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Updated on
July 11, 2024

Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

By Jen LaBracio | Medically Reviewed by Krupa Playforth M.D.
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Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts.
Photo by @chestlikris

Babies love to be held. But toting your little one around all day isn’t really feasible unless you have arms of steel and an army of helpers to do your daily tasks.

That’s where a baby carrier comes in. A good baby carrier does two key things: helps comfort and soothe a fussy little one and frees up your hands so you can get things done while still staying close to your new addition. Most parents-to-be add at least one carrier to their baby registry.

We waded through the wide world of babywearing and narrowed down the top three picks. If you’re shopping for a baby wrap, we think the Solly Baby Wrap Carrier is the best option. Looking for a hybrid carrier? We recommend Boppy’s ComfyFit Adjust Hybrid Baby Carrier. And if a structured carrier is on your must-have list, we think the Ergobaby Omni Breeze Baby Carrier is the best choice for most families. (You’ll be able to read all about the different types of baby carriers—and how to choose what’s best for you—later in this guide.)

And since babywearing is all about options, we also chose several other top picks in each of these categories for you to consider and shop.

Why Trust Babylist?

Babylist is the expert in baby; we know baby gear inside and out. We talk with parents face-to-face in our showroom and on our user panels and hear from thousands of people annually via our Best Baby Products survey. We know what items millions of expecting parents are adding to their baby registries.

I’ve been babywearing on and off for over a decade with my two children, ages 10 and two. I’ve used almost every type of baby carrier, from wraps and slings to hybrids and structured carriers. I’ve also tested out dozens of baby carriers in my role as Babylist’s gear editor. Both of these experiences helped me narrow down the carriers that made it onto this list.

For an expert perspective, I spoke to Cassidy Eisenfeld, a certified babywearing educator and the creator of Let’s Talk Babywearing, a site devoted to empowering parents to wear baby and get outdoors. I also talked to board-certified pediatrician and maternal child health expert Whitney Casares, author of Doing It All. And I used parent feedback from our Best Baby Products survey of over 6,000 Babylist users as well as input from parents on our Babylist team.

The Best Baby Carriers

Wraps and Slings

Hybrids

Structured Carriers

How We Judged

Baby carriers are very subjective; what works for one parent might not work for another. Keeping that front of mind, we considered the following features when testing and selecting the top choices for our best baby carriers list:

  • Comfort. Is the carrier comfortable for most wearers and most babies? We prioritized ergonomically designed carriers made from soft, natural materials when possible.

  • Carry positions. Baby carriers that offer multiple carry positions last longer and give you a better chance of finding the best position for you and your little one. (We excluded this feature for wraps and slings, however, since most only allow for one carry position.)

  • Ease of Use. There’s a learning curve to most baby carriers, but it shouldn’t be steep enough to prevent you from wanting to use the carrier.

  • Safety. A good baby carrier should support your baby in the proper position and make safe babywearing attainable.

  • Longevity. We prioritized baby carriers with higher weight and height limits so you’ll get the most use out of the one you chose.

  • Size Inclusivity. Not all baby carriers fit all body types. The carriers we chose are size-inclusive for most folks.

Wraps and Slings

Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Best Baby Wrap Overall

Pros:
  • Lightweight, breathable, super soft Modal fabric
  • Universal fit (works great for petite and plus-size adults)
  • Parent favorite
Cons:
  • Learning curve
  • Fabric is really long, especially for petite adults
  • Not a good option for babies smaller than 8 lbs or larger than 25 lbs

Over and over again we hear parents swooning over their Solly wrap. “So soft and easy to use,” “crucial in those first few weeks home with a newborn,” and “just makes life so much easier” are just a few of the I-can’t-live-without-it comments we heard from parents when we asked them about the Solly in our Best Baby Products survey. “It’s one [of] the most useful things I registered for with my first and [I] will use the same one with my third,” another mom told us. “Most other things have changed but this has stayed a constant.”

The Solly is the wrap parents reach for again and again thanks to its super soft, lightweight fabric, ease of use and comfort factor, especially during those first few months of your baby’s life. Babies love it because they feel safe and secure; parents love it because it lets them keep baby close while freeing up their hands to do other things. It’s made in the USA from sustainably sourced materials and is easy to fold up compactly in its self-enclosing pocket to store in your stroller or diaper bag, another perk. And, it’s size-inclusive. (For a full list of size-inclusive baby carriers, check out our Best Baby Carriers for Plus Size Parents guide.)

The biggest downside of the Solly—and the downside of all wraps—is the learning curve. It takes practice (a lot of practice, if you’re me) to learn how to get it on and properly position your baby. How-to videos are your friend here—watch them. I also found it less stress-inducing to put the wrap on in the comfort of my home even if I was going to use it on the go, like to the grocery store, for example. I’d do most of my wrapping at home then pop baby in and finish any adjustments once I arrived at my destination.

Note the Solly only offers one carry position: front-inward. Although it works with babies up to 25 pounds, many parents like to use it while their baby is still young and then move on to a carrier with more positioning options as their little one grows.

