Baby carriers are an excellent way to carry your baby for many reasons, one of the most important being they free up your hands for doing other things!
But does your baby have to be a certain age before you can use one?
Fortunately there is no minimum age for using a baby carrier, so it’s fine to use one for a newborn.
However, it’s important to select the right type and to always follow safety best practices.
But how long can you carry a baby in a carrier?
How do you know which one is right for you?
Let’s find out.
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When Can I Start Using A Baby Carrier?
Baby wearing has many benefits, from helping you bond with your baby to freeing up your hands for other activities such as preparing dinner, looking after your other children or even doing some grocery shopping.
So you’re probably wondering when you can carry your baby in a carrier, and specifically if they’re safe to use with newborns.
The good news is yes, you can start using one from the day your baby is born.
If you are planning to carry a newborn in one, be sure to choose the right type and follow the safety tips below.
How Long Can You Carry Your Baby In A Carrier?
Given the convenience and benefits of baby wearing, you may be tempted to carry your baby in a carrier for an extended period of time.
However, many experts recommend you don’t overdo it.
Up to two hour at a time should be fine for newborns and infants.
But in hot weather you may want to use them for shorter periods, because there’s a chance your baby could overheat.
As with all baby products, safety is paramount, so you will want to ensure your baby carrier is being used safety.
Here are several things to consider:
- Take regular breaks.
- Check on your baby regularly.
- Ensure the carrier is correctly positioned on your body. You want it to be correctly strapped and tightened to your body to prevent you from slouching.
- Ensure your baby is in the correct position, with their face visible and mouth unobstructed. Always make sure your baby is not curled up and ensure their chin is not on your chest, as this can restrict their breathing.
- Make sure you can see your baby’s face in the carrier, and that your little one can see you too.
- Reduce or avoid usage in hot weather to avoid your baby overheating.
What Are The Different Types of Baby Carriers?
It can be confusing knowing which baby carrier is right for you.
Here are 5 different types to help you choose the right one for you and your baby:
A wrap carrier is the most basic type, as it’s simply a long, wide piece of fabric that you wrap around your body.
Your baby then sits between the fabric and your body.
Wraps are simple, cheap and can be worn in a variety of positions.
They can be difficult to use at first, although this can be overcome with a little practice.
A wrap is a great choice for a newborns because they provide a safe and warm environment for you and your baby to bond.
Slings consist of a long piece of fabric with two rings at one end.
Because they only go over one shoulder, slings are a good choice in hot weather.
However, if you suffer from back or shoulder pain then it’s best to avoid slings.
As with wraps, slings are a good choice for newborns, and suitable for breastfeeding.
They also have the added benefit of being easier to use than a wraps.
Soft Structured Carrier
Soft structured carriers (SSC) have padded shoulder straps and a thick, padded waistband that you fasten around your waist.
SSCs provide comfortable padding for the wearer, and are versatile because you can use them on your back, in front, and even on your hip.
They are easy to use and comfortable to wear, and are suitable for newborns, as long as they include a head and neck support.
You can think of a Mei Tai as a cross between a wrap and buckle carrier.
They look similar to a SSC but have two shoulder straps and two waist straps.
A Mei Tai is highly adjustable and offers good support for parents and babies alike.
Like wraps, a Mei Tai can be tricky to use at first, so you’ll need to do some practice before you use it for the first time.
You can think of a backpack carrier as a mini backpack to carry your child in.
These are designed for toddlers and older babies who have developed head and neck control.
While it depends on your baby’s strength and development, on average you will need to wait until your child is around 6 to 7 months before you can safely use a one.
Backpack carriers can be expensive and bulky, but they are an excellent choice if you want to take your little one on a big walk.