Making Sense of Baby Carriers

Baby WearingIn recent weeks, I’ve covered the reasons why you should carry your babies, and explored both what to do and what not to do when you do so. Both articles stemmed from numerous reader emails I have received asking about ancestral practices regarding baby wearing and carrying, and whether we might be getting it all wrong in this day and age. Now, in this third and final part of this series, I try to help make sense of the dozens of baby carriers on the market.

When it comes to transporting an immobile infant, there are seemingly infinite variations, not all of them equal. Palming the kid’s head like you were Michael Jordan and he were a basketball? Impressive, but not optimal, especially once they get big enough for their feet to drag on the ground and slow you down. Carrying the child by the scruff of her neck? A child shouldn’t have a graspable scruff (are you sure that’s not a dog you’re swaddling?). Tossing the kid to yourself as you run down the street in a continuous game of auto-catch? Fun, but not realistic for every occasion.

For the most part, though, it’s hard to get it really wrong. Support the baby’s head, avoid cutting off their airflow, don’t let their legs droop down and flap around, follow the basic rules of babywearing from the last post on the subject, and you’ll probably be fine. Anyone except for maybe a petrified new father can figure it out. Esther Gokhale does make one small but important recommendation – when carrying a baby, keep her back lengthened by positioning your arm under her so that her bottom is slightly behind her rather than tucked inward. A good cue is to imagine your baby has a tail that needs to hang down over your arm.

Eventually, carrying a baby gets old. Your arm gets tired, you start making (mal)adjustments to your posture, and carrying your kid becomes a chore rather than a delight. Plus, it’s nice to have our hands free (to check our phones, of course) as we go about our business. For this reason, we turn to baby carriers.

It’s really easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer number of baby carriers available these days. There’s even a site dedicated to them, with thousands of reviews logged for over a thousand different carriers broken down by type. A parent could spend days reading through all those without coming to a clear, decisive conclusion about what to get. It’s all quite confusing, so let’s try to make sense of it all. You’ve got:


Of all the Asian-inspired carriers, mei-tais are the most abundant and widely-liked. Mei-tais are traditional Southeast Asian carriers and essentially consist of a square piece of cloth with straps at each corner. The baby sits on the cloth and the straps are tied around the parent in a variety of ways to secure the child. They can be worn on the front or in the back, and a single mei-tai should be good for a child at every stage of development (I doubt they can handle gawky ten year olds, though) for either parent regardless of size and gender. Many people like mei-tais because they closely resemble backpacks, with adequate support across both shoulders and around the waist. Among the mei-tais, both Kozy Carriers and Babyhawks get fantastic reviews. Here are some helpful videos for wrapping a mei-tai in different ways.

Pouches, both fitted and adjustable.

Fitted pouches are nice because there is no adjusting required. You simply loop the pouch over one shoulder, insert the baby, and go on your merry way. They’re very user friendly. The bad thing is that there’s no adjusting allowed; you have to buy the right size for your baby and, as he grows, you may have to purchase a new one. Of the commonly available fitted pouches, Slinglings Pouch Slings get great reviews.

Adjustable pouches are somewhat trickier to use than fitted pouches, but since they’re adjustable, these pouches can work with growing children. Unfortunately, the best-reviewed adjustable pouch – the Kangaroo Corner fleece – is discontinued. You may able to find used ones.

Padded and unpadded ring slings.

Ring slings are long strips of fabric with rings for easy adjustment. Padded rings slings have padding on the sections that brace against your body, while unpadded rings slings do not. Other than that, they’re pretty similar, although unpadded ring slings appear to be the most popular. Rings slings are almost infinitely adjustable with tons of different wrapping methods available, which gives them a steep learning curve but greater adaptability as the kid embiggens. If you get an “open-tailed” ring sling, which is a ring sling with a bunch of extra fabric at the bottom (the tail), you can discretely breastfeed. Among padded ring slings, the Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Ring Sling and Lite-on-Shoulder Hybrid Sling get the best reviews. The SBP (Sleeping Baby Productions) unpadded ring sling appears to be the best product in the unpadded category.

