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If there is an essential accessory for a new baby and when you go travelling, it has to be a baby carrier. Baby carriers can make your life so much easier!
You can hold your baby without using your arms either around the house or on the streets of Bangkok. In fact, even if you don’t have a new baby but will be travelling with a baby or toddler then I definitely recommend a carrier.
If you are about to go travelling and are thinking about taking a baby carrier – do it! You will not be sorry. There are plenty of great baby carriers on the market and it is not just babies who work well in one.
There are also plenty of baby carriers for toddlers. In fact, even if you aren’t going travelling, you will no doubt find a baby carrier super handy. We loved ours and used it often.
This is our information packed guide to help you select the best baby carrier for your family. This guide contains a range of carrier reviews and an easy to use comparison table so you can quickly select the right carrier for you. All of this is up to date and will show you the top baby carriers 2017.
It’s a question that comes up a lot in relation to travel and my answer always is “take both!” If you can only pick one then I would take the carrier.
There’s lots of places we’ve traveled where a stroller wasn’t practical, but you’ll always be able to make use of a baby carrier for your baby (or toddler). They don’t take much space in your luggage either, not compared to a stroller.
If you are interested in strollers for travel you can read more about the best travel strollers here.
Below you will find our comparison chart which compares all the best rated baby carriers along with baby carrier ratings. Below that are baby carrier reviews of each of these.
|Carrier||Image||Type||Weight Limit||Price||Our Rating (/5)|
|Ergobaby Adapt Baby Carrier||Front/Back/Hip||up to 45lb||$$$||5|
|Beco Gemini Baby Carrier||Front Facing||up to 35lb||$$$||4.5|
|Moby Wrap||Baby Wrap||up to 35lb||$||4.0|
|Baby K'tan Carrier||Baby Wrap||up to 35lb||$$||4.0|
|BABYBJORN Original||Front Facing||up to 25lb||$$||4.5|
|Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh Baby Carrier||Front/Back/Hip||12-33lb||$$$||4.5|
|Catbird Baby Pikkolo||Front/Back/Hip||up to 40lb||$$$||4.0|
|Boba 4G Carrier||Front/Back||Up to 45lb||$$$||4.5|
|Infantino Sash Mei Tai||Mei-Tai||Up to 36lb||$||4.5|
|Yokohama Hip Seat Baby Carrier||Front/Back/Hip||up to 44lbs||$$||5|
|Brighter Elements Baby Carrier||Front/Back/Hip||up to 33lbs||$$||4.0|
|BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One||Front Facing||up to 33lbs||$$||4.5|
|Infantino Flip Advanced Convertible Carrier||Front||32lbs||$||4.5|
|Infantino Cuddle Up Ergonomic Hoodie Carrier||Front/Back||40lbs||$||4.5|
|SIX-Position by LILLEbaby||Front/Hip/Back||45lbs||$$$||4.5|
Many of the carriers above are able to be shipped internationally.
Essentially, baby carriers are a hands free way of carrying your child. Carriers provide support for your child, usually through a pouch, and will go around your body to help spread the load. What type of carrier you select will determine how it gets used.
One thing all the best soft baby carriers will have is that they provide a safe and comfortable way to carry your baby arms-free. As a result they foster closeness which aids bonding and can help calm fussy babies who like to be held when out and about.
There are many different types of carriers. Which is the best infant baby carrier, or the best toddler carrier? That depends on your (and your child’s) preferences and needs. Any of the top baby carriers will be safe and comfortable for you and your baby. it’s really down to preference as to what the best choice is. Hopefully you will be able to find the best baby carriers for you from our list below.
Front facing baby carriers are one of the most popular baby carrier options. They really do dominate the baby carrier market and it is easy to see why as they have proven to be safe and secure.
Front facing baby carriers allow you to have your baby attached in front of you. You can opt to have your baby face you for closeness or face outwards to see the world and take in the sights. Infants will generally face towards you and older children can face outwards if they want. The best forward facing baby carrier review is below.
Please note that not all of the carriers in the comparison chart which are listed as “front” will allow you to have your baby front facing out to the world. Some only allow front carry when the baby is facing you.
There’s also the option of back carriers. These baby carriers position the baby on your back a bit like a backpack with the baby facing forwards. To help spread the weight, back carriers will have straps that go around your waist and often across your sternum.