Real Parent Reviews

“I absolutely loved our Solly wrap. I had a newborn and a young toddler so I spent a lot of time babywearing. This wrap was so incredibly comfortable. Once I got past the learning curve, it was also super easy to get on. My baby was always perfectly content in it, I wish she could have used it far past the newborn little baby stage. I got two so I’d never be without it when one was in the wash (I also appreciated how easy it was to clean).” — Briana

“Lightweight, washable, easy to learn, cute, packable…everything about this is great! I bought a second one even. It’s really not complicated, don’t be intimidated!” — Diana

“My baby loves this wrap. It takes some practice to get the wrapping down right. Only con is that it does loosen up after a bit and I feel like I have to completely re-do the wrap. Overall this is a great baby carrier for a newborn.” — Kara W.

Additional Specs
Weight limit Newborn to 25 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Best Affordable Baby Wrap

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Universal fit
  • Thicker fabric good for cooler climates and holds is shape well
Cons:
  • Heavier fabric can cause some wearers to overheat quickly
  • Learning curve
  • One carry position (front-inward)

If you want a wrap but don’t want to spend a ton of money, check out the Boba. Like the Solly, it’s made from one large piece of fabric and can be used in one position: front-inward. It fits parents of all sizes and can grow with your little one up to about 35 pounds (ten pounds higher than Solly’s 25-pound limit). And because it’s made from five percent spandex, it does a great job of helping babies feel snug and secure. This is especially great for newborns who love skin-to-skin. “We would not have survived the first two to three months without it. It was often the only way to calm [my baby] down and allow me to do anything,” one parent told us.

Since it’s made from thick cotton (the Solly is made from Modal), many parents say the wrap stays tight around baby longer than stretchier wraps might. But on the flip side, because of this thicker fabric, it can get hot. If you live in a warmer climate or run warm, consider Boba’s Serenity Baby Wrap Carrier. It’s a lighter, more breathable version of the brand’s classic wrap made from a soft bamboo fabric blend. Parents do note you’ll have to adjust it more frequently to ensure the fabric stays taught around your baby, though.

Real Parent Reviews

“This wrap is great! Our baby loves it and settles down to people-watch while being held against me. She gets the safety of me being nearby and the tightness of a warm swaddle. Watch a video and read the instructions on how to tie it before tying it. There’s a bit of a learning curve but it’s a great product once you’ve figured it out.” — Lyssa

“The material is thick, making it quite heavy. Definitely not good for summer, but I may pull this back out during winter/cooler months.” — Amanda D.

“My babe has loved hers since she was a newborn…Perfect for carrying your littles! So excited to use a Boba wrap for my future babe!” — Faith P.

Additional Specs
Weight limit Newborn to 35 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Easiest to Use Baby Wrap

Pros:
  • Super easy to put on, fits overhead like a T-shirt
  • Five different carrying options
  • No hanging tail and won’t unravel
Cons:
  • Not a universal fit; will need multiple wraps for different-sized adults
  • Tends to run small to ensure baby stays snug
  • Some parents complained it causes shoulder pain more than other wrap carriers

There’s no getting around the learning curve that comes with most baby wraps. We love the Baby K’Tan because it has all the benefits of a wrap without requiring you to actually do any of the wrapping. Win!

“The Baby K’Tan was invaluable in the first few months of my daughter’s life,” one Best Baby Products survey respondent told us. “It was so easy to use, so I didn’t need help putting it on/her in it. And when she hit that stage of never wanting to be put down, it gave me my hands back to get things done.”

Made of 100% natural cotton with a bit of stretch, 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.

Unlike many wraps, 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 consider sizing down. And if you live in a warmer climate or run hot, try the lightweight cotton style instead of the OG.

Real Parent Reviews

“Unlike wraps it’s much easier to get on, place your child in, adjust, and go. There is also that peace of mind that it is a fully enclosed and fitted sling that has no risk of unraveling while in use…there is no excess fabric that needs to be dealt with or can drag on the ground. The biggest point to consider, however, is that it is a fitted item that comes in multiple sizes to fit the wearer. With this in mind you want to make sure you order your size, and go down a size if you are in between. It should fit tightly, which at first may cause a new user to assume it is too tight and causing the baby harm, but rest assured that is not the case. It absolutely must be tight.” — Lillian

“I love this wrap! I am 1 month postpartum and I take out my newborn all the time using the wrap. I put her in the kangaroo position and she falls asleep instantly. I haven’t even used my stroller yet because I haven’t needed it. It takes a few minutes to put on and set up, but it is still faster and easier than other carriers!” — Jackie T.

Additional Specs
Weight limit Newborn to 35 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward, front-outward, hip carry
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Best Ring Sling

Pros:
  • Stylish & heirloom quality fabric
  • Easy to adjust on the go
  • Fabric is thick, sturdy & gets softer with every wash
Cons:
  • Pricey
  • Not a universal fit
  • Can be tricky to put on the first few times

Ring slings are a popular choice for many babywearing parents because they’re adjustable, fit most body types and are pretty easy to get the hang of and wear comfortably. They also offer three carry positions: front, hip or back.

Wildbird slings are some of the best and most beautiful ring slings on the market. They’re made from premium Belgian linen that gets softer and softer after each wash and use low-impact, all-natural environmentally-friendly dyes. This baby sling can be worn four ways and comes in two lengths: standard (74 inches) and long (90 inches) for plus-size wearers or parents over six feet tall.

