“The key is to have your carrier fit correctly, both for your health and your baby’s,” says Havens. “To allow healthy hip development and reduce the risk of hip dysplasia, choose a carrier that allows baby’s thighs to be apart and knees bent. Imagine their legs being an ‘M’ position, with their knees higher than their bottom.” Also important for hip health: Newborns and infants should also be carried inwards—facing towards the caregiver—for the first six months.
You can achieve this positioning with both structured and wrap-style baby carriers, so the best baby carrier for you and your child really comes down to personal preferences. “I think that structured carriers are great for beginners, especially if you find a wrap to be intimidating,” says Havens. But there’s a big advantage to wraps, too. “They’re so versatile, with so many different ways to wear your baby.”
What is the most comfortable baby carrier?
Of the options laid out, wrap styles tend to be the most comfortable. There are no buckles boring into your hips and no waist belt digging into your lower back, and depending on the material, they can feel light as air. Though they do place pressure over your upper back, if worn properly, the wrap should feel like an extension of your body.
No matter what style you reach for, though, changing positions and regular breaks from babywearing can increase the comfort for both baby and caregiver, says Havens.
What are the best carriers?
If it’s not clear already: That’s really up to you, your preferences, and your budget. Below we get into these picks, plus a few more options worth considering.
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