We have tested 9 different baby carriers and name the Ergobaby 360 as our Best Choice. This comfortable baby carrier is ergonomic for both the carrier and for the baby. The carrier has an efficient, load-bearing waist belt and lets you carry the baby in four different positions. The Ergobaby Adapt, another ergonomic baby carrier from the same manufacturer, also stood out in the test. The Adapt model is very comfortable for the parent and has the advantage that it can be used by newborns without requiring an insert.
We carried out of the test ourselves and tested all of the products in realistic, everyday conditions. The baby carriers were tested by several different families, with men and women of varying sizes and heights using them to carry their children. We asked families with new-born infants to use the carriers as well as those with children of pre-school age, as long as they did not exceed the maximum weight of the carrier. We assessed each baby carrier by considering the following criteria:
Wearing comfort for the adult: how well does the carrier distribute the load over your body? Is most of the weight on your hips/stomach or on your shoulders? Are the carrier straps padded?
Sitting comfort for the child: is the child in a good position when in the carrier? Is there support for its head and neck and is there enough space for a bigger child to sit comfortably?
Usability: how easy to use are the carrier’s straps and buckles? Is it easy to understand how to get the carrier on and off? Are there any other useful extras like sun protection, storage pockets and the like?
We also factored in the choice of material, price, maximum weight and the possible wearing positions into the final scores we gave the baby carriers.
An ergonomic baby carrier that distributes the weight well for the parent and can be used straight away for carrying new-borns.
Towards the chest: Yes Facing forwards: Yes On the back: Yes On the hip: Yes Material: 100% top quality cotton Hip belt: Yes Sun/nursing protection: Yes (SPF50) Storage pockets: Yes Washing: Machine wash 30 degree User weight and height: 3.2-20 kg Infant insert: Not required
Despite having an almost identical name, the Ergobaby Omni 360 shouldn't be confused with the slightly older Ergobaby 360 model that doesn’t offer the possibility to carry your child facing outwards. The Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier is available in a wide range of colours and patterns. While this doesn't affect the performance of the carrier, it will surely be a positive point for those looking for a stylish baby carrier. You’ll be wearing it a lot, so why not choose a model that looks nice! Having this choice of colours almost makes the carrier like a garment, which you then can match with the clothes in your wardrobe.
With the Omni 360, you can choose to carry your child on your chest either facing towards or away from you, or on your hip or back. You can use the baby carrier straight from when the child is born without having to use an extra infant insert, making it very easy to carrying your child. The Omni 360 is very easy to adapt to your needs or body shape. The width of the carrying panel is altered using the velcro attachments. There are clear markings showing the width suitable for particular ages and lengths of children, helping you to make sure the sitting support for your child is right. If you want to carry your child facing outwards, you can make the carrying panel narrower so that the child can sit comfortably with their bottom in a kind of shell and their back against the parent's chest with their legs facing outwards. You can change the carrying panel from the outward to the inward position using easy fasteners.
As with all of Ergobaby's carriers, the child’s sitting comfort is very high. The child's knees are higher than its bottom, exactly as is recommended. The carrier allows for a C-shaped curve in the back, which is important in making the baby carrier ergonomic. The neck support can be folded inwards to provide extra support for an infant's neck, folded outwards to support a larger child, or upwards for when you want to provide extra support for a sleeping child's head. The carrier also has a sunshade which can be conveniently folded out of the way into a zipped pocket. The Omni 360's shoulder straps can be crossed over your back or parallel to each other. If you have a small baby in the carrier crossed straps are recommended, as it allows the carrier to hold the child a little more tightly by bringing them closer to the parent’s chest. The baby carrier has a substantial hip belt, which can be fastened at different heights so that the child is always at the right position on the parent's body. The hip belt can be tightened from either direction and it has a support plate on the back to allow for good weight distribution. If you set the carrier correctly, you can even comfortably carry a 1-2 year old with the Omni 360.
