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If you're in a hurry and just want to find out what the best baby carrier for newborns is, I'd recommend the Baby K’Tan Wrap Sling.
One of the most stressful parts of parenting is hands down, not feeling like you’re getting anything done. That feeling reigns especially true during those first weeks with a new baby. After all, this tiny human now relies on you for their every need, and it gets to be demanding.
The best baby carriers for newborns are a tremendous saving grace for this issue. These carriers allow you to have your hands free to do other things while bonding with your baby too.
In this article, I am breaking down the best newborn baby carriers, and in the end, I'll choose the winner.
Here are the carriers I will be reviewing:
The Benefits of Babywearing
Wearing your newborn has serious benefits for your parent-child relationship and your baby’s development as well. Not to mention, the convenience factor too. It’s been proven that carrying babies makes them calmer than those who aren’t. Carrying helps mimic life inside the womb and helps your baby learn to regulate their body systems.
Baby wraps and carriers are also great for discreet nursing. If you’re nervous about breastfeeding in public, many carriers come with detachable hoods to cover your baby.
Of all the benefits babywearing provides, perhaps the most is giving parents both hands to do other tasks. Babywearing is especially helpful for parents with other kids that still need help with specific tasks. Not to mention the ability to do a few loads of laundry all at once.
Research also shows that wearing your newborn can help tremendously with reflux, a common issue among new babies. It may help mothers who suffer from postpartum depression as well.
Other benefits of babywearing include:
- Less crying and fussiness from your baby.
- Makes mothers more responsive to their baby’s needs.
- Improves breastfeeding rates.
- Less spit-up from your baby.
- May lower the risk of otitis media, a cause for deafness.
- Improves baby’s digestive system.
- Helps prevent flat head syndrome.
Proper Babywearing Guidelines
Wearing your newborn will undoubtedly benefit you both, but only if you do it correctly. An improper position will not only cause discomfort, but it can cause hip problems for your newborn as well.
First and foremost, be sure you have the right size carrier. Most regular carriers aren’t able to be used until your baby reaches 14 pounds—unless you buy an infant insert separately.
These guidelines are in place because typical baby carriers can’t accommodate the additional needs of a newborn.
Head and Neck Support
If you’ve ever held a newborn before, you know their heads are like cannonballs. While some babies are born with pretty good head control, even that isn’t enough to stay balanced without help.
You should always make sure your carrier can adequately support the head and neck. In some cases, you may need to purchase an infant insert that’s compatible with the carrier you want.
Nothing Obstructing Baby’s Face
You also need to make sure your baby’s airways are open and they can easily breathe. This goes along with their head and neck control. Your little one is still learning how to balance their noggin on their tiny little neck and this makes it easy for them to block their airways.
Because of this, you need to carry newborns and babies without good head and neck control in the front, inward-facing position.
Proper Hip Placement
Hip dysplasia is a common issue among babies. It’s most prevalent in females, first-born children, breech babies, babies born from a long labor, and larger babies. When babywearing correctly, you can help your baby maintain proper hip development.
When getting your child up into the carrier, make sure they’re in the “M-position.” M-position is correct when a baby’s legs are wrapped around their mother’s torso with the hips bent. When their hips are bent, their knees will be slightly higher than their butt.
A general rule of thumb among many babywearing groups is to make sure your baby’s head is close enough for you to kiss without moving them.
Other General Safety Notes
You should also make a habit of checking your carrier before each use. Make sure there aren’t any loose threads or worn out parts as these can prove to be unsafe.
Also, when you need to pick something up off the ground, make sure to bend at the knee instead of the hip. When bending down, you should also support your baby’s head and neck with one hand, even if the carrier supports them.
Finding the Right Newborn Baby Carrier
Babywearing can feel intimidating, especially for new parents. I remember watching a video of somebody putting their baby up on a wrap and feeling like a total fraud. Luckily, there are a few different carrier styles, and most are a lot easier to figure out than you’d think.
Buckle carriers are, by far, the most relaxed baby carriers to navigate. They have a hip strap that supports your baby’s weight and two backpack-style straps with a buckle to connect them across your back.
Many of these can accommodate your baby well into toddlerhood so that you can get your money’s worth.
Wraps are, in my opinion, the trickiest. These are long pieces of durable fabric that you strategically tie around yourself to form a carrier. While these take more time to master, they’re perfect for trying different carry positions.
With wrap carriers, you have a lot more wiggle room to adapt to your baby’s carrying preferences.
Baby slings usually come with two different pieces of fabric. You toss the fabric over your shoulders in various positions, and your baby can sit comfortably up against your chest. Some slings also come with “rings.” These ring slings are very similar to wrap carriers.
