Toddler carriers can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life. How do you know which toddler carrier you should spend your money on? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the six best toddler carriers on the market right now.
Quick Links To The Best Toddler Carriers
- LILLEbaby Complete – Best Overall Toddler Carrier
- Ergobaby Carrier – Runner Up Best Toddler Carrier
- BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One – Best Budget Toddler Carrier
- Osprey Packs Poco AG Plus Child Carrier – Best Outdoor Toddler Carrier
- Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier – Best Compact Toddler Carrier
- Tula Free To Grow Baby Carrier – Best Plus-Size Toddler Carrier
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If you’re a parent, you probably know that having a child is a lot of work. I don’t know about you, but I love a product that makes parenting easier. Thankfully, there are plenty of toddler carriers on the market.
You don’t have to fork out hundreds of dollars to get a great toddler carrier, either! My life was changed when I found my favorite carrier, and I wanted to share my findings with other parents out there!
I’ve tested out a handful of the best toddler carriers available and wanted to give you an in-depth review, so you can find which product works best for you! I’ve included a buying guide as well as some good-to-know info about toddler carriers. Let’s start out with some reviews.
Top Toddler Carriers Reviewed
If you’re not already familiar with toddler carriers, it can be pretty intimidating to find the best one for you and your child. To save you time and energy that can be lacking when you’re a parent, I went on to find some of the best products available right now.
Below, you’ll find honest reviews that point out the key features of each product, along with pros and cons to help you find the perfect toddler carrier!
1. LILLEbaby Complete – Best Overall Toddler Carrier
- Can carry children 20 to 60 pounds
- Detachable hood
- Two pockets for storage
- Adjustable buckles
- Lumbar support
- Three carrying positions
Taking the top spot for toddler carriers is the LÍLLÉbaby 3-in-1 CarryOn Toddler Carrier. One reason this carrier took the top spot is because it’s incredibly versatile. There is plenty of room for both you and your child to be comfortable while using this toddler carrier.
There are three carrying positions this carrier can be used in. You can hold them from the back, front, and on your hip. Another thing that sets this carrier apart from others is that it has a larger torso. This feature makes it so that your child grows into the carrier, and you can use it for years to come.
This specific carrier can hold children that are one year old or older. There is a weight range of 20 to 60 pounds for this LÍLLÉbaby carrier. One of my favorite things is the mesh that allows air flow to come through, keeping your baby from getting too warm while inside the carrier.
There is a hood that is detachable, but your child can still move around plenty while wearing it. Another great feature is that there are two pockets that can save you space in the diaper bag! Something parents will love to hear is that this toddler carrier is really easy to clean. All you need to do is throw it in the wash with your normal laundry!
Lastly, there are buckles that can adjust, making it easier to fit children of different sizes. There is lumbar support within the carrier that keeps their back supported while they’re being carried.
- Tons of room for you and the child
- Their back is supported
- Easy to wash
- Built-in storage
- Breathable mesh
- May be hard to adjust carrier while in use
Overall, this is the best toddler carrier available. There are plenty of great reasons to choose this one! Whether you love its breathable mesh fabric, lumbar support, or the fact that it has three different carrying positions that are equally comfortable, chances are you’ll love this carrier!
2. Ergobaby Carrier - Runner Up Best Toddler Carrier
- Four different positions
- Storage pouch
- Infant friendly
Taking the runner up spot on this list is the Ergobaby four-position carrier. Even though it doesn’t take the top spot, this has to be one of the most comfortable toddler carriers I’ve ever used. I was able to wear it for hours on end without feeling any fatigue throughout my body.
I also like it because it’s soft and lightweight. You can easily pack up this carrier without adding too much weight or taking up too much space. Moms out there will love that breast feeding while wearing this carrier is a breeze!
You can easily take this carrier off, adjust it, and put it back on while holding your child. If you are needing adjustments on the shoulder straps, this will need to be done by someone else unless you’re able to put your child down.
Just like my top pick, this has a protective hood that keeps your baby out of the sunlight. The weight range for this toddler carrier is between seven and 33 pounds. You can pay an additional price for an insert if you are carrying an infant. This is required if your child is under 12 pounds.
As you can tell by the name, there are four positions in which you can use this carrier. Just like my top pick, this one also has a storage pocket that can carry your essentials.
- Easy to adjust while using
- Machine washable
- Several positions
- Large storage pocket
- Doesn’t take up much space
- Weight range is a bit small
If you’re looking for a comfortable and versatile toddler carrier for your little one, this is a great pick! It’s easy to adjust, has a built in hood to keep your child protected from the sun, and you and your child will love the soft fabric!
3. BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One - Best Budget Toddler Carrier
- For children between newborn and 36 months
- JPMA certified
- Padded shoulder straps
- 33-pound weight limit
- Wide holes for legs
If you’re like most parents, saving money is a huge deal! Thankfully, I found an amazing budget-friendly toddler carrier. The BABYBJORN toddler carrier is meant for kiddos between newborn and 36 months old.
One of the coolest things about this carrier is that it’s made to grow with your child, which saves you even more money from having to buy additional carriers throughout the years. Like most carriers, this one is plenty adjustable and can hold children who are up to 33 pounds.
If you’re worried about safety, you’ll love to hear that this carrier is JPMA certified and can be used for newborn babies without the additional cost of an insert. Your child can even safely chew on the fabric of this carrier without you needing to be concerned about any unsafe chemicals or materials.
The shoulder straps on this carrier have thick padding to help keep your baby balanced and save your shoulders and back from fatigue. There is also a waist belt that performs a similar function.
- Machine washable
- Breathable fabric
- Easy to adjust shoulder straps
- Waist belt included
- Your child grows into it
- Weight limit could be higher
This is an amazing toddler carrier for the price! You won’t have to worry about sore shoulders or back, thanks to the padded shoulder straps. It keeps your baby balanced, and your child can grow into this carrier over the first three years of their life!
4. Osprey Packs Poco AG Plus Child Carrier - Best Outdoor Toddler Carrier
- 48.5- pound weight limit
- Removable sunhood
- Attachment loops for toys and keys
- Aluminum frame
- Adjustable and ventilated waist belt
If you and your family spend a lot of time outside, you’ll enjoy the Osprey Packs Poco AG Plus Child Carrier. Something that sets this carrier apart is that it’s made from extra durable material, which makes it last longer and is perfect for outdoor use.
The frame is built from aluminum which makes it strong but doesn’t add a ton of weight. This will keep your child supported without putting any strain on your body. Unlike the other ones you’ve read about thus far, this carrier isn’t able to be transformed into multiple different positions.
It’s made to carry your child on your back, but it does come with an adjustable torso which makes it easy to make changes while you’re wearing it. This carrier has a weight limit of 48.5 pounds.
The harness will keep your child safe and balanced. One of my favorite things about this carrier is that it comes with a sunshade that can be used to keep your child cool during warm summer days. It’s removable and even has its own built-in storage pocket.
Something that sets this carrier apart are the attachment loops. These loops are designed to hold your valuables or your child’s favorite toy. I also want to note that the belt is not only adjustable, but it is breathable, so you don’t have to worry about getting sweaty and uncomfortable while wearing it.
- Large weight limit
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Storage for sunhood when not in use
- Loops for toys and belongings
- Keeps your child balanced
- Only holds in one position
Some users may not like that there is only one position available with this carrier, but I think it makes up for that in all of its other features. This is a wonderful carrier to use when going for walks, grocery shopping, or even while camping! If you find yourself outdoors a lot, consider using this toddler carrier!
5. Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier - Best Compact Toddler Carrier
- Removable hood
- Storage in waistband
- Large weight range
- Adjustable bottom and height panels
- Five position options
- Soft and durable fabric
Another great option that you could use is the Baby Tula Explore Carrier. This is hot off the press this year, and it has proven itself to be on this list! One thing you may notice about this carrier is that it’s trendy and comes in multiple patterns.
The fabric is durable yet incredibly soft. A feature that’s important in a toddler carrier is that it’s lightweight. This will keep your body from getting sore while still supporting your little one. This carrier is just that, and when not in use, it can become small enough to fit in your purse or diaper bag.
This carrier is amazing, because it can be transformed into five different positions. You can easily adjust where your child’s bottom goes in this carrier, which comes in handy as they are growing.
There is also a height panel that is adjustable that will keep your baby’s neck and head supported as they grow. There is an instruction manual that comes with this carrier, so please read it, as there is some important information inside.
This toddler carrier is able to hold children between seven and 45 pounds. Another great thing about it is that it’s incredibly easy to put on. One thing to keep in mind is, if you’re a smaller individual, this carrier may be a bit bulky for you.
There is storage within the waistband, and like most other carriers, this one has a removable hood that can be used to keep your baby out of the sun. The waistband is adjustable and fits most parents comfortably.