The Ergobaby Omni 360 baby carrier is as comfortable as it is practical. On the front of the hip belt is a handy removable zipped storage pouch which you can use to store things that you need to keep easily accessible. The carrier covers all your essential needs when carrying your child, while doing a good job at keeping the child in the right position. While the carrier may feel a little technical at first, it's easy to learn how to use and once you've done so the Omni 360 will be a real lifesaver during your child's first year.
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An ergonomic and comfortable carrier for both wearer and baby, with an effective load-distributing waist belt
Towards the chest: Yes Facing forwards: Yes On the back: Yes, from approx. 6 months On the hip: Yes Weight: 740 grams Material: 100% cotton canvas Hip belt: Yes Sun/nursing protection: Yes (SPF50) Storage pockets: No Washing: Machine wash 30 degrees Standards: Oeko-Tex Standard: 100, Global Organic Textiles Standard, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act User weight and height: 5-15 kg Infant insert: 3.2-5.5 kg, sold separately
With the ERGObaby 360 you can carry your child in four different ergonomic ways: towards your stomach, facing forwards, on your back or on your hip. This is probably a record for a baby carrier. The carrier also can also be used for carrying infants if you buy a special insert. The child’s seat is ergonomically shell-shaped to keep the child’s spine in a C-shape, regardless of how the child is carried. You have to make sure that the child’s bottom is in the shell of the seat and not on the upper edge of the hip belt, otherwise it could be uncomfortable. The child has a good view even when the neck support is in use, although the neck support can be folded down or fastened out of the way if you prefer.
You put the baby carrier on by attaching the velcro hip belt around your hips and then fastening the safety strap. You then place the child into the carrier and put on the shoulder straps, before buckling them behind your neck. If you have a stiff neck you may find it difficult to reach this buckle, however. Once you’ve done this you can then adjust the length of the shoulder straps to decide how close you want to position the child to your body, which is a handy feature. Because the child sits in the frog position, it’s easy to sit down without the child’s legs getting in the way. The ERGObaby 360 can be adjusted well to the height of the person carrying it, but it’s a little more difficult to adjust the neck buckle height. We found it easier to place the child so it’s positioned against your chest, but a little more difficult to put the baby carrier on your back. We recommend that you watch ERGObaby’s instruction videos online before you try positioning it this way.
We found the hip belt’s wide velcro band to give the best weight distribution in the test. Because the seat is attached across the whole front of the hip belt, the child’s weight is effectively distributed across both your hips. The disadvantage of using velcro as a material is that it can be difficult to adjust the hip belt once the child is in the carrier. It can also be very noisy when you take off the belt, which isn’t good if you’ve got a sleeping child. The velcro could also damage your clothes if you aren’t careful. The baby carrier has a sun and nursing hood to provide the baby with some protection from the sun or to be used when breastfeeding. This hood can be packed away into a neat pocket when it’s not being used, helping to keep the baby carrier looking tidy.
In summary, this was one of our favourite baby carriers in the test. There are also number of additional accessories that you can buy for it if you want to including a wind and rain hood, a fleece lining and shoulder strap protection.
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An ergonomic baby carrier which can be used from birth and provides the ultimate carrying comfort for the parent
Towards the chest: Yes Facing forwards: No On the back: Yes, from approx. 6 months On the hip: Yes Weight: 740 grams Material: 100% premium cotton Hip belt: Yes Sun/nursing protection: Yes (SPF50) Storage pockets: Yes Wash: Machine wash 30 degrees Standards: Oeko-Tex Standard: 100, Global Organic Textiles Standard, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act User weight: 3.2-20 kg Infant insert: Not required
The shoulder straps of the ERGObaby Adapt can be worn either parallel to each other or crossed over. When worn crossed over, the straps provide a good weight distribution. They are particularly good when carrying smaller children as they give a better support and are an excellent fit for the baby’s body. The Adapt’s panel is soft enough for the child to keep its spine curved in the optimal C-shape, and to allow the baby’s bottom to sink down so that its body stays in the ergonomic ‘frog position’.
