Cool Baby Carriers Free Up Your Hands

Filed under: Newborns, Babies, Baby Essentials, Mommy Musts, Gear Guides: Babies

baby slings and carriers

Baby slings and carriers keep your hands free. Credit: Getty Images

It wasn't that long ago that parents were constantly lugging babies around in detachable car seats -- not any more. When you need to get something done and your new baby wants to be with you, try an infant carrier.

There are lots of cool options that can free up your hands, while keeping your baby safe and close to you.

"I use my Ergo when I go grocery shopping rather than a car seat in the cart, " says Jessica Morrison, a sales associate at Boston's Tadpole. "If I need my hands free to get my 3-year-old into preschool, or the baby wants to be with me while I'm cleaning or doing laundry, it's great."

Morrison tells ParentDish in a phone interview that she uses the Ergo for her 7-month-old and wishes she had it when her 3-year-old was a baby.

"I even used it when my son was 2 -- we went on a light hike," she says.

The Ergo has a waist strap, in addition to shoulder straps, and the weight of the baby is mainly on your hips, making it easier to carry the child longer, according to Morrison.The Ergo allows a baby to be held in front of you, on your hip and also on your back when they get older.

Of course, infant carriers aren't entirely new. The classic Baby Bjorn, which holds babies in front, has been a staple since 1961. But in recent years, parents have been offered a growing number of options from which to choose.

Some parents prefer fabric slings to hold their baby close and keep their hands free, Target spokesperson Jana O'Leary tells ParentDish in a phone interview. Hotslings and Munchkin's Jelly Bean are fabric slings that are top sellers in Target stores and can be found at reasonable prices, she says. The colors and prints, reversible on the Jelly Bean style, are fashion-based and appeal to busy parents.

"A lot of parents like to use the slings for newborns because they are in a reclining position, they're close to you and you can snuggle the baby as it curls into you," Morrison says.

She admits, as a nervous first-time mom, she was not as comfortable with some of the sling options, but says many people she knows have no reservations and love their slings.

Whatever you decide, be sure to do a test run in the store with your baby before you buy.

"Be aware the first time you try it, your baby will scream," Morrison says. "But I think persistence pays off. All of them feel a little awkward at first because you're not holding your baby."

She urges moms to keep an open mind, because the right infant carrier offers comfort, safety and, most importantly, freedom.

Related: An eco-friendly baby carrier

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.