What is a Baby Carrier?

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  • Written By: A Kaminsky
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2019
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The baby has arrived and mom and dad are looking for the perfect baby carrier. A baby carrier can be many things. It can be the “punkin seat” or cradle-like seat with a handle, often used as a first car seat, and as a portable crib. A baby carrier may also be a sling-like device that helps keep the baby close to the parent’s chest, while leaving the hands free.

Most hospitals in the United States will not allow parents to take a baby home without an approved car seat already in the car. This seat may be a grow-with-the child type of seat that has extra padding for the baby’s head, or it may be a baby carrier/punkin seat style.

Many parenting books and parenting experts recommend new parents buy a sling type baby carrier. They feel a newborn is most relaxed and happiest when snuggled up to mom and able to hear her heartbeat. These fabric baby carriers support the baby’s head and allow mom to snuggle her newborn and still attend to many daily activities.

The “attachment parenting” school of thought, in fact, recommends the parents keep the baby in the baby carrier, next to the body, for a good portion of the day. This philosophy says the baby will be happier, more secure, and less prone to stress and anxiety disorders late in life by being “worn” most of the time, as children in many Asian and Eastern cultures are.


The baby carrier may be made to be worn with the baby facing the mother, facing outward — popular with very active babies — or worn on the mother’s back, like a papoose. Older children are most often put in the back baby carrier, while the sling facing the mom or dad is the most popular for infants.

Many different kinds of baby carriers are available in stores and online. They range in price from $50 to $150 U.S. Dollars (USD), and may be even more expensive, depending on brand and features. A sling type baby carrier allows both parents to bond with and care for their baby effectively and safely.


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