Carrying your baby brings a lot of benefits to you and your child. Being physically close to your baby strengthens the bond between the both of you. Your baby feels safe and warm, and on your part, being close to your child eases tension and anxiety.
And as a bonus, if you’re carrying your baby around in a good baby sling, you will be able to eat, do your chores — and even dance — conveniently.
But how do you choose one? What makes a good baby sling or baby carrier? Here are the 6 things you should look for in one.
How to Choose the Best Baby Carrier or Sling
While they may all look equally cute, the truth is not all baby slings and carriers are made equal. Your baby’s safety should be your baby’s topmost priority at all times, which means you should be looking for a baby sling that fulfills the country’s current safety guidelines.
Being one of the most important baby gear you will need, it is much better to buy one brand new rather than secondhand. You will be spending more money, but a brand new baby sling is much more likely to be safer and sturdier than a used one.
Here are all the factors that you need to consider in choosing the best baby carrier or sling.
First things first, because you are going to wear your baby throughout most of the day, your baby sling needs to be as comfortable as possible. This means comfort for both you and your baby. When choosing a carrier, your baby should be seated in the “M” position where their legs are bent at a position higher than their hips.
On your part, your choice of baby carrier should give ample back and shoulder support. Look for padded shoulder straps to avoid straining your shoulders. You will definitely need to test your carrier to see if it’s comfortable for both you and baby.
Different families, different perceptions of convenience. For some parents, a ring sling that can be repositioned is more convenient as it offers more access, especially for breastfeeding. Ring slings are also easier to carry around, so they are perfect for families on the go.
On the other hand, some parents prefer the more common structured baby carriers that they can put on instantly. If you barely have time to brush your hair in the morning, you might not have time to wear a ring sling, so a structured carrier is the ideal choice. It all depends on which you think will fit your lifestyle better.
Because a baby carrier or sling is an investment, it should be long-lasting. However, because your baby grows at an amazingly fast rate, it’s impossible for a baby sling to be used from babyhood to toddlerhood. Or does it? This is where adjustable carriers and slings come in.
An adjustable carrier can accommodate your baby as they grow bigger. Your baby can also be held facing you (ideal for little babies) and facing out (for bigger babies and toddlers). Another benefit of getting adjustable carriers is that you can take turns with your partner using it.
It is an absolute must to get a sturdy baby carrier! Much like comfort, you will need to test your carrier for sturdiness before buying it (which is why it is much better to buy one from the store rather than from a website). Test your weight upon it and check the seat and the straps. If you are buying a ring sling, check the metal ring for durability and the cloth material for strength as well as stretch.
But just as how a good baby carrier or sling is strong, it should also be easy to maintain. Ring slings are relatively easy to clean as most can be thrown into the washing machine. Now, structured baby carriers are trickier. Because your baby is seated into it, the carrier can become a catch basin of some sort, especially if your baby is already eating finger foods. Check to see if your carrier is machine-washable for easier cleanup.
And finally, in order to make the most out of this baby gear, you need to like using it! Aside from all the factors mentioned above, the best baby carrier will look good to you. You will love using it — and you will love seeing yourself use it. So don’t be afraid to choose a pretty baby carrier!
Because of its benefits for both you and your baby, good baby carrier should be on your list of baby essentials. This list will help you choose one that you and your baby will love using!