Choosing the right baby carrier can make a huge difference in your daily routine with your little one.
But how do you even begin to choose which one is right for you — there are SO many out there to choose from.
In this ultimate guide, we’ll delve into the world of baby carriers, exploring my top 7 best baby carriers that I have personally tried and tested.
But first, let’s cover the basics.
What should you consider when selecting a baby carrier?
Comfort, support, weather suitability, and age appropriateness are key factors.
We’ll dive deeper into these factors and more as we unveil the best baby carriers for effortless parenting.
Babywearing not only increases bonding between parent and bub, but it has some amazing health benefits for both you and your baby.
The days of juggling tasks while carrying your little one are about to become a lot easier.
Buckle up (or should we say, strap in?) as we embark on this exciting journey to find the best baby carrier for you and your precious bundle of joy.
What is a baby carrier?
Before we dive into the world of baby carriers, let’s start with the basics.
A baby carrier is a specially designed device that allows you to carry your baby while keeping your hands free.
It’s like having a cosy, portable nest for your little one right against your chest or back.
Baby carriers come in various styles, each with unique features and benefits.
What are the benefits of babywearing?
Babywearing isn’t just a trend—it’s a game-changer for parents and babies alike.
When you wear your baby, you increase sink-to-skin contact, create a deep bond, and foster a sense of security.
Plus, it frees up your hands, allowing you to tackle daily tasks while keeping your baby close and content.
What are the different types of baby carriers?
When it comes to baby carriers, there’s a wide variety to choose from.
You’ll find carriers suitable for newborns and others designed for toddlers.
Different types include ring slings, wraps (stretchy, hybrid, woven), soft structured carriers, and specialised hiking and travel carriers.
Each type offers unique benefits, such as adjustability, breathability, and versatility to adapt to different weather conditions.
Facing in vs facing out carriers— which one is better?
One common question parents have is whether their baby should face inwards or outwards in the carrier.
While both have their merits, facing inwards is generally recommended for newborns and younger babies.
It provides optimal head and neck support and promotes a cosy, secure environment.
As your baby grows older and gains more neck control, facing outwards can be introduced for short periods to allow them to explore the world around them.
What are the different factors to consider when choosing the best baby carrier for you?
Choosing the perfect baby carrier requires considering several factors.
First, think about your baby’s age — some carriers are specifically designed for newborns, while others cater to older infants and toddlers.
Additionally, consider the weather conditions you’ll encounter.
Look for carriers suitable for warm weather or those with additional features for cold climates.
Finally, think about your lifestyle — are you looking for a carrier that’s great for hiking and travel or one that’s perfect for everyday wear and lightweight?
Best wrap baby carrier
My favourite wrap baby carrier had to be the Konny Baby Carrier Flex Elastech.
I had a hard time choosing my favourite wrap baby carrier because there are SO many out there.
But when I came across the Konny Baby carrier, it was definitely a winner.
As a busy parent, I loved how this wrap-style carrier made life easier and comfier for both me and my little one.
The polyester-cotton-spandex blend was soft, but the synthetic material wasn’t as breathable as bamboo or linen ones.
I found a lot of the other ones were quite difficult to figure out, but the Konny baby carrier was really easy to slip on over your head and go.
no belts, buckles, or complicated wraps!
The weight distribution was spot-on, alleviating any back or body pain I experienced with some of the others.
It was so easy to work around the house while keeping my baby close and content.
Best ring sling baby carrier
The Nalakai ring sling was also a hard one to choose, but there were a few things that really made this one stand out from the rest.
- It was made with bamboo and linen blend so it was super soft and gentle on both mine and my baby’s skin – most of the other ones I tried were either synthetic or rough linen.
- Bamboo is also well known for its temperature-regulating properties, which was a big thing for me. As many of you would know, babies, especially newborns, can’t regulate their body temperature very well. The bamboo blend of the Nalakai ring sling managed this really well.
- Lastly, 5% of profits go to families in need through Cepia, helping support those less fortunate. If there’s something that you should know about me, is that I’m big on giving back. I believe that giving to the less fortunate can help in so many ways.
I love ring sling baby carriers because of their design.
They are designed to carry babies in the safest carry position for correct hip development.
They’re also really easy to use and adjust.
Best soft structured baby carrier
With soft structured baby carriers, I actually couldn’t find one that I liked.
I’ve always found them so chunky and hot.
I chose the Ergobaby Omni 360 as my favourite soft structured baby carrier firstly because it’s super light and not too bulky with extra nick-nacks.
The shoulder straps can be crossed over, and it’s quite comfortable compared to some other ones I tried.
I loved that this baby carrier is one that grows with your baby – you can use it from the very beginning until the very end, and you can wear it so many different ways.
I found this baby carrier quite versatile in the way that it can be used to pop out to the shops, go out to lunch with your friends, travelling and even short hikes.
