Carrier Pros and Cons

Shopping for a new carrier can be really daunting!  There are so many types and acronyms!  How do you know what will work for you?  We’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of each type of carrier which can help you decide what you think will work for you and your baby.  And course, you can try all of these at any meeting and even borrow one for a month to figure out if it’s really right for you and your baby.  

SSC’s (aka – Soft Structured Carriers)

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Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs) are basically buckle carriers. They have a waist buckle, square of fabric, shoulder straps and often a chest clip.

Pros:

  • Quick to use
  • Easy to learn to use
  • Once you figure out your perfect settings there’s little to no adjusting for future uses
  • The more structured waist provides lots of back support for toddlers/preschoolers

Cons: 

  • It can be tricky to find your perfect setting
  • It can be tricky to get a good fit for two very different sized parents
  • They are the least adjustable to fit the child. You may have to buy different sizes as your child grows from infancy to toddlerhood
  • Often not comfy to sit when front carrying
  • Not particularly comfy in a hip carry

Mei Tais

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Mei Tais (pronounced “may tie”) are a square of fabric with straps for the waist and longer straps for the shoulders. They are just like SSC’s but instead of buckles, you tie a knot with the straps.

Pros:

  • They can fit multiple wearers
  • They are very adjustable
  • There are adjustments that can make mei tais comfy while pregnant
  • A mei tai allows for a high back carry, which many babies who like to see out really love


Cons:

  • There is a small learning curve
  • The straps are long and can drag on the ground
  • Not particularly comfortable in a hip carry

Ring Slings

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Ring slings are basically a long fabric with two rings at one end.

Pros:

  • Quick, especially for a baby/toddler that wants up and down frequently or while running quick errands
  • Allow for a comfortable hip carry, which babies who want to see out usually love
  • Provide excellent support for a newborn
  • Can be inexpensive
  • Easily adjustable for switching between adults.
  • Easy to nurse in discretely


Cons:

  • Can become uncomfortable with bigger babies (25lbs or heavier) for longer periods of times
  • One shouldered carries are not typically comfortable for extended periods of time
  • There’s a little learning curve

Stretchy Wraps

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Stretchy wraps are a long (typically 5 meters or longer) slightly stretchy fabric. 

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • You can pre-tie and pop baby in and out
  • Provide great positioning and support for newborns
  • Very soft and moldable for newborns
  • Can easily fit multiple adults
  • Warm and snuggly in winter
  • Wonderful for skin to skin time


Cons:

  • Many people find them saggy or less supportive after the baby reaches 20lbs
  • Cannot be used for back carries
  • There’s a slight learning curve
  • Depending on the brand, they can be too warm for summer time

Woven Wraps

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Woven wraps are long non-stretchy fabric.  They come in varying sizes (basically lengths from about two through six meters) and different carries can be done with different sizes.  

Pros:

  • Infinitely adjustable
  • Can be used for front, back, and hip carries
  • You can pre-tie and pop baby in and out of hip or front carries
  • Allow for high back carries
  • Can be used from birth-preschool
  • Can easily fit multiple adults


Cons: 

  • There’s a steeper learning curve
  • Depending on the carry, wrapping can take a few minutes
  • Cumbersome for wearing older kids who want up and down frequently unless you use a pretied carry
  • The long length of fabric tends to drag on the ground while wrapping

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