Best Baby Carriers 2022

Baby carriers let parents keep newborns (and even toddlers) close while freeing up hands for all those other ongoing parental tasks, from grocery shopping to laundry.

The best baby carriers grow with your child, offering a secure place to keep baby safe while on the go. Of course, you can place baby in the crib for a break or in a swing at home, but if moving from room to room, traveling or just hitting the park, a carrier can be a nice way to hold little ones hands-free while continuing your daily activities. Our favorite carriers, such as our top pick, the Beco Gemini, allow you to carry babies in various positions (facing in, facing out and on your back) as the kids grow old enough and according to the child’s preferences.

“There are numerous benefits of babywearing for both caregiver and baby,” says Isobel Benesch, maternal health advocate and founder of Atlas of Motherhood. “A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that babywearing for three hours a day reduced infant crying significantly—43 percent overall and 51 percent at night.” Benesch explains that babywearing is a “simple and low-risk intervention that can reduce the instance and severity of postpartum depression by improving maternal sense of bonding, breastfeeding success, reducing infant colic and increased level of maternal oxytocin.”

The best baby carriers are comfortable for both parent and child and they go on with with relative ease, eliminating frustration. These carriers also take into consideration safe positioning of the baby. Here are 10 of the best baby carriers, including our favorite multitaskers to specialized carriers for hiking or hanging by the pool.


Best Baby Carrier Overall

This Non-Complicated Carrier Gets High Marks For Comfort

Editor’s Pick

Newborn Safe: Yes| Weight Capacity: 7 to 35 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: Yes

While many baby carriers are helpful for specific use cases or body types, the Beco stands out among the rest because it checks all the boxes. It’s suitable for newborns (without a cumbersome insert) as well as toddlers, easy to put on, nursing-friendly and can be worn in several different ways. Plus, it’s exceptionally breathable, easy to adjust and there’s mesh-front version that keeps baby and caregiver cooler. It’s ergonomically constructed and back friendly, no matter if you’re toting around a little newborn or a hefty toddler. Parents love it because it fits all body types, is machine washable (oh, spit up), affordable and can easily be shared by mom and dad.

“It was literally the most comfortable carrier we tried–and the easiest to get on,” says Rose Gordon Sala, baby and kids gear editor at Forbes Vetted. “I think it’s something about the thick, wide straps and waist belt.” She used the carrier through three kids, both as newborns and for day hikes when they grew into toddlers, and it proved to be the most friendly toward aching backs with its crossed back straps.

Pros:

  • Versatile wearing options
  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Works for newborns to toddlers
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Hard to access the front pocket for some
  • It can be tricky to get the baby into backpack mode while solo


Best Baby Carrier For Newborns

A Versatile Carrier With Privacy Shield For Napping

Newborn Safe: Yes| Weight Capacity: 8 to 35 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: No

The Nuna CUDL allows for front or back wearing and features adjustable padded shoulder straps, a waist belt and an integrated infant booster to ensure caretaker and baby comfort. Nuna is known for thoughtful features, so it’s no surprise that the carrier includes locking zippers and magnetic buckles to keep newborns safe, a breathable cover for naptime and head support that can be folded down and even removed as your child grows. On top of that, the carrier is machine washable and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified, which means it’s made thoughtfully and sustainably.

Some newborns may need to gain a few pounds before the carrier works for them, but this is an all-around great pick to take you from infancy to toddlerhood. “My favorite feature by far is the magnetic buckles, which make it extremely easy to put the baby on quickly and safely when you are by yourself, whether you are dealing with a sleeping newborn or a wiggling 12 month old,” says Cory Baldwin, mom to a 1 year old and director of content and strategy at Forbes Vetted.

Baldwin says this is the carrier she and her husband reach for again and again. “We’ve tried baby carriers from several other brands and the Nuna is by far the most comfortable to wear for any extended amount of time.”

Pros:

  • Easy to use and adjust
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Includes attached hood

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Back carry can be complicated

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Best Baby Carrier For Toddlers

A Supportive Option For All Ages

Newborn Safe: Yes| Weight Capacity: 7 to 45 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: Yes

This carrier is equipped to take you from your first day home with your child to their first day of preschool. It’s suitable for babies from 7 to 45 pounds and offers ergonomic support for the caregiver’s back. Benesch loves it because the Ergobaby Omni is “a soft structured carrier that is incredibly comfortable and supportive on the lower back.” She went on to recall: “It was my go-to carrier for day-to-day activities as my baby got heavier. It allowed me to breastfeed on the go and be hands-free with older siblings.”

The Ergobaby carrier is also a hit because it can be worn on the front, back or side of the body. The 360 includes a large protective hood to shield baby from the sun or rain, which can also be used to create a more comfortable nursing environment. Fans of the carrier noted that its suitable for most body types and that it’s an optimal long-term babywearing option.

