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There’s a lot to learn when you become a parent for the first time. While getting to know the ins and outs of baby-wearing isn’t the most exciting or even most important part of that, it can still be of use to any new or experienced parent. The benefits of baby carriers include plenty of benefits for both you and your baby, and when it comes down to it, it’s all about how to find the best baby carrier overall. Baby carriers offer comfort for your little one and you instead of carrying your baby or toddler on your hip at all times. They also promote closeness and bonding between babies and parents or caregivers. Sometimes a stroller just isn’t practical, doesn’t cut it, or might make you feel disconnected from your little one.
A baby carrier can help eliminate that problem right away. It also gives you the use of your hands back so you can get household chores done while wearing your baby, regardless of the position they’re in. If you’re breastfeeding, wearing your baby can make the task a lot easier since your baby is already in a position for his or feedings. And if they suffer from acid reflux or gas or digestive issues, being able to keep your baby upright in a carrier can help alleviate some of the discomforts that come from those issues as well. There’s also the theory of the fourth trimester, which sort of goes hand in hand with baby-wearing. Pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp came up with the idea that infants need a fourth trimester once they’re born to fully acclimate to the world outside of the womb.
If you’ve ever dealt with a newborn who just wants to sleep on your chest or laying against your body, that would support this theory. And a baby carrier can make it easier to give in to this fourth trimester of sorts. Regardless of what kind of carrier you decide to go with or what brand you decide suits your family the best, you and your baby are bound to see some benefits right away.
In order to find the best baby carrier, you first need to decide which kind of carrier is best for you. Since nothing can ever be simple when making decisions regarding your child, you’d better believe that there are a handful of different styles of carriers to choose from. You might opt for a backpack carrier, which can make you truly hands-free but doesn’t necessarily account for infants or newborns who may need to sit comfortably in your carrier. There are also wrap slings and ring slings. They can be a little more complicated to learn to wrap properly, but once you do, they cradle babies like no other.
Granted, these get more awkward as your child gets older and bigger, but they’re kind of perfect for newborns and smaller babies. There are also structured baby carriers, which can transition from use for smaller babies to toddlers with ease. Before you decide which baby carrier brand is best for you, you’re definitely going to need to figure out what style will suit you best for your specific needs. But there are some criteria for the best baby carrier which could help you figure out how to find the best baby carrier and where to find it.
Some might say that the sling carriers are the best option for keeping pressure off your back and arms. Granted, other carriers might do the same, but slings allow comfort for your infant as well, as they literally cradle them when your arms need a break and can’t. If you want to invest in a sling baby carrier, then to find the best one, you should be looking for the following criteria.
- In order to be able to adjust the side and fit, a good sling will have a ring to thread fabric through.
- If you want to keep from getting overheated, choose one that’s made of a breathable, lightweight fabric.
- To the same tune, decide whether you need a lot of padding or no padding at all.
- Choose one that doesn’t have a lot of excess fabric, so you don’t have to try and figure out what to do with a bundle of leftover fabric once you’ve wrapped it around your body.
Check out some of the most popular sling carriers models:
Structured carriers might be the most logical choice for some parents and caregivers. This is because of the versatility they offer as well as the secure fit. In order to find the best-structured baby carrier, you should look for the following.
- Your structured buckle carrier should have a thick waistband for added lumbar support.
- It should also come with easy to use buckles and straps that can be adjusted according to your size and fit.
- Since most are designed for growing babies, you should always opt for one that can go from infant to toddler with just a few adjustments.
- Also look for one that has at least one large storage pocket, since you probably won’t be able to wear a purse or diaper bag while wearing the carrier on your body.
- Make sure to also pick a carrier that’s right for your build and comfort!
