There are a million-and-one pieces of kit recommended for new parents to buy – some handy, some completely unnecessary (I’m looking at you, smart nappy bin) – but the best baby carriers have many great benefits to both parents and baby.
Some people believe they encourage bonding, as your baby lies right against your body, and while that’s a lovely reason to opt for a baby carrier, there’s still no denying that they are also great for hands-free tasks like drinking a much-needed coffee while it’s still hot.
Baby carriers are also brilliant for working from home, public transport and an absolute lifesaver if you have a ‘fussy’ and a super clingy little person to care for.
- Best car seat: keep your baby or toddler safe on the road
- Best travel strollers: lightweight buggies for a hassle-free holiday
Choosing the best baby carrier
The choice from brands is overwhelming, but the main thing you need to know is there are three types of baby carrier: a wrap, sling or real seat.
Wraps may seem tricky to get your head around at first, and with no real straps or fastenings they can be a little intimidating, especially for first-time parents. But for many, they remain popular and once you’ve sussed out how they work, you’re bound to feel more confident with one.
Seats can be bulky but if you’re outdoorsy then these are a solid option for carrying baby you’re your when you’re on an adventure. They are also good for busy parents who need to run errands without having to stop every two minutes for a tired toddler. Slings are more popular in the new-born stages when carrying a lighter weight.
Don’t forget about your comfort, as well as your baby’s. Make sure you check out the method and it’s safety features, and consider your daily routine – how long you plan to wear the baby carrier and how much weight you’re carrying. It’s important to ensure your back has the best support possible.
With so many considerations to take on board, choosing the best baby carrier can be tricky, so we’ve rounded up some of our favourites to make it easy.
The best baby carriers to buy now
BabyBjörn Mini Carrier is designed for newborns and is perfect for the first months when your baby needs lots of closeness around the clock.
There’s adjustable head support and can unfasten the entire front section of the baby carrier if you want to transfer your sleeping baby to a cot.
One of this carrier’s USPs is its soft ‘3D jersey’ designed to be comfortable against delicate skin. Instead of padding, it’s layered to be breathable and avoid overheating, which is brilliant for summer babies.
The £79.99 carrier is one of the most compact, so you can easily stash it in a bag.
It’s impossible to predict what your baby will enjoy, so the Infantino Flip Ergo 4 baby carrier gives you four different ways to carry them.
It can work as a front-pack baby carrier or a backpack baby carrier and your baby can face inwards towards your body, or outwards. One of these positions has to keep them happy, surely?
Designed to be used from birth, there’s a headrest for very young babies and adjustable straps for growth.
The carrier may not be made from luxurious materials, but it’s just £24.99 and you can pop it in the wash.
If you love the idea of a wrap but are intimidated by them having no guided fastenings etc, the Caboo Lite may be for you.
Made from a supportive but light fabric, it’s designed to be comfortable to wear thanks to soft, wide straps with no need for clever knots.
The carrier is ergonomically designed to give the best carrying position from birth with multiple hands-free positions, including seated breastfeeding support and a hip position for older babies.
The Caboo Lite is £54.99.
The Najell baby carrier can be fastened one-handed thanks to unique magnetic buckles and air mesh straps, making it a great option for busy parents constantly on the go.
These features don’t come cheap as this carrier is £150, but it’s designed to be used from birth and comes with a hip seat for older toddlers.
The carrier is endorsed by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
For mums and dads, adjustable, breathable shoulder straps make carrying baby more comfortable.
The carrier is machine washable and has a 2-year guarantee, which should help protect your investment.
The Infantino Go-Forward carrier offers users four ways to carry baby, but is a little more padded and luxurious than the cheaper Infantino Flip Ergo 4.
It costs £55.04 and is like a better-looking big brother.
The carrier boasts a transitional seat with knee-to-knee support for infants through toddlers, comfortable material and a wide straps plus a weight-transferring waist belt to make sure parents are as comfortable as their little one.
The carrier comes with lots of extras, including a removable silicone teether and soft muslin hood as well as a handy 2-year guarantee. It’s machine washable too.
If you’re planning on using your baby carrier a lot, the Ergobaby Omni 360 might suit you.
It’s not the cheapest, at £154.90 but is built to last, with a 10-year guarantee.
The carrier offers four carrying positions from newborn to toddler and supports the hip-healthy ‘M’ position, but is also designed to be super comfortable for parents carrying infants for longer periods thanks to lumbar support and padded crossable straps.
There’s also a handy detachable storage pouch and tuck away baby hood for sun protection of up to UPF 50) which has the added bonus of offering mum privacy while nursing.
A serious trekking hobby needs a serious baby carrier and the £169.99 Cross Country S4 child carrier is designed for the great outdoors.
Suitable from six months, the carrier has an adjustable anatomically shaped child seat with x-buckle harness, foot stirrups and a soft face pad for comfort.
Lightweight airflow shoulder straps mean increased breathability for parents, there’s a large base pocket for essentials, a bottle pocket and even a viewing mirror to keep an eye on your little one.
The Tula Half Buckle Carrier is easily adjustable and super comfortable. Made from 100% cotton, this baby carrier is soft and breathable, making it a popular choice for both baby and parent’s comfort. It has adjustable height and width, allowing you to keep a tight and ergonomic fit as baby grows. The padded waist helps to distribute weight evenly to support your back and allowing you to wear it for longer. Long straps allow for you to tighten and loosen the carrier as and when you need to and the design is subtle but stylish. Material is machine washable which makes things easier if you want to use this baby carrier daily.
Similar in flexibility to the Tula Half Buckle, the Je Porte Mon Bebe PhysioCarrier is ideal for babies from birth and comes with a booster pack for when they get bigger. You can carry baby in three different positions, including on your back, in which case you also have a rearview mirror so you can always see your baby. There is a mesh head support for baby and a zip-up mesh panel which keeps them cool during hotter weather. This stylish brand of baby carrier comes in at a very reasonable price and is great value for money compared to some of the other carriers listed, especially if you plan to carry your baby even as they get older.