When choosing baby wearing gear, you have no shortage of options. There are slings, wraps, Mei Tais, backpacks, hard structure, and soft structured types available. Some that can be worn in a variety of ways and those that are ideal for only one carrying position. For a new parent or grandparent who wants to enjoy the bonding that wearing infants can create; it can get confusing. For that reason, let’s take a close look to find out whether soft structured carriers are better than hard structured or if there is really any difference between the two.
Understanding Carrier Types
Wraps, slings, and Mei Tai styles are all completely unstructured. They typically have a long piece of cloth which wraps around both you and child. Some may use metal rings, but you do not have to worry about buckles, snaps, adjustments, or anything else.
Soft structured infant gear is capable of holding its shape. They have a firmer back brace for your child so that you know that your child is supported. They also often have buckles that can ensure you do not have to readjust every time you put it on.
The hard-structured style often has aluminum built into it for extra support for a toddler that is larger in size. They are designed to keep the pressure off while you are wearing your toddler for an extended period of time.
Why Choose the Soft Structured Style?
In many ways, they look like a backpack, but the storage area of it will hold an infant. Many parents love them because they offer support to backs and shoulders. Backpack carriers are compatible with both newborns and toddlers in many cases. They offer support for a newborn’s joints and bones. Many are going to hold them in the frog leg or “M” position that many pediatricians recommend. A lot of them are also “T.I.C.K.S” friendly, which means that you can keep your newborn in a position that ensures their airways remain open; even if they are unable to hold up their head on their own.
Hard Structured Durability
With the hard-structured style you will often discover a carrier that is designed for hiking. They are best suited for mature babies and toddlers. Most all can carry a child that is 40 to 60 pounds. They may have storage areas or backpack areas built in behind the seat. They may have sun shades to ensure that when you are out exploring, your child will be out of the elements.
Which is Type Of Baby Carrier Is Best?
Deciding which is truly best should be based on your personal needs. For most people, the two most important factors in choosing any type of infant wearing device are how simple it is to use and how long their purchase will be practical. As a general rule, wraps and slings have less ability to hold a child that is beyond 18 months. Softly structured ones are able to carry young toddlers in most cases as well as newborns. This gives you a couple years of use. The same is true for the hard structured carrier, but they shouldn’t be used until preschool aged. Both of these styles will be easier to put on than a wrap and many parents feel more confident with them instead of something that they have to wrap around them. The truth is; only you will know what is right for you and your little one and you may have to try out a few different styles to find the perfect fit.