Types of Baby Carriers | Definitive Guide

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At any given baby shower, you’ll find dozens of gifts and one of those is almost always a baby carrier of some sort. These days, there are numerous types of carriers for babies so it’s easy to get confused.

If you’re wondering about the basics so you can decide for yourself which baby carrier to purchase, read on…

What are the different types of baby carriers? Discover which one is right for you in this article

History of Baby Carriers

Baby carriers have been around longer than most people realize. Ancient Indian, Egyptian, and Native American mothers have been shown in history books carrying their babies in some type of sling or baby carrier.

The carrier as people know it today was developed in Europe in the early 1970s and ring slings came upon the scene in the mid-1980s. These included the cloth itself and nylon or metal rings that act as a type of buckle. The rings made them very easy to adjust.

In the early 1990s, the pouch-type baby carrier was introduced in Hawaii. They allow babies to be carried on the front or the back and they have secure straps and very soft padding. Today there are various designs of this type of baby carrier available on the market.

Types of Baby Carriers


Baby wraps are designed simply because they are essentially long rectangle-shaped pieces of material that you use to tie the baby to your chest. They are perfect for very young babies who aren’t able to hold up their heads yet but older babies like them too. They are usually thick and soft for the comfort of both mom and baby.

If you’re thinking that these wraps are difficult to maneuver, think again. With just one YouTube instructional video, you can be on your way to having a comfortable, functional baby carrier that both of you will enjoy.

The main advantage to using this type of carrier is that it fits babies of all sizes and weights, including newborns. It is also adjustable and easy to fit to your body perfectly. If there is a downside to this type of carrier, it is that learning how to tie it the right way can be a little challenging at first even though learning to perfect the task is faster and easier than you think.

The Baby K’tan is a very popular choice among parents who want a wrap for a baby carrier. Click the image below to learn more

Standard Baby Carrier

Structured soft baby carriers are specially designed for older babies although you can adjust them to accommodate your newborn. They can be put on rather quickly even though they tend to be not as comfortable as baby wraps. Better still, they have cushioned straps and belts that allow for a more comfortable and tight fit.

When buying a baby carrier, two things should be considered:

  • Look for one that allows the baby’s head to be high enough for you to kiss.
  • Choose one with a wide or flexible seat so that your baby’s hips can develop properly.

The main advantage of these types of baby carriers is their comfort because they tend to be made out of thick, soft materials. Some of them have inserts that you can use for smaller babies; however, some companies do not include the insert as part of their original product, which can be an inconvenience for new moms.

The LILLEbaby is a great choice for a standard baby carrier.

Click here for a detailed comparison between the LILLEbaby, Ergo and Baby Bjorn baby carriers

Baby Backpacks

Just as the name suggests, these carriers are made to look resemble regular backpacks, which means that they only fit the baby if he or she is carried on your back. In other words, you cannot use a baby backpack to put the baby in front of you as you go about your day.

Baby backpacks are soft and comfortable but provide a little sturdiness in the back to keep the baby positioned correctly. There are also many different types of backpacks for babies.

These baby carriers are extremely popular and comfortable for both mom and baby. Their only inconvenience is the fact that you cannot fit the baby facing frontwards. They are also not made for very tiny babies, which means that you’ll have to wait until the child reaches a certain age to use your carrier.

The Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier is a great choice if you want an example of a safe and popular baby carrier.

Click image for latest price

Soft Structured Carriers (SSCs)

If your baby weighs less than 35 pounds, you’ll want one of these types of baby carriers. They are more comfortable overall and allow for a more structured setup. These are typically the kind of baby carriers that you see when you’re out and about.

The main advantage of these carriers is their comfort level and their sturdiness. The only disadvantage is that very small babies are not easily accommodated in some brands.

Check out the DidyKlick SSC if you’d like to learn more about this type of baby carrier.

Click image for latest price

Ring Slings

Sometimes resembling the debate over “boxers or briefs?”, parents usually either love these baby carriers or despise them. They tend to put all of the weight on your shoulders, which can be uncomfortable, and they are not ergonomically designed either.

Nevertheless, ring slings are easy to adjust, thanks to the rings that are included, and the sling itself is very soft and comfortable. They are very lightweight and usually made out of a soft material such as muslin, cotton, or linen, making them feel good against both your skin and baby’s.

The main advantage to these carriers is the adjustability, which means that you’ll always enjoy a perfect fit. The main disadvantage is that some of them can be a bit on the uncomfortable side due to the way that they are made.

Here’s a popular ring sling if you think this type of baby carrier is the right one for you.

Click image for latest price

Mei Tai Baby Carriers

Mei Tai baby carriers consist of very soft materials and a structured back panel for the baby. The straps go around the mom’s shoulders and waist and are then tied into a knot. Because you can tie these carriers in many different ways, they tend to be more versatile than other types of baby carriers.

Mei Tai carriers are typically Asian-style carriers and consist of a piece of material that is rectangular in shape and four straps located on each side. Often the hip and shoulder straps are knotted together for the perfect fit. There is also a type of carrier found in Germany that fits at the waist and is adjustable at the strap located between the back panel and the hollow of the knees.

You can actually tie these baby carriers in numerous ways so they do allow for the ultimate fit and comfort every time.

Mei Tai baby carriers are soft and easy to use but one of the disadvantages is that you have to make sure that the knot is tight enough and positioned correctly; otherwise, it will come out and make the carrier unreliable.

If you’re interested in a Mei Tai baby carrier, check out this one by Palm & Pond.

Click image for latest price

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

How Long Can You Carry a Baby in a Carrier?

Most baby carriers accommodate babies up to roughly 35 pounds; however, each carrier is different. The best way to figure out the answer to this question is to carefully read the instructions for each brand because they will give suggestions and rules regarding the baby’s weight and how long you should be using the carrier.

Do Baby Carriers Expire?

As a general rule, baby carriers do not expire. However, if you notice your carrier developing rips or tears or if the carrier stops working correctly, you should stop using it and call the customer service department of the company that made it to see what their suggestions are.

How Will Having a Bad Back Affect Carrying My Baby?

Bad backs require baby carriers that are extra thick because only these can distribute the baby’s weight evenly and cause you less pain. Once your baby has good neck control, you may want to switch to a carrier specifically made for older babies.

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Author: Dad Racket

Graham runs the place around here. He likes making a "little noise" about all things to do with tennis and parenting. Check out his about page to learn more.

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