The first time I remember seeing a baby carrier and really paying attention was at a summer festival in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. I know now that it was a stretchy wrap and wow, that day I was so amazed at how the mom remembered what to do next with such a loooong piece of fabric!
So when my close friends ask for help picking out their first carrier I can easily recall the overwhelm. Once my first baby arrived it wasn't long before I could wrap and tie that long piece of fabric - even in the middle of the night - and in the dark - when I was exhausted.
My top three picks for newborns are a ring sling, the Wrapsody Stretch Hybrid, and the Chimparoo Mei Tai (pronounced may-tie). If you want a buckle carrier, the Emeibaby is my favorite for sure followed closely by the Beco Gemini! Are there other options, yep! Could they be better for you than these? Yep! But let's start here and if you feel drawn to something else...that's great! This list may be out dated as new brands and styles are introduced (like the Fidella Fly Tai baby size!) but I'll try to keep it updated.
Let me tell you what I love about these three and then you just take a look at colors and designs because it is also important to love the look of your carrier! There is a learning curve with each of them and loving the look will hopefully trump any hesitation. Each of these carriers - and really all that I sell and recommend - will allow for ideal positioning for baby AND maximum comfort for you. And oh my, there is nothing better than your delicious newborn snuggled up in a carrier on your chest....ahhhhh!!
I also recommend you take a look at this graphic on safe and comfortable babywearing too. The key points apply for all carriers.
The ring sling is a piece of fabric with rings sewn into one end. You thread them like a d-ring on a belt and you can wear baby on your front and hip. I still use one with my 2 1/2 year old....so you'll get lots of use out of it.
The Wrapsody Hybrid is a long piece of fabric, it is 100% cotton jersey knit that stretches only in the length. Baby can be worn on your front, hip, or back. I used this wrap regularly until my youngest hit 27 lbs at a tall 2 yrs old - so again, lots of use!
A Chimparoo Mei Tai, takes some features of a buckle carrier and a wrap. It has the same rectangle pannel where baby sits like a buckle carrier but instead of a buckle waist belt and back-pack type padded shoulder straps, a mei tai has longer fabric straps that tie at your waist and another set that wrap over your shoulders and then around you and baby. This particular brand can be adjusted to fit a newborn juuuust right and then grow with baby until at least a year and a half really comfortably and beyond that for many babies.
I know I said just three carriers but if you just know that buckle carriers are your thing then my newborn pick is the Emeibaby. This comfortable and beautiful carrier grows with your baby really well and doesn't require an infant insert or any special parts or pieces. It will most likely fit very well until baby turns two.
And for good measure, the Beco Gemini: