What Is An Ergonomic Baby Carrier?
Babies love being carried in arms; you've probably figured this out already. So it makes sense to have a baby carrier in your parenting toolkit. Indeed, we'd go so far as to say that a baby carrier is the best investment you can make, even right from the beginning with your newborn.
Here, we consider the best ergonomic baby carriers (by baby carriers, we mean those with a bit more structure, as opposed to baby wrap carriers). There are lots of different types of baby carriers that are all perfectly safe, but regardless of the kind you choose, they all allow you to be hands-free whilst your little one is snuggled up safe and close next to you in a close enough to kiss, ergonomic position that is comfortable and supportive both for you and your baby.
What Does 'Ergonomic' Really Mean?
A good ergonomic carrier will allow you to carry your little one in such a way as to be respectful of their physiology. Their back should be soft, yet supported - not stiff or rigid. Their legs should be supported all the way along the thigh, to the knee pit, with heir bottom lower than their knees - traditionally, this is called the ‘spread squat position’ or ‘M’ position, but is often defined now as the ‘hip healthy position’. Baby's head should be free, clear and unobstructed.
Simply put, an ergonomic carrier respects the baby's physiology (from newborn onwards). It provides a soft, supportive ‘seated’ position, where the baby is supported from one knee-pit (right behind their knees) to the other, by a wide-based ‘seat’. An ergonomic carrier will support the baby's spine, softly but supportively.
In this seated position, baby’s weight sits at their bottom, rather than on their legs. Their bottom should sit lower than their knees, and their knees should be aligned with their hips - this is called the ‘hip healthy position’. Being seated like this takes the pressure off of the baby's hips and spine. They are relaxed. This is also called the ‘M’ position or ‘froggy’ position.
All of the following styles have ergonomic support for your baby:
- Buckle Carriers
- Half Buckle Carriers
- Meh Dais
- Stretchy Wraps
- Woven Wraps
- Ring Slings
As we’re looking at ergonomic carriers, we’ll focus on the best ergonomic carriers that have some structure and look at specific designs that have superb ergonomic credentials:
- Buckle Carriers
- Half Buckle Carriers
1. Buckle Carriers
Buckle Carriers are supportive, easy to use, and available in a gorgeous selection of colours and designs. Buckle carriers are often fully adjustable to achieve a custom and comfortable fit as baby grows.
Love & Carry One+
We are really love with this ergonomic carrier. The One+ ticks all the boxes we expect and want from a good buckle carrier - the quality is outstanding, it’s well-designed and with thought; the fabrics are gorgeous; and it’s super comfy for baby and you. We love the thoughtful touches such the lower buckle attachment for young babies. Fastening the shoulder strap webbing lower down means that there is no webbing or buckles touching baby - they are surrounded by the soft cotton fabric only. The buckles can be tucked away and webbing rolled up neatly so it’s easier to fasten and use.
The One+ comes in a Cool version - the main panel can be rolled down and neatly tucked away to reveal a mesh panel, to help keep you both cool on hot days!
Tula Free To Grow
As you welcome your baby to the world, the Tula Free To Grow baby carrier seamlessly adjusts and lets you hold them close from the very beginning. With the Tula Free-To-Grow Carrier you can comfortably carry your baby from newborn to toddlerhood (7 - 45 lbs). You can enjoy multiple ergonomic carry positions with an adaptable panel that adjusts in width and height to fit your baby at any stage, and fully adjustable shoulder straps and waistband for optimal comfort for you.
The Free To Grow comes in a wide range of prints and designs so you're sure to find a design you really love.
Half Buckle Carriers
Half Buckles are halfway between a full buckle carrier and a meh dai. The Half Buckle carrier offers the ease of a clip buckle at the waist, with the adjustability of long shoulder straps for a truly snug fit, without the reaching for back or side clips. Front, hip and back carrying, most are suitable from newborn.
The Didymos Didyklick combines the comfort, support and mouldability of a woven wrap with the simplicity and practicality of a buckle carrier. It's easily adjustable - the padded waist belt is secured with a clip-buckle (just like a regular buckle carrier) ensuring support around the waist. The large, adjustable body panel made of wrap fabric creates a soft pouch offering a safe place for your little one. For newborns it provides a snug cocoon which is easily adjustable to their size. The wide shoulder straps can be tied in a variety of ways to mould around your shoulders allowing a high degree of adjustability and support for all shapes and sizes. Plus it's made from organic cotton and is suitable from newborn. Perfect!
Love & Carry LoveTai
Suitable from newborn to 2 years, it’s an amazing budget option, that’s amazing quality for the price. Light padding in the shoulder straps makes for an easier transfer to hip and back carrying. It is fully adjustable across the width, so will always fit your baby from knee to knee, and support them in the most ergonomic way possible.