Babywearing is a great way to be productive while having your baby close. We're here to help you pick the right baby carrier for you and your little bundle.
Being a mom is hard work, right?
Sometimes, trying to do the simplest things take a huge amount of time and energy, because you also have your newborn to attend to.
Fortunately, it can be a lot easier with the right baby gear. One thing that can be a great support in your daily routine is a baby wrap or ring sling. And to save you precious hours of wading through the hundreds of options, we've lined up the top rated ones available to you right now.
We loved the Boba right away, and think it's the best quality for a great price. These baby wraps are very soft, breathable and just enough stretchy. The design makes the tying process easy because you can first tie the wrap around you, and then put your baby in. The fabric forms instantly to the size and shape of you and your little one. No need to readjust!
Whenever the wrap fabric gets dirty you can toss it into the washing machine and let it air dry or throw it in the dryer. The Boba combines the versatility of a wrap with the easiness of a pre-formed carrier, which makes it quick and easy to set up but suitable for longer wearing sessions.
The softness and ease of this wrap, plus being an organic material, is why the Boba Wrap comes out as the best pick for 2017!
|Top Baby Wraps and Slings||Key Features||Our Rating /5||Price Guide||Parent Feedback|
|Boba Baby Wrap||Suitable for newborns and preemies, French Terry 95% Cotton and 5% Spandex, Machine washable, nursing is possible, long-time wearing, one size fits all||4.5||Moderate||Very Good|
|CuddleBug Baby Wrap Carrier||Converts to sling, Nursing Cover included, machine washable, breathable 95% Terry French cotton and 5% spandex, 30 Day Money Back Guarantee, and lifetime replacement guarantuee||4.5||Moderate||Excellent|
|Innoo Tech Baby Sling / Wrap||Suitable for newborns, machine washable, French Terry mix, money back / replacement guarantuee, comes with dvd||4.4||Low||Very Good|
|Infantino Sash Wrap and Tie||Super easy to tie, quick in and out, hood included, Extra wide padded straps, no buckles, 100% machine washable cotton, hip and backpack position also possible||4.3||Moderate||Very Good|
|Baby K'tan Baby Carrier||No tie needed, Simple double-loop design slips on like a t-shirt, hip position possible, machine washable 100% natural soft cotton with one-way stretch,||4.3||High||Very Good|
|Mamaway Baby Ring Sling||amazing patterns, easy in and out, lightweight, Patented pocket design, 100% Pima Combed Cotton, machine washable and fast drying, also hip and back positions||4.2||Moderate||Good|
|Vlokup Baby Ring Sling||100% cotton, padded shoulders, padded railings for baby thighs, machine washable (cold)||4.0||Moderate||Good|
The Boba Wrap is one of the most widely-used wraps that is currently on the market. Boba slings are award-winning baby carriers and this accomplishment displays their excellence in reliability as well as trustworthiness. Numerous parents use these slings on a daily basis. This is my absolute nr. 1 carrier, but using it does require some practice and patience. We love that you can easily and safely keep your baby close, can breastfeed discreetly and be assured your baby is not exposed to any harmful dyes or chemicals.
Another very popular wrap carrier is the Cuddlebug. It is mostly cotton with a bit of spandex for snug and comfortable baby wearing. The reason why it is so popular is not just that it is easy to tie, but that it comes with great extra's. For example, it comes with a nursing cover for privacy and can be converted into a sling. The fabric is machine-washable 95% Terry French cotton and 5% Spandex. Another great aspect of this carrier is that it comes with a 30 Day Money Back Guarantee AND a lifetime replacement guarantee. Basically, if you end up not using it, or damaging it, Cuddlebug has your back!
Another great wrap, which has tapered ends so you can tie it easily and don't end up with a big wad of fabric. The Innoo baby carrier is made of 95% tightly woven French Terry cotton and 5% spandex. It is manufactured in the USA, and has a wear-and-tear and fade resistant finish. It also comes with a limited lifetime satisfaction guarantee. It is machine washable and dryer proof. There is a storage bag and DVD included with a full training on how to tie your sling and safely execute babywearing. It has the same quality as a lot of brand name wraps, for almost half the price! A great deal for the budget smart mom.
This carrier is quite different from the others in our list, as it is based a mei tai carrier. Instead of a long piece of fabric, it is basically a rectangle with fabric strips attached. But, just like the other wraps and slings, it supports a natural frog position for your baby, and has a natural fit to your body. Mei Tais can be used from birth with some adjustments, just to roll up the base and decrease the width. For the parent that likes to have a carrier that can be put on instantly without much practice, this is definitely the way to go. The Infantino carrier is also less warm, because it is open from the side. You can easily carry in three different carrying positions; facing-in, hip-hugger and backpack. Comes with a detachable hood for weather protection and naps. Because of all this, the Infantino is rightfully one of the most popular carriers available!
