The new organic ERGObaby Collection by Petunia Pickle Bottom combines comfort, safety and good looks. Suitable from birth to 20kg, the long-lasting carriers come in a range of patterns. Buy online at <a href=Babes in Arms for $167." /> Click for more photos

Babyology reviews top baby carriers

The new organic ERGObaby Collection by Petunia Pickle Bottom combines comfort, safety and good looks. Suitable from birth to 20kg, the long-lasting carriers come in a range of patterns. Buy online at Babes in Arms for $167.

  • The new organic ERGObaby Collection by Petunia Pickle Bottom combines comfort, safety and good looks. Suitable from birth to 20kg, the long-lasting carriers come in a range of patterns. Buy online at <a href="http://www.babesinarms.com.au" target="_blank">Babes in Arms</a> for $167.
  • The lure of an<a href="http://babyology.com.au/out-and-about/ergobaby-designer-carriers-that-look-feel-beautiful.html
" target="_blank"> ERGObaby carrier</a>
 is too much to resist when there are limited editions and seasonal new releases as pretty as these. If you prefer a more low-key look, you can go for plain fabric.
  • The recently released <a href="http://babyology.com.au/out-and-about/stokke-mycarrier-new-3-in-1-baby-carrier.html" target="_blank">Stokke MyCarrier</a> has a practical three-in-one versatility. The Stokke MyCarrier is available from <a href="http://minimee.com.au/" target="_blank">Minimee</a> for $270.
  • The <a href="http://babyology.com.au/out-and-about/travel-with-children-made-easy-%E2%80%93-introducing-the-sidekick-bliss-and-the-travel-mate.html" target="_blank">Sidekick Bliss</a> is a unique concept which incorporates a baby carrier and nappy bag for children up to 15kg. It's available in three colours and costs $129 at <a href="http://www.gogobabyz.com.au/" target="_blank">GoGoBabyz</a>.
  • The <a href="http://babyology.com.au/out-and-about/carry-baby-in-comfort-with-manduca-baby-carriers.html" target="_blank">Manduca Organic Baby Carrier</a> is a big hit with those with back issues, as it allows babies to be carried on the wearer’s back or hip. It can be used for newborns through to four-year-olds. Find the Manduca Organic Baby Carrier online at <a href="http://fertilemind.com.au" target="_blank">Fertile Mind</a> for $159 plus delivery.
  • Offering summer and colder weather fabric options, the <a href="http://babyology.com.au/out-and-about/baby-bjorn-carrier-miracle-now-in-airy-mesh-and-organic-cotton.html" target="_blank">Baby Bjorn Carrier Miracle</a>offers adjustable waist and hip mechanisms so you can personalise the fit just for you. Both the airy mesh and organic cotton versions can be bought at <a href="http://minimee.com.au" target="_blank">Minimee</a>.
  • <a href="http://babyology.com.au/out-and-about/jennifer-delonge%E2%80%99s-snugli-baby-carrier-designs.html" target="_blank">Snugli and Jennifer Delonge</a> teamed up to make these alternative designer beauties. The collection is available from <a href="http://www.buybuybaby.com/searchSKU.asp?SSTR=snugli&go=1&" target="_blank">Buy Buy Baby</a>, with prices starting at US$39.99 up to $79.99, depending on which of the four styles of carrier you choose.
  • The <a href="http://babyology.com.au/out-and-about/mamas-and-papas-morph-a-space-age-baby-carrier.html" target="_blank">Mamas and Papas Morph</a> is a stunning option with a fully modular system. It carries babies from 3.5 to 12kg, and can be bought with a range of liners, from cotton to sheepskin to designer patterns. The Morph will cost $199.95 when it's released in November.

There are many benefits to ‘wearing’ your baby in a sling or baby carrier. Besides the most obvious factor - that is, that your hands will be free to use as normal – wearing your baby in a sling or carrier is said to reduce infant crying times, increase parental confidence, and strengthen the bond between parent and baby.

But, as always, there are safety guidelines to adhere to, in order to keep both you and your child safe and happy while baby wearing.

1. Make sure your baby can breathe. No baby carrier can ensure that your baby always has an open airway - that’s your job. As such, never allow a baby to be carried, held, or placed in such a way that his chin is against his chest, as this can restrict his ability to breathe. Newborns need good back support in carriers so they don’t slump into the chin-to-chest position. Also never allow your baby’s head and face to be covered with fabric - always make sure your baby has plenty of airflow.

2. Never do an activity that subjects your baby to a shaking or bouncing motion; this includes jogging, running and jumping. This can damage to your baby’s neck, spine and/or brain.

3. Never use a baby carrier when riding in a car. Soft baby carriers provide none of the protection that car seats provide.

4. Use carriers that are appropriate for your baby’s age and weight. For example, frame backpacks can be useful for hiking with older babies and toddlers, but aren’t appropriate for babies who can’t sit unassisted for extended periods. Check the maker’s instructions for guidelines.

5. Inspect your carrier regularly to make sure it’s sound, checking the fabric, seams, and any buckles or fasteners. Try to get into the habit of doing this every time you use it.

6. When using carriers out and about, check the baby’s position with your hands, and use reflective surfaces – such as car or store windows – as mirrors. If you’re with someone else, have them check the position is okay.

7. When it comes to activities, if you shouldn’t do it while pregnant, you shouldn’t do it while carrying a baby - for example, your risk of falling increases when you climb a ladder, go skating, or when you walk on a slippery surface, such as when bowling.  

8. Protect your baby from the elements. Don’t dress your baby too warmly in the summer, and don’t use a baby carrier that could lead to heat stress. Remember that she may need sun protection, too.

9. Be aware of what your baby can reach. In particular, be aware that a baby on your back can reach things you can’t even see.

10. Don’t put loose items in the carrier with your baby that can be choking hazards, that can poke your baby, or that can cover your baby’s face.

Babywearing safety tips from Babywearing International.