It really is unfortunate that mothers only have two arms. Not to mention you moms out there with sensitive high-needs babies. You actually have ZERO arms because you’re holding someone 24/7.
Unless you use a baby carrier, of course.
It’s like growing a new set of limbs. Your baby is snug as a bug in a
rug holster, while you get to actually get things done.
Now, though, you have a new problem. Do you know how many baby carriers are out there?
Let me get technical: Zillions.
You can pay for something cheap ($20-$40), but then don’t be surprised when it’s recalled for being a fall hazard.
There are a few baby carrier brands who only the Baby Carrier Groupies seem to know about.
Baby Carrier Groupies: Those moms who have a baby carrier for every occasion: “It’s raining, your baby is 60 lbs, and you have to go to a wedding? I’ve got just the thing!”
I hate not being in the loop, so I asked our own Baby Carrier Groupie, Rachael, to share with me her top 5 favorite “under the radar” baby carriers.
In less than 10 minutes, she emailed me these. (The girl really knows her stuff!)
Boba 4g Baby Carrier
Boba was started in 2007 when Elizabeth Antunovic and her husband Robert packed up to travel the world with their two kids.
They created and tested their product while traveling on trains, resting in hammocks, retiring under mosquito nets, and inside adobe huts. (Click here to read Elizabeth’s personal account of the adventure.)
The Boba 4g baby carrier is a work of art. Here are my top reasons why it’s awesome:
- Has a sleeping hood to cover sensitive snoozing heads. It slips back into a zippered pouch when not in use.
- Good for babies up to 45 pounds.
- It’s über-adjustable. Shift the shoulder straps, the waistband, the baby straps, foot straps, chest straps…there’s nothing on this thing that doesn’t adjust for a more comfortable fit (unlike Ergo, that has just shoulder and waist adjustments).
- They’ve won five prestigious “best babywearing” awards over the year. (With more, I’m sure, to come!)
- The waist belt buckle is military-grade. This means it isn’t moving.
- It has a little snap on the shoulder for you to secure your diaper bag or purse straps (on either side or both).
- It features three handy-dandy zipper pockets to keep items only a finger-reach away.
- For older babies (1.5 – 2 years) there are removable foot straps to provide extra leg support to your Little Cowboy. Giddyup Daddy!
- It is machine washable on delicate, but air-drying is recommended. (No bleaching, and only wash when absolutely necessary to increase the life of the carrier.)
Beco Gemini Baby Carrier
Beco has a similar start-up story: Mom (Gabby Caperon) is unsatisfied with the carriers she found in the market, so decides to make her own, people go cray-cray and all the sudden she’s in all these magazines and winning a ton of awards (8 to be exact).
Move over Baby Bjorn, the Beco Gemini is about to take over:
- Features 4 carrying positions: Front Facing In, Front Facing Out, Hip Carry, and Back Carry.
- Front Facing Out is especially awesome for highly-alert babies who hate staring at mom’s neck and want to see the world.
- Good for babies 7 – 35 lbs
- No extra newborn insert is required (so that’s one less purchase).
- Can either criss-cross the straps on the back or wear straight like a backpack, depending on your comfort level.
- Easy to put on, you don’t need a team of people to help you “suit up”.
- Great lumbar support for Dads and Moms, multiple body types.
- Ergonomically correct so baby sits comfortably, without any extra pressure or weight on his/her legs or crotch
Maya Wrap Baby Carrier
Maya Wrap was started by Susan Gmeiner in 1996 and really was the brave new explorer that helped launched the “baby wearing” movement.
Despite that “Mother of Carriers” status, the Maya Wrap is one of the best “hidden jewels” in The Great Carrier Search.
- Very easy to use, so a great starter wrap for parents wanting to give a ring sling a try.
- Most ring slings are one-size-fits-only-some, but the Maya Wrap lets you choose from S, M, L and XL.
- Has a zippered pocket on the tail.
- Instructional DVD is included to demonstrate the different ways of wearing.
- Fabric is 100% cotton, handloomed in a single light layer, and all dyes are non-toxic.
- The sling rings are anodized aluminum (aka super strong).
- They carry two types of ring slings – the Lightly Padded Ring Sling or the Comfort Fit Ring Sling. One is more adjustable than the other, one has more padding.
Tula Woven Wrap Baby Carrier
The last baby carrier that needs a bit more mainstream recognition is the Tula Woven Wrap.
With a twist on the normal “baby carrier start up company”, Tula was started by a Polish mom and a Vietnamese dad who met in college in the USA. (Sounds like a Lifetime movie in the making, right?)
During their travels around the globe, they started brainstorming about carriers and woven wraps that would be more comfortable as they are toting their children around the globe.
Dad asked Ba Noi (Veitnamese for Grandma) to sew a carrier they designed. And that was the launch of a the beloved Tula brand.
- They have ergonomic carriers, ring slings, and wrap conversion carriers, but it’s their woven wraps that really steal the show. These wraps are sturdy, soft and lots of different carrying positions.
- The wraps are Oko-Tex Standard 100 certified, this means that the fabric is made in environmentally-friendly production facilities and no harmful substances are used in their production.
- The fabric is made of something called Tencel, which is made from the pulp of sustainably grown Eucalyptus trees.
- The Tencel fabric is incredibly strong and luxuriously soft. It’s also amazingly breathable and has excellent moisture control, keeping you and baby cool and sweat-free.
- Easily converted to a ring sling with the Conversion kit, if that makes you feel more comfortable!
Sollybaby Baby Carrier
Sollybaby is a family business started by mother of three, Elle Rowley, in 2011 after the birth of her 2nd son, Solomon. (Hence the name Sollybaby.)
I guess the closest mass-market baby carrier you could compare it to is Moby, but honestly there are several things that set this carrier apart.
Here are just a few:
- Made from 100% Lenzing Modal from Austrian Beechwood trees. The resulting eco-friendly fabric is silky soft and extremely lightweight. This is a huge deal for those hot summer days!
- It is made in the USA.
- It’s delicate enough to keep you and baby from overheating, but strong enough to be washed in your washing machine (delicate cold water) and dried in a conventional dryer on low heat.
- The lightness of the fabric also means it takes up hardly any room in your diaper bag. It tucks quickly into a pouch sewn on the end. (Which can also be used for binky storage while wearing.)
- $1 from every purchase goes to Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit designed to help make childbirth safer for mothers all around the world.
Have You Tried These?
It’s high time these five brands got a little attention all by themselves, don’t you think?
I love the little details that really set these baby carriers apart – from the unique fabric blends, to adjustability and comfort, these are your out-of-the-box carriers.
Have you used any of these before? What did you think about them?
Meet Heather Taylor
Heather is the Chief Encouragement Officer here at Incredible Infant and has been writing and encouraging parents online since 2007. She's certified in baby sleep coaching (yes, that's a real thing), has served as an Expert Parenting Panelist for numerous events, and has been a featured writer on blogs like DaveRamsey.com, SimpleKids.net, My Kid's Adventures, Cafe Mom, and others. If it's 2am and you're desperate to read SOMETHING, click here for all her darkest secrets, including why she really shouldn't be allowed to blog.