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Baby Carrier Buying Guide -

Hard Structured Baby Carriers

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What is a Hard Structured Baby Carrier

Structured or framed baby carriers are one of the most convenient and easy to use baby carriers. The frame adds to the sturdiness and stability of the baby carrier, and the light weight fabric, the durable buckles and a lot of handful features make this range of baby carriers a very popular choice. A framed baby carrier can be thought of as the backpack that you take along with you for hiking. Only, the backpack here would carry your baby instead of your things. It is recommended that babies should be at least 6 months old before you carry them in framed baby carriers. The reason being, they should be able to hold their head and neck on their own. While a framed baby carrier is a great option for parents who want to take their baby along for a hike, it is not very convenient for the baby. The seat allows the baby to sit in a position that does not provide enough support for the neck and head. Also, the baby does not have enough room for movement, since the straps are fastened at the carrier’s end.
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Backpack Carriers

Backpack carriers are made of hard structures or lightweight frames. These can seat children from 6 months, i.e. independent sitters, to 3-4 years, in the back carry position, facing front. Irrespective of where you are headed to, a backpack carrier can help you carry your baby very easily, on your back. Be it trekking or shopping or a simple walk down some lanes, sightseeing, the baby backpack will be a fun and convenient way of carrying your child. Most babies enjoy riding on the back. It gives them a frontal view of the world and they’ll be facing it just like you, with their head just next to yours. An added feature - you get to be hands free!!

Backpack carriers are similar to camping backpacks, but with a seat to carry your baby securely. While it is said that a backpack carrier can be used to carter the child around until the age of 2 years or a little more, studies prove that once the child starts getting heavier, the backpack carrier should be avoided, as it can hurt your back.
Backpack carriers are categorized into two broad categories–
  • Baby Backpack Carriers
  • Child Backpack Carriers for hiking
What are Baby Backpack Carriers? Although many manufacturers come up with versions that can be of both urban use and for hiking purposes, knowing the details and differences between the categories will help you choose a backpack carrier according to your requirement.
  • Baby Backpack Carriers

  • What is a Baby Backpack Carrier

    A baby backpack carrier is a simple backpack carrier that you can use around the house, or while taking a stroll in the park or while visiting the grocery store. It is better suited for older babies who are able to sit on their own and hold their head up.

    Why you Need a Baby Backpack Carrier

    You need a backpack carrier if –
    • You want to carry your child everywhere, without restricting your movements.
    • Your baby does not like sitting in a stroller.
    • You don’t want to restrict your baby’s view, as in a sling or a pram.

    How is a Baby Backpack Carrier Useful

    A baby backpack carrier is the best option for taking the baby outdoors. Some of its uses are –
    • When you choose not to front or hip carry your baby.
    • If you are a work from home mom, and need to be hands-free to access your computer.
    • It gives a baby a frontal view of the world.

    Features List

    Check the features of a Baby Backpack Carrier before making a buying decision.
    Click the labels for more information.
    backpack carrier
    Leg Hole
    Leg Hole
    Small leg holes and a snug fit would ensure the child’s safety and keep him close to your body.
    Backpack Carrier
    Must Haves
    • Carrier Weight: Lightweight structure. No use of metal frames and hefty fabric.
    • Straps: Padded shoulder straps and waist belts.
    • Storage: At least a basic storage space to keep petty diaper bag essentials.
    • Sternum straps: Adjustable sternum straps and torso adjusters to balance the load.
    • Headrest: Newborn babies can't support their head. So if you intend to carry your baby, it is crucial to have a baby carrier with proper head support.
    Good to Haves
    • Insert: A soft and padded insert to snugly fit your baby into the carrier.
    • Exterior lining: A breathable 3D mesh lining.
    • Attachable hood: For protection from sunshine.
    • Foot stirrups: Foot stirrups are for taller children. These foot stirrups simply attach to the sides of your baby carrier and support longer legs.
    • Leg holes: Small leg holes and a snug fit would ensure the child’s safety.

