Do you find yourself constantly on the go with your baby?
Having a hard time getting stuff done around the house? Want to get back out on those hiking trails with your baby or toddler in tow?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you need to look into purchasing a toddler/baby carrier.
The best toddler/baby carriers will depend on your primary use.
Benefits of having a Baby / Toddler Carrier
The exact benefits of having a baby/toddler carrier vary depending on who you are talking to or what website you are reading.
Despite the varying opinions, everybody agrees that having a baby/toddler carrier is beneficial for both parents and child.
The benefits provided will vary based on age but here is a closer look at some of the biggest benefits of having a baby/toddler carrier.
- Babies who are carried tend to cry 43% less than other babies. It has also been shown that they sleep better and cry 54% less at night when compared to non-carried babies.
- Carriers encourage healthy mental and emotional development. When babies spend time in an alert and quiet state they are able to better learn about their environment. Toddlers benefit from the eye-level interaction rather than the looking down interaction found with a stroller.
- Carriers allow for easier parenting. Carrying your baby or toddler around in a carrier rather than in our arms allows you to get more things done because your hands are free. Whether it’s doing a load of dishes, taking a conference call, or tending to your other children having our hands free to do it makes life much easier.
- Carrying your baby and toddler promote attachment. The closer your baby or toddler is to you the quicker you can address their needs. The sooner their needs are met the happier they are, so baby carriers also allow for happy babies.
Top Toddler / Baby Carriers Today
Based on extensive research, here is the list of the top Toddler / Baby carriers suited for various purposes, comfort, budget, and age.
|Model||Suitable Age / Weight||Material||Baby Positions||Colors||USPs||Price|
Newborns (7 lbs) to 45 lbs
Material and fabric standards - ASTM F2236 and EN 13209
Wear on front, back or on hips
360 degree carrying
Cool Mesh Panel
Lumbar support and waist belt
Straps for both H-style or X-style
Sleeping hood for support & sun protection
1 yr warranty
Hip Healthy certified for baby
Deuter Kid Comfort 3
BEST for Hiking
Kids who can sit up themselves. 16 - 40 lbs
Wear on back, kid facing in
5-point safety harness for kids
48 Aircontact Pro Foam Padding for air flow
Light Weight - 8 lbs, 18 Lts volume
Sun / rain shield
Vari-Flex hip belt for load control & stability
JPMA Certified Product
BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original
Best Starter Carrier
Newborns & toddlers
Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class 1 approved fabric
Head and neck support for newborns
Size adjustment buckle
JPMA Certified Product
Best in Wraps
Newborns & toddlers
On Your back
Measure 5.5 m to fit all sizes
Economical vs. usual carriers
Versatile Baby Carrier
Newborns (7 lbs) to 33 lbs
Oeko-tex; standard 100% certified fabrics
Wear on front, back or on hips
Baby hood for sun protection
Bebamour Sling carrier
Value for Money
Newborns to 33 lbs
Anti-wrinkle, wear resistant
Use as single hip seat
Can be used as a single hip seat
BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One
Easy to Use
Newborns (8 lbs) 3 years (33 lbs)
Oeko-Tex Standard 100
Class I, European and American safety standards, EN 13209-2:2005 and ASTM F2236.
Carry at back
Form-fitting shoulder straps
Seat area is more than 12 inches wide
Stable waist belt
JPMA Certified Product
Best Toddler / Baby Carrier Reviews
Here are detailed reviews of some of the best baby carriers in the market explaining their key specs and pros and cons.
Best Overall Baby Carrier: Lillebaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 Baby Carrier
For those of you that want a carrier that will provide comfort in any weather the Lillebaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 Baby Carrier is the choice for you.
What makes this carrier so different from other carriers is the unique back panel. The back panel can be zipped up to provide baby with warmth or you can unzip the back panel for a breathable 3D mesh.
The Lillebaby Complete offers six different carrying positions and comes with a 45-pound weight limit so will last until your baby’s toddler years.
The wide seat offers excellent weight distribution, which helps as the baby grows.
The carrier features an adjustable hood for amazing neck support and offers excellent lumbar support. The padded straps offer a comfortable fit with two-way adjusters.