Like with all wrap-style carriers, they do take some practice. Wildbird has a great collection of video tutorials that will help you get the hang of wearing your baby in a ring sling. And because the sling only distributes weight to one side of your body, they’re not comfortable for extended wear.

Real Parent Reviews

“This sling is great to throw baby in when walking around the house and [you] need to be hands-free. The material is thick and sturdy as well as beautiful. I suggest watching their ‘how-to’” video to get a better idea on how to use, as I was clueless and felt it wasn’t supportive at first. Baby took some time to get used to being carried this way.” — Sara B.

“Wildbird makes the most beautiful ring slings, I had a few different ones. I loved that they didn’t look like typical ‘baby gear’ and that there are so many colors and patterns to choose from (because yes it’s for your baby but doesn’t hurt to feel great while babywearing). As much as I wanted this to be our go-to, I found it hard to get a really comfortable seat and my shoulder would ache from the weight of carrying her as she got older.” — B

Additional Specs
Weight limit Newborn to 35 lbs
Available positions for baby Front, hip or back

Hybrid Baby Carriers

Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Best Hybrid Baby Carrier

Pros:
  • Soft and comfy
  • Supportive
  • Adjusts quickly with waist clip
Cons:
  • May not fit well on more petite wearers
  • Can be somewhat complicated to put on
  • Older babies may grow out of it before hitting the max weight (35 lbs)

If you’re struggling with mastering a baby wrap but are still looking for a carrier that provides similar closeness, consider the ComfyFit Adjust from Boppy. It’s what’s known as a hybrid carrier: a carrier that combines the comfort of a wrap with the ease and support of a more structured carrier.

The ComfyFit Adjust is a three-position carrier made from soft, breathable fabric with a touch of spandex and goes on in three steps. There’s a padded waist belt for extra support and wide shoulder straps to help distribute weight, features you won’t find on a baby wrap or a ring sling. I also like the zippered pocket; it’s just the right size for stashing your phone, keys and a credit card or two.

The “adjust” part of the carrier’s name refers to the adjustable waist belt and arm straps to fit more bodies. It’s an upgrade from the original carrier and a very welcome one, making the ComfyFit much more size inclusive.

Real Parent Reviews

“As a mom of seven, all 11 years and under, I feel like I’ve used every baby carrier on the market. Each of them have their own appeals and benefits. This particular one does a great job blending key features into one carrier. The fabric is stretchy and breathable and accommodates both my husband and myself, in the style is easy to put on. I like the wrap style for baby carriers, but I never could get the hang of putting them on quickly or trusting they were secure. This carrier makes it easy to get your arms in the right place, the baby in the right place, and then wrap both of you together in a secure snug fit that is comfortable for both. The best feature for me is the shoulder straps that can easily be pulled toward your neck or outward to change.” — Momof7squad

“I really love this carrier…First, it has a nice-looking, neutral design. The fit is great for me, and I think it would fit a variety of sizes smaller or larger than I am…It’s also just so soft and comfortable!! Right out of the box, it was very easy to put this on. I’ve wrapped before, and I’ve used soft structured carriers and ring slings. This hybrid carrier combines the ease of the soft structured carrier with the comfort of the wrap. At first, I thought it felt a little too stretchy for my large baby, but after the first time, I found just tightening a little further took care of this…I love a quick, easy carrier for out and about. This one is perfect to throw on in the parking lot, and its hybrid shape also makes it super easy to fit in the diaper bag. A bonus is that you can face baby towards you or outward. I love that it’s simple to put on or take off. I was comfortable wearing this for an hour or so, which is about as long as I generally baby-wear at a time…I personally didn’t love that the clip around the waist is way over on the side, rather than in the middle. Not a big deal really, but it did make it less comfortable to reach when putting on…I also wish this carrier had a hood option for baby…Otherwise, this carrier is excellent, and we use it almost every day.” — Beth

Additional Specs
Weight limit 8-35 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward, front-outward
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Also Great

Pros:
  • Goes on easily like a T-shirt
  • Made of soft, breathable cotton
  • Padded back support = comfy for longer wear
Cons:
  • Some parents say the back support is too high for them; can stress lower back
  • Can lose support over time
  • “Universal fit” may not be as comfortable for taller/plus-size adults

The Moby Classic Wrap has been a parent favorite and a popular choice among babywearers for years; however, since it’s just one long piece of fabric, it can be tricky to get the hang of and frustrating for some parents. The brand’s Easy Wrap solves for this issue.

This 100% cotton T-shirt style hybrid carrier combines the closeness of a wrap with the ease of a more structured carrier. There are simple buckles on the sides to adjust the fit and padded back support for extra comfort if you’re babywearing for an extended period of time. It works for all size wearers and supports baby in both the inward and outward-facing positions.

Some parents note that the wrap loses support over time. Others say that the upper back support the carrier provides is good, but that it can stress your lower back if you’re wearing it for longer stretches.

