Everything About Baby Carriers For Hiking You Need To Know
Ahhh…Babies…easy to bring into the world and difficult enough to raise. Pooping everywhere and craving for attention. As soon as one puts them in a new set of garments, they get hungry, fill up their bellies and poop all over again. The list goes on and on…
But if you see it another way — the love way — they are a gift of nature and should be handled with extreme love and affection. Food, shelter and cloth are basic human rights. The right to love and feel loved is also a basic human right that is mostly misunderstood and what better way would be to lvoe your child by taking care of everthing related to your child who came as a gift in your home?
Let’s stop right here for now and talk about hiking… A completely different subject. People like to hike as it burns calories and is a great challenging sport. Scaling a mountainous track, right from the base and acing the peak has its own thrill. It is family adventure sport which offers great bonding between the companions.
Now let’s talk about the combination of babies and hiking…
Suppose you just became a dad (congratulations btw). The task of raising a baby can seem daunting and since you and your wife are both human beings, you naturally want some time for yourselves as well. But you cannot simply hire a babysitter all the time as it will hurt your pocket.
So What Would You Do?
What you need is a baby carrier. A baby carrier is an engineering infrastructure designed to carry your child from one place to another. They are aesthetic, artsy and readily available in the market.
How To take Care of Your Baby While Hiking
We love our cute babies, right? Who in their right mind won’t? But this is also true that parenting a newly born baby is a stressful task, and it becomes even more hard when you are taking your baby to hiking. However, with the right type of help, fresh parents can make a universal bond with their babies. Let’s see how:
- Take Care of Baby’s Clothes
The beauty of a place won’t matter if your baby is not feeling right because his/her clothes are not warm – or if it’s a warm place, they are not airy. Your child will be irritated and so will you.
- Take Care of Your Baby’s Hunger:
Another basic need of your baby. Maybe the hike is hectic, but this doesn’t mean you forget to feed your child. It can turn against you very quickly by the way.
- Check Your Gear
Your gear is your survival kit — in a way. So, the gear should be comprised of everything you need, and as we (parents) sometimes forget things, double checking your gear is a necessary thing to do.
- Keep a Check on Weather
Maybe you would like to hike during rain as it’s a unique experience, but your kid will never like it. So, before starting the hiking plan and also during hiking, keep yourself aware with the weather updates.
- See things Your Child’s Eye
Hiking is an experience and you can’t have it if you are seeing things though your mature eyes. You have to be that 3-year-old kid with eyes full of wonder. It would also help you keep up with your baby.
Here Are the Much Needed Tips for Hiking with Infants
- It is important that your child is used to the carrier before you go to the journey. Use it a few days or a week before hiking so your kid is comfortable with his/her new ‘chair’
- By the rhythmic motion of hiking, most kids fall asleep. Be sure not to hit the trail at naptime of your loved one to avoid messing with your baby’s sleep cycle.
- “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” To make things easy, limit your initial hikes to a couple of hours; be aware of temperature factors since babies have less immunity to diseases and they don’t excel at maintaining their body temperature.
- When you are carrying your baby, all other stuff you have to lift should be minimal. So, go for powdered form, if your baby is formula fed. For food items, pick those which are lightweight yet healthy for your child.
But Why You Should Buy a Baby Backpack?
Simple, because you want to make your baby happy and you want to make a strong bond with your child. Whether it be your backside or your front tummy, toddlers love the feeling of being carried. So, the baby will be happy, and you will be glad too because, with it, your baby is close to you… You feel safe because your child isn’t being a “problem child” anymore and you can do your work, while having a close eye on your offspring.
Types of Baby Carriers
Although the history of baby carrying goes a long way back, yet, in a world of today, we can see many different types of baby carriers.
We have decided to give information to our visitors about the 5 main styles of carriers.
It’s the most classic style where you wrap your baby and yourself in a fabric.
When you put a piece of fabric over your shoulder to make a pouch, it’s sling. However, sling is no way recommended because there are health risks of suffocation and hip dysplasia for babies and that’s why, should be avoided.
It can be called an advanced form of wrap as it has four straps going from the carrier to lift the baby in various positions according to his/her comfort.
- Baby Backpacks
It comes with a metallic frame which makes it easy to lift the baby for longer durations.
It is just like baby backpacks but without the metallic frame.
How To Choose The Right One?
The market is full of different styles and qualities of baby carriers — some are with classic designs whereas many others involve innovative designs to persuade you in buying. Yet, those choices leave many parents even more confused than ever, as to which carrier should be bought.
Based on our experience, we declare that when it comes to baby carrying, two factors are more important than any other. The baby carrier should be simple to use, and durable enough to serve you for a long time. Why? Because, some products come with so many options that figuring out what does what is confusing and many parents end up not using that product at all only because of its complications. So, that’s why, we always say that an ideal baby carrier is simple, lightweight, has a long life, and very comfortable.
Yes, You Have Better Products to Choose From
Forget the past. Gone are the days, when people used to suffer from lack of options in baby carrying. Today, the act of producing quality carriers have innovated with new designs that attempt to cover the full range of a child’s weight and provide comfort. Whether it be an angelic newborn or an energetic toddler, baby carriers of today accommodate a broader range of carry positions. The impressive “Beco Gemini” has designed carriers to fit a range of children considering the factors of their health and height. However, the most recommended baby carriers would be “Tula Ergonomuc Baby” and the “Onya Baby Outback” because they are engineered to suit a baby of any age from new born to toddlerhood.
