Babywearing Basics Part 5: Soft Structured Carriers

By Mirranda Reinhardt for Pregnancy Awareness Month®

I’ve had a great time learning all about different types of baby carriers with you over the last few months. There’s certainly a lot to choose from, and there really seems to be something for every mom and baby. Before I wrap up our Babywearing Basics series I’d like to introduce you to one final carrier: the soft structured carrier. Common types of soft structured carriers include Boba, Beco and Ergo. They all allow you to wear baby on your front or back and some work for hip carries as well.

Soft structured carriers are similar to the Mei Tais that I covered in my last post, but instead of tying on they are buckled. This is great for mamas who either aren’t comfortable with the idea of tying, or who are looking for extra convenience. For many moms, soft structured carriers are quicker to get baby into than a Mei Tai, but still take more time than a simple ring sling.

Soft structured carriers are a great alternative for mamas who have enjoyed front strap on carriers in the past. They both go on quickly and easily, but the soft structured carrier holds baby in a more natural and comfortable way. Padded shoulder straps and a design that spreads out baby’s weight make a soft structured carrier comfortable for moms carrying babies from newborn to toddler.  For both mom and baby’s comfort a soft structured carrier is a better option.

Soft structured carriers work great for bigger babies, but a newborn may seem to disappear in them. That’s why most brands come with an infant insert, designed to keep very small babies positioned better. Even with the insert, I’ve met moms who complain that they felt like their small baby was lost in the carrier. If you plan to start baby wearing your newborn with one of these carriers, I highly recommend using the extra insert. Like the Mei Tai, soft structured carriers have another big drawback; they can be quite difficult to breastfeed in. If being able to breastfeed easily and discreetly while babywearing is a priority for you, a ring sling may be a better choice.

If you’re looking for ease of use and you have a big baby or even a hefty toddler, a soft structured carrier is a great option. They are more expensive than some other carriers, but work for a variety of ages with a little modification. Nursing isn’t easy in these carriers, but for some moms the convenience of an easy on/ easy off carrier is worth the tradeoff.

I’m so glad that you’ve taken the time to learn about babywearing with me this summer, it can be such a great thing for moms and babies. Now that you’ve read about several different types of carriers it’s time for you to try them out for yourself and find out what works for you.

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