Straps can be worn backpack H-style or x-style for a customized fit.
- 6 different carrying positions with two-way straps
- Removable sleeping hood
- Extendable torso and adjustable side panels
- User friendly for first time parents
- Machine washable
- Long torso not a good choice for petite adults
- Straps feel bulky
Best Carrier for Hiking: Deuter Kid Comfort 3
For those of you that enjoy hiking or other outdoor activities, the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 should be at the top of your list.
The hard framed carrier is JPMA Certified for Safety, meaning it has been independently tested and exceeds the safety guidelines set forth by state and federal authorities.
The carrier offers a padded 5-point safety harness that is adjustable to your child’s size and height. The carrier offers a wide kickstand that provides excellent stability when you put the pack down.
This pack like many other Deuter packs is known for its carry comfort and offers a sturdy metal frame ideal for active and growing kids along with a nicely padded hipbelt for comfort and support.
The pack offers Deuter’s AirContact back system for maximum ventilation and breathability. A step-in side access makes it easy to get kids in and out of the pack, plus the soft chin pad, high back, and supportive sides make the cockpit comfortable for kids.
- Fully adjustable with a VariFit system
- Lots of storage pockets and compartments
- 2 grab handles for easy lifting
- 48.5 pound weight limit
- Height-adjustable footrests
- Hard to store
Best Baby Carrier for Baby Wearing: Moby Wrap
The Moby Wrap is ideal for newborns and parents alike as it allows you to snuggle your baby close while still getting stuff done around the house.
Designed to use your entire back and both shoulders, the Moby Wrap is a wide piece of fabric that is easy to adjust to an exact fit.
The Moby Wrap can also be used beyond the newborn stage as it can hold children up to 35 pounds.
Newborns and many younger babies prefer the front carrying position the Moby Wrap offers. The hip-carrying option is great for older babies and toddlers who want a little more independence while still being held.
The fabric is soft and sturdy and is machine washable. To ensure you are putting it on correctly watch the tutorial video for the best instructions.
Each Moby Wrap comes with Transparency to provide you with exact details about your product.
- Holds 8 to 35 pounds
- One size fits all
- Moby Wrap can be worn several different ways
- Can be used as a blanket or pillow when not in use
- Two bodies wrapped super tight can generate a lot of heat
- Wrap is long (5.5 meters) cannot be put on quickly
Best Starter Carrier: BabyBjorn Original Baby Carrier
If you need a quick and easy carrier that allows you to securely carry your baby look no further than the BabyBjorn Original Baby Carrier.
The BabyBjorn is not an intricate wrap, securing your baby is done via a couple of buckles making putting baby in or taking baby out a breeze.
The BabyBjorn Original is small and lightweight enough to be carried and stored in a diaper bag or the bottom of a stroller.
The BabyBjorn Original only offers a front-carry position, but babies can face in or out depending on your personal preference and the age of the baby.
Front outward facing position is not recommended until the baby reaches 5 months. The original does not offer a waist strap, it only secures to your baby via two shoulder straps.
The BabyBjorn can be used safely with babies up to 25 pounds and is easy for first-time parents to figure out.
- Two ergonomic carrying positions
- Use on newborns and babies up to 25 pounds
- Easy to put on
- Not as bulky as other carriers
- Babies can quickly outgrow it
- No waist strap
Most Versatile Baby Carrier: Ergobaby 360
The Ergobaby 360 has been deemed the best overall baby for a variety of reasons.
One of the best things about the Ergobaby 360 is its hip-healthy design that keeps your kid seated in the natural “M” position no matter how or where they are sitting.
The Ergobaby 360 offers all carrying positions that you will need; you can face baby in or out and even wear the carrier on your hip or back as your baby grows.
The Ergobaby 360 is designed for babies from 4 to 36 months or 12 to 33 pounds. If you want to use it with younger babies you will need to purchase the newborn infant insert for babies from 7 to 12 pounds.
The lightweight and breathable mesh make the carrier comfortable for both you and baby. The carrier allows for multiple wearers with its adjustable waistbelt and shoulder straps designed to fit all body types.
