Parents are finding a multitude of benefits to babywearing, such as the freedom of hands-free chores and the closeness that it allows for both baby and parent. With a plethora of baby carrier options in the current market, it can be hard to choose the carrier that is right for your family. But we are here to help you out! We’ve spent countless hours researching all the best baby carriers.
Best Baby Carriers
For the best bang for your buck, the LILLEbaby All Seasons carrier offers 6 carrying positions and lumber support at a reasonable price. For a luxury baby carrier, the BabyBjorn and LILLEbaby Luxe are functional and more expensive than the other carriers. The Infantino Flip carrier is the most inexpensive baby carrier option.
Infantino Flip Baby Carrier
I will be honest – I thought Infantino made mostly baby food gear! I had bought a bunch of Infantino feeding gear, and when I saw their Flip baby carrier, I was intrigued. It’s a great product and a low price. With 4 different modes, plus style and durability, this carrier is a great option.
Simple and Comfortable
Parents who purchase the Infantino Flip liked how simple it was to adjust and use. It was good to go almost out of the box, with a few minimal adjustments. The carrier was comfortable and the shoulder padding was thick and plush from the front all the way to the back. If you’re looking for a baby carrier that has support without the bulk, this might be a good choice.
Good for Newborns
The Flip can be used for babies from 8 to 32 pounds. For most, that means that a newborn or small infant can be carried. There’s a bunch of snaps and buckles to help get the right fit for the smaller baby. Just a heads up though, you may need a rolled-up towel or blanket to get the right level where the head pokes out and get their legs in the healthy “M” shape.
Not for All Day Use
Some baby carriers are made for the mommas that will have baby strapped to them for a long time. The Infantino Flip is not that carrier. It’s great for short stints, but it’s honestly not comfortable enough for all-day wear. And I don’t mean for mom, I mean for baby. Many users have complained that this inexpensive carrier has put their baby’s legs in a weird position.
(Note: as of Dec. 2020, the Infantino flip was not on IHDI’s Hip Healthy Baby Carrier list)
Sadly, the Flip does not include any storage capabilities with it. For the minimalist, this is probably fine, but it still would be nice to have at least one pocket for small items like a phone, or credit card, keys, etc.
Need Help for Back Carry
That back carry mode is awesome! If you’ve ever carried a baby this way, you’ll know how great it is. It’s like a piggyback ride that doesn’t require them or you to hand it on the whole time! But sadly, the Flip carrier requires a second person to help get this into back carry mode. You can put it on alone, but then you need someone to strap baby in (see video below). I’m sure you could figure something out, but to safely and correctly do the back carry, it requires a helper.
Ergobaby Omni 360
The Ergobaby Omni 360 is a solid baby carrier that is hip-healthy, has 4 carrying positions, and fits babies 7-45 pounds. The Omni 360 offers facing out carrying position (hence the meaning of 360) which some baby carriers don’t. It’s comfortable, adjustable but it also runs a little warm unless you opt for the mesh version.
4 Carrying Positions
The Ergobaby Omni 360 has 4 carrying positions – front carried facing parent, front carried facing out, back carried and hip carried. I love the flexibility that multiple carrying positions allow. Sometimes baby is curious (assuming they are old enough to hold their head up independently) and wants to look around at the world, and other times baby is tired and wants to snuggle in private.
And while I personally never used the hip carry option myself, I know many women find this super helpful. Check out Ergobaby’s video on the hip carry position:
The Ergobaby Omni 360 is listed as hip-healthy on the IHDI’s website, meaning it meets the requirements to not contribute to hip dysplasia as the baby develops. This is so important as there are a lot of baby carriers out there that are not deemed as hip-healthy.
I like how the Ergobaby Omni includes a lumbar support pad, just like the LILLEbaby does. This makes a big difference in the comfort of the person who is carrying. Especially on long outings, the weight can really begin to take a toll. The lumbar support pad provides gentle but firm support where you need it most.
This is handy for moms that are maybe more petite and find the straps to be too long (or cannot be adjusted to be any smaller). Crossing the straps makes them accommodate even the smallest builds, so if you are petite, this would be a must.
Adjustable Seat Width
The Ergobaby Omni 360 has 3 different seat width adjustments, based on baby’s height and age. The narrowest position is for newborns (minimum of 7 lbs) and up to 20 inches tall. The middle position is for babies from 24 to 28 inches tall. The widest position is for babies approximately 9 months old and over 28 inches tall.
Might Run Hot
When I owned my Ergobaby carrier, the downside I experienced is that it ran a bit hot. Having your baby close to you is bound to generate some heat but some baby carriers disperse it better than others. If you have a sweaty baby or live in a warmer climate, you might consider getting your Ergobaby Omni 360 in a cooler fabric, such as the Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh carrier.
Still have more questions? Check out the FAQs for all things pertaining to the Ergobaby Omni 360.
Check out our reviews of the Best Ergo Baby Carriers, where we’ve picked our very favorite Ergo Baby product.
