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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best forward facing baby carrier is, I’d recommend the Ergobaby 360 carrier.
Putting together your registry and don’t know which forward facing baby carrier to choose? Picking out a forward facing baby carrier can be stressful. They aren’t inexpensive and it can be difficult to know if you’re choosing one that you (and your baby) will love.
Don’t let the process overwhelm you, though. In this article, I’ll share with you my favorite forward facing baby carriers and why I love them. We’ll also take a look at some of the things you might want to consider when shopping for your carrier.
Here are the baby carriers I will be reviewing:
Who Can Benefit From A Baby Carrier?
Wondering who a carrier would be useful for? Here’s the answer — anyone who needs an extra set of hands. Especially for those that are often on the go.
Baby carriers are great for moms, dads, grandparents, and caretakers. They keep your baby close and safe while leaving your hands free. Are you like me, and need those hands to hold diaper bags, toddler hands, do dishes, or even work at the computer? A carrier can be invaluable.
What Kind Of Carrier Is Right For Me?
There are four general types of carriers — soft structured carriers, unstructured carriers, slings, and wraps.
A structured baby carrier has a shape to it all the time — even when the baby isn’t safely snuggled in it.
An unstructured carrier is usually made of a stretchy knit fabric and has no shape.
Wraps can be woven (non-stretchy) or knit (stretchy) material.
A sling goes across the body and carries the baby on one side. There is usually a ring at the shoulder that allows you to adjust the fit.
When To Choose A Soft Structured Carrier
For the purpose of this article, we’ve chosen to focus mainly on soft structured carriers. They are great at distributing weight and can be worn well into toddlerdhood. Some structured carriers may be suitable for young babies with the use of additional padding.
Many people also love how people of vastly different sizes can wear the same carrier. If you will have multiple people using a carrier, this may factor into your final decision. These carriers frequently come with a padded waistband for additional comfort and boast extra features, like hoods and pockets.
When To Choose Another Type Of Carrier
Ring slings, wraps, and unstructured carriers can all be great options for babywearing. The age of your baby, personal preference, and the local weather should all be taken into consideration when deciding which forward facing baby carrier is right for you.
Young babies are often served well by unstructured carriers. The material is soft and comfortable and gives the baby the same feel as being in someone’s arms. Many more position options are available, although young babies shouldn’t be carried forward facing.
The wide straps and stretchy fabric can be comfortable for the wearer as well. However, these can be hot during very warm weather. A sling is also a great option for young babies, as their weight is still minimal and doesn’t cause strain.
You may find these kinds of carriers are less usable as your child gets older and heavier. They add strain to the wearer’s shoulders, and more mobile children may be able to extract themselves from the carrier.
Things To Consider When Shopping For Your Forward Facing Baby Carrier
When you’re shopping for a new baby carrier, there’s a lot of information you need to sort through. Don’t get lost in the minutia, though. These are the aspects you’ll most want to focus on to determine what carrier will work for you.
- Your shopping budget
- The number and the size of your wearers
- Ease of use
- Whether or not you plan to buy more than one carrier
Take a good look at these areas and determine exactly what your needs are. Doing so can help eliminate styles that won’t suit your needs. That can help you narrow down your choices and make the whole process less overwhelming.
Once you have the kind of carrier narrowed down, you’ll need to move on to the carrier’s features. These are the main ones to keep in mind.
- Versatility: How many position options are available to you and for how long will you and your baby be able to use the carrier?
- Comfort: Will you be comfortable wearing this for prolonged periods of time? Will your baby be happy spending a significant amount of time in the carrier?
- Quality: Is this a durable carrier that will last you a long time?
Don’t forget to take a look at bonus features, and whether or not the carrier is easy to maneuver for the purpose of nursing, for example.
Tips For Using Your New Carrier
Once you bring your new carrier home, here are some tips to keep you and your baby safe during wearing.
- Always make sure your baby is being monitored during wearing. This is especially important with young babies. You will need to make sure no excess material is compromising breathing and that your baby’s head is well supported.
- Don’t dress your baby too warmly when using a carrier. This goes for the wearer as well. The carrier will trap in and create heat, so plan accordingly.
- If you are using a carrier with buckles, frequently check to make sure all of the plastic or metal pieces are in good working shape.
- Frequently check the seams to ensure your carrier’s integrity has not been compromised.
- When wearing your baby, always bend at the knee and keep a hand on your child for additional support.
- Never wear a baby while exercising. This includes riding a bike or running.
- Don’t wear your baby while you are lying down or sleeping.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for maintaining and cleaning your carrier.
My Top Forward Facing Baby Carrier Reviews
I’m sure you now have a better idea of what kind of carrier you might be interested in. Let’s take a look at some of my favorites out on the market.
This carrier is suitable for babies as young as 4 months of age who are between 12 and 33 pounds. An additional insert is available (but needs to be purchased separately) that enables this carrier to be used safely with younger babies (0 – 4 months or 7 – 12 pounds). There are four different carrying positions to suit you and your baby’s needs.
I love that this carrier can be washed at home in your washing machine. Without material between the wearer’s body and the baby, it’s also nursing friendly. The carrier is comfortable to wear, even in warm weather, and includes a UPF 50+ hood. When not in use, it’s easy to tuck away.
The Ergobaby 360 features a wide wrap-around waistband for additional comfort. It’s comfortable, even post c-section, and helps provide much-needed lower back support.
If you’re sharing a carrier between multiple wearers, the Ergobaby 360 can be a great option. It’s extremely adjustable. The waist can be as narrow as 26 inches and as wide as 52 inches. The shoulder straps are adjustable, from 28 to 48 inches.
