Although all parents would just love to always have their babies close to them, let’s face it — carrying a baby around all day long isn’t how your life should look.
You need both of your hands for everyday things, and in the end, babies do grow. By the time the baby is about three months old, carrying it for hours on end won’t be possible — your arms aren’t made of steel!
With that said, many parents turn to baby carriers to find the silver lining. These things come in all shapes and sizes, with plenty of features that should make your life easier. But which ones are the best options the market has to offer? Let’s find out.
The Best Baby Carriers, Ranked
Most Hip-Friendly: Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier
As one of the most popular carriers on the market today, the Ergobaby 360 offers a variety of features all parents can appreciate.
Its main selling point is how hip-friendly it is due to its ergonomic design. No matter how you decide to carry the baby, its hips will be in the M position, which should prevent hip dysplasia and make the seat more comfortable for the child.
As far as your comfort goes, you’ll be happy to know that the carrier comes with a rather wide waistband, as well as thick padded shoulder straps. You can also adjust the straps to get the right fit, and the carrier can be shared with multiple wearers as well.
The only tiny problem? You have to get the infant insert if you want to use it with a newborn, which could make the baby a bit warm.
- Can withstand up to 33 pounds
- Various carrying positions
- Baby is always seated in the M position
- Incredible back and lumbar support
- Requires an infant insert
- A bit difficult to buckle up, according to some users
Best Wrap Carrier: Baby K’ Tan Baby Carrier
Do you want to keep your baby as close to your chest as possible? This particular wrap will allow you to go about your day with your little one safely wrapped onto your body.
Made of 100% natural cotton, the Baby K’ Tan wrap is stretchy enough to accommodate a slightly bigger newborn yet still strong enough to keep it safe. Furthermore, the double-loop design is perfect for carrying the baby for longer periods of time. It lets you distribute the weight evenly, no matter which carrying position you choose (and there are five of those!).
Best of all, getting this wrap on is a piece of cake. Given it’s stretchy and there’s not much fabric to fiddle with, you can just put in on like a T-shirt.
- Children up to 35 pounds
- Stretchy fabric
- No-wrap wrap
- Easy to put on
- 100% natural cotton
- It doesn’t stretch enough for you to share it with someone else
- Can stretch out after carrying the baby, though it shrinks again once you wash it
Snuggle Superstar: Moby Classic Wrap
As a classic wrap-style carrier, the Moby Classic Wrap might not be a great option for parents who find wrapping a piece of fabric around their bodies tedious. However, we urge you to look into this model, as it’s made out of 100% cotton and can grow with your baby.
You read that right — this wrap can even be used with toddlers. There is a weight limit of up to 33–35 pounds, which should allow you to use it until the child starts walking. Furthermore, the fabric is soft yet strong enough not to get stretched out easily. With this wrap, you’ll get both comfort and reliability.
The best part? There are quite a few colors to choose from!
- Available in plenty of shades
- Comfortable, breathable fabric
- 100% cotton
- One-size-fits-all wrap
- Can withstand up to 30+ pounds
- Might be a bit complicated to adjust at first
Best Eco-Friendly Option: Solly Baby Babylist + Solly Baby Collaboration Wrap
If you need a good baby wrap but would like the design to be a bit more modern, this Solly Baby wrap could be the perfect choice for you.
Functionality-wise, it doesn’t differ much from other wraps, although it is a no-wrap wrap you can put on like a T-shirt. What it excels at is sustainability. The main selling point of this carrier is the fact it’s made of the pulp of Austrian beechwood trees. The manufacturer also used eco-friendly dyes, so in essence, it is one of the safest carriers you can put your baby in.
As far as the design goes, the stripes will add a bit of class to your outfit if that’s what you’re going for. The straps on the wrap are also quite wide, so it’s unlikely you’ll feel any strain while carrying the little one.
The only thing you have to be careful of is not to exceed the weight limit. This wrap can withstand up to 25 pounds, which isn’t much. It’s mostly suitable for newborns.
