Carrier overview

When you first start looking at babywearing and the options of carriers you have, it can feel rather overwhelming! I get that. And I’m here to help you narrow down your options and give you confidence in your choice of carrier.

You may have been told about a specific carrier or even been gifted one. This is great! But you may not be quite sure if this is the right type of carrier for you. Only because a family member or friend have found one type of carrier to be great, it doesn’t mean that this will also be the perfect carrier for you and your little family. And that’s ok.

After I’ve been busy the past weeks writing in-depth articles about each type of carrier. I think it is about time I write an overview for those who just want to quickly see the difference between each type of carrier to help decide which carrier might be best for YOU.

Stretchy Wrap

A stretchy wrap is a long piece of stretchy fabric, which gets wrapped around the caregiver and the baby. This type of wrap is great for newborns and young babies up to about 5 months old (although it can be worn for longer).

A stretchy wrap is right for you if:

  • You have a newborn or young baby
  • You would like a soft mouldable carrier
  • You are not afraid to learn how to wrap
  • You would like a carrier that fits different types of caregivers
  • You like to pre-tie your wrap

A stretchy wrap may not be suitable for:

  • Outward-facing (baby is looking away from your body)
  • Back carrying
  • Carrying a toddler or young child

Find more information about stretchy wraps here.

Woven Wrap

A woven wrap is a piece of fabric (different lengths are available) which is generally made of cotton, linen, wool or silk. This type of carrier is very versatile and can be used for all ages. However, it may take some time to learn how to wrap properly.

A woven wrap is right for you if:

  • You have a newborn, baby, toddler or young child
  • You would like a soft mouldable carrier
  • You are not afraid to learn how to wrap
  • You would like a carrier that fits different types of caregivers
  • You want to front carry, hip carry and back carry

A woven wrap may not be suitable for:

  • Outward-facing (baby is looking away from your body)
  • Very quick ups and downs unless you are very experienced

Find more information about woven wraps here.

Ring Sling

A ring sling is a piece of woven wrap fabric, which has two rings attached at one end. This type of carrier is perfect for hip carrying a curious baby.

A ring sling is right for you if:

  • You have a newborn or baby
  • You would like a soft mouldable carrier
  • You are happy to learn how to properly tighten a ring sling
  • You would like a carrier that fits different types of caregivers
  • You want to front carry and hip carry
  • You want to quickly put your baby in and out of the carrier

A ring sling may not be suitable for:

  • Outward-facing (baby is looking away from your body)
  • Back carrying
  • Carrying a toddler or young child

Find more information about ring slings here.

Meh Dai

A meh dai is in between a wrap and a soft structured carrier, but usually made of wrap fabric which makes it nice and soft. It has got a back panel, which has four long straps for wrapping attached to it. A meh dai is perfect if you like soft mouldable fabric, but don’t want to go through the whole learning curve for wrapping.

A meh dai is right for you if:

  • You have a newborn, baby, toddler or young child
  • You would like a soft mouldable carrier
  • You only want to learn the basics of wrapping
  • You would like a carrier that fits different types of caregivers
  • You want to front carry, hip carry and back carry

A meh dai may not be suitable for:

  • Outward-facing (baby is looking away from your body)
  • Quick ups and downs

Find more information about meh dais here.

Soft Structured Carrier

A soft structured carrier has a back panel, two shoulder straps, a waist belt and a chest strap, which can all be adjusted through buckles. This type of carrier is perfect for anyone, who wants an easy to use carrier.

A soft structured carrier is right for you if:

  • You have a baby or toddler
  • You want strong and supportive fabric
  • You want to be able to use your carrier without needing to learn much
  • You don’t mind if the carrier only fits one caregiver
  • You want to front carry and back carry
  • You want to outward face (only possible with some carriers)

A soft structured carrier may not be suitable for:

  • Carrying a newborn (often a special insert is needed, or it just doesn’t fit properly)
  • Hip carrying
  • Carrying in hot weather

Find out more about soft structured carriers here.

Onbuhimo

An onbuhimo is quite similar to a soft structured carrier. The main difference is that an onbuhimo doesn’t have a waist belt. This type of carrier is great for back carrying older children.

An onbuhimo is right for you if:

  • You have a baby or toddler
  • You want strong and supportive fabric
  • You want to be able to use your carrier without needing to learn much
  • You mainly want to back carry
  • You are pregnant, but still want to carry your toddler

An onbuhimo may not be suitable for:

  • Carrying a newborn
  • Front and hip carrying
  • Outward-facing (baby is facing away from your body

Find out more about soft onbuhimos here.

Still not sure which carry might suit your needs best?

I’ve created a quick quiz that will help you figure out which type of carrier might be best suited to your specific needs. Simply sign up to my newsletter and I will send you the quiz together with more information about the carrier that is best for you.


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