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Many young parents ask themselves during pregnancy or shortly afterwards what the best baby carrier is. Should we buy a jerky a Rookie, a Manduca or ErgoBaby? Or do we listen to the friend’s recommendation? In this blog post I will show you which mistakes can occur when choosing the right baby carrier and how you can avoid them.
As a trained babywearing consultant, I am happy about anyone who decides to carry his child or his grandson, niece etc. It is a matter of the heart for me to bring the many advantages of wearing to you parents in order to avoid mistakes in choosing the right baby carrier.
Wearing makes everyday life easier in many ways and strengthens the bond between baby and parent. Therefore, I exercise my vocation as a babywearing consultant with much joy and gratitude.
I have already considered the advantages of baby wearing in detail in another blog post: 10 good reasons to carry your baby.
Although a babywearing advice can bring great added value to many parents, of course not everyone decides on advice. The reasons are complex. Some pregnant women and parents simply do not know that such a thing even exists, have no time or no counselor in their area.
In the latter case, I would also like to draw your attention to the possibility of online counseling offered by many counsellors, including myself. Online consultations can also help to avoid mistakes when choosing the right baby carrier.
In a consultation, I always go into points that have to be considered when choosing and putting on a baby carrier . On site, I then show directly on a baby wearing doll and a baby carrier (or a baby sling) how these points are to be evaluated or improved. Of course, such details are best shown in a face-to-face consultation and I experience many aha effects with the parents.
No matter if you have been wearing for a long time, or just want to start wearing, I would always recommend a baby wearing advice in case of uncertainties. 🙂
Nevertheless, I would also like to reach the parents who have not yet been in any counseling or the parents who would like to refresh their knowledge .
Therefore, the following disclaimer: This article does not replace professional advice from a trained babywearing consultant, but only shows examples of various problems that can occur when choosing the right baby carrier and finding the best baby carrier for you.
I hope you enjoy reading and leave me a comment on whether you have ever taken advantage of a wearing consultation or whether you still plan to do so:)
1 Spread squat position is not supported
Let’s start with a point that should already be known to experienced readers: the flexed, abducted spread squat position also called M-posture or frog-posture.
Babies show this typical posture from birth, as soon as they are picked up. If you take your baby in your arms, or better yet, in front of your stomach, the little creature reflexively pulls on its legs and spreads them slightly . The back is slightly rounded and the arms are attached to the body.
You can observe the same when you put the newborn on his belly. The baby has retained this posture from the womb and is the most natural position for it in the first few weeks.
If the child is carried a lot, it retains the squatted leg posture. You can then observe the squatting when picking up even with your toddler .
The spread squat posture is not only perfect to be carried, it is also necessary for the correct hip development of the child.
The immature hip is brought into the optimal position by this posture.
The hip bone sits at the correct angle and with the right pressure in the acetabulum (hip socket). The ossification of the hip is best supported in this way.
What does all this have to do with the selection of the baby carrier? Unlike the sling, care must be taken with a baby carrier to ensure that the carrier actively supports the spread squad posture. In a sling, this position can be achieved by suitable binding. In the case of a baby carrier, the carrier must explicit allow this posture.
There are baby carriers, especially often from the cheaper segment, which have deficits here.
The fabric of the carrier must reach from one hollow of the knee to the other hollow of the knee . The bottom of the baby should sit lower than his knees. A typical M (knee-bottom-knee) should be visible from the front.
If you pay attention to this point when choosing the right carrier for your baby, you will optimally support hip development while wearing and may even be able to do without spreader pants with the consultation of your pediatrician.
To learn what mistakes can still happen when adjusting the baby carrier , you can read this article: The 9 most common wearing errors.
2 Seat panel cannot be adjusted
Now there are carriers that support in principle the spread squat posture from the previous point, but the width of seat can not be changed or adjusted. The seat is the fabric area of the carrier that is located between the hollows of your baby’s knees. Your baby does not really “sit” there. This is important, but lets stay with the word “seat”.
No two babies are alike. Babies of the same age differ in weight, height, leg length, etc. If the seat panel is now firm and cannot be adapted to the baby, this can quickly become uncomfortable for the little one.
