Let’s face it – Singapore isn’t exactly the most pram-friendly city in the world with patchy pavements and escalators everywhere. With this in mind we’ve bought lightweight strollers and know our stuff when it comes to travelling safely in taxis with kids. But nothing frees you up for that quick whip around the shops better than strapping your baby into a carrier. Yes, you can push that trolley! With the added consideration of the heat in Singapore, it makes sense to work out which is the best, most comfy and COOL baby carrier on the market before making an investment.
We’ve done the homework for you, and bring you our list of the top baby carriers and wraps on the market for optimal babywearing.
Before you do anything else, join the Babywearing Singapore FB Group where you can hear from other mums. Here you’ll also find hiring and fitting services to see which carrier suits you best. Wait until the baby is born before you buy as personal fit and support is everything. Take note of the age and weight recommendations for various carriers, and look for M-position and c-curve support. Why not try out a few of your friends’ carriers before you commit? Also bear in mind that if your baby has hip dysplasia you’ll need to be very careful which baby carrier you select.
Ergobaby – All Position 360 (birth to toddler, 3.2kg-15kg)
The Ergobaby All Position 360 takes top spot for comfort due to its superb ergonomic design. It’s got the seal of approval from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as the baby’s legs wrap around your body in hip-healthy way (like they are sitting). The weight is evenly distributed across your hips so you won’t get a sore back. There are four different positions to take you from birth right through to toddler, although many mums in Singapore find it too hot to use the infant insert, so use it from six months onward. The baby is nestled next to your body, which can get a little sweaty at times, so opt for the cool air mesh range. It has nice wide, padded straps and a hood for when your baby falls asleep (which they will, it’s so comfy). Extra points for the handy front pocket for stashing keys / phone.
Tula Baby Carrier (range from newborn right up to 4+ years)
FOR WEARABILITY AND STYLE
The Tula Baby Carrier is one of the popular new breed of Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) that spreads your baby’s weight across your body. We like the standard model for older kids (because again the newborn insert is too hot in this climate) and the Free to Grow model from birth in narrow, middle and wide widths (no need for insert, hooray!). There’s also a toddler size for kids 18months to 4 years for the die-hard Tula devotee. What do we love? The support, the ease, the comfort (for both you and the baby with M-position seat), extra leg padding for longer wearability and the fact you can wear it on the front or back (from one year of age). The bright and funky prints are the best of any carrier we’ve seen. On the downside we’ve found that the strap that sits between the shoulder blades can be hard to adjust without help. And it’s not as cosy / snug as a baby wrap for teeny tiny bubbas.
Check out and try on the Tula range at bricks and mortar stores www.bumwear.com
Líllébaby – Complete Airflow Baby Carrier (from birth to toddler, 3kg-20kg)
COOL AND BREATHABLE
It’s like the Líllébaby Complete Airflow was designed specifically for the tropical Singapore climate with its 3D breathable moisture-wicking mesh for maximum airflow and ventilation. It can be worn without newborn insert in six ways (fetal, infant, face out, toddler, hip and back) and offers great hip and spine support. The adjustable flap provides additional neck support for newborns and then converts to provide upper back stability for older babies. It has a simple design so it’s dad-proof. You can throw it in the washing machine in case of a poonami. It’s truly hard to fault this product, as they’ve addressed the downfalls of the original in the new Complete Airflow with lightweight, breathable fabric and a handy pocket. If we had to nit-pick, we’d say styling isn’t as hip as some of the other carriers on the market.
Líllébaby SG Facebook (pictured top)
BABYBJÖRN – Baby Carrier One Air (newborn to three years, 3.5kg – 15kg)
The BABYBJÖRN has been around for eons – so there are still a large number of parents who swear by it. But, honestly we don’t think it’s in the same league as the Tula, Líllébaby or Ergo products. The biggest complaint with the older versions is lack of good lumbar support and the fact that the baby seems to be dangling in the air, which is not ideal for tiny hips or backs. The new Baby Bjorn One Air addresses most of the concerns of the earlier models with soft and airy mesh material and a redesign to keep the baby’s hips in the M-position (hip-healthy – tick!). It’s also the first BABYBJÖRN carrier to offer back wearing – which we think is one of its best features (you strap on the front and then niftily adjust safely onto your back). But with a weight limit of 15kg, this isn’t a carrier you’ll be wearing much past early toddler stage.
