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Best Baby Carriers of 2019

No matter how cozy a swing or bouncy seat is, babies like being cradled in your arms best. But toting your love around all day isn’t really feasible unless you have arms of steel and a bunch of minions to do your daily tasks. That’s where a baby carrier comes in handy.

Do You Need a Carrier?

Getting a carrier isn’t a necessity—you could use a stroller when you’re out and about and a bouncy seat or swing at home. But a carrier is the only gadget that lets you do your own thing, hands-free, while your little one relaxes against you.

Most parents say it’s their favorite baby product, no matter the type or brand. It gives your arms a break and can easily sub in for a stroller, especially if your child gets upset when they can’t see you, or you need to navigate crowded spaces like airports and stadiums. It’s also great to use if you like hiking and want to bring your child along.

When Do You Need a Carrier?

Some parents only use a baby carrier when their child is small—newborn through six months or so. Other parents continue to use a carrier well into the toddler stage. You’ll get the most out of it before your little one learns to walk and wants to roam free.

Most parents swear that baby carriers are a lifesaver, so you really can’t go wrong adding one to your registry. Baby carriers come in three styles:

Wraps: A super-long piece of stretchy fabric you configure and tie around your body, usually over your shoulders and around your mid-section, to create a carrier.

Slings: A wide piece of fabric that goes over one shoulder and across your torso.

Structured Carriers: More like a backpack with straps over the shoulder and a padded carrying “pack” that can be placed on your chest or back.

Choosing one depends on what you think will work best for your family. To start, take a look at these carriers that got the highest props from Babylist parents.

Carriers for Newborns vs. Carriers for Toddlers

Newborns: These carriers are ready for your little one as soon as they are born, without the use of an extra infant insert. However, your baby will most likely outgrow these picks sometime between 12 and 15 months old, so think about how long you plan on carrying baby when deciding on these.

Toddlers: Others carriers will work with your child from birth through the toddler stage. These often allow you to carry baby in many versatile positions. To be used with newborns, however, these carriers usually require an infant insert.

Carriers for Newborns

The Ready-to-Wear Wrap

  Baby K’Tan Baby Carrier $39.95 Add to BabylistBuy Now Amazon$39.95 Magic Beans$49.99 Target$49.99 Buy Buy Baby$49.99 Babylist$49.95

WHY WE LOVE IT

The Baby K’tan has the benefits of a wrap, without you having to actually do any wrapping. Made of a 100-percent natural cotton (with a bit of stretch!), this soft carrier keeps little ones close and cozy. The double-loop design evenly distributes weight across your shoulders and back in any of the carrying positions. Better yet, there isn’t an overwhelming amount of fabric to figure out—it goes on like a T-shirt in three easy steps. The included sash adds extra support and does double duty as a carrier storage bag.

KEEP IN MIND

The K’tan comes in sizes ranging from 0-24, so you can find a good fit for your body. But the downside is that you can’t share it with a caregiver that isn’t your size. Some parents say the fabric gets a little too stretchy (but goes back to normal after it’s washed), so you may want to go down a size to ensure a snug fit.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“Baby K’tan is super easy to use and the baby feels snug and comfortable. It’s convenient to use even with a newborn with the ‘Kangaroo’ position. Even now that my daughter is getting heavier I feel that the support is great and there is minimal strain on my back.” -Mirena

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Weight limits8-35 lbsAvailable positions for babyFront-inward, front-outward, sling style and on hip

Soft & Sustainable

  Solly Baby Wrap $65.00 Add to BabylistBuy Now sollybaby.com$65.00

WHY WE LOVE IT

“Wrap naps”—it’s a thing. And when your baby is snug as a bug in a Solly Baby, be prepared for some awesome on-the-go ZZZs. Not only are the patterns absolutely beautiful, but the soft, lightweight modal fabric is sustainably sourced from Austrian Beechwood trees. Made in the USA with environmentally friendly dyes, you can rest assured your little one is cozying up with safe materials. When not in use, it folds up compactly in a self-enclosing pocket for easy diaper bag storage.

KEEP IN MIND

Many parents consider the Solly a lifesaver during the newborn phase, but then move on to carriers with more positioning options as kids grow. And while the lightweight fabric is perfect for warm temps and indoor use, you may want something a bit thicker for winter weather.

Babylist and Solly Baby collaborated on this limited-edition black-and-natural stripe wrap. It’s available exclusively at Babylist.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“I love the Solly Baby for the infant phase. Long-term comfort, and you can actually get something done!” -Jaclyn

“The Solly Wrap is amazing. Easy to use, my son loves it and stylish patterns make this an absolute must.” -Ashley

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Weight limitsNewborn to 25 lbs.Available positions for babyFront-inward

The Snuggly Cocoon

  Moby Classic Wrap $31.45 Add to BabylistBuy Now Amazon$31.45 Walmart$31.45 Target$44.99 Babylist$44.95

WHY WE LOVE IT

As much as newborns prefer to be held in your arms all day, you actually have to do things that require hands. Meet your new BFF: the Moby Wrap. Babies can still be snuggled up close while you get tasks done around the house or play with their big siblings. Many parents use this wrap well beyond the newborn phase since it safely holds toddlers up to 35 pounds. The soft, sturdy fabric is machine washable, so you can swiftly tackle any spit-up or diaper situation that comes your way.