- Easy to adjust while wearing
- Plenty of storage
- Wide weight and size range for both baby and parent
- Hood keeps child in the shade
- Adjustable waist band
- No lumbar support
- No shoulder padding
- Not for adults under 5’3”
Do you find yourself needing to switch the position of your child often when you’re carrying them? If so, you’ll love that this carrier can switch into five separate positions. It’s easy to adjust while your baby is inside, and the fabric is comfortable while still remaining sturdy and durable.
6. Tula Free To Grow Baby Carrier - Best Plus-Size Toddler Carrier
- Two positions available
- Soft fabric
- Removable hood included
- Storage pocket
- Large weight limit
- Adjustable waist belt for adults
Another great carrier that supports infants without needing to purchase extra inserts is the Tula Free To Grow Carrier. It’s made to support children between seven and 45 pounds. Because it’s made for such a wide range of weights, there are a lot of adjustable features of this carrier.
You can adjust the head and neck support, along with the torso. The waistband of this carrier has a maximum size of 57 inches! Your child can be front- or rear-facing while you’re wearing this carrier.
There is a built-in pocket on the front that can fit your keys, wallet, or a few pacifiers. The fabric on this carrier is made of 100% cotton, but it isn’t too padded. While this may sound like a downfall, it’s actually perfect for those living in warmer climates.
Just like most other carriers on the market, this one comes with a removable hood to keep baby in the shade. The straps on this carrier are thick, which will prevent any shoulder fatigue from carrying a child around for hours on end. You’ll also find padding in the leg holes, keeping your child safe from any material burns.
The front panel is adjustable and perfect for a growing kiddo!
- Easy to clean
- Kids can grow into it
- No need for extra inserts for infants
- Hood included
- Padded shoulder straps and leg holes
- Made from 100% cotton
- Could use more padding
Overall, this is a really great option when it comes to toddler carriers. It has a nice, large weight range, and your child will be able to easily and comfortably grow into this carrier. There is on-board storage for your keys, phone, or a couple pacifiers. The waist belt is adjustable and perfect for plus-size parents!
I wanted to include a handful of important features to consider when shopping around for a toddler carrier. These things are great to know to help you find the perfect product for you and your loved one. Let’s take a look at what these features are!
For starters, something you’ll want to be sure to look at is the weight capacity. The weight capacity will let you know the weight range that the carrier can support. Some will require the need to purchase an additional insert for newborns.
You may also want to find a carrier that has a larger weight range, so you’re able to use the carrier for several years!
Another thing to consider is the material that the carrier is made out of. As you’ve read above, carriers can be made out of several different types of material. If you’re in a warmer climate, you want to make sure the material the carrier is made out of is breathable.
You also want to consider a material that is safe for your child to chew on. We all know that young kids love to put just about anything in their mouth. This is why it’s important to make sure the carrier is built out of a sturdy and safe material!
Something that’s easy to forget when it comes to toddler carriers is the users’ comfort. While you obviously want to make sure the baby is comfortable, you need to be as well. Finding a carrier that fits you well and has padding will not only keep you from getting sore and uncomfortable, but it will actually help the child be better balanced and positioned against your chest.
This has been mentioned a few times throughout this review, but please make sure to check on your baby multiple times while wearing a carrier. This will keep them comfortable and avoid any unforeseen safety hazards.
Ease Of Use
It can be easy to find a carrier that fits well and supports your little one perfectly, but these same products can be a hassle to put on or adjust if needed. Something you need to keep your eyes open for is a carrier that is easy to use.
You don’t want to spend countless minutes trying to get the carrier positioned just right, only to need to adjust it a few minutes later. There are plenty of amazing carriers that are easy to adjust and take on and off.
Of course we need to talk about safety features. Some of the safety features you’ll see in toddler carriers are: waist belts, hoods, shoulder padding, and buckles. Overall, these features keep you and your child comfortable. They keep you from getting sore and feeling fatigued while keeping your child sturdy and balanced.
You’ve read plenty about how there are carriers on the market that can switch into multiple different positions. This can be incredibly important for many parents. You may want to consider getting a toddler carrier that has several position options.
Another thing to add, when it comes to versatility, is having a carrier that can fit children throughout a long timeframe. Having a carrier that you can use for the first few years of your child’s life is a great option! This will save you money in the long run.
How To Use A Toddler Carrier
It may seem obvious, but when you’re using a toddler carrier, make sure you’re not taking part in any dangerous activities such as hiking or riding a bike. You also want to make sure that you can always see your child when you’re wearing the carrier, and never under any circumstances leave them unattended.