- Easy to clean materials
- UPF 50+ tuckaway baby hood for sun and wind protection
- Adjustable bucket seat for baby
- Multiple carrying positions
- Infant insert must be purchased separately
- No storage pockets
Best Value for Money Baby Carrier: Bebamour Baby Carrier
If you are looking for the baby carrier that offers you the best value check out the Bebamour Baby Carrier. As an added bonus it is also one of the best hip-seat carriers on the market today.
The Bebamour offers a great value as it is reasonably priced (under $50) and offers 6 different carrying positions and can be used as a hip or front seat.
The Bebamour Baby Carrier is designed for babies from as young as three months and can be used until your child reaches 44 pounds.
The carrier offers a variety of pockets for storage. There are a large number of padded straps that can be adjusted to fit a variety of body sizes making it an excellent carrier for sharing with other users.
When used as a typical carrier the hip-seat puts most of the baby’s weight on your waist rather than your back and shoulders.
But even better is the hip-seta can be worn independently from the rest of the carrier for breastfeeding, rocking baby to sleep, or independent toddlers.
- Variety of carrying positions
- Supports up to 44 pounds
- Hip-seat is independent from rest of carrier
- Reasonably priced
- Larger carrier size might not work with smaller babies
- Instructions can be hard to understand
Easiest To Use Baby Carrier: BabyBjorn One Air
Sometimes you just need something simple in your life and the BabyBjorn One Air fits that bill.
This soft baby carrier is one of the easiest to use after you figure out how to use the unusual buckles that is.
If you struggle to use baby carriers with the traditional pinch-to-release clips this baby carrier is an excellent choice for you as it doesn’t take a lot of finger strength to manipulate the waistband of the carrier or secure the baby in place.
The BabyBjorn One Air has the same structure as the BabyBjorn One, but the One Air uses mesh instead of fabric for the cockpit area.
The carrier does not require an infant insert and is safe to use with babies from 8 to 33 pounds. Seat width and height can be adjusted using zippers, while the head support adjusts by simply folding it up or down.
For those wearing the carrier, the adjustment straps are easy to slide and the waist belt can be tightened by pulling one of two straps forward rather than backward.
- Made from mesh
- Easy to adjust
- Holds babies from 8 to 33 pounds
- No pinching buckles
- No storage pockets
- Cannot be worn hip style
Detailed Buying Guide for RIGHT Toddler/Baby Carrier Pack
If you are looking for a toddler/baby carrier pack to use in the outdoors you have two types to consider: comfort packs and lightweight packs.
As you might have guessed the comfort packs are all about being comfortable to wear while exploring the outdoors. They often resemble a backpacking pack and feature an open cockpit where toddlers or babies sit and are considered to be feature-rich. Comfort packs offer strong metal frames and can often hold a child who weighs up to 50 lbs.
Lightweight packs trim all of the bulk and features offered by comfort packs to make them smaller and lighter to carry. The lightweight design and their smaller size make them the best choice for quick errands or just around the house.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when looking for the best toddler/baby carriers.
Not very many people think to check the empty weight of the carrier while doing their research, but it is something to consider.
You want to check the empty weight of the pack because the weight of it empty directly affects the weight of it when carrying a child. Most of your lightweight style of carriers weigh between 4 to 5 pounds when empty.
Your comfort-focused carriers often weigh 8 pounds or more.
Adjustability is especially important if more than one person will be using the toddler/baby carrier.
When looking at adjustability you will need to take several areas into account when picking the best toddler/baby carrier for your needs.
The torso adjustment needs to go wide enough for all users. The hipbelt should also be able to shorten or lengthen as needed. The more precise adjustments the pack has the more comfortable it will be to wear.
If you plan to take the carrier out on excursions you are going to need some kind of storage capacity.
How many you need and what kind of storage you need really depends on what you will be doing on your excursions.
At a minimum look for a pack that has a pocket or two along the front. Some packs feature a zipper pocket along the bottom, while others offer hipbelt pockets for quick and easy access.
When considering the pocket and storage options of the carrier you want to look for a functional design.
Something else to consider with storage is the capacity, how much stuff can you fit inside of the pack. How large of a storage capacity you need depends on a variety of factors, including how long you will be gone, the kind of weather you are expecting, when you are going, etc.