Structured carriers, which include soft structured carriers and hip carriers.

Structured carriers probably have the easiest learning curve. I mean, who hasn’t worn a backpack at some point? A wriggling baby is a little different from math and chemistry textbooks, but it’s close enough. For soft structured carriers, the Connecta, the Kanga line, and the Kinderpack get the best reviews.

While the Ergo Baby Carrier gets moderately good reviews on the Babywearer site, it’s by far the most popular soft structured carrier in the real world. One of the Worker Bees is about to be a first-time father, and he’s just conducted an extremely scientific field study. The design was rigorous, his methodology was immaculate, and his results were skewered by a panel of his peers. In other words, he asked random babywearing parents what kind of carrier they preferred whenever he came across them in the wild. By far, the majority of carrying parents he encountered used the Ergo and absolutely loved it. You can wear the kid on the back or in the front, and I have it on good authority that 6’6″ males and 5’5″ females can both share the Ergo. For what it’s worth (quite a bit), Esther Gokhale also recommends the Ergo.

Hip carriers seem like they’d get problematic eventually. Unilateral training with heavy weights certainly builds core strength and trains you to resist rotational force, but that’s only good in small, acute doses. I imagine having a baby on your hip – the same hip, no less – all the time would lead to postural distortions, perhaps even chronic ones. If you go with a hip carrier, switch hips and be aware of your posture. The Scootababy and Mei Hip Carrier both get good marks.

Stretchy and woven wraps.

Wraps are probably the oldest type of baby carrier (besides the arms): a long (3 to 6 meters) piece of cloth that is wrapped around both baby and carrier and tied to secure. There are tons of wrapping methods, including ones with single, double, and waist support, but that also means it takes more practice to get comfortable. Luckily, there’s a comprehensive database of wrapping methods.

Stretchy wraps are the most popular, because they’re generally easier to put on. Since they stretch, you wrap the cloth around you, get everything situated, and then “pop” it open to make room for the baby. Because they’re so stretchy, they’re best suited for smaller babies. Older kids may sag too much. The best reviewed and most popular stretchy wraps include the Cuddlywrap, the Hug-a-bub, and the Moby.

Since they don’t “pop” as much and you generally have to include the child in the initial wrapping, woven wraps are tougher to get the hang of, but they can handle larger children as well as infants. The best reviewed and most popular woven wraps include the Storchenwiege, the Didymos, and the Gypsy Mama wrap.

Now, I’m no expert. Like I said before, Carrie and I just did the good ol’ classic carry method using our arms. Ultimately, you’re gonna have to just try some out and see what works best for your situation – just as we did. I imagine you can always buy a couple carriers and return the one that doesn’t work. You might also try finding a birthing center near you, as many birthing centers offer classes where you can try on a bunch of different carrier types and learn how to use them before making the big decision. Once you arrive at a wrap, Craigslist is a great place for finding used versions.

Whatever style carrier you choose, it’s tough to go really wrong. Good options exist in every category. Every carrier has its proponents, and parents have been using thousands of different carriers to truck their babies around for tens of thousands of years. Find one that works for you and your baby and your needs and take a deep breath, cause it’s going to be okay.

Now let’s hear from you guys. What carriers did you use, or are you using, to carry your baby? Which ones worked, which didn’t, and why? Thanks for reading!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

92 thoughts on “Making Sense of Baby Carriers”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I loved rocking the Moby wrap! Very versatile and my little dude was right there either on my back or sleeping on my chest.

  2. Has anyone had any experience with “SevenSlings”. We got one as a gift and it seems like it will work well (we tried our cat in it and he seemed to like it). We are not due for another couple months so havent had a chance to put an actual baby in it yet.

