Newborn babies love to be snuggled. They love feeling the cocoon of their caregiver, to be close and compact, and feel the warmth of the love around them. It's no surprise that baby carriers are a commonly purchase baby item - and we recommend everyone gets one in time to welcome baby.
There are some baby carriers that are geared more toward newborn, some geared more toward larger babies, and some that are combination. You want to make sure you have one that can be used with newborn babies (approx 7-8lb), if you plan to use it right upon bringing baby home.
When should you use a baby carrier for your little one to sleep?
In the beginning of your baby's life, there is no better time to wear your baby as often as possible. Their body against yours will help regulate their breathing and create a secure attachment between you both. It is also important to put your baby down in a crib or bassinet occasionally, swaddled, to help promote alternative sleep spaces. This will give your little bundle a chance to practice exploring other spaces so they're not foreign to them.
On the Go
When you have to be out and about in the first few months of you of your baby's life, it will be helpful to throw the baby carrier in the car as a default, to make sure you have options wherever you go. You may notice baby is showing sleepy cues while you're out and they probably will be most cozy up against you in a carrier. I personally liked having one at home and one in my car so I never forgot to take it with me - if you have the means to get a 2nd one (either purchase or borrow from someone,) you won't regret it!
When is it time to stop?
It's never time to stop wearing your baby! Wearing your little one can be comforting for as long as your baby enjoys it. Some babies have trouble sleeping in the carrier once they become accustomed to sleeping in a crib. Other babies would prefer to sleep in the carrier indefinietly for the rest of their lives! You will have to feel out what your baby prefers the most. Once my baby learned to happily sleep in her crib, the carrier just became distracting. She would look around at the world and have a lot of trouble settling into sleep. Now we use it just for a hands free option while I am dealing with the other children but I no longer depend on it for sleep.
You may find that wearing your baby as they get bigger (over a year old) is even most useful while out and about or on vacation. Is your baby starting to walk? They will still need some assistance on hard surfaces like a beach full of sand. Putting baby in the backpack configuration in a carrier will help you get to your destination a little faster, and they probably will enjoy the ride, too! Your hands will be free, and it's sometimes easier than taking a stroller. Strapped for space in the trunk, flying on a plane, or have multiple kids? A backpack carrier may be your best bet!