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Your Guide To The Different Types Of Baby Carriers

Medically reviewed by Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Edamama · Updated Jun 20, 2022

Your Guide To The Different Types Of Baby Carriers

A practice from over half a million years ago by mothers in different cultures, babywearing has become a new way of carrying babies for the past few decades. Albeit misconceptions such as causing discomfort of both mom and child as well as being the reason for impediments on a child’s development or independence, babywearing with baby carriers, over time, has been proven to have more benefits than downsides. How to use baby carrier?

What are the pros and cons?

Among them are:

  • Better physical, emotional, muscular, and language development in children
  • The mother has more freedom to do her daily mama duties because of her unoccupied hands
  • Babies have their moms as a security blanket while they get used to and learn from the world outside their mother’s womb
  • Mothers can bond with their baby, increasing skin-to-skin time during the supposed fourth trimester

Mama Tip: The “fourth trimester” refers to the 12-week period after you give birth to your baby. It’s not commonly known, but it is a time of great physical and emotional change that every mama goes through as your baby adjusts to being outside the womb.

how to use baby carrier

Now that you know that you have more to gain than lose wearing your baby, are you willing to give it a shot? If you are, but you’re unsure which is the best carrier for you and your baby, here’s a low down of the different baby carrier types you can try.

Baby Wrap or Soft Wrap

Compared to the other types, the baby wrap is considered the most basic and traditional among baby carriers. It is a long fabric made of different kinds of material that you can wrap around your body and cradle the baby in the numerous “pockets” you create.

Pros of Choosing a Baby Wrap

  • It’s newborn-friendly and you can use the wrap until your baby is a few months old.
  • Whether your baby prefers to face you or in front, you can wear and adjust them in any position they want.
  • You can get creative when it comes to making the wrap and fixing it to make it comfortable for both of you.
  • There is an infinite number of styles from which you can choose. You can mix and match according to your outfit for the day.
  • Generally cheaper than the other baby carriers.

Things to Consider Before Buying

  • The weight of your baby. Unless it’s specified, baby wraps generally can only handle up to a maximum of 35 lbs.
  • The material. Depending on the type of fabric used, wraps can feel a bit warm on hot days. This may cause discomfort to you and your baby.
  • Wraps can take some practice, trial, and error before getting used to. But do note, that you can always ask for instructions or scour the internet for a step-by-step method of putting on the wrap.

Think the wrap is the ideal baby carrier for you? Then try these, mama: Yaro Slings La Vita Hot Coral Violent Organic Woven Wrap or the Littlefrog Angelit Woven Wrap.

Ring Sling

Similar to a wrap, the ring sling also has a long piece of fabric. However, compared to the baby wrap, to adjust and tighten, you use two rings. You can then place your baby in the pouch you’ve made.

Pros of Using a Ring Sling

  • It’s also newborn-friendly and you can use it up until your baby is a few months old.
  • You can easily fix it by pulling, without needing to unwrap, thanks to the rings.
  • You can discreetly nurse your baby without having to take them out of the carrier.
  • It comes in a variety of fabrics and styles which you can partner with your outfit for the day.

Things to Consider Before Buying

  • The size. Generally made with non-stretchable fabric, it’s essential to find a ring sling size that’s snug and cozy for you and your baby.
  • Shoulder or back pain you may have. Given the structure of this baby carrier, one shoulder will be carrying most of the weight. So, do note that you may feel some discomfort when you wear your baby for a long time.

Think the ring sling is the ideal baby carrier for you? Then try these, mama: Mamaway Tomato Cheese Baby Ring Sling or the Lennylamb Coral Reef Ring Sling.

how to use baby carrier

Soft Structured Baby Carriers or SSC

An SSC is a baby carrier that comes with padded shoulder straps, a padded waistband, and a pouch where you can place your baby.

Pros of Using an SSC

  • You can use this baby carrier from infancy to childhood.
  • It’s easier to adjust because of the straps.
  • The SSC will distribute the weight of the baby across the body.
  • Open to various carrying positions such as front-facing and non-front-facing.
  • You can share the carriers with your partner and family members without having to spend too much time teaching them how to use the carrier.

Things to Consider Before Buying

  • Your baby’s age or capability. Generally, this type of baby carrier is better suited for babies of 4-5 months or when they have better neck and head control.
  • The width of the panel or fabric at the back. Make sure it’s wide enough that way your baby is well supported and comfy.
  • Your budget. Compared to the others, an SSC is pricier than others because of the added material and durability.

Think an SSC is the ideal baby carrier for you? Then try these, mama: Tula Baby Carrier in Sleepy Dust Explore, Littlefrog Adjustable Ergonomic Baby Carrier, LennyLamb Lennyupgrade Adjustable Baby Carrier.

Mei Tai or Mei Dai Carrier

A traditional Asian carrier, the Mei Tai combines the features of a wrap and a soft structured baby carrier. Instead of padded shoulder straps and a waistband, it uses long pieces of padded fabric which you’ll tie around your body.

Pros of Using a Mei Tai or Mei Dai

  • It’s easily adjustable and accommodates various sitting positions.
  • You can share it between you and your partner, who will carry your baby without the need to teach them extensively.
  • Can be used up until the baby is a toddler.

Things to Consider Before Buying

  • Your baby’s age and weight. Ideally, this is the most suitable for older infants, the youngest being four months old.
  • Tying and distributing the baby’s weight evenly across your body takes practice.

Think a Mei Tai carrier is the ideal baby carrier for you? Then try this, mama: Carry Me Superhero Nakong’s Meh Dai.

Hip Seat Carrier

It’s a carrier similar to a soft structured carrier. However, compared to SSCs, it is your waist that’ll be carrying most of the weight rather than your shoulders or back.

Pros of Using a Hip Seat Carrier

  • It’s great for those with back and shoulder pain since it helps relieve pressure from those areas.
  • The parts are detachable, giving you the freedom to go either hands-free or to hold your baby in your arms.
  • You can position your baby in various ways – front, side, or even facing you.

Things to Consider Before Buying

  • Your child’s age and capabilities. They should be either six months and older or have good head and neck control.
  • Your budget. Compared to wraps, a hip seat carrier is pricier because of the material and the parts.

Think a hip seat carrier is the ideal baby carrier for you? Then try these, mama: Bebear Mesh Plus Hip Seat Carrier or I-Angel Hipseat Carrier.

How to Use Baby Carrier and Other Considerations

Now that you have the low down on the different types of carriers, here are some things to keep in mind while you do your baby carrier shopping.

  • Your child is more likely to grow within the first year. If your budget is limited, best avail of a carrier type that will accommodate your child no matter what age they are.
  • Your child’s preferred carry position. Some carriers are limited when it comes to positions so if your budget is limited, best buy a carrier that’ll allow you to position your baby however they want.
  • Your baby carrier should be easy to clean if you’re a busy mama. Best buy a baby carrier made of easily washable material if you don’t have a lot of helping hands at home.

With all things considered, remember that the ultimate goal is to make sure that you and your baby have a safe and pleasant babywearing experience. After all, you and your baby will be the ones who will benefit from it the most.

This story originally appeared on Edamama and is re-used with permission:


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Janie-Vi Villamor Ismael-Gorospe, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Edamama · Updated Jun 20, 2022

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