Baby carriers allow you to go all hands-free whilst keeping your baby close to you. According to Wu & Huang (2017) baby carriers are good for promoting bond between the child and the mother and they can also cure postpartum depression. However, choosing a baby carrier cannot be treated as a random act. You need to make certain considerations before choosing the carrier.
The age of your child should be your first consideration. Depending on it the style of the carrier will vary. The critical parameters like height and weight are also very important. Each baby is different and they need to be carried in different carriers. The physical developmental stage of your child should also be considered.
You cannot buy a baby carrier which you yourself cannot handle. Therefore the ergonomics of the baby carrier should be taken into account before putting it to usage. The overall quality of the baby carrier is definitely a factor and so is its cost. The cleaning ease of the carrier is important for your baby’ overall hygiene. The usability and the overall aesthetic of the carrier are also very critical factors as you yourself need to carry it outside the comfort of your home. Moreover, before buying the carrier you must also understand its overall purpose and identify how and when do you need the carrier. Carriers for regular usage should be more durable than the occasional usage ones.
11 Things to Remember While Choosing Baby Carriers
Age of the Child
The age of the child definitely plays a very critical role in the overall decision of buying the baby carrier. This is due to the fact that from new born babies to 5 month old babies do not have adequate strength in their necks.
That is the reason why they will require proper neck supports in their carriers. Younger babies will also need to maintain that natural curled up posture, whilst being carried around. The shape of the carrier should ideally compliment the requirement.
Height of the Child
Different babies grow at different paces and height is something which is never the same. That is why, even though it is not mentioned in the carriers, you must check whether your baby is being able to maintain proper balance whilst being carried on in the carrier.
Taller kids tend to tilt sideways once being put in the carrier. That increases the risk of falling out. (Bergounioux, 2015) Before buying, check whether the carrier can adjust to the proper height of the child.
Weight of the Child
Weight of the child is in fact a major consideration in the process of choosing the baby carrier. You must know your baby’s current weight as each carrier has a certain weight limitation which you need to check.
Also make sure that your child’s weight is not exactly matching the maximum weight limit mentioned in the carrier. Ideally your child’s weight should be 7 to 8 kilograms less than the maximum limit mentioned in the carrier.
Physical Development Stage
Not every child grows at the same rate. You need to track down your child’s development rate before buying the carrier for him/her. If your child is lightweight and small then a bigger carrier might trigger the risk of falling down.
On the other hand if your child is growing at a faster rate, then a smaller carrier might trigger the risk of breaking down and falling. Many such incidents have been recorded throughout the United States and it still is considered as a major threat. (Bergounioux, 2015)
Ergonomics of the Carrier
Ever heard of the fish in the bowl theory? The fish grows in proportion to the dimension of the bowl. Similar things happen with a baby carrier. You must make sure that the baby carrier is ergonomically suitable for your child.
It must not physically confine your child and hinder his/her growth and development. Staying in the same position for hours in a cringed environment will restrict the proper blood circulation and muscular development. (Wuerstl, 2015).
If you are unsure about this then take this little hint-using the same carrier, with same adjustment for more than 5 months is not usually a good sign.
Quality of the Carrier
Determining the quality of the carrier is very important as it is a matter of life and death of your child. Poor quality carriers tend to break resulting in many fatal accidents. The ring sling breaks often in case of poor quality carriers.
Only purchase carriers from brands having proven track records. Brands like JumpSac Baby, Taylormade Slings, Moms R’ Us Slings & Moms In Minds Slings so far has proven to be good ones in the market.
Whilst buying baby carriers with buckles, make sure that the buckles are heavy duty ones with assured quality. You need to do a thorough checking before making the final purchase.
Ease of Use
Since it is something which you and your baby will both use on a daily basis it is important to check for the ease of use of the product before purchasing. There are many styles of baby carriers that you can choose from.
Like for instance, the baby pouches are perfect as the risks are minimal in the absence of snaps or buckles. However, on the flip side the snugness factor is quite limited. The ring slings, on the other hand, might look a bit complex and complicated to use but again many parents like the fact that they can adjust the position and make it use for a longer time period. (Wang, 2017).
Aesthetic of the Carrier
Since the carrier will be a part of your entire getup, it is important that you also check the overall aesthetic and design of it. The color and the styles are more important for you than for your child.
If you are willing to share the carrying duty with your spouse/partner then check for his/her preferences too.
Purpose of the Carrier
The choice of carrier also depends on the overall purpose for which you are buying it. For instance you need to ascertain whether you are going to regularly carrying your baby in the carrier or you just need it for a short trip.
Some parents also need a proper carrier when they are planning to go on a hike or a long road trip. You need to check the resistance and durability of the thing depending on how much rough use you are going to do.
Ease of Washing
Since your child will be resting on the carrier for a considerable amount of time the overall cleanliness is a big factor. Unclean carrier belts are known to cause rashes and skin allergies amongst children.
However, it is not always easy to clean all kinds of carriers. So, before you buy the carrier make sure you ask the salesperson as in how you can clean the carrier and make it hygienic for your child.
Cost of the Carrier
Last but not the least the cost always comes to the account. Again depending on the usage and the purpose you can increase or decrease your budget. However, never compromise on the quality of the product.
Even if you are using the carrier for a short time make sure it can withstand the weight for that duration and your child remains comfortable in there. These are the basic factors which you need to check before bringing the carrier home.
Like any other child accessory, the carriers are also of great importance. Your child’s life and well-being is closely associated with it. That is why, do not jump on to the purchase decision without ticking all the check boxes, mentioned above. Remember that quality brands also have their faulty products. Buying one of those faulty products can make you pay a heavy price.