Baby Carriers, Bouncers & Walkers

Baby Carriers Buying Guide

Introduction

The use of baby carriers, wraps and other types of baby carriers has skyrocketed in recent years. Carrying the baby in such carry equipment is no longer weird, but very common. No wonder, for this way of carrying children is both cozy and more comfortable and convenient than carrying the baby on your arm or on your hip! The benefits of baby carriers are many, but it really is a jungle out there, and it can be very difficult to choose which type of baby carrier that suits you and your children! Will you have one simple solution, or will you have a variety? And how big is the baby? Would you want it to fit even when the child grows bigger, or are you  going to replace it with another type of carrier when the child gets bigger and heavier?

Below is an overview of different types of baby carriers, where we will try to give you some advice along the way. Ultimately, it is your personal preference that determines what type of wrap or baby carrier you choose.

Tailored carrier - easy and versatile

Here we have a Dad-favorite! It is also popular with many mothers, as it is easy to use. A tailored baby carrier works much like a backpack. It consists of a yoke and straps that can be adjusted. Some carriers may also adjust the yoke, so that the carrier can be used for both small and larger children. They can even be used with the smallest infants, but find these carriers best suited for slightly older children (approx. 5-6 months and up).

What is important when choosing a tailored carrier, is that you make sure to choose one that is ergonomically correct for both the carrier and the child. The child should sit with its bum a little lower than its knees, and there will be support all the way to the knees. You need not worry that it will be uncomfortable for the child to sit with its legs spread wide, in fact it is much more pleasant than to let the legs hang straight down. The carrier should have a belt around the hips, which helps distribute the weight of the child across the torso of the carrier, so that the shoulders will not be strained too much. Examples of good carriers are Manduca, Ergo, Beco Butterfly and Patapum. These tailored baby carriers can be used on both the stomach and back. Back-wearing is especially good for the wearer. It feels a lot less heavy than the stomach carrying, and is ideal for carrying larger children. If you carry on your stomach, it is advantageous if the straps can be crossed on your back, as it may be difficult to attach the buckle that holds the straps together behind your back! Among others  Beco Butterfly and Manduca have the opportunity to cross the straps.

The most common tailored carrier is the Baby Bjorn. It is very easy to put on and take off, and the child can sit both stomach to stomach, and forward facing, which many think is an advantage. Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages of the original model of BabyBjørn. It has shoulder straps, but not belt, which means that all the load is at shoulders and neck of the carrier. The second is that the seat is too narrow, that the child's legs are hanging straight down. This is not beneficial for neither the child nor you. Baby Bjorn has since developed a carrier that is more ergonomically correct, called Comfort Carrier suitable for babies up to 2 years, from 6 kg (and at least 55 cm) and up to 14 kg.

Wraps

and complicated! But those who think so have probably not tried an elastic wrap! For newborn babies an elastic wrap is completely brilliant. It does not take more than a few attempts before one learn how to tie it on. One of the benefits of an elastic wrap, is that you can put it on before putting baby inside. This means you do not need to be afraid of losing the baby while you put the wrap on. It comes with a manual showing how to tie the wrap on. In the beginning, the knots may not be perfect, and the part that goes over the shoulders, is perhaps a little too loose, but this can is relatively easy to adjust when your child is in place. The wrap must be tightened quite a lot, to give good support to the child's back, and for the child to get as close as possible to you, so that it is less heavy for you to carry the baby. To learn how to tie the wrap, it pays to watch instructional videos on YouTube and slideshows and explanations on forums like the Norwegian baby carrier forum Tettinntil.no. There are a number of different ways to tie and wear an elastic wrap. If you are to carry newborn babies in the elastic wrap, try the frog position or supine position. Stretch wraps can also be used to carry on your back and for carrying twins as well! Well-known brands Moby Wrap and Tricot slen.

Many, especially the more experienced, prefer woven shawls. These are more stable than the elastic wrap, and ar therefore better for slightly older children. Before you buy a woven shawl, you should find out how long it needs to be. If you are big you need a longer one. So-called "short wraps" are used mainly for back carrying. You probably need a little more practice to be able to do the tying of woven shawls, but practice makes perfect. Experienced carriers are also often very helpful to teach the art!

Other types of shawls, for example, ring slings (which are adjustable) and pouches (which must be in the correct size for the carrier). A sling can be used both for hip carrying, carrying on the stomach, lying sup infants… The disadvantage of the sling is that all the weight is on one shoulder, so it is best suited for carrying infants and should not be used for long periods of time. However, since the sling is very small and easy to carry, and very easy to put on, it's also nice to have as a supplement, if, for example, a toddler who wants to walk, but also will want to be carried. Then the sling comes in handy for extra support).