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Baby Carriers for newborn to 5 months

Best Baby Carriers for Newborns to 5 months old

Using the Manduca Baby Carrier with a newbornUsing a Sleepy Wrap with a Newborn Baby

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:-

Carrier Comparison Table for Newborns to 5mths old Babies


Baby Carrier Avg. Newborn to
5 mths
Discreet Breastfeeding Preemie Usable Life Span of Carrier
Baby Ring Slings Excellent Easy Possible but difficult to adjust with too much excess cloth 9mths to 18mths* depending on material & design
Boba Wrap (formerly known as Sleepy Wrap) Excellent

Easy

Best Up to 18mths*
Je Porte Mon Bebe Wrap (JPMBB) Excellent

Easy

Good Up to 36mths*
Ellaroo Woven Wrap Very Good
(Steep learning curve)
Possible but limited maneuverability for repositioning of baby Not recommended Up to 4 years old*
Manduca Baby Carrier

Very Good
(min. 3.5kg)

Possible but may need additional coverage Not recommended Up to 5 years old*
Pikkolo Baby Carrier Fair
(min. 3.5kg, lack of neck support)
Possible but may need additional coverage Not recommended Up to 3 years old*
Boba 3G Baby Carrier Fair
(min. 3.5kg, requires reconfiguration)
Possible but may need additional coverage Not recommended Up to 4 years old*
* The guideline on the age of child is derived based on an average size Asian child. This can vary according to your child's physique.
Baby Ring SlingsBaby ring slings are one of the most versatile baby carriers available on the market. Suitable from newborn onwards, they are most suited for nursing babies and breastfeeding mothers as it facilitates discreet breastfeeding. Fashioned after the Indonesian Selendang, it is made simply from a stretch of cloth (material range from cotton, cotton blends, silk, linen, linen blends to synthetic mesh) and a pair of rings made from nylon or metal.
Boba Wrap Baby WrapsThe Boba Wrap (formerly known as Sleepy Wrap) is designed with just the right amount of elasticity, conforming perfectly to your body with no need for constant readjusting unlike less elastic baby wraps. When using the Boba Wrap to carry your newborn, toddler or even a preemie, the closeness and lull of your heartbeat with settle & calm your baby. No baby is too tiny for the Boba Wrap & premature infants actually thrive when in a Boba Wrap. It is also ideal for discreet breastfeeding in.
Ellaroo Baby WrapsThe Ellaroo Wrap has that just-right stretch, to form around you and baby, without being bouncy. The simplicity of design make this one of the most versatile baby carrier you can find. The Ellaroo Wraps are woven for Ellaroo by a cooperative of weavers in Guatemala. These hand woven cotton are highly breathable, comfortable to touch and extra gentle to baby skin. Most suited for use with newborns onwards to 35lbs (16kg).
Manduca Baby CarriersThe Manduca soft structured baby carrier, designed in Germany, is a baby carrier that is highly acclaimed by babywearing consultants across Europe. The Manduca baby carrier is specially engineered to cater to the needs of newborns & infants (3.5kg) as well as toddlers & pre-schoolers up to 20kg. It is truly a one size fits all baby carrier.
Boba Wrap & Baby CarriersBoba is an ergonomic Soft Structured Backpack style baby carrier that is intended for toddlers up to 20kg or typically up to about 4 years old. While 1st & 2nd Generation Boba Carriers are pure toddler carriers, starting from the Boba 3rd Generation (3G), the Bobas can also be reconfigured to support infants from 3.5kgs onwards.
CatBirdBaby Pikkolo Baby CarriersThe CatBirdBaby Pikkolo Baby Carrier is among one of the lightest ergonomic soft structured baby carrier in the market today. The Pikkolo also one of the most flexible baby carrier available. It is designed to support from newborns to toddlers up to 18kgs in a variety of positions which includes front, side, back carry with the additional option available for backpack style or cross straps.
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