The benefits of infant carriers explained plus a brief description of the front and back baby carrier options available to you.
The benefits of carrying your baby are numerous and there are a wide variety of carrier styles available to suit every lifestyle.
Infant carriers not only make life easier for you by enabling you to keep your hands free for other things (like housework, entertaining a toddler or simply doing some shopping!), they also benefit your baby. By carrying your baby with you as you go about your day to day activities you help to expose them to more of the outside world.
As they are up high they receive more attention and language stimulation than they would do if they were in a buggy which is fantastic for promoting development. Additionally, the continual physical contact facilitated by infant carriers helps to promote bonding and a sense of security and as a result carried babies tend to be more content and cry less.
Baby slings are the oldest form of infant carrier and have been used for centuries. They are fantastically versatile and come in a huge range of shapes and styles. Most slings can be worn in several carrying positions - this is not only convenient (and more comfortable) for you but is also beneficial for your baby's physical development. Many slings facilitate discrete breastfeeding and can be used from birth providing they support your baby's neck and spine.
Baby front carriers are slightly more structured than slings and are worn like a back to front rucksack. They can also be used from birth and provide plenty of opportunity for contact with your baby. Front carriers tend to be slightly less versatile than slings as you are often restricted to one carrying position (however some also allow you to position your baby both towards and away from you) and they aren't particularly useful when it comes to breastfeeding in public. However, some feel that front carriers provide slightly more support for baby when on the move.
Baby back carriers tend to be more suitable for older babies who are able to sit up unaided (6 months+) as they don't generally provide sufficient support for the neck and spine of a younger infant. Carrying your baby on your back enables them to share your view of the world while reducing the strain of carrying a larger infant on your back and joints.
There are a virtually limitless number of infant carriers available all of which are designed to make transporting your baby easier. When choosing a carrier for your baby there are several points you should consider; whether the age or weight range of the carrier is suitable, whether it will be comfortable for both you and your partner to carry (padded, adjustable straps help), whether your baby will be secure and ergonomically positioned as well as whether you like the look of the carrier itself.
By taking some time to investigate the different options available to you, you should be able to select a comfortable carrier that provides closeness with your baby and fits in with your lifestyle.
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