Babywearing is the perfect way to protect your little peanut and keep them snuggled close and safe in one of any number of baby carriers. Better yet, wearing your baby gives them a sense of security while they’re cozied-up right next to you. Babywearing lets your baby hear your heartbeat, smell your skin and feel you breathing, all of which provide a calming environment for both sleepy and wakeful times. Babywearing promotes bonding, supports breastfeeding, can help combat postpartum depression, and, in general, makes caregiving easier. It can be a lifesaver for parents of high-needs children. Carried babies sleep, feed, and grow better, plus some studies have shown that carried babies cry up to 43 percent less. While babywearing is a common practice in many cultures, it is just beginning to be accepted across the globe.
Babywearing is not about any particular parenting philosophy, nor is it about any specific carrier. It is about creating a safe and healthy environment for your little one. It can be practiced by a wide variety of caregivers including moms, dads, grandparents, siblings or nannies – basically anyone who cares for your newborn, infant, or toddler. There are safe and effective baby carrier options for every budget and taste. Moms and dads everywhere are wearing their babies in a unique variety of baby carriers that are versatile enough to wear in front when your tot is tiny or in back when they’re a little bigger and heavier.
There are so many baby carrier options that it can be overwhelming to choose which one is right for you. Most baby carriers fall into one of five types: Wraps, Ring Slings, Pouch Slings, Mei Tais, or Buckle/Soft Structure Carriers. Making your choice depends on the following factors: How long do you plan to wear your baby? Who will be wearing your baby? Do you want one carrier or many to choose from for different activities? What is your budget? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can make the best choice for both you and your baby. Here’s a good tutorial to help you better understand the benefits of babywearing.
Here, we’ll look at a wide variety of options, prices and styles here. So start exploring the art and science of babywearing and then go shopping with our list of the Top 10 Best Baby Carriers.
1. Moby Wrap Baby Carrier
A parent-favorite for its comfort, style and adaptability, the MOBY Wrap is an optimal baby carrier for infants, especially newborns. Made from 100 percent natural cotton with tapered ends, the MOBY Wrap is a tool to help parents and babies enjoy the world together. This classic wrap is perfect for babies from 8-35 pounds. It is petite and plus size friendly and extremely comfortable to wear for extended periods of time because of the natural fiber fabric. The Moby Wrap is among the best selling baby wrap carriers, offering award-winning comfort and closeness.
Price: $42.95 (4 percent off MSRP)
- Appropriate for use with newborns, including preemies
- Swaddles your baby snugly to your body
- Spreads the weight out evenly across your back and shoulders
- Great for comforting colicky babies
- Easy to pre-wrap and then pop baby right in
- Can be tricky to get baby wrapped tight enough, but not too tightly
- Length of wrap is so long it drags the floor or ground while putting it on
- Too bulky to stick in a diaper bag
- Pet hair clings to soft knit fabric
2. Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier
The Ergobaby Original Carrier has evolved to make babywearing more comfortable than ever. Made of durable cotton canvas with high-density padding and straps that adjust for the perfect mutual fit, Ergobaby carriers keep baby safe, close, and comfortable. With Ergobaby, your baby’s weight is evenly distributed between the wearer’s hips and shoulders. The carrier keeps baby ergonomically cradled in a natural sitting position. The Ergobaby offers front, back, and hip carry positions. It’s also machine washable, a huge benefit for spitty babies. Buy the ERGObaby New Infant Insert for your newborn to keep them close, safe and in a correct position.
Price: $114 (1 percent off MSRP)
- Mimics the way you cuddle your baby/li>
- Has a roomy pocket in front with a zipper for your wallet, keys, cell phone, etc.
- Provides more coverage and warmth for the baby
- You can nurse with it on in privacy with attached hood cover
- Not as good for people with larger frames
- Carrier can be hot for both baby and wearer
- Insert not as effective as some for keeping baby’s head in upright position
- Needs to come with better instructions
3. Kelty Tour 1.0 Child Carrier
The Kelty Tour 1.0 Child Carrier is streamlined when it comes to bells and whistles, yet fully-loaded when it comes to the adjustable suspension system and child safety and comfort. The new Tour 1.0 contains a new child leg-secure system that ensures easy access in and out of the child harness, enhancing overall convenience. This carrier is great for small babies and toddlers up to 50 pounds. Loosening the shoulder straps automatically deploys the kickstand, creating a safe and secure platform to load and unload your child. Your child won’t outgrow this pack for years, thanks to the adjustable seat and custom fit leg straps in the cockpit. The comfortable, secure cockpit guarantees that your child will sit upright, in an ergonomic and comfortable position. The single-layer, soft, contoured shoulder harness with sternum strap creates comfort and stability while the strong internal frame transfers child and cargo weight effectively to your hips for all-day comfort while hiking. The Kelty’s patented No-Pinch Hinge ensures neither parent nor child will hurt their fingers in the folding frame. The padded, aluminum V-Bar structure prohibits the cockpit from collapsing, creating a safer environment for your child, while the five-point adjustable harness offers unparalleled security and comfort.
