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8 Best Baby Carriers and Slings 2024

Look, Ma—no hands!

By Elizabeth Kadar
8 Best Baby Carriers and Slings 2024

Merchant

Look ma, no hands! The best baby carrier allows parents to comfortably cuddle little ones close for outdoor adventures, errands or just to get things done around the house hands-free when baby refuses to be put down. They’re also a serious game changer if you have older toddlers to chase after and jam–packed weekends making naps on the go a necessity.

In addition to an umbrella stroller, the best baby carriers are a must-have for travel too, both at the airport—when an extra set of hands is key—and your destination so you can see all the sights while your little ones safely snooze on your chest.

Whether you’re the type who likes to have options or are more the one-and-done, grow-with-your-baby kind of parent, we’ve rounded up the best, most-loved baby carriers for everybody. Read on to find the right fit for you to add to your newborn checklist.

What to look for in the best baby carrier

According to Brooklyn-based baby-wearing expert, Adriane Stare, the best baby carrier is practical, comfortable and safe. “You want something that fits your body, your lifestyle and you understand how to use it and adjust it well,” she says. So if you’re like me and can’t figure out how tie a wrap for the life of you, skip it and go with something more structured with less of a learning curve. 

Here are the key things to consider when purchasing your own—and BTW, if you can find a local babywearing group or consultant in your area to try the best baby carriers before you buy, it’s worth it.

  • Adjustments and fit: For a proper fit, which is the absolute most important for your comfort and baby’s safety, always follow the TICKS babywearing guidelines, advises Babywearing Educator Jay McMillin, CLEC. “The carrier should be at a height where you can kiss the top of your baby's head and should be snug enough that baby is resting supported on your chest without room to slump down.”
  • Ease of use: The best baby carrier is one you’ll use. “If you end up with a carrier that’s uncomfortable, or worse, you can't figure out how to use, then no amount of bells, whistles or fancy features will make it any more useful to you,” says Stare. “Practicality is everything.” It should be easy to put on—period.
  • Your lifestyle: In addition to factors like your local climate, consider when, where and for how long you plan on wearing your little one. If you’re looking for something versatile, easy to use and that will grow with your baby until you don’t want to wear them anymore, McMillin says you might gravitate toward a buckle carrier.

Best baby carrier 2024

Best overall

Ergobaby Omni Breeze

ergobaby omni breeze baby carrier, best baby carriers Merchant

To say we're obsessed with the Ergobaby Omni Breeze is an understatement. It's our favorite baby carrier by far for a whole slew of reasons, starting with how lightweight and comfortable it is for extended wear. It's also incredibly breathable, which babies who run hot—and parents who have to wear them a lot—absolutely appreciate.

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Some standout features include the easily adjustable and cushioned shoulder straps (which can be worn regularly or crossed over the shoulders for extra support), padded lumbar support for ergonomic comfort and thoughtfully-designed storage. The design even includes clever side pockets and a surprisingly spacious zippered fanny pack pouch in the front to stash your cell phone, keys and the baby basics.

A handy hood helps shield baby from the sun and your boob when breastfeeding too, if desired. To accommodate many different body types, the vented waist belt extends from 25.5 inches to 55.25 inches and is a breeze (pun intended) to adjust.

Whether you want to carry your babe facing in, out, on your back or hip, the Omni has you covered. Fitting little ones from seven to 45 pounds, this top-rated carrier (loads of reviews and an average 4.7-star rating on Amazon) can be used from birth all the way into the preschool years so you definitely get your money's worth.

We love the Ergobaby Omni 360 and other models from the brand, each designed to meet International Hip Dysplasia Institute standards.

