When it comes to finding the perfect baby carrier, there are a lot of things to consider. You want something that is comfortable for both you and your baby, and that will fit your lifestyle.
In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of baby carriers available and help you find the one that is right for you!
Helping you find the Perfect Baby Carrier
We’ve found the best baby carriers on the market and bought them together in one place to help you find the best carrier for you and your baby. Carrying your infant in an ergonomic baby carrier promotes healthy development both physically and mentally. Babies sleep longer and deeper, are happier, more content and using carriers give you two free hands!
- An infant carrier is light & easy to use.
- They are natural to use.
- Babies LOVE being carried.
- Baby carriers gives a safe natural carrying position.
- They are better for YOUR back.
- An infant carrier helps dads BOND with baby.
- Baby carriers or baby slings are better for travelling with your baby.
Baby carriers are usually lightweight, small and much easier to carry than heavy, back-breaking car seats! Plus most carriers are machine washable. Most people find them really easy to use after a bit of practice. And you can carry on your front or back depending on the size of your child.
A sling is natural to use! Natural fabrics and a practice of carrying our babies which has existed for thousands of years. With an infant insert most can be used from a newborn baby to a toddler giving head support, keeping them in an upright position and allowing you to carry your baby close
Sling FAQs which cover the most common queries we get about using infant slings. We dispel many of the myths surrounding slings and infant wraps, hips, forward facing, newborns and pregnant carrying. Babies LOVE being carried.
Your child will love being close to you, where they feel familiar and safe and they love the view. Babies develop by reading the faces of those they have attachments to, they also have a very short field of vision, being closer to your face means they can see you and pick up your facial expressions easily.
Baby Carrier Safety
Safety First. An ergonomic carrier offers a safe and secure, natural carrying position, much better than a chair or car seats! If your child does have a hip condition.
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute recommends carrying them in a deep seated shape in your baby carrier which promotes a natural open hip position, optimum for development and preventing the rubbing that can occur in the hip joint with legs straight.
Safety is of paramount importance when carrying your infant.
Read our baby carrier safety guide to ensure that you know all the do’s and don’t about safe babywearing. As long as you follow the basic principles, both you and your infant will be safe, happy and will love your carrying experience.
A carrier spreads the weight, so it’s much better for you and your back! The waist belt and shoulder straps of a good quality ergonomic baby carrier offer lumbar support and spread the weight through your core.
It takes six times less energy to carry in a baby carrier than it does to carry in your arms.
What is the Best Baby Carrier?
We have years of carrier experience and lots of trained staff to help you find the best baby carrier for you! Our customer service team is always on hand to help.
Let us help you find the joy of carrying your baby. Read our guide to the types of baby carrier here, before you choose to help you get the perfect carrier.
Confused by all the different types of carrier?
We have a wide range of different types of baby carrier and slings. An ergonomic buckle carrier, or soft structured carrier as they are also known, allows you to comfortably carry your baby with ease.
We only recommend the highest-quality buckle carriers and have tested each and every one to ensure they are comfortable and safe for both babies and parents. A buckle carrier will allow you to carry from birth to toddlerhood.
Babies love to be carried and you get to do things hands-free. We have a team of trained babywearing consultants so get in touch and we can help you choose the best buckle carrier for you. A baby wrap is a piece of material that can be tied around you and baby to carry them securely hands free.
Baby wraps have been used around the world for centuries offering comfortable carrying for baby and caregiver. They get a great view and close contact and you get two free hands while you carry.
Stretchy wraps are excellent for newborns and will keep them snug and comfortable until they fit into a baby carrier. A woven wrap carrier can be used from newborn but they are also suitable for an older child.
Benefits of babywearing
The benefits of babywearing are huge and vary from hip dysplasia to soothing the baby to sleep. Ergonomic baby carriers including slings and wraps are safe and easy for parents and babies.
Much more portable than any pushchair baby carriers can simply be folded into a diaper bag when you’re not using them (or keep them on as clothing accessories) and they are perfect for keeping a newborn baby close.
With a bit of practice, many slings can be used for breastfeeding giving extra support to nursing mothers.
