Best Hands Free Baby Carrier

Updated on July 14, 2011
M.S. asks from Ellicott City, MD
17 answers

I have a very active 2.5 year old son and we are expecting a baby in Feb. I would love to hear some real world mom advice on what is the best hands free baby carrier out there? I want to make sure that I can still be as hands on as possible with my son, while keeping the newborn close to me too. Would love to hear your opinions on which ones are best. Are there better ones for newborns vs older babies? Any words of caution to pass along? I have never used one before so I have no clue! Please let me know your thoughts.

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answers from Saginaw on

Oh man I love my Moby wrap. didn't use it with my first two but it was and still is the best thing with my third. LOVE IT

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I've used 1 wrap, 2 slings, and 2 front carriers before I got my new ERGObaby Sport yesterday. I am in HEAVEN and will never use the others again!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Washington DC on

You have lots of great suggestions so far. I have one warning for you. Please do not put your baby in a Baby Bjorn or any carrier that sits the baby upright UNTIL your baby can sit upright by itself. I teach this in my childbirth education classes because many chiropractors have given me this piece of wisdom. It's not healthy for the baby's spine to be forced upright and there is too much pressure put on the low back when it's not ready.
Any wraps or slings are great choices, as you can change positions when baby is ready.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

I love slings. My sling is a "hotsling" and I am using it with my newborn and it is great, I also used it with my first daughter. it can be used from newborn up until they are old enough to walk. Technically I could carry my 2.5 year old in it, though I doubt she would tolerate being in a sling anymore! They are also great for breastfeeding!

If you put a newborn in a sling you may want to put a rolled up towel or blanket under their back to help raise them up in the sling the first few weeks, especially if your newborn is "smaller". With my 8 lb 7 oz daughter I didn't need to, but I did with my 6 lb 5 oz daughter! It won't be long and you wont have to put it in there anymore, once the baby has a little "bulk".

https://www. hotslings .com/content/home

(take out the spaces)

That said, i think people are either fans of slings or frontpacks. I am not a "pack" person myself!

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Ergo. I've owned 6 others and this is the one. I also own a moby wrap, but I cannot tell you how often Dad and Grandma use the Ergo and these are peole who aren't likely us learn to use a Moby. So even if the moby comes highly recommended, consider who else you want to carry your child.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I used a Moby wrap and loved it. It took a few times of putting it on to get used to how it goes but after that it is so easy. My daughter loved it especially since she loved to be so secure and close to my body. I also did not feel any pain on my back or shoulders from the weight of her. I did not use it passed a year because my daughter did not like to be held since she was mobile but it does have a bunch of different ways to wear it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Ergo is great around town--comfy for baby and mom(don't feel it in my back at all)

Ring slings are great for nursing in IMO

Sleepy wrap is wonderful for when they are smaller because it is so womb like--overpriced given the same amount of the same kind of fabric from a fabric store is a quarter of the price of the 40 dollar original. Go to denver fabrics online--buy 5.5 yards of French Terry cloth --about 95 to 98% cotton with 2 to 5 % spandex for stretch. Cut this into thirds about 20 inches wide. If you find 2 other people to share the costs of the other 2 wraps you have made the total cost for your wrap is 10 dollars (30 dollars for all three). You don't even have to hem this material--it curls up nicely on the edges. Way cheaper and easier. That way you can get more than one carrier.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Honestly, I never found a front sling that I liked very much, but I used a ring sling and a baby bjorn from time to time with mine. I got more use out of a wide band cut from the bottom of one of my husband's soft t-shirts, used as an improvised sling (always keeping one hand on the baby) - that was less bulky and more versatile.