Check out some of the most popular structured carriers models:
- Lillebaby vs. Beco Baby Carrier
- Kinderpack vs. Lillebaby Carrier
- 5 Best Lillebaby Carriers
- MiaMily Hipster Review
- Boba 4G vs Ergo Baby Carrier
- The Ultimate Baby Bjorn Spirit Carrier Review
- My Bjorn Carrier One Air Review
- Top 6 Best Baby Carriers For Dads
Wraps are similar to ring slings in their general design, but for the most part, the best baby wraps will be one long strip of fabric that you need to learn how to wrap and tie around your body properly. This makes baby wraps versatile in every sense of the word, and sometimes you can even use them to wrap and wear your baby in different ways. To find the best baby wrap carrier, you should be looking for the following criteria.
- The wrap should be made from a stretchy and breathable material.
- It should have wrap options that involve multiple positions so you won’t be stuck with just one to choose from.
- Look for warmer thicker fabrics if you plan to wear the baby wrap in the cooler months.
Check out some of the most popular wraps carriers models:
- Solly Baby vs Baby K’tan
- Solly Baby vs Boba Wraps
- Solly Baby vs Happy Baby Wrap
- Solly vs. Moby Baby Wrap
- Baby K’tan Original vs Moby Wrap Cotton
- Baby K’tan Breeze vs. Active
- The Ultimate Baby K’tan Original Baby Carrier Review
- Maya Baby Wrap Review
For some, multi-position carriers might be the best option when it comes to finding the best baby carrier. They come in the form of structured buckle carriers in most cases, but in general, choosing a multi-position carrier can help you use your carrier for literal years. With the ability to wear your baby a ton of different ways, you can easily transition from newborn to baby to toddler. And if you want a multi-position carrier, it should have the following qualities.
- Look for one that has a comfortable material, whether it’s thicker or more breathable, depending on your needs.
- It should also have an infant insert if you want to use it from the beginning.
- Make sure it has an ergonomic seat of sorts to keep your baby in a healthy hip position.
- The best multi-position carriers also need to have straps that can be adjusted without help.
Obviously, you’re also going to need to know which brand has the best baby carrier in each category. While it’s true that some brands offer carriers in almost every category for your little one, some brands just know what they’re doing when it comes to slings or structured carriers specifically. So once you’ve figured out what baby carrier is best for you and your family’s needs, you can then choose which brand and which specific carrier to buy. Thankfully, there are affordable carriers in every category and from most brands. But if you want to find the best baby carrier for you, then you’re definitely going to need to know where to buy it and how much it’s generally going to run you.
Check out some of the most popular multi-positions carriers models:
- Pikkolo Baby Carrier Review
- Ergobaby vs Baby Bjorn Comparison
- Top 7 Best Baby Carriers for Summer
- Ergobaby Original vs. 360
- Infantino Go Forward Evolved Ergonomic Carrier vs. Ergobaby Original Ergonomic Multi-Position Baby Carrier
- Ergo 360 vs Lillebaby
- Lillebaby Airflow vs All Seasons
- The Full Lillebaby Essentials Review
- The Full Lillebaby Embossed Review
- The Mother Nest Baby Carrier Review
- The Ergobaby 360 vs Tula Baby Carrier
Best Sling Carrier
- Brand: Baby K’tan Original
- Why It’s The Best: It’s made of a breathable material, and it’s like a wrap, but without the actual wrapping involved.
- Price: On Amazon, the Baby K’tan Original is $50. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.
- Where To Buy It: You can buy it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon or in-store at Target and Buy Buy Baby.
- Child Weight/Age Range: It’s made for children from birth to 35 pounds.
- Has This Been Recalled: There are no recent, or current recalls on the Baby K’tan Original.
“It is light and compact and it’s versatile. Ready-To-Wear: No wrapping – No hardware. It is comfortable and ergonomic, I have back issues and it doesn’t cause me pain to carry my baby in it: this is perfect for anyone who has back pain because it evenly distributes the weight so your back won’t hurt.” – Rose H. on Amazon.
“The instructions are simple to understand even when sleep deprived, show a clear image of how to use it. The bonus is so far it really is that easy! With a two year old I needed a carrier that was going to be a lot less steps, and I can get the baby in it in less than a few minutes.” – Brittney Gardner on Amazon.