Most people find a pack with the ability to carry 15 liters is ideal, but if you like packing a lot of extras you can find carriers with a larger capacity.
When looking at ventilation options you need to think about both the adult and child.
The adult ventilation is located along the back panel of the carrier while the child’s is found around the seat.
Most carriers have excellent ventilation for children as the opening at the top and side of the seat allow for plenty of airflow.
The seats also provide enough room that your child isn’t absorbing too much of your body heat.
The area of ventilation you need to pay the closest attention to is the backpanel as the designs can vary greatly. Your best designs offer a full mesh backpanel, others will offer breathable fabric or something else.
Where your child sits in the carrier is important.
You want your child to have enough room to ride comfortably, but you also want them to be secure. With safety being a huge factor look for carriers that offer a secure child harness.
The harness design is also an important factor to consider, as you want the harness to sit high enough up that your child can ride comfortably without making you uncomfortable.
The harness needs to provide not only support and security, but needs to be adjustable and comfortable around the arms, legs, and shoulders of your child. For comfort pay close attention to the feeling of the fabric being used.
High-end models use soft touch fabrics, but other fabrics will work on even long journeys.
This name might sound funny, but it is an adequate term as it refers to the entire area surrounding where the child sits in the pack.
The best toddler/baby carriers offer a well-designed cockpit area. Your best options will feature tall side and back to support the child and keep them sitting safely inside.
The front of the cockpit will offer a well-cushioned pad for added comfort if they happen to fall asleep.
The best toddler/baby carriers don’t just consider your child’s comfort; their design also takes the adults to comfort into account.
After all, the comfort of the carrier will drastically affect how often you use it. Comfort packs have an excellent suspension that can handle anything from a 15-pound baby up to a 40-pound toddler.
Hipbelts will offer a type of padding that will provide firm support, as well as the ability to mold to your hips for a precise fit.
Age and weight recommendations
Every baby/toddler carrier comes with age and weight recommendations for your child’s safety.
Younger babies need a different type of carrier than older babies and toddlers as younger babies need proper head and neck support.
Going by age is a little difficult because not all children develop at the same rates, so pay close attention to the weight recommendations.
Many carriers require a minimum of 16 pounds and the ability to control their head and neck for an extended period of time. Always check the specific instructions for the pack you are considering to ensure it works for you.
Carriers often list a maximum weight as well. Always check the instructions to see if the maximum weight applies strictly to the child or includes the child and gear stored inside the pack.
Extra features to look for when buying a toddler/baby carrier
If you just stick to the basics you are going to wind up with a nice carrier that gets the job done.
However, if you really want the best toddler/baby carrier on the market you are going to need to look a little deeper.
Your basic packs offer the basic comforts, but our best ones will offer a host of other features that you may or may not find rather important.
If you plan to use your carrier outside at all you need to find one that offers weather protection for your child.
Outdoor activities can lead to a lot of sun exposure for kids in packs, so at a minimum, you want to find a pack that offers a sunshade to protect your child from harsh UV rays.
Some carriers will offer a built-in sunshade.
This shade is often stored behind the cockpit of the carrier and can be deployed rather quickly. Other carriers offer the sunshade as an accessory.
This style of sunshade will have to be attached to the pack separately but still, offer excellent protection. Size of the shade is important as the size determines how well it protects against different levels of the sun.
Rain covers are also available for carriers. They are not usually included with the carriers but can be purchased separately. Rain covers are great for keeping your child dry, as they offer excellent side, back, and front protection.
They are not very good when it comes to ventilation so are not ideal choices in really hot climates.
You have the option of providing your child with somewhere to place their feet or you can let them dangle.
Stirrups are a great option for older babies and toddlers as they allow them to get into a proper sitting position.
Stirrups also allow your toddler to take some of the pressure off from sitting inside the child seat for extended periods of time.
A great thing about stirrups is they are often removable and easy to store until you and your child are ready to use them.
Other factors to consider when buying a toddler/baby carrier
Even knowing the basics and other features to look for when choosing a carrier there are still a lot of options out there. With so many options it can be nearly impossible to figure out the best ones.