The downside is that you won’t be able to get to or assist your child as easily – they won’t be in your line of vision and you can’t see them completely even when turning your head. They work best for kids older than infants, like toddlers.
The Mei-Tai carrier is designed with what feels natural in mind. They usually involve woven material that is tied around the body to support your baby. They tend to be very comfortable and feel natural and can be worn on the back or front. Mei-Tai carriers are as close as you can come to holding your baby without holding them. Your baby is kept very close.
Baby wraps have a lot in common with Mei-Tai carriers. Material is attached to the parent and the baby is positioned to create a comfortable baby carry wrap. Like Mei-Tai carriers they tend to be very comfortable. They are often quite inexpensive too, thanks to their simplicity. There are many options such as the woven wrap baby carrier and differences in the type of hold and material available, each with their own advantages. The best baby wrap review is below.
Another versatile option are hip carriers. These carry the baby on your hip, as the name suggests, freeing up space in front and behind you. Weight is spread across your shoulder and hip and your baby is held safely enough you can bend over. With the weight on your hip this won’t throw out your centre of gravity. They usually include adjustable straps and allow for different seating position.
Baby slings are designed to ease pressure on hands and back rather than being a fully hands free design. They can go over one shoulder or both, and are simple and cheap.
NOTE: Baby slings, such as the over the shoulder baby holder, have many safety concerns, so we do not recommend this option.
Each type of baby carrier has their own advantages and strengths. Picking the right baby carrier for you can be difficult. You’ll need to figure out what features or attributes are most important for you (and you baby).
For example, how will you be using the baby carrier? Is it for travel or just to ease pressure around the house? Will you be using it regularly or infrequently?
Safety followed by comfort will be at the top of the list for most parents, so these aspects are explained in more detail. The best ergonomic baby carrier will also allow for flexibility. To help you choose we’ve made an easy to use comparison table covering the main details of the different carriers.
Without a doubt this is the most important thing to consider when picking a baby carrier.
You need to be sure that your carrier will support your baby’s weight if you’re to use it hands free. At different ages there are different safety concerns. The main concern is usually for newborns. Newborns must have their head and neck supported and not be at risk of suffocation.
Baby’s comfort is important or neither of you will ever enjoy using it. This will require the carrier to have a natural fit. Ensure the carrier will not displace the legs or constrain the baby too much. The softest of baby carriers, which provide good neck and head support, are great for newborns so keep this in mind for this age.
Also note the environment in which you will be using the carrier and find an appropriate one for this. Try and avoid heavy material carriers for warmer climates.
Toddlers will want room to move and back carriers can be a comfortable options for them, allowing them to feel as though they are always having a piggyback ride.
Your comfort will be just as important. This will involve aspects like how the baby carrier sits on you, where the weight is distributed and who will be using it (mum, dad, both?). If the carrier needs to fit both parents it will need to be more adjustable so keep this in mind.
If you have a bad back or bad hips, you may want to look at hip carriers that distribute the weight evenly or front or back carriers that do a good job of distributing weight between your hips and shoulders – you want to avoid too much weight on your mid back.
At different ages, different types of carriers can better suit.
Another thing to consider is that baby wrap designs can feel natural around the house, but may not be so suitable for outside or travelling when the extra closeness can make you both hot in good weather or taking your child on and off may be time consuming and difficult to do on the go.
It can be intimidating looking at wrap designs and working out how to best position your baby for the safest, most comfortable position. They take some getting used to and tend not to be easy to use at the beginning.
After a few times of using the carrier you will no doubt work it out. The easiest designs to use will probably be front facing, baby chest carrier and back facing carrier that go on like a backpack, but there are also baby wrap designs that come wearable straight out of the box.
The real advantage of having a hands free baby carrier is that they are in fact hands free! So ensure the carrier does not involve a lot of work from you to ensure you are more likely to use it and get full benefit from having a carrier.
Note that the carriers do have to follow certain regulations so as long as you wear it as advised you’ll be fine.
Babies are messy and you have to expect that your carrier is going to need regular cleaning. This means that an easy to clean carrier is an essential and top of the list for many people, especially when you are on the road.
The most popular baby carriers will be machine washable, and most carriers are. Some just include removable covers that are machine washable. Some carriers even allow for machine drying, but this is the minority and not an essential on my list.
