1. It’s a fake
The first thing to check for is whether or not the carrier you’ve got is real or fake. Check for proof of purchase from an authorised retailer (watch out for third party sellers), check the logo, the colour way, the stitching and the spelling on the warning label. If in doubt, your local sling library or carrying consultant might be able to help you.
2. It’s narrow based
Carriers that have a narrow base so your child’s legs go straight down are a lot more uncomfortable than ergonomic carriers that reach knee to knee and hold the baby in a spread squat position. This is because narrow based carriers don’t provide enough support for your child to support themselves. This won’t be an issue when your baby is first born as they’re naturally scrunched up and lighter, but as they get heavier the carrier will really pull and hurt your back.
3. Not enough or too much padding
A lot of second hand high street carriers aren’t comfortable because they don’t have enough padding or they have too much. This can vary hugely and your personal preference will also come into play here. Just because your partner finds it comfortable doesn’t mean it will be comfortable for you too.
4. It doesn’t have a waistband
The vast majority of high street carriers are modelled on old carrier designs that don’t have waistbands. Sold as being ‘compact’ or ‘lightweight’, these carriers place all the weight on your shoulders and cause you to lean either forwards or backwards. Both place stress on your lower back.
5. It has poor weight distribution
Truly ergonomic slings and carriers distribute your child’s weight all over your torso. Non-ergonomic slings tend to place the weight of your child at the top of your neck and across your shoulders which can lead to back pain.
6. It’s got too many clips
A lot of high street carriers you find second hand are over complicated. They have an excessive amount of clips and it can be really confusing and overwhelming when trying to use it. A lot of people declare that they can’t do it on their own because they’re just so fiddly.
7. Your baby isn’t stable
Sometimes, the design of the carrier means your baby isn’t secure or stable on your body so you feel like you have to use your hands. This can happen with ergonomic carriers too and is usually corrected by tightening it up and make sure your child’s spine is still curved.
8. You can’t breast/chest feed
Breast/chest feeding parents are forgotten about in a lot of carrier designs, especially with the well known high street brands. This can make feeding your baby uncomfortable and complicated right at the moment you may be feeling stressed. The harness style carriers means access is very limited, it is possible in some cases however.
9. It’s cheaply manufactured
There are some super cheap brands being sold online through eBay and Amazon. A lot of them are manufactured in countries where safety testing isn’t a legal requirement. They might use man made fibres making the carriers hot and stuffy. They might use cheap dyes or fabrics which may release chemicals into your chid’s mouth as they chew on the carrier.
10. It’s not THE ONE
Any stretchy, woven wrap, meh dai and ring sling will fit you and fit you perfectly. The way you put them on means you are getting a custom fit every time. Buckled carriers however are like jeans. You have to try them on to know how they’re fit you and if you like the way they fit you. There are as many variations between buckled carriers as there are between jeans like high rise, low rise, skinny, bootcut, wide leg and so on. It is my job to help you find the best one for you.
If your sling or carrier is uncomfortable, why not book a consultation and I can help you to sort it out? If you’d rather try something else I can help with that too. I have over 100 slings and carriers in my library available for hire and I have a handpicked selection available for purchase.