The base of the panel can be adapted to the child’s length by attaching it using the velcro straps at different points on the carrier. The width of the panel can also be adjusted using snap fasteners. This means that it's easy for the Adapt to grow with the child, without there being a big step between one size position and the next. The carrier’s upper lip can be cleverly folded and attached in a number of different ways. The carrier’s instructions are extremely helpful for when working out how to do so. This adaptable lip works very well at letting the child see out and when providing good neck support for the child when it is sleeping.
Even if you're used to using a baby carrier, you may feel that the Adapt needs to be broken in a little when you first use it. The shoulder straps can initially feel a bit stiff and have a tendency to slip. However, the carrier will tend to soften up as you use it and will also become easier to use as the child gets a little heavier. Our tip is to wash the baby carrier early on to speed up the softening process. Once it’s worn in, the Adapt is a fantastic baby carrier which will allow you to carry your child for a whole day without feeling it on either your shoulders or back. While some users may miss the capability to carry the child facing forward as in the ERGObaby 360 model, if you don’t need this function the ERGObaby Adapt is one of the best baby carriers out there. It’s a purchase that new parents won’t regret.
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An easy to use baby carrier with many different carrying positions for both front and back positioning
Towards the chest: Yes Facing forwards: Yes On the back: Yes On the hip: No Weight: 990 grams Material: Polyester and cotton Hip belt: Yes Sun/nursing protection: No Storage pockets: No Washing: 40 degree machine wash Standards: Oeko-Tex Standard: 100, Safety standard EN13209-2:2005 for baby carriers User weight and height: 3.5-15 kg , 53-100 cm Infant insert: Built in, for use when the child is 53-62 cm
As an updated version of one of our favourite baby carriers, the BabyBjörn One fixed many of the issues for which the previous ‘One’ model had received criticism from us and others. This new ‘One’ was released in autumn 2015 and feels even more well designed and better all-round. The shoulder straps have reinforced padding, the buckles are angled differently to make it easier to use them when you're inserting the child into the carrier and the hip belt is more stable. The zips on the BabyBjörn One can now be locked in different positions, making it easier to adjust the baby carrier to your child’s needs and size.
With this flexible baby carrier your child can sit facing you, facing forwards or on your back. The carrier is suitable for all conceivable situations – both inside and outside the home. It’s extremely easy to adjust to the different body shapes people of different people. The waist belt and the padded shoulder straps provide good weight distribution to help counteract any aches building in your shoulders and back. The carrier also has a useful and easily adjustable built-in infant insert for newborns. This means you don’t need to fiddle with any removable inserts so you can quickly get the baby positioned against your body. However, once the child has just outgrown this infant insert it will unfortunately be positioned relatively low down in the carrier.
The BabyBjörn One has a number of clever features such a silk backing to the inside of the belt, making it easy to rotate the carrier if you want to position in on your back instead. It’s safe to rotate the carrier like this as the neck buckle means that you can’t drop the child when you rotate the carrier. Another useful function is that when you remove the child from the carrier you don’t need to lift them up to open the buckles, which is useful if the child has already fallen asleep. Overall the baby carrier is extremely well sewn and has a high-quality feel. It does have a neck protector which can be folded down when it’s not required, but we found this to ride up by itself on occasion as there’s no easy way of fastening it down. Button fastenings to prevent this happening would have been useful. We would also have liked to seen some kind of protection for the plastic buckles on the shoulder straps, as the child’s head can come to rest against them if you sit down while the child is asleep.
You put the BabyBjörn One baby carrier on by first climbing into it with one side buckle done up. After this you tighten the hip buckle, place the child in the carrier and then do up the remaining buckles. The hip belt fastens behind your back with a simple hook, which you can easily tighten by pulling it forwards. You can do these steps very quickly, which makes the BabyBjörn One our favourite carrier if you want to quickly get your child into place close to your body. If the baby carrier gets dirty you can wash it at 40 degrees, which is useful. A number of handy accessories are available for the baby carrier, such as a wind and water-resistant fleece cover and a bib. All in all this is a fantastic baby carrier which is well worth its price.
