Best Baby Carriers For Every Kind Of Parent

happy mom carrying baby in baby carrier

Go everywhere—or just get things done at home—with your baby snuggled to you but your hands free.

If there’s any one product that helps you live life with baby easily in tow, it’s a baby carrier. Babywearing can be pretty glorious once you’ve nailed down the best baby carrier for your baby’s age and your own needs. Will you be carrying a newborn or an older baby? Are you buying one so you can get around quickly for errand runs, or do you plan to carry your kid during trips where big gear just isn’t an option? Thinking about these considerations will ultimately help drive which is the best baby carrier to buy for your family.

What Is A Baby Carrier

For centuries, moms have been wearing their babies. (And we’re not the only species to do so: From kangaroos and sloths to alligators and chimpanzees, baby toting is embraced across the animal kingdom.) While the modern baby carrier is typically constructed from a stretchy piece of fabric or a durable, structured material with straps, belts and buckles, it still serves the same purpose: to keep baby close to your body so your hands are free. Sure, there seems to be a neverending assortment of carriers to choose from, but the very best baby carriers offer parents and babies comfort and safety, style and plenty of snuggle time.

Types Of Baby Carriers

While a baby carrier is anything that physically holds baby close to your body, there are different ones that fit your family’s needs. Here, a quick and dirty summary to help you figure out the best baby carrier for you.

Sling. Shaped like a fabric loop, a sling is perfect for carrying newborns who want to be held close 24/7. Since they’re meant to hold lightweight infants, there is no heavily padded shoulder strap. You simply wear the sling over one shoulder.
Fabric wraps. It’s the origami of baby carriers: spectacularly versatile depending on how you fold the fabric. Some fabric wrap baby carriers are specifically meant for the 1-and-under set; others can hold a baby of any age once you get the hang of the different ways to wear them. The one caveat: it does take some practice to learn how to put one on.
Soft, structured carriers. While this baby carrier is good for any age, it’s great for an older child since the supportive pieces—shoulder straps and waist sash—evenly distribute your child’s weight to minimize back aches and pains.
A Mei Tai carrier. This minimalist baby carrier does away with buckles for straps that tie off for a personalized fit every time. The downside: no padded fabric.
Frame carriers. This type of baby carrier provides back support when you’re babywearing for long periods, for instance, hiking. These are recommended for older babies who can sit up and have good head and neck control.

One last thing: In any baby carrier, baby should sit with her legs in an “M” shape: legs wide, knees bent and slightly above her waist. That’s the proper position for baby’s hip and back health. Okay, ready to take a look at our best baby carrier picks? Here we go:

Best Newborn Carrier

best-baby-carrier-solly-baby-buffalo-check

Photo: Courtesy of Solly Baby

The mom behind the Solly Baby Wrap designed it especially the first nine months. This best baby carrier for newborns is a long piece of fabric with a tag that helps you guide it on; there are tutorials to watch here. It stretches to fit your body (important, as your size is in flux in those early postpartum months) and you can customize the head and neck support for a young infant. Oh, did we mention they have amazing new patterns out every season?

Suited for babies : Up to 25 pounds
Buy It : Solly Baby Wrap, $65 to $80, sollybaby.com

Best Sling Carrier

best-baby-carrier-lille-baby

Photo: Courtesy of Lille Baby

A sling is also an ideal baby carrier for a young infant. LÍLLÉbaby’s Ring Sling is lightweight, so it’s no strain on you, and breathable, making it safe for sleepy infant snoozefests. You adjust the…

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