Babywearing Basics 2: Front Strap On Carriers

©Andrew Bardwell

By Mirranda Reinhardt for Pregnancy Awareness Month®

In Babywearing Basics Part 1 we covered the reasons why babywearing can be beneficial to both mama and baby. It frees up mama’s hands, helps calm baby, and promotes bonding. In this article we’ll discuss one of the most common types of carriers: the front strap on carrier.

If you’ve wandered through the baby section of a department store in the last five years, you’ve probably seen one of these carriers. Snuggli and Baby Bjorn are two of the most common brands of front strap on carriers. They’re widely available, and are inexpensive compared to most other options. These carriers allow baby to face in towards mom or dad’s chest during the early days, or out when they get a bit older. Front strap on carriers are a common choice amongst those just starting out in babywearing. I used one myself with my first baby for brief walks through the neighborhood and for short shopping trips.

If you’re planning on babywearing for long periods of time, you may want to look into a carrier that spreads baby’s weight out across your body more. Front strap on carriers have two shoulder straps which are connected to the seat of the carrier where baby sits. The weight from baby rests primarily on your shoulders. I found it difficult to carry my babies in these carriers after they were about three months old. At that point, they got heavier and my shoulders just couldn’t take it anymore. If you have neck or shoulder pain, a front strap on carrier may not be the best choice for you. There has also been controversy recently over whether or not these carriers offer the type of support needed for a growing and developing spine. The verdict seems to still be out on that one. If you’re concerned, don’t hesitate to speak with your chiropractor or other medical professional for more advice.

Bottom Line: A front strap on carrier is okay for occasional use, but there are more comfortable options for those who plan to babywear a lot. They are inexpensive, easy to put on and a good entry level option but if you want to babywear for several months, (or even into the toddler years) you’ll eventually need another carrier.

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