Babywearing Basics: The Soft Structured Carrier

Babywearing Basics: The Soft Structured Carrier

Welcome back to my Babywearing Basics series! If you’re joining us for the first time, you can catch the rest of the series HERE.

If I could tell you to get one carrier that would satisfy all of your baby wearing needs, it would be a soft structured carrier. There are many different brands on the market, but the most popular seems to be the Ergobaby– that’s what I have been using since Halle was very small, and I absolutely love it. Not only that, but my husband loves it, too! Other brands include the Baby Bjorn, Lillebaby, Stokke, and Infantino.

Babywearing Basics: Soft Structured Carriers
Babywearing Mommy Jamie with son, Dallas

A soft structured carrier is just like it sounds- while it is made of soft, padded material, it also has a basic form- almost like a backpack-type of feel. There is pretty much one way to wear the baby in the carrier (though it can go on your back, or even hip in some cases), and the baby has one position. However, these carriers are very user-friendly, very secure, and quickly become the go-to carrier for many moms!

Babywearing Basics: Soft Structured Carriers
Reader Amanda with her adorable sons, Lincoln and Lawson

For example, my baby is in my Ergo carrier right now as I type. We woke up later than normal this morning, and because I was eager to get started with my day, I grabbed the Ergo and had the baby on my chest in just a few seconds. Quick, easy, secure. She is fast asleep and has been for about an hour!

PROS

  • Can carry children from birth through preschool
  • Can perform front, hip, and back carries
  • Great for daddies or those less enthusiastic about baby wearing
  • Easily adjusts and transfers to another caregiver
  • Feels very secure- straps and buckles instead of wraps and knots
  • Comfortable- distributes weight well between both shoulders and back
  • Top choice for hiking or other activities
  • Comes in a variety of colors, including organic cotton options

CONS

  • Some require a separate insert to use when baby is under 12 pounds
  • Can be bulky, especially with insert
  • Doesn’t travel neatly- lots of straps and padding- takes up a whole diaper bag!
  • Hard to be seated in- I find I have to stand with her in this carrier
  • Can be an awkward ‘transition period’ between when baby likes legs froggied and when they are ready to spread across mom’s belly
  • Some carriers that allow forward facing options put children at risk for hip dysplasia
Babywearing Basics: Soft Structured Carriers
Babywearing Mama Sara displaying a proper forward-facing carrier
Babywearing Basics: Soft Structured Carriers
Babywearing Daddy, Dave, with daughter Aria
Babywearing Basics: Soft Structured Carriers
Babywearing Daddy Brandon with daughter Autumn

 

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