thread: Which carrier for my baby/toddler?

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    Which carrier for my baby/toddler?

    With thanks to Suse, who posted this elsewhere some time ago.....

    Pouch: (eg: peanut shell)
    Good in and out carrier but must be sized exactly to the wearer (otherwise difficult to get good, safe positioning and will cause discomfort). Great for smaller babies but not as good as a weight bearing carrier. (some have limited adjustability with rings, etc)

    Ring Sling (eg: Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling, Bear Hug Baby:
    Much more flexible version of a pouch - one shouldered carrier with adjustment via the rings. Preferable to a buckle sling as it allows full adjustability across all areas of the sling to get a perfect fit for any wearer. Comes in many different shoulder styles/fabrics. Depending on the fabric strength, can be suitable for both newborns and toddlers. (Eg: double linen, or woven wrap conversions are great for toddlers).

    Buckle Sling (eg: Baba Sling, Bubba Moe, Baby Rock)
    A supposedly 'easier' version of a ring sling. Too similar to the recalled Infantino slings which are also referred to as 'bag slings'. They tend to have a very deep pouch and limited adjustability - meaning that they are rarely comfortable for wearer (especially petite wearers), and can be dangerous for newborns/young babies with little head control when used in cradle position as the pouch is too deep and does not allow correct posture. Whilst some people like them, and they can be used safely if cautious, I would never recommend these types to anyone. Period.

    Mei-tai: (eg: CatBirdBaby, BabyHawk)
    a two shouldered carrier, also known as an ABC (asian baby carrier). The basic design is a rectangular body with two long straps at shoulders, and two straps at waist. Although tying can be tricky to start with, like a ring sling it offers a good balance between ease of use and flexible adjustability.

    SSC (soft structured carrier - eg: Ergo):
    Similar to a mei-tai - based on the same design, but with a more heavily structured waist (usually worn on the hips rather than the waist), and buckle straps at shoulders. Whilst these are great for ease of use, different types will suit different wearers better. Petite wearers may find it difficult to find a SSC where the shoulder straps can be tightened sufficiently, or that don't slip in a ruck back carry.

    Stretchy Wrap (eg: hug-a-bub)
    Great for newborns, small babies due to the flexibility of the fabric, a wrap is the ultimate in comfort/adjustability (no buckles etc) but has the steepest learning curve. Stretch wraps should only be used in front carries, they aren't recommended for back carries. Stretch wraps can easily be made from cotton jersey.

    Woven Wrap (eg: Didymos, Storchenwiege, Girasol, Vatanai, etc, etc).
    A 'step up' in support for those who are finding a stretch wrap unsupportive, woven wraps are specially woven for babywearing. Many different carries are possible (a variety of front, back and hip carries, using wraps of various different lengths), and again, whilst wrapping has a much greater learning curve than using any other type of carrier, once mastered, it is potentially much more comfortable than any other carrier. There is also the 'squish' factor of using lovely soft fabric to wear your child. There are many, many different types of wraps available, with different types having different qualities (eg: thickness, cushiness, support etc) which make them more suitable for cool or warm weather wearing, or for newborn or toddler wearing. There are sites such as thebabywearer which can help with what specific type of wraps would suit a particular wearer as it can be a little daunting for beginners.

    carriers like the Close Carrier (now called Caboo), which is like a cross between a ring sling and a stretch wrap - stretch fabric fastened with rings. Very popular for newborns.

    Front packs: (eg Bjorn, snuggli)
    Probably the most well-known and available kinds of carriers, these tend to have a narrower seat base, so babies legs dangle and hips and spine may not be supported optimally. Also, babies can be carrier front facing, which places greater strain on the wearer's back. Without a waist belt - which transfers weight through the legs - many people find these uncomfortable once baby gets a little bigger (so they may not last long).
    Keep an eye on cheap bjorn-like carriers as some have very large leg openings and little to no head and neck support for newborns.

    Last edited by onthefly; August 31st, 2012 at 07:43 PM.

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2011
    New South Wales

    Thanks MadB, exactly what I was after!

  3. #3

    Mar 2008
    Where dreams are now reality

    This is fantastic!!!!

  4. #4
    You were RAK'ed in 2015

    Sep 2011

    This is brilliant - thanks!

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2011

    I was given a MiniMonkey sling and a Ryco (saw them at Kmart) carrier.

    Has anyone used them and what do you think? DS looks uncomfortable in the sling, maybe I'm not using it properly. And he seems to like the carrier but after a short time my back starts to hurt and I am concerned about the spine and back support.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    The minimonkey is a pouch sling, which can be tricky to get right with a newborn. Check out the TICKS guidelines for safe baby wearing. If it feels or looks wrong, it probably is. Some people find they work well, but many find they are better for quick hip carries for older babies and toddlers.

    The ryco is a front pack, not really recommended for comfort for either baby or mum.

    If you're interested in trying out some different options, there are regular meets around in Perth via the Perth Babywearers FB group. All are welcome.

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2011

    Thanks, i prefer the idea of the sling personally. I just need to get the fit right. I know DH would prefer the carrier type though. Hmmm.

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    You would probably find an open-tailed ring sling much easier to use and certainly it is easier to meet the TICKS guidelines.
    Carrier-wise, look at some of the soft-structured carriers like the ergo, manduca, boba, etc, which are much more comfortable and ergonomic for baby.

    Most people I know have several different carriers for different uses....

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2012

    So many options.. .how to choose?

    Wow, there are so many options! How do you choose? Is it best to wait until bub is born and then go shopping to see if bub is a big one and is comfortable in a sling? I have a bad back/ twitchy shoulders so I am leaning towards a Mei-Tai with maybe a stretchy wrap to start off with..

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Jan 2006

    Sounds like a good plan. you might find joining a local babywearing group on facebook useful. there are meetups in many lcoations