Baby Carrier: The Ultimate Top 3 (July 2012)

There are a number of advantages of baby carrying, not only does it create a great bonding experience for the newborn and mother (or father), it also lets the mum have her hands free whether she is at home doing housework or out buying groceries.  It is important when selecting a baby carrier to find one that is both comfortable, and safe, for the baby and the wearer, while stylishness and longevity of the product also goes into consideration.

1. Ergo Organic Baby Carrier  $109.95

Made in India

This award winning baby carrier from Ergo Baby is one of the most comfortable carriers out there for both you and your baby.  The design of the Ergo Baby ensures that the weight of the baby is dispersed to his hips and thighs and not on his crutch, which some research have advocated its affect on spinal growth.  Meanwhile the thick shoulder bands and waistband allows the weight of the baby to be distributed evenly and comfortably for the carrier.

The carrier can be worn in three positions, front carrier with baby facing mother (or father), back carrier, like a backpack or side carrier, you can also breastfeed while carrying the baby in the front position (with a bit of practice). There is also an attachable hood that can be used to cover the infant when they are asleep and the carrier also comes with a zip up pocket to put pacifiers or wash clothes.  The fact that it is made with organic cotton is also a plus for environmentally conscious parents.  The Ergo Baby is suitable for babies 4 months plus or with some neck control (alternatively purchase the heart to heart insert ($24.95), which allows newborns to be carried safely in the carrier) until toddler age)

I personally have this carrier for my 7-month-old son, and I find this a godsend.  Being a bigger baby, this carrier allows me to carry Riley around without any back pains, the organic cotton is very soft against his skin – I also bought the original carrier and found it very rough.  The organic cotton is also great for hot summer days too, being a natural breathable fabric.  I have only used it in the front carrier position so far but I cant wait to try the back position when Riley is a bit older.  I also like how there are a few nice colors to choose from.  My only qualm with the Ergo Baby is the inability to carry a handbag when wearing the carrier as the shoulder pad is so thick, luckily as there is a zip pocket on the carrier, I can fit my key, some cash and my cell in, but there is not much space for any more than that.

2. Beco Baby Carrier Gemini  $129

Made in USA

This is also a fantastic baby carrier made responsibly with organic cotton.  It has the same baby positioning options as the Ergo Baby but also with the added possibility of front carrier with baby facing out.  This is definitely a huge advantage over the Ergo, especially when the child is older, their interest in the world already them increases, this allows them to see everything with so much more ease (as opposed to having to turn their head left and right).  The Beco carrier also has extended straps that are suitable for larger or taller mums and dads as the straps.  Breastfeeding is also possible in the front carrying position and there is a hood attached to help a baby sleep better.

A lot of people have told me the Beco is in fact more comfortable than the Ergo Baby, but as I have not tried it out myself I cannot say whether this is true for me or not, but if it is true then I think this is definitely a carrier I would consider purchasing. The Beco carrier is also said to be able to hold newborns, without the need to purchase an additional insert (like the Ergo Baby) but some reviewers have mentioned that baby will need to be at least 12 lbs. to be comfortably and safely carried, otherwise there needs to be at least a baby blanket in there to ‘hold’ the baby in.  Once the baby is big enough, the Beco will last a long time, until the child becomes a toddler and it will still remain a comfortable carrier for both the mother and child. However, a disadvantage of the Beco is that it does not have a pocket like the Ergo baby to put all your knick-knacks in, which may be a nuisance when going out.

I love how the Beco comes in such a variety of cute colors and patterns to suit every mother or father.  It is important however to make sure that the Beco carrier washed according to factory specifications, or is spot washed, as there has been instances where the colors of the carrier were faded in the washing machine due to the natural dyes of the Beco.

Overall, I think this is a well-made, comfortable and versatile carrier, suitable for taller/bigger mums.

3. Moby Wrap Original 100% Cotton Solid Baby Carrier  $38.73

Made in Thailand

I Love the idea of this baby carrier – it reminds me of a mother kangaroo carrying her joey in her pouch!  The Moby baby wrap is ideally suitable for mother with smaller babies (from 8 lbs. +) and would like to have their loved ones snuggled closely to them.  The wrap can be used in a number of differently positions and the straps go evenly across the mother or fathers shoulders and back so it is relatively comfortable for the wearer.

The wrap does take some practice to get used to, especially in the beginning when your baby is still tiny and trying to put her in a wrap can seem like a daunting task.  However once you get the hang of it, mothers have commented on how easy it is to use, comfortable to wear around the house and great for bonding with your newborn.  The down side to the wrap is that as it is very long it is not recommended put on when outdoor, as the straps will most definitely fall onto the ground and get dirty.

I would recommend this carrier for younger and or smaller babies, but I see this wrap not lasting more than perhaps 6 months (where as the other carriers can potentially be used until toddler ages).  Once the baby gets older and bigger it would be a struggle to physically maneuver them into the wrap and I would imagine it would be a burden on your back also.  However, I personally would not mind trying it because although this product does not last very long, the bonding time created in this wrap is invaluable.