Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to pick a child carrier backpack

By Sheila Davies

The days of carrying your child in your tired and aching arms are over. Now, you can carry your baby or toddler more comfortably on your back with the help of a baby carrier backpack. It is, however, important to look for special features when choosing the baby carrier backpack so that you and your child are both safe and comfortable.

Pay attention to the weight guidelines for the baby carrier backpack that you are considering, and make sure that you choose one that will accommodate the changes in size and weight as your child grows. While the standard weight limits are usually about 50 pounds, some can hold up to 70 pounds.

As you are probably going to spend quite a bit of time with the baby carrier on your back, you want to get one that provides good support. The best place to support the weight is through your hips, so look for a model that incorporates a waist strap and provides good shoulder, neck and lower back support. Look for a baby holder that has a strong, lightweight frame. Bear in mind that you are going to be bearing the weight of both the backpack and your baby, so you want it to be as light weight and comfortable as possible.

Wider, well padded shoulder straps will spread the weight better, especially when combined with a good padded waist support. Wherever possible, you should try the baby carrying backpack on with the baby in situ, to check how the weight is distributed. If it feels like most of the weight is being supported by your hips then you have the right fit. Too much weight on your shoulders or back might be bearable at first but it will quickly become difficult and painful.

A stand for the baby carrier can be a useful additional feature, especially if you are likely to have to take it on and off without assistance. It also makes getting your child in and out easier. Consider how easily adjustable the backpack is too as well as what it's made out of (fabric wise) - you want something that is going to be breathable so your baby is comfortable but also easy to clean and durable.

Sometimes a baby carrier backpack will include padding that will support a baby's head and neck, and these are designed for baby's who are not able to hold their heads up on their own yet. Most experts do not recommend using these products until your child is at least six months old, and instead suggest slings that go on the front of your body for infants. You should only consider a baby carrier backpack if your baby is at least six months of age or older. Make sure that you read all of the instructions that come with your baby carrier backpack to ensure your safety and your child's safety.

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