In our previous blog post, we have compared stretchy wraps, woven wraps, and a ring sling.  All of these carriers are made with fabric that you can wrap around your body. However, if you find these intimidating or feel that it does not fit your lifestyle, don't give up on babywearing yet.

We will discuss the other types of carriers with more structure and additional accessories for this blog post.

If you are still unsure if babywearing is for you, read Babywearing: Benefits and Common Misconception.

Types of Baby Carriers

We want to reiterate that the best baby carrier is the one that fits your baby's age, weight, weather, body type, personal preferences, and budget. 

Here is the next set of baby carriers that you can select from.

1. Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) or Buckle Carrier

Young mother having her cute little daughter in baby carrier

Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) are padded shoulder straps and thickly padded waistbands that you need to fasten around your waist.  When worn, the cloth acts as a pouch for your child.  

With SSC, you have the option to wear your child in the front, back, or hips.  Different brands and models may differ, so reading the manual or manufacturer's notes is best.

Advantages of Using a Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)

·       Ergonomic Fit

The straps are adjustable so that the SSC fits your shoulder and hips correctly. SSC also allows your child's weight to be distributed evenly. 

You will appreciate the shoulder paddings because it helps prevent strains from carrying your baby. The waist strap on some baby carrier models provides extra support to your back too.

·       Ease of use

Because SSC is already built to fit adults, it is so much easier to wear it.  It takes the fuss of tying and wrapping.  You need to put it on and then easily loosen or tighten the strap as needed. 

·       Versatility

Because it is adjustable, your partner or caregiver can share the baby carrier. In addition, it can fit both genders and different body types.

·       Long-term use

Some SSCs can be used for wearing a newborn with the help of a special insert.   Because the fit is adjustable, the SSC can make room for a growing child.

·       Healthy position

As long as you wear the SSC with broad support, your child can maintain the M position.

·       Variety of materials and designs

The SSCs come in different colours and fabric designs.  You can also opt to dress up your carriers with drool pads.

Check out the different brands available in the market because their materials and built are different.

Here are some characteristics that you may want to consider:

o   SSCs that can adjust to the weather.  Look for a carrier that you can add or remove the linings depending on the temperature.

o   SSCs have lightweight and breathable material, which is fit for warmer weather.

o   SSCs that can grow with your baby.

o   SSCs with a wide bottom to promote your baby's M position.

o   SSCs with good reviews and feedback from family, friends, or online communities.

Disadvantages of Using a Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)

·       More Expensive

Compared to the wraps and ring slings, SSCs are heavy on the pocket.  A price to pay for the ease of comfort.

·       Bulkiness

Because of the extra paddings, SSCs are bulkier than the other types of baby carriers.

2. Hybrid Carriers

 Mother with hybrid babycarrier carrying toddler on the beach

A Hybrid Carrier mixes the features of a wrap and a soft-structured carrier.  In general, the hybrid carrier looks like an SSC.  However, it has long pieces of fabric that you need to tie around your body instead of a fixed structure and buckles for adjustment.

Like SSC, hybrid carriers are adjustable, and so you can share them with your partner too. You can wear your baby in the back, front, or hip. 

In terms of difficulty in using, it is easier to use than wraps but a little challenging to wear than SSC. However, you will learn how to tie the wrap securely with practice.

Advantages of Using a Hybrid Carrier

·       Adjustability

The long fabric allows you to adjust the fit of the carrier around your body. In addition, it will enable you to share the carrier with your partner with some adjustments if necessary. 

·       Long-term use

While this type of carrier works best for toddlers, some models may fit infants too.

·       Variety of colours and designs

You can choose from a broad range of colours, prints, and designs to suit your taste.

·       Comfortability

Since your baby's weight is distributed, it is comfortable to wear your baby for long periods.  Some hybrid carriers have paddings for added comfort too.

Disadvantages of Using a Hybrid Carrier

·       Learning curve

It would help if you had some practice getting used to wrapping the fabric securely.

3.  Backpack Carriers

Young father is hiking with 1 year old son in backpack baby carrier

These carriers, as you guessed it, are designed to be worn like a backpack.  Only children who can already have good neck support and seat unassisted can be in backpack carriers.

Typically, backpack carriers have padded shoulder straps and added straps for the waist and chest. The straps secure the baby and ensure equal weight distribution.

Advantages of Using Backpack Carriers

·       Fit for an active lifestyle

Parents who love outdoor activities such as hiking and walking will appreciate the backpack carriers.

·       Storage availability

Typical backpack carriers have storage pockets and fold-out stands.

·       Ergonomic

Your baby's weight is well-distributed because of the adjustable torso length, shoulder paddings, and waist belt.

Disadvantages of Using Backpack Carriers

·       Bulkiness

It is larger and bulkier than other carriers because you cannot fold it up. 

·       Weight

Because the backpack carrier has a frame, it is heavier compared to other baby carriers.

We hope that our series about babywearing and types of carriers gave you the information you need to decide on whether you will pursue babywearing and what kind of carrier you can try.

So far, which type of carrier are you eyeing on?  Let us know in the comment section below.

Tiny Steps

We play, learn and grow with children.

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