KEEP IN MIND

Turning a super-long piece of fabric into a secure baby carrier can be daunting at first. Be sure to watch a tutorial video for step-by-step instructions. Practice makes perfect! Once you master the Moby, you’ll be glad you did. This customizable, one-size-fits-all carrier ensures you always have the perfect fit.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“Our Moby wrap was a lifesaver and the best carrier for newborn days. It was cozy and pretty easy to wrap once we got a little bit of hands on instruction (essential for babywearing!).” -Lora

“Best money I spent!! I could do everything with baby in the wrap. Washes up nice.” -Becca

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Weight limits:8-35 lbs.Available positions for babyFront- and hip-carrying positions

The Starter Carrier

  BabyBjorn Original Baby Carrier $79.99 Add to BabylistBuy Now Target$79.99 Babylist$79.99

WHY WE LOVE IT

The BabyBjorn Original is perfect for parents who want a quick, secure way to carry their little one during the early months (all it takes is just a couple of buckles compared to more intricate wraps). It’s simple to get babies in and out—even when they’ve fallen asleep on-the-go. Plus, it’s light enough to toss in your diaper bag or store in the stroller basket.

KEEP IN MIND

This carrier is designed for newborns up to around 6 months. So larger babies may outgrow it sooner than you’d like. There’s no waist belt, which some say leads to back and shoulder strain when wearing it for too long. On the other hand, many moms and dads actually like the simplicity of only having shoulder straps. (FYI: the BabyBjorn Miracle has a waist strap, which is more supportive for longer excursions.) The Original allows babies to face in or out in a front-carry position. So if you want back-carrying options, the BabyBjorn One is your best bet.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“I like the Bjorn the best. It’s fast to put on and way less bulky than my other carriers.” -Mel

“The BabyBjorn Original is the best! So easy to use. Not a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s easy for first-time parents to figure out.”

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Weight limitsNewborn-25 lbs.Available positions for babyFront inward, front outward (The minimum age for the outward-facing position is 5 months)

Carriers for Older Babies

The Any-Weather Carrier

  lillebaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 Baby Carrier $136.34 Add to BabylistBuy Now Amazon$136.34 Buy Buy Baby$139.99 Target$139.99 Babylist$139.99

WHY WE LOVE IT

One carrier that’s designed for ultimate comfort in any weather? Yes, please. The unique back panel gives you more control of your baby’s temperature—keep it zipped up for warmth or unzip to expose breathable 3D mesh. Aside from six carrying positions, it will last until your baby is well into toddlerhood thanks to the 45-pound weight limit. Parents also rave about the top-notch lumbar support, adjustable hood for added neck support and the ease of sharing between parents.

KEEP IN MIND

This carrier has a wider seat than most, which improves weight distribution and really comes in handy (for both of you!) as your kiddo grows. It also has a longer torso, which may not be the best fit for petite grownups.

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“The Lillebaby complete is amazing. I love the lumbar support, the head support for baby, the fact that you don’t need an infant insert and that it grows with your child. It’s easy to adjust between people wearing baby as well. Love it.” -Lauren

“So obsessed with my Lille! As is my husband!” -Courtney

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Weight limits7-45 poundsAvailable positions for babyFront inward (fetal, infant or toddler settings), front outward, hip or back carry.

The Support System

  Ergobaby New 360 Baby Carrier $159.99 Add to BabylistBuy Now Buy Buy Baby$159.99 Ergobaby$160.00 Amazon$179.99 Babylist$160.00

WHY WE LOVE IT

From baby to toddler, the hip-healthy ergonomic design of the Ergobaby 360 keeps your kiddo seated in a natural “M” position, whether they’re facing in, out, on your back or hip. Parents credit the padded shoulder straps and wide waistband with providing unrivaled lower back support and preventing pain (which is extra important post delivery or c-section). Another perk: this versatile carrier easily adjusts to share with a partner.

KEEP IN MIND

The 360 is designed for babies 12-33 pounds. So you’ll need to purchase the infant insert separately in order to carry your newborn. The insert can make babies a bit hot in warmer weather, so be sure to go light on the layers. (FYI: Ergobaby’s Omni 360 can be used starting at seven pounds, without an insert. And if you’re looking for a carrier with more breathable, lightweight fabric, try the 360 Cool Air Mesh.) And while some parents say it’s a breeze to buckle, others think it’s a two-person job.

Parents also wish there were a pocket for holding the essentials, which is a great feature on the Ergobaby Original. However, while you’ve got a place to put your keys on the Original, you can’t face your baby forward. Decisions, decisions…

WHAT BABYLIST PARENTS SAY

“Love it and so does our baby! The infant insert is comfortable for both parent and baby, while providing good back support, even to a postpartum mom.” -Kaitlyn

ADDITIONAL SPECS

Weight limits12-33 lbs.Available positions for babyFront-inward, front-outward, hip and back


Choosing What’s Right for You

When choosing a baby carrier, keep a few factors in mind. The first, and most important, factor is comfort. Will the carrier be comfortable not only for your child, but also for you? You might be using it for multiple hours a day. Also, will it need to adjust to fit another caregiver? If yes, make sure the carrier you choose can accommodate a wearer of a different size. Lastly, do you want a carrier particularly suited for the baby stage or one that will work for toddlers as well? The more your child weighs, the more back support you need, and you’ll have to be sure to purchase a carrier that will accommodate a higher weight. Once you find the perfect match though, you’ll join the ranks of those who love cuddling with their baby and still being able to get things done.

Once you’ve made your baby carrier decision, there’s a lot of other gear to pick out as well. Visit our Baby Essentials article to help you decide what is and isn’t necessary for your family.

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