    Pros and Cons

    While every carrier has its advantages and disadvantages, it is important to know them before you decide on buying any one of them. Listed below are a few pros and cons that you need to keep in mind.
    Pros Cons
    Comfortable for both child and parent. The lumbar, lower spine positioning provides stable support to children, so they can sleep peacefully. Difficult to put the child on or off it, especially if you’re alone.
    Fast & easy to load baby onto and unload baby from carriers. These are very versatile, but need some getting used to.
    Storage space to store your wallets, keys, diaper bags, etc. When the child is asleep, you need to wake the child up to place child on the bed.
    Hands-free, easy on your torso. Good option for those who have problems associated with their chest or ribs. Can be used for only one baby at a time. No provision for twins or multiple babies.
    Most backpack carriers also offer a front facing-in and facing-out position. These backpack carriers are usually multiposition carriers, and also offer hip and cradle position. Cannot monitor your child’s activities - this is especially troublesome if your child has a tendency to pick up things off the shelf at the supermarket.
    Not good for parents having back or spine related problems.
    What to look for when buying a Baby Backpack Carrier There are a few important things that you must look for when buying that backpack carrier for your baby. As a parent and caregiver, you need to make sure your bundle of joy is secure.
    • When you buy the backpack carrier, make sure it’s not too heavy. Keep in mind that the baby’s weight will also be added to the carrier’s weight.
    • Comfort for the baby should be of prime importance. Look for padded shoulders, waist straps, and adjustable leg openings for your child.
    • Take your child along, when buying the backpack carrier.
    • Look for the best quality fabric as per the weather conditions you live in.
    • Ask for a demonstration. Adjust your carrier, so that the weight is on your hips and legs and not just on your back and shoulders.
  • Child Backpack Carriers for Hiking

  • What are Child Backpack Carriers?

    What is a Child Backpack Carrier

    A child backpack carrier is a sturdier version of the backpack carrier that you can use outdoors, when hiking on mountain terrains or on rough surfaces. It comes with a sturdy metal frame and loads of storage space, making it an ideal companion for outdoor activities. Why you Need a Child Backpack Carrier
    You need a child backpack carrier if -
    • You are planning to take your child with you on a long hike or trek, or for any other hardcore outdoor activity.

    How is a Child Backpack Carrier Useful

    A child backpack carrier is the best option for taking your baby outdoors. Some of its uses are –
    • It keeps your child comfortably seated inside, during walking trails and short treks, or during hiking-like outdoor activities.
    • It provides plenty of storage, enough for even an overnighter.
    • It comes with plenty of accessories and adjustments to keep your child comfortable and occupied.

    Features List

    The list of features will help you to take an informed buying decision.
    Click the labels for more information.
     
    Backpack child carrier
    Padded Strap
    Padded Strap
    To comfort your shoulders.
    Child Backpack Carrier
    Must Haves
    • Frame: A lightweight metal frame which is sturdy enough to bear the child's weight.
    • Padded straps: To comfort your shoulders.
    • Storage: Plenty of storage space. A camera pouch on the waist band.
    • Kickstand: For easy loading and unloading, with a locking mechanism.
    • Load adjuster straps: to balance the load.
    • Head rest for the child.
    • Hood: Hood/Canopy to protect your infant from sun rays.
    • Drool pad: A removable, washable drool pad, which is also very absorbent.
    • Ergonomic seat: Ergonomic saddled seats for the child.
    • Wide waist belt: The wide waist belt shapes to your body and provides firm support.
    Good to Haves
    • A 5-point safety harness: To hold your child safe in one place.
    • External Lining: Breathable 3D mesh lining.
    • Sternum straps: Adjustable sternum straps and torso adjusters to balance the load.
    • Foot stirrups: Works as leg rest for toddlers’ legs.
    • Side entry provision: Which makes it easier to seat or take out your child.
    • Rear-view mirrors.
    • Auto deploy mechanism in kickstand: To automatically engage when shoulder straps are removed.
    • A removable day pack: To hold your things while traveling.
    • A water bottle holder: That holds standard-sized bottles.

    Pros and Cons

    While every carrier has its advantages and disadvantages, it is important to know them before you decide on buying any one of them. Listed below are a few pros and cons that you need to keep in mind.
    Pros Cons
    Comfortable for both child and parent on long journeys. Good for outdoor activities. Heavy and cumbersome for shorter use.
    Water and fire resistant fabric. Maintenance is not as easy as some other baby carriers.
    Fast & easy to load and unload your child from carrier. The buckles, straps, and adjustments need a little getting used to, for they can seem quite complex in the beginning.
    Ample storage space for a lot of your belongings and your child’s toys. When the child is asleep, you need to wake the child up to place child on the bed.
    Ample protection through 5-point harnesses, stirrups, chest and waist straps, etc. Can be used for only one baby at a time. No provision for twins or multiple babies.
    No front carry position. Cannot be used for newborns or babies who do not have neck balance yet.
    Expensive, when compared to other baby carriers.
    There is no option of reversibility or aesthetic variety.

    What to look for when buying a Child Backpack Carrier

    There are a few important things that you must look for when buying that backpack carrier for your baby. As a parent and caregiver, you need to make sure your bundle of joy is secure.
    • When you buy the backpack carrier, make sure it’s not too heavy. Keep in mind that the baby’s weight will also be added to the carrier’s weight.
    • Look for padded shoulders, waist straps, adjustable sternum straps and torso adjuster straps.
    • Try the backpack carrier with your child before buying it.
    • Ask for a demonstration. Adjust your carrier, so that the weight is evenly distributed across your back and shoulders.
    • Check if the edges of the frame are smooth and have no sharp edges anywhere.
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