The Boba 4Gs is an easy-to-use baby carrier that includes a lot of bells and whistles. It includes an infant insert and hood and offers a unique clip for keeping your purse strap attached to the shoulder of the carrier. For all these helpful features and high quality of the baby carrier, it’s still very reasonably priced.
Easy to Use and Adjust
Unlike other carriers, the learning curve on the Boba 4Gs carrier is minimal. It’s basically ready to go out of the box, with a few adjustments to size it to your body. And because it’s easy to adjust, it’s easy to transfer between you and your partner or another caregiver. That’s always a plus in my book!
Infant Insert Included
The Boba 4Gs baby carrier comes with an infant insert included. The infant insert attaches to the inside of the carrier seat to lift baby up and bolster it from underneath. Most other baby carriers just say to roll up a hand towel, which works fine, but it is nice to have this thoughtful inclusion.
The Boba 4Gs infant insert has two positions – snapped together for a newborn baby, or unsnapped for slightly older babies, to make a sort of M-shaped seat for them to sit on inside the carrier.
When baby is much older and doesn’t need it anymore, the infant insert just detaches.
Detachable Hood and Foot Pads
The Boba 4Gs baby carrier comes with a detachable hood. The 4G used to come with detachable footpads, but the 4Gs were updated without these to make it more streamlined. While some moms liked that the footpads helped keep baby’s legs and hips in the right position, many moms found that they just got in the way. So away they went!
Unlike other baby carriers, which lack storage, the Boba 4Gs comes with multiple pockets. There is a zippered pocket on the waist and another pocket in which the removable hood folds up. If you are not using the hood, that is an extra pocket for storage of other things.
Unique Purse Strap
The Boba 4Gs are also unique in that this baby carrier includes a strap for your purse, to keep it secured to your shoulder (instead of flopping around). This is a nice gesture because it can be a struggle to figure out how to juggle the carrier, purse, diaper bag, etc.
If you are out and about and can get away with only bringing your phone and keys, the pockets will suffice. If you need to bring your purse, the purse strap will keep it anchored to your Boba 4Gs shoulder strap. Either way, the makers of this baby carrier thought of the user’s convenience and day-to-day usage, which I really appreciate.
The Boba 4Gs make breastfeeding on the go easy as pie. With the removable hood, you get extra privacy when you need it. And the side adjustments are easy to loosen to allow for comfortable breastfeeding. Many moms were able to breastfeed hands-free in this baby carrier, which is pretty amazing!
I was pleasantly surprised by how well rated the Boba 4Gs were compared to the price. It’s much more reasonably priced than most of the best baby carriers on this list and as popular as any of them among users. This would be a great carrier for parents on a budget who still want a quality item that will last them years.
Finding the right combination of back and shoulder buckle tightness and placement can be difficult. Many moms, from petite to plus size, said that getting it adjusted just right was not easy and took some time. The shoulder straps tend to rub the back of the arms until they are placed in that perfect spot.
Like a lot of other baby carriers on this list, the Boba, while amazing, doesn’t have breathable fabric. If you do more than light movement, you and baby are both going to get pretty sweaty.
LILLEbaby Complete All Seasons
The LILLEbaby Complete All Seasons is a versatile infant carrier because of its zip-down panel, so it’s great for most climates and seasons. Just like the LILLEbaby Embossed, it has the same weight range of 7-45 pounds. It comes in cute patterns and colors and will appeal to your stylish side, unlike some bland-looking carriers.
One of the huge benefits of the LILLEbaby Complete All Seasons baby carrier is its versatility. It can be used in cool weather as is, or the panel zips down during warmer weather. When the panel is zipped down, it reveals a mesh fabric, which lets the breeze in and keeps the sweat down.
Babies can be sweaty to begin with and add in warm weather and a mom in close quarters and it’s a recipe for overheating. Plus it’s certainly not enjoyable to carry a baby around when you’re all baking. Zipping the panel down helps let the breeze in and as a result, everyone will stay comfortable.
If you live in a warmer climate or plan to use a baby carrier a lot during summer outings, you might consider this one.
Just like the rest of the LILLEbaby family of carriers, the All Seasons is a hip-healthy carrier as deemed by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. You are probably tired of reading this, but seriously, it’s so important! It’s the most important factor you need to consider while babywearing. Well, aside from making sure the baby is safely in the carrier per the instructions, that is.
I love the many looks of the LILLEbaby All Seasons baby carrier, which often has a contrasting fabric on the zip-down panel than the rest of the carrier. You can always count on LILLEbaby to make a statement with their carriers. These are not only functional but a great accessory to your wardrobe. If you’re a busy, tired mom like me, this infant carrier will make you look good, I promise!
6 Carrying Positions
Just like the other LILLEbaby carriers, this one offers a whopping 6 different carrying positions. From newborn, all the way to 45 pounds, you can carry your child all the way from newborn position to carrying on your back while going for a hike.
Feedback from a multitude of LILLEbaby users is that this carrier is easy to transfer between caregivers. The adjustments are not terribly cumbersome and it’s fairly easy to get a good fit.
Click to read about why we chose this as one of our favorite toddler baby carriers!