A seat that is too wide can cut in, a seat that is too short does not support the spread squat posture optimally or not at all.
If we want to carry our baby for a long time, it will of course get bigger in size. If the seat of the carrier does not grow with your baby, your sweetheart quickly grows out of the carrier.
Again, we have no problem with the sling, as the seat can be flexibly adapted to the baby.
What do I have to pay attention to?
What about a baby carrier? Make sure you buy a baby carrier where the seat is adjustable. There are several ways in which this can be implemented:
There are models that allow the adjustment of the seat with the help of Velcro fasteners. This has the advantage that they are infinitely adjustable and the seat holds well. These include, for example, the Limas Flex, the Mamamotion baby carrier and many others.
Models with buttons are usually not infinitely variable, but often easier to adjust. A well-known representative is the Ruckeli.
The Manduca XT allows the seat to be adjusted by simply moving the fabric on the waist belt. If necessary, you can also readjust if the child is already in the carrier.
Here, the fabric of the seat is gathered by a ribbon that was pulled through a tunnel in the seat. The ribbon is then knotted and the seat remains firm. This variant can be found, for example, in the Fidella Fusion.
If a baby carrier consists mainly of sling fabric, the fabric between the legs can often be pushed together without aids as with a sling . For example, MeiTai.
Similar to the knot, the fabric is pulled together by a ribbon. The band is adjusted by a buckle, similar to the mud pants. This principle is used, for example, by “Schmusewolke” with the “FullBuckle Comfort” carrier.
The seat panel should go from the back of the first knee to the back of the second knee. Also with a distance of up to 1 cm to the hollow of the knee to avoid welts and imprints. If you make sure that the seat can be adjusted when choosing your baby carrier, you support the possibility that your child can be carried with frog position even if it gets bigger.
If the seat does not fit despite the seat adjustment, or if there is no possibility to adjust the seat, some carrying manufacturers offer extensions . Here are two examples from Manduca for widening and reducing the size of the seat:
3 Back part cannot be adjusted
So far, we have found a carrier that supports the spread squad posture superbly and in which the seat is individually adjustable. But now our baby has grown and the upper edge of the fabric on the back sits too low under the child’s shoulders. If the length of the back panel cannot be adjusted, we have to switch to a larger carrier.
What do I have to pay attention to?
In order to avoid a too small back part, you can make sure that the back part of your baby carrier can also be adjusted.
Here, too, the various carrier manufacturers have found different methods to implement this.
With the Manduca First and the Manduca XT , the back panel can be adjusted by a zipper and with the use of the in-house “Ellipse” in three sizes. This is not infinitely variable, but experience has shown that it covers the wearing time quite well.
With the help of sliding buckles, as with the straps of your children’s mud pants, the back part, e.g. with the Limas Flex or even with the comfort carriers of “Schmusewolke”, can be infinitely adjusted to the size of your child.
Some manufacturers, such as Lenny Lamb, also offer the possibility of buttoning. The back part can be adjusted to different sizes by an elastic band with buttonholes and a button .
The distances between the buttonholes are usually very small, so that the length can be adjusted almost infinitely.
Through the back of the Manduca Twist, the straps of the carrier are tunneled. Here you can push the fabric of the back part up and down and adapt it to the baby. Nevertheless, this newborn carrier is designed in such a way that it only fits up to about the 6th month.
Even with the Ruckeli, the back part can be changed in height by sliders.
Similar to the seat, with the Fidella Fusion you can pull the back part smaller by a band and secure it with a knot.
No matter which variant you ultimately like, it is a great advantage and significantly increases the wearing time and comfort of your child if your carrier can be flexibly adjusted in size.
4 Wrong straps
Many parents do not know that the shape of their shoulders has an influence on the choice of the optimal strap of a carrier. The shape of the shoulder is anatomically not the same for everyone. One has rather sloping shoulders, the other rather broad shoulders, others simply have a small and narrow stature.
Therefore, it is not worth arguing about whether fanned out or padded straps represent the non-plus-ultra in the world of baby wearing. What suits one person well can cause pain to another.
What types of carriers are there in principle?