Baby carriers are great for newborns and in some ways this can be a the best age to use a carrier – as newborns require a lot of holding and this frees up your hands. However, keep in mind that baby carriers can be used throughout a young child’s life and what is appropriate as a newborn may not be appropriate later on.
A newborn also requires more special handling than an older baby as they can not support their own head. This means it is vital that a newborn baby carrier is extra supportive and comfortable. Our pick for the best baby carrier for newborns is below. We also loved our Ergobaby Adapt our third time around with our newborn.
As noted above, newborns need more support and the Beco Gemini delivers this with added support but yet a soft structure. No infant insert is required for the Beco Gemini carrier for use by newborns, but it also can be used for older kids too with a weight restriction of 35lb.
Another big plus, and one that gives strength to it being the best newborn carrier, is that the carrier is made of organic cotton, so there is no concern of harmful chemicals for newborn babies that like to suck and chew on their carrier. In addition to this, it is machine washable and made in the USA.
There are 4 seating positions: front forward facing, front back facing, hip and back with straps allowing for a good amount of adjusting from 23″ to 43″. This is somewhat less than others but should be suitable for most people. Other Beco Baby carrier reviews have not reported this as a problem.
The simple and supportive design includes many different material patterns to suit you. This is one of the best carrier for newborns that is available.
A big plus for a baby carrier can be if it allows you to nurse at the same time as carrying your child. This makes life easier and can save a lot of time. It is especially useful if you are traveling or out and about and your baby gets hungry. An infant wrap carrier can work especially well for this purpose.
The Moby Wrap can be used from birth up to a weight of 35lb, and is the best baby carrier for breastfeeding as it feels so natural; there is direct physical contact between you and your baby allowing for the best possible experience. The sides are high enough to cover you for privacy, and the design is long and comfortable.
This baby carrier distributes weight evenly over your back, shoulders and hips so it is comfortable for longer periods which makes it great when travelling and also making it one of best baby carrier for back pain. However, it is warm so may not be suitable for warmer climates.
The carrier is only slightly stretchy so does feel very secure, and is made entirely of a lightweight cotton.
Note that it is also good for dads, not just nursing mums, as it has a natural fit that adjusts to different body types.
For the most natural nursing/bonding session the Moby Wrap is our recommendation.
As we explained above, baby carrier wraps are a great way to create a level of closeness and comfort with your baby. The baby wrap carrier is one of the more popular options and there are many available. A review of the best one is below.
To be blunt, the Baby k’Tan isn’t a one size fits all – there are 5 different sizes and you need to find the one that fits you, the parent, the best. This is a disadvantage of this carrier if you want one that both parents can wear. On the upside, though, the low price makes it a contender for the best cheap baby carrier.
The 5 sizes range from x-small to x-large and are based off what size clothing you wear. For example, if you wear small clothes, you will need a size small carrier. This helps ensure a comfortable, personalized fit.
The weight limit is 35lb for the carrier. However, generally parents find this carrier is best for babies up to 15 pounds. It starts to get uncomfortable to wear for long periods past this and there isn’t great support for toddlers.
Being a baby wrap, it is breathable and a very lightweight baby carrier. And the real advantage… It is machine washable AND machine drier safe. This makes everything so quick and easy. Also, unlike some other baby carriers, the Baby K’Tan is ready to wear and requires no putting together. For this reason it gets 10/10 for ease of use.
The weight rests on the shoulders, which can be an issue for some people. It also provides enough privacy to be worn while nursing. The Baby K’Tan is a simple and effective baby carrier.
One of the most popular options is the front carrier for baby because it is generally just so easy to use. There is a great range of infant front carriers available too. We discussed above why these carriers are so great, and have listed below our pick for the best front carrier for baby.
Unlike many other front facing carriers that can be a risk for hip displacement, the Bjorn Baby carrier does its best to evenly distribute weight allowing for an upright natural feeling position.
It is a great option for newborns with an inbuilt infant insert, and buckles that allow you to detach your baby from the carrier when they have fallen asleep for seamless bedtimes.
The upright position does well to not lock in arms and legs, but still provides plenty of support. There is also plenty of head support for newborns, making it also one of the best infant carriers. Baby Bjorn carrier reviews also note how lightweight this particular model is.
The carrier has a weight limit at 33lb. It is suitable for use as a Baby Bjorn infant carrier facing towards you until 5 months old, at which point they can usually support their own heads and face outwards. It can also be worn on the back once your child is 12 months old.
