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The Best Baby Carrier Wrap

Last updated on May 18, 2024
Best Baby Carrier Wrap

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Our Picks For The Top Baby Carrier Wraps

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Best Overall

Baby K’tan Original Baby Carrier Wrap

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Baby K'tan

Original Baby Carrier Wrap

Keep your hands free with this cute baby carrier wrap. It's available in 16 different patterns, including floral garden, sweetheart and navy stripe. The wrap is constructed from 100% cotton, which is soft, breathable and machine washable.

Overall Take

Safe and SecureAll you need to do is slip this baby carrier wrap over your head like a t-shirt and you're ready to go.

 Supports Baby's Head and Neck

Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier Wrap


Omni 360 Baby Carrier Wrap

Both mom and dad can use this baby carrier wrap to keep baby happy while still being able to use their hands. The wrap is also extremely versatile and can be used in many different positions. For example, it can be worn in the front with baby facing mom's front or back or worn in the back with baby facing dad's front or back.

Overall Take

Works for All Body TypesParents will love that this baby carrier wrap features a head and neck support pillow, a tuck-away baby hood and a detachable storage pouch.

 Convertible Pick

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier Wrap


Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier Wrap

Every strap on this baby carrier wrap is fully adjustable, allowing parents to carry babies of most sizes comfortably. The machine-washable bib is a great bonus that protects against spit-up stains on clothing. Padding in the neck area helps to support the littlest riders.

Overall Take

Adjustable Baby CarrierThis baby carrier wrap can adjust to fit many sizes of precious cargo.

 Comfort Pick

5 STARS UNITED Cotton Baby Wrap Carrier Sling


Cotton Baby Wrap Carrier Sling

With a bit of instruction, parents will find this wrap very easy to use. The fabric is stretchy and breathable, allowing you to carry your baby for hours. It works best when tied tightly so that baby snuggles without sagging.

Overall Take

Comfortable and StretchyThe fabric of this user-friendly baby carrier wrap is thin but pliable.

Buying Guide

Every new parent wants to introduce their baby to the world. When it comes to actually getting that infant out and about, there are a lot of options. There are entire industries built on strollers and their various attachments, all with the aim of helping babies and their parents move around in relative comfort.

But for many parents, there’s an option that’s not only more classic and minimal, but cheaper. The concept of baby carrier wraps has been around for almost as long as there have been textiles and babies themselves. Today, this most venerable of baby carrying methods has a community that’s stronger than ever, just like the products themselves.

So exactly what is a baby carrier wrap? As we’ll learn, there are a number of different configurations, and it’s hard to find two parents that wear them exactly the same way. But in broad terms, a baby carrier wrap is a piece of cloth specifically designed to let mom or dad securely carry their baby close to their chest, leaving the baby swaddled and the parents’ hands free.

The practice of using one of these wraps is generally called babywearing, and it may take a bit of getting used to for some. But once you’ve got the hang of it, there are many benefits — some more obvious than others. Clearly, the idea of having your hands free is a big one. Babies need a lot of attention in those first few months, and a wrap lets parents keep their little ones as close as possible while still allowing mom or dad to shop, eat or do chores. The portability is another key factor. Rather than bookending each car trip by assembling and disassembling a stroller, parents can simply take out a wrap from their bag and have their baby ready to go. Not to mention the fact that it’s a lot easier to navigate crowds with an external “baby bump” than a stroller.

Of course, adults aren’t the only ones who get the benefits. Research by the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the more you hold babies over the course of a day, the less likely they are to cry and fuss. And the emotional boost goes both ways: Physical closeness with newborns facilitates the production of oxytocin, a hormone that can ease stress and symptoms of postpartum depression in mothers.

There are three basic types of baby carriers wraps, and the “purest” form is the wrap. This is a sheet of cloth about 7 feet or more in length, made from a breathable, stretchy fabric. To turn it into a wrap, you hold your baby to your chest, stomach to stomach as you tie the cloth around your hips and both shoulders, forming a pocket for the child — not unlike a kangaroo. There are many, many ways to do this that can accommodate infants of differing ages and sizes. A quick YouTube search can bring up tutorials on the Front Wrap Cross Carry, one of the most basic techniques. Even that may take a couple tries to perfect, but once you’ve got it down pat you’ll have a secure “pouch” for your child.

Similar to the wrap, you have a sling. Slings are essentially a cloth that’s made to hold the baby more loosely, hanging over one shoulder like a toga. You can convert some wraps to a sling simply by using it in a different way, but many slings actually incorporate a ring near the shoulder that you can use to loop the cloth through and adjust it on the fly. This type of carry is made for short-term comfort, giving the child a little more space and nestling them in a reclined position perpendicular to your chest rather than flat against you. The weight may wear on your shoulder over long hauls, however. It’s great for more experienced babywearers with slightly older children who will be carrying in warmer climates.

FOR TODDLERS: Parents love this piggyback kid carrier so much that it keeps selling out

Finally, there’s the more structured carrier style, also known as a front carrier. Whereas wraps and slings are all about minimalism, carriers are more like a comfy backpack that’s meant to be worn with the cargo (your baby) in front. Those who get intimidated by the more complex origami tricks that babywearing requires might prefer the carrier’s adjustable straps that allow you to tuck in your baby and go. Some carriers might also include perks like a bib cover that guards against surprise spit-ups, or storage pouches for snacks or pacifiers. This type is best at accommodating older kids, up to and sometimes including the youngest toddler years. Some carriers can be modified to allow the child to face forward as they progress in years and want to enjoy the scenery.

The first thing you’ll want to consider when you’ve decided on a type of baby carrier is the size. With the carrier type, there’s usually a recommended age range clearly marked in the product description. With wraps and slings, you may need to do a bit of research. Wrap size can vary from 7 feet in length (size 1) to 20 feet or more (a size 10). These sizes aren’t based on the age or weight of the child per se; they’re more arranged by your own size and what type of wrap configuration you plan to use them for. There are charts online where you can compare your t-shirt size to get a base size for your wrap, then go from there if you plan to take on more specialized babywearing techniques.

As you might imagine, you’ll want the fabric to be soft if your baby will be nestled close to it for long periods of time. Most wraps and slings are made of stretchy fabric, but make sure it doesn’t sag too much — especially for older children. Of course, machine washability is a bonus, but that won’t always be an option for the pricier slings.

What to Look For

Learning to wear your baby can take a little work, but it’s worth it. Some parents might be antsy about putting their child in right away, and that’s ok. Feel free to practice with a teddy bear until you’ve got the hang of some basic wraps. Once your child is snug and on their way, keep an eye on them until you know your positioning well. Make sure their face isn’t pressed too tightly against the fabric or your skin, and that their chin isn’t curled into their chest. Any of the above can lead to breathing problems, but it’s easy to adjust.

More to Explore

The practice of babywearing may be seen as a “new age” technique by some, but it has been around in some form or other for almost as long as parents have carried their children. In ancient India, saris were often modified to allow room for infants to be swaddled inside, and in Borneo mothers wore their babies in rattan baskets for hundreds of years. There’s even evidence that enterprising prehistoric parents would use animal skins as impromptu wraps.

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