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Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers in 2024




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

If you're expecting or already navigating the adventurous world of parenting, adding a soft-structured baby carrier to your registry is a must-have. Not only do baby carriers strengthen the bond between you and your baby, but they also miraculously free up your hands, so you can perfect the art of mom-multitasking. From grocery shopping to walks in the park, and even airport travel, a reliable carrier ensures your baby stays close and cozy while you stay productive. Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, understanding the benefits and features of the best baby carrier models on the market can guide you in choosing the right one for you and your baby.

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

Key features to look for in a soft structured baby carrier

Below are some essential features to consider in your soft structured carrier, ensuring optimal comfort, security, and the best fit for both you and your baby.

Comfort and support

As a parent, you'll wear your baby carrier for extended periods of time, so comfort and support are crucial. Look for carriers with padded shoulder straps, lumbar support, and adjustable waistbands to distribute the weight of the baby evenly and prevent discomfort. Many carriers are approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute because they’re structured to support healthy hip development.

Adjustable fit

Babies grow quickly, and a carrier that can adjust to their size is a smart investment. Look for carriers with adjustable straps and buckles to fit newborns through toddlers.

You’ll also want a carrier that can adjust to your changing body, or one that can fit multiple wearers with different body shapes and body types. 

Breathable materials

Babies can get warm quickly, so look for carriers made with breathable materials such as cotton, linen, or mesh. This will keep both you and your baby cool and comfortable. If you’re an active family and enjoy taking long walks or hiking, a baby carrier made from mesh is probably your best bet.

Multiple carrying positions

The best soft-structured carriers allow for multiple carrying positions, including front-facing, inward-facing, front outward-facing, hip carry, and back carry. This versatility allows for ease of use as your baby grows.

Safety features

Safety should always be a top priority when choosing a baby carrier. Look for carriers with secure buckles, strong stitching, and appropriate weight limits to ensure the safety of your child.

Easy to clean

Let's face it, babies are messy! From drooling, snot, and spit up, you'll want a baby carrier that's easy to clean. Some carriers are even machine washable or come with removable liners for added convenience.

Top soft structured baby carriers of 2024:


Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

I'm obsessed with my Artipooppe. The Artipoppe has criss-cross back straps that buckle at the waist, so I’m conveniently able to slip the carrier solo (surprisingly, I cannot say that about the previous carriers I had). It’s super comfortable and I love all the different print and fabric options. It's suitable for newborns up to 45 lbs, so I can comfortably use it as my babies grow into toddlers. All of these features totally justified the cost.

Ergobaby Omni 360

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

This carrier is designed for newborns through the toddler years, and supports all carrying positions. It is crafted from two different breathable materials, with options in either mesh or cotton fabric. All Omni baby carriers are machine washable for convenience, easily adjustable for comfort, and thoughtfully designed to enable breastfeeding while in use (how cool is that?!).

WildBird Aerial

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

This carrier boasts a minimalist aesthetic, and is crafted from 100% natural linen with European linen fibers. It's designed to comfortably carry babies from newborn to 45lbs, offering options for both front carry (facing inwards) and back carry. It has sturdy clips to keep the straps securely in place, as well as padded shoulder and waist straps to provide essential back support. 

Happy Baby Original

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

This minimalist baby carrier can be used in multiple carrying positions, and it’s designed for size inclusivity from XXS to 5XL. You can also purchase 18” extender belts too. It's 30-50% lighter than the majority of soft-structured options, and it's a comfortable choice for moms with cesarean incisions. What I particularly appreciate is that it's made from linen, a material that becomes softer with each use. You can use this carrier for babies 7-45 lbs.

BabyBjorn Mini Carrier

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

This carrier is the best one for newborns. It's easy to use, has adjustable head support, and you can carry your newborn baby in three positions. I love that it's super soft and designed to keep babies close and cozy. Plus, it can be cleaned in the washing machine, which is super helpful during the spit-up phase. This carrier can be used for babies up to 24 lbs.

Lillebaby Complete All Seasons

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

This ergonomically-designed baby carrier can accommodate six carrying positions. It has a padded waist belt and shoulder straps to provide support for parents, and two-way adjustable straps for convenience. My favorite bonus feature is the zippered pockets to house essentials like keys, wallet, and your phone. You can use this carrier for babies 7-45 lbs.

Tula Free-to-Grow

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

This 100% cotton carrier has multiple adjustment features to make you and your baby comfortable. The ergonomic positions encourage healthy hip and spine development for babies. It can be used newborn days to 45 lbs, and can be used for both front and back carry positions. I love all the different playful print options to choose from.

Momcozy Baby Carrier

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

Featuring a built-in EVA waist support, this baby carrier provides lumbar support and reduces the strain on your back too. The thickly padded shoulder and waist straps can be easily adjusted and the criss-cross design on the back strap offers comprehensive shoulder, lumbar, and abdominal support. It's suitable for babies weighing 7-44 lbs, and made from cotton.

