I can’t speak for every dad out there, but my husband wasn’t too keen on looping and swooping our wrap-style carrier around him. (Apparently it’s too complicated and a bit on the girly side. Who knew?) As soon as the Britax Baby Carrier arrived, however, he had his Eureka moment and took to it like our chunky 9-week-old takes to his breast milk.
The manual accompanying the carrier is reader-friendly, however, if you’re like most busy parents who don’t have the time to read manuals in detail, the carrier is easy enough to use without having to memorize the instructions. There are also helpful illustrations on the box for those visual learners like myself.
As many parents would attest, having a third or fourth arm would be particularly handy following the birth of a new baby. And in putting this carrier on, the extra appendage I speak of would also be a welcome addition. It is definitely easier to get both baby and yourself situated when a second adult is present, but with subsequent uses and a bit of practice, accomplishing the process as a “single parent” does get easier.
There are various solo strategies for fitting the baby in the carrier. One recommendation I found very helpful is to stand in front of a mirror, especially if positioning baby facing forward. (Have I mentioned this front carrier allows baby to face inward or outward? We love having both carrying position options.) Being able to see what’s going on up front makes shimmying the munchkin into just the right position significantly more successful. Another strategy I’ve employed involves sitting on the couch and placing baby next to me (nice and snug in the corner) while I arrange the straps into proper position. Once I have the carrier situated, I lean forward just a touch to use gravity to help pull the outward portion of the carrier away from me, opening the carrier up so I can slip baby right in. (This will make sense when you’re actually doing it—trust me!)
The carrier has a set of adjustable shoulder straps that belong to the easy snaps sitting at the front of each shoulder region as well as an adjustable waistline band that provides great support. The carrier’s CarryLong System, which comprises the shoulder straps and waistband, is designed with comfort in mind, and I have to agree that comfort is what it delivers. The padding in the straps and waist support band provide an extra dose of cushion and structure, and the weight distribution across the wearer’s shoulders and waist makes extended periods of babywearing manageable.
The carrier includes a Removable Infant Insert, which I really, really love. The insert creates a sort of “hammock” to elevate small passengers to provide a better, safer fit. This small adjustment makes a big difference and truly allows for babies at either end of the 8 to 32 pound weight range to ride in comfort. The insert is made with soft cotton and isn’t something I worry about rubbing against my son’s sensitive skin. One thing I do highly recommend however, at least for newer babies, is to have them in pants when using the carrier. The first time we used the carrier, my son was wearing only a bodysuit and unfortunately ended up with little red marks on the inside of his thighs, due to the pressure of from being seated in the carrier with legs straddled on either side. This, of course, did not cause any bruising or lasting discomfort for my munchkin—believe me, if my son wasn’t happy, he would’ve told us so!—it’s just something another caring parent like myself may want to avoid. My little man has always seemed quite content in his little vehicle, especially when he gets to face outward to check out the world!
When taking the carrier off, I recommend being attentive as you put it down. If you place it on the back of a chair or over the Pack ’N Play, we’ve noticed that the straps can get crossed and become a bit confusing. Not a big deal at all, but just a friendly insider tip.
Because this carrier has upper strap adjustments as well as an adjustable waist strap (fitting waists between 22 and 56 inches), the potential for it to fit parents of all sizes seems very feasible. My husband and I are obviously different in size and with a quick tweaking to the upper and waist straps we easily can swap wearing it in no time at all, which is really nice. Of course, the biggest plus is that my husband will actually wear it! The gender-neutral carrier is available in black, navy and an organic tan. After having tried a number of carriers, including the wrap, a sling and the Britax Baby Carrier, this is most certainly the preferred item in our household.
To buy: britaxusa.com