Carrying is love. There is so much truth in this little sentence.
We (my husband and I) wear it from birth and love it. Not only the incredible closeness to the child, the help with falling asleep or the really huge advantage of having your hands free, convinced us.
A baby carrier offers so much more and with that we welcome you to our big baby carrier test.
Many stretchers have moved in, moved on, stayed or been swapped with us.
With this baby carrier test and the whole article I would like to give you an insight into the big topic of baby carriers and show you what is important and what everyone should pay attention to when buying a baby carrier.
Just to be sure, this is a personal test, I’m speaking from my own experience and wearing that I know and have tested for a long time.
What about wearing
Carrying babies is not a new or modern phenomenon, even if it may appear that way.
Infants and toddlers have been carried for hundreds of years. Today it is still
worn in 60% of the world. In Asia and Africa it is the most normal in the world.
We humans are carried, which means that our babies are carried close to the mother, father or other family member for the first few weeks and even months.
Putting your child in a stroller is a relatively modern Central European development.
It’s also not about pointing your finger at someone and saying: But that’s not how you should be. It’s just a matter of understanding that carrying your baby should be natural and normal.
Baby carriers are making a real comeback, this is not a new trend, but probably one of the most natural things in the world.
The main advantages of a baby carrier
I have just told you that it is completely normal and natural to carry your toddler or even newborn baby in a carrier, but you surely want to know what specific advantages it has.
Here are the main advantages, and I would be lying if I said there were no disadvantages.
A close bond
A baby needs closeness and physical contact.
It felt intense closeness for nine months, which is why it is a great need even after the birth.
This need can be easily satisfied with the help of baby carriers.
The bond with our child is strengthened through closeness and physical contact, and of course this also applies the other way around.
A stretcher has a calming effect
It is no secret that physical contact has a calming effect on our children.
As soon as we notice that the baby is missing something, it will be hugged. Sometimes it is exactly what the child was missing – the closeness and feeling of the body of mom or dad.
Carrying in a baby carrier makes it possible to calm a baby over a longer period of time.
At first we almost only slept in the stretcher.
The baby carrier is particularly practical when the children are sick or have teeth and then want to cuddle even more than usual.
Less screaming and crying
Due to the constant and subliminal communication between mother or father and child and the physical contact, babies cry less.
This has even been proven in a study and according to this study, children who are worn often cry 43% less than children who are not worn.
Of course, this not only has advantages for your child, but of course also for the parental nerves.
Also nice for mother and father
Isn’t the closeness to our child something very special?
Aren’t we enjoying it to the full?
So why shouldn’t we take advantage of this to the full and intensify this experience even further with a baby carrier?
Above all, I have noticed that my husband or men in particular enjoy wearing them in general, because the children then sleep peacefully with dad too.
This is only for the parents, because one of the biggest advantages of a baby carrier is that the hands are free to handle.
If the baby needs physical contact, is sick or tired and the household still has to be done, it helps immensely to be able to bind the child to the body.
Personally, for example, I would have been lost in the daily walk with our two dogs without a stretcher.
More practical than a stroller
Everyone may see it differently, but in my experience, the specially purchased stroller could not even begin to prevail over the baby carrier.
It might have been used every few weeks to somehow justify the purchase, but the baby carrier with all its advantages has always been our first choice.
24 hour body contact babies
Unfortunately, there are newborns who really need constant physical contact.
As soon as you take them off they start crying.
This is anything but easy, especially for parents.
A stretcher or a sling can help here in the simplest possible way.
The baby has physical contact all the time and the carrier has the opportunity to experience a normal day.
Disadvantages of a baby carrier
It would be presumptuous to claim that baby carriers only have advantages, of course there are also some disadvantages, but they are not serious.
Still, I don’t want to leave them unmentioned.
Possibly very warm in summer
Unfortunately, it is of course the case that in summer when temperatures are high, one baby carrier corresponds to another layer of clothing.
The child’s body temperature is not helpful either.
There are mixed fabrics that are definitely more comfortable in summer and also wear that use thinner fabrics.
But let’s be honest, you sweat in summer anyway, don’t you? And in the blazing midday heat, probably no one will want to run around with their child in the stretcher.
Tiring in the long run
Of course, it all depends on the stretcher and yourself. But you notice the child’s weight after a while, especially as the children get older, because they can carry up to 30 kilograms.
