Types of Baby Carrier: Ultimate Guide for New Parents



Types of Baby Carrier

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Entering parenthood and feeling overwhelmed with the plethora of baby gear out there? Take a deep breath. We’re here to unravel the mystery of one essential item: the baby carrier.

This comprehensive guide is designed to ease your journey into parenthood by helping you navigate the vast world of baby carriers. From understanding the importance of ergonomics to exploring the different types of carriers, their features, and benefits – we’ve got you covered.

Whether it’s wraps, slings, mei tais, or buckle carriers that pique your interest, our guide will delve into each, providing insights to help you find the perfect fit for your family.

So, buckle up and let’s embark on this exciting journey together – because keeping your baby safe, comfortable, and close shouldn’t be a guessing game.

Types of Baby Carriers

Choosing the right baby carrier for you and your little one can be a bit overwhelming, as there are various types to consider. In this section, we will discuss the main types of baby carriers, including wraps, slings, soft structured carriers, and backpack carriers.


Wraps are a popular and traditional choice, consisting of a long piece of fabric that is tied around you and your baby, creating a safe and cozy carrying environment. They come in two main types: stretchy wraps, which are great for newborns as they provide softness and flexibility, and woven wraps, which offer more support and durability for older babies and toddlers. Wrapping can be a bit challenging for beginners, but with practice, you’ll gain confidence and find the perfect wrap for your babywearing journey.

Recently hybrid wrap baby carriers have evolved, which combine the comfort of a baby wrap with the convenience of a buckle carrier. These hybrid carriers get over the issues of the complex learning curve many stretchy wraps require and are a the perfect combination of a wrap and buckle carrier!


Slings consist of a single layer of fabric that is looped through rings and worn over one shoulder, creating a pouch for your baby. Ring slings are easy to adjust, making it simple to get your baby in and out. They are ideal for newborns, infants, and even toddlers, as you can support your baby’s weight on your hip comfortably. Slings may favor one shoulder, so alternating the carrying side is often recommended to avoid discomfort.

Soft Structured Carriers

Soft structured carriers, or buckle carriers, are popular for their simplicity and versatility. These carriers usually have padded shoulder straps and a supportive waistband, ensuring proper weight distribution for both you and your baby. Many soft structured carriers can accommodate different carrying positions, such as front-facing, inward-facing, and back-carrying. Look for carriers that support your baby’s legs in the hip-healthy “M” position and offer adjustable settings for a comfortable fit.

Some of these will require an infant insert to be used from newborn, whilst others will have increased functionality to allow the carrier to change posistions as your baby grows.

Backpack Carriers

Backpack carriers are designed specifically for carrying older babies and toddlers, typically aged six months and up. A backpack baby carrier can resemble hiking backpacks, with a sturdy frame and ample storage space, making them ideal for outdoor adventures and long outings.

Backpack carriers often provide extra support and ventilation, ensuring that both you and your little one stay comfortable during extended periods of use. Keep in mind that these carriers are usually more substantial and may be less practical for everyday use compared to other carrier types.

As you explore these different baby carrier options, remember to prioritize your and your baby’s comfort and choose one that suits your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to try different carriers and seek advice from fellow babywearing parents or experts. Happy babywearing!

The Baby Wrap Carrier

Different Wrap Designs

Wrap carriers are a popular choice for newborns and older babies alike. They come in various designs and materials. The most common woven wrap materials are cotton and linen, which are known for their durability and breathability. They can literally come in any design under the sun, and their cost can vary dramatically depending on if they are hand woven or mass produced.

One popular type of wrap is the stretchy wrap, made from a blend of breathable materials that provide a more comfortable and snug fit for your baby. These wraps are ideal for newborns, as they offer excellent support and keep your baby close to your body, but generally don’t last past six months (no matter what the manufacturers claim!)

Pros and Cons


  • Wraps provide a custom, snug fit around your baby, ensuring comfort and security.
  • They are highly adjustable, making them suitable for various body types and age groups.
  • Wrap carriers distribute your baby’s weight evenly across your back and shoulders, reducing strain on your body.
  • They allow for multiple carrying positions, giving you flexibility based on your baby’s needs and your comfort level.


  • Some wraps have a weight limit, which means you may need to switch to a different carrier type as your baby grows.
  • Wraps can be intimidating for some new parents due to the learning curve in mastering the wrapping process.
  • It may be time-consuming to put on and take off, especially compared to other carrier types.

LÍLLÉbaby Dragonfly Baby Wrap

Embrace Comfort and Style with LÍLLÉbaby Dragonfly Wrap!

