Whether you’re zipping off to catch up with other mums, doing the school run or shopping for more nappies, life with a bub involves a lot of running around. Thankfully, the best baby carriers in Australia are thoughtfully designed to make outings easier and keep baby close as you head out and about.
Baby carriers are soft-structured, supportive items worn by parents that hold babies close to their bodies without needing to use their hands. From traditional wrap styles to modern carriers with multiple carrying positions, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to hip-healthy and hands-free products for carrying your baby around town.
With so many different carriers in Australia, it can be tricky to know which is best for your new little bundle of joy. To help you out, we asked our Facebook baby group members to share the brands they love the most.
What to look for when buying a baby carrier in Australia
Buckle baby carriers are worn on the front or back of your body, held in place by two adjustable shoulder straps, and a waist belt. Newborns may require an insert.
Wrap baby carriers are soft-structured pieces of wide fabric that are wrapped around your body, over your shoulders and tied into a knot. They can be tied in several different ways to suit newborn to toddler.
Ring sling carriers are similar to a wrap carrier, it’s a wide piece of fabric that wraps around your body, but over one shoulder only. A ring or knot in front of your shoulder holds it in place and keeps it closed.
Mei Tai carriers are semi-structured carriers that have a panel and four long straps which form the waist belt and arm straps, and you simply tie it around you each time.
Backpack carriers are sturdy, framed backpacks often used for bushwalking and travelling. They’re not suitable for newborns.
OUR PICK OF THE CROP
7 baby carriers comfortable to wear all day
With so many baby carriers on the market, it’s hard to know where to start, so we asked the HUGE Mum’s Grapevine Facebook community which ones they use. In no particular order, these are the carriers they tried, tested and recommend.
A favourite in Australia, the votes for Ergobaby Omni 360 were incredible! It has a padded waist belt and padded shoulder straps which means you can comfortably carry your little one for long periods of time. You also have three carry positions for keeping baby close (front, back and side) and it can hold up to 20kg. It is not hard to see why it is such a popular choice amongst mums.
“Honestly cannot go past the Ergobaby Omni 360! I tried others and it’s been the best for my back and I still use it occasionally for my nearly two year old!! Best baby purchase EVER!!” – Debb Sing
Tula is top of the pops when it comes to comfort. After months of travelling with their little ones in tow, the husband and wife team behind Tula set out to create a fab carrier for real parents that distributes baby’s weight evenly. Noted for being incredibly versatile with its carry positions and extremely long-lasting, we’re not surprised to see our readers rank this one so highly.
“I would recommend the Tula Free to Grow carrier. It’s super comfy on and can be used for a newborn as well without an insert.” – Monique
Ergonomic for both parent and child, Cococho Baby Carrier allows you to secure bub in the carrier BEFORE wearing it. We love that it’s hip-healthy and sleeping babes can be off loaded or switched between wearers without waking.
Our readers love the machine-washable Hug-a-Bub. The baby wrap carrier is designed to be used from birth without any extra attachments or inserts. Babies need to be close to you and the Hug-a-Bub does exactly that – giving you vital bonding time with your little one.
“Takes a bit of getting used to, but I love my Hug-a-Bub! My baby girl falls asleep straight away and she’s so snuggly and close to me, it’s almost as though I feel pregnant again. Fabric is gorgeous too.” – Rachel
Made with 100% certified organic cotton lining the Manduca came highly recommended. Padded shoulder straps, waistband and adjustable neckrest mean you are able to easily carry your baby ’til they reach 20kg.
“Manduca. Loved mine, so comfy to wear and my little man was a big baby. Could wear him all day.” – Yvonne
The BabyBjorn is another super-popular baby carrier in Australia and it’s been around since 1961 supporting babies’ heads, necks, spines and hips through special design and breathable fabric. It can also be easily taken off to put your baby to bed when they fall asleep while being carried.
“I’m loving my BabyBjorn with my third baby. Really wish I had used it with my first two boys. Great back support and great price.” – Lorna
With its ethos drawing from the Scandanavian values of quality of life, honesty and a love for nature’s beauty, Lillebaby is all about adventuring in comfort with tots in tow, without sacrificing style. Designed for year-round use, simply adjust the air mesh panel for optimum airflow.
“Lillebaby All Seasons are amazing with built-in back support as well.” – Sarah
With no clips, buckles or warping, the revolutionary Baby Dink is more like a t-shirt than a traditional baby carrier. Made with the knowledge of a team of experts, it’s comfy and cosy for mum and bub.
“I love Baby Dink! It is far more fashion aware than similar products and is easy to put baby in without assistance from anyone else. Once baby is in, she isn’t going anywhere and is very secure.” – Amelia
Raising Children explains that you should follow the T.I.C.K.S rule to ensure baby is safely positioned in slings and carriers:
- Tight – baby should be positioned tight, high and upright with no loose fabric around them.
- In view always – You should be able to see bub’s face at all times.
- Close enough to kiss – Just by dipping your chin, you should be able to kiss that sweet forehead.
- Keep the chin off the chest – Make sure baby’s chin is up and off the chest for ease of breathing.
- Supported backs – Baby’s back should be in a natural position, with little chests against yours.
There are no Australian safety standards for baby slings, carriers or backpacks, so look for products with either the European standard EN 13209-2:2005 or the US standard ASTM F2236-08.
What are the benefits of babywearing?
A study has shown that convenience is the most common reason for babywearing. Going someplace? Whip out the carrier instead of a stroller. It’s quicker, more portable, and baby can go anywhere you’re able to walk normally. Stairs, grass, crowds, and narrow aisles aren’t really an issue anymore.
When you carry baby, you also enjoy loads of skin-to-skin contact and special bonding, plus they’ve proven to be very useful for babes with reflux.
Are baby carriers safe for newborns?
Many carriers are not recommended for baby’s younger than four months in Australia due to insufficient neck and head support. But, some brands offer inserts or special designs that cater for newborns.
How long should you use a baby carrier?
As long as you and baby are still comfortable and baby’s weight is within the recommended range, continue using it as long as you like. Some babes are happy to enjoy the carrier right up until the toddler years, others prefer the comfort of the pram as they get bigger.
What are the best baby carriers for dads?
Generally, the best baby carriers for dads are buckle carriers. These quickly clip on and off and don’t require much fiddling around. That’s not to say fathers don’t use other styles. Many dads enjoy babywearing with a stretchy wrap too and those cuddles seem to be extra special because they are so snug and close with their baby.
How should baby be positioned in a carrier?
While carry positions vary depending on the style, the way a baby sits in a carrier or sling should always resemble the way a parent naturally holds them in their arms in the upright position. This ensures they are held high on mum or dads chest for easy monitoring of their airways and cues.
The best baby carriers allow the spine to remain in its correct ‘J’ shape and with legs raised into a squat ‘M’ position, reducing the risk of hip dysplasia and supporting healthy hip development as baby grows.
How can I help baby get used to the carrier?
Some babies will require a bit more patience and encouragement to come around to the idea of a carrier than others. You could start babywearing as soon as possible after birth to make it familiar from the get-go, or try age-appropriate hip or forward-facing carriers so that bub has plenty of visual stimulation.
This article is curated by our Editors and includes affiliates and/or paid inclusions. See our Disclosure Policy.
Know a brand we should add to our list? Contact us and let us know.
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