If you use a stretcher from the start, you will quickly get used to the weight and the muscles will get used to it too.
Fortunately, children don’t put on 10 kilograms overnight.
Possibly back / shoulder pain
With increasing weight or with increasing time in the stretcher, poor posture and incorrect strain on the muscles can of course occur, which are then accompanied by shoulder pain or neck pain.
However, the problem is not too pronounced and it can usually be got under control with a break in wearing, a hot shower and a few stretching exercises.
If the pain is severe and persistent, you should of course still consult a doctor and not just rely on home remedies.
That was it with the disadvantages.
All in all, the advantages clearly outweigh the benefits and there are hardly any reasons not to at least try an ergonomic baby carrier.
Different carrying systems
As a newcomer to the world of baby carriers, confusion quickly reigns and the various carrier systems are usually to blame.
There are comfort collars, half buckles, full buckles and mei tai carriers … who should look through that?
Full Buckle Wear
Actually, with the different systems it is only a question of how the stretcher is closed or whether the stretcher is equipped with buckles or has long strips of cloth to tie and knot.
Full buckle carriers rely exclusively on buckles and work more or less like a backpack.
At some point the term comfort carrier was also coined, but it actually only refers to a full buckle that can be put on and used directly thanks to the buckles.
Examples of full buckle carriers would be the Manduca or the Emeibaby.
Half Buckle Bear
Half buckle carriers have a combination of buckles on the waist belt. The straps are long and tied.
The long shoulder straps may seem awkward at first, but you get used to them so quickly and in the end it only takes a few seconds to put the straps around you and knot them at the front.
The Mei Tai stretcher consists only of straps and no buckles or Velcro fasteners. It has long waist straps that are wrapped around the hips and long shoulder straps that are placed around the body and then knotted like the Half Buckle.
Babysize and Toddler Size
Before we get to the carriers that made it into this baby carrier test, a short word about the sizes.
It’s all about not suddenly standing there with a stretcher that is too big and getting angry about the bad buy.
There are basically two sizes in which ergonomic baby carriers are available.
Baby-size carriers are suitable for newborns and up to a weight of around 15 kilograms.
The larger carriers are often referred to as toddler sizes and are suitable up to a weight of 30 kilograms.
Sometimes there are small deviations depending on the manufacturer, but as a rule of thumb you can remember: baby sizes up to 15 kg and toddlers from 15 kg to 30 kg.
Baby carrier test (recommendations)
Here you will find all the carriers shown above that I have used myself for a long time and still use and can recommend without restriction in my baby carrier test.
Kokadi Tai Tai
The Kokadi Tai Tai is a half buckle carrier and is ideal for beginners who are not afraid to tie the long shoulder straps. The combination of long shoulder straps and the wide hip belt allows a super individual adjustment of the carrier.
The soft cloth makes it easy to bag your child perfectly and to bring them into the right position.
I have an absolute buy recommendation for the Kokadi Tai Tai.
Ruckeli baby carrier
A high level of comfort for parents and an ideal sitting position for your child, these are the characteristics of the ergonomic Ruckeli baby carrier. There are no long straps to wrap, only the flat and wide straps that are closed with buckles.
The easy-to-use Ruckeli stretcher is perfect for expectant mothers and dads and can be easily adjusted.
The Emeibaby is a successful combination of carrier material and baby carrier that can be put on and adjusted very comfortably. It distributes the child’s weight so well that you can hardly feel it, even with older children.
Equipped with buckles and easily adjustable straps, the Emeibaby is one of the full buckle carriers and offers a lot of carrying fun for parents and children.
The Bondolino was our first stretcher and served us well for a very long time and very early on. Thanks to the wide strap and the Velcro fastener, putting it on is absolutely child’s play and the long shoulder straps wrap around your shoulders by themselves after the third attempt at the latest.
If you are looking for a baby carrier that you can use from birth without hesitation, then the Bondo is definitely worth considering.
Fidella Fly Tai
The classic Mei Tai carrier is, so to speak, one of the original carriers and comes from the Asian region. The long straps are tied around the hips and shoulders, whereby the contact surfaces of the shoulder straps distribute the child’s weight perfectly.
Here, too, the advice, do not be afraid that the risers have to be tied, because you get used to it in no time at all.
The manduca is extremely popular and a real bestseller, especially among fathers. It offers a lot of comfort for the child and carrier, but unfortunately has one limitation, it is not suitable for babies.
