Guide to Buying a Baby Carrier Backpack
I admit it, I was one of those people that just thought a baby carrier backpack was just for hiking. And I was not a huge fan of hiking. Then I got gifted a backpack baby carrier when my son was around 10 months old, and it changed my opinion completely. No, I don’t like to hike, but I do enjoy going to the zoo, long walks with our dog or strolling through an art museum. My baby was safe, secure, and there was no stroller to contend with. After my first backpack carrier suffered a broken strap from sheer overuse, I started looking for a replacement, and I learned not all backpack carriers are created equally.
What to Look For in a Baby Carrier Backpack
If your baby cannot sit up independently with full neck and head control, you’re not safely ready for a backpack style baby carrier. There are some backpack carriers that have molded areas to hold a baby’s head, personally I don’t feel there is enough support. Most backpack type carriers can hold a child that weight between 30 to 50 pounds, however I have seen a couple of models that could accommodate 70 pounds.
What are Good Materials to Look For?
For a good backpack baby carrier you want it strong and sturdy, yet as lightweight as possible. With this in mind, the majority of backpack carriers will be made from aluminum or alloy type frame. This lightweight construction allows for even weight distribution, less fatigue, and more comfort for the wearer. A good key is to fit the backpack at your hips first and then work up towards your shoulders with the straps, so you are positioning the majority of the weight around the hip area, not your upper body. This will result in far less fatigue.
Key Features You Need in a Baby Carrier Backpack
There are a lot of bells and whistles with backpack baby carriers, and the choices are many. The cockpit where your baby sits may have optional stirrups so her feet won’t dangle. This is also to ensure that your baby’s feet do not fall asleep when you’re out for extended periods of time. The harness should be easily adjustable so whoever is carrying your baby can have the baby carrier fitted to their body. If your backpack carrier comes with a kickstand, make sure it’s a locking one that keeps your baby carrier from tipping over easily. Some carriers have buttons that let you deploy the kickstand as you’re setting down your baby, so they have a smooth ride from Dad’s back to the ground when it’s time to take a break.
You won’t have your eyes directly on your child when they are in a backpack carrier. Check the buckles and straps before every use. This will ensure the carrier is secure, and so is your baby. You don’t want your baby too loosely strapped in as children have suffered injuries such as skull fractures from crawling out of backpack carriers they weren’t secured in. Another thing to remember is often your baby’s head will be as high if not higher than yours. Be mindful of tree limbs and overhead objects that could injure your little one. This last one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s worth saying. Check on your baby periodically. Especially in warmer weather. Make sure your baby isn’t overheated and is adequately hydrated. I will tell you a pocket mirror comes in really handy for fast checks on your baby. I usually get a goofy, happy smile.
Those are some tips I found that came in useful when I was searching for a replacement for our baby carrier backpack. Make sure your baby is ready and you’ll be ready to enjoy a lot of outings with your baby on board.