Just like the rest of the LILLEbaby family of baby carriers, it’s got a decent price tag. But truly, it’s well worth it as the design of the carrier is well thought out and the fabrics and manufacturing are high quality. You get what you pay for usually, and this is definitely true in the baby-wearing world.
However, even though the price is high, if you choose to resell it after you’re done with it, you can recoup quite a bit of it. I sold my lightly used LILLEbaby for about 70% of what I bought it for.
Beco Gemini Baby Carrier
The Beco Gemini baby carrier is suitable for children from 7 to 45 pounds. It features front, back, and hip carry positions. It also has a quick-release breastfeeding buckle, which comes in very handy. This carrier is comfortable for both baby and parent.
Users love that this baby carrier folds up smaller than other, bulkier carriers. Too often, with these SSCs (Soft Structured Carriers), there is so much padding that it becomes cumbersome to fold. And that means that it doesn’t readily fit into a diaper bag or large purse. Users of the Beco Gemini really appreciated its compact fold, as it helped them use the bags they already had instead of carrying around a special storage bag for the carrier.
Easy to Adjust
The Beco Gemini is a baby carrier that is easily adjustable and can transfer easily from person to person. Many users reported sharing the carrier with their much bigger and taller husbands with no issues transferring easily between them.
The Beco Gemini is available in cool mesh as well as regular designs, most of which are eye-catching and trendy. The breathable mesh panel helps ensure that baby stays nice and cool while riding in the carrier. This definitely helps in the battle against heat build-up.
Not Good for Smaller Babies
Even though the Beco baby carrier is for 7 lbs or more, many users reported feeling like it was better for older babies, at least a few months old. The smaller babies just didn’t feel secure enough to most users. It might depend on the build of the baby as well, so definitely judge for yourself, but be cautious. Some users ended up buying the infant insert separately or at least rolling up a hand towel to put underneath the baby’s bottom.
No Detachable Hood
The Beco Gemini is simple and does not include a hood. But for sunny walks or naps, or when you need to breastfeed in the carrier, a detachable hood is a great addition and is sorely missed on this model.
One of the huge downsides to this best baby carrier is the cumbersome buckle. In the name of safety, the buckle is fairly difficult to unbuckle, but so much so that some people actually returned the carrier because they found it too difficult. Some people wound up hurting their fingers trying to push the buckle to open.
At the same time, others didn’t mind it and even welcomed the safety measure. So if you have trouble with buckles in the first place (because of wrist issues, etc), you may want to steer clear of this one. I, myself, have weak wrists so this would not be a good choice for me.
Baby Bjorn One Baby Carrier
The Baby Bjorn One baby carrier is hip-healthy, unlike its earlier predecessors. This one is a comfortable, easily adjustable carrier that transfers well from caregiver to caregiver. It’s also one of the most expensive carriers in this compilation. It’s great for older babies but might not be a good choice for newborns. Per the manufacturer, this carrier is for babies 8-33 pounds.
Ergonomic and Hip Healthy
The Baby Bjorn One baby carrier has a fully adjustable seat which puts the baby’s hips in an ergonomic and hip-healthy position. This carrier is one of the few Baby Bjorn makes which is listed on the IHDI’s list of hip-healthy carriers. So if you’re considering this baby carrier, make sure you don’t get confused and choose another model of Baby Bjorn as it most likely will not be as hip-healthy as this one.
4 Carrying Positions
The Baby Bjorn One has 4 carrying positions – In the front-facing parent (2 different height positions), in the front-facing out, and on your back. In the front-facing parent position, the upper position is used for newborns and acts as a built-in infant insert.
Many parents loved this baby carrier for its comfort. It has nice thick padding in the shoulder straps to ensure your outing with the baby is comfortable. It also has an ergonomic support waist belt to help relieve the pressure of carrying.
Easy Back Carry Transfer
Baby Bjorn recommends that the back carry position be used after 12 months of age. Based on the video below, it would be very simple to get the toddler into the back carry position. You just put them in your front, facing you, and then swivel them around. The baby is supported the entire time. Arguably this method can be used with other carriers as well.
Head Support for Baby
There are infant carriers out there that lack head support (such as the Tula), but I really feel it’s great to have, especially if you’re planning on carrying from newborn on. It’s great to have support for their fragile necks and heads when they cannot support it themselves. And it’s really nice for older babies too if they get tired or are taking a nap.
Easily Transferred Between Partners
I read in the user reviews over and over how easy this carrier was to transfer between users. The adjustments made it very user-friendly and quick to do so. This is certainly not the case with a lot of baby carriers, so this is a major plus for me. If you are searching for a carrier that will be shared between you and your partner or another caregiver, this might be a good choice.
The Baby Bjorn One (and all Baby Bjorn baby carriers) is arguably one of the most expensive baby carriers out there. Many parents felt the price tag was completely worth it given how much use they were getting out of the carrier due to its comfort. However, unless you have a big budget for a baby carrier, you may look at some other carriers that are just as good but without the hefty price tag.