Here we distinguish between different straps and modes of wearing:
- padded straps
- fanned out straps
- Combination of padded and fanned out
- straight straps
- crossed straps
In general, you will find all carrier types in different widths and thicknesses at the different carrying manufacturers. The selection here is very extensive and also includes combinations of the mentioned variants.
What do I have to pay attention to?
In most cases, only trial and error helps. Therefore, I want to give you a few signs that you should pay attention to when choosing a baby carrier:
- The straps slide to the neck: Especially with baby carriers that are carried crosswise, it can happen that the straps slip unpleasantly towards the neck. If possible, you can try the H-wearing method here. Another solution is to try narrower straps or unpadded or fanned out straps. This often happens with narrow or straight shoulders.
- The carriers hurt selectively: One possible cause is that the straps do not rest completely on the shoulder. Some carriers have a C-shape, others have a straight H-shape. Pay attention to the shape of the straps and see what suits you better. A change from fanned out to padded or the other way around can also help. Sometimes fanned straps can be painful because they are not padded. Interestingly, depending on the anatomy, the opposite case is also conceivable, that the padded cause rather punctual pain.
- Straps slip off the shoulders: Switching to crossed straps usually effectively prevents slipping. But also the tightening of the connecting buckle in the lower neck can help. As mentioned in the previous point, switching to differently shaped carriers (C, H carriers) can also help.
What I can’t check here is whether you have put on the baby carrier correctly in general. Is the carrier tied firm enough? Does the child sit optimally in the carrier? And so on. All this has an influence on how comfortable a carrier fits for you. Especially if you have pain while wearing, I definitely recommend visiting a wearing consultation.
5 Wrong material / design chosen
One topic that is not so obvious is the choice of the material of the carrier. There are indeed big differences.
The first baby carrier that came onto the market were made of the same fabric as the baby slings . Thus, the difference between a baby carrier, e.g. a Mei Tai and a cloth was not too big.
Gradually, the baby carriers developed further, in addition to Mei Tai, Half Buckle, Wrap Conversions and Full Buckle Carrying were added, and also the variety of fabrics expanded.
The materials differ above all in their composition, strength and, of course, in the ecological component. The latter is an important point, but not decisive for the wearing comfort.
Interestingly, the feel of a material of a baby carrier from the same manufacturer may differ in different designs. This can lead to the fact that the wearing comfort of a baby carrier is worse or better in one design than in the other.
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This is often due to complex applications or prints, e.g. metallic prints, which can stiffen the material . Even jeans looks can sometimes lead to a harder feel due to the material. If a baby carrier feels unconfortable it may worthwhile to try the baby carrier just once in another simpler design.
I own a baby carrier from a manufacturer once in a leo glitter print 😉 and once in a neutral sling pattern. The leo print version is stiffer and slightly less flexible and is much harder to tighten than the comparable model. Even multiple wearing has not made the baby carrier significantly softer so far.
So if a baby carrier is not comfortable for you due to its material and is rather difficult to adjust, but this baby carrier otherwise fits you well, another simpler design or material can help.
Apart from the design and elaborate printing, the material itself can also feel uncomfortable. So there are carrying manufacturers who do not use sling fabric for their models. This means that the baby carriers are not made of 100% cotton or a comparable cotton mix (e.g. cotton and linen), but they consist to a large extent of synthetic fibers.
This can also feel uncomfortable for the wearer, as these models are (consciously) often designed much stiffer than carrying slings made of sling fabric. The strength should better protect the baby carrier and give stability. From my point of view as a baby wearing consultant this is with a sling even better possible, since a sling can adapt perfectly to the small baby.
Of course, the feeling of comfort of a baby carrier is very individual. Whether you prefer a rather stiff and firm carrier or a flexible baby carrier made of sling fabric is a very subjective decision :).
However, if you find that the baby carrier is “somehow” inexplicably uncomfortable, a look at the material can often help.
6 Wrong size
If you carry your baby from birth, you will eventually find that your baby grows out of the carrier. This is unavoidable, as our little ones have the habit of growing incessantly. 😉
Than either you have a baby carrier that is well adaptable to your baby, as described in the first 3 points, or you look for a new carrier .
However, I am concerned with a different point in this chapter. Baby carriers can not only be too small for the child, but also for the wearer.
