Compare Baby Carriers – Baby Wraps

Moby Wrap baby carrier

There are so many choices in baby carriers today that it can easily become overwhelming for someone just starting out. Add to that the vast amount of information available online, and it’s no wonder many parents just purchase the first or most well-known carrier they come across. Unfortunately, some carriers are not designed for extended periods of use or with an older, heavier baby, and they end up pulling mercilessly on your back and shoulders. Some have so many buckles, snaps, loops and straps that they dig into you, the baby, or both. We’ve been there, and we’re happy to compare baby carriers so that you can narrow down which carrier or carriers might work best for you.

For the next few weeks, we will give an overview of baby carrier styles. Despite the incredible variety of baby carriers on the market today, nearly all fall into one of four basic styles.

  • Baby Wraps
  • Baby Slings (includes pouch slings and ring slings)
  • Mei Tai Baby Carriers
  • Soft Pack Baby Carriers


Baby Wraps

Baby Wraps, also known as wraparound baby carriers or just wraps, are without a doubt the most versatile baby carriers available. Simple carrying cloths are also the most common traditional baby carriers around the world because of their simplicity and versatility. The caregiver uses a square, rectangular or long strip of fabric to wrap and tie the baby to their body. Knots are used to secure and adjust the carrier to the baby and to the wearer. Carrying scarves can be useful long after your babywearing days are over.

Carry your baby in unlimited carrying positions with a wrap, and one size will fit any babywearer, from Mom or Dad to Grandma or Grandpa.

Advantages

  • very comfortable for baby
  • most versatile, offering unlimited number of carrying positions
  • ergonomic support for both baby and adult
  • easily adapts to various baby weights and sizes for both front and back carrying
  • one-size fits most baby carrier

Wraparound carriers are particularly suited for kangaroo care, the practice of holding premature and full-term newborns skin-to-skin for optimal neurological development.

Disadvantages

  • lots of fabric can be confusing
  • somewhat steeper learning curve – requires practice to become efficient in tying the baby carrier and adjusting to the baby
  • can get warm in the summertime (but keeps baby warm in cooler weather!)


Wraparound Baby Carriers Compared

Moby Wrap twin baby carrier

Moby Wrap Baby Wrap
Style: Baby Wrap Carrier – Stretchy
Age: Best for for newborn to 30+ lbs
Carrying Positions: Unlimited – Front, Hip/Side, Back
Fabric: 100% cotton double knit-interlock
Origin: Made in Thailand


Cuddly Wrap baby carrier

Organic Cotton Cuddly Wrap Baby Wraps
Style: Baby Wrap Carrier – Stretchy
Age: Best for for newborn to 30+ lbs
Carrying Positions: Unlimited – Front, Hip/Side, Back
Fabric: 100% ORGANIC cotton
Origin: Made in Canada under fair trade labour practices

Ellaroo baby wrap baby carrier

EllaRoo Woven Baby Wrap Carrier
Style: Baby Wrap Carrier – Woven
Age: Suitable for newborn to toddler
Carrying Positions: Unlimited – Front, Hip/Side, Back
Fabric: 100% handwoven cotton. Non-toxic, baby safe dyes
Origin: Handmade in Guatemala under fair trade labour practices

Blue Celery baby wrap hybrid baby carrier

Blue Celery Baby Sling / Wrap Hybrid
Style: Baby Wrap / Sling Hybrid (2 pull-on loops + waist sash) – Stretchy
Age: Newborn to toddler (35lbs)
Carrying positions: Cradle, Kangaroo, Tummy-to-tummy, Forward Facing, Hip/Side
Fabric: Organic stretch cotton
Origin: Made in Canada

Tips for Getting Started Babywearing

You have a lot of choices with modern baby carriers. We have a few tips to get you started wearing your baby.

Baby Hawk mei tai baby carrier with head rest up
Choose the right carrier

Babywearing 101 on Parenting By Nature has a couple of articles that will help you:

  • “How to Choose a Baby Carrier” asks who will wear the baby carrier, how old the baby is, how and where the baby will be worn, what your budget is, and what style appeals to you.
  • Once you start to narrow down your choices, you may want more details. “Baby Carriers Compared” goes through the advantages and disadvantages of baby carriers – baby wraps, baby slings, mei tai baby carriers, and soft pack baby carriers.


Practice

You are learning a new skill. Practice to improve. It isn’t particularly difficult, but you will need to practice if you want putting your baby into a carrier to become second nature. Better yet, have a someone help you to ensure correct positioning and to spot you and baby. Best of all, have an experienced baby wearer teach you how to use your new carrier. The, keep practicing.

Work over a soft surface like a bed or couch.

The closer the baby is to you, the more comfortable she will be. At the beginning, while you are both learning, keep her center of gravity close to yours. Start facing one another rather than with baby on your chest or back facing outward with arms and legs wagging. Learn how to balance with your baby close, then practice a variety of carrying positions.


Keep Baby Happy

Unless you are starting with the tiniest newborn, your baby will wonder about this new experience of being worn. Keep your baby happy while you practice. Start practice after a nap and feeding when your baby is happiest.

Stay calm. A baby will feel the stress of a parent, so remain calm while you figure things out. If it isn’t working this time, come back later.

When you get the baby in the carrier, focus on the baby and celebrate. Use big bouncy movements to get their attention. Tell them, “This is different! This is good.” The big movements and bouncing can calm some babies when they are upset.


Stay Safe

Most important of all is keep your baby safe while you learn to babywearing.

Make sure a newborn’s airway is open, with 1-2 fingers’ width between chin and neck. Don’t let the baby roll up in a ball. Also, keep a newborn’s neck supported.

Put the weight on your low to mid-back rather than up high. Generally, keep the baby about where your bra strap is (or would be!). This lower position is easier on your back than a higher position.

Make sure the carrier supports the baby knee to knee with weight on the thighs, as opposed to hanging with their full weight on their crotch.

Read Babywearing 101 for more babywearing tips.