Not the Best for Smaller Babies
While some users were okay having their babies in there, others felt the carrier was much more suited to children at least a year old. The younger babies felt like they were swimming in the baby carrier, it was just too roomy for them, according to some parents. So if you’re looking for a baby carrier to use from day 1, this might not be it.
No Hood or Pocket
A major downside of this carrier for me is that it does not come with a hood or a pocket of any sort. I always felt like it was really nice to have a hood, in case you were out and about in bright sunny weather and wanted to shield the baby. A hood is also nice to have if you are planning to nurse in the baby carrier, for more privacy.
A pocket is great for stashing keys, credit cards, or a phone when you don’t want to lug your purse along. So not having one is kind of a bummer.
LILLEbaby Embossed Complete
The LILLEbaby Embossed Complete baby carrier is my top pick for best Baby Carrier because it has a stellar mix of features and not very many downsides. It has great support for babies from 7 to 45 pounds, with a hood and a pocket. Parents also love the lumbar support it provides for them. The soft, breathable fabric is great for any climate. It’s easily adjustable and transferable from user to user.
6 Carrying Positions
I love the versatility of a baby carrier that has many options for carrying.
Some babies love to face out, some love to face in, sometimes you need to put baby on your back so you can get stuff done. Even if I don’t use all the options (for example, I never did use the hip carry option with my LILLEbaby ), I still appreciate having it available.
Babies and kids make our lives interesting and you just never know when you’ll need to be flexible to accommodate life.
No Infant Insert Needed
One of the things I love about LILLEbaby baby carriers is that you do not need a separate infant insert. The last thing we busy moms need is something else to carry around! The carrier is suitable for newborns 7 lbs or bigger. There is also the option to use a rolled-up muslin blanket or hand towel to put under the baby’s bum to support them a little more.
The LILLEbaby also comes with an infant strap, which attaches around the baby on the inside of the baby carrier for further protection. Of course, judge for yourself. If baby is super skinny, or just barely 7 lbs and doesn’t feel secure to you in the carrier, maybe put it aside for a bit and try again when baby is a little bigger.
Even though my son was bigger than 7 lbs at birth, I still supported him while carrying him in the LILLEbaby, while bending down or making any other awkward movement (reaching for something in the grocery store, etc.). Probably just a mom instinct, but better safe than sorry!
The LILLEbaby carriers are approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and are deemed hip healthy. This means they don’t contribute to the formation of hip dysplasia in babies, where other carriers might.
The LILLEbaby Embossed comes in a velvety microfiber that is so soft on the baby’s skin. At the same time, the fabric is more breathable than one might think so it stays reasonably ventilated even during warmer weather.
Of course, it’s not as breathable as a mesh-type fabric, but still, I was pretty happy with it. Some people might consider the LILLEbaby All Seasons carrier instead because it has a section that zips down to reveal a mesh fabric for warmer weather. Or even the LILLEbaby Airflow which is made of mostly mesh material for ultimate breathability.
However, many people are choosing the LILLEbaby Embossed as an alternative because it has a similar temperature rating without cumbersome zippers.
Each color of LILLEbaby Embossed comes with its own unique pattern and hardware color. If you love simple but elegant, the Embossed collection is for you. For example, check out this beautiful Mickey Embossed.
You get what you pay for, and that’s certainly true in the world of baby carriers. The LILLEbaby brand is a solid brand with quality products and to me, that is well worth the price tag. There are usually sales, especially during the holidays so if you’re not in a huge rush, be on the lookout for these.
Might Run Warm
Even though the LILLEbaby Embossed is one of their coolest baby carriers in terms of temperature, it still might be too warm for some climates. If you live in a hot or humid climate, you might look into the LILLEbaby Airflow carrier, which is made of cool mesh for extra breathability.
Best Baby Carrier Wraps
The Moby and Baby K’tan wraps are both made of cotton and sold at about the same price. Unlike the Baby K’tan that is available in multiple sizes, the Moby only comes in one size. Compared to the Moby wrap that involves tying, the Baby K’tan is easier to learn and can be used without any tying or rings.
Baby K’Tan Baby Carrier
The Baby K’Tan is a wrap carrier that is really nice for those first few months of babyhood. It imitates the close, warm environment of the womb, making baby nice and cozy and happy. And happy baby equals happy parents. Although it’s not great for older babies due to not being able to support the weight, if you don’t mind getting multiple carriers throughout the journey, this would be a great baby wrap to start with.
The Baby K’Tan is so nice for those newborn months when baby is just getting used to the outside world and loves to snuggle up for safety and comfort. The K’Tan provides the perfect snuggly environment for baby, snuggled up close to her parent. Babies that are worn this way experience less crying and fussiness. After all, what is there to fuss about?
There are many baby wrap carriers out there, but some of them utilize a large piece of fabric that sometimes hangs in the way. I suppose the reason for this is to make them one-size and adjustable. The Baby K’Tan is different in that it comes in 6 different sizes and there is no leftover fabric as a result. It simply comes in fabric loops that then turn into a carrier.