Price: $151.96 (20 percent off MSRP)
- Easily adjustable to the wearer
- Great visibility for the child
- Many safety features
- Great for hiking and outdoor uses
- Not great for small frame bodies
- Torso length is not adjustable
- Can cause lower back muscle pain and pressure
- Not adjustable for larger body sizes
4. Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier
Along with its multiple carrying options and grow-with-baby flexibility, this convertible wonder offers an ergonomic seat for optimal baby hip positioning. A super supportive waist belt and adjustable padded straps make for long term wearability. The Infantino Flip carries babies from 8-32 pounds and it offers four ways to carry: facing in narrow seat for newborns, facing in wide seat for older babies, facing out narrow seat for babies with head control and back carry wide seat for older babies and toddlers. This pack includes the Clever Wonder cover two-in-one bib to protect both your carrier and your clothes. The pack is machine washable, with adjustable seat, leg openings, straps and waist belt for a completely customized fit. The carrier is highly rated by Amazon customers, yet offers a price point in the most affordable range.
- Well rated, yet extremely affordable
- Great adjustability
- Machine washable
- Good for smaller body frame sizes
- Not well suited for larger chest sizes
- Too many snaps and buckles
- Not good for extended carrying
- Not good for larger babies and toddlers
5. LILLEbaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 Baby Carrier
The LILLEbaby complete baby carrier combines more carrying positions, lasts longer, and includes more features than many other baby carriers. The All Seasons line features an adjustable center panel: zip up for warmth and zip down to reveal cool, breathable, 3d mesh. It offers six ergonomic carrying positions without the need for an infant insert. Positions include: front-fetal, front-infant, front-outward, front-toddler, hip and back carry. The LILLEbaby Complete grows with your child through all the baby wearing years, carrying babies and toddlers from 7-45 pounds. The patented cupped seat adjusts easily to keep your baby ergonomically seated in all six carry positions, through every development stage. The added lumbar support increases comfort, maintains healthy posture and alignment, and helps to prevent lower back strain. Combined with an extra sturdy waist belt, this carrier maximizes comfort. Dual adjustment buckles simplify breastfeeding and simplify adjusting straps on the go. The removable sleeping hood features dual adjustment points to provide tailored support for baby’s head while sleeping, sun protection while exploring, and privacy while nursing. The extra tall, extendable torso provides extra neck and back support and keeps taller babies secure in the carrier. The adjustable width gently cradles baby’s head. Elastic straps provide support while allowing for movement and easy adjustment. Large zippered easy-reach storage pocket provides ample room for storing the sleeping hood and other essentials.
- Offers six different carrying positions for maximum flexibility
- Breathable fabric keeps baby and wearer cool
- Lumbar pad helps absorb baby’s weight evenly for less back strain
- Neck support keeps baby’s head secure
- Straps can show wear after few wearings
- Mesh material on inside layer can be rough against baby’s skin
- Not as good for smaller infants
- Can be difficult to put on
6. Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling
The Maya Wrap Ring Sling lets you wear newborns through toddlers in a variety of positions. Mom-recommended, the Maya Wrap Lightly Padded ring sling is all you need to simplify your day. No more lugging strollers around, fiddling with buckles or snaps, trying to nurse discreetly or juggling a baby with an older child. Just grab your Maya Wrap and get on with life. Maya Wrap ring slings are all the same width with the only difference between sizes being the length. Size small is 170 cm. long; size medium is 185 cm. long; size large is 201 cm long; and size x-large is 216 cm. long. While medium is the most popular size, some nursing moms like to have a slightly longer tail to use as a discreet nursing cover. Each Maya Wrap comes with an instructional DVD.
- Very easy to use, simple to get on and off
- Extra fabric makes breast feeding easy
- Wrap is secure and comfortable
- Convenient storage pocket for keys and more
- Fabric can seem thick and stiff
- Thick fabric can be hot for wearer and baby
- Can be uncomfortable on the shoulder
7. Tula Ergonomic Carrier
The Tula Baby Carrier offers a modern twist on babywearing that allows you to keep your little one close to your heart while having your hands free. Tula’s artistically designed, easy-to use, versatile, and long-lasting carriers provide a comfortable, ergonomic method of supporting the bond between caregiver and child from birth through four years old and beyond. Tula baby carriers are available in a variety of prints, making them both useful and stylish! The Tula baby carrier exceeds safety standards and norms, and is a business member of the Baby Carrier Industry Alliance (BCIA). This carrier includes a removable, regulated hood and comes with a complete instruction booklet. It can easily be used in both front and back carrieswith kids from from 25-50 pounds. The carrier can also be used from birth with the use of the revolutionary Tula Infant Insert (not included), and into toddlerhood with Tula Free to Grow Extenders (not included). It provides an ergonomic M-position seat supporting optimal development for baby’s body. It’s also easy to care for because it’s machine washable. Made by hand from 100% certified cotton, it has high quality Duraflex buckles. Features include dual-adjustment straps to allow for the perfect fit, additional leg-opening and shoulder padding, and a large pocket on the contouring hip belt. It also includes a removable hood to support baby’s head while asleep, and to protect from sun or wind, and allow for comfortable breastfeeding.