    1. If you have nothing else, sevenslings are fine. They are pretty deep and are sized, so they are easy to get wrong. The two big issues that you need to watch for are: keeping baby’s chin off chest and being able to kiss baby’s head without moving any fabric. If you can manage both of those things, go ahead and use the seven. I use mine to tote my toddler into stores for a quick purchase, but that’s about it.

      Stretchy wraps like the Moby are excellent for the floppy newborn stage. Then a mei tai after that should cover all your babywearing needs unless you become an addict like many of us and have every kind of carrier in your stash. Yep, we even have a water ring sling for the pool!

      There are many babywearing groups across the country, so look for one. They often have lending libraries and info sessions to learn different carries. There’s a facebook group called Babywearing Love and Support that can help you locate local sources.

  3. We used both a Babyhawk and a Hotsling (fitted pouch) with our now-5yo son. We tried the Moby but never got the hang of it. The Babyhawk was fantastic. Both my 6′ husband and my 5’2″ self could use it, it was comfy for everyone and was pretty to look at. The only (minor) downside was that when not in use, the dragging tails made it just a bit unwieldy to cart around. I personally loved the Hotsling, but of course since it was fitted to me my husband didn’t use it. Although my little one was exclusively breastfed I never breastfed him while ‘wearing’ him – my anatomy just didn’t seem to work that way.

    Thanks for the great series, Mark! I can’t tell you how pleased I was to see you talk about attachment parenting so positively.

  4. Moby was very comfortable, but a pain to put on. Love my Ergo. Used it in front when he was little, and on back as recently as a few weeks ago (18 month toddler). He loved it! My only complaint is that ALL carriers are so uncomfortably hot to wear in the Miami heat. :-\

    1. Second that on the Miami heat! (Not The Heat, just plain old scorching & humid heat.) Both my babes and I got unbearably hot and sweaty with all of the various wraps, slings, and carriers we tried.

    2. I understand about the humid heat. I’m in central Arkansas, which gets a tad hotter than Miami, with slightly lower humidity levels. (Central Arkansas and Disney World feel about the same in early July.) I found the ring sling, with light weight but strong, breathable fabric was tolerable. Mind you, it was still hotter than not using a sling, but overall it was easier on me. When you’re stepping outside into the equivalent of a sauna, any additional fabric is misery, but so is carrying a heavy, sweaty baby. I suspect it’s highly individual as to whether you prefer the carrier, vs. no carrier, in that kind of weather. With an older baby and toddler, I preferred the sling. I don’t know about when she was little, as I did not get my sling until she was 10 months, and it’s the only carrier I owned. There were a few of the other types available 10 years ago, but as it was late spring when I ordered it, I was looking for the one that looked like it would be the most bearable (least miserable) to wear outside.

  5. I used a Gypsy Mama stretch wrap from birth till around 1-yr-old and it was fantastic. They offer a beautiful range and the wraps are very comfortable to wear and easy to adjust.

  6. I used a wrap that I made myself out of light non-stretchy cotton for my first until she was more than a year, and starting to be too heavy for it. Then I got a Boba G2 (soft structured carrier) which is out-of-this-world comfortable. It is comparable to the Ergo baby, but has a longer body, so it comes up higher on the baby’s back and provides more support, which makes it more comfortable for both baby and parent.

    For my second, I mostly had him in the Boba right from birth on my front, occasionally using the wrap to put him on my back when hiking, when he was very little (2-4 months). Both the wrap and the Boba are still in great shape despite very heavy use for 3+ years. Since the Boba is rated to 45 lbs, I expect to get quite a few more years out of it

  7. Just read the Gypsy Mama instructions and buy stretchy material! Do not spend $50 on a big piece of stretchy material!

    1. The Gypsy Mama wrap is a hybrid stretch wrap. Infinitely worlds above other stretchy wraps (moby, boba, sleepy, etc.) and the ONLY stretchy wrap that can be used for back carries. Definitely worth the extra money for a Gypsy Mama over another stretchy brand.