Real Parent Reviews

“I currently love this wrap with my one-month-old. He hates to be put down and had some temp/weight gain issues that benefited from the extra skin-to-skin. It fits comfortably even though I am a plus-sized mom. My only complaint is the back support is not low enough for me. I’ve had three C-sections and have lower back issues. The back support on this carrier is fairly high. However, this is the perfect carrier for my little guy right now. I will have to find a different one with more back support for when he gets heavier though.” — Traci

“I love this wrap! I love babywearing but being in AZ it’s so hot and I tend to feel claustrophobic in most wraps and we both are quickly uncomfortable due to overheating. I have tried several different wraps and carriers. This wrap is super breathable and SO comfortable! I wore my 20-pounder for hours with no back pain or discomfort, and we weren’t abnormally hot. I love that this carrier feels like a fabric wrap but has more stability and also allows your little one to face outward safely.” — Melissa

Additional Specs
Weight limit 8-33 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward, front-outward

Structured Baby Carriers

Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Best Structured Baby Carrier Overall

Pros:
  • Lightweight and ultra-breathable
  • 4 carry positions and lots of adjustment options
  • Stays cool in warm weather
Cons:
  • Can be tough to put on/adjust in certain carry positions
  • Some parents think shoulder straps are thin/uncomfortable

Ergobaby’s Omni Breeze is my go-to carrier and the most popular baby carrier for Babylist parents, too; 21% of respondents in our Best Baby Products survey tapped it as their top choice. With praise like, “we use it almost every day and it keeps baby cool,” and “I love the ease of use and comfort for me and baby,” this multi-position carrier is a good choice for almost any family.

The first thing I noticed after unboxing this carrier is the incredibly soft, lightweight fabric. I’ve owned other Ergobaby carriers in the past, but the Breeze’s fabric is like nothing I’d felt before. Covered in a special mesh, it’s incredibly breathable and was comfortable to wear even on very warm days. That’s not the case with lots of other soft structured carriers (SSCs).

The carrier’s versatility is my second favorite feature. Front-inward, front-outward, back and hip carries are all doable with this carrier. (I’ve used front and back carries the most, but have tried every position.) It was just as comfortable when my baby was a newborn as it was through toddlerhood. And, because of the ergonomic design and adjustment options, worked for both me and my husband despite our differing heights and body types.

Like most soft structured baby carriers, the Breeze can be tricky to get on by yourself, especially the first few times you use it and if you’re trying a back carry position. With a bit of practice, though, I got the hang of all the different carry positions pretty quickly. I’d also like to give a shout-out to the detachable storage pouch. It saved me from having to lug along a much larger (and much heavier) diaper bag on more than one occasion thanks to its just-right size.

Real Parent Reviews

“If I could only have one baby carrier for the rest of my life, it would be this one. For years I hauled my babies around in an original Ergo carrier, but there were a few things about the original that I dreamed of improving on. The Omni Breeze heard my prayers and solved every single issue! The highlights: the waistband is super easy to adjust and very comfy. It fits both my husband and I well, despite our different statures, I can carry my baby in front, back, side, and forward facing, all while keeping his legs bent properly. (No ‘crotch-dangling’ here!), the little elastics on the straps let me roll up an extra strap and secure it so I don’t have a tail. Small, genius improvement! The mesh fabric is sturdy but comfortable and cool, the FANNY PACK! It looks great! This really is my favorite carrier. And while my baby isn’t even 1 yet, with the 45 lb weight limit I’m sure I’ll be using it for years to come.” — Erika Y

“We love the new carrier. It’s so easy to put on by yourself. We travel with the carrier and we love it. Also I go shopping with my son and he loves to be in it and he enjoys the ride and he falls asleep in it. My husband loves the carrier also. I love how light it is and breathable. My son seems very comfortable. I like that it has storage for phone, keys, etc. I can wear it for a long time and my back doesn’t hurt and is so fit on my body. Also I like the sun/wind shade cover-up. So many things to love about this carrier.” — Emilia G.

“The ergobaby baby carrier is great for on the go! Our baby loves it and sits comfy and safe. The only downfall is that it connects in the back making it hard to secure on your own.” — Patience W.

Additional Specs
Weight limit 7-45 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward, front-outward, hip, back
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Best Structured Baby Carrier for Newborns

Pros:
  • Super soft, newborn-friendly fabric
  • 52” waist strap fits a wide range of adult sizes
  • Slim and portable
Cons:
  • Won’t work with smaller newborns
  • No pockets
  • Low max weight

The Embrace is one of my favorite products to recommend to first-time parents looking to ease into the world of babywearing. It’s also the first carrier when I hear someone say, “I don’t think babywearing is for me; it feels too overwhelming.”

A bit of a hybrid, the Embrace brings together the softness of a wrap with the ease and support of a more structured carrier. Think of it as a structured carrier “light”: it goes on easily in less than a minute, there’s no back strap to fumble with, it’s comfortable for you and for baby and it’s an easy way to keep baby close and soothed, especially during the fourth trimester. “I never used my carrier with baby number one and loved how soft, easy, [and] lightweight [the Embrace] was for baby number two,” one mom told us.

The Embrace is designed especially for the first year or so (from birth or seven pounds up to 25 pounds), but I find it really shines during the newborn phase when you need a quick, easy way to calm your little one. It’s also compact enough to stash in your diaper bag or backpack. And as your baby gets older, you can use the outward-facing carry option. Just keep in mind that you’ll want to switch over to a more substantial structured carrier with a higher age and weight limit as your little one grows. And many parents wish the carrier came with a storage option and a hood.