Good for dad. Being close to the baby can help daddy to bond with your newborn baby. Buckle carriers with padded shoulder straps and waist belts are easy to adjust if mum and dad aren’t the same sizes, and of course, a stretchy wrap like a moby wrap fits any size.
A ring sling is also a super easy option for both parents to use. A carrier can access all areas. There are some places prams just can’t go. And your child gets a much better view than they would in a pushchair. Plus you keep your hands free to walk the dog or do the shopping.
Benefits of baby wearing:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Soothe a fussy baby
- Comfy and safe
- Keep baby close
Stretchy Baby Wraps
Using a stretchy with a newborn is an amazing experience, but can be daunting for the first few times. Read our How to Use A Stretchy Wrap guide and watch our demonstration video on using stretchy wraps. Once you master wrapping your baby up close and realize how easy it is, you will wonder what all the fuss was about!
Which baby carrier is easiest to put on?
There are a few considerations to be made when asking which baby carrier is easiest to put on, it is a question we are asked regularly and our answer will depend on a few factors.
I find any baby carrier easy to put on, but I have a good range of movement and can easily reach my shoulder blades from above and below with both arms. I know lots of parents who would struggle with this movement so my response to them asking the question would be a little different.
In essence, though, most baby carriers require you to be able to buckle two to three clips, that’s it. Some people can still find this awkward and difficult so when working with parents in the shop we like to let them practice using a weighted doll before trying with their own baby, at home you could use a teddy bear.
We often get asked why we use a doll to practice, parents ask are baby carriers safe? We find it is best to practice with a doll until parents are comfortable in the movements they make to put the carrier on, as if they are stressed and unconfident it can upset their baby if they practice using them.
Which baby carrier is easy to put on?
Most baby carriers have a waistband which buckles at the hip or middle of the back. The majority of people find it easiest to buckle at the hip where they can see the clip. Once this clip is fastened, the baby is placed in the carrier and the shoulder straps can be fastened.
This is usually where the range of motion and confidence can play a factor in how easy you perceive a carrier to be to fasten. Some carriers have straps which are fixed to the sides of the carrier, some have straps that can be unclipped, this means that some can only be worn with straight straps (e.g. Tula) while some can be worn either with straight straps or cross straps.
When a carrier is worn with straight straps there is usually a connecting strap between the two shoulder straps to prevent them from slipping down the shoulders. This can be more difficult for someone with limited range of movement as you need to be able to reach behind your head.
Though if you can reach to put your hair in a ponytail then you should be able to clip this buckle together, it can be a little awkward at first, but after a couple of times, it becomes second nature. If this range of movement isn’t possible we would suggest a carrier that allows you to cross the straps (e.g. a Lillebaby Complete or a Connecta).
With this type of fastening the user just needs to be able to slide their arm along their lumbar region to the other side of their back and bring the strap to the buckle at the side of the carrier.
When considering which baby carrier is easiest to put on it can be helpful to know whether the straps can be worn straight only, like Tula, crossed only, like Connecta, or both, like the Lillebaby Complete. Remember, it is only easy if you are confident in what you’re doing, so practicing can be really helpful, a mirror can be useful, to begin with.
Which baby carrier is the best?
When recommending the best infant carrier for you and your child there are lots of factors we consider. Your height and build is a consideration, what you intend on using the carrier for, the age of your baby, whether you have any back, shoulder or hip issues or any mobility issues, what duration you intend to use the carrier for.
How much experience you have with carriers and whether you have other children can also influence our recommendation. Whether you want to share the carrier with another adult or carry more than one child is also taken into account.
There are hundreds of baby carriers on the market, it can be a confusing world, full of jargon and abbreviations. We try to keep it simple here when helping parents choose carriers. Life has too many complications as it is. A baby carrier in its simplest form is a panel of material that covers baby, which is secured with buckles.
After this, there are lots of little differences that can make a big impact on choosing the best baby carrier for you. You might be wondering which baby carrier is easiest to put on? Or which will last you the longest. You’ll likely have heard the names Ergobaby (find the best one here) and Tula and seen various carriers priced from £5 to £150.
It’s a minefield, we so often have new parents come into the shop completely confused by all the options.
