Whether you’re welcoming your first or your tenth baby to your family, deciding what baby carrier you will be getting might be a tough choice. There isn't one perfect baby carrier for everyone and it’s important to find a carrier that fits you, your baby, and your family’s needs best! With so many options, we wanted to share a list of questions to ask yourself when deciding which baby carrier to buy. Ask yourself these seven questions...
What is my budget?
Price range is an important factor to consider when comparing baby carriers. There are a variety of carriers at different price points, so don't be discouraged if your budget isn't very big. There is no need to over-extend your budget; however, be sure to consider the quality of the carrier and the amount of time you'll be using the carrier. For instance, families can use an adjustable carrier like our Explore Baby Carrier or our Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier from newborn through toddlerhood!
Unfortunately, it's common for a family to discover their carrier does not support them or their baby as long as they had hoped, and then they are in the position to buy another, sometimes as early as three months old. So, rather than buying a carrier that will only be comfortable for the first few months or the newborn stage, the Explore or Free-To-Grow carriers will grow with your baby.
Maybe you are in the group that found yourself needing a new carrier just out of the newborn stage. You can replace the carrier your baby has grown out of. We offer the $89 compact carrier, the Tula Lite. Read on below to learn if this could be the right choice for you.
When considering your budget and price range, consider how your carrier is made. We ensure that our sewists work in fair and safe conditions and vet our collaborators to ensure that they do the same. In addition, our team gives care and attention to every aspect of making a Tula Carrier at every price point. Whether you are shopping our Deal of the Day, our Tula Lite for under $100, or the beautiful textile art in our Signature collection, you are still receiving a handmade carrier with attention to every detail.
Tip: Be sure to check if you qualify for one of our ongoing discounts (i.e. military and teachers) on this page: https://babytula.com/pages/hero-discount Or sign up for our email newsletter to learn about upcoming promotions: https://babytula.com/pages/email-sign-up
What are the weight limits?
Make sure you're purchasing a baby carrier that will fit you and your baby. Look at the weight ranges supported by the carrier and if you need accessories like an infant insert to use the carrier safely. We offer a wide range of options, including the Explore Baby Carrier, Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier, Tula Lite, Standard Baby Carrier, Ring Sling, Toddler Carrier, and Preschool Carrier. While there is quite a bit of overlap, families can select a Tula for the different stages of their child's life. Our online quiz will help you narrow down your choice.
What carrying positions will you use?
There are different ways, or positions, that you can carry your baby in a baby carrier. For example, some families know that they want to be able to carry their baby facing out, so check the carrier's features to ensure it allows for the carrying positions you are hoping for. All Tula buckle carriers allow you to a carry your baby in a heart-to-heart position and a back carry, but only the Explore carrier has added structure to support baby forward-facing.
Other ways of wearing families might be looking for are a hip carry and a semi-reclined "cradle position." Families should only recline a baby to nurse, and then they should return baby back upright when they are done actively swallowing. You can do both of these positions in a Tula Signature Ring Sling.
Is it easy to adjust and size-inclusive?
Will you have multiple people wearing the carrier? If you plan to share the babywearing fun with a partner, you'll want to ensure that 1) the carrier will fit each of you and 2) it is easy to adjust between each wearer. Take a look at the length of the shoulder straps and the waist belt. The webbing should be long enough to fit all wearers.
Fortunately, Baby Tula has always been size-inclusive to fit a wide range of body types and sizes. In addition, we recently introduced a 10-inch belt extender that can be added to an order for free for those that need it. This addition makes our carriers fit from a US Women's size 0 to 32 and beyond! Take a look at our instruction videos on our website to see how our carrier adjust and their ease of use.
Tip: While Tula carriers are easily shared between two people of very different sizes, the large collection of prints and fabric choices might mean that you both want to pick your own.
Are you planning to nurse in your carrier?
Breastfeeding/chestfeeding while babywearing can be really helpful! It not only allows you to feed baby on the go but also to be relatively hands-free. If you plan to feed your baby at your chest, make sure the carrier you choose has the flexibility and ability to adjust for breastfeeding your little one. All our carriers come with a convenient, removable hood that provides additional privacy while breastfeeding if you prefer it.
Tula buckle carriers' adjustability makes nursing in the carrier as simple as moving your Tula where you need it to go. There is no internal harness in the carrier to prevent movement. You can lower the waistband and loosen the arm straps, and you are good to go!
Alternatively, a ring sling is a popular option for nursing newborns because of the flexibility it offers by allowing baby to recline a bit. While the carrier is not a nursing cover and you don't want to hide baby's head, you can also use the extra ring sling "tail" to cover yourself if you wish.
Tips: 1. While Tula makes feeding and walking around much more manageable, it's still a new skill. Reach out if you need assistance. Our Customer Care team is happy to help. 2. Remember to reposition baby back to your original carrier settings as soon as baby is done actively nursing.
6. How will babywearing fit into your daily adventures?
Do you have an active lifestyle? Other kids to chase after? Are you planning to use your carrier during a vacation? Are you working from home with a little one? You'll want to consider these questions because each Tula has unique benefits. For example, one may choose our hemp, linen, or breathable mesh options to keep comfortable in warm weather. Everyone should add a Tula Lite to their packing list for vacation. It has the most storage and folds away the smallest! Ring slings are great for lounging and equally lovely to wear to a formal event. They are also one of the quickest carrying options on the market, making short trips to the store much more manageable!
Have you tried other carriers?
Do you already have some (positive or negative) babywearing experience? If this is a second or third baby, consider that all babies are different. Your parenting needs also evolve. It's prevalent for families to find babywearing much more critical as a family grows. Beyond that, not all carriers fit alike! Even carriers that look somewhat alike will have different dimensions and fit features that can make a dramatic difference. Similar to how two pairs of jeans may have a similar look but fit very differently! If one carrier didn't work, don't count out baby carriers altogether!
If you didn't have success so far, was your baby not content in the carrier? Did you feel confident about putting it on? People misinterpret many things as their baby not liking a carrier. After all, we are a carrying species. Our babies expect to be held. Baby carriers have been used on every corner of the earth from antiquity for a good reason. Our arms need a break, but babies still need us. The positive physical benefits of babywearing make it worth it to work on as a family.
You may find that you prefer the feel of the different fabrics or carrier styles. For example, we make buckle carriers out of printed cotton, mesh, hemp, linen, lightweight ripstop, and specialty woven or hand-loomed Signature Carriers. We also have two different body styles for our adjustable newborn to toddler options. The Free-to-Grow will be comfy if you want a lower profile, simplistic look, and feel. However, if you want a carrier with a more robust body style to accommodate forward facing for baby, Explore is the one for you!
A great way to start your search for a baby carrier is by finding your local babywearing group or babywearing educator. They can assist you with hands-on comparisons and fit. The Tula Love group on Facebook is also a good resource for getting first-hand accounts and preferences about available options.
A baby carrier is bound to be one of your most-used baby items, so it is vital to find a product that will work well for your family. We have created a quiz to help you narrow down your search. We also have babywearing experts on hand who would be more than happy to help you answer fit or Baby Tula product-related questions – please do not hesitate to email us at email@example.com.