As expecting parents, your first priority among others is knowing how you would carry your newborn baby around with you while you go outdoors going about your business. There are a lot of options to pick from and it can get quite confusing when it comes to choosing the one that’s best for you and your baby.
Our focus here will be on two incredible ways you can choose to carry your baby. At the end of this article, you will have all the clarity you will need and choosing an option between baby carrier vs baby wrap will be that much easier.
There are different types of baby carriers such as meh dai carriers, backpack carriers, etc, but in this article our main focus will be on the soft structured carrier. This is a common type of carrier and is the first thing that comes to a parent’s mind when they think of where to place their baby.
This baby carrier is a soft padded equipment aimed at making it possible to carry your baby on your front. Wearing and fastening the carrier around your waist creates a pouch you place your baby in.
This type of carrier brings comfort to both you and your little one but this is only possible if they meet certain requirements.
You cannot use any baby carrier or position it in any way because this can cause injuries to the baby and discomfort to you. To avoid this, there are certain things you should be on the lookout for such as:
1. Sturdy shoulder pad
The shoulder straps should be wide and padded. A waist strap that is equally as wide will help to hold the baby’s weight and take off the work from your shoulders and hips. Some types of carriers have adjustable straps that make it possible for you to carry the baby on your back or hips. It should be noted that fussy babies should not be carried at the back because there’s less monitoring by the parents.
2. Age of your baby
The age of your baby will play a big role in choosing the baby carrier you want. Baby carriers can be used for newborns and toddlers also. There are some specific things to keep in mind when using a baby carrier for your newborn such as:
- The positioning of their neck. Make sure your infant has enough neck support.
- Face your baby inside so you can easily monitor them.
- Infants may need smaller baby carriers depending on their weight or carriers made specifically for carrying newborns.
- Hip support is also crucial. Place their knees above their bottom to enable their back to curve properly. This position is called the ‘frog’ or ‘m’ position.
When your baby gets older, about five months to seven months, and develops better neck strength, you can face them out to interact with the world. You can also place older babies on your back.
Once your baby becomes too old or too heavy to carry, do not try to do so. This can cause injury to you and may not be very comfortable for you child.
3. Seating area
The seating area should be wide to allow the baby to sink in and legs to curve. This will reduce the strain on their hips and spine and make them comfortable.
The baby carrier of your choice should fit the weather or season. During the hot weather, you don’t want to use a carrier that will overheat your baby and likewise during the cold, the baby carrier should be able to keep your infant warm.
Use a baby carrier that is high so you can easily reach your babies, especially younger ones, as a way to let them know they are in a safe environment.
Pros of Using a Baby Carrier
- Structured carriers are easy to use and adjust
- Can be worn for a long period of time
- It is comfortable for both the mother and child
- Great for outdoor as it doesn’t get dirty or stained easily
- Long-term use is possible if maintained properly
- Can be used for newborns and older children too
- There’s a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to baby carriers
- Compared to other types of baby carriers or baby wraps, structured carriers are on the expensive side
- This carrier needs a lot of adjusting depending on who is using them
- It’s not for everyone and some babies do not like this type of carrier
A baby wrap is a long piece of fabric that is knotted around the upper body of a person to create a pouch where a baby can be placed. It goes around the shoulder and torso and can equally be worn on the chest, hip or back. This is not to be confused with baby slings which are worn on only one shoulder.
A lot of parents choose baby wraps especially for their newborns because of the reassurance the physical contact brings to their infants. Baby wraps are generally known to keep a baby snug and comfortable against breastfeed moms. They are completely safe for your infants if done right.
When tying your baby wrap, ensure that they are tied across your shoulders to evenly distribute the weight of your little one and it is tied high enough for you to easily see and reach them.
Things to Keep in Mind When Using a Baby Wrap
If it’s your first time using a baby wrap, make sure you’ve practiced for a while with a teddy bear on how to tie a wrap. This will help to find out if it suits you or not and how you can keep the baby safe when in use.
Wraps also come in different sizes that determine how short, long, low or high you want to tie so it’s a good idea to practice.
Keep in mind the type of fabric used to make your wrap. Typically, the best types are soft breathable cotton fabric, stretchy fabrics, or silk fabrics. You want to pick light weight materials that are equally sturdy. Thicker fabrics can make the baby hot and even cause difficulty in breathing.
3. Pay attention
Close monitoring of your baby is really essential here. Make sure their chin isn’t tucked in and they are getting enough air where they are.
You should dress according to the weather and do not put on too much clothing because this can lead to suffocation for the baby.
You should position your baby comfortably with their face up to get air. Their knees should be well above their bum in a natural position to avoid hip dysplasia. It is generally advised to give your baby a break from the wrap from time to time.
Pros of Using a Baby Wrap
- Very suitable for newborns
- Can be worn in different positions and tied in different ways
- Doesn’t cause much strain to the shoulders or lower back
- There are a lot of fabrics to choose from and it they come in different sizes
- Has an affordable price range
- Can be used in washing machines and easy to maintain
- Enables your baby to snuggle close to you, hence, building bond
- Perfect for warmer weather
- Tying the wrap may not come easy for beginners as it requires a high skill level
- They become an extra layer of clothing and may be uncomfortable in warm weathers
- May not be suitable for older children
Overall, baby carriers and wraps are a great way to keep your baby close to you and safe. Only you can decide the type that’s best for your baby based on your preference. Whether you choose the baby carrier or wrap (or both), remember to make safety first and follow precautions.
We hope that we were able to help you in the decision making process and understanding the differences between baby carrier vs baby wrap.
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