      1. It is not the ONLY stretchy wrap that you can use for back carries, and not the only hybrid stretch wrap out there, especially if you live in Europe.

    2. I wouldn’t follow this advice. Stretchy material can be very different, and can lead to very different results. Want pictures to prove it? :)))

      her’s me, trying my first ever wrap (forget the brand, but it was an actual baby carrier, not just any random piece of stretchy material). Notice how my baby is way down low — uncomfortable for me, and I had to readjust all the time, and just not a good idea overall in terms of safety.

      Now compare that to the right position, a day later — when I was taught how to use GOOD wraps at a babywearing meeting:

      Please ignore my bloated face and body — this was six years ago anyway, before I discovered paleo :)).

      The point is, not every stretchy material would do.

      Gypsy mama ones are the best, and they will last far longer — longer than a moby by a year or two. But a moby is also good and useable.

      I wouldn’t recommend skimping out and trying your own fabric. Besides, just buying that long of a piece of fabric would cost you as much as a moby.

      (sorry if the pictures don’t come through, I don’t know if they are allowed).

  8. Have you gone all babyfied in the head? Seriously, for a primal blog, you’ve been pushing the whole attachment parenting/natural childbirth agenda awfully hard. Can we please have something besides infant care?

        1. Just think of all of the non-primal people who may find this site because of these baby articles and get exposed to better nutrition and fitness as a result!

        2. Right on Scott! Every women in her life while pregnant searches at least once for each of Mark’s article in this series.

          I could kiss the ground if I would have found THEN SUCH well researched information plus the treasured comments as on this site! Actually I found Mark few weeks after giving birth looking for candida issues and changed my life for good for ever!

          Think about all the BONUS help a pregnant/breast feeding mama could get in nurturing herself and her baby!!!

          After all, primal living is not only about food and fitness, primal is a lifestyle!!!

          Grok on!

        3. Ditto Scott! It may really help others into the fold, and though I am childless, I personally found it informative and interesting. Clearly he had a lot of requests for this type of material.

          Also, I don’t understand complaining about what content a free blog chooses to put out.

    1. You mean the other 350 some posts he’s done this year from last February? So skip this one. Not every post resonates with me, but I don’t complain about it.

    2. In this overpopulated world, I have to agree with ya Lisa. How bout something on primal profalactics?

      1. So skip Marks Daily Apple for a day to get all caught up on all the recent press on the negative population growth. No need to spread your pissyness around just because you feel annoyed (but not annoyed enough to not read the comments, apparently).

        1. And FYI: Primal Prophylactics = NFP (the first and only totally “green sex”). Why be so careful about what anti-nutrients your nonorganic fruits and vegggies are doing to your body, but be willing to dump all kinds of toxins and chemicals into your body as well as the local water via your birth control pill?

  9. My city has a marvelous and active baby-wearing group that meets monthly. The group has a “library” of different carriers from which members can rent for a suggested donation of $5 per month. This allows mothers to try out a variety of carriers without having to purchase one that they or their baby winds up not liking! Everyone I know who participates absolutely raves about this group.

  10. I used a Moby when bub was first born and a Manduca since – he’s now 2 and a half and pretty heavy and I can still carry him on the Manduca (similar to the ergo, and in my opinion better). Would recommend slingmeets too.

  11. To all my fellow Canadian readers, I highly recommend the Blue Celery hybrid sling. Unbelievably comfortable, easy to use for babies of all ages in different positions. The organic fabric is Canadian, they’re manufactured in Canada.

  12. I used and loved the Ergo with both kids until they were pretty big. Great exercise!

  13. Husband and I (mostly me)have used the Classic Ergo Carrier with all four of our babies (6yrs – i2 months). I love that I can nurse on demand anywhere and no one can tell…most of the time.
    Though, I’ve noticed I am standing different (spine looks curved in)when I don’t have the carrier on. Perhaps I wear it too low to nurse and not high enough because I am only 5’1”? Any suggestions on being able to nurse and not hurt upper back/ neck with the Ergo being too low.

