How to Choose a Baby Carrier
When it comes to baby carriers, there are lots of options out there, each with its own characteristics and benefits.
To determine which carrier will best meet your needs, we suggest you consider the following:
- The age of the little one(s) you plan to carry
- Where and how you plan to carry (to do daily activities, around town, for travel, etc.)
- Your size and the size of anyone else using the carrier
- Any physical limitations
- The climate you live in
Below you will find an overview of the types of carriers you will find at Little Zen One, including why we love them and for whom they work best.
If you need additional help to figure out which option is right for you (or to understand sizing and/or material differences), we’re here for you - even during those middle of the night feeds. Please feel free to reach out.
Overview: A wrap is a length of woven fabric that is securely tied around the baby and caregiver. Wraps are incredibly versatile, have been around forever, stand the test of time, and are easier to use than you might imagine.
Why we love woven wraps: They are, quite simply, the perfect tool for carrying your babe – from birth up to (and beyond) the toddler years. Woven wraps are incredibly comfortable and secure, facilitate back carrying at an early age, and allow for easy, hands-free nursing. They are incredibly beautiful textiles and have excellent resale value.
Best for: In our opinion, woven wraps are for everyone, as they can be used by adults (and children) of all sizes and in countless ways. They’re an excellent choice for those with back and/or shoulder issues because of how they distribute little one’s weight.
Overview: Buckle carriers offer on-the-go convenience and a short learning curve. They’re made of a rectangle of fabric and straps that are secured using buckles that may be worn backpack style or crossed. They may have structured or unstructured waistbands.
Why we love buckle carriers: They are easy to learn and use, and generally quite comfortable to wear. Buckle carriers can be used from birth to toddlerhood and beyond.
Great for: Those looking for convenience, the option to carry facing forward, and/or a comfortable back carrying solution for hiking.
Overview: This versatile option provides the comfort of a woven wrap with the satisfying ‘click’ of a buckle carrier. Clip it around your waist and then wrap and tie the shoulder straps for a comfortable and secure carrying experience for both wearer and little one.
Why we love half-buckle carriers: This carrier bridges the gap between a woven wrap and a buckle carrier. It includes some great features including a sewn-in headrest, adjustable ‘body’, and comfortable shoulder straps.
Best for: Those who want to enjoy many of the same benefits of a woven wrap – but in a more compact form with a secure buckle waist.
Overview: Meh dais have been around for a long time – and are the inspiration behind the buckle and half-buckle carriers. They’re made of a rectangular piece of fabric with four straps, two at the waist and two at the shoulders. They provide a comfy and secure carrying experience for little ones of all ages: from newborns right up to toddlers and beyond.
Why we love meh dais: They’re easy to put on and comfortable to wear. A Meh Dai (we stock DidyTai and Helina Baby brand) are great carriers to share with someone who has a different body type. Unlike structured buckle carriers, meh dais offer the option of a high back carry for little ones. The panel adjusts for a newborn or a toddler, with no extra insert.
Great for: Sharing between multiple caregivers, those looking for comfort, versatility and staying power.
Overview: A ring sling is made up of a piece of woven fabric sewn to two aluminum rings. The fabric is pulled through the two rings to create a pouch for your little one.
Why we love ring slings: They can be worn on the front or hip. While they’re not ideal for prolonged carrying (since most of the weight is carried on one shoulder), they’re super cozy, quick and easy to take on and off, and excellent for breastfeeding.
Great for: Running errands by car, the ‘up and down phase’ (when a little one is learning to crawl and frequently wants up and down), those who want to breastfeed on the go, and easily hip-carrying an older child.
Overview: A waistless back carrier with a buckle clip on the chest belt, designed to be worn very high on the back.
Why we love onbuhimos: It’s light, compact and fits a wide variety of body types. It folds up small, and is a perfect carrier to pop into your bag for a day out. Also known as On
Great for: Those with older babies, toddlers and/or children who favour back-carrying, pregnant women (due to the lack of waistband), and those who want a quick and easy to use on-the-go solution.
Overview: Stretchy Wraps, which are similar to woven wraps but in a soft and stretchy material. They’re primarily worn on the front, with three layers of fabric over your little one’s back.
Why we love stretchy wraps: They’re lightweight and so cozy - like a favourite t-shirt. A perfect option for the early weeks and months of parenthood.
Great for: Carrying a child from birth up to approximately 25 pounds.
Overview: Hybrid wraps offer all the snuggle of a stretch wrap with the support of a woven wrap.
Why we love hybrid wraps: They’re lightweight and very soft,but still supportive. Like woven wraps, they fit every baby and every parent at every stage and can be worn on the front, hip, or back.
Great for: A light and soft option for carrying a child from birth through the toddler years.
Below are the above options summarized in a chart for easy scanning and comparison. Once again, we’re happy to provide you with more information on any of these options and/or help you decide which is perfect for you on a free Carrier Intro. Book yours here.
|Carrier Type||Age & Stage||Closure System||Front Carry||Back Carry||Hip Carry||Best Feature(s)|
|Woven Wrap||Birth and Up||Knot||Yes (multiple positions)||Yes (multiple positions)||Yes (multiple positions)||Versatility, comfort, and unlimited carrying options|
|Buckle Carrier||Birth to 25 kg / 55 lbs||Buckle||Yes||Yes||Varies||Convenience and ease of use|
|Half-buckle Carrier||Birth to 20kg / 45 lbs||Buckle & knot||Yes||Yes||Yes||Its headrest, adjustable ‘body’ and comfy shoulder straps|
|Meh Dai||Birth to 20kg / 45 lbs||Knot||Yes||Yes||Yes||Easy to put on, comfortable to wear and great for sharing between caregivers of different sizes|
|Ring Sling||Birth to end of carrying period||Rings||Yes||Yes||Yes||Quick and easy to take on and off, great for breastfeeding|
|Onbuhimo||7 kgs /15 lbs to 20 kg /45 lbs||Buckle||No||Yes||No||Light, compact and easy to use|
|Stretchy Wrap||Birth to 11 kg / 25 lbs||Knot||Yes||No||Yes||Lightweight and cozy|
|Hybrid Wrap||Birth to range||Knot||Yes||Yes||Yes||All the snuggle of a stretch wrap with the support of a woven wrap|