• Top 10 Best Baby Carriers and Wraps to Buy Online 2019 1
  • Top 10 Best Baby Carriers and Wraps to Buy Online 2019 2
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Top 10 Best Baby Carriers and Wraps to Buy Online 2019

It’s strange, thinking about how defenseless babies are. It’s like you can’t even leave them alone for a second without worrying about all the ingenious ways in which they can hurt themselves. But parents have chores to do, places to be, people to meet, lives to live. And babies are heavier than they look. A good carrier or wrap is vital.

But every carrier is different because every baby is different. (Did you know that there are at least five different known positions in which you can carry a baby?) However, there are a few things every parent can take into consideration when choosing a carrier, which will help you tailor your choice to the needs of you and your baby.

This article's specialists

Betty
  • Last updated: 10-24-2019
  • 48 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Baby Carrier or Sling – Buying Guide

Babies are unpredictable. When asking about anything related to them, veteran moms or dads are your best bet for decent advice. And that’s why we turned to Betty, a stay-at-home super mom, for advice on baby gear.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
Betty is a wife and mother of two who spends her time chasing after her toddler and digging herself out of piles of diapers and laundry. She is a blogger at Mombrite, where she writes about her hilarious mishaps and glorious victories as a mom.

You can laugh with her through the chaos that is parenthood on her blog or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Understand the Differences between a Carrier and a Wrap

There are two main contraptions you can carry your babies in: carriers and wraps or slings. They’re useful for different things.

Great for Long Trips: Baby Carriers Support the Baby and the Parent Carrying the Baby

Great for Long Trips: Baby Carriers Support the Baby and the Parent Carrying the Baby
Baby carriers are sturdy and durable. And you get to hang your baby from you in a variety of fashions. Most have three or five carrying positions (facing you, facing the other way, sideways, like in a cradle, or balanced on your hip or on your back). You can adjust depending on where you are and what you’re doing.
If the carrier comes with a belt, it’ll shift some of the baby’s weight away from your shoulders and on to your hips so you don’t end up sore. This is great a) for when you’re going to be carrying your baby for a long time or b) if you have stiff shoulders or back pain. The only drawback, really, is that carriers are big and difficult to stuff into bags.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
There are a variety of soft structure baby carriers. Some are easier to grab and go than others, but in general, baby carriers are wonderful for any occasion. I loved using my carrier for my newborn when I needed to chase after my toddler because it was quick and easy to position the baby in the carrier and buckle up. My kids tend to fall asleep when I carry them because of the swaying motion when I walk.

I especially loved my carrier for long trips when I had to walk a lot while wearing my baby—Disneyland, SeaWorld, hiking— because the carriers provided great back support to help with the weight of your baby in the front.

Carriers are also easy to breastfeed in when you are on the go—you just need to drop your baby lower in the carrier and throw up a nursing cover (or go with the two-shirt method) and voilà! You can walk around and breastfeed hands free! Definitely a huge help when you want to get things done around the house!

Slings and Wraps: You Can Slip Them into Bags and Wear Them around the House

Slings and Wraps: You Can Slip Them into Bags and Wear Them around the House
Wraps and slings are made of cloth. You can just fold them up and stick them in your diaper bag. That way, you can switch back and forth between them and your stroller when you’re on long walks. But make sure you know how to put these on right because your baby could fall.
Wraps are long pieces of cloth that you ravel around yourself and your baby–you essentially tie your baby to you. They’re secure, but they can also be a pain to put on outside. (They’re long, so they drag on the ground.)
Slings are easier to put on; you secure most of them to a ring over your shoulder. However, they don’t have as much padding or support, so you need to learn how to put them on right to ensure your child is safe. But it’ll take some of the pressure off you during sudden breastfeeding sessions.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
Slings are quick to put on (though it does take more practice initially to learn how to get the ring in the right position), so it’s perfect for quick grocery runs or errands. I loved breastfeeding my newborn in the sling as well.

However, I never got comfortable enough with a sling to go hands-free; I always held my baby with one hand just in case. You need more practice and experience to get the sling to be as secure as a carrier, so if the baby is active, you might have trouble keeping the sling tight. That said, once I nursed my newborn to sleep, she was super comfortable in the sling and I could at least move around and do chores with one hand (better than none!).

