When can I put Baby in a back-carrier?
While Baby can be placed in a front carrier basically right after birth, you should wait to place her in a backpack until she can sit up and support her head on her own, usually around five to six months. Newborns especially crave closeness and contact, and carriers can provide a convenient, hands-free alternative to strollers.
What are back-carriers like?
Most backpacks are built around a lightweight aluminum frame that distributes Baby’s weight equally across your shoulders and hips, with a seat and plenty of other features as well. For convenience and savings, search for an adjustable carrier that can switch easily from front to back. Make sure to test the pack for fit and comfort, as carrying Baby on your back for extended periods can get painful. Always check straps, buckles, and ties regularly for Baby’s safety.
What else should I consider?
Before purchasing a pack, ensure it has a sturdy restraint system — for example, a five-point harness with waist belts, shoulder straps, and a crotch strap. Examine the leg openings to make sure that Baby cannot slip through. Try the pack on with Baby inside before you buy, if you can, so you know that both you and she are comfortable with it. Most models also come with support stands so that Baby can be easily placed inside, and should also include adjustable seats, a removable canopy, and a detachable plastic rain cover. And of course, make sure the pack is easy to clean and wipe down for any unexpected accidents.