There are many fantastic toddler carriers, so how do you know which one to choose? Well, as we explained in Do I Need A Toddler Carrier? the most important thing is that your carrier fits both you and your toddler. This is what makes it safe and comfortable to use. Aside from fit, you can choose between different fabrics and designs, as well as different sling styles suitable for different situations.
Here’s our low down on our most popular toddler carrier options – and why we love them.
The Best Toddler Carriers
These carriers are specifically designed for toddlers and preschoolers.
This popular toddler carrier is a classic; a simple to use rucksack-style carrier for front and back carries from around 2 years, it does what it says on the tin and does it really well. It offers a sensible level of padding to the shoulder and waistbands and it fits a wide range of adults. It’ll comfortably still accommodate most 4 or 5-year-olds. We love how simple the Tula Toddler is and the huge range of gorgeous prints it comes in. Prices from £129.
The larger version of the clever and lightweight Izmi carrier; suitable for front, hip and back carries. We love that this toddler carrier is width adjustable to fit from 9 months to 3-4 years, and that it’s amazing value at just £80. It’s soft and compact; the squishy waistband is super comfy and the unpadded shoulder straps can be spread wide for excellent weight distribution. A great option if you like the feel of wraps but need a quicker, easier option for your toddler, and the best Toddler-specific carrier for more petite parents and slimmer toddlers.
Just like the standard Connecta and Integras – which are almost identical carriers, just different brand names – these features a super lightweight, simple design with an unstructured waistband. Suitable from about 18 months these carriers are easy to use for front, hip and back carries and come in a huge range of gorgeous fabrics. There’s also a Preschool / Size 3 version for use from 3-4yrs+. From £85.
The tallest and most padded toddler carrier of these four, the Beco toddler offers more structured padding to the waist and shoulders, with adjustable shoulder straps that adapt well to front and back carrying. Suitable from around 2years to at least 5 years (honestly!) and for front, back and hip carrying. From £110.
Best Newborn-To-Toddler Carriers
These adjustable baby to toddler carriers really do hold up to carrying much bigger babies and toddlers for many years – great options if you want your carrier to last, or if you’re needing to carry children of different ages.
The latest and most adjustable version of the classic Manduca Carrier. Manducas are real workhorses and the XT is neatly adjustable in height and width to fit from around 1 month to 4 years of age. Suitable for front, hip and back carries, and adjustable to fit almost all parents, the Manduca XT is our top choice for carrying smaller toddlers and a great fit for petite parents. We just love it. Priced £149.
This carrier is really amazingly adjustable to fit from newborn to 5years+. It features adjustable height, width plus extension panels to take you through all your years of carrying! The Isara is perfect if you love woven wrap fabrics and comes in a range of gorgeous, super-soft woven fabric designs. Fits all wearers, and especially good for petite wearers who find other carriers don’t cinch down small enough. From £134.95.
If you’re not looking for a buckled carrier, then there are still loads of softer tie-on options for carrying your toddler.
This clever ‘half-buckle’ carrier fastens with a buckled waist and then the soft body panel is secured using ties rather than buckles. This gives you greater adjustability to fit a wider range of adults. The tied straps are easier to use than you’d think, plus you don’t need to do as much adjusting when sharing your carrier between two parents. It comes in a stunning range of colours and designs, with prices from £115.
A super adjustable Meh Dai style carrier, the Neobulle Evolubulle (£119.95) is squishy soft and adjusts in width and height to fit small babies, all the way up to big kids age 4yrs+! A great option is you’d prefer a soft snuggly carrier that’ll really last. As with a half buckle carrier, meh dais are surprisingly easy, particularly when learning back carrying.
The most versatile, adjustable carrier option there is – a woven wrap is suitable from day one and with a huge range of tying styles there’s always an option to suit every adult too. Saying that, there is a steeper learning curve with a woven wrap and so they’re not for everyone.
Up and Down Hip Carries
When your toddler is mostly walking, but sometimes just wants ‘up’, you don’t always need a full-on multiposition carrier or wrap. Ring slings and hip seats are perfect for quick ups and downs in situations where you’d otherwise be hoiking your toddler onto your hip.
With a wide range of gorgeous fabrics, rings slings (from brands like Little Frog) are a wonderful option for snuggly hands free toddler carrying. Suitable from newborn up to preschool these are also light and compact enough to easily fit in your bag ‘just in case’. Prices from £35.
Whilst the Hippychick isn’t a handsfree option (you’ll need to support your toddler with your hand or arm to stop them falling off), it’s really very handy if you need an aid for carrying your toddler for quick trips like the school run. We love how super simple this is to use- and great value at £39.95.