Product Review: Top Three Baby Carriers

Baby carriers have been used since the dawn of civilization to keep babies close yet allow parents the freedom to continue doing their daily activities.  "Babywearing" is being practiced in many cultures since ancient times; and modern-day folks have seen its benefits up to this age.  With multitasking mothers, having a baby does not mean that one has to stay in bed or on a rocking chair.  Having a baby carrier allows for hands - free baby carrying and it fosters parent-child bonding as well.
By definition, baby carriers are contraptions made of fabric; some are reinforced with plastic or metal buckles and bindings, which secure a baby to an adult's body, permitting for the adult to work while carrying the baby. There are three basic types of baby carriers: slings, front carriers, and backpacks.


A baby sling is the most organic carrier for babies.  It is basically a long piece of cloth that wraps around an adult's body and is secured at one shoulder. Many baby slings offer different sizes, from petite to plus, that give you more or less fabric. Babies curl up in an almost horizontal, fetal position inside the sling and in time graduate to more upright riding.  The fastening of the sling depends on its type. Ring slings have fabric wound through two rings; pouch slings are a continuous loop of cloth material that provides a pouch seat for baby; Asian-style slings feature straps that tie; and encloses a single piece wrapped around the body and fastened in place. Slings may be adjusted to provide babies ample room to lie in the fetal position, face outward, or even straddle their parent's hip. Slings may be used by newborn infants up to about 6 months.  These are not suited for activities such as hiking. The privacy and quick access they offer make them very popular with breastfeeding moms.
image via Wikipedia

Soft frame baby carriers are little fabric seats having leg openings for babies and shoulder straps for the adult wearer that is safely fastened at the back of the adult.  These baby carriers are more structured than slings, resembling mini, open backpacks worn in front. Nearly all soft baby carriers are designed for front carrying, but some are configured for hip riders. Babies may face in toward their parents chest, or outward toward the world.  In soft carriers, babies are positioned vertically which required tiny riders to have at least some neck control, that's why these are not recommended for newborns. Several baby carriers have small pockets for baby accessories, assorted hooks and loops for baby toys, and detachable washable bibs.

Baby backpacks, are also called "frame carriers" and "hikers."  These baby carriers are designed for lengthy baby-carrying excursions and offer a seat for babies to ride on an adult's  back. Similar to a hiking backpack, these are made with lightweight metal frames and extensive padded straps to help comfortably distribute the baby's weight. Baby backpacks are made of tougher, often waterproof material; some even come with sun canopies.  These backpacks are designed for older babies who can sit up on their own. Several models include ample pockets, so you'll be able to leave the diaper bag at home, and reflective stripes for outdoor or nighttime safety. Others even have kickstands that can allow the baby to be set on the ground, still seated like a tiny, upright camping chair.

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