Another thing you can do is make sure they’re comfortable at all times. You can occasionally check to make sure that their limbs are in the correct positions and that nothing is too tight or too loose.
Something else you’ll want to be aware of is allowing your child to eat while they’re in the carrier. Due to their position, they are much more likely to choke, which is why you may want to steer clear of them snacking while in the carrier.
Lastly, make sure the fabric of the carrier is breathable. You wouldn’t want your child too hot or too cold while you’re carrying them. This is why it’s not only important to pay attention to the carrier fabric but what you and the baby are wearing as well.
As a parent, your child’s safety is of the utmost importance. I’ve included some safety tips that could be helpful when shopping for a toddler carrier.
First, make sure the carrier is fit your your child’s age. You won’t want to buy a carrier sized for a two year old when you have a newborn. Another thing you may want to pay attention to is what your child wears while they’re in the carrier. Because many carriers are made of thick fabric, you don’t want your child getting too hot.
Make sure your baby doesn’t rest their chin on your chest. This can make it possible for a neck injury if something were to happen. Keep their head down and and close to your heart. You should be able to easily kiss the top of their head if they are positioned correctly.
Types Of Toddler Carriers
I wanted to share with you a few of the different types of toddler carriers to give you a better idea of what’s available and what may fit your lifestyle the best.
For starters, there are wraps. Wraps are great for several reasons, but I enjoy that they’re lightweight, easy to use, and keep your baby in a natural position. Wraps are available in several different styles and patterns, and they don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. They take a while to learn how to use, but once you learn, you’ll love it!
Then there are the pouch sling carriers. Some people may not like pouch sling carriers, because they lack the ability to adjust. They are made in specific sizes, so your baby can’t really grow into one. They are great for newborns and are perfect if you’re looking for a carrier to use on your hip.
Buckle carriers are another great option. They are generally made for older babies that can support their own heads. The materials are usually softer than other types of carriers, and they are easily adjustable. You’ll find that buckle carriers may be a bit more expensive than other types on the market.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about backpack carriers. As you can tell by the name, this type of carrier resembles a backpack. This carrier comes with a seat for your child to sit comfortably. Backpack carriers are meant for older children, not newborns. If you find yourself outdoors a lot, you may enjoy a backpack carrier.
Benefits Of Using A Toddler Carrier
Believe it or not, there are a ton of amazing benefits when it comes to using a toddler carrier. I wanted to highlight some of my favorites to share with you. One of my favorite things a toddler carrier does is make it easier for your child to bond with you. This will happen because of their position close to your heart, if you’re carrying them on your front.
On the same note, babies cry a lot less in a toddler carrier. This is because they know you’re close by and that you’re there if they need anything. I don’t know about you, but a benefit that makes my child cry less is one that sells me!
An interesting benefit of toddler carriers is that they reduce the amount of physical abnormalities that young children can get if they’re in a lying down position too much. This can include abnormalities such as a flattened skull or even “frog” legs.
An obvious benefit to using a toddler carrier is that is makes it much easier to travel around with your little one. Strollers and carriers can be bulky, heavy, and difficult to navigate through a crowd. Thankfully baby carriers keep your little one close by without taking up too much room.
Lastly, toddler carriers can be really inexpensive and bring so much relief to your daily life. Like you just read, using a stroller can be difficult but necessary, especially while travelling. A toddler carrier can be a great, budget-friendly option to new parents.
How old does a child have to be to use a carrier?
It really depends on the carrier. In general, any child from the age of a newborn to three years old will be able to comfortably use a toddler carrier. It is advised that children between four and six months are faced inward to give them the proper amount of support.
Infants may need an additional insert, depending on the specific carrier.
Do baby carriers cause hip dysplasia?
If used incorrectly, some carriers can cause hip dysplasia. This is why it’s important to make sure that the child is in the proper position several times while you’re wearing the carrier. Make sure that they’re supported and that nothing is interfering with the way their hips are positioned.
Can I use a toddler carrier instead of a car seat?
Absolutely not. Please make sure your child is kept in a correctly positioned car seat while they’re in a vehicle. Also make sure that the car seat isn’t expired.
Well, there you have it! That is just about everything there is to know about toddler carriers. When shopping around, make sure you keep an eye on the weight limit, material, and other amazing features you may be interested in.
It’s so important to have your child correctly positioned in the carrier and that it’s worn correctly to prevent them and you from getting injured. You can go with my top choice of the LILLEbaby Complete, or you can choose any of the other amazing options on this list.