But, Which baby carrier is the best?
If you forced me to choose one baby carrier that I considered to be better than any other on the market and almost universally suitable to all adults and infants then I would say the Lillebaby Complete would be my choice. This carrier can be adjusted to fit a 7lb baby, right through to a 45lb preschooler without any additional inserts. Y
ou can adjust both the width and the height. Carry in 6 different positions; fetal, infant, toddler, world-facing, hip and back. You can adjust the shoulder straps in two different ways so it is great for people with mobility issues.
The shoulder straps can be worn rucksack style or crossed depending on what is most comfortable. The lumbar support ensures that weight is spread evenly through the core and the lower back is protected and the deep waistband supports the hips (I found this particularly useful when carrying my toddler whilst heavily pregnant). T
here is a hood for those bright spells or light rain. A head-support provides additional security while your baby sleeps. There is even a generously sized pocket to stow necessities.
This carrier does what it says on the tin, it is Complete. In terms of adjustability to fit adults, I have fitted this carrier for a 5-foot petite mum, and a 6’5” rugby playing dad and everyone in between.
While there are many different carriers on the market, the Lillebaby Complete is our most popular and would be our go-to carrier for new parents and more experienced parents alike. We are happy to recommend the Lillebaby Complete as the best baby carrier, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Are Baby Carriers Safe?
Your baby is the most precious thing you will ever hold and of course, we’ve all read the stories of tragic accidents which make us question are baby carriers safe? Of course, as baby carrier experts we only stock baby carriers which have passed or exceeded the EN-13209-2 European baby carriers and wraps safety testing standard but as with most things how you use them will have a major impact on whether they are safe.
In order to ensure safety we follow the HANDS guidelines for positioning:
H = Hands-free.
You should have both hands and arms free. If you feel the need to use your hands to support the baby, then double-check it is fastened correctly and safely, once it is on correctly, you should be hands-free. If breastfeeding in the baby carrier you may wish to consider what baby carrier is best for breastfeeding?
A = Airway.
Always, once you have fastened baby in, check their airway is clear and unrestricted.
N = Knee to Knee.
Check the fabric is knee to knee supporting baby, but that baby can still move their knees and lower legs freely when sitting.
D = Deep seat.
Run your hand along their bum and check it is a nice deep seated position, with a nice gentle ‘j’ curve running from the bottom of the bum up the back.
S = Supported.
Ensure your baby is supported, with a nice tight carry and the chin is off the chest. Gently lean forward and ensure baby does not ‘move’. If there is any movement then double check your tension and retighten.
We also recommend taking care in how you dress your baby. As with car seats, padded snowsuits are not recommended. They can easily lead to baby overheating and the padding can make it very difficult to achieve good positioning inside the baby carrier. Instead, we advise adding layers to keep your baby warm.
Separates can be better than footed sleepsuits which can ride up and compress toes. The baby carrier counts as one layer so remember to factor it in. Baby slipper socks can be really useful to keep their legs warm without restricting movement.
With your baby in the correct position and dressed appropriately for the weather you should be able to monitor them at all times as their face will be in view. If they are in a back carry (usually an older child or a more experienced baby wearer) you should be able to feel their breath against your neck, a little mirror can be really useful to monitor a child in a back carry.
If they are on your front or hip you can monitor them easily whilst awake or asleep. If you have been using the carrier whilst breastfeeding it is important to ensure that the child is returned to a good position following HANDS once they have finished feeding in order to ensure they are well supported and they have plenty of oxygen.
Used correctly, following the simple guidelines above, our baby carriers are safe.
What Baby Carrier Is Best for Breastfeeding?
Best Baby Carriers for Breastfeeding & Nursing Mums
Whether you’re a new mum or you have older children you may wish to use a baby carrier whilst breastfeeding. So obviously you want to know what baby carrier is best. Breastfeeding an infant usually requires them to lie horizontally in order to latch and feed. After a little while, you can find this puts an enormous strain on your arms, so in those early days you might find it useful to have an infant carrier to help support their weight.