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An easy to understand and well-priced baby carrier, albeit with a reduced number of functions
Towards the chest: Yes Facing forwards: No On the back: Yes On the hip: No Weight: 820 grams Material: Cotton and polyester Hip belt: Yes Sun/nursing protection: No Storage pockets: No Washing: 40 degree machine wash Standards: Oeko-Tex Standard: 100 class 1, Safety standard EN13209-2:2005 for baby carriers User weight and height: 3.5-15 kg, 53-100 cm Infant insert: built in, for use when the child is 53-62 cm
The BabyBjörn We is a simplified and lighter version of the BabyBjörn One. The major difference of this model is that it doesn’t allow you to carry your baby facing forward and that you can only open the baby carrier from the right-hand side. If you are ok with these compromises, this is a very good and affordable alternative to the BabyBjörn One.
You put on the baby carrier by first climbing into it and then tightening the hip belt. The child is inserted from the right-hand side, with you then fastening the buckle followed by the chest strap. This side buckle can be tricky to find, so some better guidance to help find it would have been a nice feature. However, the buckle feels very safe and is also very quiet to release. The hip belt is fastened behind your back with a hook, making it very easy to both fasten and open. It’s also very easy to tighten with a simple forward movement.
Like the BabyBjörn One, the belt has silk lining to make it easy to rotate the carrier onto your back. It’s easy and safe to shift the carrier from your front to your back as the back strap ensures that you don’t drop the child during the process. If you want to use the carrier for an infant, you can easily adjust the bucket shape of the seat with a simple zip. Although the neck protection can’t be folded down, this isn’t as important with this carrier as the child can only be carried facing you. When you take the child out of the baby carrier, you have to slightly press the child against yourself in order to open the buckles. This movement can be slightly disruptive if the child has already fallen asleep.
The carrier is pleasant to wear as a result of its broad and soft padded shoulder straps. The back strap can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally so that the baby carrier is easy to fit on different wearers. The BabyBjörn We is also equipped with loops which you can insert the straps into so that they are out of the way. The material of the baby carrier is also soft and gentle. The carrier is suitable for hot days as the child can sit in it in just a nappy without coming into contact with sharp seams or edges. In addition to the basic carrier, there are a number of accessories you can buy for it such as a wind and water-resistant fleece cover and bib.
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A baby carrier which is very easy to use and takes up very little space when it’s folded up
Towards the chest: Yes Facing forwards: Yes On the back: No On the hip: No Weight: 510 Material: Cotton Hip belt: No Sun/nursing protection: No Storage pockets: No Washing: 40 degree machine wash Standards: OEKO-Tex Standard: 100, Safety standard EN13209-2:2005 for baby carriers User weight and height: 3.5-11 kg, 53-66+ cm Infant insert: Built in
The BabyBjörn Original is our favourite baby carrier in the budget price category. It’s also the lightest and most compact baby carrier of the products in the test, making it perfect if you’re planning on taking a carrier with you on a trip. The fabric is soft and gentle on the child’s skin and the baby carrier doesn’t lose its shape even if you’ve had to compress it into a suitcase. The child has a very good view of the surrounding world when inside the carrier and the neck protection also provides good neck support for sleeping babies. If you have a sleeping child in the baby carrier it’s really easy to lay them down as you can unbutton the entire seating part and lay it down together with the child. We found that this carrier was actually the best baby carrier for this type of manoeuvre out of all the products in the test, which will make it a lifesaver for many parents with young infants.
You put on the baby carrier by putting on the back straps and then tightening it over your stomach. You can insert the child from any direction before tightening up the chest straps to secure it. You can adjust the child’s seating height against your body by using the buckles under the armpits.
We felt that the baby carrier was both easy to put on and adjust. However, it doesn’t offer many different seating position for the infant. The child can sit in the baby carrier either facing forwards or facing towards your chest, with its legs hanging out of the side in both positions. If you want to sit down with the child in the carrier, you will have to fold the child’s legs to the side. We did think that the products manual was the best in the whole test though, with its clear images and instructions making it easy to understand how the baby carrier should be used. The baby carrier also has two reflectors on the seat, which is a handy feature if you plan to use it in the dark. There are a number of accessories you can buy for the carrier, such as a wind and water-resistant fleece cover and bib.