Ergobaby is an established and well-respected name in the babywearing industry. If you’re looking for a high-quality product to get you from the newborn stage through 36 months, this carrier might be for you.
- Highly adjustable and suits multiple wearers
- Can be used for the first 3 years of life
- Extremely supportive for both the baby and the wearer
- Machine washable is a definite plus
- The velcro waistband can be loud and difficult to adjust while wearing
- The clasp on the back of the carrier can be difficult to fasten and adjust without a second person
Looking for a carrier with an adjustable fit but still want the comfort that comes along with fabric? This hybrid carrier could be a good fit for your needs.
Even better? This carrier is incredibly easy to use. You simply fasten the belt around your waist, slip the carrier up over your shoulders and tie everything in place. No additional insert is needed and this carrier is suitable for babies who weigh 8 – 35 pounds.
The fabric this carrier is made out of is lightweight and comfortable. The more structured seat ensures your baby has a totally secure position every time you wear it. It’s adjustable, with one size fitting most and can be a great option for a carrier that’s shared between caregivers.
Multiple positions can be used with this baby carrier, both facing in and facing out. Since the baby sits directly against your body — instead of in a sleeve — it can be a great option for mamas with nursing needs.
I love that the Boppy ComfortFit carrier is machine washable. This carrier folds up quite small — great for putting in a diaper bag. It also comes with its own carrying case to cut down on bulk when it isn’t in use.
- A zippered pocket keeps your phone, keys, or spare pacifier nearby
- The stretchy material is great for keeping your baby close
- The padded waist belt and extra-wide shoulder straps provide support
- Nursing friendly
- May not feel as secure for an older or heavier baby
- The one-size-fits-most approach may not work for this carrier as it’s on the smaller side
The Bebamour baby carrier is budget-friendly and versatile. It offers six different wearing positions for your baby. You can choose what suits you and your baby based on preferences and age.
While three of these positions are traditional carrier positions, three of them are to be used as carrying support. They won’t leave you hands-free, but are great for feeding sessions or times where your arms just need a break.
This carrier is packed with bonus features, including a zippered pouch, a hood, and baby bibs. The pocket keeps things in easy reach and the hood helps provide protection from bad weather or direct sunlight. The bibs snap onto the shoulder from babies facing inward and help keep the wearer’s clothing clean.
The breathable fabric is cool and comfortable, even when used during high temperatures. This carrier can also be washed by hand. To do so, you’ll need to take the foam seat out of the base of the carrier.
The wide velcro band helps provide additional back support for the wearer. It is adjustable and can suit a wide variety of wearers. You may find it easier to adjust this carrier with a second person, to alter the back buckles while in use.
- Great price point for a baby carrier
- The seat helps distribute your baby’s weight and makes for comfortable carrying
- Collapses in on itself for packaging and easy storing
- Bulkier than some other carriers
- Back clips make it difficult to put baby in without a second person to help
BabyBjorn has been in the carrier business since 1973. In fact, the BabyBjorn is one of the classic soft structured baby carriers. It keeps your baby close and helps provide them with great head and back support.
The carrier is approved for use for babies ages 0 – 12 months. You have two options for positions with this carrier, with baby facing in or baby facing out. It can be used forward facing from 5 months onward.
It was designed in collaboration with pediatricians to keep the baby’s spine, hips, and neck safe and aligned.
Ever struggled to get a baby carrier on or off by yourself? If you have, then you’ll appreciate how easy it is to put this one on. It’s a small and lightweight carrier that’s easy to take off and put on.
Not only was this carrier designed with pediatricians’ input, it’s also fully tested and certified for safety. You can rest a little easier knowing that every precaution has been made to keep your baby-wearing experience safe — for both you and your baby.
- The carrier’s fastening snaps are easy to use, even one handed
- It’s easy to transfer a sleeping baby from the carrier to a crib
- The mesh material is very breathable and comfortable for wearer and baby
- This carrier doesn’t suit children over 25 pounds
- Poor lumbar support
Infantino Flip Front To Back Carrier
The Infantino Flip offers three different positions for your baby — outward facing, inward facing, and back wearing. Made from breathable mesh, it’s comfortable and allows for plenty of airflow.
This is safe to use with babies weighing 8 – 32 pounds. The extra padding in the shoulder straps helps provide additional comfort. The waistband is padded, which helps give some lumbar support and reduces back pain from long periods of babywearing.
The included bib helps keep your clothing (and the carrier!) protected from baby drool. This is especially helpful when your child begins teething.
This carrier doesn’t collapse for easy travel like some of the others on the market and can be a little bulky.
I can’t get enough of how adjustable this carrier is. You have the usual adjustable straps at the waist and for the length of the shoulder straps. There’s also a chest strap for a secure and custom fit every time. It’s great for a variety of body sizes and the buckle snaps are easy to use.
- Great budget-friendly carrier
- Suitable for families with multiple wearers
- Machine washable
- The top of the carrier is quite wide — extra care should be taken when bending
- Difficult to adjust by yourself
Bringing Home The Best Forward Facing Baby Carrier
Still on the fence? My personal choice is the Ergobaby 360 carrier. I love its incredible adjustability and the extra features. The fact that it’s machine washable is just icing on the cake.
While all the products listed here are great carriers, I really like that you can use the newborn insert with this one. It’s not available with the other carriers we’ve discussed here and it’s a great feature, allowing you to use this carrier from birth.
Using the insert means you’re getting exactly the fit a young baby needs. Meanwhile, once you no longer need to use the insert, your older baby or toddler is getting just the fit they need.
You can have the convenience of free hands while still getting in that ultra-important bonding time with your baby. I hope this article has helped you decide what’s right for you and your baby.