Triple-Check the Age and Weight Limit of the Carrier

Triple-Check the Age and Weight Limit of the Carrier
Most carriers will tell you how old in months or heavy your baby has to be before you can use them. Usually, it’s wraps you can use as soon as your baby’s born. If you don’t think you’ll be going out much early on, you can go for a carrier targeted at infants 3 months or older–which is after the baby’s neck is strong enough to support his or her head.
Some baby carriers can be used until your toddler is three, but how you carry your baby changes as he or she grows (from cuddling in your arms, for example, to piggybacks). So consider getting carriers you can only use for half a year to a year–and then switch them out as the months pass by.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
If you are able to afford it, it’s best to buy slings or carriers targeted at specific age groups. That said, most carriers are at least $100—if not more—and therefore I personally do not know anyone who buys carriers that you can only use for a short time.

I would say you do need to be careful carrying newborns and make sure that the carrier you are using is specifically for young babies who need the neck support. As for older babies and toddlers, I would just use a carrier where you can lengthen the straps to fit your growing child’s body. Pay attention to the weight limits on the carriers/slings so that you can carry your baby or toddler safely.

Make Sure the Carrier Has a Wide Bottom and Supports Your Baby’s Legs

Make Sure the Carrier Has a Wide Bottom and Supports Your Baby’s Legs
If possible, choose a carrier with a deep and wide seat. It should ideally extend into your baby’s knees–so when he’s sitting in the carrier, his legs are splayed and raised into this M-shape. This takes pressure off your baby’s hips. This is vital, as their skeletal tissue is still very soft.
The same goes for wraps. If the wrap secures the baby against your body in such a way that their legs are forced together, it could lead to hip dysplasia. You want something that will support the baby’s thighs and keep their legs splayed.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
The knees should be at hip level or higher, which takes the pressure off the hips. A lot of popular carriers in stores these days are what are called “crotch danglers,” meaning the carrier just supports the crotch and the legs are left to hang down and dangle in the air. The unsupported thighs cause pressure on the hip joints and may contribute to hip dysplasia.

Think about What Positions You Want to Carry Your Baby in

Think about What Positions You Want to Carry Your Baby in
With a carrier, you can hold your baby 5 different ways:

  • You can hold her sideways, like in a cradle. This is helpful when you’re breastfeeding or soothing a fussy baby.

  • You can hold him facing you. This way, you can follow all his facial expressions and know immediately when he’s tired or upset. It also keeps newborns from getting overstimulated.

  • You can hold her facing outwards so she can see the world.

  • You can hold him on your hip, which takes a good deal of strain off your back. This is great for toddlers, who are heavier. He also has the option of looking at you or the world around him.

  • You can hold her on your back so your hands are free. Your baby can also see exactly what you’re seeing. However, it takes a lot of practice to get a newborn safely on your back, so make sure you consult a professional before trying.

Not all carriers can be adjusted into the above positions, so make sure you choose something that lets you carry your baby the way you want. Carriers for newborns, especially, will usually only let you cradle your baby in your arms or snuggle them facing you.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
Once the baby is slightly older—around 2-3 months—he/she will start turning his/her head to see the world around them. I would recommend still keeping the baby in the front position facing you and turning your body to where your baby is looking instead of facing him/her outwards. It's tempting for parents to turn the baby outwards so they can see the world. However, this position is never recommended for a few reasons, the top three being:

1) You cannot see your baby’s face and the baby can be overstimulated easily. He/she will have trouble communicating to you that he/she is tired and wants a break from seeing everything, and he/she has no option to shield his/her face from all the stimulation.

2) When the baby is faced inward, its spine has a natural C curve that is supported by the carrier. However, when the baby is faced outwards, the baby’s spine is pushed into an unnatural, arched position. With little muscles to support his/her spine and with no help from the carrier, the baby now feels the impact of every step the mom or dad takes.

3) The baby’s legs are supposed to be in a “frog” position with the legs pulled up to at least hip level or higher. With the legs dangling and unsupported, the baby is now prone to hip dysplasia.

