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If you're getting ready to travel with an infant, baby carriers are an indispensable tool. Even if you're not traveling and just trying to accomplish a few things around the house, baby carriers make parents' lives easier. If you're planning on getting one for your trip, take heed of these baby carrier tips -- I promise, you'll find discerning from all the choices will be much easier.
Baby carriers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and fabrics. Here's a lowdown on some of the more common as well as lesser-known styles.
Backpack carriers – Great for toting around older infants and toddlers, you essentially wear baby on your back. Typically, babies face you. They should be able to sit unsupported on their own and have solid neck control.
Hip Carrier – The weight rests on one shoulder on your hip. You'll likely use these with older babies and toddlers.
Pouches – They come in all kinds of fabrics; some with give in them and some without. They're a one-piece loop of fabric which opens up to create a pouch for baby. You can use pouches for newborns up to toddlers, but most folks use them for younger babes.
Soft Front Carriers – Wear your baby in the front, either facing you or facing out. These carriers tend to work well for younger babies and children under one.
Slings – It's just like the pouch, but with the flexibility of an adjustable ring or device at the shoulder to create a proper fit.
Traditional Baby Carriers – They're modeled after the traditional Asian baby carriers. The Mei Tai and Podegi are two examples of traditional Asian baby carriers. They come in great fabrics and are very versatile. There is a learning curve to use these, though, so beginners take note.
Wraparound baby carriers – Characterized by lots of fabric, wraparound baby carriers allow the wearer to literally wrap several yards of fabric into a comfy nesting spot for baby.