As a brand spanking new mom, I lust after baby carriers the same way fashionistas drool over pain-inducing heels. But with so many amazing baby carrier options on the market, the selection can be overwhelming. Baby sling vs. baby wrap? Which brand is right for my babywearing lifestyle? Gorgeous prints, sturdy fabrics, smart functionality, oh my!
Thankfully, I had the support of the amazing Babywearing LA group and its founding goddess, Babywearing Institute graduate, Laura Brown. I asked her to help me break down the options and introduce y’all to a few carriers you probably didn’t know exist. By the end of this post, you may consider upgrading your baby carrier like I did.
TYPES OF BABY CARRIERS
When many people think about a buckle carrier, a Baby Bjorn may come to mind, a brand that many babywearing educators do not endorse because it doesn’t allow baby to get into a comfortable seated position – knees aligned with bum. Here are some options that Laura from Babywearing LA prefers.
- BECO GEMINI + BUTTERFLY 2 – ”Beco has two carriers, the Gemini and the Butterfly 2 although the latter is being replaced by the Soleil, which will debut this month. “Their carriers have no lead, no toxic dyes, no phalates, and no flame retardants. The Gemini has a foam type body more similar to a bjorn type carrier, but you have the option of having a nice supported seat and you are able to snap the base down for smaller babies and unsnap it for larger babies. It also has a crossable shoulder straps making it very comfortable, which is why me and my husband like it. But they tend to be hotter because of the foam body and they don’t have a hood so for some people that’s a deal breaker although paxbaby.com and other retailers will make you a custom hood for it. The Beco Butterfly 2 is an awesome carrier for hot weather it comes with an internal y panel which is the first of its’ kind and allows you to buckle baby in and easily life them onto your back without assistance.”
- BOBA 3G + AIR - ”I love that the 3G has a tall body. They are one of the few tall body structured carriers so I like them best for the late infant to toddler stage. They are really well made. The company is in Denver and they’ve always done a great job to take the time to create really great blogs about the pros and cons of babywearing. It’s really great that they came out with camo and pinstripe patterns for the 3G, which are really appealing to the men. The new Boba Air model is a really nice nylon soft-structured carrier that’s marketed for being super great for rolling into a bag. It comes with a carrying case that you can easily stuff into a bag when you’re on the go. It may not be best for toddlers because it doesn’t have the same level of support. It doesn’t have the foot supports for the regular soft structure carrier comes with but it’s a great option especially here in Los Angeles and other hot weather climates.”
- ERGO – “Ergo is one of the most popular soft structure carriers because they are so widely available now. It’s a really nice carrier, the Sport model has a shorter body so they tend to be outgrown despite their limit of 45 lbs. I like them but it’s good to get it custom made. So often I see a woman carrying the baby too low on their baby. The Performance model is great for longer bodied parents or bigger babies. It’s are a lighter weight fabric and is good for hot weather. WARNING : You have to watch out for counterfeits. Ergo is one of the most counterfeited carriers on the market. A lot of online retailers are not authorized to sell them including Amazon.”
- SCOOTABABY – “It’s a one-shouldered carrier and it allows you to carry your baby on your hip, which not a lot of soft-structured carrier are designed for…but scootababy allows you to wear baby on hip and the weight is divided on one shoulder but they have a really neat fleece panel that spreads across your shoulders and back. They are a great option that’s often forgotten about and they are even available at Babies “R” Us so they are easy to get!”
- TULA – “Tula has two soft structured carriers – a standard and a toddler. They run a little large so that’s what makes it an excellent toddler, preschool carrier and there aren’t too many options out there except for some custom companies. Tula offers great special adjustments. They have an adjustment over the straps at the top of the body and some under the arms so you have a double adjustment option. They are a little bit wider, and have a great pocket in the waistband so you can quicky leave the house with your keys and your phone and a place to put your stuff. Also, they are just really well made and use cute, modern fabric.”
- ONYA BABY CARRIER - Laura hasn’t had much experience with this carrier, but I have and I must say, it’s a thoughtfully designed carrier for the active and busy babywearer. They have two soft-structured carriers, the Outback and the Cruiser. Both can be worn on your front (cross-shouldered!) or back and each have an integrated chair harness, which allows you to quickly, easily and safely transform almost any adult chair into a safe seat for your baby!! How awesome is that? The Outback is the sportier version for hikers like myself. It’s made of water-resistant nylon and has a mesh lining that wicks away moisture on a hot summer day.
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