Baby Carriers 101

Wearing your baby, toddler, and even preschooler is a great way to bond with your child, and get stuff done! But it can be incredibly overwhelming when you start considering the different types of carriers, so let us break it down for you.

Stretchy Wraps

Stretchy wraps can come in two forms: a long piece of t-shirt-like material that you tie around your body before slipping baby in, or a multipiece carrier with two sling pieces and a third support panel. These carriers are great for that super, cuddly newborn phase, and are generally advertised as comfortable up to 20lbs. In our personal experience, we’ve found that stretchy carriers tend to lose their maximum comfort around 15lbs. Stretchy carriers can only be worn on the front of the body, both inward and out facing, though outfacing tends to be pretty uncomfortable for an extended period of time, and is not something we recommend in a stretchy carrier.

Brands

  • Moby
  • Baby Buddha

 

Ring Sling

Rings slings are made of woven fibres, anything from cotton to silk, and have two rings sewn onto one end. The other end of the sling is then threaded through the rings and back again, creating an easily adjusted sling for baby to sit in. Ring slings can be used from newborn through to toddlerhood (up to a weight of 40lbs). Newborns and infants should be worn tummy-to-tummy, and once your baby has stable neck control they can be worn on the hip.

Brands

  • Chimparoo

 

Mei Tai/Mei Dai

Pronounced “May Tie” or “May Die” these carriers are originally from Asia and come in a variety of materials from canvas to woven cotton. Mei Tais can be used from infancy to toddlerhood, or up to 40lbs. They can be adjusted for inward or outfacing on the front, and can also be used on the hip and back.

Brands

  • Chimparoo

 

Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)/Buckle Carrier

The most recognized of baby carriers, SSCs can be used from infancy (though some require an additional infant insert) up to 45lbs, with a few exceptions. Though a little bulkier, these tend to provide more support to parents, and are a popular choice due to their ease of use. SSCs can be used inward and outfacing (depending on the style), hip, and back carries, and come in a variety of patterns, styles, and materials.

Brands

  • Ergobaby
  • Lillebaby
  • Chimparoo

Woven Wraps

A woven wrap is similar to a stretchy wrap in that it is a long piece of material that is tied around your body, except since it is made from woven material it has no weight limit. Woven wraps can be used from infancy up to adulthood. Woven wraps can be used for inward facing carries, as well as hip, and back carries, and can be made from many different materials. We prefer to carry cotton, as it is durable and easy to care for. Wraps come in several different sizes, but the majority of people wear a ‘size 6’ which is roughly 4.5 meters long, but varies company to company.

Brands

  • Chimparoo