If you have a newborn and you enjoy bonding with them through baby wearing, you have most likely come across baby gear that talks about inserts. Some have them included, but some say you need to purchase it separately. If they are not included in all carriers, what is their purpose? Do you really know why you need an infant insert?
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What Is an Infant Insert?
Every parent knows that it is important to support a newborn. However, many wraps and carriers cannot support a newborn in the way that it should be supported. That is why most say that your child should not use it if they are under 14 pounds or 4 months old. An insert is designed to give your newborn the support that it needs while they are in it so that you can put them in it the day you bring them home from the hospital. It is designed to provide the support to your little one’s spine and their head to keep them from sagging down in it.
Why Is an Insert Important?
Think about your newborn and how easy it is for their head to fall forward or backward when you are holding them. Most cannot control their head or trunk, but most all of them will jerk or hold their head for a second and then it just sort of drops. It is difficult to help them when you are carrying them in your arms or giving them tummy time on the floor. A carrier is no different. The problem comes in when they are napping in or relaxing against you and their head slumps forward too far. This can restrict their airways. Beyond that, if they were to spend the better part of a day in it for the first 3 months of their lives, they could end up with spinal issues. Neither of these things are something that we would want for your child, or you, to have to worry about.
The Right Age for An Insert
Most infant carriers are approved for little ones that are 7-8 pounds and up to about 3 months, but there are other ways for you to know if you have a little one that still needs the extra support that it can provide. Even if your little one is over 3 months you should still use the insert if they do not have significant head and trunk control, cannot see over the top of it, or cannot sit in the squatting position without appearing bunched up. It is not a bad thing to keep them in the insert a little longer if they are not ready to move out of it.
Once your little one has the ability to hold their head up, you may still choose to keep the pillow part of the insert inside of it if they cannot see over it or sit properly in it. If they are able to sit in the frog leg position, can see over it, and hold their head steady, you will no longer need to use an insert. One easy way for you to tell if they are sitting properly without the extra support is to put them inside of it and then look into a mirror. If you notice that it is bunched up under their bottom, then you need the insert.
Infant Inserts for Your Carrier
If you have a little one that you want to carry close to your heart, but you know that they still need the support of an insert and you do not have one. You are not doomed to waiting until they are ready. There are inserts available for the most popular styles on the market. Here are some of our most favorites.
Top 5 Infant Inserts
With this insert, you can feel confident that your newborn will be comfortable and safe. It is made from 100% poplin fabric on the outside and filled with cotton filling. You can machine wash it with a mild, little one safe detergent. To dry, you should use a delicate cycle and remove it when the seams are still damp. It is ideal for babies that are between 7 and 12 pounds or from newborn to 4-5 months old. Overall, it is very affordable and holds a 3.8-star rating.
With this carrier, you can use the standard sized Tula and it works for infants that are less than 15 pounds. It promises to provide adequate head and neck support so that you know your little bundle will be developing properly. It also has an integrated harness to further secure your little one. It should not be used with a toddler one. It holds a 4.3-star rating and most people love it. You even have the option to choose from black or gray to match your style.
Whether you want a gray or natural colored infant insert, this could be the one for your growing family. You also have the option to choose 100% cotton, cool air mesh, or 100% organic cotton. It is perfect for newborns that are between 7 and 12 pounds. It is easy loading and works with all Ergobaby brands; except for the Adapt, which is designed for newborns. It does have a pillow for older babies who may still need extra height to see over the top of it. It holds a 4.6-star rating from satisfied parents and happy newborns.
If you want to use LILLEbaby, this is the perfect insert for you. It is designed for infants that are at least 7 pounds and promises to help them sit properly, even though they are unable to support themselves. It does have the removable pillow for babies that are more able to support themselves, buy may not meet the height requirements. Though you probably will not need to use it, it is rated for toddlers that are up to 45 pounds.
With a rating of 4.6-stars, you can feel confident that this will be great for your little one as long as they are between 7-15 pounds. It provides all the support that your little one could need and works with the Beco Soleil. Most parents feel that it is a welcome upgrade at an affordable price.