Pros: 

  • Ergonomic construction
  • Versatile wearing styles
  • Includes hood and carry case

Cons: 

  • Straps can feel cumbersome to adjust
  • Less breathable than some competitors


Best Sling Or Wrap Carrier

This Breathable Wrap Is Easier To Secure Than Most

MOST POPULAR

Newborn Safe: Yes| Weight Capacity: 8 to 25 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: No | Side Carry: No

A wrap or ring carrier like the Solly Baby is a cozy and inexpensive option that’s optimal for keeping baby extra close any time of year. But as the warmer months roll around, this is option stands out because it’s so lightweight. The wrap is made from a machine-washable 100% Lenzing Modal cloth that’s sustainable and soft enough for newborn use. It’s an ideal travel carrier, too, given the way it easily folds up to tiny proportions compared to a more structured baby carrier.

As many parents can confirm from experience, wrap carriers can sometimes be a bit of a, er, challenge to get on. The Solly Baby, however, is slightly more intuitive. One of our editors admits that it is the only wrap she ever successfully used thanks in part to its online tutorials. The wrap is only useable with babies up to 25 pounds, so it’s more often used with younger babies, but it’s suitable for all caregiver body types given the length of the fabric.

Pros:

  • Soft, breathable construction
  • Easier to use than other wraps
  • Collapsible for travel

Cons:

  • Only suitable up to 25 pounds


Best Baby Carrier For Petite Moms

Offers Comfort And Support For Mom And Baby

Newborn Safe: Yes| Weight Capacity: 7 to 45 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: Yes

While baby carrying is a wonderful option for most families, those with smaller frames can often have a difficult time finding one that’s comfortable for their body. Thankfully, the Lillebaby carrier is so versatile that it can suit any shape or size. Not only is it hip healthy for baby and certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, but it can also be worn six ways. It provides ample lumbar support and utilizes a breathable mesh fabric for baby and thick, padded straps for parent. It also had a detachable sun hood for summer days and can be used with children 7 pounds to 45 pounds. Plus, it’s machine washable.

Pros: 

  • Can be worn six ways
  • Certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute
  • Grows with your child

Cons: 

  • Can take time to figure out best positioning


Best Baby Carrier For Plus Size Moms

A Sturdy Carrier For Parents Of All Sizes

Newborn Safe: Yes| Weight Capacity: 7.7 to 33 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: Yes

There’s no shortage of versatile and adjustable carriers, but the Cybex Maira stands out because it’s truly suited to all body types. With an adjustable ergonomic waist belt that extends to 64 inches, this soft carrier is optimal for all frames. The Maira’s shoulder straps are the material of a soft newborn carrier (like the Solly Baby) and can be crossed or worn straight. The remainder of the straps can then be tied at the waist for an even more supported feel. I personally loved using this because it didn’t tug at my ever-changing postpartum belly.

Its versatility is also something to note, as the carrier can be worn three ways, includes an infant insert for babies under 11 pounds, has adjustable head and neck support and is certified hip safe. There’s even a storage space for important belongings and a clip for pacifiers or toys.

Pros: 

  • Quality carrier with versatile carry options and belt adjustments
  • Excellent back support
  • Includes infant insert and carrying case

Cons: 

  • A tie baby carrier isn’t for everyone
  • Takes time to master the multiple wearing styles


Best Baby Carrier For Dads

A Sophisticated, Neutral Option For Dads And Pocket Lovers

Newborn Safe: Yes | Weight Capacity: 7 to 33 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: No

This sleek carrier from Colugo comes in a variety of neutral colors just right for dad. He’ll also likely enjoy the many pockets, which might eliminate the need for him to tote the diaper bag, too. The waistband expands to 54 inches.

You can carry your baby from the newborn stage at 7 pounds, and then later, as a toddler on your back with the Colugo baby carrier. We also love that it’s machine washable, and reviewers like how lightweight and breathable it is. One of the Colugo’s biggest draws is the magnetic buckles that make snapping baby into the carrier a cinch. It’s also JPMA certified and approved for proper hip development from the Hip Dysplasia Institute.

Pros:

  • Multiple carry positions
  • Machine washable
  • Includes sunshade

Cons:

  • Weight limit lower than some competitors
  • A bit pricey


Best Baby Carrier For Hiking

This Backpack Carrier Makes Hiking With Baby Possible

Newborn Safe: No | Weight Capacity: 16 to 40 pounds | Forward Facing: No | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: No

Parents looking for adventure alongside their baby should reach for the Osprey Poco Child Carrier. Suitable for children up to 40 pounds and ages 6 months to 3.5 years, this structured carrier allows parents to hike with their child with minimal fuss. The aluminum frame and ventilated mesh panel keep both parent and baby comfortable and cool; the built-in sunshade provides sun protection on the hottest of days. The Osprey carrier also includes a plethora of zipped storage areas, intuitive water bottle holders and a handy kickstand so your child will remain upright even if you need to place your pack down.