In summary there is much to like about this carrier, with its low price, its high quality good design. However, if you’re going to use the baby carrier for longer periods we would recommend getting a model with a hip belt. In addition, the BabyBjörn Original is only suitable for children up to 11 kg, which sets a limit as to how long you can use it. Despite this, the attractive price and simplicity of this product makes it absolutely ideal as a travel carrier or as an extra carrier.
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A compact baby carrier made from a light and airy material that still has an ergonomic carrying position and a high maximum carrying weight
The ERGObaby Performance Baby Carrier is a lightweight baby carrier that can still be used to carry children who are up to 20 kg in weight. It’s the most compact baby carrier with a waist belt out of all the products in our test and is only slightly more bulky than the BabyBjörn Original (which doesn’t have a waist belt). The baby carrier is available to buy in different materials, with the mesh version being our favourite due to its fantastic flexibility. The carrier is extremely well sewn with reinforced seams and edges that softly follow the anatomy of the child. However, the actual fabric could feel slightly rough on the baby’s skin if it is naked inside the carrier. The material breathes well, making the ERGObaby Performance an appropriate choice for hot days. It’s also very effective in the winter as the carrier’s thin and flexible materials also fit well over the thick clothes worn by the child or the carrier.
You put the baby carrier on by first attaching the hip belt around your hips. You then insert the child into the carrier and put on the shoulder straps, which you attach around your neck. Unlike the other ERGObaby models in this test it’s very easy to adjust the vertical height of the neck support, which is very practical if the people using it are of different heights. However, it can be difficult to fasten the neck buckle if you aren’t that flexible. The hip belt is wide and stable and all of the straps have loops allowing them to be fastened out of the way once you have adjusted the baby carrier. We found it easy to put the child in the carrier when positioned on your chest, but slightly more difficult when you are putting the carrier on your back. We recommend that you watch the instructional videos online and practice doing this manoeuvre before you try it out.
Unfortunately the baby carrier doesn’t have any neck support for the child, which will mean that you need to support the child’s head if you bend over quickly for example. The carrier has a clever pocket for keys, a wallets or phone together with a handy pocket for the sun and nursing hood. You can also buy extra accessories for the carrier such as a wind and rain hood. While you will have to buy an infant insert if you plan on carrying a small baby, since you can carry children up to 20kg you are likely to be using this baby carrier for a long time, which is a major plus point.
The ERGObaby Performance Baby Carrier is a very light baby carrier that can be used for children up to 20 kg. It’s the most compact baby carrier with a waist belt in the test and is only slightly more bulky than the BabyBjörn Original (which doesn’t have a waist belt). The baby carrier is available in different materials, with the mesh version being our favourite as it’s fantastically flexible. The model is extremely well sewn and has reinforced seams and edges that softly follow the anatomy of the child. However, the actual fabric can feel slightly rough if the baby is naked. The material breathes well and the ERGObaby Performance is therefore good for hot days. It’s also very effective in the winter as the carrier’s thin, flexible material works well with thick clothes on both child and parents.
You put on the baby carrier by attaching the hip belt around your hips. You then insert the child into the carrier and put on the shoulder straps, which you then attach around your neck. Unlike the other ERGObaby models in the test, it’s very easy to adjust the neck support vertically, which is very practical if the carriers are different heights. However, it can be difficult to fasten the neck buckle if you are at all stiff. The hip belt is wide and stable. All of the straps have loops so that they can be fastened out of the way when the baby carrier has been adjusted. It’s easy to put the child in the carrier on your chest, but slightly more difficult if the carrier is going on your back. We recommend that you watch the instruction videos online and practice.
The baby carrier has no neck support, which means that you need to support the child’s head, for example if you are moving forwards quickly while bent over. The seat has a clever pocket for keys, your wallet or phone together with a pocket for the sun and nursing hood. You can buy a number of different accessories, for example a wind and rain hood. For small babies, you have to buy an infant insert, but as you can carry children up to 20 kg, this baby carrier is likely to be used for a long time, which is a major plus point.
