9 of the best baby carriers

The top structured carriers tried and tested by expert mum and dad reviewers, there's a carrier to suit your babywearing lifestyle

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What is a baby carrier?

A baby carrier is a basically a comfy “pouch-on-a-harness” that allows you a hands-free way of carrying your baby on your front, side or back, with the bonus of keeping your baby close. 

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Generally suitable from birth to around 3 or 4 years, front carriers can be used for more than just transport, and are great for getting things done around the house or soothing a fractious baby.

Carriers are also worth a shot if you’re interested in baby slings, but feel a little daunted by how to wear them.  


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What are the different ways of carrying a baby?

Baby carriers (we’ve picked the best in this article): Carriers are made with firm fabric, have structured waist and padded shoulder straps and can be fastened with buckles or straps. They tend to have multiple seating positions (front, back, hip), and more structure than a sling with some featuring an actual frame. They are easy to put on and take off and have straps that allow adjustments to be made easily too.  You can also feel more confident the carrier is in the correct position on your body.

Wraps: Slings are a wonderful way to carry your baby around. A sling is (usually) a stretchy or woven long piece of fabric that wraps around you and lets you carry your baby against your body (front or back). Ideal for smaller newborns, slings differ from baby carriers in that they don’t usually have clips, buckles or buttons, and have to be tied to fit securely, which will take practice.  And if you’re looking to buy a baby sling then check out our 10 of the best wraps and slings

Mei Tai’s, Pods and Onbu: A mix combination of a structured buckle carrier and wrap.  They traditionally have a square body with waist straps and longer shoulder straps and are tied around the parents’ waist. Often allowing multiple seating positions (front, back, hip).

One shoulder and hip ring slings: Made up of a long piece of fabric that is stitched around two rings and secured by passing the free tail through the rings. These slings can only be used in one position and so your shoulder will take all the weight of your child. 

Backpack carriers: Backpack carriers are great for parents who like to head places a buggy would struggle to go, whether this is an epic mountain trek or just the local market!  Back carriers are suitable for babies who can sit up and support themselves – generally you’ll see them labelled as being okay for use from 6 months and last until your child’s 3 or 4 – if your back can withstand it!

Facing in or facing out – what’s the safest way for baby carriers?

The best carrying position is the one that mum/dad and baby are happiest with, however safety experts recommend that baby faces parents for the first 4-6 months, as they need the neck support.  

After that, when they can hold their head up, many babies enjoy facing forward and discovering the world with the warm feeling of the parent.

Essential safety tips on carrying your baby:

  • A newborn baby’s position should be changed often, it’s best if you alternate between a baby carrier, lying your little one on her back and carrying her in your the arms.
  • Always follow the T.I.C.K.S guidelines whenever you’re babywearing.
  • Support you baby’s hips, head, neck and back when you’re using a carrier of any kind, but allow them to move their arms and legs freely.
  • Facing inwards is beneficial to your baby’s cognitive development, particularly in the first 4-6 months.  Once he is old and strong enough to hold up his head he can face outwards and benefit from interaction with the world, while still having you close.
  • Choose the position that’s best for you and your baby
  • It’s vital to position your baby safely – we explain the right way and wrong ways here

Baby carriers, slings and hip dysplasia – what you need to know

The carrier you choose will depend on your needs, so before you buy anything, click through to see the best front and back carrier options, and don’t miss our buyer’s guide to baby carriers.

The 10 best baby carriers currently on the market:

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1. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One, £135, MadeForMums Joint Gold Award Winner

Age suitability: from newborn to 3 years old

Number of carrying positions: 4 front and back carrying positions

BabyBjorn is probably the first name that springs to mind when most people think of baby carriers, so it’s no surprise its Baby Carrier One was joint gold winner this year.

It’s of the high quality and clever details you’d expect from Swedish brand, including a fully adjustable seat to ensure your child’s hips are supported correctly, approved the International Hip Dysplacia institute. Parents will appreciate the extra-thick padding in the shoulder strap and waist belt, making sure they are as comfy as their passenger.

The structured, ergonomic baby carrier has a sturdy, flexible head support for your newborn baby, and as they grow you can switch between four front and back carrying positions depending on the view your little one fancies!

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One:

“I love this carrier. It’s comfortable and easy to use. We had a BabyBjorn for our first born so it was our first choice to buy when we had the twins. It’s on the more expensive side which can sometimes put parents off but it lasts for years as the quality is fantastic. Very happy with this product.” Mum of 3, Susan

“Excellent quality and easy to use hook-and-loop system for the waist belt. The straps are well padded and the clip buckles work well. I like the variation on fabric with a softer interior and more durable exterior, and it’s easy to move baby into back wearing mode.” MFM Reviews Editor Magda Ibrahim

You can buy BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One from: KidlyAmazon and John Lewis.


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2. Je Porte Mon Bébé PhysioCarrier, £114, , MadeForMums Joint Gold Award Winner

Age suitability: from birth to 20kg

Number of carrying positions: 3 (front, hip and back)

When it comes to versatility, this is the queen of carriers. You can carry your little one on your front, hip or back, and the special opening means you can ventilate and cool your baby’s back in hot weather (or if you step onto a warm train or shop in the winter), or zip them up when it’s cold.

You can purchase an optional pack booster and padded collar for newborns, while curious older babies can ride in the back with the booster and share your view of the world from over your shoulder. Our judges loved the ergonomic design (although did feel the booster pack should be included in the price). The belt and straps have extra thick padding for parents’ comfort, and the design is certified by the International Hip Dysplasia institute

Read what our MFM reviewer Georgina thought of the carrier in our review here.

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the PhysioCarrier:

“Really good product, like the mesh making it more comfortable in the summer months, nice attention to detail.” Double Olympic gold medallist and mum of 2, Sarah Ayton

“A high-quality, well-designed product. The innovative features of the mesh panel and mirror allow for comfort and peace of mind.” Baby-wearing expert and mum of 2, Rachel Coy

You can buy the PhysioCarrier from: Amazon, Jo Jo Maman Bebe and Love to be Natural.


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3. Izmi Baby Carrier, £75, MadeForMums Silver Award Winner

Age suitability: babies from 3.2kg-15kg

Number of carrying positions: 4 (front – out and chest-facing, side and back)

The best of both. For parents who love the close feel of a fabric sling but are looking for a little extra support and comfort, our silver winner could be the perfect answer.

The new Izmi Baby Carrier is a sling-style/buckled carrier hybrid designed by a babywearing expert and approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. It has comfy shoulder straps, a head support for newborns, and an adjustable seat that grows with your baby. It also comes with a booster cushion and packs up to a conveniently small size which you can pop in the included storage bag. 

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the Izmi Baby Carrier:

“Love that this packs down so small, attractive colour and packaging. Four clearly different positions and the adjustable waist.”  Baby-wearing expert and mum of 2, Rachel Coy

“I used to use cloth carriers and then a sturdier one – but this is like a cross between the two! If I had a newborn now, I’d skip the cloth carrier and go straight to this. It’s so comfortable and lightweight. It folds up nice and small, so can fit under a buggy or in your nappy bag easily. I tested it with a pretty heavy 14-month-old and it was still extremely comfortable to wear. My baby loved being in it too.” Mum of 2, Sonali

You can buy the Izmi Baby Carrier from: Cheeky Rascals and Amazon.


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4. Integra Baby Carrier, from £60, MadeForMums Bronze Award Winner

Age suitability: Birth to around two years (size 1), 18 months to around 3.5 years (size 2) and three year to around 5 years (size 3)

Number of carrying positions: 2 (front and back)

Our bronze winner comes in the form of the Integra Baby, and promises a comfy fit for parents and babies who like to travel in style.

It’s designed by Sarah Sadler, who knows a thing or two about carriers, having been a babywearing consultant for 11 years. The ergonomic design has a soft waist, integrated hood, adjustable buckles for a close fit, and front and back carrying options.

It comes in three different sizes for the perfect fit.

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the Integra Baby Carrier:

Very simple to put on, and comfortable. The three different sizes mean the product is designed for a specific size making it more bespoke. A nice, lightweight product.” Double Olympic gold medallist and mum of 2, Sarah Ayton

“The price puts this carrier in most parents’ price bracket. Fits almost all parents. Amazing variety of colour and fabric choices. I like the simplicity of the design.” Baby-wearing expert and mum of 2, Rachel Coy

You can buy the Integra Baby Carrier from: Integra Baby and Carry My Baby.

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5. ERGObaby Adapt carrier, £119.90 

Age suitability: Birth (with newborn pack) to 4 years (3.5kg – 20kg)

Number of carrying positions: 3 (front, back and hip)

Lightweight, comfortable for baby and wearer, the ERGObaby baby carrier fast became indispensable to our MFM mum testers.

Suitable from 4 months, it can be worn from birth with the infant insert (£19.90).  One of the top features is the sleep hood – when your baby’s head starts to loll, you pull up the hood for support. Spot on for those taking longer walks with tired toddlers.

Check out our full ERGObaby baby carrier review here.

You can buy the ERGObaby Adapt from: Amazon and BuggyBaby.


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6. Boba 4G Carrier, £99.50

Age suitability: Birth to 4 years (3.5kg – 20kg)

Number of carrying positions: 2 (front and back)

Created by a husband and wife team who have made it their mission to spread the benefits of baby wearing to as many parents as they can, the Boba 4G carrier is quickly becoming a big name in the carrying industry.

Easily adjustable, the straps can be altered even while your baby is in the carrier and it can be used from 3kg to 20kg. In our MFM test our reviewer found it extremely comfortable and gave it 4.5 stars out of 5 for its double shoulder straps and padded waistband. She found these distributed her baby’s weight evenly so she was “ache-free, even after a full afternoon of carrying my son.”

See what else our reviewer said about the Boba 4G Carrier in the full review

You can buy the Boba 4G Carrier from: Amazon and Natural Baby Shower.


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7. Connecta Baby Carrier, £74

Age suitability: Birth to 4-5 years (3.5kg – 24kg)

Number of carrying positions: 2 (front and back)

The Connecta has a wide-base, allowing little ones to sit in the ‘M’ or ‘frogy’ position.  When worn correctly the carrier meets all the T.I.C.K.S guidelines for safe babywearing and is “very comfortable” for both parent and baby, according to our MFM reviewer.

Featuring an integrated sleeping hood and pocket for soft small items, the standout feature of the Connecta is that it looks good and is “available in a gazillion different prints, including some really lovely Liberty ones”.

Check out the full Connecta Carrier review here

You can buy the Connecta Carrier on Babi Pur and AMC.


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8. Mountain Buggy Juno Carrier, £139

Age suitability: Birth to 4 years (3.5kg – 20kg)

Number of carrying positions: 3 (front, back and hip)

The first infant carrier from all-terrain pushchair specialists Mountain Buggy, the Juno can be used from birth up to 4 years.

Our MFM reviewer loved the Juno because it gave her son the ideal ergonomic posture, has extra storage pockets for all her essentials and has a compartment at the front of the carrier where she can place her hands and cuddle him. 

Read our full Mountain Buggy Juno review.

You can buy the Juno carrier from: Uber Kids.


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9. Liliputi Buckle Carrier, £98

Age suitability: Birth to 4 years (3.5kg – 20kg)

Number of carrying positions: 4 (front, back, hip and hipseat)

A stylish and versatile carrier that can be used from birth until the toddler years. It’s soft enough to carry baby indoors yet durable enough to withstand outdoor trips.

The Liliputi buckle carrier comes with an infant insert and older-child support extension, so it’ll last many years use.  It also has a snooze/shade hood, to cover little heads in the sun and rain.

Our MFM reviewer says the carrier ‘extremely comfortable” for both her and her son and also said “having the body height adjustable using drawstrings is a great touch that ensures your baby won’t get ‘lost’ inside the carrier”. 

Read the full Liliputi carrier review here.

Available from: Liliputi.

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