We looked at the best carriers on the market. Find the one that suits your carrying style. (18 Photos)
Type: Pouch sling
Weight range: newborn to 25 lbs.
Made of: Lightweight stretchy woven fabric with polar-fleece detail
Get it Now: Kangarookorner.com
Expert review: Kangaroo Korner's Adjustable All-Season Pouch is compact and lightweight, and it offers five carrying positions for baby, plus one for breastfeeding. The pouch is a comfortable way to keep your baby close to you while still allowing you to be hands-free. It's easy to wear while walking around, sitting down and even leaning over (with a hand on the pouch as a backup), and the weight distribution is comfortable for extended periods of time. Each pouch has a set of 11 snaps that can be attached in one of four different rows, allowing the wearer to adjust the size of the carrier for their body and baby. The manual is a bit daunting—directions are in paragraph form and show pictures of only the final results, not the steps to get baby in each of the holds. Careful ordering is key with these pouches—each is sized like a T-shirt, available in small to extra large. You also have to select whether you are left- or right-hand dominant. Finally, each size and hand-dominance combination has a specific selection of fabric choices, including paisleys and ginghams, with varying degrees of stretchiness, from 5 (most stretchy) to 1 (least stretchy). Fortunately, returns are allowed.
Why we love it: Compact; specific sizes and pouch adjustability to ensure a good fit; variety of materials; comfortable; very portable; distributes weight nicely; variety of holds.
What we wish it had: Step-by-step directions; more modern or dad-friendly fabrics; better instructions for how to choose your correct size.
Great for: Parents who want (or babies who need) especially close contact; colicky babies; discreet breastfeeding; those traveling with an infant.
Bottom line: The variety of positions and compact design make it a versatile pick for babywearing, but beware of the tricky directions and sizing.
What our parent tester thought:
"The material seemed lightweight and stretchy so that it conformed to my baby's body well yet didn't make him too hot. In addition, the material is smooth making it so that there is never a 'sleep' mark on his face after being in there for awhile."
"My son seems happy in the carrier. He has an extreme case of colic and is only happy when he is in a position to feel like he is back in the womb (i.e., when he is snug, in a curled up position, and close to my body). Putting him in the carrier does make him feel like he is back in the womb. Consequently, it is practically the only thing that I can do to get him to sleep and stop crying."
"This carrier folds very compactly for travel, making it easy for me to pack it in my diaper bag and on trips. This is especially wonderful since I have more than one child and many things to pack up when I'm on the go."
"This carrier seems to pull down on my shoulder a bit, slightly straining it when I am walking. This sling is also wide stretching from the top of my shoulder to my elbow, making it feel slightly awkward when I bend my arm to grab something. By no means is it confining in the sense that it won't allow me to move my arm. Rather, I notice the material touch my lower arm whenever I bend my elbow to type on the computer, get something out of the refrigerator, etc. If it were half as wide from the shoulder to the elbow, it would be nice."
"I do like that the sling is one big piece of material even though you can snap it to adjust its size (e.g., longer/shorter). It made me feel secure knowing that if something happened to the snaps, the material would not fall off."
—Kara, and her 12-week-old son, of Santa Barbara, Calif.
Disclaimer: In March 2010, the CPSC issued a warning about sling carriers for babies, citing that slings can pose suffocation hazards to infants. The CPSC has determined that a mandatory standard is needed for infant sling carriers.
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