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A baby carrier with good weight distribution for the upper back and a good choice of materials, despite being a slightly older model.
Towards the chest: Yes Facing forwards: Yes On the back: No On the hip: No Weight: 880 grams Material: Polyester and cotton Hip belt: No Sun/nursing protection: No Storage pockets: No Washing: 40 degree machine wash Standards: OEKO-Tex Standard: 100, Safety standard EN13209-2:2005 for baby carriers User weight and height: 3.5-12 kg , 53-85 cm Infant insert: Built in
This well put together baby carrier has a useful backplate to distribute the baby’s weight across your back. In many ways this carrier is similar to the BabyBjörn Original, with the BabyBjörn Miracle’s backplate and waist belt being the only major differences. Out of the baby carriers in the test where the child sits with hanging legs, this carrier had the best distribution of weight despite the fact that it has a waist belt rather than a hip belt. The shoulder straps are broad and thin and allow you carry the child comfortably. It’s easy to shift and adjust the baby carrier without any causing chafing and the child can sit comfortably in it even if you moving fairly actively.
To put on the BabyBjörn Miracle, you first put on the back plate and then fasten it across your stomach. The child can then be inserted into the carrier from any direction. You then fasten up the chest buckles and tighten the straps under your armpits, before choosing whether to have the neck support up or down. If the child falls asleep, you can easily lay them down as the entire seating part can be unfastened and laid down with the child. However, the buckles over the stomach can be a bit tough with some of our testers finding it difficult to open them. If you are also going to be sitting down with the child in the carrier, you must always remember to fold the child’s legs out of the way if they are hanging down. A scale on the carrier really helps you to position it exact right for your child’s height, which is a really intuitive feature. If you are tall, you should adjust the back length so that you have the crossed part of the carrier further down your back. It can be awkward to adjust these crossed straps with a child in the carrier, so it’s easier to make these adjustments before you put your child into the carrier. As with other BabyBjörn carriers, you can buy a number of accessories such as a wind and water-resistant fleece cover and bib. However, if you’re planning to carry your child for longer periods, we didn’t feel that the waist belt did enough to distribute the weight comfortably. For this purpose we would instead recommend a baby carrier with a hip belt, such as the BabyBjörn We.
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A contemporary yet classic baby carrier with an ergonomic carrying position, high maximum weight and built-in sunshade
Towards the chest: Yes Facing forwards: No On the back: Yes On the hip: Yes Weight: 710 grams Material: Cotton Hip belt: Yes Sun/nursing protection: Yes Storage pockets: Yes Washing: 30 degree machine wash Standards: Safety standard EN13209-2:2005 for baby carriers User weight and height: 3.2-20 kg Infant insert: 3.2-5.5 kg, requires an insert
ERGObaby, which originates in Hawaii, has long been one of the leading manufacturers of baby carriers where the baby sits in the frog position. The Original Bundle Of Joy is the original model and has now been on the market for 10 years. In comparison with ERGObaby’s later models, it’s clear that the original is a few years old, primarily in terms of finish and choice of materials. The shoulder straps feel a little clumsy, but are comfortable when carrying a heavy weight. There is a sun and nursing hood that also protects the child against spills. However, it does not provide protection against hot liquids. The nursing hood can be partially concealed in a simple pocket when it is not in use. However, it doesn’t look as neat as on the ERGObaby Performance or 360, as the pocket has a zip.
To carry small children you need an infant insert, which is the same for all ERGObaby models. However, the baby carrier has a number of intelligent functions like a large pocket for storage and loops on the straps so that they can be fastened out of the way. The fabric is 100% cotton and is gentle and soft on the baby’s skin. The hip belt is wide and comfortable at the front but can be too wide when you bend over or sit down. It would also have been easier to tighten the belt if this was done using a forward movement, instead of a backward movement which requires more strength.