For even more peace of mind, the Baby Bjorn baby carrier is also made of a mix of cotton and polyester which is safe and tested material.
I personally own this carrier and found it great when my kids were small, particularly when they were newborns.Click here for the latest price of the BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One.
The best baby carriers for hot weather are all about comfort. You need breathable material or otherwise the carrier will quickly become sweaty and uncomfortable. This means that the fabric of the baby carrier is very important.
This consideration is also important when picking the best baby carrier for travel as you will no doubt experience hot places. It also needs to be solid and strong as it will likely be used a lot.
It is made with from polyester and has breathable mesh panelling to keep you both cool.
In addition to this, the Ergo is a sport carrier, with the Ergo Four Position 360 Cool Air Mesh Carrier allowing for 4 different positions – front facing, front back facing, back and hip carrying positions. There is plenty of room for adjusting it so that it is suitable for both parents and all different body shapes.
This ergo infant carrier also features a natural ergonomic baby seating position for their comfort, and has a weight limit of 33lbs. It can also be used by infants with the Ergobaby infant insert.
The weight of the carrier is distributed evenly over shoulder and hips.
It is machine washable.
Toddlers have different needs compared to babies which should be taken into account when looking for a toddler baby carrier – as do you when you are carrying them. Good weight distribution is going to matter more and more as your toddler gets heavier. Toddlers themselves are more able to move around and therefore it is not appropriate to confine them in the same way we do with newborns.
However, this doesn’t mean baby carriers aren’t appropriate for toddlers. The toddler back carrier is particularly a great option. Back carriers for toddlers will allow your child to ride around on your back where they can still have some movement and see the world while distributing their weight on you and allowing you to be hands free. We have listed the best carriers for toddlers below.
Firstly, it is so lightweight that growing toddlers don’t feel like a burden in it. You will notice this in the best toddlers carriers. Although it is lightweight it really does retain its strength. It can be worn on the hip, front and back, and you have the option of getting a toddler belt that slips onto the existing waistband for added support.
I also believe this is perfect for toddlers for the reason that it’s also versatile enough to be perfect for newborns. This means that you can continue to use the same carrier throughout your child’s young life. It does not require an infant insert for newborns and adjusts for the perfect fit.
The whole carrier is made of cotton, does not get too hot in warmer climates and is machine washable.
It is just as important for dad to be able to hold and bond with baby as it is for mum, especially when travelling to share the job.
Men are generally bigger with a different body shape than women so different types of baby carriers for men will be needed. A more suitable baby carrier for men will be wider around the shoulders and likely be more adjustable. Below is our pick for the best baby carrier for men.
The Boba baby carriers are popular and features of the Boba carrier 4G include an infant insert so it can be used by newborns, and a generous weight limit of up to 45lb so it can stay with your baby from infancy through to toddlerhood as a Boba toddler carrier. As with other designs, younger children can sit comfortable in the front and as they get older they can sit in the back, offering ergonomic support.
Along with the infant insert is a sleeping hood which can also be beneficial for mums when nursing, and even foot straps. There are also pockets and a side pull up for nursing assistance.
The Boba infant carrier is constructed using no harmful chemicals and dyes and are made entirely from cotton.
I could go on, but you get the point. This is a great carrier! This is one of the best baby carriers for dads (and mums are sure to like it too!).
Here’s four more reviews on baby carriers to finish off our top 11 baby carriers.
The Ergobaby Adapt is our current favourite carrier. We love that it has all the plusses of our beloved Ergobaby Original but can be used from birth without the need of an infant insert. This has worked very well for us with our new baby.
The Ergobaby Adapt features a design very similar to its siblings. It has front, back and hip carrying positions and is easily adjustable for different sized adults – it fits both my husband and me comfortably and he is tall with a different body shape. The weight is well distributed over the shoulder and hips and I am sure this will work well when our baby gets heavier as well. The carrier is machine washable.
It has an egonomic seating position to keep bub safe and comfortable as well. The best part is that the seating position can be adjusted so that it works well for small newborns as well as toddlers. This is quick and easy and won’t need to be adjusted often so it shouldn’t turn you off. The top part of the carrier also adjusts so you can put it at the right height for your child’s height.
We are big fans of this carrier and currently use it a lot with our 4 month old baby.