- Supportive and comfortable
- Very good for older babies and toddlers
- Baby feels secure but not tightly cramped
- Extra padded straps for increased comfort
- Tula has many accessories available to customize carrier
- Straps have been known to tear easily
- Requires an infant insert for smaller babies
- Expensive compared to others in the category
- Fabric can seem scratchy
8. Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier
Based on a centuries-old style of babywearing, the Infantino Sash Mai Tei baby carrier features a wrap design for natural and comfortable carrying styles. The Mai Tei’s wrap and tie design naturally adjusts to your own body and grows with baby, for years of comfortable use. And with so many ways to wear the sash, you can feel free to customize your own look and fit. The Mei Tai carrier supports your baby in a natural seated position and includes a detachable hood to protect that delicate baby noggin. The unique lumbar support helps relieve shoulder pressure, while extra wide padded straps provide for more comfort and flexibility. This is arguably the best budget baby carrier on the market according to experienced babywearers.
Price: $22.99 (34 percent off MSRP)
- Lightweight breathable fabric keeps baby and wearer cool
- Easy to put on and adjust
- Folds compactly to fit in purse or diaper bag
- Easy fit for both men and women babywearers
- Can be difficult to tie behind your back
- Long sashes can drag on the ground when tying
- Lacks head support for smaller infants
- Cannot be removed one-handed
9. Didymos Baby Carrier Organic Wrap Sling
Didymos Baby Wrap Slings are one of the most versatile of all styles of baby carriers. With this woven wrap, a baby can be comfortably and securely carried in a cradle hold, front and back carries, as well as hip carries. Since there are no belts or buckles, the babywearer simply ties a knot to secure the fabric. This wrap is fully adjustable to accommodate your baby as it grows, and can be worn in many different ways to create the ideal carrying position for you and your baby. Right from birth, this sling fully supports your baby, keeping them close, and makeing them feel safe and comfortable. It is a wonderful accessory that allows for integrating baby care into everyday life, fully and completely. All Didymos baby carriers come with detailed tying instructions for more than 15 different carrying methods and variations, in the form of a full color booklet and DVD. Didymos Baby Carriers support babies in proper anatomical positions, with optimum back and leg support so no stress will be placed on any part of your baby. They come with a three year warranty, and can be used from newborn to three years, and beyond. Sizes currently available are Size 5/420 cm for the petite wearer, Size 6/470 cm for those that are of average size, or tall and slim, and Size 7/520 cm for the wearers that need an bit more length. Size 5 to 7 allow one to tie ALL of the carrying positions, including the oh so comfy and secure Front Wrap Cross Carry. For those that prefer a simpler carrier, one could consider a size 4 Didymos. Although the tying options are more limited than with the sizes 5 – 7, the size 4 allows for a hip and cradle carry and adds the option of a kangaroo or rucksack carry.
Price: $175.97 (3 percent off MSRP)
- Incredibly versatile with many tying options
- Beautiful, high-quality woven fabrics
- Minimal stretching for more secure wraps
- Excellent for breastfeeding
- Can be difficult to figure out at first
- Woven fabric can be more slippery to tie
- Expensive compared to others in category
- Fabric is thinner and potentially less warm than some
10. Baby K’tan ORIGINAL Baby Carrier
The Baby K’tan ORIGINAL Baby Carrier is an innovative blend of a sling, wrap and carrier all in one, providing the positions and benefits of all three. Smart and simple, the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier is a wrap without needing to be wrapping—perfect – a benefit for first-time parents. Made of 100% soft natural cotton, the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier is free of harmful chemicals, formaldehydes and azo dyes, and contains no hardware, plastic or metal. Sized like clothing for the perfect fit (XS, S, M, L, XL), this carrier slips on easily like a t-shirt to comfortably carry baby from newborn to toddlerhood – from 8-35 pounds. Its unique double-loop design is lightweight and compact like a sling, yet supportive like a structured carrier. Offering multiple positions without the need for wrapping or buckling, this carrier provides added security for carrying baby and privacy for mom while nursing. Available in multiple fabrics and colors, the Baby K’tan is machine washable, dryer safe, and comes with a matching sash that converts to a carrying bag. Like your favorite pair of jeans, when you wash this carrier in warm or hot water, there may be a bit of shrinkage. However, when you wear the Baby K’tan, it will give a bit. If you feel that your carrier is too snug, you can rewash the carrier and instead of machine drying, hang dry the carrier so it doesn’t have the normal shrinkage.
- More reasonably priced than many
- No buckles and hardware
- Extremely easy to use
- Comes in standard clothing sizes
- Feels less secure than some
- Stretches out too quickly
- Can shrink after washing
- Sizes can run large
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