The Best Baby Carriers You Can Buy Now, Tested by Parents
If there’s any one product that helps you live life more easily with your little one in tow, it’s a baby carrier. Babywearing can be pretty glorious once you’ve found the right one for you and your infant. But before starting your search, you’ll want to consider a few questions: For instance, 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 on rugged hikes?
We’ll walk you through these considerations (and more!) to help you find the best baby carrier for your growing family. Here, discover expert-backed shopping advice, plus our top baby carrier picks for various lifestyles and needs, per our editors and independent parent testers—including this year’s Best of The Bump winner.
For centuries, parents have been gently strapping their babies to their bodies for easy transport. (And we’re not the only species to do it: From kangaroos and sloths to alligators and chimpanzees, baby toting is embraced across the animal kingdom.) “Babywearing has been part of childrearing around the world since the beginning of time,” says Laura Brown, a postpartum doula and babywearing expert based in Los Angeles, California. “There are many studied benefits to this, but most find it’s a convenient way to move about the world with baby, as well as a tool for soothing.”
But what is a baby carrier? According to Adriane Stare, a babywearing educator and postpartum professional based in Brooklyn, New York, “a baby carrier is defined as literally anything that a person can use to tie, clip or strap a baby or toddler close to their body, which typically distributes a child’s weight more evenly across the wearer’s torso and shoulders.” Most modern baby carriers tend to be made from a stretchy piece of fabric, or a durable, structured material with straps, belts and buckles. However, they all serve 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 infants comfort and safety, style and, of course, plenty of snuggle time.
When searching the term “baby carrier,” you’re bound to get an array of results. Globally, “each culture and region typically has a carrier style that is appropriate to their customs, lifestyle and climate,” Stare says. In the United States, you’ll typically find baby carriers that fall under one of six categories. Here, a quick summary of each to help you figure out the best baby carrier for your needs:
Structured baby carriers. Also known as buckle carriers, this is probably the style you’re most familiar with. “These carriers have padded shoulder straps and a padded waist belt, which are usually quick to take on and off and provide good support for a caregiver,” Stare explains. Usually, they’re worn on the parent’s front or back, and some versatile designs can be used for newborns, infants and toddlers.
Baby wrap carriers. Joanna McNeilly, instructor and founder of the Center for Babywearing Studies (CBWS), defines stretchy or woven baby wrap carriers as long, simple pieces of cloth. The difference between the two fabric options largely comes down to your personal preference. “The stretchy version is commonly used in the early postpartum period, as you can put it on once and take baby in and out without removing the carrier,” explains McNeilly. “The woven wrap is similar and provides more support for the wearer, so some chose that option.”
Baby ring slings. A baby ring sling is similar to a wrap, but with a few differences. Stare tells us this carrier type is “a shorter piece of woven fabric that’s worn over one shoulder, secured asymmetrically around the wearer’s torso and secured by two metal rings sewn into the shoulder piece of the fabric.” McNeilly says this difference can have its benefits: “The rings make the carrier easily adjustable and allow the wearer to quickly pop baby in and out.”
Hybrid baby carriers. This option seamlessly combines the best features of structured and wrap carriers. Overall, they tend to “offer the adjustability of wrap carriers and the ease of use of soft-structured carriers,” says Stare.
Baby hip carriers. Relatively new to the market, these innovative designs support caregivers’ spines while holding their infant or toddler on their hip. The carrier is shaped like a wide belt that tends to be adjustable and equipped with a cushioned seat for baby to comfortably sit on.
Frame backpack carriers. Put simply, “these carriers have a rigid frame, are often used for hiking or outdoor activities and are worn only on the back,” says Stare. While bulkier than other options, these designs often have plenty of extra storage space and increased ventilation for added ease and comfort, she adds.
The next step to finding the best baby carrier includes checking out essential features. Below, read about the factors you should consider before purchasing a carrier:
Adjustability. First things first, consider how adjustable you’d like your baby carrier to be. Many options on the market convert to several carrying positions, allowing you to invest in a piece of baby gear that you can use from early newborn days through to toddlerhood. Will you be breastfeeding baby in the carrier? Opt for a style that’s compatible with feeding sessions. Are you sharing it with your partner? If so, look for one that can be seamlessly adjusted to different sizes in no time. By answering these questions, you’ll be able to narrow down your list considerably.
