This would be the question I am most often asked. The answer isn't easy or straightforward. There are many carriers that are suitable for newborns, some more ideal than others. Let's take a look at them:
1. Woven Wraps
Wovens can be used from day one (or even in pregnancy as belly support!) and into toddlerhood. They are the most versatile carrier out there, with endless possible carries. Most people start with a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) and sometimes move on to others, including carries on your hip and back. Woven wraps come in different sizes, ranging most often from 2 to 8. It is encouraged to try FWCC and the ability to do it comfortably determines one's base size. For many people base size will be 5, 6 or 7. Newborn baby can be worn either with its legs in or out.
2. Stretchy Wraps
Stretchy wraps are very popular and great for newborns. They can be used safely from 7lbs (with smaller babies it is better to wait until they reach 7lbs or use a woven wrap after consulting the baby's pediatrician). The most frequently used carry is Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC). Stretchy wraps come in one size and are pretty long which is sometimes a bit overwhelming.
3. Ring Slings
I love ring slings for newborns! They can be used right away in a front tummy to tummy carry. I've noticed that they do have a learning curve but once learned and practiced often, become a very easy and quick solution. I really like the fact that you don't need to put your baby down in order to put a ring sling on.
4. Meh Dais
Mei tai (pronounced "may tie") is a great option for someone who likes the simplicity of a buckle carrier but also the feeling of snugness. There are two methods of using it with a new baby: either by keeping baby's legs inside of the carrier (making sure its weight is resting on the bum) or by cinching the bottom of the panel and having the baby's legs on the outside.
5. Buckle Carriers
Buckle carriers, also called soft structured carriers, are generally best for older babies. In order to use them with newborns some require an infant insert. It is important to use an insert to provide the support for baby's spine and neck. Some carriers have an option of narrowing the panel on the bottom in order to fit properly - these can be safely used without an insert with babies' legs being out.
There are plenty of other options on the market right now! With each carrier it is important to have it sized and adjusted properly. Make sure your baby is well supported and its airway is clear and of course that you are both comfortable!
If you have any more questions or would like to try some of these carriers and decide for yourself what is best for you and your baby, don't hesitate to contact me and schedule a consultation.