Another wrap style carrier where you hardly need any training, because it is a ready-to-wear design. The simplicity of the K'tan will have you up and going about your daily business in no time, while keeping your baby secure, close and, most importantly, happy. Instead of a long piece of fabric, it has two attached loops that cross over your shoulders, plus a support sash that is also a handy storage pocket. It's made sompletely out of soft, stretchy cotton which does not sag after hours of wearing. Because it is pre-tied, it comes in different sizes, and some parents said it is best to choose a size smaller than you usually pick. There are many positions possible with this carrier, and the t-shirt feel of it, makes it another top pick for a lot of parents.
It is advised to only use a cradle position in a ring sling for active nursing, and to have the baby in upright position when nursing is over.
The Mamaway Ring Sling baby carriers are very lightweight and are easy to carry around. This product has superior quality, it is well stitched and very durable. It is made of 100% cotton and feels very soft. It also contains excess fabric that can be used for privacy during breastfeeding. You will not need any extra blankets and will have less to carry with you. This sling provides the perfect position that is needed for breastfeeding. There are lots of color and pattern options with some being gender neutral to suit the needs of mothers as well as fathers. It adjusts as needed for babies and toddlers. Mamaway brand carriers come with excellent instructional videos that are sent to you via email. There is a handy pocket that is sewn into the bottom of the sling that can provide extra storage for small objects such as baby teething rings. When it is not in use you can simply hang it on your stroller with a clip attached to the Mamaway rings. Adjustment procedures can be easily figured out by using the inner and outer stripe colors as guides.
For a newborn, it is advised to only use the cradle position during awake nursing session and not otherwise.
>> See full Mamaway Baby Ring Sling info
The second ring sling in our top list is the lesser known Vlokup sling, which is quickly rising in popularity. It is made of 100% sturdy cotton that can carry up to 40 pounds, and designed to fit most sizes. It can adjust fast, and has a deep pouch for secure wearing of even the wiggliest babies. The shoulder is slightly padded, so you don't strain your neck, and the railings are padded for gently carrying baby's legs. This sling is preferably hand washed in cold water, but can also endure a cold wash in the washing machine. This is perfect for easy in-and-out of baby and doing chores around the house. For a long hike you might want to choose a full wrap instead.
For a newborn, only carry in cradle position during active breastfeeding.
How Will You Use Your Baby Carrier?
There are a few things to consider when you are choosing a style that is right for you. These factors can include, the fabric, the size that is needed for the baby as well as the wearing style that you prefer. We will explain which features to look for to decide which style fits you best.
It might also not be clear to you what is the difference between a sling, a wrap and a ring sling. If that is the case, read this first:
It might be confusing that many people, and even manufacturers (and us!), mix up the terms wrap, sling and ring sling with each other. So here's some explanation that might help:
These carriers are inspired by the Indonesian Selendang. The concept is very simple, but extremely handy for new moms. The sling is constructed out of a piece of cloth and metal rings. The cloth that is used for ring slings can vary greatly and can include the following: cotton, cotton blends. silk, linen and synthetic mesh. The rings can be made from either nylon or metal.
Ring slings are a great option for someone that is looking for a simple carrier that allows you to put the baby in quickly. It is very easy to learn how to nurse using this product in that it provides support to the traditional cradle hold style of breastfeeding. Although this product is mainly used for cradle style carrying there are also variations that you can use it for such as tummy to tummy carrying as well as hip carrying. A very experienced ring sling user may also try carrying the baby on their backs which is suitable for older babies as well as toddlers. The variety of fabrics, shoulder styles and price ranges will allow you to find the perfect one that is suitable for you.
Ring slings are adjustable and can be worn by women of many different sizes. They are recommended for holding your baby during short periods of time due to the one strap design that may become uncomfortable after long periods of use. They may not be as hands free as a two shoulder carriers but are perfect for snuggling a newborn and allows toddlers to get in and out of it frequently. They are also very compact which is great when traveling with them and can be an alternate to a diaper bag when they are not being used to hold the baby.
A wrap for babywearing is a long strip of fabric that you wrap around you and your baby. Within wraps you have different types, depending on the material and differences in size and shape. For instance, you can have stretchy, woven or cross-woven wraps. There are wraps that are warm for winter, silk mixes for summer or even baby wraps for in the shower!
It depends on the type of wrap, but the wrap is the most versatile baby carrier. The long strip can be tied in endless possibilities, and you can wear your baby in every position you like. The down side of this, is that you have a long piece of fabric to handle and you have to learn how to tie it properly. The advantage is that when you know how to tie your favorite position, you will be able to do almost everything with your baby. If you tie the wrap well, the weight is so evenly distributed, you hardly notice the extra baggage. And your baby is so secure, you move with full confidence through your day.