- Fantastic design
- Wide straps
- Compact when folded
- Lightweight, eco-friendly fabric
- Not suitable for winter or older babies
- 25-pound weight limit
Simplest Design: BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Mini
With a nice range of colors to choose from, BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Mini seems to be the fan favorite of parents who prefer no-fuss baby equipment. There aren’t many straps you have to fiddle with — all you have to do is secure the shoulder straps. What’s more, there are just a few buckles to adjust. With a wrap, you’d have to spend a few minutes securing it in place.
However, the very thing that makes this carrier so attractive is its main downside. Given that it doesn’t have a waistband, you might feel the strain in your lumbar part after carrying the baby for a few hours. That’s why it’s mostly suitable for newborns and babies up to 12 months of age. Anything heavier than that could strain you too much.
- A few color options available
- Wide adjustable shoulder straps
- Only a few buckles
- A wide seat area and adjustable head support
- Only two carrying options — face in or out
- Can only be used for 12 months
Best for Parents on a Tight Budget: Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier
Some parents might not want to use a carrier all the time, so they don’t want to spend a lot of money on it either. For them, this Infantino carrier is the best option — it comes with plenty of features but is still quite a bargain.
The fabric it’s made of is breathable and lightweight, so there’s no need to worry about comfort. You won’t get too hot while carrying the baby around, nor will you feel a lot of strain on the back due to the wide straps and waistband. You can even adjust the carrier however you want, as there are plenty of buckles and straps to pull around to get a custom fit.
The only downside is that you won’t be able to get the baby into the back-carrying position by yourself. You will have to get a helping hand as you cannot just swivel the carrier around.
As an added bonus, the carrier comes with the Infantino’s Wonder Cover bib, which ought to keep spit-up and drool away from your clothes.
- Four carrying positions
- Can withstand up to 32 pounds
- One color option
- Tricky to use it in the back-carrying position
Best for All Seasons: LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 Baby Carrier
Unlike some other baby carriers we’ve talked about, the LÍLLÉbaby one has multiple selling points you ought to consider.
First, it’s suitable to be used across all seasons because it comes with a mesh panel you can zip up and down. When you want to increase the airflow in the summer and cool the baby down, unzip it. Then, when the weather turns sour and the winds start to blow, zip it up to keep the little one warm and cozy.
Second, the carrier can withstand up to 45 pounds, so you will be able to use it with older babies too. In fact, you won’t even feel the strain so much, as it comes with great support both for your back and lumbar part. Best of all, it even has a pocket you can use to keep essentials like your phone nearby.
- A wide padded waist belt and shoulder straps
- A temperature control panel that hides the breathable mesh
- Incredible range of designs to choose from
- 45-pound weight limit
- Wide seat
- Six carrying positions
- May be too long for petite parents or caregivers
Indispensable Baby Equipment — Will You Even Use a Carrier?
Now, despite how great all of these models are, you might be wondering — will I get any use out of a carrier?
Indeed, you will get a stroller anyway, so when you need to rest, you can just place the baby there. Furthermore, there’s a good chance you’ll get a bouncy seat or swing too; the baby can relax there when you need to cook, clean, etc. So…why would anyone need a carrier?
For starters, nothing can replace that feeling of hearing your baby’s heart beating right next to yours. Keeping our children close lets us bond with them and build a solid relationship that will last for years to come.
On an entirely different note, using a carrier is much more convenient than taking a baby outside in a stroller. In a crowded place, there’s little chance everyone will have the common decency to let you pass. You might get stuck with the stroller, and possibly even with a screaming baby for a couple of minutes or longer. It doesn’t sound great, right?
And it shouldn’t even happen if you get a carrier. With it, your baby will always be next to you, and you will take up a lot less space than you would with a stroller. Thus, you’ll be able to get through crowds quickly and without much effort.