The Baby K’Tan also comes with its own carrying bag. The carrying bag also turns inside out to become a part of the wrap itself in some carrying positions, such as this Hug Position.
You wouldn’t think that a baby wrap carrier made of two loops would have much variance in the positions, I know I did. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the genius minds behind the Baby K’Tan came up with some pretty clever variations.
There’s the Kangaroo position, which is best for babies from birth to approximately 3 months or when it’s no longer comfortable. This cradles the baby in a very natural and soothing position, similar to a womb environment.
The Hug position can be used from approximately 1-18 months and it’s probably the most common position. This is best for when baby does not need the newborn hold anymore but still enjoys the comfort of a close hug with you. Baby’s legs and hips are in the proper M position around your torso.
The Explore position is for ages approximately 4-12 months old. In this position, baby is facing semi towards you and semi out. It’s great for when they are a little more curious and not always content just facing you. Baby’s legs are cradled inside the wrap.
The Adventure position is for ages 5-20 months, and it’s the step up into big kid territory. Here they are facing out, taking in all the world has to offer. Baby K’Tan does say to pay attention to baby’s cues when they are in this position, as they can get overstimulated with no way out. In another position, they could turn away from the stimulation but here they don’t really have that option.
The Hip position, used from 6-36 months, is basically just like when we carry our babies on our hip but much more supported.
The Baby K’Tan wrap carrier is approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as a hip-healthy carrier. Per Baby K’Tan, this “acknowledgment affirms that the Baby K’tan Baby Carrier encourages hip healthy development – hips spread naturally, with thighs supported and knees bent”.
The hip-healthy certification is for when manufacturer instructions are followed. If you are not completely sure if you’re doing it correctly, check out the instructional videos on Baby K’Tan’s website.
Might Run Warm
One of the downsides of having baby so close to you is all the heat that is generated between you. Depending on your climate and season, this might be a consideration. Baby K’Tan also makes Activeand Mesh versions so be sure to check those out if you need a carrier with more ventilation.
If you like baby wraps, you’ll like ring slings, too! Check out our round-up of the best ring sling baby carriers.
Moby Wrap Baby Carrier
This classic baby carrier has a great reputation among baby wearers. Many moms swear by the Moby rather than the Boba wrap carrier or the Solly wrap carrier because it has the same features at a lower price. The stretch of the fabric gives you a lot of options and comfort when carrying baby. While the long strip of fabric can be daunting at first, online tutorials can help you find the best way to wrap carry your baby, from newborn to toddler!
The Moby is made from soft and stretchable 100% cotton. This allows for some give and flex, but it also holds its shape well. That means that you get the best of the support and comfort worlds! Besides being breathable, this cotton wrap is machine washable.
Lots of Configurations
The Moby wrap is essentially an 18-foot long piece of fabric. It can be wrapped in many different ways for different types of carrying, including front, back, and hip. Baby can face in or out when being front carried. You can even use this as a pregnancy sling or postpartum support wrap!
As long as you do it safely and they weigh at least 8 pounds, you can carry a newborn in the Moby. This is great for colicky or fussy babies that want to be held all day. The wrap supports up to 33 pounds, so it can be used well into the early toddler years. This gives you a long life span for your money.
According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, they affirm that Moby is a hip-healthy seat. The wrap allows for a wide base to support baby’s bum and legs, which makes baby’s hips go into the healthy “M” shape. However, some parents noted that this wide stance makes front-facing out a bit less comfortable for baby.
Most of the wrap configurations involve the fabric being crossing over these shoulder blades on the back. This distributes the weight more evenly, which means less strain on mom or dad’s back. The wide strips of fabric over the shoulders also help to distribute the weight so you won’t get tension in one spot on your shoulders.
The Moby is one simple piece of fabric. There are no extra parts or pieces to keep track of. It can be folded and easily stowed away in a diaper bag or purse. There’s no need for drool pads because the washable fabric is safe to go in or near baby’s mouth and it dries quickly. There’s no need for a privacy hood, either. You can use the extra fabric or wrap it in a way that can shield baby from the sun.
Great for Nursing
Because there are no straps or pieces between mom and baby, this is a great carrier for nursing in. Baby can be held in a variety of ways while they nurse, from sitting up or laying back. The extra fabric can also be used to cover baby for privacy while they eat.
Check out all the best baby wraps that we love.
Having a pocket or two is one of the most sought-after features in a good baby carrier. While you could stick your phone or keys in between the layers of the Moby wrap, it doesn’t have dedicated storage.
This baby carrier wrap has a definite learning curve. It’s not ready to put on and go – you have to learn how to tie it. You’ll have to memorize the configurations or take the guide with you wherever you go. Thank goodness for very helpful YouTube tutorials! Another con here is that the fabric often drags the ground as you wrap it, which is less-than-ideal for being out in public where you don’t want the fabric to drag the ground and then be wrapped up next to your baby!
