Holding a baby in your arms is a feeling like no other in the world. But trying to manage life with one in your arms is extremely difficult. Instead, baby carriers let you keep your baby close while permitting you to carry on with your daily life using both hands.
There are two main types of baby carriers that provide the safety and security you require: wraps and slings. Before choosing one, however, it’s important to first consider several factors.
As you bend over to pick something up, raise your hands to reach for something over your head, lean to the side to grab something, or any one of the dozens of other movements you make in daily life, you baby will shift. Because of this, there is one major security concern you must consider above all others: Whether or not your baby will stay in the carrier.
This is why you need to make sure that the baby carrier you choose lets your baby’s weight shift forward and backward, as well as from from side to side, but without letting go of your child. In fact, a baby carrier should be designed to hold a baby securely regardless of what position you are in. This means your baby should never fall out of the carrier, even if you are upside down.
To ensure your baby is safely attached to your body, you should also make certain all fabrics are thick and tightly woven. Review the stitching and make certain every facet of the baby carrier is double-stitched. Review the fasteners. Fastening components should be made of one of the following three plastics: FR-4/G10, Polyarylamide (PARA) or Thermoplastics Polyurethane (TPU). Alternatively, they could also be made from a carbon fiber or a metal alloy.
While popular because of the versatility of plastic, plastic components — particularly buckles and fasteners — quickly wear out, crack, break and/or fail unexpectedly.
If you have difficulty determining whether the fabric or fastener of a baby carrier is sufficiently strong to hold your baby safely, ask yourself if you can imagine the fabric or component being used as sailboat rigging or if you would trust it on a parachute.
Once you find a baby carrier that addresses the safety and security requirements, you can consider things like the aesthetics of the carrier! Do you like the way it looks on you? Are the materials aesthetically pleasing? Once you are certain the carrier is safe and secure, the fun of choosing a baby carrier begins!