Additionally, you can do fun stuff hands-free with your baby in tow. Love hiking? It’s possible when you strap on a carrier. Would like to get all your errands done before the baby has to take a nap? Just let it nap in the carrier while you’re out shopping for groceries, paying bills, etc.
Can You Use the Same Carrier for Toddlers Too?
One of the best features of some of the carriers we’ve talked about is that they can grow with your child. Therefore, once the baby gets a bit bigger and is finally appropriate to call him or her a toddler, you will still be able to use the carrier.
Granted, by that time, the toddler might be already walking. However, that doesn’t mean the carrier is done providing you with utmost convenience. Even toddler legs get tired at some point, and when that happens, you’ll want to be able to use something simple, like a carrier, and not resort to hauling a stroller everywhere.
You can always opt for a newborn carrier, but your child will outgrow it after 12 to 15 months. Because of that, opt for a more versatile model to not only save money but also have a chance to use it for longer.
What to Pay Attention to When Choosing a Baby Carrier
It goes without saying that the carrier has to fit well and that it should be extremely comfortable. In most cases, you’ll be carrying the baby anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, so you have to consider the pain that might cause you.
In order to avoid any harm, you ought to look for a carrier with decent back and lumbar support. There should be enough padding not to feel any strain. Additionally, the carrier should have thick straps and a waistband to ensure even weight distribution.
If you’re the only one who will be using the carrier, you don’t have to go for a model that can adjust to various body shapes and sizes. However, parents rarely opt for such models, purely because you never know who’ll want to carry the baby. Thus, aim to get one that has a variety of features you can adjust to size, from straps to waistbands.
Baby + Toddler Carrier
Finally, if you’re looking to save some money in the long run, you ought to opt for a carrier you can use in the toddler stage as well. What does this mean in terms of features?
Toddler carriers should be able to withstand children heavier and older than six-month-old babies, i.e., at least 30 pounds. Furthermore, back and lumbar support should be outstanding. After all, you won’t feel that much strain when carrying a small baby — but will definitely feel pressure when you place a 20-pound toddler in the carrier.
Types of Carriers Available
In essence, a wrap carrier consists of a huge piece of fabric that you have to literally wrap around your body to create a “seat” for your baby. It’s usually quite stretchy, which means most parents can wear it, and you don’t have to worry about the size. Furthermore, it allows you to keep the baby quite close to you and bond, no matter what you’re doing.
The only downside is that wraps can get pretty warm to wear. Given the snug fit, the baby will be very close to you and warm you with its body. As such, aim to get a wrap made out of a breathable fabric if you have a summer baby. Since wraps are mainly used for newborns, lightweight fabric will let you enjoy the time spent with the little one without worrying about warmth or sweat.
Even though they are quite similar to wraps, ring slings are the preferred choice of parents who don’t mind carrying some extra weight on one shoulder. One of the most popular options is a ring sling, which comes with a ring through which you knot the fabric a certain way to make it secure.
The downside, of course, is the pressure you’ll put your shoulder through by centering all of the weight there. Additionally, using a sling isn’t a great option if you have a longer- or heavier-than-average baby — it won’t be comfortable for both parties involved.
Finally, one of the most popular types is the structured carrier, which sort of resembles a baby backpack. You can wear the baby in the front or in the back and secure it in place with a variety of straps. The straps also allow you to distribute the weight evenly, so most of these carriers protect your body while supporting the baby.
The only disadvantage is that most models aren’t suitable for newborns. To carry an infant in a structured carrier, you have to use a newborn insert. Many babies detest this as it can get pretty hot in it.
Even though most parents don’t believe a carrier is as indispensable as brands would like us to think, it’s safe to say it does come in handy when you want to keep your baby close but still use both of your hands. With so many options on the market today as well, you can definitely find the one both you and your baby will love.
Whichever you pick, you’ll get a chance to spend a lot of time with your little one in its first few years of life. In the end, that is what counts the most and is one of the highlights of parenthood.