Find the right baby carrier - for you!
Read on to find out more about the different brands and types of harnesses, and what we think are their strengths and limitations. See also the comparison table at the bottom for the big chrome overview.
The high-waisted and the low-waisted, vintage Levi's, skinny or wide-leg. As with jeans, carriers come in all sorts of variations and there's one that's perfect for you. But, we know: it can be hard to find exactly the harness that meets your needs and will fit you well.
We're a webshop, so it's inherently difficult to try on everything. On the other hand, we can do our absolute best to guide you a bit through the jungle so you know what's up and what to look for.
And if the harness doesn't fit, fear not! Then you can always order a return right here and get your money back. It costs 39,- for return shipping. If you want to exchange for another baby carrier, the return shipping is free.
Here we highlight 4 good questions to ask yourself before you press buy:
1. What type of harness are you into? Buckles, tie-down straps or something in between?
2. How big a child will you be carrying - and for how long? From newborn to preschool - choose a harness that can fill and follow your needs.
3. It's getting hot in here! What material is best for your temperature and your child's environment?
4. How much are you willing to invest? Baby carriers come in a variety of price ranges.
We review types, sizes, materials and prices below, so read on!
Before that, a word about good ergonomics: we only sell baby carriers that we can 100% vouch for and that allow you to carry in ergonomically good positions, for both you and your baby.
That said, remember the jeans thing - not every baby carrier will fit everyone. If the harness you've chosen simply doesn't suit you, send it back, we'll receive it with a smile! Don't give up for that reason - it's so lovely (and practical!) to wear and there's sure to be a harness that suits you exactly.
What type of harness should you choose?
A baby carrier is not just a baby carrier. There are subcategories 😅
It doesn't have to be that complex though! In general, there are three types of baby carriers:
This is what most of us know simply as a baby carrier. It has snap buckles in the waist belt, in the shoulder straps and sometimes a single buckle across the shoulder straps, for extra support and so the straps don't move beyond your shoulders. Note that Artipoppe's Zeitgeist, for example, does not have this (in our opinion) rather nifty extra buckle. A buckle across makes the carrier easier to use for back-carrying, because the buckle across the chest holds the shoulder straps in place. Plus, there's a safety element to it too - if your toddler throws themselves backwards in the harness, the buckle across ensures the harness and child don't fall off.
Some carriers have shoulder straps that can be crossed when you carry on your tummy. This can be extra handy if you find the whole reaching on your back to catch a shoulder strap a bit unmanageable. A crossed shoulder strap is typically strapped under the arm and not on the back. See the chart below to see which straps can be crossed on your back.
The happy medium between a baby carrier and a wrap. Here you have a waist belt with a snap buckle and shoulder straps that are more like a wrap - that is, two long pieces of fabric that need to be tied. It's not difficult! But it does require a few practice sessions, whereas a full buckle harness with buckles in the shoulder straps is more plug-and-play.
On the other hand, you'll save a lot of time every day with a half buckle baby carrier if, for example, both mum and dad use the harness and you have different heights and/or waists. With the wrap straps, you don't have to adjust the length of the straps back and forth - it's done automatically every time you tie them 💁
Some also find that folding the straps gives a slightly 'closer' feel. Also, many like the fact that the wrap straps can be spread out a little over the shoulders, so the weight is distributed well over the back. Others like it when the straps are extra padded, which they more often are on fullbuckle carriers. See the overview to see which harnesses have padding on the shoulder straps and waist belt. It really is a matter of taste!
The last and third type of baby carrier leans even more towards the wrap category. Basically, it's a middle piece that acts as a seat for the baby, with 4 straps. Two of the straps are tied around the waist and act as a waist belt. The other two straps are crossed over the shoulders and tied. It requires a bit of practice, but also offers many of the benefits of the wrap - it typically takes up little space and is easy to carry, it automatically adjusts to both baby and carrier, so ergonomics are easy to get to grips with. Fidella's Fly Tai is a great example and a glorious wrap tai.