If your child has reached the age of sitting and can all sit, then the time for the manduca has come. Before that, there are simply better alternatives.
Of course there are many other great carriers that did not make it into this ranking. However, I only want to recommend carriers that I have been using for a long time and that I can be sure of how good they are.
Back carriers (Onbu)
Of course, there are not only baby carriers that are used in front of the stomach, but also carriers for the back.
Baby carriers for the back are called Onbuhimo or Onbu for short and they give you the opportunity to carry your child around the world like a backpack.
These carriers are particularly suitable when it comes to longer distances with older children, but they can also be used like all other baby carriers at home or for short distances.
Note: Many baby carriers are suitable for both, i.e. to be carried in front of the body but also for the back.
What Else You Should Know
You can make the decision which carrier suits you very difficult but also very easy. Here are a few more points that can help you choose the right baby carrier.
There are manufacturers who simply make good carriers. These carriers meet all the requirements that parents and children could wish for.
However, there are also some very well-known manufacturers who primarily do good advertising but are not suitable for newborns, for example (despite they claim to be).
You will find out what is really important in the next few points and I hope you understand that for legal reasons I cannot make baby carriers bad even though they deserve it.
Baby carriers that are used for newborns should be soft, preferably they are made of fabric that is otherwise used for baby slings.
Newborns do not yet have enough stability in the spine area and the soft cloth material ensures that no child can make a nice, round back.
It is “shaken” in the language of the mother who carries it, and that is extremely important, because a stretcher that is too firm or a straight back can cause lasting damage to your child’s spine.
Note: Not only in this article, but on my entire site, a carrier that has a fixed back is not recommended, but only baby carriers that are easy to bag.
Adjustable bar (squat spread position)
The part of the hip belt or abdominal belt on which your child is sitting is the bar and if it is well carried, it is adjustable.
This is important for the correct fit in the carrier.
Your baby should look like an M in the carrier. The back is round and the knees higher than the bottom. This position is called the spread-squat position and it is important to achieve ergonomic sitting in the stretcher and to prevent hip damage.
Note: It may sound like you could harm your child with a baby carrier. But that’s not the case, don’t worry. As long as you have a rounded back and the spread-squat position, everything is fine.
Cuddling up is a must
Depending on the material, the baby carriers can be a bit stiff at the beginning, but that changes very quickly.
After a week of intensive use at the latest, you will notice how the surfaces and straps or straps are becoming more and more supple.
This signing in is called “cuddling up” under baby carriers and it can be heard even more often with slings than with baby carriers.
With baby carriers with buckles, putting them on is not a big problem in most cases, you should just take a few minutes to adjust all the straps and buckles and then you can start.
With combinations of buckles and straps like the Mei Tai, it will certainly take a few tries before you can safely place the long straps around your shoulders and baby. But after a few days it is as quick and safe as if you had never done anything else.
Carrying your baby on your back is not entirely without, because you have to get the child and the carrier onto your back like a backpack from the front around your shoulder. It’s not really difficult, but to be on the safe side, you might want to find someone to help you with the first two attempts.
The right clothes
When it comes to clothing, you really only have to consider one point. In the carrier, you should avoid bodysuits and tight tights, as these can lead to your baby’s toes being compressed while he is sitting in the carrier.
The easiest solution to this is to always wear one or two sizes too big in the baby carrier.
Otherwise, you should keep in mind that the carrier can easily replace a layer of clothing and that you put on your child one layer less while sitting in the carrier.
Carriers that grow with the child or baby inserts
The fact that a stretcher grows with you is not defined by a newborn insert, but by an adjustable bar.
If you want to carry your baby from birth, then the bar should definitely be adjustable to ensure an optimal spread-squat position. Incidentally, this is what all the ergonomic baby carriers recommended here do.
Many baby carriers, which are actually only recommended from sitting age, try to recommend inserts for newborns. From my experience, I can only urgently advise against such carriers, at least until your child can sit safely himself.
Newborn inserts are a compromise and instead of compromising, I would always use a carrier that fits me and my child perfectly.
If in doubt, buy a baby size up to 15 kg and if your child still enjoys being carried a toddler size up to 30 kg afterwards. Better to save a few euros at the expense of my child.
Stiftung Warentest and Ökotest
For a long time, Stiftung Warentest did not test baby carriers, but that has now changed (January 2020). I don’t want to say that much negative about the test here, because it is basically quite good and highlights some of the most important points when it comes to baby carriers.