Size and fit. It goes without saying that size and fit are among some of the most important considerations when choosing the right baby carrier for your family. Some styles come in one universal size, while others offer a range. When wearing baby, they should be high and tight on your body, says Brown. “This means baby is high enough to easily kiss the top of their head, with face and mouth visible and snug enough to allow you to move together as one unit,” she explains.
Lifestyle. Consider what your day-to-day looks like. Are you out and about with baby quite often? Then you “might want a carrier that has versatile positions (front, hip and back), distributes weight symmetrically and is easy to clean,” Stare recommends. On the other hand, she continues, if you work from home, you may prefer something that’s easy to feed and cuddle in—“or something that feels good to rock a baby to sleep in.”
Climate. In addition to your daily routine, think about your local climate. Does it rain a lot where you live? Then a baby carrier with long straps or tails probably isn’t the best choice, offers Stare. Likewise, if you’re somewhere that’s often warm and humid, an infant carrier made out of breathable, lightweight material will be your best bet.
Care instructions. Another piece of advice: “I would recommend paying attention to the washing instructions,” suggests McNeilly. “Some carriers might be hand- or spot-wash only, which may be challenging with a baby.” If you’re looking for an easy-to-clean infant carrier, go for a style that’s machine-washable—some are even dryer-friendly.
No matter what style you choose, one thing remains the same across the board: Baby’s placement in the carrier. “Look for carriers that will support the developing spine and hips,” advises McNeilly. According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute(IHDI), in infancy “the healthiest position for the hips is for the hips to fall or spread (naturally) apart to the side, with the thighs supported and the hips and knees bent.” This is widely known as the M-position, but can also be referred to as the jockey position, the straddle position, the spread-squat position or the human position. Regardless of what you call it, when using a baby carrier, ensure that your infant’s hips can move freely while being appropriately supported. Gradually, as baby “grows and gains more trunk and neck control, they’re able to be worn in a wider variety of positions,” Stare says.
Not only does this hip-healthy position benefit baby, but it can also have a positive effect on the babywearer. When wearing your little one in this way, they “help” the process by tapping into your core muscles and countering your movements, states Brown. Conversely, if their legs are hanging down without proper support, they can pull on the parent’s shoulders. When this happens, “we’re working against gravity, and we tend to compensate in ways that may be hard on our bodies, particularly our own core muscles during a particularly vulnerable time postpartum,” explains Brown.
To identify the best baby carriers across the board, we enlisted the help of real parents to test the leading options on the market with their own children. These independent product testers trialed these baby carriers in a range of scenarios—from cooking at home to spending a full day at the fair—to understand their ins and outs. Based on their reviews of each product’s ease of use, comfort, positioning, features, style and value for money—in addition to our own extensive research, of course—we’ve rounded up the best baby carriers to suit your particular needs.
For more than 10 years, The Bump has recognized the absolute best baby and pregnancy products on the market through our awards series. Curious to see which baby carrier was named the Best of The Bump award winner this year? Keep scrolling for the overall top pick, plus a list of carefully vetted baby carriers that are particularly good for specific needs—whether you need an option for breastfeeding, a toddler-friendly design, a hybrid style or anything in between.
If you’re looking for a top-notch baby carrier that will offer you and your little one premium support, look no further than the BabyBjorn Harmony Baby Carrier. Our product tester, a mom of two, remarked: “I feel so confident and comfortable putting my 4-month-old and toddler in this carrier. This is hands down the best quality carrier I’ve tried, and my child always feels secure.” Earning perfect scores 5 out of 5 across all categories—including ease of use, comfort, positioning, features, style and value—it’s easy to see why it’s our Best of The Bump winner for the overall best baby carrier. (Head here to see all of this year’s Best of The Bump winners.)
