Carrying your baby in a carrier has numerous benefits both for parent and baby. Baby carriers give parents an easy, hands-free way to transport their child without the need for a stroller. They also are great for bonding with your child by holding him or her close to you. Some research has found that babies who are worn in a carrier are less fussy than their non-worn counterparts. Being worn close to her mother may remind your baby of being in the womb. As a parent, wearing your baby allows you to keep your hands free so you can take care of tasks around the house. Plus, it's easier to carry your baby up or down stairs or through crowded areas when using a carrier rather than a stroller, making you more mobile.
When choosing a baby carrier, there are a number of factors to consider. Think about the size of your baby, and how long you intend to use the carrier since your baby will grow and baby carriers have weight limits. Think about comfort – both what is comfortable for you, as well as what is comfortable for your baby. Safety and durability are very important. We personally like carriers that allow you to carry the baby in more than one position. If you live in a hot climate, you also want a carrier that will keep your baby cool. The carrier should be easy to use, and finally, a decent price never hurts! We've considered all of these factors when reviewing the top baby carriers, bringing you the following recommendations.
Best Overall: Ergobaby Omni 360 All-in-One
The Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier is suitable for babies and toddlers weighing between 7 and 45 pounds, meaning that you can use it for years. There is no need for an infant insert as long as the baby weighs at least 7 pounds. A padded lumbar support waist belt and padded shoulder straps help to keep the wearer comfortable. The waist belt adjusts from 26 to 52 inches, while the crossable shoulder straps adjust from 28 3/4 inches to 48 3/4 inches. Reviewers felt very comfortable wearing this carrier, and the babies seemed comfortable and happy as well. Some testers had a little difficulty reaching the back clasp.
Great for Hot Weather: Lillebaby Complete Airflow
The Lillebaby Complete Airflow is designed to keep babies feeling comfortable in warm weather. It's made with breathable mesh to maximize airflow to baby. The material is BPA -free, phthalate-free, latex-free, and lead-free. The baby can be worn front facing (fetal or toddler heights), front facing out, on the back or hip. It is good for babies and toddlers weighing between 7 and 45 pounds. Unlike the Lillebaby Essentials carrier, this one does not require the use of an insert for babies on the smaller end of the recommended weight spectrum. It comes with lumbar support to maintain posture and prevent back strain, though some shorter reviewers found it uncomfortable.
Most Popular: BabyBjorn Carrier One
BabyBjorn is possibly the best-known baby carrier, so we definitely wanted to review it. It is intended for babies weighing between 8 pounds and 33 pounds. The carrier adjusts to your baby's size as he or she grows. There is a built-in infant insert so no need to buy a separate one. There is an adjustable head support for your newborn that you can choose to tuck away once his or her neck is strong enough to hold their head up alone. For babies facing out, the recommended weight is no more than 26 pounds. There is no sun hood, and we wish there was a zippered pocket. This carrier is made from 60% cotton and 40% polyester, with a 100% cotton lining.
A Carrier with UVA/UVB Protection: Beco Gemini Performance Baby Carrier
The Beco Gemini Carrier supports babies weighing between 7 and 35 pounds, so you can use it for years. We liked that you can use it without an infant insert. It felt comfortable for the adults testing the carrier. The carrier has padded crossable shoulder straps that are adjustable from 23 to 45 inches. The supportive waist belt is adjustable from 27 to 59 inches to promote comfort for different body sizes. The safety buckle could be annoying for some, as you need two hands to undo it. Then again, it provides more security this way, as it prevents older children from undoing the buckle. This carrier has SPF 50 UVA/UVB protection to protection the baby and wearer, though it does not have a sun shade. Additionally, the overall style was pleasing to the eye.
Best Budget: Lillebaby 4 in 1 Essentials All Seasons
The Lillebaby 4 in 1 Essentials All Seasons baby carrier is good for babies and toddlers weighing between 7 and 45 pounds, so it can easily last you for years. For children between 7 and 15 pounds, it is recommended that you use an infant insert as well (sold separately). The adjustable seat grows with your baby to toddlerhood. They boast that you can carry your baby in four positions, but it seemed to us that there are really only three: front facing in (which Lillebaby has divided into two carrying positions – infant and toddler), hip, and back. There is no forward-facing option.
Another Good Choice: Baby Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier
The Baby Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier is intended for babies and toddlers weighing between 7 and 45 pounds with no infant insert necessary. TYour baby can be worn in the front (facing in only, not facing out) or back. The padded shoulder straps are adjustable but do not cross, which would have been a nice option to have. The hip belt can be adjusted from 27 inches to 57 inches. It takes a little time to feel comfortable putting it on, and reviewers didn't feel like it was as sturdy as the other carriers. It does not have International Hip Dysplasia Institute certification.
Finding the right baby carrier for parents and baby is important. Many people use their baby carrier on a daily basis, so you want to choose something that is comfortable (for both you and baby) and durable. The baby should be secure enough so that you can carry him or her hands-free without worry. Adjustable straps are important if you plan on sharing the carrier with another parent or anyone else. We liked the option to wear the carrier with cross straps, but some users are content with just having the backpack-style option. A machine-washable carrier is a must given how messy babies are. If you think you'll be using the baby carrier for years, you want one that is capable of carrying higher weights. If you live in hot weather, a breathable option that keeps baby cool is a must. We always love pockets, so carriers that had pockets for storing phones, keys, and baby wipes were definitely a plus, though not 100% necessary. All things considered, the Ergobaby Omni 360 scored highest and was our favorite baby carrier overall.