The LÍLLÉbaby Dragonfly Wrap Ergonomic Baby Carrier makes carrying your baby easy and convenient. The wrap is made from a Supima Cotton/Modal Blend, which is soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking. It’s adjustable to fit sizes 00 through 24 and can comfortably carry babies from 8-30 lbs. The wrap slips on like a t-shirt and is machine washable for easy cleaning.

The wins overall best hybrid wrap as its adjustable, so both partners can wear the same wrap.

Verdict: 8.7/10 The LÍLLÉbaby Dragonfly Wrap Ergonomic Baby Wrap Carrier is a solid choice for parents looking for comfort, ease of use, and quality materials. Its ergonomic design and versatile fit make it a worthy contender in the baby carrier market. While it does have some minor drawbacks, particularly regarding sizing and stretch, it seems to work perfectly for most users.


  • Ergonomic design: The back panel is designed to provide extra comfort and support for parents, reducing back strain during extended use.
  • Premium material: Made from a luxuriously soft Supima Cotton/Modal Blend, this wrap provides both breathability and moisture control.
  • Versatile and adjustable: The wrap is adjustable for sizes 00 through 24 and can carry babies from 8-30 lbs.
  • Easy to use: The wrap is designed for easy on/off, slipping over your head like a t-shirt.
  • Machine Washable: For those inevitable baby messes, this wrap is machine washable, providing quick and easy cleans.


  • Size limitations: Some users have reported that there doesn’t seem to be enough material for a double wrap tie, making the wrap feel tight or undersized, especially for larger parents.
  • Limited stretch: While the material is soft and comfortable, some users have noted that they wish it were a bit stretchier. This could affect the comfort and mobility of the baby when snugly wrapped.

When choosing a wrap carrier, consider your comfort level and desired features, keeping in mind the importance of breathability and the weight limit for the carrier. With practice and patience, you can find the perfect wrap to keep your baby close and comfortable.

The Sling Carrier

Ring Sling

A ring sling is a type of sling carrier that features a wide piece of fabric, usually in a lightweight material such as cloth or mesh fabric. It wraps around your shoulder and creates a pouch for your baby to sit in. This design makes it versatile and adjustable for newborns and infants alike. The rings allow you to adjust the tension of the fabric, giving you the freedom to customize the support and fit for you and your baby.

Ring slings are quite popular for their simplicity and the potential for discreet breastfeeding. Their airy construction makes them an excellent choice for hotter climates. However, keep in mind that they may not distribute weight as evenly as other carrier types, so you might find it less comfortable for extended wear.

Meh Dai Carrier

The Meh Dai carrier is another sling option, combining the support of Asian Baby Carriers (ABCs) with ease and adjustability. This style features a rectangular piece of fabric with straps attached to each corner. You’ll tie the bottom straps around your waist and the top straps around your shoulders, crisscrossing them on your back for better weight distribution.

Meh Dai carriers offer a more structured support compared to ring slings, making them a great choice for small infants and newborns who need the extra stability. Since the straps are adjustable, you can customize the fit for both you and your baby. The design of the Meh Dai carrier offers a natural “M” position for your baby’s legs, which promotes healthy hip development.

The Soft Structured Carrier

Popular Brands

Soft structured carriers are a fantastic option for comfortably carrying your baby. Some popular brands you might be familiar with include Ergobaby and Lillebaby. These carriers allow for hands-free adventures with your child, which is especially helpful when you’re navigating busy spaces or maneuvering around your home. With both affordable and more luxurious options available, you’re bound to find a soft structured carrier that suits your needs and budget.

Comfort and Support

Soft structured carriers are designed with you and your baby’s comfort in mind. These carriers feature adjustable shoulder straps, which makes it easy to customize the fit for your body. The padding on the straps helps distribute your baby’s weight evenly, providing you with the necessary support for longer periods of carrying.

Your newborn or toddler can be safely carried in various positions, such as facing in for cozy skin-to-skin contact or facing out to explore the world. As your child grows, most soft structured carriers accommodate different carrying positions, such as on the front or back, ensuring your carrier remains versatile throughout your child’s development.

When it comes to your baby’s well-being, soft structured carriers provide the necessary support for their hips and back development. Many carriers are designed to support hip-healthy positioning for baby’s hips, helping you avoid issues like hip dysplasia. Your child’s back is supported in an ergonomic way, ensuring comfort and safety during your carrying adventures together.

Ergobaby Omni 360 Review – 9/10

Versatility Meets Comfort for Every Stage!

The Ergobaby Omni 360 All-Position Baby Carrier is the ultimate all-in-one solution designed to carry your baby from newborn to toddler (7-45lbs). Uniquely tailored for all your baby-carrying needs, it’s the ideal blend of comfort, convenience, and style. This best-seller model in pearl grey combines Ergobaby’s renowned ergonomic support with a cool and breathable Air Mesh fabric, delivering both style and comfort for your on-the-go adventures.