Once the baby can sit up without slumping though, I'm a big fan of using a backpack inside the house, and everywhere else. Maybe starting at around 4 months, depending on the baby. It's great, you have both hands free, and don't get that fear of being too close to the stove with the baby in a front pack. They can watch over your shoulder and see everything you're doing, and generally stay pretty entertained. Worst thing is that they tend to pull your hair, but they do that regardless. :) bEst of luck with everything!



answers from Washington DC on

I love my Ergo!!! The heart to heart insert works great until they are 4 months old and then you don't need to use the insert. It's very comfortable and has a high resale value on Ebay and Craigslist so you can sell it when you're done.



answers from Washington DC on

I recommend trying a babywearing group. They can help you try out different styles and give you pointers on the to-dos and things to be careful of. Some groups even allow you to borrow from a collection of carriers to try before you buy. I had a Moby wrap and Maya Wrap ring sling and Maya Mei Tai. My husband preferred the Baby Bjorn. When we went, there were expectant mothers, mothers of twins, fathers, and new mothers all anxious to learn and share their experiences about different carriers. Good luck!



answers from Syracuse on

I used a Baby Bjorn carrier for the first 4 months, it was very comfortable. My son usually fell asleep in it while I was out doing toddler activities with my 20 month old. Once he could hold his head up, he liked to face out. After about 4 months, I switched to the Ergo carrier due to his heavier weight, I love it and still carry him in it now at 17 months on the back when I need to manage my 3 year old. I was able to borrow the Baby Bjorn...both carriers cost at least 100.00 or more so if you had to buy one, I'd go with the Ergo because you'll get the most use out of it. Ergo does make an infant insert for the carrier but I've never used it.



answers from Phoenix on

I loved the Baby Bjorn (the one with lumbar support is the best!) for the first 9 months. I could even breastfeed in it. Then I switched to Angel Pack when my son was over 20 lbs. Angel Pack can be worn as a front or back carrier and it so comfortable. Congrats and best wishes! I have 3 kids and youngest 2 are only 20 months apart. A baby carrier was a lifesaver.



answers from Washington DC on

You have a lot of great suggestions for different carriers. I'll just throw in my opinion. What one woman mentioned about the baby bjorn is absolutely true. It is very bad for babies spine and you should also never wear a baby facing out. My favortie carriers are the Ergo, Moby, and any of the many pouch slings. I would avoid ring slings. They tend to not be as snug as the pouch slings. Ring slings tend to hang lower and not hold baby as close to your chest. When this happens babies can be put in dangerous positions where there breathing is impaired. They also perform more like a hammock. When you lean over the ring slings tend to swing out from your body not feeeling as secure. I recently heard about a carrier called K'tan that seems very nice. It is basically a prewrapped moby wrap so it takes out some of the intimidation that people feel. The one down side is that they come in different sizes s-l. The moby is incredibly versatile anyone any size can wear it and there are a multitude of ways to wear it. The ergo is also anyone any size. Good luck finding a carrier! It is deffinitely one of the best investments you can make for your baby and older sibling.



answers from St. Louis on

I used the Bjorn and loved it. Comfortable and easy to put on and take off.



answers from Yakima on

Hi! I use a Moby wrap. I started using it when my son was only a couple weeks old. I like it because he is snug in there and he feels secure like the womb :) It took practice, but now I can get it on, him in within a couple of minutes. I love it for the grocery store. I also am looking forward to being able to use it as my son grows. It has different ways to wrap it as your child grows. I have another front "pack" style that I tried with him, but I could tell he just didn't feel as secure. He likes his legs tucked up as opposed to hanging out. I hope that helps. Good Luck!



answers from Washington DC on

Sling. You must get fitted or your infant won't be snug enough. I liked it better than the Moby since it was one piece of fabric that did not hang down. I also used it for both of my girls and never felt I couldn't do something when #2 came around. My girls are 3+ yrs apart so I did many things with her in the sling. Good luck!



answers from Omaha on

I started with a Bjorn Active with my daughter... she outgrew it quickly and my back was killing me, so I tried a ring sling... we learned, we managed, but it wasn't perfect. Then I bought an Ergo and I never looked back. My daughter is 3.5 and she can still ride it in when needed (not nearly as much anymore) but I'm looking forward to using it with my son (due late Aug). My point--the Ergo is the best product I've found on the market and it works great from infant (with the insert) to preschooler!

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