  14. Husband and I (mostly me)have used the Classic Ergo Carrier with all four of our babies (6yrs – 12 months). I love that I can nurse on demand anywhere and no one can tell…most of the time.
    Though, I’ve noticed I am standing different (spine looks curved in)when I don’t have the carrier on. Perhaps I wear it too low to nurse and not high enough because I am only 5’1”? Any suggestions on being able to nurse and not hurt upper back/ neck with the Ergo being too low.

  15. I have the Moby, Maya Wrap, Peanut Shell, Bjorn and Ergo. Ergo is the best BY FAR. BUT, you get extra crunchy points on AP forums for rockin’ the Moby. Fortunately, I don’t care about points…just comfort and convenience for me and baby!

  16. We have an Ergo and a Je Porte Mon Bebe hybrid wrap. I find it easier to use the Ergo if my daughter will want to do the get-up-get-down thing (she’s 18 months) and the JPMBB wrap if she’s tired and clingy, and I prefer the wrap for a side carry. Haven’t done very much back carrying.

    The JPMBB is 5% spandex, so it’s stretchy but does not sag and you can use it up to 14 kg (about 31 lbs). I definitely recommend it, as it’s easier than a woven wrap but is usable much longer than a 100% cotton knit wrap.

  17. I originally had a Moby and an Ergo, and with Baby #2 traded up for a K’tan (like a Moby but way easier to wrangle) and a Becco Gemini (way more comfy and versatile than an Ergo.)

  18. I used all of them! I found a use for mei tais, soft structured carriers, wraps and ring slings. Now that my youngest is 4 yrs and my oldest is 16, I shall keep one of each type of carrier to hopefully give my children when grandchildren come along. I have kept hold of a Sachi mei tai, Dream Carrier ssc, 2 woven wrap ring slings, a Didymos and a Lana woven wrap..
    I have enjoyed this series, thank you Mark

  19. Love all these baby/toddler posts. We are contemplating on whether or not to have a second kid. We started with the Moby wrap for younger and transitioned into ring slings and the Becco Gemini (fit me better than the Ergo). Nice to see other options in this post I didn’t find in my initial research!

  20. I used the Kozy Karrier (a mei-tei), the Ergo and the Scootababy. I loved wearing my babies. Nursing in the Ergo is a snap, and the hood can be deployed if you have modesty needs (not that I did, at all!). The Scootababy was a good side carrier because the fabric can be distributed across the shoulder and arm instead of digging into your neck.

    I really miss carrying my Groklets. I carried both until they were over 3. Some smaller kids can be worn for much longer, but I have really dense, muscular kids (I wonder why?) and my back finally said STOP!

    My parents actually kept their carrier from my childhood, but I wanted something that wasn’t 30-something years old (who knows how the fabric strength was!). I finally gave away most of my carriers figuring that I should encourage babywearing.

  21. We have one daughter. We used one of the soft Infantino carriers when she was an infant (they have branched out so much now I can’t remember the model name), and when she got too big for it we bought a Kozy Carrier. We love the mei tai, except for the tails dragging on the floor when you’re putting it on. We’re thinking about trying a Caboo (kind of like a British K’tan) next time around if we can get one.

  22. I loved the Moby for the newborn stage, and Ergo after that. We also used a baby bjorn for the intermediate stage. It was quicker to put on than the moby, but not as ergonomic. It seemed to hang the baby by her crotch.

  23. Despite being asked to make leather baby-sling-thingies, and not having time … at the time …
    I always just used my arms to carry my babies, and I won’t have anything bad said about buggies/prams : total life-saving invention.

    1. Absolutely. We had both strollers and baby carriers. The baby carriers work the amazing well in the places where the wheels become annoying at best. Baby carriers meant we could take hikes *and* treks through the nearby urban jungle without constantly looking for elevators. The strollers work best in suburbia type surroundings.