It saves you from having to buy several different carriers, which is a bonus.
The last feature I loved was the built-in hood which provided extra sun protection for my little one and offered privacy for breastfeeding.
Definitely, my recommendation if youre looking for something a little more versatile than the last two mentioned.
Best hybrid baby carrier
Let’s talk about hybrid baby carriers… what exactly are they?
Well, they are a mix between a wrap and a soft structured baby carrier.
They have a few more clips and a lot less bulk.
In other words, if you’re looking for something a bit more hardy and supportive than the wrap or sling carrier but you don’t want something quite as bulky as a soft-structured one, this is the perfect baby carrier for you.
After trying about three different hybrid baby carriers, I found the Stokke Limas Carrier, and I knew it was a keeper.
It has three carrying options: front, back, and hip.
So you can choose what works best for you.
And just like the Omni 360, it grows with your baby.
You can start using it from birth up to 33 lbs.
The Stokke Limas Carrier comes in so many beautiful designs, so you’re really spoilt for choice.
However, I have to admit, the cotton material, while marketed as “soft,” leaned towards the scratchier side for me.
Keep that in mind if your baby has sensitive skin.
Overall, this hybrid baby carrier was definitely one I had to include on my list.
If you have an active lifestyle and you find you’re out of the house and babywearing a lot, this is definitely one I would recommend for you.
Best hip baby carrier
I’m sure a lot of you know the pain and exhaustion that comes with having a toddler, especially one that is always wanting to be carried.
Your back, hips and arms get so sore and tired… no you’re not getting old, we are all in the same boat.
If you haven’t tried a hip baby carrier, I would definitely recommend the TushBaby seat baby carrier.
I was sceptical at first, thinking, “This isn’t even going to work”.
But let me tell ya, it was actually so handy.
While the carrier doesn’t offer complete hands-free freedom since you still have to hold your baby upright, it’s worth mentioning that it significantly reduces painful spine curvature.
Trust me, that relief alone is priceless.
And it was surprisingly light and made it so much easier to carry my little one without tiring so quickly.
As your little one grows and starts to run around, sometimes you need something that you can just pop on.
Although the storage pockets weren’t large enough to carry things like nappies for an entire day, they were still handy for essentials like keys and a phone.
Best hiking baby carrier
As I mentioned earlier, babywearing can actually do wonders for your child’s development.
A great way to stimulate you’re child’s brain is to taking hiking
Recently, my husband and I and been getting more into hiking… for hours.
At first, we tried to go with the soft structured baby carrier but it got a little uncomfortable after a while and so we decided it was time to invest in a proper hiking baby carrier.
And hiking baby carriers are definitely an investment.
The one we finally decided to buy after looking for a few weeks was the Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier.
I don’t regret my decision…
One of the things we loved about the Poco Plus is its great features.
It has a built-in sunshade so you can make sure your little one is safe from the sun.
Plus, it has a drool pad that is removable and washable, which is a total sanity-saver when they’re going through their teething phase.
The Osprey Poco Plus baby carrier is also super comfortable with tonnes of padding and even has adjustable foot stirrups for growing little ones.
This carrier has plenty of space to stash extra snacks and layers, making it perfect for all our hiking essentials.
Rain or shine, the Poco Plus was up for the challenge.
I have to say, it’s worth every penny.
Best front-facing baby carrier
Last but definitely not least on our list is the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Mini, a great choice if you’re looking for a front-facing baby carrier.
The first thing that caught my attention was its perfect design for newborns.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking… newborns aren’t meant to sit front-facing.
You’re also able to use this baby carrier as a normal soft structured baby carrier which I found really handy.
The adjustable seat and head support provide good support for your baby as they grow, and it was so easy to put on and take off.
The materials were ultra-soft and lightweight, not to mention machine-washable.
The last thing you want is a messy mishap in a baby carrier that you can’t clean.
The BabyBjön baby carrier mini was great for both hot and cold climates and also appropriate for strolling on the beach or carrying around the shops.
So, if you’re looking for a front-facing baby carrier that checks all the boxes, the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier Mini is a top contender.
It’s perfect for newborns up to approximately 12 months, making it an investment that lasts.
Time to find the perfect baby carrier that suits your needs
As we wrap up this ultimate guide to choosing the best baby carrier, I hope you’re feeling more confident about finding the one that’ll suit you.
We’ve explored some great options to suit different needs and conditions.
Remember, when you’re choosing the right baby carrier for you, babywearing not only strengthens the bond between parent and child.
It also offers remarkable health benefits for both of you.
Baby barriers also make the perfect baby shower gift.
The convenience of having your hands free while keeping your baby close is truly invaluable.
So, embrace the joy and ease that a well-chosen baby carrier brings to your daily routine.