This top-of-the-line baby carrier offers parents a structured style and unparalleled comfort, thanks to its luxe mesh craftsmanship. The ergonomic design seamlessly transitions into four carrying positions—newborn, facing in, facing out and on your back—and features a pressure-relieving waist belt and padded back and shoulder straps to make babywearing a breeze. As your little love grows, BabyBjorn suggests moving the belt down your hips to evenly distribute their weight. This positioning freedom was a hit with our product tester, who said “it only took about 10 seconds to adjust all the straps,” adding that “it felt extremely comfortable wearing it for a little over an hour.” Better yet, while some baby carriers have a learning curve, our tester praised this option for being simple to put on and take off from the get-go.
Whether you’re working through your at-home to-do list or have a full day out and about with baby, the BabyBjorn Harmony Baby Carrier is versatile enough to adapt to your changing needs. “I am definitely running to tell my mommy friends about this carrier!” Our product tester gushed. Consider yourself a friend and go check out this top-rated baby carrier for yourself.
Carrier type: Baby carrier | Weight: 1.9 lbs. | Age range: Newborn to 3 years old | Weight capacity: 7 to 41 lbs.
“I promise I have not used or seen one like this. Every other carrier is almost the same price and isn’t as comfortable as this one. ”
- Comfortable waist belt and padded straps
- Four positions to meet your changing needs
- Declared a hip-healthy design by the IHDI
- High price point compared to other options on our list
Are you a fan of wraps over more structured styles? Then you can’t go wrong with this top-rated baby wrap carrier from Solly Baby. It’s gained a cult following, thanks to its breathable, buttery-soft feel, earth-toned colorways and easy-breezy support. Our product tester wholeheartedly agreed. “It’s hard to believe that a few yards of fabric could have so many incredible features,” she raved. “The fabric is lightweight, breathable and soft on my skin and my baby's.” She also appreciated how this baby wrap carrier has been certified as hip-healthy by the IHDI for added peace of mind and confidence during extended periods of babywearing.
This infant carrier earned 5 out of 5 scores across several categories, including features, style, value for money and comfort. Whether you’re a total beginner or a seasoned babywearer, the Solly Baby Wrap Carrier will offer premium comfort, thanks to its custom fit and even weight distribution. Even though our product tester had a history of back pain, she experienced no symptoms when using this wrap. “This is one of the most comfortable carriers I've used (and I've owned a few between two children!). I own two other wrap-style carriers and I won't even use them anymore as the fabric feels so heavy compared to this wrap,” she remarked.
Solly Baby has created easy-to-follow tutorials to ensure you’re using the infant carrier correctly, which our product tester found especially helpful. And another standout point: It’s simple to clean! “Pop it in the washing machine on delicate and tumble dry low. The wrap came out beautiful when I washed it,” our product tester noted. Plus, take 10% off sitewide when you buy direct from Solly Baby with the discount code BUMP10.
Carrier type: Baby wrap carrier | Weight: N/A | Age range: N/A | Weight capacity: 8 to 25 lbs.
“I would absolutely recommend this carrier (and I have!) to other moms and dads. My husband was able to wear the wrap comfortably, and I was even able to breastfeed in the wrap!”
- Soft, breathable materials
- Universal fit
- Certified hip-healthy
- Lower weight capacity compared to other options
- Printed styles are only on one side of the wrap
With many baby carriers (including wraps and ring slings), learning curves are par for the course. But with the Baby K'Tan Original Carrier, you won’t have to worry about your new baby gear feeling like a complex puzzle. Its patented, double-loop design slips over a parent’s neck and arms, just like a T-shirt. According to our product tester, who gave the Baby K’Tan 5 out of 5 for ease of use, “this was by far the easiest carrier to put on and take off without any help. I could also place my baby into the carrier independently as well.” She added that she “didn’t feel that practice was necessary before using the carrier with my baby,” saving her time from the get-go.
This wrap comes ready to use straight out of the box and can be configured into five carrying positions to meet your unique needs. Whichever you choose, have peace of mind knowing your little one’s hips are in the natural M-position. Our product tester rated this infant carrier a 5 out of 5 for positioning, telling us, “My baby didn’t show any discomfort while in this carrier. I felt confident that he was safely positioned due to the snugness of the product.” And to ensure the wrap fits you both comfortably and securely, it’s available in sizes XXS to XL.
Our product tester praised the Baby K’Tan’s simple design, which had “no rings, belts, buckles or excess fabric.” What’s more, it folds into a bag for straightforward storage, and our product tester appreciated how easy it was to wash. All of those features make this slip-on baby wrap carrier a great choice for parents who are regularly out and about!
