raisingchildren.net.au:
- Tight: the sling should be tight, with the baby positioned high and upright with head support. Any loose fabric might cause your baby to slump down, which could restrict breathing.
- In view at all times: always be able to see your baby’s face by simply looking down. Ensure your baby’s face, nose and mouth remain uncovered by the sling and/or your body.
- Close enough to kiss: your baby should be close enough to your chin that by tipping her head forward you can easily kiss the head.
- Keep chin off the chest: ensure your baby’s chin is up and away from their body. Your baby should never be curled so that the chin is forced onto their chest. This can restrict breathing. Regularly check your baby. Babies can be in distress without making any noise or movement.
- Supported back: your baby’s back should be supported in a natural position with their tummy and chest against you. When bending over, support your baby with one hand behind their back. Bend at the knees, not at the waist.
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