It’s no secret that we love babywearing here at TMD, and our readers often ask us which carriers we like the most. Each one of us has a different answer; Risa, Xza, Jessica, and Kelli all love the DidyTai, Alyssa and Geneva adore woven wraps, and Misty is still trying to find her perfect carrier. Even though those answers may seem concise, it is much more complicated than that, because we have all tried dozens of carriers and on different days we reach for different carriers.
These are by no means the only carriers we like, but this is a pretty easy-straight-forward buyer’s guide for splurge vs. budget purchases. We are honest about our opinions about certain products. For certain carriers, a heftier price tag really does get you a lot more, but with other carriers, there isn’t much of a difference.
Before you buy any carrier, there are a few things you should know. Baby should always be facing you, never facing out. Baby should be in a seated position or froggy style. When using a sling, you can use the cradle position when the child is an infant as long as you can fit two fingers between their neck and chest. DO NOT USE A CROTCH DANGLER. A crotch dangler is a carrier where baby’s legs are just left to dangle. Babies knees should always be over hips in a seated position. Hip Dysplasia and Hollow Spine can occur when unsafe carriers are used. You may be wondering why unsafe crotch danglers are still on the market; for more information, you can read here.
The TICKS chart outlines this pretty well…
Two of our favorite Soft Structured Carriers (SSC’s) are the Beco Gemini and the Kinderpack. The Beco Gemini is an ultra-supportive SSC that can be purchased from many retailers, the Kinderpack is sold only through its maker: KinderCarry. There can be a long waiting list for the Kinderpack, but the Gemini is always available. Both are extremely supportive and are priced around $150-$200. These carriers are ergonomically designed to have baby in the seated position and give optimal comfort for mom, dad, and even grandpa. They both feature hoods and adjustable features so when baby falls asleep, he or she will always have neck support.
There really isn’t much out there in the way of budget friendly SSCs. The one that we have tried out and liked is the Infantino Union Ergonomic Carrier. At under $40, it is the best SSC in that price range. It isn’t very supportive for you or for baby, but at least it’s easy to put on and allows baby to be in the correct seated position. Please remember to stay away from “crotch danglers.” These are carriers such as the Infantino Flip, Swift, Classic, Baby Bjorn Original, Synergy, Classic, Snugly, etc. Just, because it’s on a store’s shelves doesn’t mean it’s safe. Check out Alyssa and Xza’s video about Crotch Danglers
Didymos makes their own version of a ring sling called a DidySling. They are beautiful carriers made from woven wraps and are extremely luxe and supportive. They cost about $130. We also love Sleeping Baby Productions ring slings. They aren’t extremely expensive, but they do have a time delay. You can have one made for under $20 or a custom one for up to $200.
Maya Wrap makes a very nice ring sling that Xza uses. It has a slightly padded shoulder, a pocket (very handy for storing everything from a cell phone to a little bit of cash to a binky). It’s priced at just under $70 and has seamless rings. This is extremely important when purchasing a ring sling. You always need to make sure the rings are of excellent quality. If are making your own ring sling, we highly suggest slingrings.com and even if you are not purchasing from an Etsy seller, you need to make sure the rings do not have any seams and cannot be pulled through each other, because the ring is too thin. Remember, just because it is on a store’s shelf, doesn’t mean it’s safe to use.
One of our favorite Mei Tais is made by Baby Hawk. The BabyHawk Mei Tai is roughly $90 and has a built-in “seat” that has baby in a comfortable, knees-over-hips seated position. The shoulders have padding and the carrier ties around the waist for an ultra-comfy fit. This carrier is used by Risa and Misty; they both love it!
Infantino makes a Mei Tai that is extremely affordable. It may not be the best on the market, but it offers a safe carrier for moms who don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a supportive carrier like the BabyHawk. The Infantino Sash Mei Tai is available for under $40 and can sometimes be purchased for as little as $30.
Obimama makes a WCMT that most babywearers covet. They are beautiful, supportive, and incredibly well made. There is often times a six-month wait and when carriers do become available, they are sold via a drawing system so there is no guarantee that you will win the carrier your heart desires. Obimama WCMT range between $150-$500 depending on features and design. You can enter the drawing here
Budget: In the world of WCMT, there is no such thing as a “budget” carrier. They are all pretty “spendy,” but if you would like an exceptional carrier that is supportive and well made without the process of a random drawing, the DidyTai is for you. This is Didymos’ version of the WCMT. Depending on the pattern, DidyTai’s cost between $188-$216. Some are available immediately and others take six to eight weeks to be made in Germany. You can buy them by clicking the link.
The Didymos woven wrap is certainly a splurge, but you are paying for tried-and-0true quality that has nearly 40 years of history. Made in Germany, these woven wraps are weight tested to 300 pounds and are supportive for even the biggest babies. They come in a variety of fabrics and patterns. They range in price between $120-$300 and are available here.
KoKaDi and Natibaby wraps will be joining our lineup in the shop and are also phenomenal! They are also in the same price bracket as Didymos, but lean towards the lower end of the price range.
The Kamika Linin Woven Wrap is an affordable option for a sturdy wrap. This style of wrap may not come with the brand name of Didymos or Natibaby, but it is weight tested to 35 pounds. It only costs $60 and comes in well below the price of other woven wraps. You can buy one here. Our readers get 15% off Kamika wraps and ring slings by using code “tmdwraps15.”
The Boba Wrap is our favorite stretch wrap since it is lighter than the Moby and K’tan, but is more supportive than both of those in our humble opinion. Stretch wraps are great for newborns and smaller babies. They are also great at keeping baby close, but still allowing baby to wiggle. Despite being able to use this carrier till well past 30 pounds, we don’t like stretch wraps past 15 pounds. The wrap retails for about $45.
Budget Stretch Wrap would be DIYing it. You can find a tutorial for how to make your own here. You can make your own stretch wrap for as little as $8, maybe even less if you use a coupon for the fabric.
Our favorite lightweight wrap is the Didymos Indio wraps. They are lightweight, ultra-soft, and extremely supportive. They can be worn on the front, back, or side. The Indio is a type of woven wrap and is extremely beautiful. The Indio Naturals or Colors line ranges between $127-$200, depending on the size and color selected. You can buy your own Indio here
Oh Sew Serendipitous makes a great lightweight wrap that can actually be used as a water wrap. We have reviewed them here, and they are tried and true. At only $39, the wrap is a great lower-cost option. The only issue we have is that it does have a slight stretch so can not be worn for back carries. You can purchase the wrap here and feel free to use our 15% off code for a discount. The code is “tmdwraps15”