When it comes to buying the best baby carrier for your little one, you want to make sure it is one of the best baby carriers in the market. You may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of options available. We’re here to help!
QUICK GUIDE: IN THIS ARTICLE
We prioritized our rankings based on the features listed below as we identified which baby carriers are best for you and your family. Here is our ranking of the Best Baby Carriers of 2023!
Best Baby Carriers of 2023
Ergobaby Omni Breeze Mesh Baby Carrier
Osprey Poco LT Lightweight Child Carrier Backpack
ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier
Considerations when buying a baby carrier: what to look for
Baby carriers are becoming an essential item for new parents who want to stay close with their little one while on the go. To help you narrow down which type of baby carrier is best for you, here are some considerations:
How many different roles are you hoping for your baby carrier to fill?
- Soft structured carriers are often the most flexible, with some being able to be worn on the front or back.
There are many different colors and fabric of baby carriers available on the market, find the one that works for you.
- Also consider the weather as you choose your favorite fabric, as some may be more breathable or easier to clean than others.
Consider if you need to be hands-free or if you need to move fast.
- If you need to be hands-free, the hip seat carrier may not be your best option. And if speed is a dealbreaker for you, a wrap may not be your best option.
4. Age of baby
How old is your baby? How much do they weigh? How long are you hoping to use the baby carrier?
- Some slings and wraps can support babies up to 40 pounds, and some hiking carriers up to 48.5 pounds!
- Some carriers are more supportive of your baby’s head and neck.
- Make sure to follow the guidelines as outlined by the baby carrier of your choosing.
Depending on some of your answers, different baby carriers may be better suited for you and your little one. With the right features, a baby carrier can make life much easier for you and your little one while on the go.
While baby carriers help create an emotional bond between the two of you by being physically close to help build trust, many parents may get tired and prefer a stroller instead or in addition to. If this sounds like you, check out our list of the Best Baby Strollers and Best Travel Systems of 2023!
Types of Baby Carriers
Baby carriers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, making it easy to find one that works for you and your little one. From wraps and slings to soft structured and hiking carriers, the options are endless!
Wraps are typically made from breathable fabric, such as cotton or linen. Wraps can be tied into different positions to suit your baby’s size and comfort level. This makes them an ideal option for newborns as they provide plenty of support, and they can also be used until your baby is much older— 35 pounds or so.
Slings are similar to wraps but are secured with a ring instead of typing into a knot or being continuous. They also come in a variety of fabrics, including lightweight mesh or sturdy cotton. Slings are easy to adjust and can be used until your baby is up to 40 pounds.
Soft structured carriers have adjustable straps that provide additional support for both parent and baby. They’re generally easier to put on and take off than wraps or slings, making them perfect for busy parents who need to get out of the door quickly. Soft structured carriers can typically accommodate babies up to 45 pounds.
Hip seat carriers are the one of the hottest new baby trends sweeping the baby carrier world! They are reminiscent of a fanny pack, and allow you to carry your baby with additional support; however, not hands-free.
A hiking baby carrier is similar to a regular baby carrier, but with extra features designed to make your hike easier and more enjoyable. Hiking baby carriers provide stability, shock absorption, adjustable straps, and often a raincover or sunshade. They are designed to be worn for long periods of time, so comfort and weight distribution are important considerations.
Baby Carrier Features
A baby carrier is a great way to keep your little one close and secure while freeing up your hands for other tasks. Baby carriers come with a variety of features that make them more comfortable, convenient, and safer for both you and your little one.
No matter which type of baby carrier you choose, it’s important to ensure that your little one is properly supported and comfortable at all times. With so many types available, there’s sure to be an option that works best for you and your family.
Here are some of the basic features to look out for to help you find the best baby carrier to meet your needs:
Safety and Quality
Safety is always a top priority as we test baby gear. Looking for baby carriers with built-in safety features like reinforced stitching, which helps with weight support and reduces the risk of an accident occurring when you are out and about.
Secondly, we recommend looking at the quality of material including fabric, fasteners, frames, and straps. Check that each allows for the carrier to distribute weight evenly across your shoulders and back, making it safer and easier to carry them around.
There are specific safety regulations for soft carriers, frame carriers, and slings from the Consumer Product and Safety Commission. And we always recommend registering your product with the manufacturer for any recall updates.
For example, on February 6, 2020 Infantino recalled several models of their baby carrier due to a falling hazard caused by the buckles breaking.
Another important feature to look out for is lumbar support. If possible, select a carrier that offers extra padding on the lower back area to help prevent fatigue and discomfort caused by carrying around a heavy baby.
Ensure the fabric is breathable and comfortable for your baby. Also, ensure the fabric is machine washable to allow for easy clean-up.
Also, ensure that the carrier is a good fit for your baby:
- Is it age appropriate?
- Does it need to provide head support?
- Does my baby’s legs fit in the holes comfortably?
- Are the straps adjustable?
- Does the carrier allow for different positions?
Functionality and Adjustability
Another important feature is usability: is the carrier easy to take on and off? And with the way babies grow, you want to be able to easily adjust it even when wearing it, since they may grow between times used.
Additionally, for added convenience we recommend baby carriers that are machine washable. This comes is especially handy with babies known to have blowouts from their diapers 😉 .
Look for carriers that have a wide, ergonomic seat with leg support. This will help ensure your little one is comfortable and supported while in the carrier, which can make carrying them around easier on your body as well.
Baby Carriers, Baby Slings and Baby Wraps: Frequently Asked Questions
Depending on the age of your baby, each carrier provides a different level of safety. Additionally, there are proper ways to wear the sling and to hold your baby. We recommend reading all product guidelines before utilizing any carrier to ensure your baby is the right age, height, weight, and developmental stage for proper and safe utilization. Here are some additional guidelines we recommend reviewing to ensure safe usage: https://raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/safety/equipment-furniture/baby-carrier-sling-safety
I have found baby carriers to be great in keeping my baby close, but still have my hands free. However, they are not recommended for preemies or any baby who may need extra precautions. Additionally, for parents with back issues, a stroller may be a safer bet. Check out our list of recommended strollers.
Different baby carriers can be used at different stages, each one has recommended age limits. In general slings, wraps, and certain carriers can be used when babies are first born; but hiking or metal frame carriers should be used once the baby is old enough to fully support their head.