The downside is you can’t see your child since it’s a backpack style, which makes it not suitable for newborns and younger infants. It’s also bulky (seriously, it looks like you’re carrying a stroller on your back), but it’s lightweight for a hiking carrier and can be folded up to fit in a trunk or on an airplane.

Pros: 

  • Lightweight but suitable for tots up to 40 pounds
  • Includes UV sun protection and mesh panels for cooling
  • Handy kickstand and pockets make for an easy to use option

Cons: 

  • Bulky
  • Not appropriate for under 6 months of age


Best Baby Carrier For Water And Travel

The Most Packable and Water-Friendly Carrier

Newborn Safe: No| Weight Capacity: 8 to 40 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: No

Many parents aren’t aware of water-friendly baby carriers but they’re a definite must for summer months and vacations. The Bitybean is a parent favorite, because it makes keeping your child safe around the pool, water park, lake or ocean a bit easier.

Suitable for kids 3 months to 4 years, this lightweight, waterproof carrier features padded and adjustable head support for infants, as well as a detachable shade hood to keep them cool. It can be worn on your front or back depending on how you and your child are hoping to explore the water and includes thoughtfully-made air mesh padded straps to distribute your child’s weight evenly and keep you comfortable. It folds down to absolutely nothing, making it extra easy to store in carry-on luggage or your diaper bag.

Pros:

  • Waterproof, lightweight and machine washable
  • Breathable and comfortable for parent and child
  • Comes with waterproof storage bag to keep belongings dry

Cons:

  • Not suitable for newborns


Best Luxe Baby Carrier

Aesthetically Pleasing And Finely Crafted

Newborn Safe: Yes| Weight Capacity: 7 to 45 pounds | Forward Facing: Yes | Back Carry: Yes | Side Carry: No

Even before I was pregnant I knew I wanted this carrier—mostly because it’s gorgeous. Yes, Artipoppe is known for its chic prints and rather robust price tags, but I was pleased to learn that the construction and utility of the carrier made it worth it. It’s machine washable and can be used to carry on your front or back and can be used from day one to two years of age. It’s also nursing-friendly and unisex. It offers an incredible amount of lower back support and is easily adjusted as your baby grows. If you’re looking to splurge, I highly suggest the Artipoppe Zeitgeist.

Pros:

  • Versatile, unisex and easily adjustable as baby grows
  • Broad weight range
  • Machine washable

Cons:

  • Far more expensive than other options


Frequently Asked Questions On Baby Carriers

Do I Need A Baby Carrier?

While a baby carrier isn’t a necessity, it is a wonderful way to carry your baby while keeping your posture supported. In addition to giving you a hands-free experience with your child, it’s also beneficial for parent and child bonding, is known to reduce crying and fussiness and often eases parental stress. A baby carrier isn’t the right option for every family, but they certainly make walking, doing chores and simply holding your child easier on your body and mental load. It’s also a more compact option when traveling or getting out of the house when compared to a stroller.

Are Baby Carriers Safe?

Parents will often wonder if babies can develop hip dysplasia or overheat when in a baby carrier, however baby carriers are a safe and tested option to keep your child close and supported. It is, however, important to read instructions and take all necessary precautions when baby carrying. For instance, when using a baby carrier with a newborn, it’s of the utmost importance that their head and neck are supported. You should also be mindful of your baby’s temperature and ensure their mouth and nose aren’t covered by anything when using a baby carrier.

When Can A Baby Face Forward In A Baby Carrier?

It’s not advised that babies face forward in the carrier until they can adequately hold up their head without support. Typically parents feel comfortable enough to do this between months four and six. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to check with your pediatrician to make sure this is best for your baby.

How Long Can You Use A Baby Carrier?

That depends on both the child and person doing the carrying. Many families utilize baby wearing from birth to 2 years of age but some children might not enjoy being contained once they’re mobile. Other children might be content to hang out in a structured carrier until they’re 3. It really depends on the size and temperament of the child and the strength and comfort level of the adult. Generally speaking however, most carriers can be used until your child reaches about 45 pounds.

What Should You Look For In A Baby Carrier?

When looking for a baby carrier, it’s important to think of who will be using it, the age and size of your child and if there are any specific features that you want. I highly recommend trying a few on before selecting a carrier for your registry. Generally speaking, you should look at construction (a broad waist belt and padded shoulder straps will help support the baby’s weight and anatomy), carrying options (can they face in or out and be worn on your front or back?), and if the carrier provides any additional features or storage. It’s worth considering if the carrier fits well, is machine washable and how it travels.

  • Consider who’s going to carry the baby most frequently
  • Factor in child’s age, weight and how long you plan to baby carry
  • Pay attention to comfort, back support and hip-healthy options

What’s The Best Type Of Baby Carrier?

Much like car seats and strollers, the best option depends on the needs of the family. For newborns and young infants who are breastfeeding, a wrap or soft carrier might be the best option. However, those are short-term solutions. For families looking for a long-term option with many capabilities, a soft structured carrier like the Beco, Nuna or ErgoBaby is worth a look because of these carriers’ versatility and quality.