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How to buy a baby carrier

How to buy a baby carrier

Which baby carrier shall I buy
You are pregnant and at some point it comes to you, that you might need a baby carrier.. But how to buy a baby carrier? You have probably heard that having a wrap for your newborn is THE shit! Or you have seen many other parents on the street using one. But how to buy a baby carrier? How to find one that’s good?

When it comes to car seats or similar we usually rely on test reports by more or less independent testing organizations. So probably, this is also your go to for searching for a baby carrier. And you may also have friends who will recommend (or not recommend) the carrier they have. And you will probably go to stores which have baby carriers in stock.

This all is fine when taking the first steps when searching for a baby carrier! But don’t let you stop there, because there is so much more to know!

Knowing Safety Tests

Safety Test Baby Carrier
Test results are important, however, it have to be the right tests. Baby carriers which are sold officially in the US have to pass the ASTM test. If they fail, they are not allowed to enter the stores. In this test, the durability and safety of the carrier is tested. But, when it comes to safety, only the risk of falling, not the risk of suffocation is tested!

Europe and Japan have similar tests at hand but they are not compulsory.

A carrier that has passed one of these tests and has a good result in an independent consumer test, are a good choice!

Be aware that cheap baby carriers from Amazon, Aliexpress and similar are often not safe and there is a high risk that the material can not hold the weight of your baby!

How to buy a baby carrier

How to buy a baby carrier
Going into a big baby store gives you the opportunity to feel some carriers. Do the fabric feels comfortable? Do you like the way the carrier was fabricated? And is a 100% polyester carrier for you or do you like natural materials? Sometimes, you have the chance to try the carrier with a doll provided by the shop. However, the carrier brands available are limited to big companies with a high budget, and the staff is usually not trained in fitting baby carriers. They probably can’t tell if one of the available carriers fits you and your baby and you have to figure it out on your own.

Specialized shops are usually a different story. These smaller shops often have a great variety of carrier brands and sometimes even staff that is trained in babywearing. (But are rare or not existent in Japan.)

Recommendations?

Baby Carrier Recommendation
Asking friends and other moms is probably the first you will do. However, it is also the option that helps you the least because the experiences made with the carriers are highly personal.

Imagine you are buying everything out of recommendations: that jeans, that fits your friend so well (even though she has broader hips than you). That blouse that looks so cute on your friend (but let you look like a potato bag). That bra that takes away all the weight of the breast (even though yours are small, even after giving birth). Or that shoes! ( even though your feet are much wider and you are squeezing your toes).

But why these examples of clothes when talking about baby carriers?

Because a baby carrier isn’t only a tool, it may become part of your everyday outfit. A piece of fabric you might sometimes wear several hours a day. And not only you, but also your baby! So you have to make sure that the carrier you choose fits your baby too.

But your baby is not even born right? So how to choose then?

Actually, its very difficult to find the right carrier before giving birth! There are so many things that have to be taken into consideration!

And now we will coming to the final answer of how to buy a baby carrier!

How to buy a baby carrier
Before your baby is born, you might have a vision how you want to use your carrier:

for getting baby into the car, for doing chores in the house, when bringing an older sibling to school, or you want to be active and want to have your baby close to you whatever you are doing.

Babies though are tiny humans from the beginning. They have their own ideas of life that might not fit your expectations. 

Maybe you imagine to put baby down for sleep or taking a walk with the pram.

While this is definitely possible with some babies, many aren’t happy to be separated from you. They will cry as soon as you put them down.

It is impossible to know before what personality your baby has. This makes it also difficult to plan ahead if you will only use the baby carrier for very short periods of time or if your baby lives in it all day.

When having your baby in the carrier only for short periods like 5 – 10 minutes, the comfort for you might not be as important and almost any carrier that is SAFE and COMFORTABLE for your newborn will do. When having a baby that wants to be with you 24/7, you might want a baby carrier that’s comfortable also for you.

Read here why buying a carrier for a newborn is important.

And why it isn’t that it also fits toddlers.

And now we are coming back to clothes. How can one carrier fit everyone the same and is comfortable for all when our bodies are all different and we all experience comfort differently?

A recommendation from your friend will not help you here! 

Many actually think that having pain while carrying your baby in a baby carrier is normal. But it isn’t! 

There are only very few situations where you will have pain in a carrier that fits you and your baby well. A good fitting carrier will not feel like a burden!

The Final Answer

Baby Carrier List
List all the recommendations, all the carriers you found with good test results, and maybe do a little research on your own about carriers that are available and that you may like.

And then go to a place where you can try on the most of them, preferably with your baby!

Only then you will really see what kind of carrier will fit you both best.


Some more tips:

💫Look for small shops with babywearing staff.

If there is none, look for a shop that allows you to try with your baby and that has the biggest collection of brands available.

💫A babywearing consultant has a great variety of carriers to try, will pre-select carriers so you don’t have to do the research yourself, and will provide aftercare for every kind of problem occurring later.

💫You can rent different carriers from a sling library to try at home on your own.

💫Some brands offer direct home try on. Try it at home and if you don’t like it, you can return it.

💫If you want to buy a carrier before giving birth to be prepared, a stretchy or woven wrap, or a ringsling are a good choice. However, make sure to practice before baby arrives! Babywearing comes with a learning curve!

💫If sharing with your partner, a Halfbuckle type carrier might be a better option than a rucksack type carrier (Fullbuckle).

💫You don’t have to buy a carrier from a babywearing consultant or sling library. You can go to a shop, buy online, or even buy preloved after using a consultant or library.

When receiving advice from a small shop, it would be nice if you buy something there because they provided a service and it is best practice to pay for that.

You can find my consultancy services here.

If you would like to use the sling library, all available carriers are listed here.

For learning babywearing basics and the differences between baby carrier systems, you might be interested in my babywearing basics online course.

If you wonder how to use your stretchy wrap with best results, my „Mastering the Stretchy Wrap“ Online Course might be for you.

And if you have a summer or winter baby and wonder how to carry her/him during these seasons, I have an online course on exact this topic.

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