Real Parent Reviews

“Think [I] have purchased 4 wraps/carriers in the last two months and this is my 4th baby so I’ve had a little experience. This has been my most difficult newborn… colic. The other carriers were too big, too hot, just more than I needed. I wear the ergonomic Embrace more than any of them because it is comfortable, quick to put on, light, small enough to stuff in a bag and I can do just about anything without it being in the way while baby stays secure. I have the comfort of a wrap and the support for baby that I get from other carriers…the only thing that could make it better…is a small pocket to slip [a] phone into and a light thin hood that can be tucked away to block light for baby.” — Kayla W.

“Second time mom here. With my son, I used the Solly wrap which is soft and nice to carry baby in, but does take time to wrap, even by someone who’s experienced. With a toddler running around this time around, I didn’t have time for that! The Embrace is soft, cozy for the baby, portable (folds easily into my diaper bag), comfortable for multiple body types to wear, machine washable AND with the added bonus of being extremely user-friendly and easy to put on by myself (with only minimal practice, unlike the Solly). I was able to carry my baby around the airport for a trip and she slept in the carrier [the] entire time (including the flight!). Points to improve would be to add a pocket for small essentials such as a pacifier and a head covering for those sunny outdoor walks.” — Sanchita B.

Additional Specs
Weight limit 7-25 lbs
Available positions for baby Newborn, front-inward, front-outward
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Best Affordable Structured Baby Carrier

Pros:
  • Six carry positions
  • Affordable
  • Adjustable temperature regulation
Cons:
  • Tricky to put on
  • Bulky

Structured carriers can easily run in the $200+ range. This carrier from Lillebaby is under $100, has six carry positions and was designed with unique features to keep your baby comfortable no matter the outside temperature. It’s a great value and a great baby carrier.

“The Lillebaby baby carrier has been my favorite registry item,” one parent told us in our Best Baby Products survey. “I love the hood, I love the ventilation, I love that it’ll let us carry our second baby longer than the first carrier we bought for our firstborn a few years ago,” they said.

As its name implies, the All Seasons works in all temperatures. When the back panel of this carrier is zipped up, it creates a cozy cocoon. If it’s warmer out, unzip it and the inner mesh lining keeps your baby cool by increasing airflow. There’s also a 45-pound weight limit and substantial lumbar support, so this carrier will last you well into toddlerhood. This carrier also has a wider seat than most, which improves weight distribution; just note that also means it has a longer torso, which means it may not fit as well if you’re petite.

Real Parent Reviews

“My baby absolutely hated soft carriers. I got this because I wanted more structure and versatility, and it did not disappoint. It can be a little confusing to set up at first, but once it’s all done, you can just grab and go so easily. It provides lots of support for baby and great cushioning for the person wearing it. The fold-down mesh panel has helped keep my baby cool in warmer weather so far. I have a very curvy hourglass body and don’t have any issues with the fit. I’m excited to use this for a long time!” — Jesskay

“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

“As a plus size shorter woman with an extremely short torso, I was nervous on purchasing because I kept coming across reviews that said this carrier wasn’t great for short torsos… but I’m so glad I ended up purchasing. Fits perfectly and comfortably. I personally wear the waistband higher, almost under my bust to shy away from any problems a short torso might pose. All the features are great. Love the mesh as my daughter runs hot. Style is cute. Fabric quality is great. Once you get the hang of it putting it on by yourself if a breeze too.” — msconfusedbot

Additional Specs
Weight limit 7-45 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward (fetal, infant or toddler settings), front-outward, hip or back carry
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Easy and Lightweight Structured Baby Carrier

Pros:
  • Ultra lightweight & breathable, great for warmer climates
  • Includes hood/sun shade
  • Easy to put on, even by yourself
Cons:
  • Can get uncomfortable during long wears
  • Limited carry positions

Happy Baby carriers are new(ish) to the structured carrier universe and one of my favorite brands for both form and function. One of the carrier’s best features is its weight—or lack thereof. It’s made from linen and is about 30-50% lighter than other similarly-styled carriers on the market, which makes a big difference if you live in a warmer climate or are someone who easily overheats when you’re babywearing.

These carriers are easy to get on, easy to adjust and handmade in the USA. They’re also available in a huge range of beautiful hues (you can see the full range on the brand’s website)—but certain colors go out of stock sometimes minutes after they drop, so you should sign up for their email list and be ready to buy as soon as the color you’re hoping for is released.

Also, less bulk and padding is what makes this carrier great, but what some parents complain about, too—it can be a little less comfortable for longer babywearing sessions or with heavier babies. And you’re limited to two carry positions: front-inward or back.

Real Parent Reviews

“My Happy Baby carrier was my go-to for the first six months of my son’s life. I was initially drawn to it because of the color and just how beautiful it was, but I quickly learned that it’s just as functional. It’s easy to get on, comfortable to wear, and fit my baby really well from day one. I used it to wear him almost every day around the house (while cooking dinner or getting other chores done) and outside while picking my older son up from school. I liked that it was unique looking from most other carriers I saw, too. And the linen fabric meant I could wear it even on warmer days without overheating.” — JML

Additional Specs
Weight limit Newborn to 45 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward, back
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Most Stylish Structured Baby Carrier

Pros:
  • Beautiful, unique designs
  • Comfortable and easy to put on
  • Slim & lightweight
Cons:
  • Very pricey
  • Not machine washable
  • No pockets or hood

As a baby gear expert, I get asked all the time if the Artipoppe baby carrier is “worth it.” While nothing stands out about the carrier’s function (it’s a great carrier, but so are many others at much lower price points), there’s no denying its style. And if it makes you feel better about yourself, better about parenthood and simply better all around, then I’m all for it.