You put on the baby carrier by tightening the hip belt, inserting the child into the seat and then putting on the shoulder straps, which are fastened around the neck. You can adapt the baby carrier to the wearer’s height, but the neck buckle is a little bit tough to adjust vertically. It can also be difficult to get at the neck buckle if you have stiff shoulders. It’s very easy to put the child on your chest. The child has a good view once in the carrier. However, remember that the carrier has no neck support, so if for example you are moving fast you must support the child’s head with a hand. If you intend to put the carrier on your back, we recommend that you look at the instruction films online. You can use the baby carrier for a long time because it can cope with a weight of up to 20 kg. A number of accessories are available, such as a wind and rain hood, fleece lining and shoulder strap protectors.
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A good baby carrier should provide the carrier with back support when you carry your child and balance the child’s weight so that it is evenly distributed over your body. Older models of baby carrier often previously only had shoulder straps, while newer models now tend to have hip or waist belts in order to better distribute the load. A baby carrier allows you keep your child close to you while simultaneously allowing you to be able to walk and move in a safe manner. The carrier should be comfortable for both you and your child, and if you manage to choose the right baby carrier you should hopefully have a carrying aid that will last you for many months and perhaps even for several years.
For this test, we tested several different baby carriers from manufacturers like BabyBjörn, Ergobaby and Britax. To make it easier for you to choose the right product, be sure to read about the different carriers and our assessments of them in our reviews. We have also included useful tips such as factors you should think about before buying a baby carrier and how you should decide which baby carrier is most suitable for your needs.
When you choose a carrier it’s important to think about what particular features you will need. Will it always be the same person using the baby carrier, or should it be easy to adjust to different users and body shapes? If you want to use the carrier to help the child fall asleep, you will need a carrier that is easy to remove the child from once it’s fallen asleep. In this case it’s important to choose a baby carrier with straps that are easy to undo and that is easy to remove the child from. If the baby carrier will be used instead of a pram, perhaps attached storage pockets will be a priority for you. If you're choosing between a baby carrier and a sling, there are carriers that provide very similar support to that of a sling alongside the improved functionality they provide.
When carrying small children, it’s important that their head is properly supported in the baby carrier when they're awake and asleep. For optimum seating comfort in an ergonomic position, the infant should be sat in what's known as the “frog position”. When carrying slightly larger children it can be important for them to have a good view to allow them to look out and explore the exciting world around them. Different models of carrier provide different possibilities for the child to look out of the carrier. They also allow for different ranges of carrying positions, including carrying your child with its stomach facing the parent, with its stomach facing forwards, on your back or on your hip.
If you know that you're going to use the carrier to carry the child for a long time, it can be sensible to choose a model that can cope with a slightly higher weights. The capacities of baby carriers vary considerably between the different models and manufacturers. Baby carriers that also work for slightly older children often have an infant insert which you can remove as they get older. It can be a good idea to think about how the baby carrier is designed, for example if you want to be able to use the carrier while being pregnant. If want to carry your child soon after a Caesarean section, you may find a waist belt to be more comfortable than a hip belt.
Different baby carriers can be more suitable at different times of the year due to the levels of warmth they provide. You should think about when you intend to use the baby carrier. The interior material of the baby carrier could also important if you have a child who is often sick. Some carriers are made of mesh, which is a material that’s difficult to wipe clean if this happens. Mesh could also leave a slight impression on the baby’s skin if it presses against it but does allow for a better airflow which makes it more suitable in summer. Vice versa a baby carrier made from a thicker material may be more appropriate for the winter. Some baby carriers also have attachable covers to provide additional protection in lower temperatures.
You also need to think about the seams and fabric that will be in contact with your baby’s skin. Is there any risk of chafing from these? It’s also important to be aware of the labels on the baby carrier. The Oeko-tex label refers to a testing and certification system for fabrics. If it has this label it means that the manufacturer hasn’t used any substances in the production of the carrier which could be considered to pose a risk to the child or are in any other way harmful. This is always reassuring as your child will be spending a lot of time in the baby carrier and its skin will no doubt come into contact with the fabric.
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