Here are a few factors that you want to keep in mind when choosing the best toddler/baby carrier to buy.
What is most comfortable for you
You really need to figure out what style of carrier is the most comfortable for you. Some parents prefer a body wrap style carrier, which is what most new parents think of when they hear the term “baby-wearing.”
This style of carrier is simply a swatch of fabric that wraps around your body and is tied in place to hold your child close against you.
Some parents prefer the hard-0framed style backpack type of carriers, while others like the lightweight soft-structured carriers. Your best bet is to try on different styles to find what works best for you and your child.
How do you plan to use it
How you plan on using the carrier will greatly affect the type of carrier you purchase. It can even mean you need to purchase more than one type of carrier.
Some moms find the body wrap carriers to work great for getting stuff down around the house, while the hard-farmed comfort packs are better suited for outdoor exploring.
How flexible do you need your carrier to be? Some carriers are very limited in terms of positioning, they only allow forward-facing or they require the pack to be worn on the back.
Others require you to purchase extra accessories to make the carrier adapt to your needs, such as infant inserts.
Look carefully at the models you are considering and see if their limitations will work for you or if you need something with more flexibility.
This is probably one of the most important factors to consider because we all know when kids are involved things are going to get dirty. Young babies spit up on things, toddlers wipe their hands on everything but a napkin, etc.
You want to find something that you can easily throw in the wash for a quick cleaning. Always read the labels for washing instructions before making your final purchase to see how easy or difficult it will be to clean.
How to select the right size of Baby Carrier?
Learning how to select the right size carrier is important for a variety of reasons.
The most important reason being your child’s safety. Too big or too small and your child will not fit properly making it dangerous to use.
Selecting the right size carrier depends on your child’s age, weight, and where they are at developmentally.
Newborns and toddlers are at different stages developmentally, so what works for one will not work for the other.
Newborns are not ready for full-sized carriers. They do better in a frameless sling that holds them securely in front of you.
Younger babies, under 6 months old, do well in slings or soft carriers that allow baby to face into you. Built-in frame carriers that allow children to ride behind you should not be used until your child is at a specific stage of development.
Before riding in a built-in frame carrier your child needs to be able to sit up on their own and must have full head and neck control.
Some carriers require babies to weight a minimum of 16 pounds. Carriers often have a maximum weight limit as well, so you need to find one that safely holds your child’s weight plus the gear you will be packing.
Is it a good idea to buy a second-hand baby carrier?
If you haven’t already figured it out babies and toddlers require a lot of gear which can get rather expensive.
While some items can be purchased used, not everything can. One question many parents ask “is it a good idea to buy a second-hand baby carrier?”
The quick and easy answer to that question is no it is not a good idea to purchase your baby carrier second hand, especially if it is a soft infant carrier.
The reason you might not want to purchase a soft carrier or even a sling second hand is that of recalls.
Soft carriers and slings are known for their numerous recalls, buying new ensures you are alerted to any recalls and are not purchasing one that has been recalled.
Although it is not the best idea to purchase a baby carrier second hand that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
If you do decide to purchase a second-hand baby carrier you want to check out a few things before you make the actual purchase.
Always ask for the model number of the carrier you are buying. Using the model number you can perform a quick internet search to see if any recalls have been listed.
If the model has been recalled you do not want to buy it. Make sure the carrier you are purchasing comes with an instruction manual.
You will need the instruction book to see when the carrier was made and how to safely use it.
In the end..
With over 600 different carriers currently on the market finding the best toddler/baby carrier might seem like an impossible task. And as babywearing becomes even more popular new and often times inferior models hit the shelves.
By talking about different factors and features to consider when purchasing a carrier we hope we have made that process a little easier for you.
Here are our top picks again for you again –
- LILLEbaby – Best Overall – Know more>
- Deuter Kid Comfort 3 – Best for Hiking – Know more>
- Moby Wrap – Best baby Wearing – Know more>
- BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original – Best Starter Carrier – Know more>
- Ergobaby 360 – Most Versatile – Know more>
- Bebamour Sling carrier – Value for Money – Know more>
- BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One – Easy to Use – Know more>
Last update on 2019-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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