“I just felt so luxe wearing it,” “It makes you feel glamorous as a mom,” and “I would get loads of compliments every time I wore it out,” are just a few of the glowing reviews parents shared with us about this iconic carrier in our Best Baby Products survey. And we get it! From denim and fringe to clouds and leopard, you simply won’t find anything that compares style-wise to this unique carrier.

And thankfully, these carriers boast more than just good looks. The Zeitgeist is super easy to put on (making it ideal even for the early days of babywearing) and can be used from seven pounds up until your little one is about two years old. There are also three carry positions and padding on the shoulder straps, waistband and around each leg opening.

The elephant in the room, of course, is the price. The Artipoppe is definitely a splurge, especially if you want one of the fancier fabrics, Also know that some of the styles and fabrics are tricky to clean.

Real Parent Reviews

“On top of being wildly comfortable, womb-like for baby, and easy to put on, it’s kind of like a moment of wearable escapism. Sure, you’re literally just walking in circles around the same park you’ve hit every day since your second trimester, but for a moment—when the light hits the yin yang just right—you feel like you’re on a boat full of supermodels in Bali. Or something.” — Jane H.

“My family and I love our Zeitgeist carrier so much it’s hard to even put into words. It’s super easy to use (no fighting with cords and snaps which is clutch when I’m alone with baby), it’s secure and supports my back perfectly. On top of that, the prints are so stylish—we have the leopard pattern. It’s worth every penny IMO.” — Aimee S.

Additional Specs
Weight limit 7-45 lbs
Available positions for baby Front-inward, front-outward, back carry
Best Baby Carriers of 2024, According to Parents and Experts

Best Baby Carrier for Toddlers

Pros:
  • High weight limits (25-60 lbs)
  • Extra padding for comfort
Cons:
  • Tough to put on in back carry mode
  • Back strap is tough to reach/buckle

Babywearing doesn’t have to come to an end as your little one grows. This carrier from Tula is specially designed for toddler carrying, with thicker shoulder straps and more lumbar support. You’ll be able to use it from two years old until your little one hits 60 pounds, which for many kids is elementary school age. It’s made from 100% cotton and comes in many fun prints and colors.

Most parents find the back carry position the most comfortable for older kids. Just note that back carries do take some practice, and you’ll likely need help from another adult as you try to master it. But once you get it down, most parents find it a great way to transport an older toddler who may be resisting the stroller but not quite ready to walk longer distances on their own.

For another toddler-friendly carry option, check out the Tushbaby. It’s a hip seat carrier and while it’s not hands-free (you need to keep one arm around your little one), parents love it for the convenience and comfort.

Real Parent Reviews

“I had trouble finding a carrier that was comfortable for me to use with my very tall two-year-old toddler—but the Tula Toddler Carrier has been amazing. Both the shoulder straps and the waist belt are well padded, a huge plus when you’re carrying a bigger child. It’s really easy to adjust. I love the back carry option (even though it did take a bit of practice) and the soft material. This carrier has been such a great alternative for when my little guy doesn’t want to be in the stroller or when I need him close like in an airport.” — JM

“Quality is really great. The padding on the shoulders and around the waist is very welcome when carrying a toddler! Makes longer walks much easier when he refuses the stroller and doesn’t want to walk. Only negative would be the lack of padding at the very front when carrying on the back. I have it on the smallest fitting and still lacks padding around the front of my belly which can get a little uncomfortable.” — Meg S.

Additional Specs
Weight limit 25-60 lbs, 2-6 yrs old
Available positions for baby Front-inward, front-outward, back carry

How We Chose the Best Baby Carriers

  • We analyzed results from Babylist’s Best Baby Products survey, which polled 6,000 Babylist users and asked them to share the baby products they love the most and why.

  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including me, Gear Editor Jen LaBracio, an expert in the baby space for over six years and a mom of two who has written hundreds of baby gear guides and personally researched and tested hundreds of baby products, including many different types of baby carriers.

  • We spoke to Cassidy Eisenfeld, a certified babywearing educator and creator of Let’s Talk Babywearing, and Whitney Casares, a board-certified pediatrician, maternal child health expert and author of Doing It All.

  • We read customer reviews from hundreds of Babylist users and spoke to parents on our Babylist staff about their real-life product experiences.

Types of Baby Carriers

Baby carriers come in four styles: wraps, slings, hybrids and structured carriers. Each has pros and cons; not all carriers work for all babies or all parents.

Wraps

A wrap is a super long piece of stretchy fabric you tie around your body, usually over your shoulders and around your midsection, to create a carrier for your baby. Wraps mimic the feel of the womb and are especially loved by newborns. Most come in one-size-fits-all and easily adjust to different body types, but can take a bit of practice to get the hang of. “I do recommend stretchy wraps, even though they can feel really intimidating,” says Eisenfeld. “I find if people start when they're pregnant, it can really help.”