Kids sit on a small foam “seat” that helps spread the weight all over the body, rather than having your child sag into a harness. Children sit on the front and can sit facing inwards or out.
Straps are padded for comfort and breathable mesh is used for much of the rest of the carrier making this a good choice in warmer weather.
The Yokohama is recommended for infants above four months of age and can support children up to 44lbs! That’s great for people who have heavy babies or who struggle to carry a toddler.
The only potential downside of this carrier is that some people find it hard to undo some of the clasps on their own, although others have reported it’s fine. This can make it hard to take the carrier off or put on solo.
The Infantino ergonomic baby carrier is a lightweight carrier that has wide padded straps which make it so comfortable. A Mei Tai design is known to be simple and this is no exception. It is also a rather fashionable design, coming in different colours including a pink baby carrier. The soft fabric is durable and able to be machine washed but can not be machine dried.
The Infantino baby carrier also includes a detachable hood that is not only great for sun protection but means that you can discreetly breastfeed too. It is also lightweight and does not get too hot which makes it a suitable option for warmer climates and travel.
It has an average weight limit of up to 36lb. The Infantino is an ergonomic carrier that only really loses points due to not being able to have your baby positioned outwards. It is therefore more suitable for younger children.
This carrier is also comfortable for the baby as well – an important consideration for any carrier.
It’s made with 100% cotton, so it breathes and is easy to wash. Although the natural fibre helps keep children cool in hot weather it might not be as good as a carrier that uses mesh.
One drawback for the Brighter Elements Baby Carrier is that it only supports children in the 10 to 33 pound weight range. That means it isn’t really for anything bigger than young toddlers. The head support is also not ideal for newborns and babies should be old enough to support their head.
The Ergobaby Original is lightweight and can be used in three different positions – forward (facing you), back and hip, although I must admit that I am still yet to try the hip carry.
I love the straps and how comfortable and well positioned they are. I find it very easy to carry my babies and toddlers in here which says a lot as I have big kids. It is suitable up to 44 pounds and we have carried children in it at this size without an issue.
The carrier itself is machine washable and comes with a hood for baby’s head.
The only downside of this carrier is that it is not suitable for infants unless you purchase an infant insert. This is not a big deal but it does make things cosy if you are going to be somewhere hot. If this is a problem for you, I definitely recommend the Ergobaby Adapt .
Otherwise we are huge fans of this carrier and it works well through toddlerhood as well.
This particular product is ideal for growing babies and toddlers, because there is a lot of scope for flexibility, with six positions available.
The carrier itself is machine washable, and is made of 3D mesh, so you don’t have sweating issues, and you get a cool and well ventilated environment for your child.
We mentioned the six carrying positions, and they are front, hip, back, inwards facing, outwards facing, and fetal position – this means no matter how your child likes to be carried, there is a position you can change this carrier into, and it’s very simple to switch from one to the other.
For the parent, the lumbar support, neck support and padded shoulder straps help distribute weight evenly, cutting out backache for you and it is basically a really comfortable product for both the adult and child. The carrier also accommodations children from newborn up to 45lb, so you’re getting value for money in terms of how long it lasts.
This product gives you four ways to carry your child, with an in facing narrow seat for newborn children, an in facing seat for older babies which is wider, a facing out narrow seat for young babies which has a head support, and a wider carry seat for older babies and young toddlers – lots of flexibility!
A great added extra is the 2 in 1 bib which is detachable from the seat, and protects the exterior of the carrier but also protects your child’s clothes, and yours if facing inwards.
The seat is adjustable on the leg openings, straps and waist belt, which gives you and baby a comfortable experience, distributing weight evenly to avoid you getting a bad back. You can also carry this on the back or front, depending on what you prefer.
As your child grows bigger, you can simply adjust the seat and expand it outwards to allow the right level of support.
There are two ways to carry your child with this particular product, and you can choose to carry it either on your front or your back.
There is a removable hood with a teddy bear pattern on it, and it is all machine washable, to get rid of any messes or stains. The hood is arched to keep the baby’s head covered but whilst still allowing you to see inside quite easily.
The seat is wide and is ergonomically designed to offer the correct knee to knee support as your baby grows, whilst also be comfortable for you to carry too, with adjustable shoulder straps which are padded, and a wide waist belt which helps to distribute the carrying weight evenly.
I hope this has been helpful! What is your favourite baby carrier? Do you love travelling with them too? You can read more product guides here.
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