Carrier type: Baby wrap carrier | Weight: 1.3 lbs. | Age range: N/A | Weight capacity: 8 to 35 lbs.
“For me, [ease of use] is the most important feature. This was the perfect carrier to throw on, walk to the mailbox or let our pets out.”
- Unique double-loop design is super-easy to put on
- Adjusts to five carrying positions
- Certified hip-healthy by the IHDI
- If you’re in between sizes, the brand recommends sizing down
- Since it comes in specific sizes, it’s difficult to share with other caregivers
Can’t decide whether you prefer structured baby carriers or wraps? Luckily, with the Boppy ComfyFit Adjust Hybrid Baby Carrier, you can have the best of both worlds. This infant carrier earned a 5 out of 5 for comfort from our product tester, who described it as “the perfect mix of structure plus soft fabric to make sure your back is supported and baby is comfortable on your chest.” The soft and stretchy fabric will securely hold you and baby, resulting in a snug experience for you both.
This hybrid baby carrier boasts a simple, modern design, plus a few standout features that make parenting a bit easier—earning it a 5 out of 5 score for features from our product tester. The easily adjustable, yoga-inspired fabric can be wrapped to fit a wide range of sizes and arranged into three carrying positions, all of which encourage baby to sit in the hip-healthy M-position. Better yet, it doesn’t require an infant insert, and it folds into a compact size, making it a great travel companion to boot.
Our product tester raved about the value this carrier offers, giving it a 5 out of 5 score and reporting that she would “definitely recommend this carrier to new parents and seasoned parents. It's comfortable, the perfect mix of structure and softness, great value and easy to wash.” All in all, this hybrid baby carrier combines the best of structured designs and wrap styles, offering a winning solution to parents of all lifestyles.
Carrier type: Hybrid wrap carrier | Weight: 2.4 lbs. | Age range: N/A | Weight capacity: 8 to 35 lbs.
“I really like the fabric and breathability of the carrier. It's the perfect mix of a soft fabric carrier with structure for your comfort. I also like that it doesn’t require an infant insert and can be adjusted for all sizes.”
- Stretchy, comfortable fabric doesn’t need to be readjusted often
- Certified as hip-healthy by the IHDI
- Adjustable waist belt extends to a maximum of 54”
Baby ring slings are less structured than structured infant carriers and known for being slightly easier to use than wraps. Our top pick is the MOBY Ring sling, which is made from a durable, soft double-gauze material. Stylish yet functional, the modern design allows you to have baby snuggled at your chest or securely positioned on your hip. No matter which option you prefer, as your little one grows, you can adjust their positioning with the convenient D-ring closure.
Chic, breathable and durable are just a few ways you could describe this baby ring sling. Our product tester awarded it 5 out of 5 for style, saying, “The gauze cotton fabric has the feel of linen that is lightweight and yet feels durable and washes beautifully. I feel super stylish in this sling; it goes with my casual vibe and elevates even the simplest of outfits.”
As a result, this baby carrier is simple to slip on at a moment’s notice—and then, when it’s no longer needed, the compact infant carrier can be toted in your diaper bag or purse.
Carrier type: Baby ring sling | Weight: N/A | Age range: N/A | Weight capacity: 8 to 33 lbs.
“The sling has a really luxe feel; the fabric is a beautiful quality and the rings are substantial. I love the brushed finish of the ring hardware. The quality of the materials used is superior.”
- Easy to thread the sling
- Inclusive sizing intended for a wide range of parents
- Made from high-quality, durable materials
- Rings can be tricky to adjust while babywearing
When choosing a baby carrier for a newborn, you’ll want to look for a design that’s secure enough to support baby’s head and adjustable enough to accommodate early growth spurts. The Evenflo Breathable Carrier checked all of the boxes on our list—and then some.
Our product tester gave this baby carrier 5 out of 5 scores across a broad range of categories, like ease of use, comfort, features and style. But what really stood out to her was the support it offered to both her and baby. “This carrier feels great to wear! I do have a history of upper back and neck pain and I feel the carrier helped me keep a better posture while carrying my baby,” she told us. In terms of her little one, she said: “I've noticed that my baby is in a comfortable position immediately when I place him in the carrier. I don't need to readjust him at all.”