Pros:

  • Work for a wider range of sizes and body types

  • Softer and more lightweight than other types of carriers

Cons:

  • May not feel like the most secure fit

  • Tend to stretch out over time

  • Steep learning curve

Slings

A sling is a wide piece of fabric that goes over one shoulder and across your torso to create a pouch for your baby to sit in. Slings are generally easy to use. They’re also good for hotter climates as they are generally fairly lightweight. Since they rest on one shoulder, slings don’t distribute weight evenly, making them uncomfortable for long-term wear.

Pros:

  • Work for a wider range of sizes and body types

  • Softer and more lightweight than other types of carriers

  • Fairly easy to get on

Cons:

  • Don’t distribute weight evenly

  • Not great for lengthy wear

  • Limited carry positions

Structured carriers

Also called soft structured carriers (SSCs), structured carriers are worn like a backpack with straps over the shoulder and a padded carrying “pack” that can be placed on your chest or back. SSCs are usually designed with older babies in mind but many can be worn with younger babies, too. They offer lots of support and carry options (front, back, hip, etc.) and many can be used well through toddlerhood.

Pros:

  • More supportive, multiple carry options

  • Higher weight limits

  • Easier to put on and adjust

Cons:

  • Pricier than other carrier styles

  • Not as soft or comfortable as wrap carriers

  • Tend to get hot and sweaty in warm weather

Hybrids

Hybrid carriers provide the best of two baby-carrying worlds: a wrap and a soft structured carrier. Parents like hybrids because they are generally very easy to use and comfortable to wear, however, it can sometimes be tricky to find the right fit for every body type. Not all are size-inclusive, according to Eisenfeld.

Pros:

  • Great balance of soft + supportive

  • Not bulky

  • Easy to adjust

Cons:

  • Fewer carrying options than wraps

  • Can be complicated to put on

Do I Need a Baby Carrier?

A baby carrier isn’t a necessity. You can use a stroller when you’re out and about and a bouncer or swing at home. But if you ask parents, many will tell you that their baby carrier is one of their favorite pieces of baby gear, regardless of the type of brand.

Baby carriers free up your hands to do other things while your baby is safely resting against you. They’re great for calming down a fussy baby, especially during the first few months of your little one’s life when seemingly nothing else will do the trick, but many can work well into the toddler years, too. Carriers can help you keep your baby close while you navigate crowded spaces like airports, museums or stadiums. They’re also great if you like hiking and want to bring your little one along. And most are small enough to fit easily in a tote, under a stroller or even in a diaper bag.

How to Choose a Baby Carrier

Babywearing is intimidating, especially if you’re a first-time parent. There’s also no one-size-fits-all approach. “There are various baby carriers on the market,” says Dr. Casares. “Soft or hybrid models allow babies to snuggle up close to caregivers and can provide better mobility for the person wearing the carrier. For longer walks/hikes, I prefer structured carriers. Every caregiver is different and may prefer one style or another.”

If you’re trying to figure out how to choose a baby carrier or wondering which one(s) to add to your baby registry, here’s what to consider.

  • Longevity: How long do you plan to use your baby carrier? If you want a carrier that lasts through the toddler years, look for one with a high weight limit and multiple carry positions. If you plan to babywear mainly during infancy, consider one that’s easy to get on and creates a cozy environment for your little one.

  • Fit: Ensure the baby carrier you like fits your particular body. If you plan on sharing your carrier with a partner or caregiver, you’ll need one that easily adjusts to different body sizes. 

  • Comfort: Be sure the seat of any carrier allows your baby’s legs to be in the hip-healthy “M” position. (More on that below.) For you, think about comfort features like back and shoulder support.

  • Ease of use: Putting on a wrap is a multi-step process, while a structured carrier is much more straightforward. Be sure you’re willing to put in the work if you choose a more complex wrap or carrier. Also, think about the size of your baby carrier. A wrap or a sling easily tucks into a diaper bag, while a soft structured carrier will take up more space.

  • Material: If you live in a warm climate, or just run hot, choose a baby carrier made from lightweight, breathable fabric.

  • Care: Babies are messy, but not all carriers are machine washable. Check labels for washing instructions.

Keep in mind that there is a learning curve with baby carriers, especially certain styles. Try not to get discouraged if you can’t figure things out on the first try (or two, or three). Get familiar with the world of babywearing, utilize your carrier brand’s video tutorials and practice, practice, practice—it will pay off. You can also check out our baby carrier FAQ and the baby carrier glossary for carrier and babywearing lingo.

Einsenfeld also recommends new parents start their carrier search by asking friends so they can see the carriers in person. “The hardest part when you're looking online is that there are so many options. And when you're looking at hundreds of images, it can get really, really stressful,” she says. If possible, try on your friends’ carriers, or find a store that has a few you’re considering. “Just go feel them, put them on your body. It can be really helpful.”

Baby Carrier Safety

Babywearing is one of the best ways to keep your baby calm and close to you. But it’s crucial to educate yourself on baby carrier safety and learn how to properly use whichever baby carrier you choose.

