Baby Life Topic

Baby Carriers Buying Guide Transport Suitable for stages: 0 - 3 Months, 3 - 6 Months, 6 - 12 Months, 12 - 18 Months, 18 - 24 Months

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This buying guide will help you explore the types of baby carriers available and help you in your search for your perfect baby carrier. To discover all about babywearing and what you need to know before you consider buying, see our related topic, Discover Baby Carriers.

There are so many types of baby carriers out there, that it can be daunting when you start looking. It is worth doing some research on the types available so that you can find a match for your specific needs. In general, the main types of carriers and their features include the following:

Types of carriers

 

New or second hand?

There is a healthy market for buying a second-hand carrier, especially with the more expensive carriers. If you are considering second-hand there are a few things to look out for:

  • Look for wear and tear in the fabric, on the straps and along the edges 
  • Read reviews-  particularly looking for comments on comfort and fit issues
  • Ensure you can access a manual or instructions for proper use - and make sure you read it
  • Look out for counterfeits - re-sellers or second-hand counterfeits are a known problem as described on the Ergobaby website. They suggest a number of things you can do to make sure you are buying a genuine product which will be covered under their warranty periods. 

 


What to know about each type of carrier


 

Woven Wrap

Woven Wraps

A great option for: 

- Parents who don't mind putting in the effort initially to learn the first wrapping technique, then want to continue to develop their wrapping skills.

- Parents who have time to spend and patience to get the wrap on and make adjustments until comfortable for you and baby. This suits situations where you are keeping the wrap on for chunks of time such as when you are at home, going for a walk or exploring an area, travelling using public transport etc.

- When you want to wear something that looks beautiful on - there are so many stunning designs and colours to choose from.

- When you want a carrier that moulds around your body and breathes (usually natural breathable fabrics and some are organic fabrics) and is easy to pack into a bag.

- Environmentally-conscious buyers - the cloth will easily break down at end of life and has many other uses - can be used during labour, for post-birth binding, as a scarf, as a breastfeeding cover, and dress-ups/pretend play for toddlers. 

Woven Wrap table of the Good, The Bad, Interesting

Guides & Instructional resources:

Size guides:

What wrap carries can you do with each wrap size? (www.wrapyourbaby.com)

Size Guide (Woven Wraps Australia)

Wrap Carries Guides

How to Baby Wrap For Any Situation - Simple Guide to Woven Baby Wrap Carries (www.wrapyourbaby.com)

- For newborns, they recommend learning the Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) first, then kangaroo carry, and the front double hammock carry (FDHC).

Wrap You in Love YouTube Channel - Extensive range of videos on all type of carries. The mother of 4 and certified babywearing educator doesn't speak but clearly demonstrates the steps to get a good fit - perfect for following along without disturbing your baby. 

Babylonia bb-slen wrap manual - This step by step pictorial guide to wrapping. Covers FAQs, how to choose a position, getting started tying methods, and twin carries.

Types of carries

(note: some require a longer length size, others, a shorter size to achieve):

Front carries Hip carries Back Carries

Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC)

Front Cross Carry (FCC)

Front Cross Carry Tied Under Bottom (FCC TUB)

Front Cross Carry Tied At Shoulder (FCC TAS)

Front Double Hammock Carry (FDHC)

Semi Front Wrap Cross Carry (SFWCC)

Kangaroo Carry

Front Reinforced Torso Rebozo (FRTR)

Half Front Wrap Cross Carry (HFWCC)

Hip Cross Carry (HCC)

Robin's Hip Carry (RHC)

Traditional Sling Carry

Coolest Hip Cross Carry (CHCC)

Poppins Hip Carry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rucksack Carry

Back Wrap Cross Carry (BWCC) 

Double Hammock Carry (DHC)

Secure High Back Carry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options to buy:

www.ebay.com.au - Search for Woven Wrap

Amazon.com.au - Search Woven Wraps (Brands include Ergobaby, Moby, Infantino, & DaisyGro)

 


Stretchy Wrap

Stretchy Wraps

 

What is a Stretchy Wrap?

A Long piece of stretch fabric used to wrap and tie your baby to your body. The stretch fabric is comfortable but has limited strength compared to a woven wrap. It is worth noting that there are hybrid wraps available that have one-way stretch, but the stretchy wraps are usually one size fits all 2-way stretch fabric. Also known as a knit wrap.

 

A great option for: 

- First time Parents who want to begin with an easier wrapping option than woven or hybrid options and don't mind putting in the effort initially to learn the first wrapping technique. When confident with a stretchy wrap, the skills learned can be used to wrap with a woven wrap as baby grows. 

- Parents who have time to spend (and patience) to get the wrap on and make adjustments until comfortable for themselves and baby. This wrap can be pre-tied so it is easy to take baby in and out of it once on for the day. 

- When you want a carrier that moulds around your body and breathes, and is easy to pack into a bag.