Best Toddler Tula Carrier
Tula Free to Grow
The Tula Free to Grow is a sleek, minimalist baby carrier that will appeal to users who don’t want a lot of buckles and fluff. It’s suitable for children weighing 7 to 45 pounds. It’s comfortable once adjusted to your body, but the learning curve might be a turnoff to some. This also might be the best baby carrier for a single user, not one you would need to transfer between caregivers. The cute designs and durable canvas fabric are easy on the eyes and will last for many years.
The Tula Free to Grow has comfortable straps and the design of the carrier is such that after getting your adjustments figured out, it should be very comfortable to carry your child, even when they’re older and heavier. Many users report remaining comfortable during extended periods of carrying their bigger babies (20 lbs or more).
Many people who chose the Tula Free to Grow did so because they wanted a sleeker, simple design that wasn’t full of straps and hoops. Some infant carriers, while providing a slew of positions and benefits, end up being on the bulkier side. The Tula is the more minimalist carrier, offering simple, sleek lines. It does end up sacrificing some carrying positions as a result, but this probably won’t be a deal-breaker for minimalist parents.
The Tula Free to Grow is made with durable canvas fabric, which makes the carrier fairly breathable while at the same time, sturdy. Users have also reported that even after months of prolonged use and washings, the fabric remained to look new.
When starting out with the Tula Free to Grow, there is a slight learning curve in using the baby carrier. First, the straps need to be adjusted to your body (and baby). Once you get everything adjusted, it should be fairly easy to put it on independently. However, users also reported having a lot of difficulties adjusting the back strap (that goes between the shoulders) while the carrier was on.
Another downside of the adjustments is that once you have the settings just right, you may not want another person using it and changing them all up. So in essence, this would be an ideal one-person carrier.
Not Great for Small Babies
Because of its sleek and streamlined design, the Tula Free to Grow does not offer head support, so it might not be the best choice for newborns and small babies. Some users have reported their skinny babies felt not very secure in the infant carrier and they had to wait until the babies got a little bigger.
The Tula Free to Grow has 2 positions: Front Carry (facing parent) and the Back Carry. Many parents are very content with these positions, but some might miss the Front facing out position. If you have a curious baby or if you desire this position in a carrier, you might want to look at the LILLEbaby or Ergobaby Omni instead.
Like anything worth its weight, the Tula Free to Grow Carrier is not the cheapest on the market. But most parents who have purchased it feel it is well worth the price tag. And since it can very well serve as the only carrier you’ll need, it’s an investment that can be justified.
For an in-depth comparison of the Tula vs ErgoBaby and LILLEbaby, read our comparison article.
Baby Carrier Comparison Table
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed.
The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with
the product compared to others in the table.
LILLEbaby Embossed Complete $$$$ 8.2 9.0 Baby Bjorn One Baby Carrier $$$$ 9.7 9.2 Ergobaby Omni 360 $$$ 9.8 9.4 Tula Free to Grow $$$ 7.5 9.4 LILLEbaby Complete All Seasons $$$ 9.7 9.0 Bonding Time With Baby $$$ 3.9 8.8 Boba 4Gs $$$ 8.9 9.2 Beco Gemini Baby Carrier $$ 9.6 8.6 Baby K'Tan Baby Carrier $$ 9.9 8.4 Moby Wrap Baby Carrier $$ 9.8 9.0 Infantino Flip Baby Carrier $$ 9.9 9.2
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
Hip Healthy or Not
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a baby carrier is whether it is hip healthy or not. I’m sure you’ve seen people out with their babies in “crotch-danglers”, those carriers that have baby dangling on the front of the parent. The Baby Bjorn was the original carrier of this sort on the market, from what I recall.
With the popularity of baby carriers booming, it seems like everyone is getting into the baby carrier market. But buyer beware, not all of them are hip healthy. Why is hip healthy important?
According to the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, the cause of hip dysplasia is believed to be developmental, meaning that as baby grows, its environment affects the development of the hips. Part of the environment is the manner in which the baby is carried around, including in a baby carrier.
The IHDI certifies infant carriers as “hip-healthy” when the hips are spread out, such as in a natural carrying position (like when parents carry a child on a hip). Hip dysplasia has more prevalence in situations where the baby’s hips are straight and restrained.
If you think about it, it’s definitely not a natural position for their hips at an early age, as I remember my boys always would do the “happy baby” yoga pose while rolling around (on the back with legs in the air, usually eating their toes in the process).
Prior to buying a baby carrier, be sure to check whether the model of the carrier you’re considering is deemed hip-healthy by the Institute to give your baby the best possible start in life.
For your safety of mind, ALL of the baby carriers on this list have been double-checked by me to be Hip Healthy per the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
A good baby carrier will be adjustable to accommodate growing babies and different body shapes. Many families use the same baby carrier between mom and dad and these individuals are very seldom a similar size.
So the ability to adjust the baby carrier is a must! Unless you plan to be the only person who is using the baby carrier, but even then it’s nice to be able to adjust to your particular body. Some carriers are adjustable but have a hefty learning and adjustment curve.
With these types of baby carriers (Tula Free to Grow is one of them), it’s best for a single baby wearer rather than switching the carrier between multiple people and having to readjust every time.
