February 19, 2015

Structured Baby Carriers vs Slings: Pros & Cons

With so many products on the market, it can be confusing choosing certain baby products, especially if you are a first time mum. One great product that is available on the market is the baby carrier. Getting out and about and completing daily activities may be difficult in a pram and for many a baby carrier is a better option. Popular styles available include the structured carrier and baby sling.

Each have different properties but both provide mobility and gives a mother and baby closeness and support.
  • Structured Carrier
A structured baby carrier consists of a fabric seat for the baby and is supported with two shoulder straps and buckles for adjustment. This is a popular choice to keep your baby close to your chest giving you the opportunity to be hands free.  There are many great aspects of this style as it can provide a lot of support for you as the weight is divided to both the shoulder straps and will provide great support to your baby thanks to the padding. With great safety restraints, structured baby carriers meet high standards of safety and simultaneously allow you to have a level of intimacy with your baby. Chicco has created a range of popular structured carriers that are ultra soft and have other great properties including a great range of safety features. 

Although, structured carriers are very popular, it is important to know that they can be very bulky due to their style. This may not suit all mothers due to their size and structure. Parents may also find it difficult to take their child out of their carrier due to its bulkiness, especially if they are sleeping. With only a few negative aspects, a structured carrier is a growing trend for mothers and fathers all around the world.

  • Baby Sling
Compared to the baby carrier, the baby sling is made from a piece of material that wraps around the carrier’s body from shoulder to opposite hip. It allows the baby to be a cradling position, which is great for newborns but also suitable for infants and toddlers. The material of a baby sling is lightweight and extremely versatile. This allows you to keep it in your bag and use it for different needs including as a discreet breast-feeding tool when in public and even a throw. Hugabub is a leading manufacturer of baby slings with many styles and colours available in their range.

Just like other baby carriers there are important things to consider if you are purchasing a baby sling. Compared to the baby carrier, slings do not have great safety restraints if it is not worn and not tied correctly. With many of the baby slings not including a harness, it is very important to not bend down as the child may slip out. Although it is not as bulky as many other carriers, the weight is not disperses equally as it is designed to be worn over one shoulder. These are a few downfalls of the sling however they can all be prevented by reading the instructions and ensuring it is used correctly.  

Each style of baby carrier has great aspects and simultaneously properties that may not be practical for the individual. It is always best to try them on first before purchasing the one that is right for you and your baby. Trying them on will help you get a feeling of which one you like better and which one you feel more comfortable in using. It can be difficult choosing the right baby carrier, however once you do it will be a tool that will be loved by you and your baby. 

(Contributed by Scott Caswell)

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