Being able to carry your little one around without using your hands really gives you the best of both worlds—a happy baby AND the ability to get off the couch and get some other stuff done. Woohoo! There are several different types of carriers out there, such as wraps, slings and soft structured carriers, and each one has its benefits. What type you decide to use is totally up to you.
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Our one piece of advice is to try and keep it simple: if you need to review the instruction manual every time you put it on, you’re probably not going to use it. Carriers by nature are supposed to make your life easier, not more complicated. And don’t forget—you want something that feels good to both you and your baby… and that can change over time, as they get older and bigger. For starters, here are a few of our favorite, easy-to-figure out styles.
Baby K’tan Original Baby Wrap Carrier
As far as wraps go, the Baby K’tan ($49.95 on Amazon) is about as simple—and comfortable—as it gets, making it ideal for new parents. Rather than making you navigate a super long piece of fabric, it’s already strategically looped for you so that all you have to do is choose between five different positions (all of which take seconds to figure out!) to hold your baby. It’s made with a soft, breathable, 100 percent cotton fabric, and allows you to safely carry babies and toddlers up to 35 pounds.
BabyBjorn Original Baby Carrier
If you don’t feel comfortable with a wrap but your baby is too little for some of the other, more structured carriers out there, the BabyBjorn ($78.88 on Amazon) can be a great place to start. It offers two ergonomically correct carrying positions for your little one (facing in or out), supports their head, neck, spine and hips while you walk, and is super easy to adjust.
Pura Vida Luxury Ring Sling
If a sling is your thing, then this eco-friendly bamboo and linen one ($64.80 on Amazon) is a great choice. It’s strong enough to hold your baby nice and snug, but it’s also incredibly soft and breathable… and, of course, easy to take on and off. For newborns and smaller babies, in particular, being in a sling can put them in a more natural sitting position than other traditional carriers. Bonus: A small percentage (5 percent) of the profit from your purchase goes to charity.
Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier
This classic, go-to carrier ($120 on Amazon) is a favorite among parents everywhere for a reason. It’s easy to use, ergonomically safe and can be adjusted to grow with your baby, up until they’re too heavy for you to carry them anymore (or just won’t let you do it!). The 360 model is designed specifically for babies who are at least 12 pounds—and grow with your child up to 45 pounds. You can wear this carrier on your hip, chest or back, and it provides plenty of support for both you and baby in each of those positions. It also has a roomy pocket to stash your phone, ID and anything else you might need when you’re out and about, plus a hood with UPF 50+ sun protection.
LILLEbaby Six-Position Carrier
The LILLEbaby ($89.99 on Amazon) is a popular alternative to the Ergo. It’s designed to be carried either like a backpack or in front of your body, and it offers great hip and back support. This carrier also allows you to put your little one in six different comfy, ergonomically correct positions. It’s nice and breathable, with an air mesh panel, has a large zippered pocket and features a removable hood to give baby some extra peace and quiet when needed.
Freelance writer/editor and contributor at MamasUncut. West Coast-based, East Coast-raised. Doubled down on the parenting gig last year, with two kids under the age of 3—plus a 2-year-old black shepherd/lab mix who thinks they’re actually his babies. A good day: run, bake, eat, repeat.