If you still need to check a baby carrier off your newborn checklist, or if you are searching for a perfect baby shower present for a loved one, step right up and get carried away! Which are the best baby carriers or slings for you and your baby?
Join Mum Central as we check out the best babywearing products of 2021. Slings, wrap, carriers – we’ve got them all and with some great discounts too.
First things first, do you really need a baby carrier?
In a word. YES. SO. MUCH. YES! This is probably one of the most well-used and invaluable items you’ll buy for you and bub.
What’s the difference between a carrier, wrap and sling?
A baby carrier is a soft padded carrier that you wear on your front, back or hip. They come with buckles, lots of shoulder and back support and are adjustable to suit newborns up to toddlers.
A baby wrap is another type of carrier but doesn’t contain buckles. They are also suitable for newborns and some offer back-carry options.
A baby sling is a pouch or strip of fabric to carry baby on your front. Some slings can be secured over your shoulder while others allow you to choose various carrying positions.
You might not be aware that babywearing can actually:
- REDUCE CRYING: Babywearing can help calm that fractious, unhappy baby who just won’t be put down. In fact, research published in the Journal of Paediatrics found that babywearing reduces crying and fussiness by up to 51%, with parents feeling more competent and nurturing toward their children.
- DEVELOP A STRONG BOND: Holding your baby close to your body is an amazing bonding opportunity for you and your baby. Even when baby gets older, babywearing is still an awesome way to enjoy cuddles.
- PROVIDE HANDS-FREE CUDDLES: Babywearing means you can have your hands-free to get on with your day even when your baby insists on being held.
- GET OUT AND ABOUT WITH EASE: Getting out of the house, exercising, walking the dog, or dropping older children off at school can all be made easier, thanks to babywearing.
What to look for when buying a baby carrier
COMFORT: For both you and bub, we suggest you look for things like padded shoulder straps, or a broad waist strap. If you live somewhere hot, a mesh material is always great to reduce sweaty-baby-on-chest syndrome. Mesh carriers and wraps made of lightweight material are ideal for breathability and year-round comfort.
EASE OF USE: The last thing you want is to have to struggle to figure out how to use your baby carrier or wrap. Many mums now prefer ones with minimal buckles and straps but this is up to you.
HEALTHY HIP POSITIONING: Make sure your baby carrier promotes healthy hip positioning which reduces the risk of developmental dysplasia of the hip. Your baby carrier should ensure baby’s hips are spread so their legs are straddling your body (in an M position). Bub’s knees should be spread apart, the thighs supported and the hips bent.
LONGEVITY: The best baby carriers are suitable for newborns + but you may prefer to have one that lasts well into toddlerhood. If so, look for a carrier or wrap that offers different carrying methods – on your hip or back, for example. This is the more comfortable way to carry an older tot.
SAFETY: This is probably one of the most important features to consider when shopping around. All of our best baby carriers, wraps and slings come with only the highest safety ratings but a general rule of thumb to ensure you are wrapping correctly is to remember the five steps of T.I.C.K.S:
- Tight: Make sure the carrier/sling/wrap is tight-fitting to ensure proper support.
- In view at all times: Make sure you can see bub’s face when looking down. Keep baby’s face, nose and mouth uncovered.
- Close enough to kiss: Your baby’s head should be close enough to your chin that you can kiss their sweet little head.
- Keep chin off the chest: Ensure your baby’s chin is up and away from their body. Your baby should never be curled so that the chin is forced onto its chest.
- Supported back: Your baby’s back should be supported in a natural position with their tummy and chest against you.
Best baby wrap carriers
VIXSA Wild Love Baby Wrap Carrier
Where to buy: VIXSA
A beautiful wrap for your sweetheart, the VIXSA Wrap Carrier is one of our top picks for best baby wrap carriers. Made from their signature buttery soft bamboo/spandex blend, it comes with a four-way stretch and provides thermoregulated, comfortable snuggliness for your baby too.
You can carry bub in comfort with no buckles, velcro or bulky bits to navigate through and nothing to dig into you or your baby. Machine washable and suitable from birth (3kgs) to 6-12 months (8-10kgs).
Pognae Australia Step One Wrap Baby Carrier
RRP: From $129.00 depending on fabric
Where to buy: Pognae Australia
If you’re after a baby carrier that also acts as a wrap, then Pognae Australia’s Step One Wrap Baby Carrier is a great option. It integrates the benefits of a baby wrap with the support of a soft-structured baby carrier. It’s a one-size-fits-most and easily adjustable baby carrier with no confusing size charts or ‘wrapping’ involved.