The Evenflo can be adapted to two carrying positions—inward- or outward-facing—to meet your changing needs. Either way, you can count on the breathable, lightweight material to keep you and baby comfortable. Our product tester praised the newborn-friendly style of this baby carrier, specifically noting “how the material comes up higher behind my baby's head to keep him from making any harsh movements while I carry him.” Overall, she felt that “this was an excellent design choice for newborns,” and we definitely agree!
As an added bonus: take 15% off sitewide when you buy direct from Evenflo with the code BUMP15.
Carrier type: Baby carrier | Weight: 8 oz. | Age range: N/A | Weight capacity: 7 to 26 lbs.
“I'm very confident when carrying my baby in this carrier and have no safety concerns.”
- Newborn-friendly details, like added head support
- Our product tester loved how comfortable it was for her and baby
- Affordable price point
- Lower weight capacity, compared to other options
Searching for a baby carrier that you and your partner can share? Look no further than the BabyTula Explore Carrier. The versatile design is ideal for a wide range of babywearers, due to its easily adjustable, inclusive size. While using it, you can choose from three different carrying positions, including front-facing in or out, and on your back. Parents will appreciate details like the ergonomic seat—designed to fit babies from infancy to toddlerhood—and the wide waist belt to support your child’s weight. Plus, those with newborns will have added peace of mind, thanks to the integrated pillow neck support.
When it comes to sharing this baby carrier with your partner, you won’t run into any issues. Our product tester said that she loved how “there are many adjustable pieces so it fits my body perfectly when my husband and I switch.” But that’s not all—discussing her child’s positioning in this baby carrier, she told us, “I feel so confident and comfortable putting my 4-month-old and toddler in this carrier. This is hands down the best quality carrier I’ve tried, and my child always feels secure. Placing my child in the carrier is so easy and there’s no struggle.”
It’s no wonder this infant carrier was awarded 5 out 5 scores for ease of use, comfort and features. Bottom line, this versatile baby carrier for dads and moms alike will lighten your load by allowing you and your partner to easily swap between babywearing, whether you’re at home or on the go. Even better, you can take 20% off when you buy direct from BabyTula with the discount code BUMP20.
Carrier type: Baby carrier | Weight: 1.7 lbs. | Age range: Newborn to 3 years old | Weight capacity: 7 to 45 lbs.
“The first time putting it on I had my partners help, but now I do it myself [with] no problems. I love that there are many adjustable pieces so it fits my body perfectly when my husband and I switch.”
- Adapts to three carrying positions
- Waistband adjusts from 27 to 57 inches
- Our product tester loved how secure this carrier was
- Our product tester said there was a slight learning curve at first
If you often breastfeed while out and about, you’ll want a baby carrier that’s supportive and easily adjustable. The Ergobaby Omni Dream Carrier checks both of those boxes and then some.
This carrier is made from 100 percent soft-to-the-touch cotton that’s durable yet gentle enough to be in contact with your little one’s delicate skin. While on the move, you’ll appreciate the cushioned, adjustable straps and lumbar support. When it’s time to feed baby, simply adjust the top straps for easy nursing access in no time. For privacy and sun protection, you can even flip up the UPF hood, which our product tester, who gave the Omni Dream 5 out of 5 for features, loved. “It's hot and sunny where we live, and being able to protect him without adding too much extra heat with a blanket or something along those lines was amazing,” she said. This infant carrier even has side pockets, so you can keep small breastfeeding essentials (like nipple cream or even a nursing cover) close at hand.
Our product tester also rated this baby carrier 5 out of 5 for positioning and value for money. She appreciated how easy it was to share with her partner, and how secure her little one was in the carrier. “I never had to reposition [baby] while using it; he stayed secure even through wearing him for multiple hours. This was the case for both me and my husband wearing him.” She also singled out the carrier’s newborn-friendly design, noting that “no additional cushions or inserts were needed, it's ready to go right at birth!” Comfort and convenience for you and baby—what more could you want in a baby carrier?