Manduca Baby Carrier (newborn to pre-schooler, 3.5kg – 20kg)
VERSATILITY AND LONGEVITY
German-designed Manduca garners good reviews from the babywearing crew in Singapore. It is another SSC and often compared closely to the Ergo. It’s good for infants (it mimics baby wraps and doesn’t need an insert) and can be useful for carrying your little person right up to age 5-6 years on your back (provided they’re under 20kg). There’s also a handy detachable smart strap for extra stability and safety when using in rucksack style. It’s made of organic cotton which while soft for baby can attract dust and animal hair so might not be the best choice for kids with allergies. Check out the limited edition range if you’re after material that pops.
Stokke MyCarrier (newborn to todder 3.5kg – 15kg)
THE CHIC FACTOR
Here at HoneyKids HQ we love all things Stokke – the Tripp Trapp high chair and the Xplory stroller to name just two of its uber-popular products. For a company with such a strong design ethos, it stands to reason that the Stokke MyCarrier would be just as fabulous. It’s just launched the Athleisure Collection in a wonderfully light, air-wick, quick-dry fabric in on-trend grey with accents of marina blue and coral (to blend seamlessly with our active-wear mum uniform). We like. It certainly is ergonomically sound for keeping your little precious one close to your chest, safe and free of hip issues. It also has nifty racerback shoulder straps. It’s most similar to the BABYBJÖRN in terms of fit and design. We did a barre class wearing the carrier and found it comfy for both mum and baby. It can be a little tricky to fit initially (with lots of buckles and straps to adjust), so it’s worth going in-store to Motherswork for a proper fitting.
Baby wraps, ring-slings and mei tais have a passionate following all over the world. There are loads to choose from and there’s no such thing as a perfect wrap, it’s definitely a case of personal preference. And it can be a little hard to get the knack of all that tying and knotting – but don’t give up!
All parents should be alive to the safety risks related to the incorrect usage of a wrap / sling. Babies aren’t physically strong enough to move out of dangerous positions that block their airways and can suffocate. The ACCC have highlighted two specific positions to avoid – lying with a curved back with the chin resting on the chest and lying with the face pressed against the fabric of the sling or the adult’s body.
So, when you’re deciding on a sling, take your baby with you and have a professional fitting. There’s nothing to worry about provided you follow the TICKS checklist:
T – Tight: Slings should be tight enough to hug your baby close to you.
I – In view at all times: You should always be able to see your baby’s face by simply glancing down.
C – Close enough to kiss: By tipping your head forward you should be able to kiss your baby on the head.
K – Keep chin off the chest: A baby should never be curled so that their chin is forced onto their chest as this can restrict their breathing.
S – Supported back: The baby’s back should be supported in a natural position so their tummy and chest are against you.
Oscha (from birth, toddlerhood and beyond)
We’re yet to hear a bad review of the Oscha baby wraps and ring-slings. Ethically sourced and made in Scotland from soft, woven fabric, they can be worn on your front, back or hip in a seemingly endless variety of ways. Devotees like the fact that the child feels close their parent, so is soothed instantly. Essentially a large piece of cloth, the patterns and prints are divine. A bit of an investment piece but it will last the test of time.
Red Castle Fil’Up Baby Wrap (birth to 15kg)
Possibly the lightest weight and most breathable wrap on the market is the Fil’Up baby wrap by Red Castle – it is made of MESH. Hands down it’s the most breathable wrap on the market as it is knitted in large weave from soft cotton. So ideal for the Singapore climate! It melds to the baby’s form without losing shape. Best suited to younger babies.
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