Best Baby Carriers for Newborns to 5 months old
Understanding Baby's Development - Newborn to 5 months
If you intend to use your baby carrier with a newborn to 5 months old baby, it is crucial that you understand the special needs of babies of this age range. Newborns usually weight between 2.5kg to 4kg+ with the average at about 3kg+ on birth. Preemies or pre-matured babies would weight less.
Typically, babies' neck muscles would only develop enough to hold their head when they reach about 4 to 5 months old. When the babies are strong enough to hold their head and turn independently by themselves, they are said to have achieved "neck control".
Another thing to know is that all babies are born bowlegged because of their position in the womb. This makes it more comfortable for babies to be in a "curled" position with their feet close together or a "froggy style". With time, this bowleggedness will correct itself. Typically, most babies would start to prefer a wide sitting stance from around 4 to 5 months old.
Selecting the Most Suitable Baby Carrier for your Baby
Knowing these, the most suitable baby carriers for babies from newborn to 5 months are the baby ring slings and baby wraps. All these can be use with ease with average size newborns, allowing babies to curl up in froggy style or cradle carry position with good neck support for the baby before they develop neck control.
For preemies, the preferred baby carrier is the Sleepy Wrap whose stretchy fabric provides a snug hold for the smaller baby. Making the Sleepy Wrap the ideal carrying tool to facilitate "Kangaroo Care" for prematured babies. Less stretchy materials are more difficult to manage with small preemies and slings tend to have too much fabric that easily engulf the small baby.
For those that prefer soft structured carriers for their ease of use and also the option to use the carrier for much longer as the baby grows, there are some soft structured backpack carriers such as the Manduca, Boba 3G & CatBirdBaby Pikkolo that are designed for newborns.
Generally soft structured carriers cannot wrap as snugly around the body of a infant compared to a sling or wrap. Minimum weight of the infant has to be 3.5kg and special design has been incorporated to provide smaller "seat" for baby before they reach 4 to 5 months (It would not be possible nor comfortable for babies' legs to be spread before this). Among the soft structured baby carriers that are designed for infants, only the Manduca provides comparable neck support just like a baby wrap, the Pikkolo requires improvision using the sleeping hoods to provide the required support for an infant's neck.
The following baby carrier comparison table summarizes the strength and weaknesses of various baby carriers for newborns to 5months old infants:-