A baby carrier can be indispensable when travelling as it allows you to have your hands free while being able to negotiate airports, trains and bus stations, steps and old historic sights without worrying about a chunky buggy. Ideally you will be able to bring both a sling and stroller with you on a vacation and these can be used at different times. A sling is especially handy when you have more than one small child as you can alternate between the stroller and the sling and negate the need of bringing a second/double stroller. There are many different types of slings and carriers to choose from, depending on the age and weight of your baby/toddler, and you can comfortably carry most children up to 4 years of age (20kg) if you choose the right carrier. If you will be using a sling a lot for sightseeing and general travel, don’t compromise on quality.
Unfortunately a lot of the good quality carriers are not available on the High Street (Ergobaby and LILLEbaby being the exceptions), only online, therefore it is well worth your while attending your local sling meet where you can try on different slings to see what suits you. If you wish to try before you buy, you can rent multiple slings from your local sling library at a low cost, usually just covering postage. Details of these can be found online.
Another option is to book a sling consultation with a certified babywearing consultant. There are 4 main types of carrier – Ring Sling, Wrap (stretchy or woven), Mei Tai and Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) – and depending on the sling/carrier you can front, back and hip carry. YouTube has many different tutorials as to how to do this with your sling. The most important thing to look for when choosing a sling is whether it adheres to the TICKS guidelines. This ensures optimum comfort for both you and baby. It is not advised to have your baby facing outwards, although many of the High Street carriers do advertise this.
If you are travelling to a very warm country a ring sling such as one by Little Frog or Neobulle or a mei tai (Babyhawk) may be the best option, stretchy wraps (JPMBB, Moby, KariMe) are great for younger babies (up to 4-6 months) and for toddlers and older children a SSC (such as the Ergobaby, Tula, Manduca, Connecta) gives the most support. The Ergobaby Performance is light and breathable and perfect for toddlers and the Solarweave Connecta Carrier blocks 95-99% of the suns harmful UVA and UVB rays and its quick drying fabric makes it ideal for use in the pool or at the beach.
For more on baby carriers and the benefits of baby wearing see Mom Loves Best