Many of you decides to carry a baby in a carrier. It is a good decision because of numerous advantages, such as convenience, free hands and being able to get where a baby carriage won’t. What is more, it is easy and fast to put on.

It is worth to remember about two essential things underlined by physical therapists and majority of sling advisors.

1. We can use a carrier, when a baby can sit on his or her own. It means, that baby’s body can support itself in a sitting position, which is the position in a carrier. For newborns, since the very first day of their life, a sling is recommended.

2. We choose ergonomically designed carriers, so carriers with a panel made of soft, preferably sling, fabric. Baby’s thighs should be supported at all length. In such carrier, the fabric molds to baby’s body, and baby’s position in a carrier ensures the correct development of a baby, including his or her spine and hip joints.

- Don’t carry a baby in a forward facing position
- Avoid carriers with structured, rigid panel instead of the soft one and those not supporting baby’s thighs, so that a baby literally ‘dangles’ from the crotch, so called ‘crotch danglers’.

What is a carrier panel and how to choose the correct one?

A carrier panel – it is the front part of a carrier, except for a waistband and shoulder straps, so it’s the main rectangle of fabric we put a baby in. Usually, it has a sponge sewed-in just under baby’s hips, for the maximum comfort. A panel can be adjustable or not.

There are two dimensions of a panel, width and height, and they need to be appropriate for baby’s height.

Panel width – it is the lower part, it starts at baby’s thigh, stretches through baby’s bottom and ends at the second thigh. In an appropriately chosen carrier, a panel should stretch from the edge of one knee pit to the second knee pit, and it cannot pinch under knees or limit legs movements – it means that a panel cannot be too wide.

Panel height – it is measured by the line starting in the middle of the panel lower edge, and ending in the middle of the upper panel edge. It would be the height of a baby sitting in a carrier, if we had measured the dimension going from baby’s bottom up to baby’s neck.

When is the time for a larger carrier?

A carrier is appropriate for a baby until a panel width stretches to at least a half of baby’s thighs length. Then it is the signal for considering a larger carrier size.