While lying horizontally to feed you will need to support your baby’s head and neck as they won’t yet have the muscle tone to support themselves. This means that initially a baby carrier is used as an aid to support weight rather than a hands-free nursing experience. When your baby is a little older and can support her own head you should be able to feed hands-free.
So, why use a baby carrier? Although it isn’t totally hands-free to begin with, you will gain one hand to use for pushing the trolly in the supermarket, passing your toddler a snack or a toy, or most importantly, lifting that much-needed cup of tea while it’s still within drinking temperature!
When your baby gets a little older, is able to support their head and feed in an upright position you can use the baby carrier to feed hands-free once you have your baby latched. So, what should you look for when choosing a baby carrier to breastfeed in?
When using a baby carrier to support your baby whilst feeding you generally need to be able to adjust the height of the baby carrier up and down to get the best position to achieve both a good latch and the best position when not feeding. How the baby carrier can be adjusted is therefore really important.
Some baby carriers, like the Lillebaby Complete, can be adjusted both from the front of the baby carrier and the back. This makes it much easier to loosen and tighten the straps as required to move your baby into the best position to feed. Other baby carriers such as the Tula can only be adjusted at the back, which can make it awkward to loosen the baby carrier enough to lower it to feed.
Another feature you may find useful in a baby carrier whilst feeding is a hood. This can provide additional cover if you feel feeding in the baby carrier leaves you exposed. Baby carriers like the Lillebaby Complete, Ergobaby, Tula and Connecta have hoods as standard.
The Lillebaby Complete also has head support which can provide additional height in the baby carrier to help keep mum covered, whilst being elasticated so as not to interfere with a good latch.
Please remember to always adjust your baby back into a fully supported position within the baby carrier when they have finished feeding and to remember to support the baby’s head whilst they are too little to do this themselves.
A baby carrier is a fantastic tool to support you on your breastfeeding journey. However please ensure you always follow the HANDS principles for safe carrying.
Why Use a Baby Carrier?
You may be a new or expectant parent and see on the must-buy list a baby carrier and wonder why use one? You may consider using a pram, a baby carrier or both. A baby carrier shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand as an unnecessary extravagance, in my experience a baby carrier can be a sanity saver!
Baby Wearing Using a Baby Carrier
Babies feel comfortable when they are close to you. They have just been evicted from a warm, peaceful womb into a cold noisy world. They had previously heard mum’s heartbeat as constant background noise for 9 months and find that familiar and comforting. They enjoy being close to your chest, hearing your heart beating and find it soothing.
In a baby carrier, they can hear your heartbeat and feel warm against you. This helps to calm your baby, it also helps them sleep, as a bonus, babies who sleep whilst in baby carriers tend to sleep longer and more deeply, so you have more time to spend doing other things. A baby carrier with head support can be really useful, we can help you discover which baby carrier is best.
Babies learn by looking at their carer’s faces. In a baby carrier, they are in an optimum position to see your face and hear you talking. The familiar sound of your voice will comfort them, while they pick up on your facial expressions and fulfil their very earliest educational needs.
Some babies don’t like being in prams. You might have spent a small fortune on a baby carriage with every imaginable feature, but some babies hate being in prams. I had a baby who would scream as soon as he woke in a pram and I would be left holding him in my arms while pushing the empty buggy around the shopping centre. Several shopping trips were cut short due to aching arms.
Some places just aren’t suitable for a pram. If you live in an apartment with no lift (or one regularly out of service) then consider tackling the stairs with a buggy and a small baby. If you live somewhere with cobbled streets or very narrow aisles in shops, a baby carrier is really useful.
The view from a baby carrier is exceptional! All the other babies being pushed about in a pram at the zoo are taking in spectacular views of hedges and walls, the child in the baby carrier is able to see everything the grown-ups can!
Using a baby carrier expends less energy than carrying in your arms. You can use a baby carrier for six times longer than you can carry a baby in your arms without feeling pain. The baby’s weight is spread evenly through your core rather than being concentrated in one area.
When you use a baby carrier you have two free hands. You can walk the dog, do the groceries, vacuum the house, or you could enjoy a coffee and a cake while your baby sleeps on your chest. The possibilities are endless.
Finally, James Bond and Thor both use baby carriers. I don’t think I need to say more!