Nest Blanche

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

Crafted from plush velvet fabric, this versatile 4-in-1 carrier is perfect for children weighing 7-35 lbs. It offers multiple carrying positions, including facing in, facing out, and back-carry, ensuring flexibility for various situations. Engineered to promote healthy hip and spinal development, it maintains babies in the recommended “M” position. Plus, the criss-cross back design helps evenly distribute weight and enhances overall comfort for both parent and baby.

Stokke Limas Flexi Gold

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

This option offers various ways to carry your baby (forward facing, back-carry, and hip-carry positions), and accommodates babies weighing 7-33 lbs. It's ergonomically designed for optimal support and comfort, and features an adjustable base and back panel for additional comfort as your baby grows. The spreadable shoulder straps help to evenly distribute your baby’s weight. It's made from 100% organic cotton for comfort and breathability.

Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers

The best soft structured baby carrier for you

Most Stylish: Artipoppe, WildBird Aerial

Most Comfortable Carrier: Artipoppe, Ergobaby Omni 360, WildBird Aerial

Most Compact: Happy Baby Original

Best for Newborns: Artipoppe, Ergobaby Omni 360, Happy Baby Original, BabyBjorn Mini Carrier, Lillebaby Complete All Seasons, Tula Free-to-Grow, Momcozy Baby Carrier, Nest Blanche, Stokke Limas Flexi Gold, WildBird Aerial

The best carrier for toddlers: Artipoppe, Ergobaby Omni 360, Happy Baby Original, Lillebaby Complete All Seasons, Tula Free-to-Grow, Momcozy Baby Carrier, WildBird Aerial

The best carrier for hiking: Ergobaby Omni 360, Lillebaby Complete All Seasons

The best carrier for the airport: Artipoppe, Ergobaby Omni 360, WildBird Aerial

Helpful guidelines for using soft structured baby carriers

Below are some helpful guideline when using a soft-structured baby carrier:

Ergonomic positioning and comfort

When using soft structured baby carriers, proper ergonomic positioning is crucial for both the baby's comfort and development. Ensure that the baby is seated in the “M” position, with knees slightly higher than their bottoms, with their back adequately supported. This position promotes healthy hip development and prevents discomfort.

Strap adjustment and buckling techniques

Strap adjustments and secure buckling are fundamental for a comfortable fit and to evenly distribute the baby's weight. Start by adjusting the waist belt, ensuring it’s tightly secured around your hips or waist before placing your baby in the carrier. Shoulder straps should then be adjusted to bring your baby close enough to kiss, with neither you nor the baby feeling strained.

Safety considerations 

Always adhere to the manufacturer's age and weight guidelines for using any baby carrier. Newborns and smaller babies may require additional infant inserts or adjustments for safe positioning. Regularly check the carrier for any signs of wear or damage, and ensure all safety buckles are fastened correctly before use.

Toddler carrying options

As your baby grows, transitioning to toddler carrying options can offer continued bonding and convenience. Many carriers accommodate toddlers up to a specific weight limit and offer various carrying positions, including back carry. Adjusting the carrier's panel width and height ensures continued ergonomic positioning and comfort for your growing child.

Other baby carrier options

Although structured carriers may be the most popular choice, there are alternative options such as baby wraps, ring slings, and hard-structured carriers.

  1. Soft-structured carriers are characterized by their padded shoulder straps and waistbands, offering a snug and supportive fit for both the caregiver and the baby. They're versatile, adjustable, and typically include buckles for ease of use and security.
  2. Wraps are long pieces of fabric that are wrapped around the caregiver's body in various configurations. They offer a very personalized fit, allowing for numerous carrying positions. Wraps are appreciated for their simplicity and the close comfort they provide, though they may have a steeper learning curve in learning how to use them. Personally, I found them super frustrating because even after watching multiple videos, I couldn’t get it 100% right. Plus, it never felt secure enough, and I always felt like my baby was falling out.
  3. Slings are similar to wraps but are usually shorter and often loop through a ring for adjustments. They are worn over one shoulder and are easy to use for hip carrying. Slings are ideal for quick ups and downs and support breastfeeding discreetly. However, they might not distribute weight as evenly as other options, which is a consideration for longer wearing periods.
  4. Hard-structured carriers are built with a solid frame, typically designed for outdoor activities and hiking. These carriers are suitable for older babies and toddlers who can sit upright unassisted. They offer sturdy support over long distances and have storage options for carrying essentials. However, they can be bulky and not the best option for daily use compared to other carriers. 

I hope this list helped you find the perfect diaper backpack for your next trip–don’t forget to add one of these to your baby registry checklist. Any of these will serve you well and make traveling with children much easier. For more on traveling with kids, check out the travel section of my blog, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram. I can’t wait to hear about the adventures you’re taking with your family!

Featured Image by Liudmila Chernetska from Getty Images


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