Best Structured Carrier
- Brand: Ergobaby 360 Original
- Why It’s The Best: It offers four different comfortable and safe positions for your baby or toddler.
- Price: On Amazon, the Ergobaby 360 Original is $160. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.
- Where To Buy It: You can find it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon.
- Child Weight/Age Range: It’s suitable for children from birth to 48 months old or 7-45 pounds.
- Has This Been Recalled: There are no recent or current recalls on the Ergobaby Original.
“So far I’m loving this carrier! My little babe is three months old and we use it every time we go to the grocery store. It’s super comfortable and I never feel like I’m putting any pressure on my back, or anywhere really. It’s so supportive, and as my little one as gotten older he’s grown to like it more and more too.” – Grace Utley on Amazon.
“Absolutely love this! I had the Ergo Original with my first two kids, and loved it! So I was so happy to get the 360 for my third! He loves being able to face out, the love the support it gives my back. I can carry my big guy around for hours. I’m currently 15 weeks pregnant with my fourth and I just carried my son, who weighs 22lbs, around for hours at the zoo and I had no pain or fatigue!” – Heidi Osterhage on Amazon.
Best Wrap Carrier
- Brand: Boba Baby Wrap
- Why It’s The Best: It’s easier to wrap than some other baby wraps and can be stretched to fit different sized parents and caregivers with ease.
- Price: On Amazon, the Boba Baby Wrap is $40. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.
- Where To Buy It: You can buy it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon.
- Child Weight/Age Range: It’s designed for little ones from 7-45 pounds.
- Has This Been Recalled: There are no recent or current recalls on the Boba Baby Wrap.
“This is the third Boba I’ve bought because they’re just that wonderful. It took me about 20 times of watching the YouTube video of how to wrap correctly before I felt like I had baby secure enough but once I learned it I have used it almost everyday. Even in Texas summer, I just put any in a cotton tank onesie or diaper only.” – K. Kron on Amazon.
“Love this addition for holding my wee one. It’s such a comfortable way to carry her around and still have my hands free. I am surprised how much I like it and that it took my third child to be brave enough to try it. I solely used a more rigid option but wanted to try a wrap out. My baby loves it! It certainly has a lot of stretch and can be used on many sizes and body shapes for all adult family members.” – Jessi M. on Amazon.
Best Multi-Position Carrier
- Brand: Lillebaby Complete Airflow
- Why It’s The Best: The structured carrier is one of the more lightweight and breathable in its class and offers six different positions.
- Price: On Amazon, the Lillebaby Complete Airflow is $125. Check out the latest prices on Amazon.
- Where To Buy It: You can purchase it on the manufacturer’s website and on Amazon.
- Child Weight/Age Range: It’s made for babies and toddlers from 7-45 pounds.
- Has This Been Recalled: There are no recent or current recalls on the Lillebaby Complete Airflow.
“Though it took a little bit of adjustment at first, Baby settled into the Lille very quickly and was happy as can be to ride around in it– even on a sunny Arizona morning of 80+ degrees! It’s definitely far more breathable than the other carriers we’ve tried, but it’s still very sturdy. It even keeps Baby snug while I put it on and adjust everything.” – Julie R. on Amazon.
“We went through two other carriers and just were not satisfied. This carrier has it all! We live in Florida so the fact there was way more mesh than other carriers we tried and it didn’t need an insert made it that much better!!! I love that it has so many carry options and that my 13 pound three month old can sit in this carrier without an insert!” – Ashley B. on Amazon.
If you need to find the best baby carrier, it’s not going to be as simple as just picking a style and randomly choosing the cheapest brand. Instead, you’re going to need to decide what best suits your need and then take it from there. Luckily, there are brands and styles to suit nearly every need and every budget. And as long as your baby is safe and comfortable and you’re getting in that much-needed bonding time, you’re golden.