5 Best Toddler Carriers of 2019

Best Toddler Carriers of 2019

June 28, 2019

Best Toddler Carriers of 2019

Best Toddler Carriers of 2019
Photo by @karissfarris
Toddlers are eager to explore everywhere on their own two feet, but those little legs (and your back) tire out quickly.Best Toddler Carriers of 2019

Wait—don’t put the baby carrier away just yet!

Toddlers are eager to explore everywhere on their own two feet. But little legs tire out quickly…and come to think of it, big legs do too. A carrier that can accommodate bigger kids can be a huge help when you’re out and about and trying to wrangle your tiny adventurer.

In this article:

What is a Toddler Carrier?

A toddler carrier is a soft-structured carrier that can tote kids beyond the baby stage. To reduce strain on your shoulders, neck and back, these carriers have padded, adjustable shoulder straps and a waist belt to evenly distribute your child’s weight. They should also offer a hip-healthy, wide-seat position that places your child’s legs in a frog-like formation.

Most carriers for toddlers also come with a hood to protect your child’s head from sun as well as a storage pocket for your on-the-go essentials. Many are suitable for use from infancy all the way through the toddler years.

Do You Need a Toddler Carrier?

Many families start with a ring sling or a wrap for newborns to keep them tight and close and support their neck. As your little one grows, though, you’ll need more support to carry them for long stretches.

When toddlers get tired or you don’t want them roaming free (think: street festival, the airport or the boutique with allll the breakables), having a place where they can safely sit to catch a rest is helpful both for them and for you. A stroller can also check these boxes, but a carrier is a nice option to have on hand if you’re going to be in a crowded or small space or if you’re craving a little extra snuggle time.

If you already have own a structured baby carrier with buckles or Velcro, check the weight limit—it may work for the toddler years too. (For a good frame of reference, two-year-olds in the 50th percentile are about 28 pounds, and three-year-olds are almost 32 pounds.)

How We Chose our Best Toddler Carriers Picks

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best toddler carriers.

Popular Pick

Why We Love It

Ergobaby is a much-loved classic when it comes to baby carriers, both for its comfort and its supportive, ergonomic design. The Omni 360 features both these things and one more biggie: versatility. This all-in-one carrier features four separate carry positions and grows with your baby from birth up to about age four. Newborns (no infant insert required) and toddlers alike will all be treated to the same comfy ride when on the go. (If you live in a warmer climate or have started sweating at the mere thought of using a baby carrier, check out Ergobaby’s Cool Air Mesh option. It’s packed with many of the same great features as the Omni and made from mesh fabric for improved air flow.)

Keep in Mind

If you’re looking for a similar carrier at a lower price point, Ergobaby’s Original Carrier is a great choice. Although it features one less carry position than the Omni, the weight limit is 45 lbs, making it a great choice for toddlers.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I still use it with my almost 3-year-old in the front. It’s the best. So easy to use!” -Raegan S.

Additional Specs
Fabric: Cotton
Child limit: Ages 0 to 48 months, or 7 to 45 lbs
Available positions: Inward facing front, forward facing front, hip carry, back carry

Temperature Controlled

Why We Love It

Who likes options? Yep, us too. That’s why we’re into the All Seasons carrier. Like its name indicates, this carrier is designed to stay comfy, no matter the temperature. Keep the back panel zipped up for warmth during cold weather and, come warmer temps, unzip it to expose the airy mesh lining underneath. And with six different carry positions, it’s ultra versatile.

Keep in Mind

Since the All Seasons is a longer, taller carrier, it might not work well if you’re on the shorter side. Also, some parents find that configuring the carrier can be a bit confusing.

What Babylist Parents Say

“The Lillebaby All Seasons is versatile. I can use it with my infant and my almost 3-year-old. It is comfortable with the extra support padding, and the zip down panel makes a considerable difference in the temp while wearing on warm days.” - Amy C.

Additional Specs
Fabric: Cotton
Child limit: 7 to 45 lbs
Available positions: Front inward (fetal, infant or toddler settings), front outward, hip and back carry

Easy to Use

Why We Love It

If you have a one-and-done philosophy when it comes to baby gear, the Carrier One is a great choice. This carrier works from day one, without an infant insert, until your little one is about three years old. Even better? It makes putting your baby in the back position a cinch. Just load your child in the front, facing inward, then swivel the carrier around onto your back in one simple motion.

Keep in Mind

Although it features fewer carry positions, the BabyBjorn Original carrier is a great option for half the price.

What Babylist Parents Say

“BabyBjorn is super easy to use and adjust. It’s very comfortable. Having my baby face forward is also a huge benefit.” - Jennifer L.

Additional Specs
Fabric: Cotton polyester mix
Child limit: 0 to 3 years or 8 to 33 lbs
Available positions: Front inward (two height positions), front outward and back carry

Best Looking Toddler Carrier

Why We Love It

Fashionistas rejoice! No matter what your style, the Tula Explore Carrier has you covered with a seemingly endless amount of colors and patterns. You won’t just look cute—you’ll be comfortable too. The Tula has extra padding around the leg openings and a wide base and high back to keep bigger kids comfy, and a waistband pocket for you to stash your stuff.

What Babylist Parents Say

“The Tula was the only structured carrier I was able to tighten to fit my small shoulders and that worked to tightly fit a petite mom with petite babies and toddlers. It is easy to put on when we are out and about, and even a toddler feels weightless for hours in it.” - Katie B.

Additional Specs
Fabric: Cotton
Child limit: 7-45 lbs
Available positions: front facing out, facing in or back carry positions

Incredible Deal

Why We Love It

This crazy-affordable carrier is a good pick for babies and toddlers up to three years old. It has a detachable bib to protect the carrier during the drool and teething stages (especially in the front carry positions), and surprisingly good support for such a steal.

Keep in Mind

This carrier definitely gets the job done, but don’t expect to find the soft fabric and cush padding of more higher-end (and higher-priced) carriers.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It was sturdy and cheap! Loved it and so did my baby.” -Marie

Additional Specs
Fabric: Cotton polyester mix
Child limit: 8 to 32 lbs
Available positions: Front inward, front outward and back carry

Choosing the Right Toddler Carrier for You

The carrier you choose should be a safe and comfy resting place for your toddler, but should also make toting around your little one as easy—and comfortable—as possible. If you can, head to a store and check out the carriers you have your eye on in person before you commit. Then get ready to set off on your next adventure, toddler in tow!

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