Make Sure the Fabric is Comfortable and Breathable

Make Sure the Fabric is Comfortable and Breathable
Babies have high body temperatures (Betty calls them little ovens). They usually sweat more than adults and get fussy when it’s hot. It doesn’t matter whether it’s winter or summer–you want a breathable fabric to facilitate airflow and keep your baby cool.
If you or your baby has sensitive skin, choose a carrier made out of a gentle fabric, like 100% cotton. And in summer, your baby’s bare arms and legs will be brushing up against the carrier, so get something that feels good against the skin.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
When thinking about fabrics for carriers, you want to make sure that the fabric is the best for the baby’s skin since he/she will be in touch with the wrap for an extended period of time. Therefore, I would recommend going with a 100% certified organic fabric that is made of cotton or other types of all-natural material. The fabric must be free from toxic chemical dyes, especially if your baby has sensitive skin.

And since the baby is ultimately going to spit up on the carrier, you want a fabric that is machine-washable because—let’s face it—who has time to hand wash a carrier when you have a young baby to take care of?

You Want Something that Is Easy to Wear by Yourself

You Want Something that Is Easy to Wear by Yourself
Choose something that you can wear easily on your own. If you can, try a carrier out at a shop. If you can’t get in and out of it by yourself, you’re going to have trouble in the future.
But if you’re a devoted net shopper, at least take a peek at the reviews. Look out for keywords like “difficult,” “put on,” and “take off”–and go for carriers that seem simple and self-explanatory.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
Personally, I found the soft structured carriers the easiest to put on and take off. Once you adjust the straps to the right lengths (and you can do this at home so you are not fidgeting with the carrier in the store or parking lot), you just have to click the buckles together and you are good to go.

Ring slings are slightly more difficult because you do have to make sure that the ring is nice and high on your shoulder so you can properly tighten the sling around your baby, and sometimes it takes a few tries.

I have tried woven wraps and for the life of me I cannot get the technique right to tightly wrap my baby. Moreover, both of my children are too active and tend to kick or trash about when I was trying to wrap them with this long fabric. Therefore, I find the woven wraps very difficult to use, especially when you are on the go and trying to deal with this long wrap in the parking lot without getting the wrap dirty.

Top 10 Best Baby Carriers and Wraps to Buy Online

Here are what we found to be the best carriers, wraps, and slings available online now. Some are very comfortable. Some are very secure. And some are very convenient. Figure out what your priorities are before choosing.

10. Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier

$33.99

9. LILLEbaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 Baby Carrier

$139.99

8. Moby Wrap Bamboo Warp Baby Carrier

$49.95

7. Baby Tula Multi-Position, Ergonomic Baby Carrier

$104.00

6. Beco Gemini Performance Baby Carrier

$107.87

5. Boba Baby Wrap Carrier

$39.95

4. Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling Baby Carrier

$49.95

3. Baby K’tan Original Baby Carrier

$49.95

2. Ergo 360 All Carry Positions

$129.95

1. Boba 4G Carrier

$98.83

For Ultimate Peace of Mind, There’s Always Baby Wearing Classes

For Ultimate Peace of Mind, There’s Always Baby Wearing Classes
You could buy the best baby carrier in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it properly, it’s not going to be secure. (Especially wraps. Wraps are difficult.) If you need the extra support, there are local baby wearing classes or groups that will show you how to fasten your kid onto you.
If you’re looking for an extra twist, there’s always baby wearing dance classes. You can learn Latin American dance, belly dancing, hip-hop, or ballet–without ever having to put down your baby.
Betty
Mombrite, Mom & Blogger
Betty
I would highly recommend taking a baby wearing class when you are still pregnant to get familiar with the different types out there. Often, the instructors bring different carriers to class for you to try out. This is important because not only do you have to pick which type of carrier (wrap, sling, mei-tai, soft structure carrier, or baby backpack), but also, once you settle on the type, there are so many brands to choose from.

There are also tons of baby wearing support groups out there that meet frequently so that you can ask the more experienced baby wearers for help. Some groups even have a library of carriers you can borrow so that you can try a variety before you make your decision on which carrier best fits you and your baby’s needs.

Summary

It can be great wearing a carrier. You can bond with your kid and get stuff done–kill two birds with one stone. It can also lead to sore shoulders. So remember to choose a carrier that’s going to provide enough support for you and your baby.
Absolutely no “crotch danglers.” You want belts for you and wide seats for your child. It might be a hassle sorting through carriers, slings, and wraps now–but it’ll certainly pay off in the future.

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