8 Best Baby Carriers and Slings 2023
2023/08/21

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Look ma, no hands! The best baby carrier allows parents to comfortably cuddle little ones close for outdoor adventures, errands or just to get things done around the house hands-free when baby refuses to be put down. They're also a serious game changer if you have older toddlers to chase after and jam–packed weekends making naps on the go a necessity.

In addition to an umbrella stroller, the best baby carriers are a must-have for travel too, both at the airport—when an extra set of hands is key—and your destination so you can see all the sights while your little ones safely snooze on your chest.

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Whether you're the type who likes to have options or are more the one-and-done, grow-with-your-baby kind of parent, we've rounded up the best, most-loved baby carriers for everybody. Read on to find the right fit for you to add to your newborn checklist.

What to look for in the best baby carrier

According to Brooklyn-based baby-wearing expert, Adriane Stare, the best baby carrier is practical, comfortable and safe. "You want something that fits your body, your lifestyle and you understand how to use it and adjust it well," she says. So if you're like me and can't figure out how tie a wrap for the life of you, skip it and go with something more structured with less of a learning curve. 

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Here are the key things to consider when purchasing your own—and BTW, if you can find a local babywearing group or consultant in your area to try the best baby carriers before you buy, it's absolutely worth it.

Adjustability and fit: For a proper fit, which is the absolute most important for your comfort and baby's safety, always follow the TICKS babywearing guidelines, advises Babywearing Educator Jay McMillin, CLEC. "The carrier should be at a height where you can kiss the top of your baby's head and should be snug enough that baby is resting supported on your chest without room to slump down." Nothing should be covering your baby's face and the panel should not reach above their head—if it does, they're too tiny for it. "Ideally, the legs of the baby should be in an "M" position, spread squat, knees higher than their bum," she tells us. Always check the age and weight recommendations prior to purchasing a carrier, as well as the ability to adjust it to custom fit your body and baby. Ease of use: The best baby carrier is one you'll actually use. "If you end up with a carrier that's uncomfortable, or worse, you can't figure out how to use, then no amount of bells, whistles or fancy features will make it any more useful to you," says Stare. "Practicality is everything." It should be easy to put on—period. Your lifestyle: In addition to factors like your local climate, consider when, where and for how long you plan on wearing your little one. If you're looking for something versatile, easy to use and that will grow with your baby until you don't want to wear them anymore, McMillin says you might gravitate toward a buckle carrier. Other parents may want a separate carrier, wrap or sling for different baby-wearing scenarios. For example, a woven wrap for long naps, a ring sling for social events and a buckle carrier in the car for quick errands.

 

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