Little is almost 1 year old. I know. I can’t believe it.
In the past year, I’ve been busy learning how to chase a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old without dropping my baby. The secret? Baby carriers.
Now, I know all about the concerns with the CPSC over “wearing” your baby. Those concerns are very just and real. It goes without saying that one should carefully read baby carrier instructions prior to wearing. And practice, practice, practice: sitting down, standing on a very soft surface, wearing baby with another responsible adult in arms reach… all before you wear your baby out in the real world. Its also extremely important to recognize that wearing a baby does not equal paying attention to your baby. When you are wearing your baby, he is attached to you, yes. But it is your responsibility to consistently check on the baby’s well-being while you are wearing him or her. Make sure she can breathe. Make sure you can see her. And by all means, make sure she is secure.
Some top (and some favorite) baby carriers from Little’s first year:
Baby K’tan: with at least 9 ways to wrap your baby on you, this carrier was the one I used, consistently, in Disney World. It was so easy to move her from upright and looking at the World, to snuggled in to sleep, to breastfeeding during a show. It only took a few practices to confidently learn about 5 ways to hold her. I love the versatility of the Baby K’tan. And don’t let the 3-loops intimidate you (they’re very intimidating!) Watch the simple instructions and follow the well-described images to learn how to hold your baby properly. Twin bonus: you can hold your twins with this carrier!
BabyHawk: This was reviewed last summer as I anticipated using the BabyHawk Carrier. In nearly 7(!) years of parenting, its the most well constructed, supportive, comfortable Mei Tai I have received and used (and, believe me, I’ve tried a lot.) Love the variety of patterns available. But what really scores the most points here is the comfort when you wear your baby in a BabyHawk. Its also made to hold toddlers on your back, so I’m confident I’ll be using this one for a long time coming.
Evenflo Snugli Hug: This soft carrier has greater availability as you can pick it up at a Walmart store or purchase online, and the under $30 price point is worth mentioning. The Snugli Hug‘s Secure-lock buckles keep baby inside and offer a sense of security for parents uneasy about simply wrapping their child in cloth. It also has easy-adjustable straps to situate baby in the right spot. Baby can be carried in two ways: facing in or out (though babies should not face out until they can hold their heads up.) Unfortunately, the body on this carrier is a bit long if you have a small torso. Like many standard size carriers, it was too long for me. But works just fine for those with average and longer torsos.
LilleBaby EveryWear Sport: What I really liked about this carrier was how light-weight and versatile the carrier is, as well as the potential for longterm wears–both within one day (its very easy to wear your baby in this carrier) and over time–children can be worn through toddlerhood and preschool, if your child will let you! With 5 carrying positions, baby and parent can adjust to what baby likes best as baby grows. And the LilleBaby EveryWear Sport has a pocket in the front–idea for walks and strolls when you don’t want to carry a lot. I found this carrier to be a bit difficult to get used to and to get my child into, however the video instructions on their site guide you through wearing your baby correctly so that you feel secure. (If you plan to use this carrier with a baby, you will need to buy the infant cradle, sold separately.)
Thanks to all of the companies mentioned for sending sample carriers for review.