Baby carriers come in many forms – from soft structured carriers to mei tais and ring slings. They all have one thing in common though, and that is that they allow parents to carry their baby easily and conveniently. If you are expecting a baby at the moment, or are parenting a newborn, you are probably curious when you can start wearing your baby in a carrier. Depending on the carrier you choose to use, the answer is immediately after birth! So, let’s take a look at what the best baby carriers for newborns are.
Stay away from bag slings
First, I’d like to point out that one of the most well-known bag slings, the Infantino Sling Rider, was recalled from the market last year after several babies suffocated and died in one. Though some other bag slings are still for sale, this type of baby carrier can force your baby into a shape that makes him or her unable to breathe. Because the baby hangs away from the parent, and is quite low down, it is sometimes not possible to notice this immediately, especially when your baby is sleeping. Just don’t risk this, and stay away from bag slings.
Pouch slings and ring slings
The hot daddy in the picture above is carrying his baby in a pouch sling. This type of sling is practical for newborns, as it allows them to be carried in the so-called cradle hold. Later on, when your baby is a toddler, you can have them sit in the sling on your hip. This type of sling is not good for people who have shoulder problems, as all the weight literally goes to one shoulder. They are ideal for short trips. Ring slings are similar to pouches, with the difference that you can make them longer and shorter with the adjustable rings.
A mei tai is a traditional Asian baby carrier. It is what I used for my son from birth to about a year, and we were both extremely happy with it. Newborns get snuggled into a mei tai in “froggy style” with their legs crossed, like in the fetal position. Look for a mei tai that has a good amount of head support for newborns, like a Baby Hawk. Mei tais distribute the baby’s weight evenly among the shoulders and the hips, making it a great option for long rides. With one of these, you can wear your baby on your front or back. They are very versatile.
Soft structured carriers
Perhaps the Baby Bjorn is most famous and easily found in a store. They are not suitable from birth though. The Ergo baby carrier can be used with a newborn, as long as you use an infant insert, which can be bought from their website. The Ergo and similar options are much like a mei tai, but work with buckles instead of the long ties a mei tai has. They can also be used on front or back, and the Ergo has a sleeping hood that allows your baby to sleep in comfort. This is my favorite carrier because it has thick, padded straps and can be used from newborn to toddler – at two years and a couple of months, my son still happily rides in it. It does not hurt my back, at all!