How do you choose the best ergonomic carrier for you and your baby?

It is important when choosing an ergonomic baby carrier to consider both your baby as yourself. After all, it is important that you both benefit from optimum comfort and ease. There are various types of baby carriers available on the market. The great diversity is present with almost all baby products. So, it is probably not the first time that you make a choice from a large assortment. Apart from baby carriers there also baby slings available, for example. This enlarges the offer even more. The best way to make a choice is by considering a number of aspects.

For example, do you want to carry your baby in a carrier immediately after the birth? Do you want to do this for quite some time or only during the first few months? An ergonomic carrier can grow together with your baby and there are reducing elements available for new-born babies. However, this depends on the brand and model. When it is the intention only to carry the baby with you for the first few months, the baby sling will be a good solution. Plus, comfort is also an important aspect.

At Babymaxi.com you will only find ergonomic baby carriers with the best quality that offer optimum comfort and ease. However, comfort is also an aspect that depends on your personal wishes. A baby is most comfortable when it sits high and close to your body. If your baby prefers to be carried you could select a baby carrier that is equipped with wide straps. This ensures for a good distribution of the weight of your child.

Below you will find more tips on how you can choose the best baby carrier. For example, based on age. Furthermore, the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of carriers are mentioned and you will be introduced to the various carrying positions. However, when you make your final decision make sure it is based on your own preferences and feeling on what is best for you and your baby.


Which ergonomic carrier is ideal for my baby?

• Premature baby with weight below 3,000 grams
If your baby is premature with a weight below 3,000 grams we recommend you to buy a stretchable sling or a classic cloth made of woven fabric.

Newborn baby with weight above 3,000 grams
For your newborn baby with a weight above 3,000 grams you can both use a woven as stretchable cloth. A ring sling offer the advantage that it is practical to use. You can quickly put this on and is ideal for short distances. Another option is the Mei Tai. Or a structured carrier that is equipped with a seat reducer or that offers an adjustable seat near the legs.

Babies that can already sit up (age between five and eleven months)
Babymaxi.com offers you an unlimited choice from the assortment. Depending on your preference you can select a baby carrier, baby sling or Mei Tai. A stretchable sling is also still great for babies this age. However, the weight of your baby will increase and therefore a woven sling can be used longer.

The Mei Tai is an Asian carrier and offers all comfort to you and your baby. A baby carrier lasts a long time and you can use it till the end of the carrying period. A ring sling is perfect for short distances and you can also use it as addition to another type of carrier that is suitable for longer distances.

Child in preschool age (toddler) (from 10 kilograms to 3 – 4 years)
For your toddler with a weight of 10 kilograms we recommend to purchase a comfortable toddler carrier. The toddler carriers have a wide seat and a long back panel. Carriers for toddlers are prefect when you go for long hikes and can be used till your child has reached the age of 3 to 4 years.


What are the different styles of baby carriers?

Soft structured carrier

A soft structured carrier is offered in several versions. As there are several brands and models, there are differences in the design.

A soft structured baby carrier has a hip strap and shoulder straps. Due to the soft hip and shoulder straps the weight of the baby is distributed better across your shoulders, hips and back. This prevents you from getting pain in your shoulders, neck or back. It is easy to put this type of carrier on and to align it with your body. The ties and straps are adjustable and can be adapted to the length and build of the body of the wearer. Furthermore, per brand there are of course differences in design and colour. The baby carriers have a click system so the straps can be easily fastened.

In a soft structured carrier, your baby is supported mostly underneath its bottom. They can normally be used from birth. A seat reducer or extra pillow prevents that your newborn baby does not slide away completely. Plus, sufficient support is given to the baby’s head.

There are also carriers that are ideal for carrying toddlers. A feature of such a carrier is that it is equipped with a wide seat and a longer back panel. Carriers that you can already use from birth up to infancy usually offer various carrying positions. For example, on your stomach, back or hip.

Features

• Wide shoulder straps and hip belt
• Freely adjustable
• Click system
• Extra options with choice of practical accessories, such as rain cover, foot strap and infant insert
• Ergonomic M-position

Advantages:

• Easy to put on (much appreciated by fathers)
• Freely adjustable size and can be aligned with baby and carrier
• Ideal for carriers with a different height
• Equal distribution of the weight
• Child can be easily carried for several hours

• Long lifespan (can sometimes be used for more than 3 years)

Disadvantages:

• Less compact compared to a sling
• Can be expensive

Brands:

Tula
• Beco
• Boba
• Manduca
• Ergobaby
• Kodaki Flip


Mei Tai

The Mei Tai is a carrier that has a square or elongated shape. It is equipped with two shoulder straps and a long hip strap. The baby’s knees will be slightly higher than the buttocks in this carrier and the legs are spread from the hips. It is common knowledge that this position is ideal for the development of the spine and hips of your baby. The Mei Tai is made from a comfortable sling fabric and has a lovely soft feeling. Plus, the fabric can easily adapt itself to the shape. It is a popular baby carrier with a long history and originally comes from Asia. Here babies are carried in simple fabrics that the mothers tie to their own body. The Mei Tai can be used from the birth of your child till infancy and you can carry your baby both on your stomach as on your back.

