Types of Baby Carriers

Different types of carriers

  • Ring Slings:  Ring slings are one shoulder carriers – a piece of cloth threaded through rings; they are used primarily for hip or tummy to tummy front carries. Ring slings are a good choice for someone looking for a quick and compact carrier.
 
  • Mei Tais:  Mei Tais are soft bodied carries basically a rectangular cloth with waist and shoulder straps. They can be used for both front and back carries. Mei Tais are a good choice for someone who likes the adjustability of a wrap, but wants something slightly faster to get on. They are highly sturdy and comfortable for both the baby and the wearer.
 
  • Pouches: Pouches are a piece of fabric sewn in a loop that forms a pouch for baby to sit in; they are a single shoulder carrier and can be used for hip and tummy to tummy front carries.  Pouches are a good choice for someone looking for a quick and very compact carrier.
 
  • Wraps: Wraps are pieces of cloth in varying lengths; imagine an Indian saree for simplicity. They can be used for front, back, and hip carries.  Wraps are the simplest carrier in terms of structure, but may take a bit longer to learn to use.  Wraps are a good choice for someone who wants to do many different carries with the same carrier.
 
  • Buckle/Soft Structured Carriers:  SSCs are soft bodied carriers that have mostly buckled waist and shoulder straps, they are primarily used for front and back carries. SSCs are a good choice for someone who wants a quick carrier that doesn’t require long fabric or straps to deal with.

Comparison between Baby Carriers

 
Ring Sling
Mei Tai
Wraps 
SSC
  Ring Sling is a long rectangular piece of fabric with two rings attached at one end.   MT is a rectangular piece of cloth with shoulder and waist straps. Wraps are just long sturdy fabrics in varying lengths.  Soft Structured Carriers have a soft body with buckled waist and shoulder straps. 
Age of Baby Birth to toddlerhood Newborn to toddlerhood Birth to toddlerhood Newborn to toddlerhood (may require inserts/sid for extra support)
Positions Front facing In Front facing In Front facing In Front facing In
  Limited Back Carry for older babies Back Carry Back Carry  Back Carry
  Hip Carry      
Preferred Activities Quick in and out Long Duration Carries Long Duration Carries Long Duration Carries
  Breasfeeding Housework Housework Housework
  Short carries through out the day More physical work like hiking with back carry options More physical work like hiking with back carry options More physical work like hiking with back carry options
  Quick Trips around the house Keeping little ones very close and safe while travelling Keeping little ones very close and safe while travelling Keeping little ones very close and safe while travelling
  Anywhere you want to socialize while cuddling your baby   Almost everything with a little older baby with head control Almost everything with a little older baby with head control
Pros Looks very sleek more like a stole No buckles to cause discomfort to babies Very versatile Widely available
  Adjustable Adjustable to different sizes Adjustable to different sizes Feel very secure, without just a little adjustment
    Two-shouldered design very comfortable for long carries and heavier kids Available in numerous designs  Easy to share between users of different sizes (adjustment required)
  Fast On and Off High Back carry option is immensley comfertable for younger babies One size fits till toddlerhood super comfortable for very long carries or for older and heavier children
  One size fits till toddlerhood Prints/designs can be customised     
  Easy breastfeeding     Easy breastfeeding with practice
  Can be packed in a small space      
Cons Ring sling is a one shoulder carry not recommended for longer durations or for people with back issues. Can feel time consuming for toddlers who want quick in and out.  Wraping is not for everybody. Not as cuddly
    Knot tying can get overwhelming for few people.  Quite a steep learning curve. Some designs can look bulky for petite people.
  Dads tend to prefer other carriers Long straps can drag on the ground   A big bulky to carry in case needs to be pacled. 
  some learning curve to getting them right Has a learning curve    
Buy If  Looking for a new born carry You want a versatile carrier to last for several years that can be used for long periods of time and in a variety of positions You want an incredibly versatile carrier and aren’t afraid to spend a bit of time learning how to use it. You love the functionality of a mei tai but prefer buckles over tying knots and/or don’t want to deal with long straps
  Looking for carrier to discreetly nurse in public If you are looking for a carrier for a sturdy back carrier.     You want a sturdy carrier for hiking or long walks with an older child who is still light enough to carry
  Quick Hip Carry for older childern      
  You want to keep a carrier just in case you need it.       

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