7 Tips For Choosing An Infant Carrier For First Time Parents
When preparing to welcome a new child into your family, you must make numerous important changes in your life. The biggest changes often take place inside your home and your cars as you prepare these spaces functionally to accommodate all of the unique needs of a little one. While there may seem to be an endless number of cool baby stuff you need to purchase before your baby’s birth, the infant carrier is a true necessity. In fact, if you plan to drive away from the hospital after the delivery in your own car or even in a taxi, you will need to have your new infant carrier with you. Your baby will be spending a lot of time in the carrier, and you no doubt will be toting your baby around in it for at least the first several months of his or her life. Because of this, you want to ensure that you and your baby both love the carrier you select.
Read Safety Ratings
Functionally, an infant carrier should be designed, among others, to protect your baby from danger when involved in an auto accident. It also can keep your baby safe while he or she is riding in a stroller. Most carriers today are designed to plug into base units in cars as well as in strollers for complete functionality. You will generally not need to remove your baby from the carrier as you transition him or her from the home to the car, the stroller or other places. With this in mind, your child will spend a lot of time in the carrier, so you want it to be safe to use. You can review safety ratings on all models to narrow down your choices.
Read Consumer Reviews
While safety is a prime concern when selecting an infant carrier, other factors must be considered. It can be difficult to determine if an infant carrier has functional issues that may affect usability. For example, one model may be heavy to carry around. Another model may have a poorly designed latching mechanism. These may not be noted in safety reviews, but they nonetheless can affect how much you enjoy using the carrier on a regular basis.
Ask Friends and Family
You can also ask friends and family members who have young children how they have enjoyed their own infant carrier. Reading reviews can give you some insight, but word of mouth from those who you know and trust can be invaluable. Furthermore, you may be able to inspect the carriers up-close and see different issues they are complaining about in person when you get feedback from friends and family members.
Think About Baby’s Comfort
Your child’s comfort is a prime concern, and you may think that all models of infant carriers are designed for comfort. However, some carriers lack extra padding in key areas that can promote comfort. Others may have uncomfortable straps or other elements that your baby may not like. When you inspect the carriers in stores, take a closer look at the material underneath the top layer. If there is a simple piece of hard plastic with no or minimal additional foam or cushioning, your baby may not be comfortable in the infant carrier. When a baby is not comfortable in the infant carrier, he or she will become irritable and cry. Given how much use you will get out of your infant carrier, you want your child to enjoy laying in the carrier.
Consider Ease of Use
An infant carrier should also be easy to use. The handle should easily maneuver into place, but it should also lock securely without hassle. The straps should be easy to adjust, and the latch should buckle securely. One factor that new parents often overlook when selecting an infant carrier relates to how easy it is to clean. The fact is that babies can and do get their carriers messy. Everything from leaky diapers to spit up and more can make your carrier dirty, and you will need to clean it on a regular basis. You can spot clean the material regularly, but you will also need to remove the material to wash it in a washing machine from time to time. Therefore, consider how easy it is to remove this covering and to replace it after it has been machine washed.
Review Different Accessories for the Carrier
Some infant carriers are designed for complete functionality, and you may be able to purchase optional accessories to accompany them. For example, you may purchase sun shades, rain covers and even insulated covers for cool weather climate to use with your carrier. Depending on the climate where you live, these accessories may not be needed. However, in some areas, these accessories may be a veritable necessity.
A Word About Style
Because of how much use you may get out of your infant carrier and because of the significant amount of time your baby may spend in the carrier, safety, comfort, ease of use and functionality are all prime concerns. However, it is also important to find an infant carrier with a style that you will love. While your child is young, you may not leave the house often without the carrier. This essentially will become an accessory in your life, and you want it to look great. Style may not be the top factor you look for in an infant carrier, but it nonetheless is an important factor to consider. Therefore, after you narrow down the options by reading reviews, talking to friends and reviewing functional features, you may make your final decision based on style.
Selecting an infant carrier may be one of the more important buying decisions that you make when preparing to welcome a new baby into your life. Your baby may spend a considerable amount of time in the carrier, and you may likewise tote the carrier around almost every time you leave the house. By focusing on these factors, you can more easily make a buying decision that both you and your baby will love.
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