The 8 Best Baby Carriers to Buy in 2018

Keep your baby close and comfortable

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Wearing your baby, snugly and sweetly on your chest, can do wonders for your heart. Your back and shoulders? Not so much. So for the comfort and health of both you and your baby, it’s important to choose a baby carrier wisely.

When purchasing a carrier you'll need to keep a few things in mind: Do you plan to carry your baby into toddlerhood? Will you be using this in a warm climate? Do you want something both Dad and Mom can use? They're a lot of questions one should ask in regards to the intended use so you find the right fit for you and your little one.

Of course, babywearing safety is essential, so be sure to read your manual carefully, watch any how-to videos, and do a test run at home with and without a baby in there (and maybe an extra set of hands around) so you get the hang of it.

Once you are ready to make a purchase, take a look at our top picks for the best baby carriers out there that are sure to have something for every type of baby wearer out there.

Our Top Picks

1

Best Overall: Lillebaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1

Comfortable, ergonomic, and super-versatile, with six different carrying positions, the Lillebaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 baby carrier gets high marks from parents.

Those six carrying positions—plus an adjustable wide-seat to narrow-seat functionality—means the Lillebaby Complete can take your baby from newborn (7 pounds) to 45 pounds, and it doesn’t need an infant insert. Padded shoulder straps, lumbar support, and a wide, sturdy waist belt make it comfortable for parents to wear, while the adjustable seat, neck support, and temperature-control 3D mesh panel help keep baby comfy and supported.

You can also customize it even more by wearing it backpack style or a cross-back style so different users can find what works better for their comfort level.

2

Best Budget: Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier

The Infantino Flip is the best-selling soft baby carrier on Amazon. No doubt, one huge selling point is the price: This carrier comes at a great price, but still boasts some features you’ll find in pricier models, like padded straps, a supportive waist belt, and an adjustable seat.

The Flip is designed for babies from 8 to 32 pounds, and you can wear your little one facing in, facing out, or on your back. Another fun feature is the patented Wonder Cover bib, which gives the carrier a cute splash of color while protecting it (and baby’s clothes) from drool and spit-up. The whole thing can be tossed in the wash when it is need of a cleaning.

Reviewers ranging from plus-sized moms to active hikers all give this solid-reviews. Many note their newborns fit in this comfortably, and love that an additional infant insert is not needed.

3

Best for Newborns: Ergobaby Omni 360

Unlike the original Ergobaby 360, which requires a sold-separately, infant insert for use with babies 7-12 pounds, Ergobaby’s Omni 360 baby carrier is billed as being “newborn ready” with no infant insert needed—and can be used with babies starting at 7 pounds.

A UPF 50+ privacy hood and adjustable straps make it easier to comfortably nurse your baby, if you’re breastfeeding, in the carrier. And as baby grows (the Omni 360 can be used with tots up to 45 pounds), you can use multiple carrying positions, and parents and caregivers can wear it multiple ways, too—crossed in back, or backpack style—for maximum comfort.

4

Best for Hiking: Deuter Kid Comfort 2

Not just any baby carrier will do for outdoorsy mamas and papas who want to hike while wearing their tots. Deuter’s Kid Comfort 2, while pricey, is a highly rated pick on Amazon. This carrier is JPMA approved for safety and is designed for kids who weigh between 16 and 40 pounds and who can sit up by themselves.

Features on this aluminum-frame backpack carrier include side step-in access, a 5-point child safety harness, an adjustable-height seat, a breathable foam back to minimize parental perspiration, a padded hip belt and sternum strap, lots of handy pockets and compartments for diapers, keys, smartphones, sunscreen and the like, and a “Vari-Quick back system” that makes adjusting the harness and transferring the load from one adult to the other easy.

Raved one Amazon reviewer: “We needed to find a pack that fit both my husband, a solid 6'3", and myself, a thin 5'3". This was actually just about the 8th carrier we tried to get to fit both of us, and were THRILLED to find one that fits.”

5

Best Wrap: CuddleBug Baby Wrap

Wraps are a whole different breed of baby carrier—and definitely carry a learning curve—so if you’re in the market for a baby carrier wrap, you’ll need to commit to actually learning how to tie it and safely wear your baby. But once you get the hang of it, CuddleBug’s baby wrap can be super-versatile.

The 5-meter-long piece of soft, cotton-spandex blend fabric offers one-size-fits-all adjustability for caregivers, and can be used with newborns—and even preemies: CuddleBug wraps are designed for babies 0-35 pounds. Keep in mind, though, that it’s not to be used for back- or hip-carrying.

6

Best for Toddlers: Tula Ergonomic Carrier - Toddler

Tula baby carriers have a wildly loyal cult following—for good reason: They’re available in tons of fun prints, including some limited-edition versions that sell out in minutes (and re-sell for hundreds, even thousands, of dollars).

But they’re not just fashionable, they’re functional: The toddler-sized model works for tots 25-60 pounds—quite a bit higher than many other brands and models—and can be worn ergonomically in front or back. And they’re made from lightweight, breathable canvas that’s made from 100 percent OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified cotton.

7

Best for Dads: Babybjorn Carrier One Outdoors

Babybjorn is practically synonymous with baby carriers, and the brand’s latest model, the Babybjorn Carrier One Outdoors, offers some cool new functionality, like a built-in “newborn position” that allows you to wear your baby higher up on your chest—no infant insert needed. It can be used from 8 to 33 pounds, has an adjustable seat width, and can be worn in 4 different front and back carrying positions as your child grows.

The Carrier One Outdoors has a sporty look that we think Dads will love, plus an extra-study waist belt and padded shoulder straps. It’s made from breathable, water- and dirt-resistant materials that dry quickly, and it has plenty of pockets and loops—for keys, a phone, etc—and comes with a cool, sporty storage bag.

8

Best for Hot Weather: Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh Ergonomic Baby Carrier

One knock against soft structured baby carriers is that they can be hot to wear. To the rescue: Ergobaby’s Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh baby carrier. This model boasts all of the same features on the original Omni 360, but is made of a breathable, lightweight, mesh material that’s designed to allow for airflow and be cooler for you and baby.

Reviewers love that this keeps baby and caregivers comfortable and many say this is the only carrier you need.

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