Carrier type: Baby carrier | Weight: 2.3 lbs. | Age range: Newborn to 48 months old | Weight capacity: 7 to 45 lbs.
“It was very easy to get baby into a comfortable position! It wasn't even something I had to give much thought to, as it was intuitive given the structure of the carrier.”
- Adapts to four carrying positions
- Certified hip-healthy by the IHDI
- Our product tester wished the fabric was more breathable
- There may be an initial learning curve
Luckily, finding a standout plus-size baby carrier isn’t as challenging as it has been in the past. Case in point: The KeaBabies Original Wrap Carrier. The universal fit accommodates sizes from XS to 3XL and is made from sturdy, stretchy fabric intended to keep baby snug for extended periods of time. You’ll also appreciate how the material has just the right amount of elasticity, so you won’t need to worry about readjusting your little love while your hands are full.
When wearing this baby wrap carrier, you’ll notice how it evenly distributes baby’s weight, supporting parent and child. When discussing the fit of the wrap carrier, our plus-size product tester said, “it was very easy to get the baby in a comfortable position from the very beginning; adjusting his arms and legs caused no problems. The right material is very forgiving and adjusted to both our bodies easily.” She gave the KeaBabies Original Wrap 5 out of 5 scores for comfort, ease of use and value for money—thanks to its versatile style, this wrap could also be a great baby carrier for dad.
If that’s not enough, this baby carrier wrap is priced at under $30 at most online retailers, making it an affordable choice to boot. “I’m surprised it doesn’t cost more, since the material is so thick and definitely a good value for the price,” our product tester shared. Now comes the hard part: Picking which of the many color options you like best!
Carrier type: Baby wrap carrier | Weight: N/A | Age range: 1 month to 3 years old | Weight capacity: N/A
“Wearing the carrier was definitely comfortable. The material is soft and stretchy. The crosses in the back weren’t tight and didn’t dig into my skin as I anticipated they would over time. It actually caused no discomfort after wearing a wrap for over 30 minutes.”
- Stretchy, durable material is comfortable for parent and baby
- Inclusive design fits sizes XS to 3XL
- Affordable price point
- Our product tester wished the wrap was a bit more stylish
Picking out the best baby carrier for your family doesn’t mean you’ll have to spend a small fortune. Take the Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier, for instance, which is available at a budget-friendly price point at most retailers. According to our product tester, who gave this carrier an emphatic 5 out of 5 for value, “this carrier is definitely worth the money, and the price point is very fair considering the quality, and the fact that my baby feels more secure and comfy in this carrier than other, far more expensive carriers we’ve tried.”
Just because you’ll be saving money doesn’t mean you’ll be missing out on top-notch features with this baby carrier. Our product tester loved that it seamlessly converts into four carrying positions, which means it can continue to meet your little one’s ever-changing developmental stages. Our product tester rated it 5 out 5 for features and positioning, specifically highlighting that “unlike every other carrier I’ve tried, this is the only one that holds [my baby] securely without getting too tight on her neck. She is so much more comfortable in this carrier because of that space.”
With the Infantino Flip 4-in-1, you can ensure baby’s hips will be in the healthiest M-position every step of the way, due to this design’s ergonomic seat. Better yet, as a babywearer, you’ll feel secure as you move throughout your day, thanks to the adjustable waist belt (hello lumbar support!). As our product tester said, “The carrier itself is very light and comfortable, so I thoroughly enjoy it. Especially for the price, I think it’s the best!”
Carrier type: Baby carrier | Weight: 1.3 lbs. | Age range: N/A | Weight capacity: 8 to 32 lbs.
“I would definitely recommend this carrier to anyone with a baby since the quality is great, it’s easy to use and adjust and will grow with your baby. My baby is more happy and comfy in this carrier than any other carrier we have tried!”
- Ergonomic seat encourages hip-healthy M-position
- Transitions into four carrying positions
- Adjustable belt offers lumbar support
- Affordable price point
- Straps are very long
Baby hip carriers are thoughtfully crafted to reduce strain on your spine while holding your little one. The innovative, high-quality design of the Tushbaby Hip Carrier features a memory foam-lined hip seat, supporting baby’s hips by encouraging them to sit in the M-position. Plus, it can be adjusted to face-to-face, side-carrying or front-facing carrying styles, as well as offer support during breastfeeding sessions.