But as many of us aren't that handy or simple awake enough to go through the steep learning curve, there are plenty of wrap designs that you hardly need to tie yourself. There are also hybrid versions that you can use instantly, like the Infantino Mei Tai. With this one, it's even easier than tying your shoe 🙂
To give you an impression how tying a wrap works, here is a great tutorial by Boba:
Though our top rated carriers don't feature them, there are a lot of other types carriers. For instance Pouch Slings and Soft Structured Carriers. We only tested the ones thathad the highest parent reviews, but since everyone is different, you might want to check those ones out as well!
Which carrier is best depends on your preferences and situation. Check each carrier product description and user reviews, to make an informed decision before you buy. Here is an example of qualities to look for:
You should also check these aspects:
Being that slings come in such a variety of materials ranging from reasonably priced cotton to luxury silks it is usually a matter of preference that will determine your choice. Some people may consider the climate they live in when making a material choice for their carrier. For example linen and solar veil are popular choices in warmer parts of the country or during the summer. You can also opt for organic fabric, and check for toxic substances and allergens.
As with the variety of materials offered for slings there are also many options when it comes to design concepts. If you want more comfort and support than a standard model offers, choose a carrier that contains extra padding in the shoulders. There are also other options that are designed to be used as your baby develops and can be altered to fit newborns as well as toddlers up to two years old. When making the decision on the design of your carier, consider how often you will be wearing it while they are in the newborn phase as well as when they will begin walking.
It is important to read the safety guidelines and weight recommendations for the sling before you make a purchase. If it is worn improperly it can make it very difficult for the baby to breathe and it may also interfere with the air pathways completely. Proper instructions should contain pictures of how to wear your baby. When these instructions are followed by the user, your baby will be safe in the sling. Also make sure that the one you buy is appropriate for your baby's weight.
Wraps typically use both shoulders, while rings slings go on one shoulder. There is no shoulder style that is the best for a user, it is simply a matter of preference. There are many variations to shoulder styles and most are designed to be used on either shoulder, One exception to this is the P-Sling which is designed to be worn on a specific shoulder by the user.
The part that extends beyond the ring or the knot is called the tail. You do want a certain amount of material to extend beyond in order to be safe. The amount of material that you would like to have there is a matter of preference. You can choose from waist length, knee length, or somewhere in between. There is even longer tail options for those that prefer them. Tails can even meet more of your specifications by containing pockets or being tapered as well as blunt. The tail can be used as a nursing cover and to shield the baby from elements such as the sun and cold weather.
Sizing is a very flexible feature when it comes to most textile carriers. Although a sling may fit wearers at different lengths on their body due to height, the sling will be safe to use no matter where it lays on your body. And don't forget they are also adjustable in order to modify them to you needs. A wrap is usually one size fits all, except with some pre-tied wraps. Read the product descriptions to see if you need to select a specific size. When the fabric is stretchy, it is best to choose a size smaller than usual.
Wearing your baby in a baby sling or wrap is no more dangerous than walking with a buggy. And just like with anything that involves you baby, you should follow safety guidelines. Here is a quick cheat sheet with 10 rules for safe use of a baby carrier:
If you remember the 10 rules of baby wearing, you can be assured that it is a safe and comfortable experience for you and your little one. Here is some more information you need to read before you start:
Be attentive to your baby at all times.
The sling or baby carrier need to be a snug fit: you baby needs to be high and tight to your body. The fabric should support your baby from head to the knees (frog position).
Wraps that are tied, should stay tied when your baby is in it.
When you make unexpected or strange movements, such as bending over, support your baby with your hands. There is a risk of bumping baby's head against a doorframe or dropping their head back. Don't worry, this will soon become second nature!
Your point of balance will be different, and you might not be able to see your feet, so walk carefully. And don't run. Don't wear your baby on a bicycle.
A sling should be well-permeable, 100% natural material is best. Your baby's nose and mouth must always be free, make sure they're not pressed against your chest. His head should not bend forward with his chin on chest, there should be a space of at least one finger between chin and chest.
Prevent overheating while wearing your baby. When your baby is close to you, he is in a warm spot. So do not dress your baby heavily, he is already warmed up by your body and by what you are wearing.
If you are wearing a jacket over the baby, make sure it remains open at the top for air supply. If you wear the baby over your coat, you must provide adequate protective clothing. Protect baby's skin against the sun.
Do not use the sling or baby carrier near places that emit heat. So do not cook or iron with a baby in front of you. If you'd like to just use a baby carrier during the hectic hour around dinner time, think carrying on the back. Some carriers in which this is possible, are also suited for young babies. Be careful with hot drinks and food!
If you want to put down a sleeping baby, choose a safe place. Remove sling completely after you lie the baby down.
Drive with your baby in an approved car seat, a baby carrier offers no protection in a car.
Keeping your child close in those first year (and beyond) is one of the most wonderful things for you both. With the right carrier, you combine this bonding process with the freedom to use your hands and go anywhere! In a way, your baby will always feel at home, no matter where you go.