Baby Carriers and Baby Slings: Moving Around with Your Baby

Facing Forward Vs Facing Backward Baby Carriers

Baby carriers can be classified into 4 groups:

  • Slings
  • Front-Pack Carriers
  • Hip-Carriers
  • Back-Pack Carriers

Baby slings are probably the most versatile of baby carriers, it can be usable in various positions such as in front, at hip, at back, reclining, nursing and kangaroo carrying positions. It is also relatively cheap and economical but can be difficult to figure out at first. However, here we will only discuss front-pack carriers.

Front-Pack baby carriers are easy to use and usually come with straps that go over the shoulders and around the back and come with a clip type securing system. This type of baby carrier has a kind of pouch in the front where your baby is inserted upright with legs sticking out of little slots.

Some front-pack baby carriers offer the option to insert your baby facing forward or facing backward, while others only offer a single facing. Getting a two way facing carrier is most ideal. Ensure that the baby carrier comes with broad and well padded straps for your shoulders otherwise it will be painful on your shoulders when used for long periods.

Which way should your baby be facing?

Forward facing provides baby with more visual exposure as your baby is able to see everything in her path easily. However, on sunny days, it can be rather bright for your baby (a baby hat will solve that problem). The only problem is supporting your baby’s head when your baby sleeps.

Backward facing offers better shielding from the sun and provides the head support needed when your baby falls a sleep. However, your baby’s will mostly be looking at your chest and not the surrounding. It is also warmer for your baby when carried this way, so dress your baby with thin clothing.

Ensure that your baby carrier comes with a firm high back that offers support for your baby's head. A retractable sun and rain-hood would also come in handy.

If your front-pack baby carrier permits both facings, it is best to switch your baby round when your baby is awake and when asleep.