Simply put it on like a T-shirt, tighten the straps to fit your baby, and you’re good to go. It’s recommended the Step One Wrap Baby Carrier can be worn from approximately 3.5kg up to 13kg (although it’s been tested for up to 20kg). This baby carrier is acknowledged by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) as a hip-healthy product. Pognae is also a proud Research Partner of the IHDI.
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 15% OFF Step One Wrap Baby Carriers with code MUMCENTRAL15. Expires 27/October 2021.
Where to buy: Marsupi Australia, the exclusive distributor for Marsupi baby carriers in Australia and NZ
Marsupi is the perfect hybrid between a wrap and a carrier. Loved for its simplicity, snugness, and support, you can carry bub both front and on the hip and it’s suitable for newborns (3.5kg) to 15kg.
The Marsupi Breeze is simple to get on and off (no buckles or clasps), lightweight, comfortable and fully adjustable. Plus it’s made from a natural cotton blend for breathability and extra softness. It also comes with the tick of approval by the Institute of Hip Dysplasia.
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 20% OFF the entire Marsupi range using the code MARS20 at checkout.
Where to buy: BabyDink
Another great Australian-made wrap carrier, the BabyDink Pocket is the original no-wrap baby carrier but with a POCKET! Can we get a YAS??! BabyDink’s wrap carrier is made of organic material, worn like a top and designed to grow with bub – so easy!
No buckles, clips, or wrapping – just a beautiful way to bond with bub. And with a handy pocket for your mobile phone, what more do you need?
Chekoh Cinta Stripe Wrap
Where to buy: Chekoh
It’s the baby carrier wrap every new parent is talking about – Chekoh’s Cinta Stripe Wrap. It’s simple, stylish and safe and is an affordable option too at under $100!
Chekoh is Australia’s No.1 rated stretchy Wrap Carrier with no zips, clips, buckles and velcro, and no guessing the wrong size for your wear. It’s simple, natural, easy to adjust and completely safe. Plus it comes with Chekoh’s signature bamboo and spandex material and is suitable for newborns up to 12 months.
Moby Classic Wrap – Dusty Rose
Where to buy: The Amazing Baby Company
Perfect for newborns, the close cuddle of Moby Classic Wrap helps you bond with your little one – even when you’re on the go. It offers an easy-to-use, hands-free way to evenly distribute baby’s weight across your back and hips, perfect for a comfortable carry and hassle-free adventures for you and your little passenger.
Plus, it will grow with your child, supporting them in all the right places until they reach 13.6kg. This will allow you to change the position you carry them in once your newborn is not quite a newborn anymore! Made from buttery soft, breathable 100% cotton and available in a range of gorgeous colours (including this on-trend dusty rose) this wrap is a one-size-fits-all babywearing solution for all. MOBY – Close Enough to Kiss®.
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: SAVE 20% OFF any Moby purchase using the code MUMCENTRAL20 at checkout.
Best baby carriers
ErgoBaby OMNI Breeze Baby Carrier
Where to buy: ergoBaby
One of the biggest names in baby carriers has to be ErgoBaby and the new OMNI BREEZE Baby Carrier brings breathability to the next level. Designed with Lightweight SoftFlex™ Mesh to create maximum airflow, it keeps you and baby cool and dry all day.
Padded shoulder straps and lumbar support combine to make adventures of any length feel effortless. The OMNI BREEZE provides all the carrying options you need (front and back) as your baby grows, from newborn to toddler (0-48 months), making it the only all-in-one carrier you’ll ever need.
MUM CENTRAL READER OFFER: Save 15% OFF all full price items using code MUMCENTRAL at checkout.
BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One
Where to Buy: BabyBjorn
Another baby carrier that consistently receives high marks as one of the best baby carriers on the market is the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One Air. It is crafted to be extra cool and airy with 3D mesh which complements the sturdy waist belt and padded shoulder straps. Each carrier is free from health-hazardous substances and certified according to Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, Class I for baby products. Safe for baby and peace of mind for mum.
LilleBaby Complete Airflow Mist
Where to buy: Baby Bunting
Another great baby carrier, the LilleBaby comes with six ways to carry baby, unique lumbar support, headrest, sleeping hood, a zippered pocket and sun protection.
Tula Explore Baby Carrier
Where to buy: Baby Tula
Another great name for baby carriers is Tula and their Explore is an excellent option. With heaps of fun prints (sunset rainbows anyone?), it’s pretty and practical and suitable for newborns to three years old. It comes with an adjustable seat panel, a padded neck support pillow, a waistband pocket and more.
Best baby slings
Pure Linen Ring Sling
Where to buy: Leather Baby Co
If it’s a ring sling you’re after, then the Leather Baby Co Pure Linen Ring Sling is a great choice! Small enough to stash under the pram or in a nappy bag, they are super easy to use, come in heaps of colours and won’t leave you fiddling with metres of fabric when you want to use it.