As a new parent, you no doubt spend many hours each day holding your child. And while there are few things sweeter, life doesn’t stop just because your little one needs some TLC. There are still dishes to do, calls to make and places to go. And that’s where baby carriers come in. A great option from infancy all the way to toddlerhood, the best baby carriers offer a smart and supportive way to hold and be close to your kid while still having hands free to do everything else.
Convenience isn’t the only factor at play when it comes to baby wearing. Isobel Benesch, maternal health advocate and founder of Atlas of Motherhood, says, “There are numerous benefits of babywearing for both caregiver and baby. 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.”
But not all baby carriers are created equal. While some focus on offering lower back support for the parent or privacy to comfortably nurse in public, others are more geared toward specific body types or use cases (like hiking, for example). So before opting to include a baby carrier in your parenting journey, consider your needs as a family. For Benesch—a mom of four who nursed for 10 consecutive years—that meant finding a carrier that would suit her unique set of needs. “Babywearing allowed me to bond and feed my baby while connecting and adventuring with my older children, not to mention being hands-free to get other things done when needed.”
So, whether you’re looking for a carrier to alternate between parents, searching for one to help you multitask or just interested in getting some lower back relief, we’ve rounded up seven of the very best baby carriers available today. One of these may be just what you and your youngling need.
Best Baby Carrier for Hiking
This Backpack Carrier Makes Hiking A Cinch
Best Baby Carrier for Toddlers
A Supportive Option For You And Your Toddler
Best Baby Carrier for Back Pain
Keeps Your Lower-Back Supported And Baby Happy