Even though the Tushbaby’s unique design is relatively new to the babywearing world, it quickly made a believer out of our product tester; she rated the infant carrier a 5 out of 5 for comfort. “I was not expecting it to be as comfortable as it was,” she said. “It took all the pressure off my back when I held my baby. I wore it to a girls' lunch—a total of two to three hours—and he felt like a feather the whole time.” This baby hip carrier also earned top marks in several other categories, like ease of use, positioning, features and style.
Moreover, on-the-go parents will appreciate how this baby carrier doubles as a fanny pack diaper bag. Complete with five pockets, the clever style lets you seamlessly tote all of your (and even some of baby’s) daily essentials. “I love how it had so much storage. I could have left my purse at home and just worn the carrier because it had a spot for my keys, phone, bottles and more,” our product tester told us. Plus, the Tushbaby is a chic option to boot: “It’s super stylish and goes with every outfit,” our tester gushed. “I even got a compliment on it from another mom at the splash park!”
Carrier type: Baby hip carrier | Weight: 1 lb. | Age range: Newborn to 3 years old | Weight capacity: 8 to 45 lbs.
“Placing [my child] on the carrier came naturally to him. He looked a lot more comfortable and he was super happy to not be in the stroller.”
- Memory foam-lined seat supports baby’s hips
- Doubles as a fanny pack diaper bag
- Adjusts to four carrying positions
- Can be used as breastfeeding support
- Waistband extender sold separately
Spending time outside with your little one offers a number of benefits, but when they’re not big enough to walk and too big to carry in your arms the whole way, a backpack carrier—like the Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier—can help out. Our product tester loved how this hiking baby carrier allowed her and her partner to share one of their favorite activities with their child. “My husband and I have always loved hiking, so being able to include our young son is so exciting. We quickly found the Deuter Kid Comfort to be very nice quality,” she remarked. The cleverly designed backpack will evenly distribute your child’s weight, ensuring a comfortable journey for everyone involved. Better yet, this toddler carrier has plenty of durable, adjustable straps to help parents find the perfect fit every time.
The framed backpack earned 5 out of 5 scores across a broad range of categories, including ease of use, features and comfort. It’s equipped with a mesh back system that’s fully ventilated to keep parents and kiddos cool, especially on warm days. Our product tester noted that “even in the very hot weather, it was breathable.” While seated in this carrier, you can count on your little one being supported, thanks to the soft cushion where they can rest their head for a quick break (or even a longer nap!). You can also trust they’re safely secured with the five-point harness, which has bright yellow buckles for easy spotting. Taking your child in and out is just as easy: You can set the pack down on the ground using the pull-out kickstand and unclip the side buckle for more room as you slide baby in.
Our product tester was impressed with the high-quality look and construction of this frame backpack, awarding it an additional 5 out of 5 score for value and telling us that “the materials used on every inch look thought-out and well made.” To sum it up, this sturdy, supportive carrier is a must-have for families who love spending time outdoors.
Carrier type: Frame backpack carrier | Weight: 7.1 lbs. | Age range: 9 months+ | Weight capacity: 19.8 to 48.5 lbs.
“I was very surprised by the quality of this product. It felt very upscale and overall like a luxury item. It was breathable, easy to adjust, comfortable and secure while wearing.”
- Well-ventilated design for parent and child’s comfort
- Supportive details like a head cushion for toddlers
- Storage pocket for parent and baby essentials
- Harness crotch buckles can be hard to reach
- High price point
Wondering if you can still use a baby carrier past the one-year mark? The answer is yes, but you’ll want to make sure you have a design that’s been specifically designed with bigger tots in mind—just like this versatile option from Ergobaby. The Omni Breeze Baby Carrier can be used from infancy through to toddlerhood, so you can count on it for years to come (literally).
The clever style can be transformed into the four positions that you know and love, like forward-facing in, forward-facing out, hip carry and back carry. From park playdates and daycare commutes to working through your at-home to-do list, this toddler carrier will keep your little one close and supported. Our product tester even wore it to a festival for four hours. The verdict? She never got uncomfortable with her child in it. “The strap that goes on your lower back is very supportive. Usually, I’m in pain after an hour, but this carrier has so much support in all the right places,” she told us, giving the Omni Breeze 5 out of 5 scores for ease of use and comfort.