Overall Rating: 9/10 – With its superior comfort, ease of use, and the adaptability it offers as your child grows, the Ergobaby Omni 360 All-Position Baby Carrier proves to be a smart investment for new parents. The high price point and potential color fading are minor issues when compared to the wealth of benefits this carrier provides.


  • Versatility: This carrier adapts as your baby grows, fitting babies from 0-48 months. You can face your baby in or out, and wear it on the hip or back, making it truly a carrier for all situations.
  • Cool and Breathable: The carrier is crafted from a soft, durable, and cool Air Mesh fabric, keeping your baby comfortable and ensuring breathability.
  • Unmatched Comfort: The padded lumbar support waist belt and extra padded shoulder straps offer superior comfort for the parent, crucial for extended wear. The belt can be worn high or low for added post-C-section comfort.
  • Ergonomic Design: Endorsed as “hip healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, the adjustable bucket seat supports your baby in a natural “M” position in all carry positions, promoting proper hip development.
  • Easy to Use: Quick, one-handed slider adjustment lets you swiftly switch your baby’s direction on the fly. This feature makes it convenient for busy parents who are constantly on the move.


  • Price: While it offers great features, the Ergobaby Omni 360 is a bit on the expensive side compared to other models on the market.
  • Cleaning: The carrier is machine washable, but frequent washing may cause the color to fade over time.

The Backpack Carrier

When it comes to carrying your baby, a backpack carrier is an excellent option for both comfort and convenience. These carriers are designed to provide excellent weight distribution, making them a comfortable choice for both you and your little one. They are especially useful during hikes, walks, and travel.

Hiking Backpack

A hiking backpack carrier is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want to bring their baby along on adventures. These carriers usually have a more robust structure and offer great lumbar support, making them an excellent option for longer, more strenuous hikes. Many hiking carriers have a breathable mesh fabric to keep you and your baby cool during your trek.

Some popular hiking carrier options include the Osprey Poco and Ergobaby Omni Breeze. Remember to check the maximum weight limit and ensure that your carrier is appropriate for your baby’s age. We’ve done a guide to the best carriers for hiking.

Travel Backpack

A travel backpack carrier is designed for families on the go, making it easy to navigate airports, public transportation, and busy city streets. Travel carriers are typically more lightweight and less bulky than hiking carriers, so they’re perfect for everyday use around the house or on short trips.

Some travel backpack carriers, like the BabyBjorn and the Ergobaby Omni Breeze, offer versatile carrying positions, such as forward-facing and outward-facing, allowing your baby to enjoy new sights and experiences while staying close to their caregiver.

Keep in mind that choosing the right backpack carrier for you and your baby often involves a bit of a learning curve, so check for online tutorials or parent groups to get tips and feedback. Remember that comfort and supportive weight distribution are essential, especially for those with bad backs or expecting to carry their baby around for longer periods – so finding the perfect fit is crucial!

Carrying Positions

As you explore the world of baby carriers, it’s essential to understand the different carrying positions. These positions not only ensure your baby’s comfort and safety but also provide the right support for you. In this section, we will discuss the three main carrying positions: Front Carry, Hip Carry, and Back Carry.

Front Carry

Front Carry is the most common position for newborns and younger babies. In this position, your baby faces you, allowing for close contact and easy access to nursing, if desired. This position also ensures your baby’s weight is evenly distributed on your shoulders and hips, making it comfortable for you to wear for extended periods. Make sure to maintain a high position in this carry mode, allowing you to easily kiss the top of your baby’s head for optimal safety.

Hip Carry

Hip Carry is a popular option for slightly older babies who can hold their head up on their own. In this position, your baby sits on one of your hips, facing you. This carrying style allows your baby to see the world around them while still being close to you. It is important to ensure that your baby carrier offers a wide or adjustable seat to promote healthy hip development while having a snug fit. Hip Carry is known for its natural feel and the ability to quickly switch from one hip to the other.

Back Carry

Once your baby has developed good neck and torso control, usually around six months old, you can consider the Back Carry position. This method allows your baby to face forward or backward, giving them an excellent view of the environment around them.

In this position, your baby is securely strapped on your back, allowing you to remain hands-free and comfortable for more extended periods or during more strenuous activities. While choosing a baby carrier suitable for Back Carry, ensure that it can accommodate your baby’s weight and that the straps are adjustable so that you can customize the fit for your comfort.

Useful Accessories and Tips

When you’re looking for a baby carrier, it’s essential to consider some useful accessories and tips to enhance your babywearing experience. As a parent, you’ll appreciate having a diaper bag that is compact, lightweight, and easy to take with you on your adventures. Look for a diaper bag that can fit all your baby essentials, like diapers, wipes, and bottles.

