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Compare Baby Carriers

Compare Baby Carriers

Before I had my son, I had visions of carrying my newborn baby around everywhere with me…. around the house, coffee shops, shopping, pedicures, and most importantly, having a glass of wine at a restaurant with my husband.

I didn’t compare baby carriers beforehand, I had seen enough people using a wrap carrier that I decided that one was for me! Imagine my horror when I put my newborn baby into my wrap carrier and he screamed bloody murder!

There are a few different types of carriers out there and hundreds of different companies within those categories. I am going to describe each different type of carrier here, and I have written reviews for different companies within on my review page.

Wrap Carriers

Wrap carriers are a long piece of fabric that wraps around your shoulders and back. Your baby can slide snugly into it, Baby Wrapkeeping your baby nice and close to you.

There are no buckles, clasps or Velcro which makes this kind of carrier comfy to move around in (around the house etc.). They are usually made of cotton with a slight stretch to them and are easily machine washable. (Which is handy if you have a puker like I did).

Most wrap carriers can handle a baby up to 18 months, however, most people find it most useful from newborn till about 6 months. This is mainly due to the wrap not having as much support as a structured carrier.

These carriers can usually be positioned front facing (inward and outward), back, and side facing. One of the sells is that you can breastfeed while wearing the carrier…. personally, I found that very difficult because my babies face was really smushed in there and it was hard to get my baby into that position in the first place.

The one downside that is most common, is that the wrap can be difficult to figure out. Most of them have different ways of tying them and you can end up in a tangled mess. However, a little practice and watching some YouTube can help.

Most popular wrap carriers: Baby K’tan, Moby wrap, Boba Wrap, Solly

Pros:

  • Machine washable
  • Comfortable for small babies
  • Multiple positions

Cons:

  • Can be hard to figure out how to put on
  • Not as comfortable for bigger babies

Ring Sling Carriers

Ring sling carriers are similar to wrap carriers, however, it is a long piece of fabric with 2 rings. The fabric is wrapped around your torso and one shoulder and through the rings. It is much easier to configure than a wrap carrier which would be the biggest difference. Ring slings keep your baby close and give you freedom to move about.

Ring slings can come in many different types of fabric including, cotton, linen, wool, silk and cashmere. Unfortunately this means they have to be hand washed or washed on gentle cycle and hung dry, which can be annoying if you’re having to wash it a lot. Ring slings go over one shoulder which makes it slightly less supportive than the wrap.

Most popular ring slings: Lillebaby Eternal Love Ring Sling, Moby Ring Sling, Balboa Baby Sling

Pros:

  • Easy to put on
  • Multiple positions

Cons:

  • Not machine washable
  • Not as supportive

Soft Structured Carriers

Compare Baby CarriersSoft structured carriers are a more heavy-duty type of carrier. They distribute the onto your hips instead of your back. I would say generally once your baby is over 15-20 lb you’ll probably want to move onto a structured carrier. However, many can accommodate a newborn as well, with a separate insert.

These carriers have belts and buckles that clasp behind your back for support, which is GREAT! Except I’ve found them to be a 2 person job getting it on and off.

All basic structured carriers are designed to carry your baby on your front or back. Many have versions that can be positioned facing outward as well. I found this a huge selling point, as my baby has a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out), and NEEDED to see everything.

Soft structured carriers have a higher price point than the wraps, starting around $120 and up.

Most popular structured carriers: Ergobaby Omni 360 Carriers, BabyBjorn Carrier 1, Lillebaby 6-in-1 Complete, Boba 4G

Pros:

  • Ergonomically friendly for parent and baby
  • Can handle a heavier baby
  • Versatile: different positions

Cons:

  • Higher price point
  • Not machine washable
  • Can be difficult to get on and off
  • Less freedom to move about than the wrap
  • Bulkier storage

Hipseat Carriers

Hipseat carriers are technically in the structured carrier category, but I feel it needs a space of it’s own. While it has all the same specs as a soft structured carrier, it has so much more!

Basically, it’s a regular carrier that sits on top of a hard foam seat, that is fully supported by your hips. The carrier can be detached and you can use the carrier without the seat, or you can use the seat without the carrier for holding a toddler, breastfeeding etc.

I have a hard time finding anything bad to say about them. After going through so many carriers, I felt this one worked the best. Some issues I found were…. higher price point and difficult to get in and out on my own.

Most popular: I-Angel Hipseat, Kiddihug, Babylian, Bebamour Comfort

Pros:

  • Ergonomically friendly for parent and baby
  • VERY versatile, from newborn to toddler

Cons:

  • Not machine washable
  • Bulky to store
  • Hard to get in and out of

Metal Frame Carriers

Designed for the outdoorsy type, these carriers are the mack daddy of carriers. I dabble in small, short hikes, and even withSteel Frame Baby Carrier that, I felt I needed a metal frame carrier instead of my soft structured.

With many adjustable straps for you and baby, once you’re in, you feel very secure. The metal kickstand at the back allows you to get your child in and out easily by setting the carrier down. These carriers are only used one way…. back.

These carriers are only meant for babies that can hold their head up on their own, as there is no support for the head. My child loves this because he is high up and can easily see out instead of looking directly into my back. Obviously, these carriers are the most bulky out of them all and don’t fold up nicely for storage.

Most Popular: Deuter Kid Comfort, Osprey Poco AG, Phil and Teds, Kelty Journey

Pros:

  • Super supportive for long walks and hikes
  • Baby can see out and look around
  • Easy to get baby in and out using kickstand

Cons:

  • Price point. Typically starts at $200 and goes up….WAY up
  • Bulky storage
  • Only used for older babies

Conclusion

Yes, I know the variety of baby carriers are overwhelming! This is why I wanted to compare baby carriers for you. I hope this narrowed down at least what type of carrier you are looking for.

The important thing is to compare baby carriers before you buy, so you have a great start here! You may need more than one type to fit your lifestyle and growing baby. Once you have what type you are looking for, you’ll need to find what brand. Check out my review page on baby carriers here.

I have another post where I individually review some of these carriers.  If you haven’t clicked any of the links above click HERE.

Please leave any questions or share your experiences in the comment box below. Cheers.

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4 thoughts on “Compare Baby Carriers

  1. Great post showcasing the pros and cons of the different types of carriers. I went to a store and tried on tons of carriers before making a choice because there’s a million different fits and fabrics! Great post!

    1. Hi Natalie. I’m glad you enjoyed our post. There is quite a variety of carriers out there, it took me awhile to narrow them down. Hope to see you back here soon!

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