A few words about padding
Padding is one thing it can be a good idea to deal with specifically before buying a baby carrier. Are you someone who will be annoyed by too thick shoulder straps that take up a bit of space? Or do you like a little extra softness on your shoulders and over your hipbone? Have a feel, or look at a backpack you like.
Sizes of baby carriers
How big is the baby you're carrying -- and how long do you plan to carry?
Maybe you haven't given birth yet, but want to have a good carrier ready from the start. You might also consider a stretch wrap for the first few months. For many new mums and dads, it becomes indispensable when your little one wants to be close all the time and you also really want to be able to use your arms for something other than baby.
If you're more of a harness person, fear not, there are plenty of great harnesses to fit newborns. See the full list here.
How long should you be able to use your baby carrier? The framework is wide and there are no rules! Carry as long as it makes sense for you 💕
For some it's until school age, for others it's the first year. There are baby carriers for everything.
An average, in our experience, is that many are happy to use the carrier until the little one is at least about 1.5 years/15 kg.
Some baby carriers can be used for the whole period of carrying, others are designed specifically for the first few months or for slightly older children, for example. Fidella, for example, has two sizes of all their harnesses - baby and toddler. Some harnesses have a baby insert that can be used for the first months until the child reaches a certain height. We think this can be a bit of a hassle, so most of the baby carriers we carry don't have them - they can be adapted to the child as they grow in other ways.
Personally, we're quite fond of Isara The Onewhich, as well as being a very comfortable and flexible carrier, can be used from 3 to 20kg without the need for a baby insert.
See the chart at the top to see what sizes the different carriers cover.
Hot or cold? Choose the right material
When you're that close to a little baby, who might even act like a little radiator, it can get hot fast. Always ensure safety and avoid baby getting too hot. A comfortable temperature can be ensured by taking layers of clothing off and on, but the material of the harness itself can also help.
Many baby carriers are made from wrap fabric, which can be either 100% cotton or a combination of materials including, for example, linen and silk, which can have a cooling effect.
Wadded fabric, whatever the material, is usually perceived as cooler because of the way the fabric moulds itself around you and the weave, which makes it more airy than synthetic materials, for example.
Other baby carriers are made of mesh, which is airy and nice and cool on a hot day. Harness Easy by Najell is a really good and cool harness that's great in the summer heat. It also has some really nifty magnetic buckles that make it extra easy to use, but that's another matter :)
If you're going to wear during the winter months, or spring and autumn for that matter, a carrier jacket or cover that you can take over your carrier might be a sensible investment.
A child, in a baby carrier, in a baby carrier can be a really cumbersome operation. Additionally, you need to be aware that the air inside the flight suit is often actually the most insulating, and there won't be room for that air in the baby carrier. So keep an eye on whether your little one gets cold, even with an outer garment on.
How much does a baby carrier cost?
And is there a correlation between price and quality? Most of the baby carriers we have chosen to carry are not the cheapest. Nor are they the most expensive. In our opinion, however, they are the best.
A baby carrier is an investment, so it's important to choose the right one and put some thought into it so that it can be used for a long time. If you find a harness that you are happy with and use every day, then the cost-per-wear can quickly become low.
A really good and budget-friendly baby carrier is LoveTiethat can be yours for 499,-. It is a half buckle baby carrier, which means that it has a snap belt, but the shoulder straps have to be tied. It is a really strong alternative to the slightly more expensive baby carriers.
The last - and most important - thing you should always be aware of when using your baby carrier.
Always make sure your child:
- has a free airway
- not too hot
- resting in the frog position, with support from knee to knee
This applies every time you carry your child. No matter which carrier you use.
You can read more about security and much more in our Sling FAQ.
If you have any questions before you buy, or when you're about to get started at home, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com - we're here to guide and answer any questions 😃