There are lots of different types of carrier - the choice can be overwhelming!
Wraps, slings, structured carriers, buckles, hipseats, mei tai's - if you're new to baby wearing there is a lot to take it.
So we've created a quick guide for beginners to help you know your ring-sling from your Mei Tais!
Wraps are long pieces of fabric, that you use to tie around your body and wrap your baby in. They are great for smaller babies and newborns who like being held close and cannot hold their heads up. But, wraps can take some getting used to, meaning some parents can be a bit intimidated. If you get master them, though, newborns love them, and they are easy to throw in a bag to take with you. These types of wraps are usually made from woven material that is strong and patterned. They can be a bit pricier due to the materials and processes used to make them.
Wrap are available in a variety of lengths - depending on how you plan to tie it (different styles may require a longer length)
Wrap brands we stock include Neko.
There is also a new breed of wrap that is much easier to use as they are pre-tied, stretchy or have some straps on that means you can throw them on and easily adjust. Perfect for novices. These tend to be made from cotton or bamboo material. However as they are more stretchy, they don't usually offer as muh support for older babies. If you're looking for a simple or stretchy wrap, try Hana, Boba or Baby K'Tan
Structured / Buckle Baby Carriers
These carriers are like backpacks (or front packs) for your baby. Most can be used a both front carriers or back carriers. They have straps that go around your shoulders, and a large waist strap to support the baby. Some of they require an extra insert if you wish to use them with smaller babies. They are perfect to use with older or larger babies because they distribute the weight across your body.
These can be more expensive than the simple wraps, but you can use them until your baby is a toddler. These carriers are popular because they are easy to put on, offer the versatility or front or back carrying and can be adjusted easily for different wearers. We offer structured carriers from Boba, Tula, Lillebaby, LennyLamb, Beco and Neko.
You can also get 'half buckle' carriers: these offer the benefit of a sturdy waist strap with buckle, but tie shoulder straps that can cross over your back and create a perfectly snug fit. These give the feel of a wrap, but with the ease of a structured carrier.
Sling carriers, also known as ring slings, are another easy option. Made of one long piece of fabric and two rings, they are easy to put on and and can be use for lots of different carry positions. A ring sling tends to be easier to use than a wrap, but harder than a structured carrier. They can be tricky to get your child into the perfect position, sometimes with babies slipping - so if you use these please check that the baby is sitting in the right position.
Hip seats have a padded waist strap and a small seat, meaning parents can carry their child on their hips in a much more ergonomic position. These are perfect for toddlers who like to walk and explore, but get tired easily. HippyChick are the pioneers of hip seats!
Mei Tai Carriers
Mei Tai's are material carriers with a central panel to support baby and waist / shoulder straps to secure the carrier in place. They are similar in style to buckle carriers but instead use long straps to secure it in place. The straps are wrapped around and tied using a not, rather than using buckles. They may seem fiddly to use, but once you get the hang of it are great carriers, as they are lightweight and soft. They can be used for front, back and hip carrying from baby right up to toddler.
And here's a quick run down of all the carrier brands we sell: