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Baby Carriers

Whether you’re snuggling with a sleepy newborn or trying to stay hands-free while you shop with your tot, baby carriers help you keep your child close while you’re on the go. 

Types of Baby Carriers

Wraps and slings, backpacks, mei tais, and soft structured models—baby carriers come in various fabrics, can be worn in numerous ways, and suit a variety of activity levels. You can further customize any carrier with a range of accessories.

Pros: Allow for a wide variety of holding options, including various front, hip, and back carriers. Designed for use with a range of ages (newborns to toddlers); protects a child from sun, wind, and touchy strangers. Convenient for breastfeeding, wraps are washable, easily adjusted, and usually more affordable than other carrier styles. Wraps are also ideal for those following an attachment-parenting philosophy, as they keep a child close to the body.

Cons: Because of the variety of styles and carry options, wraps can have a steeper learning curve Wraps and slings, backpacks, mei tais, and soft structured models—baby carriers come in various fabrics, can be worn in numerous ways, and suit a variety of activity levels. You can further customize any carrier with a range of accessories.

Wraps

A wrap carriers is a long piece of material (often cotton, but can be linen, silk, bamboo, or breathable mesh) worn twisted around the body. 

Pros: Allow for a wide variety of holding options, including various front, hip, and back carriers. Designed for use with a range of ages (newborns to toddlers); protects a child from sun, wind, and touchy strangers. Convenient for breastfeeding, wraps are washable, easily adjusted, and usually more affordable than other carrier styles. Wraps are also ideal for those following an attachment-parenting philosophy, as they keep a child close to the body.

Cons: Because of the variety of styles and carry options, wraps can have a steeper learning curve than other carriers (although most wraps come with printed directions and a DVD/online video for added instruction). Some parents find the wrapped fabric keeps them too warm while wearing Baby.
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Tomy
$39.99 at Target

The JJ Cole Agility Stretch Wrap Carrier keeps baby close and secure. The Agility carrier has no clips, buckles or wrapping, and s...lips on like a shirt. The four carrier sizes to ensure a proper fit for you and comfort for your baby. Carry your baby in several positions, including newborn snuggle, outward facing and inward facing. The Agility is safe for carrying babies between 8 and 35 pounds, and the back panel evenly distributes baby's weight. The carrier is made of soft stretch fabric and is machine washable. Small fits womens dress size 48, mens suit jacket size 38. The carrier is made of soft stretch fabric and is machine washable. JJ Cole Collections is committed to providing parents with fashionforward products that epitomize utility and convenience. Known through North America and Europe for high quality products and superior customer service, JJ Cole applies a model of constant innovation to expand its range of baby and child travel gear and travel accessories including diaper bags, carrier covers, baby bunting and more. Perhaps best known for the revolutionary BundleMe baby bunting, JJ Cole offers a wide range of stylish and functional products for parents and children in a variety of contemporary colors and modern prints JJ Cole is committed to the safety and wellbeing of its customers. Products undergo rigorous thirdparty testing to ensure that the highest safety standards are met, as well as additional 'voluntary' safety regulations applicable in the U.S. Read More

JJ Cole
$39.99 at Target

Find Baby Carriers, Hikers And Slings at Target.com! Babies require attention every four minutes. That??s over 200 times a day! Tr...ust us, you??re going to need both hands. The JJ Cole Agility Stretch Carrier lets you keep both hands free while keeping your baby snuggled close. The Agility is a soft, hands-free stretch carrier designed with your comfort in mind. The Agility features a comfortable back and shoulder support. The breathable back panel distributes weight evenly, making it more comfortable to wear your baby. The carrier can be arranged in multiple positions using the included sash and the stretchy fabric makes for a secure fit. Read More

Tomy
$39.99 at Target

The JJ Cole Agility Stretch Carrier keeps baby close and secure. The Agility carrier has no clips, buckles or wrapping, and slips ...on like a shirt. The four carrier sizes to ensure a proper fit for you and comfort for your baby. Carry your baby in several positions, including newborn snuggle, outward facing and inward facing. The Agility is safe for carrying babies between 8 and 35 pounds, and the back panel evenly distributes baby's weight. The carrier is made of soft stretch fabric and is machine washable. JJ Cole Collections is committed to providing parents with fashionforward products that epitomize utility and convenience. Known through North America and Europe for high quality products and superior customer service, JJ Cole applies a model of constant innovation to expand its range of baby and child travel gear and travel accessories including diaper bags, carrier covers, baby bunting and more. Perhaps best known for the revolutionary BundleMe baby bunting, JJ Cole offers a wide range of stylish and functional products for parents and children in a variety of contemporary colors and modern prints JJ Cole is committed to the safety and wellbeing of its customers. Products undergo rigorous thirdparty testing to ensure that the highest safety standards are met, as well as additional 'voluntary' safety regulations applicable in the U.S. Read More

ERGObaby
$79.99 at Target

Find Baby Carriers, Hikers And Slings at Target.com! With the Ergobaby Wrap, there is a material difference. The Ergobaby Wrap fea...tures a luxuriously soft 4D Stretch? material that produces the right amount of stretch for the perfect fit, doesn?t sag from baby?s weight to create long lasting support, and is movable in all directions to provide maximum comfort for both wearer and baby. Designed with newborns and infants in mind, the Ergobaby Wrap can be used from day one and throughout the first year (up to 31lbs) using different carry positions during different stages of your child?s development. With the Ergobaby Wrap, parents can keep their baby close and... Color: Euclyptus. Read More

Slings

These swaths of material are worn over one shoulder to form a pouch to hold your baby. Slings can be either a circular piece of cloth with a fixed pouch or a rectangular length of fabric threaded through two rings and whose pouch size can be adjusted. 

Pros: A variety of carry positions, including front (facing in and out), hip, and back. Slings are simple to put on and remove; allow for discreet breastfeeding and easy to store in a diaper bag. Slings are available in a wide variety of materials, colors, and patterns, letting you express your style. 

Cons: Wearing a baby in a sling can become physically taxing if done for extended periods and as Baby gets older and larger. Circular pouch slings are sized, so it can be tricky to order one without trying it on. Ring slings’ design means that there will always be a drape of its extra material hanging in front of you—a potential annoyance for some.
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Peanut Shell
$49.99 at Target

Padded, pouch-style sling cradles baby in the comfort of cotton with a touch of stretch. The no-slip safety strap adjusts as your ...little one grows. Color(s): tea time. Brand: Peanut Shell. Style Name: Peanut Shell Adjustable Baby Sling. Style Number:... Read More

Karma Baby
$59.99 at Target

Find Baby Carriers, Hikers And Slings at Target.com! The Karma Baby sling is so easy to use. It is loved by new mothers and father...s everywhere for the ease and comfort it provides. Simply throw it over one shoulder and slip baby in. There are so many reasons to carry your baby close to you. It helps to soothe fussy babies. It also makes breast-feeding in public very easy and discreet. Babies who are held more cry less. Carrying your baby close to you allows you to continue your daily life while keeping your baby close. All of our slings are made from organic fabric and are manufactured here in the US. . . ? 100% Organic Cotton Twill ? Simple and easy to use; No rings or... Size: XS. Color: Green. Read More

The Peanut Shell
$60.99 at Target

The Peanut Shell Adjustable Baby Sling Stella - AJ-STLWe get it; parenting takes some adjusting. Now you have a fashionable, durab...le and comfortable baby sling in just one size. What could be easier?The Peanut Shell adjustable sling allows you to be han Read More

The Peanut Shell
$49.99 at Target

The Peanut Shell Adjustable Sling - Whisper We get it; parenting takes some adjusting. Now you have a fashionable, durable and com...fortable baby sling in just one size. What could be easier? Our sling is truly one size fits all and features a no-slip safety strap, perfectly sized pouch and padded rails that make our sling the safest for you and your baby. We use a cotton stretch, single layer sling design that gives like a pair of stretch jeans featuring 97% cotton and 3% spandex. Recommended for use with babies between 8 and 26 pounds Product Dimensions: 1 x 9 x 28 inches Read More

Mei Tai Carriers

Sometimes called Asian-style baby carriers, mei tais are a rectangular pieces of material worn on the front, back, or hip. Four straps secure them (usually one over each shoulder and two at the waist).

Pros: Made in a wide array of colors and patterns; can be used with infants and toddlers. They evenly distribute the weight of the child and can be adjusted from a high-back, looky-loo carrying position to a lower, nap-friendly carrying position.

Cons: May be tricky for those looking for a quick on/off carrier. Straps usually not padded and can dig into shoulders and hips. Depending on the design, some mei tai carriers may not provide enough support for newborns.

Soft-Structured Carriers (SSCs)

Able to be worn on the front, back, or hip, soft-structured carriers feature a rectangular piece of material secured to the wearer’s body with clasps and buckles. Some models keep the child in a seated position; others, in a vertical one. Although suitable for newborns through toddlers, some SSCs require a separate infant insert.

Pros: Soft-structured carriers provide a more streamlined look than other options. The carriers’ buckles and clasps offer a customizable fit for parent and child, and the padded shoulder straps—and in some cases, padded waist belts—increase comfort, disperse the child’s weight, and provide lumbar support for the parent. Often quick and easy to put on and place baby in. Also offered in more dad-friendly styles than other carriers.

Cons: Does not allow child to be worn directly on parent’s chest, which may disappoint those looking for that close contact. The design leaves a child’s legs unprotected, potentially exposing them to sun and wind. Soft-structured carriers can be bulkier than other options, making them harder to stash into a diaper bag or stroller basket. Some parents may also find the buckles and clasps burdensome or uncomfortable. 

Backpack Carriers

Suited for more active, lengthy outings (such as hikes or a day out), backpack carriers can be smaller models built into a traditional school backpack or larger options constructed on backpacking frames. Babies carried must be able to keep their head upright unassisted, making these carriers most suitable for kids 6 months and older.

Pros: Available in a wide variety of designs, sizes, and comfort levels, including lightweight models for short journeys to more substantial styles for longer trips. Many backpack carriers have additional storage pouches for diapers, snacks, and your own essentials.

Cons: Backpack carriers can be used in only one way. Models vary and may lack the adjustment options or sufficient padding you’d desire. Storage can be problematic because of the carrier’s bulky shape. Backpack carriers position the child high on your back, so hanging lights, door frames, and tree branches are potential hazards.

Carrier Accessories

Varying greatly by brand, carrier accessories include infant inserts, sun hoods/sleeping hoods, cover enhancements, weather covers, strap extensions, seat extenders, and bibs/drool clothes.

Infant insert: Certain carriers, such as mei tai or soft-structured ones, are not suitable for infants as-is, often because the children’s small size makes them sit too low in them. Although many models now include an infant insert or have been redesigned to not need one, some still require purchasing a separate accessory.

Sun hoods and sleeping hoods: These are optional accessories for mei tai carriers, soft structured carriers, and backpack carriers; they protect your baby from the elements and provide a shaded place for her to snooze.

Cover enhancements: Some carriers can be updated with additional swatches of material that you purchase and attach to them.

Weather covers: Waterproof weather covers fit over your carrier, providing warmth and protection from rain and snow.

Strap extensions: Strap extensions create extra sizing flexibility for shoulder and waist straps. 

Seat extenders: Seat extenders (available for some carriers) offer additional comfort and support for larger babies.

Bibs/drool cloths: Children often bite, suck, and drool over the front of their carriers. Easy-to-clean bibs or drool clothes cover this portion of the carrier, protecting it from marks and stains.
Shop Carrier Accessories
BabyBjorn
$11.99 at Target

BabyBjorn One Bib for Baby Carrier - Black The Bib for Baby Carrier protects the upper part of the baby carrier for your baby's dr...ips and drools. Compatible with: BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches Product Weight: 1 pounds Read More

BabyBjorn
$11.99 at Target

BabyBjorn One Bib for Baby Carrier - Black The Bib for Baby Carrier protects the upper part of the baby carrier for your baby's dr...ips and drools. Compatible with: BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches Product Weight: 1 pounds Read More

BabyBjorn
$13.19 at Target

Teething babies can produce a shocking amount of drool - who thought someone so small could contain so much? It can be tough to ke...ep your baby dry, especially in their BABYBJORN baby carrier , and especially if you're using your hands for tasks other... Read More

ERGObaby
$25.00 at Target

Made specifically for the 360 carrier, this soft cotton teething pad and bib snap into the upper portion of the carrier (when in t...he front-outward carry position) to help give your little one relief from teething pain while protecting and extending the life of the carrier. Color(s): natural. Brand: ERGOBABY. Style Name: ERGObaby 360 Carrier Teething Pad & Bib. Style Number: 884991. Manufacturer part number TPA2F14 Hidden snaps and button holes attach to 360 carrier100% cotton Machine wash cold, dry flat By ERGObaby; imported Kids' Wear Read More

Purchase Considerations

There’s a baby carrier suited to every taste and parenting style. But before selecting a model because it looks cute or was recommended by your cousin, bear in mind a few things. How would you like to carry the baby? During which activities will you wear the carrier, and how would you prefer to attach the carrier to your body? Will you be wearing the child for long stretches of time, and are your kid’s age and weight—or even your own physical limitations—potential factors? And, finally, will there be more than one caregiver using the carrier?

Carrying positions

Common carrying positions include front facing-in, front facing-out, cradle, hip, kangaroo-hold, hug-hold, high-back, and low-back. Some baby carriers offer only one or two options; others provide a half-dozen. More is not always better, but having various carry options can allow you to do a wider array of activities and help find that magic position to calm a fussy baby.

Activity types

Most carriers are comfortable for wearing around the house, but not all are suited to all home activities. You wouldn’t want to wear a front-facing carrier while cooking, and a backpack carrier isn’t the best way to transport a baby on the subway. Also consider if you’re planning to breastfeed while wearing the carrier. Some styles make this very convenient; others, nearly impossible.

Attachment style

When it comes to attaching the carrier to you, consider the ease, look, and comfort of the various options. Think about the locations where you’ll be putting the carrier on, how fast you need the on/off process to be, and any distracting elements that may take your attention away from attaching the carrier.

Length of wearing

Parents planning on wearing their baby for long periods should make sure to find a carrier that is padded, comfortable, and easily adjustable.

Age and weight limits

Many baby carriers suit a range of ages and loads, but some require additional accessories for infants, and others are better at distributing a child’s weight, making them more comfortable for those carrying older, heftier kids.

Physical issues

Some baby carriers are harder on certain body parts, such as sore shoulders or a weak back. Be sure to select a carrier that does not strain your injured areas and that provides adequate support and padding.

Multiple caregivers

If several people will be using the carrier, ensure that it is adequately adjustable and gender-neutral to allow all to wear it comfortably. Wraps, mei tai carriers, and ring slings are simple to tailor to multiple wearers, but the straps on some soft-structured carriers and backpack carriers require more time and effort. One-piece circular slings are available in a particular size and are trickier for caregivers to share.
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