The important spread-squat position was discussed and it was also discussed how to carry it as safely as possible.
These three carriers scored “good” at Stiftung Warentest:
But there are a few downsides, because on the one hand you get the impression that the test person or people have very little understanding of baby carriers, maybe even have no children at all? This is of course only a conjecture, but unfortunately it seems like that to me and of course the question arises whether it would not have been a good idea to include a carrying advisor.
I also find it difficult to understand the criticism of the Fidella Flyclick, for example, because honestly, I don’t know anyone to whom this would have ever happened, that the child slipped out of the carrier due to a missing chest strap. In addition, the really good instructions for the stretcher tell you how to properly secure the child.
This actually applies to all half-buckle carriers that are used as back carriers. If you tie the shoulder straps so that they cross over the chest, an additional chest strap becomes unnecessary and the child can certainly not just fall out.
Another important point is only briefly mentioned in the test by Stiftung Warentest and that is the round back that the baby should make in the baby carrier. When I look at some of the baby carriers from the test, it doesn’t look like a round back to me, and that doesn’t just apply to the carriers that performed poorly in comparison. Baby carriers made of sling fabric are and will remain the best choice for babies.
My final point of criticism is that only a tiny fraction of the baby carrier market is covered. The choice is so much bigger and there are so many carriers that were not considered. That’s why I recommend everyone who is looking for a baby carrier to find a carrier that suits you and not just buy it blindly. You can find more about the test on the Stiftung Warentest website .
What about Ökotest? There was a test for baby carriers in 2017, however, under the collective term “baby carriers”, baby carriers and slings were compared with each other and the result was slightly falsified from the perspective of baby carriers. If you are still interested in the article and the baby carriers, you can find the Ökotest article here .
Used stretchers hardly lose any of their value
Here’s a tip for all those savvy hunters who shy away from the sometimes very high prices of baby carriers.
There is a very active bartering between owners of baby carriers and, if you are with them for a while, you will quickly notice that baby carriers do not lose their value.
Often, even after a year or two of use, they can still be sold without much loss in value. There are even carriers and especially slings that are used, i.e. cuddled up, that even increase in value.
Common questions about baby carriers
Baby carriers are a great source of uncertainty and always raise a lot of questions. These are the most common questions asked by pregnant women and babies.
When can you start using an ergonomic baby carrier?
You can carry your baby from birth. Make sure you use a stretcher that allows a good spread-squat position and has a soft back to protect your newborn’s hips and back.
How long can be worn?
Basically, you can carry your child for as long as you want or as long as your child enjoys it. Toddler-size carriers are designed for an average of 30 kilograms.
How long a day
As long and as much as you want or your child needs the cuddles. Every now and then it is said on the internet that you shouldn’t wear it for too long, but with a well-adjusted, high-quality baby carrier, you can carry your child as many hours a day as you think is right.
Which carriers are best?
The best baby carrier is the one that offers the highest possible comfort for the wearer and at the same time enables ergonomic and healthy sitting for the child.
All carriers that I show and introduce here in my baby carrier test have been tested by me and a large number of other mothers and fathers and found to be very good.
Nevertheless, every person and every child is anatomically different and the baby carrier that fits one person might pinch and pinch someone else. Therefore, it may be necessary to try something out to find the best baby carrier.
But as long as the basic requirements are correct, it is often only the small things that may make the difference and the carriers shown here meet all the basic requirements to prove to be the ideal carrier for you.
Up to how many kilograms can a baby carrier be used?
To make it easy, baby carriers can be used from birth from around 3 kg to 30 kg without any major problems.
However, you should pay attention to the correct sizes, because baby-size carriers usually go up to a weight of 15 kilograms, after that a toddler carrier is due up to 30 kg.
Carry baby forward?!?!?
No. No and no again. Please do not use carriers that let your child look forward.
A particularly important aspect of the baby carrier is the communication between child and parent and this cannot take place when your child is looking ahead.
In addition, children (depending on their age) may not understand that you are there, even when you are right behind them. So you are completely exposed to all environmental influences and stimuli and the chance of overexciting your child, even causing massive disturbance, is very high.
Last but not least, you can’t bag your child properly and they can’t take a spread-squat position, of course, especially with the very little ones. This can lead to back or hip damage.