Remember TICKS

The acronym TICKS is a helpful place to start when you’re using a baby carrier.

T. Tight

I. In view at all times

C. Close enough to kiss

K. Keep chin off the chest

S. Supported back

Always be sure you’re using your baby carrier exactly as directed. (For example, ensure your baby is facing the correct direction for their age). Double-check that all buckles and knots are securely fastened. And, most importantly, be sure you’re monitoring your little one’s breathing at all times. Always keep your baby’s face in view and ensure their chin never touches their chest.

Learn about proper hip positioning

When done properly, babywearing can encourage your baby’s healthy hip development. But when done incorrectly, it can have the opposite outcome, causing hip dysplasia, a condition where your baby’s hip joint may become partially or completely dislocated.

The M-position is recommended for hip-healthy babywearing. Be sure your baby’s thighs are spread around your torso and baby’s hips are bent so that their thighs are supported and their knees are slightly higher than their bottom. Thighs should be:

  • Flexed

  • Supported

  • Spread apart

“One [thing to keep in mind] is ensuring they've got a good pelvic tuck, which tucks their body towards you,” explains Eisenfeld. “This will ensure they're in a good position for their hips.”

Less spread with more flex is healthy, and slightly more spread with less flex is fine as your little one grows. Consult the International Hip Dysplasia Institute for a list of all hip-healthy baby carriers.

Pay extra attention with newborns

Because newborns lack any head or neck control, you need to be very conscious about proper babywearing and ensuring they’re correctly supported in a carrier.

If you’re using a wrap-style carrier, be sure it’s tight enough and snug to your body, says Eisenfeld. “Lots of parents, especially when using stretchy wraps, end up wearing them really loosely thinking they don't want their baby to be too tight,” she says. “And that actually puts their baby at a lot of risk.” She compares a carrier to the feel of a well-fitted t-shirt.

Be sure your newborn’s head is upright and completely visible. “Your carrier should be supporting your baby in a way that their head is not flopping. And ensure that the carrier is not over their face, it's just over the back of their head.”

If you’re using a structured carrier, fasten the waist belt higher up on your body. “With a lot of the buckle carriers, you'll actually want to start with them sitting significantly higher when they're younger,” she explains. This will help ensure the correct pelvic tilt and make it easier for you to look down and keep an eye on them. 

Don’t rush to outward-facing

“Keep your baby inward-facing until they are five months of age and their neck muscles are strong enough to support them facing outward,” says Dr. Casares. 

Eisenfeld echoes this recommendation. “The absolute minimum requirement is four to six months with strong head control,” she says. She also recommends not exceeding 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Front-outward facing can be overstimulating for a baby. It can also put added pressure on the birthing person’s pelvic floor and makes it tough to see if your baby is getting tired. (Sleeping in an outward-facing position is not recommended because of the risk of asphyxiation.)

Watch the clock

“There's no official time limit for baby carrying,” says Dr. Casares. “That said, babies need plenty of different positions for healthy physical and social development. Parents should give their little ones plenty of opportunities to explore their environments outside of baby carriers.”

If your baby falls asleep in the carrier, watch them consistently to ensure they are positioned correctly and can breathe easily. “As soon as possible, transfer them to a safe, flat sleeping area,” she says.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are baby carriers good for newborns?

Baby carriers can be beneficial to children for years, but they’re especially good for newborns. Newborns love skin-to-skin contact and thrive off of feeling snug and secure—and a baby carrier is a safe and comfortable way for you to provide this. Baby carriers also give your arms a break and free up your hands if you need to get other things done. However, it is important to choose a carrier that is appropriate for your baby’s age and development and to follow safety guidelines when using it, especially with a very young baby. It is also recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using a carrier with a newborn.

Which baby carrier is easiest to breastfeed in?

When looking for a baby carrier that’s breastfeeding-friendly, focus on options that allow easy access to your breast and are easily adjustable. Popular options include ring-sling or wrap-style carriers and certain structured carriers that have adjustable straps or panels. And remember, nursing + babywearing may not be easy at first—try not to get too stressed out and practice, practice, practice. 

Which baby carrier is safest for my back?

If you have a bad back or are concerned about putting too much stress on your back while babywearing, look for a carrier that distributes your baby’s weight over both shoulders and around your waist. Focus on features like wide, padded shoulder straps, an ample waist/hip support belt and plenty of adjustable straps and buckles. Avoid any baby carrier that doesn’t have a waistband or that only goes over one shoulder (such as ring slings, Onbuhimos or any hip carrier).

Stretchy wraps fit the bill for the newborn days because you can spread the fabric wide across your shoulders and back, which will help with weight distribution. However, once baby reaches about 15-20 pounds, stretchy wraps aren’t as supportive and it’s best to move to a well-fitting soft structured carrier.

How many baby carriers do I need?

How many baby carriers do you NEED? None. But how many will you WANT? That’s another story. Most parents choose to add at least one baby carrier to their baby registry. Many add two: a soft, stretchy wrap for the newborn days and a structured carrier for toddlerhood and beyond. And if you’ve completely fallen in love with babywearing? The world of baby carriers offers so many fabrics, colors and styles—have fun!


Jen LaBracio

Senior Gear Editor

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and review products, as well as the Babylist Health Advisory Board.