The highlight of this baby and toddler carrier has to be how effortlessly it positions tots in a happy, healthy way. “[My child’s hips] aligned perfectly with mine as she sat in the carrier,” said our product tester, who gave the carrier additional 5 out of 5 scores for positioning and features. “She had no trouble breathing or being too hot as the sides are completely open, which I love!” She added that the Omni Breeze is “durable, comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and easy”—so if you need a workhorse that not only follows your little one from newborn to toddler, but looks and feels good to boot, this is the toddler carrier for you.
Carrier type: Toddler carrier | Weight: 2 lbs. | Age range: Newborn to 48 months old | Weight capacity: 7 to 45 lbs.
“I got a lot of compliments on this carrier from random people at the festival!”
- Transitions into four carrying positions
- Can be used from infancy through to toddlerhood
- Made from ultra-breathable mesh material
- Certified hip-healthy by the IHDI
- Can be hard to take off while also holding your child
We get it—you love your little one to bits, but you can’t hold them 24/7. That’s where a top-rated baby carrier comes in handy. To streamline your decision-making process, we first researched dozens of designs on the market, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through online retailers and user reviews. From there, we enlisted the help of parents of newborns, infants and toddlers (just like you!) who tested the products for several days, assessing each on level of comfort, ease of use, style, positioning, features and value for money.
We stacked this rigorous testing against our own research and expertise to bestow the prestigious Best of The Bump award to the overall best baby carrier. We then used the testing results to identify other standout options that are particularly good for specific needs, so you can find exactly the right product for your lifestyle.
Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.
As with any other parenting gear item, you’ll want to make sure you’re using your baby carrier correctly to ensure safety and comfort for both you and your little one. According to Stare, your carrier should always be snug, with no extra gaps. Another piece of advice? “Instead of feeling like you need to fit baby into your carrier, try instead to choose or adjust a carrier to fit around baby, just like you’d naturally support them in your arms,” Stare says. This should include the way you cradle their neck, spine and legs, as well as the height they sit on your chest.
Totally new to babywearing? Don’t sweat it. Brown recommends that you take a deep breath and get moving, as this is the best way to introduce your little one to the carrier. “Start with a well-fed baby with a fresh diaper, and get walking at a brisk pace, bouncing and swaying,” she recommends. “If baby doesn’t like being worn, seek some help; there’s so much to do to troubleshoot.” That’s where the help of a babywearing community groups and experts can offer help and advice unique to your situation.
But don’t be deterred if it doesn’t go perfectly smoothly on the first try. “If the baby cries, it’s okay,” McNeilly says. “You might be nervous, and baby picks that up. Just pause and rock or soothe baby, then continue.” With all of these tips, you’re bound to be a babywearing pro in no time!
About the writer:
Emma is an e-commerce editor for The Bump. She specializes in writing product roundups, ranging from perfect push presents to the best toddler water bottles and everything in between. Emma aims to create engaging, helpful articles that parents and parents-to-be can relate to.
Joanna McNeilly is the instructor and founder of the Center for Babywearing Studies, which provides training and certification programs related to babywearing. She has been a New York-based babywearing expert for 15 years and is a certified carrying consultant as well as a certified lactation consultant. McNeilly has participated in numerous notable events, speeches and lectures, such as the NYU Langone Hip Dysplasia Symposium in New York City.
Laura Brown is a postpartum doula and babywearing expert based in Los Angeles, California. She is the founder and director of BabywearingLA, the founder of Babywearinghelp.org and the co-founder of SoCal Babywearers. Brown has also undergone training at several institutions, including CBWS.
Adriane Stare is a babywearing educator and postpartum professional based in Brooklyn, New York. She has 14 years of experience helping families get comfy in their baby carriers, and is a member of the East River Doula Collective and a babywearing Expert and panelist for HiPhoebe.com. In 2010, Stare founded Caribou Baby and Wild Was Mama, two natural baby and maternity retail stores and class spaces in Brooklyn.
International Hip Dysplasia Institute, Baby Carriers & Other Equipment
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