Picking the perfect baby carrier

BabyCarrierWIt's the time of year that you want to pack up your baby in a backpack or baby carrier and head out for a walk.

Thanks to her Ergo baby carrier, Angel Donn of Baltimore was able to take her son hiking for the first time when he was 3 weeks old.

"Having children be out in the woods at an early age gives them all sorts of benefits," says Donn, who organizes a Family Friendly Hikes Meetup group in the area.

Baby carriers can be a huge help to parents of infants and tots. With baby in a wrap, sling or carrier, new parents can stay active and productive while keeping their baby close. They can go for a hike, clean the house, cook dinner — all with the baby snuggled close.

"When Ben was little, I could even nurse him while he was tied up in the wrap and we were hiking," says Tara Diel, mom of three and a physical therapist with Holistic Solutions Physical Therapy in Laurel.

Finding the right carrier is an individual choice, according to Chesapeake Family Facebook follower Stephanie Paterno. "They're like a pair of jeans," she says.

We asked our Facebook followers for their favorite baby carrier, and the Ergo won hands down. The carrier can be worn in front, on the hip or on the back, and baby can face in or out.

"We used the Ergo all the time, for around the house and out and about," Donn says. "It was easy to put on and comfortable for me, and you can have them positioned many different ways."

Baby carrier options

If you are checking out baby carriers, here are a few options recommended by Donn, Diel and Chesapeake Family Facebook followers.

Ergo — Soft carriers and wraps ranging in price from $80-$140. Ergobaby.com

Snugli — Carriers for the front and back ranging from $30-$80. Snugli.com

Didymos — Woven wraps that can be tied various ways for comfort and size of the child. Cost $100 and up. Didymos.de

Beco — Soft carrier that can be worn several different ways; $130-$140. Becobabycarrier.com

Tula — Ergonomic baby carriers that can be worn in front and back; $150-$575. Tulababycarriers.com

Kelty child carriers — Backpacks that hold kids once they can hold up their heads; $140-$300. Kelty.com

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