Different models of baby carriers were conceived by very different people. The manufacturers often have their origins in people who have not found the right baby carrier for themselves on the market and made a virtue out of necessity by founding a company themselves.
The baby carrier, which was now manufactured, then met exactly the wishes of its inventors.
In other words, tall slim people made baby carriers for these people. Men created baby carrier that appeal above all to men. Petite women invented baby carriers for petite women. 😉
The advantage is that there is now something for everyone.
How do you know that the baby carrier doesn’t fit you? The following points can be a sign that you are not using the optimal baby carrier :
The baby carrier is too big for you
- The hip belt cannot be pulled tightly enough. He is already at the stop.
- The straps cannot be adjusted more firmly, they are still too long.
- The padding of the straps is too bulky / too wide on the shoulders.
With a hip belt that is too wide, there is actually not many solutions, except to choose another model. However, there are models, such as the Nabaca from Hoppediz, where you can exchange the individual components. This also includes the hip belt. Here you can choose a shorter one if necessary.
The same applies to the other points mentioned. A “shortening” is not easily possible, but an exchange is possible for some baby carriers.
If you are very slim, it is worth using a MeiTai, which can be individually adapted to your size by the straps and knots instead of buckles.
The baby carrier is too small for you
- The hip belt is adjusted to the maximum width, but can only be closed with difficulty or not at all.
- The straps cut in, but can not be further adjusted.
- The padding of the straps is no longer on the shoulders, the material is too short.
- The fan-out supports can only be knotted/closed with difficulty. They are too short.
Baby carrier that are too small can rather be improved. There are belt extensions for the hip belt . You can also ask the manufacturer if there are extensions for the straps.
If the padding is no longer on the shoulders, opening the shoulder buckles can often help, causing the fabric to slide further back.
Too short straps, you can not extend so easily, here you could possibly sew extensions. However, this should be discussed with the manufacturer so that the safety of the baby carrier is still guaranteed.
Again, baby slings, which are also available in large sizes, or MeiTai-like baby carriers are often an advantage, as the long fabric panels usually offer enough fabric to tie.
A baby wearing advice brings a lot especially with this topic, since some models can be excluded in advance. Experienced carrying consultants also know which models can cause problems here.
7 Bought during pregnancy
The last point is a very common mistake when buying a baby carrier. The euphoria during pregnancy and the good intentions for the child are great.
In addition to the Cot (Mom and baby then only want co-sleeping in the family bed), Porridge warmer (Child does not like porridge and wants to be breastfed until 4 :D) and high-tech Stroller (Baby just wants to be carried) still a super expensive much praised and baby carrier absolutely recommended by a good friend bought.
The baby carrier must not only please you, but also fit you and your baby well.
Unfortunately, it often happens that the baby can not make friends with the expensive baby carrier and feels uncomfortable for whatever reason.
Therefore, I often advise against buying a baby carrier during pregnancy. But only to buy them when the baby is there. You can then try these with a child and, if necessary, exchange them again if you do not like them.
But if you still want to be well prepared from the beginning and do not run errands after the birth, then get an strechy or a woven wrap. These are not expensive and often very cheap to get.
Since baby slings are very flexible, you can’t go wrong here. Again, of course, I advise you to a consultation to learn how to tie safely with baby.
If you’ve made it this far: Congratulations 😀 Then stretch yourself! Take a deep breath.
Some of the points mentioned have “bought by design/liking/recommendation” as the cause. If you choose a baby carrier only according to color and pattern or because a friend has recommended it, it may be that the dream of baby wearing it becomes a nightmare.
We do not want this to happen, so I recommend you to deal with the topic beforehand and look at the baby carrier exactly according to the above points. Can it be adjusted well? Is the manufacturer an experienced baby carrier manufacturer or does he also sell potatoes and bicycles? 😉
Once you’ve decided on a model, you can often test the model in advance. Baby wearing consultants often lend baby carriers or you book directly a consultant who has your model in the assortment and lets you get good advice.
In any case, I hope that I could help you with this post to find out why your baby carrier does not fit you and what you should pay attention to when buying.
What bad purchases have you already had? Did your baby like the carrier from the beginning? I look forward to reading about your own experiences in the comments!
I wish you a wonderful wearing time!
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