Baby carriers are a great way to get your little one around town. But picking the right one can be quite tough! Do you choose style or comfort?
Baby Bjorn and friends
The Baby Bjorn has got to be the most frequently spotted baby carrier, though there are countless carriers in a similar style. This type of carrier will allow you to carry a small-ish baby on your front, facing in or out. They can't be used with newborns, and the fact that all the baby's weight rests on the parent's shoulders means you don't often see moms using them once their baby reaches nine months or so. If you can't resist designer stuff, Gucci offers a baby carrier in this style that you'll love.
Soft structured carriers
Soft structured buckle carriers are a more comfortable and versatile alternative to the Baby Bjorn. These carriers can transport babies on the wearer's front, back, or hip and can usually be used from birth until toddlerhood. Soft structured carriers feature four straps two for the shoulders, and two for the hips that buckle up. Babies "sit" in these carriers, with well-supported hips. The baby doesn't dangle from the crotch, which makes these carriers practical and safe for long-term use. The Ergo baby carrier, which is sturdy, falls in this category. Beco carriers look more feminine, but that also means you have to buy a separate carrier for your partner.
Buckle carriers were inspired by the mei tai, which is a traditional Asian baby carrier made out of fabric. Instead of buckles, the mei tai has four really long straps that are tied to keep the baby snug. Mei tai carriers are wonderful for moms who want pretty fabrics and a lot of flexibility, but they do have a bit of a learning curve. You can breastfeed in public in a mei tai without anyone ever noticing!
Slings and wraps
Slings and wraps are probably the most beautiful carriers. Ring slings are often made out of silk or embroidered fabrics. Slings are perfect for tiny newborns, because these carriers allow the baby to law down flat. The biggest problem with slings is that they put all the weight on one shoulder. Wraps are essentially long strips of fabric, which can be tied around the body in various ways. They can carry a baby in the same position as a mei tai or buckle carrier, but they can also be used to form slings. Some women even use an Indian sari as a baby wrap.