But wait. All this talk about different types of baby carriers is exhausting so, we’ve evaluated the different parameters and made our judgement before you.
Below, we will show you what to look in a baby backpack.
- Baby’s Safety
For any baby carrier to be considered effective, it should be keeping your child safe. On a scale of 1-10, each product has been rated according to the comfort level of the baby’s safety. The factors that are considered are below:
It is of the utmost importance that the baby should be secure in the carrier. So, security is checked first.
Then comes support. How comfortable the baby is in the carrier? Is there enough head and neck support? This matter even more for babies whose age is less than 12 months.
Are we talking about the correct way a baby is supported via his back and shoulders?
It is about checking the material quality and availability of carrier in organic fabrics.
To ensure safety measures, a carrier should contain baby in a close, well supported manner. We recommend carriers which come with durable front panels and high seats. You can look into “Tula Ergonomic Baby” to get this. The feeling that baby could either slip out or fail to maintain a position can potentially haunt your body so you need an ultra-secure deal breaker.
- Baby’s Comfort
The happiness of your baby is of paramount importance. Ideally, all this experience should be comfortable and fun for your baby. But if your baby is not comfortable in a baby carrier, you have a problem. That’s why ideal carriers include the holding of your baby very close to your body and are tall enough to caress the head of the baby.
As the security and comfort of your baby is what you desire, then go for soft structured carriers like the Onya Baby Outback, the Tula Ergonomic Baby, and the Ergobaby Four Position 360.
Carriers made from an ultra-soft infrastructure should be the first and foremost priority when it comes to finding the right baby carrier for your young ones. Apart from the above reason, here are more:
Often times, the skin of baby is directly exposed to the material of the carrier. Without the carrier being soft-enough, the coarse material can harm the baby. Most of our tested baby carriers fitted well into this criterion. Wraps like the Moby Wrap Original may feel less in space and hot, but the “Moby Wrap Modern” and the Boba Wrap are sufficiently more breathable and one of the best wraps to keep you and baby cooler. The disadvantage just being that they do not offer the support as good as their wraps.
As the baby grows, so does changes his/her comfortable positions. From young age up to the third month, babies feel comfort closely snugged with their parents, in a face-face position. When a baby is of four months or more, he/she develops interest in the world and would love to explore the places with you. And for that, you know what to do: change their position to the front side. And when there is more progress — we mean grown babies above 4, they are active but still they need to be lifted many time while hiking and for that, soft structured baby carriers are the best. You can just wear one like a backpack and put your kid into it. Happy journey!
- Parent’s Comfort
Most baby carriers are pretty good for child’s comfort. The problem arises with the growing weight of the child. Once the baby is of about 15 pounds, most adults start feeling a strain in their backs and in their necks. A good baby carrier will provide a comfortable shoulder straps.
Since, there are numerous complains about the softness and aesthetics of shoulder straps, a shoulder carrier with a wide circumference and even wider waistband is normally a safe bet. And a good waistband can prove to be a life saver for you. Since with waistband, weight is shared between the shoulder and the waistband, the frightening task of holding a baby becomes a cakewalk.
There should be different positions because no one can just sit and lift something in the same position for long. Surprisingly, not a single carrier we tested could accommodate a toddler well enough in a front carry position. You cannot call it a design flaw, it’s more like a growing child of over a year looks awkward hanging from your front side. The little grabbing hands and occasional kicking can be a nuisance too.
Opt for baby carriers which facilitate the toddler-hood, but don’t just believe the salesman; look for high weight flexibility options much like the Tula Ergonomic Baby or Onya Baby Outback. You should be looking for the models with piggyback mode. They are the best for this purpose.
- Easy to Use
As there is so much to learn about the carrier when you are new to it, it sometimes becomes quite hard to use. However, when you use a baby carrier a few times, things would keep getting easier and simpler.
That being said, still, each company’s baby carrier comes with a learning curve. So, the carriers we tested were rated according to ease of their use. And you have no choice than to use it a few times to get the hand of it. By the way, when you know the baby carrier well, you can also use it more efficiently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I wear baby carrier while being pregnant?
Yes, why not. But just take care of yourself more as you do in other tasks while you’re pregnant. Also, make sure to keep adjusting the wrap as days go by and your bump grows. Pregnant members of our review team have worn woven wraps and SSCs and they are also trying them with a new Mei-Tai. For them, with SSCs and Mei-Tai, waist straps are most comfortable below their pregnant bellies.
With the advantage of woven wrap, pregnant women can opt for carries that have most of the weight borne in the chest area (like the Double Hammock). This ensures the safety of the pregnant woman as well as the child she’s carrying.
Baby wearing in warm weather: How can I stay cool?
You can do a few things to avoid getting overheated in a warm weather. You should not use thick stretchy wraps. Boba and Moby are known to have thick wraps. So, avoid these and go for thin yet strong wraps to ensure your baby’s safety and offset the overheating problem.
Should I choose baby carriers according to the weather?
Most of the baby carriers are for all seasons but you can do a little effort yourself to make sure you and your baby are comfortable with the carrier in the weather you are in.
For warm weather, you can use thin wraps to avoid getting overheated. And in cold weather, you just need to dress your baby appropriately without relying on the baby carrier to provide warmth to your child.
What are the best tips for back wrapping?
No matter how scary it feels at the first sight, don’t feel scared. “Practice makes the man perfect”. Carry one child at a time and watch instructive YouTube tutorials. If baby starts to get uncomfortable or makes you frustrated, take a break and come back to it. You’ll eventually get the hang of it and master the skill of baby carrying like a pro!