There are a huge number of baby carriers and slings on the market, to suit every single taste, shape and size.
Most parents have come into contact with soft stretchy wrap slings "stretchies", which are typically affordable, comfortable for a newborn and easy to pop baby in and out of.
Buckled baby carriers, "buckles, or soft structured carriers" are also popular, for many parents representing a more sturdy option for longer walks and outings.
However there are also a broad array of options that are somewhere in between, for example woven wraps or Bei Deis (and formerly known as 'Mei Tais') are soft, yet provide more support than a stretchy wrap and so can be used with much older babies and toddlers.
("Buckles" or "Soft Structured Carriers")
Carriers can vary a huge amount in style, cost, fit and functionality. Some allow you to carry your baby in 3 positions (facing in towards you, on your hip, on your back) and others allow for a fourth position too (facing outwards). All of our options are suitable for newborns, although some require a separate newborn insert for this stage. Most carriers are suitable for babies up to at least 33-35lbs in weight (typically around 18 months-2 years but varies considerably). Some extend even further, up to around 45lbs (typically age 3-4+ depending on the child).
("Stretchies" or "Stretchy Wraps" & "Stretchy-Hybrids")
Slings are long pieces of stretchy fabric, tied to the body before your baby is placed inside. These are suitable from newborn up to around 35lbs. Although simple, slings can vary a surprising amount. The main things to consider is the type of stretch the fabric has. A one-way stretch has give across the width of the fabric (and may be more supportive of a bigger baby), whilst a two-way stretch has give across both the width and length (and are more suitable for premature babies). Other things to consider are: the fabric blend, how warm or cool it will be, the price point and, of course the design or colour that you like.
Bei Dei (Formerly known as "Mei Tai")
A Bei Dai is an asian-style carrier with a fabric panel and two sets of straps. The short ones tie around the waist and the longer ones go over the shoulders, cross at the back and tie at the waist. siSome are suitable from newborn, and most are suitable for older babies and toddlers too. These are a wonderful 'in between' option between a soft wrap and a structured carrier.
A ring sling is a long piece of non-stretchy fabric, with one end pulled through a pair of rings to secure it in an adjustable loop. The free end is pulled to adjust the fit and the weight is taken over one shoulder. Great for newborn babies, or for quick hip carries with an older baby or toddler.
The most traditional of carriers, a woven wrap comes in different lengths of fabric that are tied onto the body, using a slightly different types of tie to the stretchy wrap. They can be used for any age baby and,unlike the stretchy wrap, can be used for back carrying too so has more longevity. aWoven wraps are available in a huge spectrum of prices, sizes and styles and so are incredibly versatile and can very much become a hobby for enthusiasts who seek out beautiful designs for babywearing. The above wrap is Tri Blue Tang by UK based Jacq & Rose and is available in our lending library, whist the beautiful wrap in the top picture on this page is Moment by Ali Dover Textiles.
Suitable for older babies from 6m+, framed backpacks enable parents to place the baby into the carrier before lifting it onto their backs, making them a popular choice for hikers or frequent solo back carriers. The frame allows for the baby to be held slightly away from the back allowing for more air flow, and their technical look and design makes them attractive to dads. However they are typically bulky to store, and function more like a seat than a carrier in that they do not attempt support the baby's hips and spine in the optimal 'M' position. At present we do not stock any framed backpacks, but if you are interested in these please complete the form below so that we can guage demand.