Other infant carriers adjust very easily and transfer easily between multiple wearers. Be sure to take into account your family’s needs and research thoroughly the carriers you are considering for these features.
Chances are, you will be using your baby carrier many hours a day or at least a week. And your baby will only keep getting heavier. So it’s important that the baby carrier you choose is one that is comfortable for you both. Some baby carriers are naturally more comfortable than others based on design and fabric choice.
But it also depends on body type and shape, as each of us is unique in those characteristics. Add to that our unique babies. There are some baby carriers on the market now that I think will be a good fit for about 85% of the parent/baby population. But even those carriers will not fit some pairs the best and another carrier might be a better fit.
There are also brands of baby carriers that have been around for a LONG time that are notoriously uncomfortable for the majority of baby wearers and their babies. Baby Bjorn is one of those. Typically anything else that is a “crotch dangler” type of baby carrier where the hips are not supported – these carriers have a very narrow crotch and the legs just sort of dangle.
Number of Available Positions
Some brands only have the back carry position while others can accommodate front-facing as well as hip carry. You may not know right off the bat which you will want to use but I typically think the more options the better. I may not ever need to use the “Hip carry” position, but I like knowing that it’s available to me (I’d have to find my instructional booklet to figure it out, ha!).
However, the nice thing about some baby carriers that “keep it simple”, is that they are typically less heavy and complicated than others. So you will want to keep in mind your style while shopping. A minimalist for example might enjoy a less complicated baby carrier, even if it means it’s limited in carrying positions.
One of the considerations when choosing a baby carrier is keeping in mind the temperature of your climate and season.
For example, if you live in Arizona and plan to use it year-round, including in the summer, you may want to shop around for one of the baby carriers that includes a mesh fabric. Or at least is advertised for hotter temperatures.
Whereas if you live in Michigan and plan to use it in the fall, you may want something that is more padded. If you plan to use it year-round, you may want something middle of the road – some carriers have panels that zip down to reveal a mesh panel for hotter weather but zip back up for cooler weather.
Another temperature consideration is whether your baby is one that sweats profusely. Some babies sweat a lot and therefore a more ventilated and breathable baby carrier would be a good fit. No matter what you decide, make sure it will fit your needs.
Try It On Before You Buy
Babywearing has gotten a lot more mainstream, so many box stores now have sections where you can go touch, feel and even try on many brands of baby carriers. Target and Buy Buy Baby are a few I can think of.
Sometimes, all the best research online can only get us so far, and actually seeing the item in person can give a better understanding of fabric types, functionality, etc.
You may also look on https://babywearinginternational.org/chapters/ to see if there is a local babywearing group near you. It may be helpful to go check out all sorts of baby carriers and talk to other parents in person about any questions or concerns. Most parents who babywear are very happy to share their experience with baby carriers.
Benefits of Baby Wearing
Bonding Time With Baby
Many parents love to wear their babies for bonding time with the baby or child. Babies love to feel close to their parents, especially their mom. Many moms find that babywearing their child eliminates or greatly reduces fussiness, probably because the child’s comfort needs are being met during babywearing. Others find that children benefit from increased babywearing during teething or an illness also due to the comfort that babywearing gives to the child.
Imitates Closeness of Womb
When a baby is born, it leaves its’ close-knit, warm environment of the womb. Sometimes this transition is scary and not very comfortable. Having a close, warm environment for the baby helps baby transition into this big world comfortably.
Most babies enjoy the close warmth of babywearing for the first few months of life, as they integrate themselves into their surroundings. Some babies have more sensory needs and others are more easygoing. A lot will depend on your baby’s personality, as far as their needs of comfort during this transition time.
Many parents find that having a child in a baby carrier helps them with tasks around the house, especially when baby is particularly needy, such as during teething, etc. Instead of holding baby in your hands, you can delegate that job to the baby carrier and use your hands for whatever needs to be done.
I remember my baby carrier being a lifesaver in the fussy evening times when it’s also time to cook dinner. Having my hands free (or mostly free) was a huge help.
FAQs – Baby Carriers
How do you wash your baby carrier?
Most of the baby carriers on this list can be washed on the gentle cycle in the washing machine but be sure to check with your carrier’s instructions to be sure. Some baby carriers will only recommend that you spot clean and hang to dry. Others are sturdy enough to withstand washing machines and tumble drying.
For example, I washed my LILLEbaby Embossed in the washing machine on the delicate cycle and tumble dried on low heat with other items, like towels, and it looked brand new when it came out each time.
As with other items, machine washing and tumble drying can be hard on even the sturdiest of fabrics. Personally, spot cleaning would be my go-to, with machine washing (if allowed) reserved for once-in-a-while, thorough cleaning.
How do you store a baby carrier in the diaper bag?
Everyone knows that baby gear can add up quickly. This is especially the case when you’re out and about and toting around multiple items such as a diaper bag and baby carrier. Many people prefer to have a bigger diaper bag that can hold a baby carrier in it (folded up). If you choose to do this, you may consider the size of the baby carrier when folded when deciding which one to purchase.
