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Choosing a Baby Carrier

By Elizabeth Pantley, author of Gentle Baby Care and The No-Cry Sleep Solution

The very best way to decide? Try carriers on - either at the store or with a friend who owns one. Actually putting your baby in the carrier will give you the best idea as to fit, but if you are shopping without your baby (or don't have your baby yet!) try using a stuffed animal from the toy department.

"A baby carrier can help new adoptive parents to decline politely those who want to hold your baby while he still needs exclusive Mommy or Daddy contact. The carrier can be especially helpful in difficult situations such as visits to your child's orphanage or former foster parents."* Laurel, mother of 16-month-old Crystal

* This is also an excellent idea for parents who blanch at the thought of their tiny newborn being passed around the room from person to person!

Points to consider when purchasing a carrier:

  • Comfort. Does the carrier feel good to you?

  • Fit for your baby. Does it seem to suit your baby well?

  • Fit for you. Does it fit your size and body type? Can you carry the baby without strain?

  • Safety. Will the baby be secure and well supported?

  • Features. Does it meet your needs?

  • Usability. Can you easily get your baby in and out of the carrier? How about putting it on and taking it off? Keep in mind that some models require practice.

  • Construction. Does the fabric suit your wardrobe, climate and needs (i.e., lightweight for summer, weatherproof for outdoor use)?

  • Care. Is it machine-washable or easy to wipe clean?

  • Flexibility. Can you carry your baby in various positions?

  • Adjustability. Can it be tightened or adjusted to fit you when you are at home in indoor clothing or outside wearing a coat? Can you adjust it easily for use by others?

  • Adaptability. Will it work for your baby now as well as six months from now?

  • Appearance. Do you like the style? Will you enjoy wearing it?

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This article is an excerpt from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley. (McGraw-Hill, 2003)



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