Best Baby Carriers for Preemies & newborns to 5 months old

Best Baby Carriers for Preemies & newborns to 5 months old

Baby Carriers by Age – Preemies & newborns to 5 months old

Understanding Baby's Development from newborn to 5 months old

If you intend to use your baby carrier with a newborn to 5 months old baby, it is crucial that you understand the needs of babies of this age range. Newborns usually weigh between 2.5kg to 4kg+ with the average at about 3kg+ on birth. Preemies or pre-mature babies typically weigh less.

On average, most babies neck muscles are expected to develop enough to hold their heads with good control 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 note is that all babies are born somewhat bowlegged because of their positions in the womb. This makes it more comfortable for babies to be in a curled up foetal-like position with their feet close together or a “froggy style”, aka a flex-abducted position. With time, this “bowleggedness” will correct itself. Typically, most babies would start to prefer a wider sitting stance from around 4 to 5 months old.

At any one time or at any stage of a baby’s age, we can assume that the most comfortable position for the baby will be for their bodies to maintain their most natural restive position.

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 stretch wraps. All these can be used safely and easily with average sized newborns, allowing babies to curl up froggy-like or flex-abducted position with good neck support for the baby before they develop neck control.

For preemies, the preferred baby carrier will be the stretch wraps like the Boba Wrap or the Love Radius Basic Wrap whose stretchy fabric provides a snug yet forgiving hold for the smaller baby without too much uneven pressure typical of parents/ caregivers new to wrapping. Do bear in mind that not all stretch wraps are made equal. The degree of stretch and give can sometimes make or break the comfort for a smaller newborn as well as a parent new to wrapping.

Product Featured: Boba Wrap

Both the Boba Wrap and the Love Radius Basic Wrap are ideal carrying tools to facilitate Kangaroo Care for hard to soothe newborns and even premature babies. Especially for parents new to wrapping, less stretchy materials can be more difficult to manage with smaller newborns & preemies. Likewise, you may find that there is too much fabric in a ring sling that can easily engulf a very small baby.

For those who prefer soft structured carriers instead, there are always options such as the Manduca XT, Boba X, emeibaby, Manduca First, Boba 4GS, Beco 8, Beco Gemini, Ergobaby Omni 360, Tula FTG, and Tula Explore baby carriers that are designed for newborns or infants.

Do note that generally soft structured carriers may not wrap as snugly around the body of an infant compared to a sling or wrap simply because they have a basic structure. The newborn or infant typically needs to weigh at least 3kg to 3.5kg to be able to use a structured baby carrier based on the minimum weight recommended by the manufacturer for their individual carriers.

The following Babywearing Tools Comparison Table presents the strength and weaknesses of various styles for infants & newborns to babies up to 5 months old. For a comparison of different soft structured carriers across different age groups, you may want to refer to our other blog post.

Carrier Comparison Table for Newborns to 5 months old

Baby Carrier Avg. Newborn to 5 mths Preemies Discreet Breastfeeding Usable Life Span of Carrier
Baby Ring Slings Excellent Good but beginners may find hard to manage excess cloth for a small baby Excellent 9mths to 3 years old* depending on material & design
Stretch/ Jersey Wraps Excellent Good Fair 12 months to 5 years old* (based on user proficiency and material)
Woven Wraps Very Good Not on our recommended list for beginners Fair but harder to manuever for repositioning of baby Up to 3 or 4 years old*
Soft Structured Baby Carriers Fair to Very Good (depends on carrier fit) Not recommended Fair Up to 3 or 5 years old*
Hybrid Soft Structured Baby Carriers Very Good to Excellent (depends on carrier fit) Not recommended without professional fitting Fair Up to 18 months or 2 years old*
Semi-Hard Structured Baby Carriers Fair to Good (depends on carrier fit) Not Recommended Fair Up to 1 or 2 years old*
Meh Dais/ Mei Tais Fair to Very Good Not Recommended Fair but harder to manuever for repositioning of baby Up to 3 years old*
Frame Backpack Carriers Not Recommended Not Recommended Not possible Up to 2 or 3 years old*

* The guideline on the age of child is derived based on an average size child, based on Anthropometric Study on Pre-school Children in Singapore, 2000. This can vary according to your child’s physique.

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