Another consideration would be your lifestyle. Are you planning to be out and about with baby frequently or just every once in a while? Parents who are out and about with baby frequently may want to think through thoroughly the storage of baby carrier and the logistics of carrying everything.
Others prefer to have a backpack-style diaper bag that can be worn at the same time as a baby carrier. For example, I could have an SSC (Soft Structured Carrier) worn on the front, and a backpack diaper bag on my bag (this would also double as a purse). I admit this would make me look like a sherpa, but looks aren’t everything and functionality wins usually.
If you’re planning on baby carrying on your back (instead of the front), it might be worthwhile to use a crossbody type diaper bag for easy reach.
Whatever you choose, I love versatility, so a baby carrier that can be versatile in choosing positions and a diaper bag that can do the same would be a huge plus in my book.
Are baby carriers safe for newborns?
Whether a baby carrier is safe for newborns or not depends on the carrier and the guidelines the manufacturer has outlined for it. Some baby carriers can accommodate a newborn with an infant insert, others can do it with no special equipment required and then some are NOT for newborns entirely but are for older babies.
Newborns are fragile and little and need the utmost care. Always follow manufacturer instructions and guidelines regarding the handling of newborns in the baby carrier. If and when that manufacturer recommends it at all.
Why is an ergonomic baby carrier important?
Because you’ll likely be using the baby carrier at least sporadically if not daily, and babies only get bigger, ergonomic support is very important. Otherwise, a baby carrier that is not ergonomic will get uncomfortable quickly either for baby or mom or both.
The more comfortable a carrier, the more likely it that the baby-wearing days will last longer and this results in a happier mom and baby.
Is it safe to buy a used baby carrier?
Well, that depends.
Baby carriers are in high demand, and they are an item that is used only temporarily during the baby years. So it makes sense that many are getting sold secondhand afterward. And because they are a high dollar item, there is a need for lower-priced, used baby carriers to meet the demand of budget-conscious consumers.
Most carriers on this list are very well made and would stand up to use from multiple users. However, I would be leery of buying a used baby carrier without being able to see it first and inspect it myself.
If you are thinking of buying a used baby carrier, do your research. Find out the prices for the brand of the carrier – new and used. Steer clear of lowballers – you don’t want to buy a carrier that is falling apart or has been in moldy storage.
I would much rather buy a used baby carrier from someone in my local community than a complete stranger on the internet. So places like Facebook Marketplace or local babywearing groups might be a good place to start, rather than eBay, for example.
If you are going to venture on eBay, be sure that the carrier you buy can be returned just in case it doesn’t fit you properly or if there is something the matter with it. Each seller sets their own return policy, so always check prior to purchasing.
Can you sell your baby carrier?
On that same note, it’s also possible to SELL your used baby carrier once you are done with it. Especially baby carriers that are very expensive or have a cult following (LILLEbaby , Tula, Pognae, etc.) would be fairly easy to sell.
If you have kept your carrier in good shape by taking good care of it, you can recoup probably around half of the original cost. Of course, this depends on many factors like your market, your audience, the condition of the carrier, etc.
I, myself, sold my LILLEbaby carrier on their Facebook group which is very active in buying and selling carriers. Carrier-specific Buy Sell Trade groups or babywearing groups would be a good place to start. Also, Facebook marketplace, or eBay if you haven’t had luck with the other avenues.
What are the best baby carriers for hiking?
If you would like to take your baby on a hike, a baby carrier that is carried on the back with baby facing you is probably best. There are carriers out there that are heavy-duty, hike-specific. I didn’t include a carrier of that sort on this list because being hike specific, they are not versatile enough for everyday use.
However, if you are an avid hiker, you might be okay buying a hiking-specific carrier in addition to your everyday carrier. Some of the benefits of a hiking-specific carrier is that they are sturdy, have a frame so as to take the weight off your shoulders, and sit baby up higher so they can see more.
If so, some of the best hiking baby carriers that come to mind are the Clevr Cross Country, the Thule Sapling, and the Luvdbaby Premium.
If you would rather go hiking with an everyday baby carrier, you have some great options from our list. The LILLEbaby Completes, whether you would enjoy the Embossed or the All Seasons, are all great for the back carry position, which would be best for hiking. The Boba 4G is great for the back carry position as well.
Another great option is the Pognae No 5, which is made of outdoor fabric and has a hip seat for added support for baby and parent.
I don’t have a huge budget, can I still find a baby carrier that is well made and comfortable?
Absolutely! There are baby carriers out there for every budget, from very reasonable to very high-end. Even on this list, a carrier like the Boba 4G is very reasonably priced versus some of the other carriers which end up being almost double the price.
With babywearing being more mainstream, more and more companies (including foreign ones) are jumping on the bandwagon. But be sure to do your research. Just because a carrier is cheap, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s well made, ergonomic, or hip healthy.
Would it really be worth the savings to have a carrier that either hurts your baby or hurts your hip or doesn’t last very long?
Always double-check that the carrier you are considering purchasing is on the “Hip Healthy” list by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.