Pros

  • Adaptable, high-quality design and materials
  • Super lightweight and breathable so you and baby don't break a sweat
  • Fits little ones from seven to 45 pounds without the need for a separate newborn insert
  • Four carry positions (inward, out, back and hip) for extra versatility
  • Loads of storage, including zippered pocket options and attachable front pouch to carry your phone, diaper and wipes
  • Cushioned shoulder straps and padded lumbar support for ergonomic comfort
  • Hood for sun protection and nursing privacy
  • Doubles as one of the best backpack carriers

Cons

  • More expensive than other brands, but worth it for the superior quality, comfort, breathability and built-in storage


Best budget

Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Carrier

infantino flip 4-in-1 carrier, best baby carrier Merchant
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Nearly 50,000 parents gave this budget-friendly, 4-in-1 convertible baby carrier five stars on Amazon, and for the price, you certainly can't beat the features. Unlike most carriers that offer multiple seating positions, Infantino won't cost you an arm (or a leg). Thousands of real parents rave about how comfortable and fuss-free it is for both them and baby.

An expandable and ergonomic two-position seat with padded head support allows you to safely wear newborns and older babies facing in. As babies grow, you have the option to forward face or carry them on your back because who knows what position your kid will like—toddlers are finicky like that.

The Flip Advanced, despite its name, is literally as uncomplicated as they come. It's incredibly easy to get on and get baby buckled in too. Adjustable shoulder straps and a supportive, adjustable waist belt offer lumbar support so you don't throw out your (probably already bad) back.

Did we mention it's easy to clean? Just throw it in your washing machine and all those milk and drool stains disappear.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly (the most affordable model on our list!)
  • Highly rated by thousands of parents
  • Offers multiple carry positions without the steep price tag
  • Machine washable for fuss-free cleaning
  • Easy to get on and get baby buckled in too
  • Adjustable to fit a variety of sizes and body types
  • Comfortable, especially for the baby stage
  • Great alternative to the more expensive Lillebaby Complete

Cons

  • Can be used up to 32 pounds but may stop being comfortable for parents before then
  • Material isn't as high quality as other pricier options on our list
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Best wrap

Moby Classic Wrap

moby classic baby wrap, best baby carrier Merchant

Both McMillin and Stare are big fans of wraps for the incredible comfort and versatility (so many ways to wear baby!) they offer caregivers. "They wash and dry easily, there are no clips or buckles to break or contend with, and they have no padding that wears out or may not fit your hips and shoulders perfectly," says Stare.

The Moby Classic Wrap is one of the best baby carriers if you're willing and have the patience to learn how to use it. It's made of soft, slightly stretchy 100% cotton fabric that helps evenly distribute your baby's weight across your back, hips and shoulders so carrying them for long stretches isn't such a pain.

Because it's literally 18 feet of fabric, this baby sling is endlessly adaptable, fitting all shapes and sizes and allowing parents to try tons of different types of holds to see what they and their kids like best.

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The Moby can be used from birth through the toddler years and supports preemie babies up to 35 pounds. When you're not wearing them, this baby wrap doubles as an extra blanket or nursing cover on the go. And don't worry—this wrap comes with an easy-to-follow instructional guide to help you nail a variety of holds.

Pros

  • Wrap-style baby carrier
  • Endlessly adaptable with tons of ways to carry baby
  • Fits all different body types and is completely customizable to your comfort
  • Can be used for preemie babies up to 35 pounds so you definitely get your money's worth
  • 100% cotton fabric is soft, slightly stretchy and comfortable
  • Doubles as a baby blanket or nursing cover
  • Can be thrown in the washer and dryer for quick cleaning (or hand-rinsed and air dried)
  • Available in a bunch of cool color options and patterns to suit your style

Cons

  • May be too complicated for some parents who prioritize ease of use


Best ring sling

Nalakai Ring Sling Baby Carrier

nalakai ring sling baby carrier, best baby carrier Merchant

For babies four months and older, Stare loves a ring sling. "Once your baby wants to see and watch everything you're doing, moving them off to your hip is critical," she says. "You can nurse easily, rock your baby to sleep for a nap and then easily peel the carrier off to lay them down, and there's no tying or buckles to contend with."

The Nalakai Ring Sling is a favorite of parents on Amazon, with thousands of five-star reviews. It's made of the softest, eco-friendly bamboo and linen fabric that's antibacterial, UV reflective and extra gentle on baby's skin (and parents too!). The Nalakai naturally holds your baby in the proper, hip-healthy "M" position and is easy to adjust on the go.