Features:

• One size fits all
• Soft like a baby sling
• Perfect support
• Freely adjustable
• Choice from several models
• Version with velcro, buckle or by knotting

Advantages:

• User friendly
• Freely adjustable and can be aligned to the size of your baby and the height of the carrier
• Suitable for fathers and mothers with a different height
• High wear comfort due to equal distribution of the weight

Disadvantages:

• Slightly more complicated with breastfeeding
• Less padding compared to a soft structured carrier

Brands:

• Amazonas Mei Tai
• Storchenwiege BabyCarrier
Kodaki TaiTai
• Bondolino
• Hop-Tye Classic
• Hop-Tye Conversion


Ring sling

A ring sling is a baby carrier made of sling fabric and has two rings. The fabric can be pulled through the rings to make a loop. You carry the ring sling over your shoulder and by pulling the fabric through the rings you can tighten the sling. The sling will immediately be fastened. There are various versions available. There are ring slings with padding in the rails and rings that one mother may find very comfortable while the other mother might see it as unpractical. Here you can use your personal preference when making a choice. The ring sling can serve as stomach carrier or as hip carrier.

Features:

• One size
• Freely adjustable
• Perfect a hip carrier

Advantages:

• Easy to put on
• Freely adjustable and can be aligned to the baby and your own body
• Suitable for different carriers with various heights
• Compact, light and small foldable
• Prefect for discrete breastfeeding
• Ideal to carry a sleeping baby without disturbing the sleeping pattern

Disadvantages:

• Baby’s weight is pressing on one shoulder
• Little support when you bend forwards

Brands:

• Storchenwiege Ring Sling
• Hoppediz Ring Sling


Stretchable baby sling

A stretchable sling is also called a ‘baby wrap’. The sling principle is the same, but the stretchable sling offers a tailor made fit. This is because the fabric is tied around your body and the baby is placed inside. Stretchable slings are ideal for premature babies and newborn children and this way they can be as close as possible to their parents. Your heart beat and warmth are felt by the child when they are carried close to you in a stretchable sling. You can also give important skin-to-skin contact to your baby.

Features:

• One size
• Extra soft and light
• Freely adjustable

Advantage:

• Easy to put on with basic knotting knowledge
• Baby can simply be placed inside
• One size fits all
• Can be aligned with the baby’s body and the carrier
• Can be used by persons with various heights
• Perfect for breastfeeding
• Excellent weight distribution, ideal to wear for hours

Disadvantages:

• After carrying for a while the elastic fabric must be tightened again.
• Little variation knotting system, only for carrying on stomach
• Less ideal when it is really hot

Brands:

• Boba Wrap
• Moby Wrap
• Je Porte Mon Bébé


Woven baby sling

A woven sling is ideal for babies who like to be wrapped up and carried. A woven sling offers a wide scope of flexibility. You have the possibility to carry your baby against your chest. When the baby gets older you can decide to carry it on your back. Breastfeeding is very easy and your baby does not excessively have to change position. Incidentally, the woven sling is less elastic than a stretchable sling. For certain carrying positions, it is necessary to first wrap the baby and then tie the sling to your own body. After some practice and after you are familiar with the knotting technique, it is very simple to put the woven sling on. This baby carrier can be used directly from the birth of your child up to the age of two. Apart from carrying on your stomach, you can also carry your baby on your hip or back.

Features:

• Diverse carrying positions
• Several knotting techniques
• Depending on the brand, available in various lengths

Advantages:

• Versatile
• Very comfortable for babies
• Several carrying positions
• Compact, light and small foldable

Disadvantages:

• Requires some skill at the beginning
• Takes a bit more time to put on

Brand:

• Carry Sling


Baby carriers and slings made of bio-cotton

Baby carriers and slings are developed by most brands based on 100% organic cotton. Other brands use a mixture of natural and unprocessed fibres. Babymaxi.com is supporter of the way the baby carriers and slings are produced with natural materials. With the usual way of producing cotton, there is contamination of soil and water due to the use of pesticides. Plus, research has shown that fabrics that were exposed to chemical processes can lead to the absorption of residues by the skin. With that in mind it is nice to know that with a 100% bio-cotton carrier there is a much smaller risk on skin irritation.

Brands:

• Manduca PureCotton
• Boba Organic Carrier
• Boba Wrap Organic

The model of the carrier is not important. It matters that your child is carried in an ergonomic correct position.

What is the most ergonomic way to carry your baby in a carrier or sling?

• M-Position (frog position)
• Arms together
• Head in line with the spine
• Head support when asleep
• Neck support when awake
• Support of both shoulders
• Support of the buttocks
• Baby weight rests on back, thighs and buttocks.
• Baby weight is distributed across your shoulders, hips and back
• Between the chin of your baby and your chest room for two fingers
• Chin up, so the mouth is free to breath
• Ideal carrying height; as you can kiss the baby’s head

What is the M-position or frog position?

The M-position, also called frog position, is the most ergonomic position for your baby. Your baby knows this position from the womb with the legs slightly spread and pulled high. The back has the shape of a C. If it concerns another shape it can have consequences for the development of the hips and the spine. In serious situations, another carrying position than the frog position can even lead to conditions like hip dysplasia. This is because the head of the hip in another position is not lying correctly in the acetabulum.

Wrong position:

• Legs totally spread (90º)
• Legs not pulled up
• Knees underneath buttocks or at similar height
• Outstretched spine

Correct position:

• Legs slightly spread (30º)
• Legs pulled up
• Knees at the height of the navel
• Bended spine = frog position (C-shape)

A baby reduction pillow is available for newborn babies. This reduction pillow makes it possible to carry your newborn baby in a frog position in the baby carrier. This is the most perfect position for babies.