Trying to figure out which style works best for you can be tough, especially when there’s such a variety available. Before you stress yourself out, decide how much time you’re willing to spend on learning about each type.
If you want something quick, a buckle carrier is your best bet. But if you’re looking for something more versatile, I’d go with a wrap carrier.
My Newborn Baby Carrier Reviews
So which one is the best baby carrier for newborns? I’ve come up with a top-five list for you.
This buckle carrier made the top of my list for several reasons. I love this one because it’s the only carrier you’ll ever need. You can use it once your newborn reaches 7 pounds and until they surpass 45 pounds. The carrier will comfortably grow with your child as you can wear it a few different ways to accommodate your baby’s weight.
Each of the positions offers a natural and ergonomic setting for your baby, so you don’t need to worry about discomfort or hip issues. The body panel has three different widths to accommodate your child as they grow as well.
There’s a mesh panel that gives the carrier more breathability and the rest of the carrier is made of lightweight 100 percent cotton. If you’re planning to breastfeed, this carrier is excellent because it comes with a removable hood. You can hook it up for privacy if you choose and the hood that is machine-washable.
To keep your baby comfortable, this one has padded leg openings as well as an adjustable neck pillow. The neck pillow is helpful for newborns and babies who nap in the carrier.
As important as it is for your baby to be comfortable, you need comfort too. This buckle carrier has padded shoulder straps that offer shoulder and neck support to you while carrying. The straps are also quick and easy to adjust if you plan on passing it back and forth between people.
For those of you looking for optimal comfort, this carrier is a serious contender. It’s made of ultra-soft, breathable micro cloth and has embroidered detailing. It’s also lined with lightweight suede cloth to ensure your newborn is snug.
This is a buckle carrier that you can wear in six different positions. It also has a large storage pocket which is perfect for storing your phone and keys. It has a removable hood, and the torso is extendable to grow with your baby too.
The unique thing about this one is that you can adjust the straps in the typical “H-position,” or you can criss-cross them in “X-position.”
I like this one a lot because the side panels are adjustable so you can be sure your baby’s hips are appropriately positioned. This carrier has even been acknowledged as “hip-healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. It’s also nice because it comes with a lumbar support headrest too.
If you’re interested in trying out a wrap with your newborn, this sling is a popular choice among parents. Unlike woven wraps, this wrap sling is extremely easy to navigate. All you have to do is slip it over your head like a t-shirt. It may still take a few tries to get used to it, but it offers a simple option for those who are interested in wraps.
The fabric is breathable, made from 100 percent cotton, and isn’t nearly as bulky as a standard buckle carrier. This wrap is also “hip-healthy,” and you’re able to use it up until your baby reaches 35 pounds.
The Baby K’Tan sling offers five different carrying positions and you have a few different colors and designs to choose from too. It’s machine washable, dryer safe, and comes in several different sizes. If you’re worried about sizing, it’s recommended to use your pre-pregnancy dress size.
If you have a June baby or you live in a warmer climate, then you know the struggle of heat. It’s normal to want to cool off in the swimming pool, but sometimes it can be hard with a newborn. That’s why water-friendly carriers are so helpful.
This one, in particular, is made of 100 percent polyester and can be used both in water and as a regular carrier. Its mesh material makes it super breathable and perfect for summertime.
You also have 15 different colors to choose from, so you’ll find a good match for your style.
This is a ring sling, and some may find this difficult to do at first. However, with a few practice runs, you'll quickly get the hang of it. The fabric is machine washable, and you’re able to use this with your baby once they reach 8 pounds. The carrier’s weight limit maxes out at 35 pounds.
This buckle carrier is very similar to my top choice, except it’s better for warm weather. It has a single-layer panel made from 100 percent cotton and has a mesh center panel for more ventilation.
You can use the carrier when your baby reaches 7 pounds, up until they reach 45 pounds. This is useful because you can use it well into toddlerhood. The panel is adjustable with multiple height and width settings too.
It’s also easily adjustable to fit your body type as well as anybody else who plans on wearing it. I love this carrier because it’s also a “hip-healthy” acknowledged carrier. You can clean it via the washing machine, but it should be hang-dried rather than in the dryer.
Bringing Home The Best Baby Carrier For Your Newborn
Clearly, baby carriers for newborns are nothing if not beneficial for making your life easier as a new parent. That’s why my favorite is the Baby K’Tan Wrap Sling. Not only does it give you free hands with your newborn, but it grows with your child, so the convenience lasts well into toddlerhood.
These may not be considered essential, but newborn baby carriers are a must-have on any new parent’s baby gear checklist.