A quality stroller is usually one of the first baby products new parents focus on purchasing. While there's no doubt a stroller is important, baby carriers are a major parenting lifesaver that's often overlooked. Simple as they might seem, the best baby carriers free up your arms and keep you and your baby more comfortable with ergonomic designs.
Baby carriers give you a hands-free way to snuggle your little one while carrying them safely and securely as you run errands, do chores around the house, and even go for a hike without lugging a stroller. Some carriers also make it easy to breastfeed your baby while you're going about your day. And if you have an infant who loves to nurse for long stretches at a time, I don't have to tell you how much of a challenge it is to stop everything and hit the nearest couch for 45 minutes.
But before you start using a carrier, there are a few babywearing precautions to keep in mind. For starters, it's crucial that your baby's airways remain unblocked the entire time you carry them. To ensure this is the case, Babywearing International recommends keeping your baby in an upright position with their chin off of your chest. Your baby's legs should also be in a spread-squat position with their knees higher than their bottoms in order for their neck and back to be properly supported by the carrier.
And when it comes to household chores, never use a carrier while you're cooking, lifting heavy objects, or essentially doing anything that could harm your baby.
With those tips in mind, these are seven of the best baby carriers parents are raving about.
1. A 4-In-1 Carrier That Grows With Baby Through Each Developmental Stage
When talking about investment baby products that will last you a long time, this convertible carrier should be high up on the list. It suits infants and babies between eight and 32 pounds and can be adjusted to accommodate newborns and older babies. This carrier is machine washable and includes a bib you can use to protect your clothes. One mom even raved: "I have had 2 other more expensive carriers and my 6 week old likes this one the best ... You can't beat the price and it works so well!"
2. A Buckle-Less Carrier That Converts Into Six Positions & Offers Discreet Nursing
This comfy baby carrier wrap differs from many traditional carriers or slings because it doesn't involve buckles or complicated wrap techniques. It's made from 100 percent natural, breathable cotton and features a patented double-loop design that provides head support while distributing your baby's weight evenly across your shoulders and back — preventing back pains and neck strains. You can convert this carrier into six positions, and it's suitable for babies that are eight to 35 pounds. The unique design also offers option for discreet breastfeeding, and one reviewer gushed that "That alone makes it worth the investment."
3. A Backpack Carrier With A Retractable Canopy For Outdoor Adventures
This backpack carrier is both solid and sturdy, but it only weighs about five pounds. Children between 6 months and 4 years old can join adventurous parents on hikes and excursions by taking a forward-facing seat secured by padded straps, a hip belt, and even includes a retractable canopy to keep your baby's face shielded from the sun and wind. This piece can stand on a table with a kickstand and has multiple pockets, including two water bottle pouches.
“I was thrilled when I found it and even more thrilled at an affordable price,” one reviewer wrote. “I love how versatile and well this adjusts, it is so easy to adjust and fits me well along with my husband.”
4. A Warm-Weather Adjustable Sling You Can Even Wear In The Water
There's no need sweat up a storm while carrying your baby. This adjustable sling is a one-size-fits-all warm weather solution designed using 100 percent polyester jersey mesh. It has a metal ring that allows you to make easy adjustments and is suitable for children weighing eight to 30 pounds, and it can even be used in the water.
One reviewer notes that the sling proved to be one of her best purchases. “My baby stayed in it for hours in the pool," she wrote. “Also love it out of the water. So lightweight and breathable for baby and me!”
5. A Sling That Allows For Easy Nursing
Newborns and babies weighing up to 35 pounds will feel snug and secure in this supportive and comfy baby sling, which holds baby at the ideal upright position for breastfeeding. Parents with sore muscles will be relieved to learn that this sling was designed so that the fabric envelopes both your baby's and your spine for more evenly distributed weight. It's made from 95 percent cotton, five percent spandex, is safe in both the washing machine and dryer, and comes with an information DVD and storage bag. “Just came this morning and I already Love it!!!" says one mom "I have a large chest and am a plus size woman and it works well for me!”
6. A Wrap-Carrier That Doubles As A Postpartum Belt
This soft baby wrap can accommodate babies up to 35 pounds. It functions as a sling carrier, nursing cover, and even a postpartum belt that you can tie around your belly to help reduce swelling. This wrap is made from stretchy cotton and spandex and reviewers say that, after a few trial runs, they can wrap this carrier into place on their bodies in less than one minute and that it never fails to soothe fussy babies and lull them to sleep. One reviewer even raved that, when it comes to soothing her baby this wrap "really works like a charm.”
7. A 6-In-1 Carrier With A Lumbar Accessory That Relieves Lower Back Pressure
You won't even need to purchase an additional newborn insert when you invest in this ergonomic baby and child carrier, which is suitable for babies weighing seven to 45 pounds. It can be converted for use in six positions and the lumbar support accessory provides an extra level of comfort for your back and hips.
Across the board, reviewers are impressed with how this carrier grows with your baby and eliminates the need to purchase another one. "This is the only carrier I've found that works well for a newborn," says one mom. "Very comfortable and easy to put on.”
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