- Environmentally-conscious buyers - the cloth will easily break down at end of life and has many other uses - can be used as a scarf, as a breastfeeding cover, and dress-ups/pretend play for toddlers. 

stretchy wrap: the good, the bad, interesting table

Guides & Instructional resources:

Stretchy wrap tutorial

Stretchy wrap with a newborn

Wrap you with love - stretchy series

 

Options to buy:

eBay.com.au - Boba WrapHug a bub wrap (thicker winter weight fabric), Moby Wrap, baby k'tan (put on like a shirt), Manduca WrapErgobaby Aura Wrap

The Stork Nest - Ergobaby Aura Wrap 

Ergobaby.com.au - Aura Wrap (Ultra-lightweight wrap designed for beginners)

Amazon.com.au - Search Wrap Carriers (Brands include Ergobaby, Moby, Infantino, & DaisyGro)

 


Ring Sling

Ring Sling

What is a Ring Sling?

A long piece of fabric attached to two rings at one end used to fasten the sling into position - many ways to wear it. 

 

A great option for: 

- Those wanting an easier to learn option than a wrap

- lightweight and compact option to take out and about

- Use from newborn through to toddler

- Inexpensive carrier option

Ring Slings: the good, the bad, interesting table

Guides & Instructional resources:

How to thread a ring sling

Ring sling front carry

Ring sling cradle carry

Ring sling hip carry

Ring sling kangaroo carry

Back carries with a ring sling

 

Options to buy:

eBay.com.au - Search for ring sling

Mamaway - ring slings

Amazon.com.au - Search for ring sling

 


Structured wraps or Mei Tais/Meh Dais 

What is a structured wrap?

Square or rectangular-shaped piece of fabric with 4 long sash straps attached to each corner. Popular in Asian cultures.

 

A great option for: 

- Those wanting an easier to learn option than a wrap or a ring sling

- Those happy with front and back carry options

- Lightweight and compact option to take out and about

- Use from newborn through to toddler

- Inexpensive carrier option

Structured wraps: the good, the bad, interesting table

Guides & Instructional resources:

Wrap You In Love - Meh-dai videos

Meh-Dei Carrier YouTube videos

How to make a Mei Tai Carrier

 

Options to buy:

www.ebay.com.au - Search for 'Mei Tai' or 'Meh Dai'

 


Half Buckle Carrier

Half Buckle carrier - Baby Tula shown in images

What is a half buckle carrier?

These carriers fasten with a buckle at the waist and the shoulder straps have long sashes to ‘X’ across the back and tie in a knot. 

 

A great option for: 

- Those wanting an easy to learn carrier with easy adjustment between users

- Those happy with front inward carry from newborn, hip carry from 4 months & back carry from 6 months

- Reasonably lightweight and compact option to take out and about

- Use from newborn through to toddler

Half buckle carrier: the good, the bad, interesting table

Guides & Instructional resources:

Wrap You In Love - Half buckle videos

Baby Tula - Half Buckle YouTube videos

Half Buckle Carrier YouTube videos

 

Options to buy:

eBay.com.au - Half Buckle Carriers Search results

Amazon.com.au - Hoppediz Tye Buckle carrier, Infantino Together Pull-On Knit Baby Wrap Carrier or search half buckle carriers

 


Soft Structured Carrier or Full Buckle Carrier

Soft Structured Carriers or full buckle carriers

What is a Full buckle carrier?

These carriers fasten with buckles at the waist and shoulders or around the arms. Can have the option to outward front face carry but not always. Usually has padded straps and waistbelt. Many adjust for use with newborns, others require an infant insert to be purchased separately. 

 

A great option for: 

- Parents wanting something easy to learn, adjust and quick to take on/off

- Those that don't mind the extra bulk and weight in exchange for ease of use

- A carrier that fits a large age range 

- Does both front and back carrying well

- Want the convenience of being able to loosen to breastfeed 

- Ergonomic for baby and wearer

Full Buckle carrier: The good, the bad, interesting

Guides & Instructional resources:

Ergobaby.com.au instructions & YouTube Channel

 

Options to buy:

The Stork Nest range of baby carriers - including Ergobaby, Baby Tula and Hippychick Hipseats (an alternative to full buckle carriers for older babies)

Ergobaby.com.au - Aerloom (FormaKnit Stretch Carrier), Embrace (Cozy Newborn Carrier), Hip Seat (one carrier, two modes), Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh baby carriers)

eBay.com.au - Large range of carriers new and second hand including Ergobaby, Baby Tula, ManducaLÍLLÉbaby and more 

Amazon.com.au - Search Baby & Child Carriers

 


Structured Carrier (hiking style)

Hiking structured carriers

What is a Structured carrier?

A Large framed carrier designed to back carry older babies and children long distances such as when hiking.

 

A great option for: 

- Longer walks such as adventure walks, hikes, travelling

 

Options to buy:

eBay.com.au - Search hiking carriers

Amazon.com.au - Search hiking carriers

 

So there you go, this was not an exhaustive list of carriers but it's enough of a start to choose your first carrier. You may not love carrying with your first child, but if you have more than one, they become an essential item if you want to get anything done. Once you get hooked on babywearing, you'll find there's a carrier for every situation and you develop preferences when they are at different stages.

Happy hunting!

 

 


Please note: Above all, any information on this website aims to provide general ideas for informational and educational purposes only. We encourage users to investigate several information sources, including, where necessary, independent individualised medical advice before making any decisions that could affect you or your child’s health or wellbeing.

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