Baby-wearing is a lifesaver! It makes going for a walk, cleaning, and various other activities so much easier. Plus, it is so sweet holding your baby so close. I am a BIG fan! Even before my son was born, I knew I wanted to baby-wear. A woven wrap was one of the first items on my baby registry.
The only problem I had when starting my baby-wearing journey was figuring out what kind of baby carrier to buy! There are SO MANY CHOICES! The first one I used was a woven wrap but I soon realized I needed a different kind for my specific need at the time. Let me fill you in on some important factors you need to consider before choosing your baby carrier.
First, there are a lot of styles. You could get a wrap or one that buckles like a backpack. They have cloth ones and ones made out of water-proof material. The style that you like best is definitely something to consider but it may not be the most important factor. I always liked the look of the cloth wraps best but I found other styles to suit me better based on other factors.
I think this is one of the most important things to consider. My son was born in May and I live in South Carolina. It was miserable trying to wrap him up in my cloth wrap in the southern heat! Sadly, I ended up putting him in a stroller most of the time if we went outside. 🙁
Not all baby carriers are awesome for every stage. If you are planning on using a carrier for the first few months, before baby can hold his head up, then I would lean towards getting a woven wrap. Fortunately, most carriers are versatile and can adjust to your baby’s abilities.
Some carriers are easier then others to use. If you want something that you can strap on in a hurry, you probably don’t want to get a woven wrap. It takes some time to wrap yourself up, put the baby in, and make all of the adjustments. Although, it’s not hard to learn how to wrap.
This is another important factor. Honestly, I had a VERY small budget for my baby carrier. There are carriers out there that cost $100-$200 and that just wasn’t something I could afford. I ended up with carriers around $30-$50 and I was pleased with the quality for the price.
If you are planning on breastfeeding in your baby carrier then I wouldn’t get a structured carrier that buckles. It is VERY difficult to position a baby to breastfeed when there is only one basic position the baby will sit in. In fact, I couldn’t make it work with my structured buckle carrier at all.
Now that you know some important factors to consider before buying a baby carrier, let me fill you in on the basic types of carriers and how they fit into those categories. The basic styles are woven wrap, structured buckle carrier, mei tai, and ring sling.
Woven Wrap- a long piece of material that you wrap around your body and tie. They can be used in a lot of different positions such as front, hip, back, etc.
- Material- mostly cloth, can be other materials
- Weather- best used in colder seasons
- Age- any age, great for newborns
- Convenience- takes time to wrap
- Budget- $30-$50
- Breastfeeding- great for breastfeeding!
Structured Buckle Carrier- fits on your body like a backwards backpack with a wide waistband. It allows baby to be worn on the front or back.
- Material- cloth, water-proof, lots of different options
- Weather- good for all types of weather, especially hot weather if material is breathable
- Age- any age, better for babies will good head control
- Convenience- slide on, buckle, ready to go!
- Budget- $25-$180
- Breastfeeding- not good/almost impossible
Mei Tai (pronounced may tie)- two straps that ties around your waist and two that tie over your shoulders with a little pouch in the middle for baby. (Almost a mix between a woven wrap and a structured buckle carrier.) This can be worn front or back.
- Material- mostly cloth, waterproof shoulder straps
- Weather- good for all weather
- Age- any age, better for older children
- Convenience- easy to tie
- Budget- $35- $100
- Breastfeeding- easy to adjust to be able to breastfeed
Ring Sling- a long piece of material that is threaded through two rings. Baby is mostly worn on the hip/side.
- Material- cloth and metal
- Weather- better for mild weather
- Age- newborns, older children with good head control
- Convenience- easy to adjust
- Budget- $35-$55 average
- Breastfeeding- good for breastfeeding
So far my favorite baby carrier that I’ve owned has depended on the season. I bought my structured buckle carrier because the woven wrap was way too hot for the summer and I loved it! Now it is winter and I am using my woven wrap a ton and I love it! I hope you found all of this information useful and it helps save you some money before you choose a baby carrier.
If there are some things I didn’t cover or you have some cute pictures of yourself baby-wearing, feel free to leave it in the comments! 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and go ahead and subscribe to my page (if you haven’t already) to receive more helpful tips like these!