Hipseat vs Baby Carrier: Benefits, Differences & Which is Better
When it comes to babies, there’s no shortage of products out there meant to make everyone’s lives easier. But with so many options available for different activities like eating, sleeping, dressing, and carrying, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
In the traditional sense of babywearing — a hands-free way for parents or caregivers to literally wear their baby so their hands and arms are free — there are slings, wraps, and backpacks galore to choose from, each suited for different lifestyles and stages of life. Once your baby is around 4-6 months old and has total neck and head control, hipseats are a fabulous choice for easy and uncomplicated baby wearing, albeit not totally hands free.
It’s a lot to take in, but we’re here to help you break it down:
Hipseat vs baby carrier — what’s the difference?
A hipseat is a simple seat for your baby to sit on that evenly distributes their weight, so you can carry them longer and more comfortably. Hipseats take the pressure off of your back, arms and shoulders by fastening just above your hips, allowing your hips and legs to do most of the work. Most hipseats require that you have one arm wrapped around baby at all times, so they’re not totally hands-free, but they still offer the benefit of skin to skin contact while keeping your baby close against your body.
A baby carrier is more of a full support, baby-wearing device that comes in various forms – from slings to wraps to more structured material. Carriers work great for parents who want to be “attached” to their babies without having to use their hands and arms to hold them constantly. They also may help soothe a baby who is fussy or going through a growth spurt. Tons of parents swear by babywearing when their baby is younger, before they become more independent and curious about the world around them; that’s when they can start using a hipseat.
Benefits of a hipseat carrier
- Takes pressure off your back and shoulders
- Puts your baby’s hips in the “M” position — a natural position for baby which keeps their knees slightly higher than their tush while supporting their thighs
- Allows for close contact with baby without complicated straps or instructions
- Acts as a shelf for feeding and nursing in infancy
- Promotes independence in toddlerhood
Disadvantages of a hipseat carrier
Hipseat carriers are designed to provide convenience and support while carrying your baby. They can also promote proper posture for the wearer and the baby. But as with most baby gadgets, there’s a time and place for everything.
One of the main disadvantages of a hipseat carrier is that they usually aren’t hands-free. They’re intended to provide a more natural and intimate babywearing experience that allows you and your baby to be close while on the go or accomplishing tasks around the house. Most are designed to have the baby sit on the hipseat that’s strapped around your waist with one arm around the baby for support.
At Tushbaby, we recognize that babies and parents love hipseat carriers and deserve products they can use anywhere and everywhere. With the Tushbaby alone, you get a hipseat carrier that can double as breastfeeding support—plus, it has five storage pockets to stash baby essentials and personal items. We also offer a wrap-style attachment (The Snug) to pair with the Tushbaby, allowing caregivers to use their carrier hands-free! The Snug connects to the Tushbaby’s waistband and wraps over each shoulder and around the baby to keep them secure while you go hands-free—all while enjoying the storage and support of our award-winning hipseat. You can have it all with Tushbaby.
Benefits of a baby carrier
- Hands-free mobility
- Promotes bonding/skin to skin contact
- Encourages secure attachment between baby and caregiver
- Mimics the womb in early infancy
Disadvantages of a baby carrier
Traditional baby carriers are usually designed to attach to the wearer’s body in some fashion, with the baby nestled between the wearer’s body and the baby carrier. One of the main disadvantages of a traditional baby carrier is the risk of suffocation and lack of flexibility. Additionally, it can take some practice to find a safe way to get the carrier on and the baby safely settled. As you attempt to support the baby with one hand and secure the carrier with the other, the process can feel a bit awkward, even with practice. Most baby carriers have their fair share of straps and moving pieces. This is where the Tushbaby stands out. With only one buckle to secure, you can easily put it on and take it off as needed.
Is a hipseat carrier better than a baby carrier?
Really, it depends on your lifestyle and your baby’s stage of life. A hipseat carrier is great for those with older babies who want up, down, and back up again, as they take pressure off your back and arms and provide less stress on your upper body. A traditional baby carrier is great for hands-free baby wearing in those early months of infancy and growth.
Is a hip seat good for a baby?
Not only is a hip seat good for baby, it’s good for those who care for baby! The Tushbaby hip seat sits above your hips so you can carry your baby more comfortably and with less hassle — and since it doubles as a fanny pack, everything you need is nearby and easily accessible, all without killing your back.
Tushbaby puts your baby’s hips in the “M” position – a natural position for your baby which keeps their knees slightly higher than their tush while supporting their thighs.
(Also Read: Is Hip Seat Good for Baby?)
When do you use a Hipseat carrier?
Once your child can hold their head and neck up — at around 4-6 months — a hipseat carrier is the perfect place for them to hang out while you hold on. Until then, the hipseat can be used as breastfeeding support starting from infancy.
Hipseat carrier use cases
When we carry babies, we usually carry them propped up on our hip, pressed to our chest, or facing outward. These positions feel most natural, keep your baby close, and are likely the most comfortable for the caregiver and the baby. However, babies can get heavy quickly, and posture can weaken. Queue a hipseat carrier.
Here are some use cases for a hipseat carrier:
- Walks at the park
- Interactive outings
- Mini dance parties at home or on the go
- Situations that you may need to get up and down often, like sporting events, church, or doctor’s visits
Hipseat carriers can offer the following benefits:
- Back support
- Additional layer of safety for baby
- Hands-free babywearing with the Tushbaby and The Snug attachment
- Keeps baby and promotes bonding
- Promotes proper posture for baby and wearer
- Useable for newborn to toddler ages (see product recommendations)
- Easy to pick baby up and put them down
- User-friendly designs
Baby carrier use cases
Traditional baby carriers can offer overlapping use cases compared to hipseat carriers. Both are designed to provide much-needed support for carrying your baby. Baby carriers are best used when you must multitask while holding your baby.
Here are some use cases for a baby carrier:
- Cooking dinner and holding your baby (always check product safety recommendations)
- Grocery shopping with a baby
- Holding baby while caring for other children
- Any event, situation, or task that requires hands to be free
Baby carriers can offer the following benefits:
- Hands-free babywearing
- Promotes better posture
- Ability to multitask
- Compact enough to pack on the go
How to choose between a hipseat vs baby carrier
With the Tushbaby and The Snug attachment, you no longer have to choose! The Snug Attachment pairs perfectly with the Tushbaby Carrier for the experience of traditional hands-free babywearing, with the added support of our much-loved hipseat. Attach the Snug to the base of your Tushbaby and place your baby on the seat, wrap the straps over your shoulders to form an x across your back, then buckle up to keep ’em close. When you want to transition back, simply fold and stash the snug in Tushbaby’s seat pocket.
As with any baby product, explore your options and consider your needs, lifestyle, and your baby’s preferences. When you’re educated on the product you purchase and understand proper use guidance, you can be confident in choosing the best option for you and your baby.