  24. When a mother has had structural issues during pregnancy (e.g., pubic symphysis disorder), she should really use one of the carriers that keeps the weight evenly distributed between both hips. Slings are terrible at, well, slinging one’s weight to one side, inducing a posture that exacerbates SPD and keeps it from healing. Any kind of manipulative work (but especially osteopathic) can help address that condition.

  25. Yah – loved my Scootababy (& Sakura Bloom) for day-to-day use, Moby for newborn but hard to choose a favourite buckle – probably Beco Gemini up to 2 years, then Boba, Tula & Madame GooGoo (devine!!) and wrap conversions are worth the investment if carrying again, Obimama or similar 🙂

    Sorry for the long list!

  26. I found the Ergo by far the best. It was great to go out hiking with baby, and I still use it for my 26mth old. Just be careful of the carriers that hold the child by the “crutch” eg Baby Bjorn, front packs and alot of rigid back packs. These are not good for the childs hips or spine nor are they comforable.

  27. They didn’t have any of this stuff when my kids were little, or at least I didn’t know about any of them, and I don’t think I’m that old…

    1. They probably did in other parts of the world. The world gets smaller every year. 😉

  28. Great post. I love my Ergo. I have been able to carry both my kids front and back. And was able to wear my daughter when I was 8 months pregnant and she was 2.5 years old (probably about 28 pounds).

    I still use the same one for my son that I used with my daughter. Great product!

  29. Surprised at no mention of the Beco Baby Carrier in the article, and only one mention in the comments. It is ironically more ergonomic than the Ergo (curved should straps) holds the child more securely, and fits smaller people and tallish people really well (my wife is 5’2, I’m 5’11 and it fits us both well).

    1. I’m 5’1″ and found the Beco fit better than the Ergo. I was OK with an Ergo, but the Beco was better.

  30. I think we had almost all of these at one time or another. I can pick up my 50 pound eight year old and carry him around, but he definitely wouldn’t fit into a sling anymore. Sigh.

  31. I personally liked the ringless slings myself as it was easier to nurse in public especially as my baby got closer to two years old, its a lot of work to arm carry a two year old and nurse and walk and push a shopping cart lol.I remember like it was yesterday even though it was 10 years ago.

  32. We still use and love our Ergo. Since our now 15 month old daughter was just a month and only 8 pounds (used with the infant insert which helps support baby’s neck) it has proven to be our favorite. When she was tiny and didn’t have a ton of head control we always had her on the front, but at around 6-8 months we started regularly carrying her on our backs as she was too heavy for front carrying. We also used a Maya ring sling which I liked a lot and my husband did not like much at all at first, but grew to love. At this point (she is about 20+ pounds) she is a bit too heavy for it to be comfortable for longer than 20 min, as it pulls too much on one side of the body.

  33. I’m a professional baby-wearer (no, really! I’m a postpartum doula, most of my work involves wearing babies and doing stuff for new moms) and I’ve used almost every carrier out there. I’m very small (5’0″) and I find the Ergo, while an *excellent* carrier and extremely versatile, just too big for me even with the straps all adjusted right down. I really don’t like any of the crotch-danglers (and babies don’t like them – they won’t stay happy in them for nearly as long as ergo-type carrier, mei-tais, wraps or slings). For wee babies, stretchy wraps really are the best – but the trick is they have to be SNUG!! When I have parents who say “it just doesn’t work for us”, 90% of the time it’s because it’s not on tight enough and the baby is all slumpy and uncomfortable and it doesn’t feel secure. Tighten those suckers up – it should be slightly challenging to squidge the baby in, but once they’re in, they’re happy. As long as they’re not overdressed – that’s the other thing about carriers, it’s like an extra layer of clothing for the baby. So peel off a layer BEFORE you put the baby in (unless you’re going outside and it’s -20).

