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.
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 absolutely worth it.
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.
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.
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.
Nuna is known for its high-quality baby products and the Cudl Clik definitely doesn't disappoint. If you're looking for a luxe carrier with all the bells and whistles, the Clik should be at the top of your list. It's made of high-end, breathable mesh fabric and the shoulder and waist straps are extra cushy, evenly distributing baby's weight to ensure your comfort.
Other features (aside from the cooling mesh) we love are the self-storing breeze cover to protect baby from the elements and the attached hood shade to offer even more sun protection. Also, the removable wristlet pouch is clutch—perfect for carrying all your essentials on neighborhood walks and quick grocery runs.
Another innovative feature is the four self-guiding magnetic buckles, which automatically lock in place and allow you to quickly get a fussy baby all situated and going. A built-in infant booster and easily adjustable leg openings guarantee a good fit for babes under four months.
No need to worry about spit-up either, as two GOTS organic and GREENGUARD-Gold certified bibs are included and can be machine washed for quick cleaning.
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.
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.
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, even while your baby is in it. 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.
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.
"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," points out 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.
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 all the way through toddlerhood.
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 adjustability, 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. It’s super soft too, thanks to padding literally everywhere, from the shoulder straps and wide waistband to the leg openings and neck support pillow.
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.
Dad mode, activated! For the cool dad who wants to carry baby without all the fuss (of buckles and straps and wraps and you get the point), this innovative and stylish kangaroo shirt from Lalabu is a must, encouraging lots of closeness, cuddles and daddy/baby bonding time.
It features a cozy pocket sling that can hold newborns up to 15 pounds and provides built-in head support to keep them safe and shaded while they're tucked inside. Available in a wide range of sizes, from small to 2XL, this shirt looks like a regular v-neck tee when not in use. Throw it in the washing machine to get out the inevitable food stains and baby spit-up.
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