The variety of baby carriers on the market is amazing. There is a perfect carrier for every parent-baby pair, but carrier shopping can be extremely confusing if you have never explored what some people call "babywearing" before. The different categories of baby carriers are roughly as follows: Baby Bjorn type carriers, soft structured carriers, Asian-style baby carriers like mei tas and podaegis, and slings. The Baby Bjorn and similar carriers are probably still the most common, and definitely the most easily locatable in any shop. I started my babywearing "career" with this one too. But don't be fooled by the fact that this carrier can be bought at almost any baby store it sure has its limitations!
Baby Bjorns put all the baby's weight on the parent's shoulders, quickly resulting in a sore neck and shoulders. The baby essentially hangs from its crotch, and may be uncomfortable if worn for longer periods of time. And these carriers can only be used as front carriers. Asian traditional carriers, and their modern counterparts the soft structured carriers, are more versatile and in my experience more comfortable. Whether you choose a mei tai, a Korean podaegi, or a modern version of either with buckles and padding, you will be able to comfortably carry your baby on your back or front, and in many cases on your hip, too. These carriers, of which my personal favorite is without a doubt the Ergo carrier, promote healthy spinal and hip development and spread the baby's weight between the parent's hips and shoulders, therefore making carrying much less of a strain.
Slings have become popular too. There are ring slings, pouch slings, and bag slings on the market. The first two are safe, when used correctly, and are often very pretty. But in my experience, they are extremely uncomfortable once you pass the newborn phase. Why? They put all the baby's weight on only one shoulder! Not good, for me. And bag slings? Well, the Infantino Sling Rider was recalled last year, after several babies had died from suffocating from riding in one. Do not use these carriers, even the ones that are still freely available on the market. If you are looking for other shopping articles, stroller shopping tips and what do you need for your baby's nursery? might be of interest to you!