    With my first baby I used a ring sling a lot – super-convenient, and easily worked for both me and the husband (who is just over 6′). It did gibble my back up a bit, but it came in really handy when I took the kiddo to Europe at about 21 months – she could ride on my back in it, it was great for nursing, took up next to no space in the luggage and let me have two hands free for luggage – plus it took mere seconds to pop her in or out of it when the opportunity for her to roam came up. I’m expecting #2 now and I still have the second ring sling we bought (we wore out the first one) and have a couple stretchy wraps that I’ve used for work. I may get an Ergo for the husband but I probably won’t use it much myself – I think I’ll try a woven wrap when it comes time for wearing baby on the back.

  34. I loved, loved, loved my unpadded ring sling. My youngest wanted to be held “all the time.” I bought a ring sling when she was 10 months old, and it was so nice to be able to do things, like cook, with both hands again! My daughter now uses it to carry her stuffed animals. She tried carrying some of our cats in it, but they refused to cooperate.

  35. I’m done with babies, but I love the baby series and wish I’d had it to read when I was choosing how to co-sleep and wear my kids. My kids HATED sling carriers…all of them, but things like the Kozy were great for them! It makes me sad to see people carrying their babies around in car seats, with the babies unhappy and crying. Strap those suckers on and you can get through a whole trip to the grocery store!

  36. We have a ring sling, a Mai tai, an ergo, a didymos hemp/cotton wrap, a heartiness cotton/linen wrap & a wrap converted full buckle on the way. We love them all! My little one loves to be worn, I can get things done around the house, easily go to the store, church, on hikes, etc. and snuggle my baby all at the same time. Our most used baby item!

  37. My all time favorite is the Snugli. They’ve been around for over 30 years and they know their stuff. In the early 80s there was only one model that could be worn on front or back. When my son was very small, I wore it on the front, but as he grew it became more practical to wear it on my back. Eventually I got a backpack with a frame, which worked very well as he got heavier.

  38. If you can get a frame carrier that can stand up on its own, that is very convenient: if the baby falls asleep in the backpack, you can put it down with the baby still in it, by pulling out the “kickstand,” and the baby can continue sleeping in his little backpack/chair.

  39. Another risk to the old fashioned “carry the baby in your arms” approach is De Quervain’s tendinitis. I had it with my son and it’s not only quite painful, it’s hard to heal when you have to keep taking care of the baby. A good baby carrier and a good physical therapist did wonders.

  40. My youngest of four “Solomon”, was carried almost exclusively by my wife in slings, she even made me a Camouflage Mei-tai which was very comfortable and pretty cool. I even tried a traditional rainbow wrap which was also very comfortable and functional.

  41. I love the moby wrap for small babies, especially if/when I’m busy (ex: running errands). It’s so easy to put on in the morning and leave on all day so I can pop baby in and out whenever I need.

    I also really love the Ergo. For me, it’s not as practical as long as baby needs the infant insert because I can’t jut wear the carrier all day, but I do fid it more comfortable than the moby for longer uses when I don’t need to remove baby a lot. Later, when baby doesn’t need the infant insert, the ergo is my favorite.

    Mei-Tais style carriers were also another favorite before I bought the ergo.

    I’ve tried the pouch slings and ring slings and hated both.

  42. Bloo kangaroo. I still carry my six year old in one. And a side sling!

  43. I run an on-line guide for parents about how babies learn skilled movement. I highly recommend baby-wearing to moms (and dads). The Moby is one of my favorites because you can continue to change the position of the baby as he grows. One important point to mention is that baby should not be carried in the vertical positon until he can hold his head up on his own for a long period of time. Otherwise there is too much strain on his neck. Baby wearing offers wonderful vestibular stimulation to baby and benefits overall motor skill development.

  44. There is one issue with baby wearing that Mark fails to mention. Sling Addiction, the need to buy and trade more and more beautiful wraps and slings, and then get wrap conversions made, and othe custom work, it all can get rather expensive 😉

  45. Did anyone else notice the reference to Esther “Grok”hale? Tee hee hee.

    1. OOPS! It’s actually Gokhale. I guess that’s why no one noticed.

      Love these maternity articles. Keep ’em coming!