Choosing the right baby carrier is crucial for both you and your baby’s comfort. If you’re a dad seeking a carrier designed specifically for you, there are options available, such as backpack carriers. These backpack carriers are not only comfortable but also functional, making it easier to carry your baby while keeping your hands free.

When planning for travel, it’s essential to find a carrier that is easy to use and can comfortably support your baby for extended periods. Lightweight and compact carriers are perfect choices for family trips. With these carriers, you can easily navigate through airports, tourist sites, and other crowded places without feeling weighed down.

To ensure optimal comfort for both you and your baby, consider these best baby carriers tips:

  • Make sure the carrier is adjustable to accommodate your baby’s growth and your body type.

  • Opt for carriers made of breathable, soft fabrics that won’t irritate your baby’s sensitive skin.

  • Try different carrying positions to find the one that is most comfortable and supportive for you and your baby.

Remember, the key to successful babywearing is to find a carrier that suits your needs and allows you to bond closely with your little one. Whilst we have put together a best baby carrier guide, it really depends on what you want in your carrier, a quick lift to help around the house, or using buckle baby carriers for long walks out with your newborn babies. With these tips and accessories in mind, you’re well on your way to finding the perfect baby carrier for your family.

FAQs on Different Types of Baby Carrier

How Many Types of Baby Carriers are There?

There are several types of baby carriers available in the market, each catering to different needs and preferences. Here are the primary types:

  1. Wrap Carriers: Made from a long piece of fabric that is wrapped around the parent and baby to create a snug fit.

  2. Ring Slings: This is a length of fabric threaded through two rings to create an adjustable pouch for the baby.

  3. Pouch Slings: Similar to ring slings, but these have a sewn-in pouch and aren’t adjustable.

  4. Structured Carriers: These include buckle carriers and backpack carriers. They usually have a more defined, padded structure.

  5. Meh Dai/Bei Dai Carriers: They are a square or rectangular cloth with straps coming out of the corners, originating from Asia.

What Kind of Carrier is Best for Baby?

The “best” baby carrier depends on various factors like the baby’s age and weight, the comfort and physical condition of the parent, and the planned duration and frequency of use. However, from an ergonomics standpoint, carriers that distribute the baby’s weight evenly and support their natural hip position (like structured carriers or wraps) are often recommended.

What are the Different Types of Baby Wrap Carriers?

Baby wrap carriers typically come in three different types:

  1. Stretchy Wraps: Made of soft, stretchable material, ideal for newborns and small infants.

  2. Woven Wraps: Made from woven material, providing more support for older or heavier babies.

  3. Hybrid Wraps: Combining the softness of stretchy wraps and the support of woven ones, these are versatile but may have a steeper learning curve.

What is the Difference Between Baby Carriers?

Each type of baby carrier offers unique benefits and drawbacks. Wrap and sling carriers allow for more physical closeness and versatile carrying positions, but they can have a learning curve to tie securely. Structured carriers provide excellent support and are typically easier to put on, but they might not offer the same level of bonding closeness as wraps or slings. Lastly, Meh Dai/Bei Dai carriers strike a balance between structure and flexibility. The ideal carrier will depend on personal comfort, lifestyle, and the baby’s development stages.

What Features Should a Hybrid Carrier Have to Evenly Distribute Baby’s Weight?

A hybrid carrier should ideally be designed with a wide waist belt and padded shoulder straps. This structure ensures that the baby’s weight puts pressure evenly across the wearer’s shoulders and hips, minimizing strain. Other features like an adjustable seat width can also aid in distributing the child’s weight evenly while accommodating the baby’s growth over time.

How Do Mei Tai Carriers and Buckle Baby Carriers Offer Different Carrying Positions?

Mei Tai carriers, originating from Asian style carriers, are incredibly versatile. They allow multiple carrying positions, including front carry, back carry, and sometimes hip carry. Buckle carriers, or structured carriers, usually offer similar carry positions with the addition of an easy-to-use buckle system for quick adjustments. However, some buckle carriers grow with your child, offering more carry positions, such as the newborn-specific ‘frog position’ for very small babies.

Why is Neck Control Important in Choosing a Baby Carrier Type?

Neck control is crucial in choosing a baby carrier type as it directly relates to your baby’s development stage. Newborns, for example, do not have head control and require a carrier that provides head and neck support, like a wrap or a sling carrier. As your baby gains neck control, usually around 4-5 months, you can start using carriers with less neck support like structured carriers or mei tai carriers. Always ensure that the carrier distributes weight appropriately and supports the baby’s spine, no matter their age or development stage.

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