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It's also super lightweight and temperature regulating so you're not a puddle of sweat on warm days—and baby doesn't overheat.

For moms who prefer to cover up breastfeeding, the tail fabric doubles as a chic nursing cover. Convenient, right? We also love how utterly stylish this comfortable carrier ring sling looks on both men and women.

Pros

  • Tons of gorgeous patterns and colors to choose from
  • Super soft, eco-friendly bamboo and linen fabric that's antibacterial, UV reflective and gentle on skin
  • Properly positions baby for healthy hip development
  • Temperature regulating to keep you and your little one comfortable
  • Tail fabric doubles as a nursing cover
  • Looks cool on dads too

Cons

  • There's a learning curve to figure out how to use it, but once you do, you'll love it


Best for newborns

Beco Gemini

beco gemini baby carrier, best baby carrier Merchant

This soft-structured carrier receives top marks from babywearing experts and parents alike. " It's a simple and straightforward buckle carrier, without a ton of bells and whistles, that seems to fit a variety of back, shoulder, torso and hip types well," says Stare.

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"It's also small and fits young babies (as little as seven pounds) without the need for an insert or much fuss, and it's affordable."

The Gemini is certified hip-healthy so parents can safely wear their little ones with confidence, and it's made from 100% cotton. Plus, this design is packed with plenty of features to ensure your little one's comfort including a built-in headrest, knee-to-knee support and padded leg openings.

"The waist belt is narrow and curved, and the shoulder straps like to be crossed behind your back, which makes it supremely comfortable for most people," says Stare.

There's also a practical pocket for storing your phone or keys when out and about. The Gemini offers four different carry positions and is easy to adjust for a custom fit.

Pros

  • Highly recommended by babywearing experts and parents
  • Can be used with babies as small as seven pounds up to 35 pounds
  • Adjustable and fits a variety of body types well
  • Four different carry positions to grow with them
  • Lots of built-in comfort features
  • Excellent value for the price
  • Certified hip-healthy
  • One of the most popular types of baby carriers

Cons

  • No bells and whistles, simple design (though we love that!)

Best for plus-size parents

Tula Explore Mesh

baby tula carrier, best baby carrier for plus size Merchant

With 600+ real parent reviews and an impressive 4.8-average star rating on Amazon, this one-size-fits-most carrier gets high marks for style (so many trendy prints and colors to choose from!), versatility and the ability to be comfortably used on a wide variety of body types and sizes—from the newborn stage through toddlerhood.

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We love the 100% cotton fabric and a large mesh panel in the front. This front carry design also offers extra ventilation and breathability during those brutally hot summer months so you and your little one stay super cool exploring the zoo, neighborhood or running after big siblings.

As for adjustments, the Tula couldn’t be easier. With a 57-inch waistband, it easily adjusts to fit most bodies. There’s also the option to add a 10-inch waistbelt extender to fit even more caregivers.

The Explore can be used from seven 45 pounds with no infant insert required. Another feature to love is the machine-washable, removable mesh hood for snoozing, sun protection and a little privacy when nursing.

Pros

  • Waistband measures 57 inches and an optional 10-inch expander exists to fit most body types
  • Promotes healthy hip and spine development for baby
  • Can be used from birth (for most babies) up to 45 pounds
  • Lots of padding for optimal comfort
  • 100% cotton and large mesh panel keep you and baby cool
  • Removable mesh hood for extra sun protection and privacy during breastfeeding
  • Superior quality and style with plenty of trendy designs to choose from
  • Multiple positions (three)
  • Can be thrown in the wash for easy cleaning

Cons

  • Can be difficult to buckle baby in solo due to hard-to-reach back straps

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Experts:

  • Brooklyn-based Babywearing Expert Adriane Stare
  • Babywearing Educator Jay McMillin, CLEC, of Modern Babywearing

This article contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.

This article was originally published on Jul 13, 2023

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