  46. Somehow, my now 11- and 10-year old daughters are perfectly healthy, intelligent, well-adjusted, athletic, and happy, despite having been transported in car seats and strollers from birth (quel horreur!). And I didn’t even eat their placentas.

    1. Same with my 19-yr-old. I could put her in a swing or on a blanket where she could see me, and she was perfectly happy. My 10-yr-old, on the other hand – totally different personality from birth. She had to be up where she could see what was going on. A bouncer seat on the table was okay for a while, but she really wanted to be held. My husband was working 80+ hours a week, and I was doing practically everything one handed. A baby carrier made her happy and made my life infinitely easier (and helped me stay sane….ish). Advice like this is greatly needed for some of us.

  47. I think whenever we have another, I’ll try to carry a little more, but with our daughter. NOPE! I wanted to but when we tried putting her in to one, she HATED it and much prefered to just stay in her carseat.

  48. I have an 18 months old and I’ve been carrying her (and cosleeping) since day one. She’s just as adventurous as other children her age, and doesn’t have any sort of “spoiled” characteristics that my grandmother INSISTED she would have! (“You have to let her cry it out sometimes!” “Why isn’t she in a stroller?” “She’s never going to want to play with other kids!”) In fact, the thing I hear most often is how she is such a calm, easygoing kid. I’m pretty sure that her being secure in the fact that I will hold her and be there for her when she needs helps with that!

  49. We have a babyhawk and loved it. The same size works for my 6′ husband and myself at 5′.

  50. For my two I used both New Native and a ring sling. My boy was a big baby and my daughter was a tiny baby. I carried each for two years. I did the whole natural route: no drugs for birth, cloth diapers, co-sleeping, breastfeeding for 2 years, made my own baby food, etc. They are both happy and independent kids, now 11 and 9. Never had ear infections or strep or allergies; never take antibiotics for the rare cold. Carrying your babies is the right way to go.

  51. We have to slings and woven wraps in this house, in addition to a backpack for daddy.

    By far, the woven wraps are the most comfortable, versatile, and useful. They do indeed have a steep learning curve, but it is worth surmounting! My Didymos wraps and Girasol wraps get the most use. Moby’s are great for newborns, but I can comfortably wrap a forty pound kid on my back if need be, thanks to the versatility of the wovens. And this is as a petite woman with back and hip problems.

  52. There’s a big trend in the UK towards the woven wraps, but as you say Mark the soft structured carriers come with a much easier learning curve. Also they are far more unisex. We like the Beco Gemini, but agree Ergo is a good choice too. Avoid Baby Bjorn like the plague, unless you want serious back pain.

  53. Great article. I loved the concept of baby wearing when my kids were little. I found that for everyday use the Ergo suited me best.

  54. KiwiPeewee baby carrier is the best! It’s really unique because it has a seat so the baby is supported under the bum instead of dangling. We love it! The baby can face inward or ourward and is supported under the bum in both positions. Their website is

  55. We are a primal babywearing family and use ring slings, Mei Tais, Soft structured carriers and more!

    Love seeing posts about babywearing from my Primal hero!!

  56. Thank you for this good guide! I personally prefer Ergo baby carriers. They are safe and comfy.

  57. I love love love my Suppori Sling !!! 🙂 It is the best sling ever (in my opinion).
    Those Japanese people truly know how to make a good product. haha.
    My daughter and I loved the Suppori sling, because, first of all it has an amazing material and is easy to use. What I found frustrating with other slings is that it’s quite hard to get them on and off without anyones help and with a screaming baby on my lap. Haha. That was a nightmare for me.?But my friend had Suppori herself and she gave it to me for a day. I loved it. I truly don’t know, maybe you will like it also 🙂 ??

  58. I just wanted to thank you for the link to Bloo Kangaroo Kanga carriers! We value every one of our customers like family. Lovely blog, keep up the great work!