Choose the right carrier to keep your baby cozy and free your hands.
- TIP: Your baby may cry when they are put into a new carrier but will calm down once you start moving.
- Step 1: Make sure store policy allows you to return or exchange the carrier you choose. Stores generally accept returns on baby carriers as long as they haven't been washed or damaged.
- Step 2: Practice. Baby wearing takes time to master. At home, use a mirror or have a friend help you secure baby in the carrier while you're learning. Soon, baby will be snuggled in, and you'll be out and about.
- FACT: Baby wearing has been practiced for centuries in almost all cultures.
- Step 3: Test each carrier once your baby is secured. Walk around, bend down, and move your arms. The carrier should stay in place, feel comfortable, and feel like it's supporting your baby well.
- TIP: Support your baby, and practice with a doll or stuffed animal.
- Step 4: Consider your baby's needs. Newborns need to be cradled in a sling or snuggled facing inward in a wraparound carrier, while older babies may enjoy facing outward in a front carrier or riding piggyback.
- Step 5: Consider other factors, such as style and cost. Some carriers come in fancy fabrics and many color choices. However, basic-looking carriers may be less expensive.
- Step 6: Try on several carriers, either in a store or borrowed from friends, that meet the needs of you and your baby. The "right" carrier is largely a matter of personal preference.
- Step 7: Consider your needs. If you want to put your baby down once they fall asleep, you'll need a carrier that slips off easily. For going on long walks, you'll want a carrier that supports and distributes your baby's weight.