While it would always be great to have the help of your co-parent, but the fact is you are going to have to use a baby carrier on your own at times through your babywearing journey.
Putting on a baby carrier by yourself always feels like a juggling act. Especially if you have an upset, or uncooperative, baby.
Easiest Baby Carriers To Put On Yourself
We have rated each type of baby carrier design, from the simplest to use to the most complex.
There are exceptions in each category of course, with some clever designs that are very user-friendly. An example of this is the Baby K’tan that is much easier to use than a standard wrap – more on this shortly.
Structured carriers are the most user-friendly because they are quick and easy to put on and can usually be used straight out of the box with minimal adjustments.
All you need to do is adjust the padded straps and clip in some buckles and you are ready to go!
However, it can be a little tricky if you have a wiggly baby who likes to move around a lot. But that is the same no matter what the design.
If you use an infant insert then you can use most soft structured carriers from infancy all the way through to toddler years.
So you get great value for money, as well as being the easiest to put on by yourself.
Example: Boba 4G
The wide panels of the Boba 4G keep your baby securely in place when taking the carrier on and off. This allows you do do this by yourself with plenty of confidence.
Most carry positions are easy to do yourself. However, you may need some help from another person if trying to back carry.
A hip seat carrier is just another version of a structured carrier, with a bulky seat inside the waistband. So it is no harder to put on yourself than no. 1 on our list.
The hip seat itself does not make it any harder to use and only changes the shape and function of the carrier.
Some designs have the option to remove the structure of the carrier and just use the waist strap by itself. This is probably the easiest baby carrier to put on – but it is really just strapping a seat to your waist.
This allows you to quickly prop up a baby if you need some extra lumbar support and will be picking up and putting down your child regularly.
Example: Moby Hip Seat Carrier
The beauty of a hip seat carrier is that you can secure the waistband in place and sit your baby on the large seat while you secure the rest of the straps in place.
This makes it an easy task to do on your own.
The shoulder straps of the Mei Tai are similar to a structured carrier, but the waistband resembles a wrap.
This makes it very easy to put on by yourself as once the shoulders are in place, you can place your baby in the seat area, and then just tie a knot at your back at a level of tightness that is comfortable and can support your baby’s weight.
It is one of the easiest types of baby carriers to use, but for whatever reason is just not that popular.
Example: Infantino Mei Tai
As you can see from this image, the design couldn’t be simpler.
The ribbon fabric at the base of the carrier can just be looped behind you and tied off to suit.
4. Baby Wraps
Most baby wraps are just a long piece of cloth that requires you to tie it up. You have to wrap the fabric around your body and tie a secure knot to hold your baby in place.
It takes time to learn how to tie this and at first you will be wondering why this isn’t last on the list!
However, after you do it a few times it becomes quite easy. More importantly, it is a job that you can and should be doing on your own. So for the purpose of this list, the baby wrap rates highly.
If you are looking for something even easier then the Baby K’tan offers a hybrid option with pre-formed loops that make it easy to get in and out of the wrap by yourself.
Example: Boba Wrap
The process to tie off effectively is more involved but it also offers the ultimate in customization for a mom who persists!
Inward and outward-facing positions, plus hip carries are the three main positions to master.
Check out the tutorial below and you will be a pro in no time.
5. Rings Slings
There is also a learning curve to navigate when using a ring sling. At first, getting a secure tie through the ring can be a bit confusing. But gets very easy after you do it a couple of times.
While you will always be doing this solo, I always found it a chore to put on and off and never felt that my baby was as secure while doing so.
For this reason we have rated the ring sling lower than the wrap.
Example: Moby Ring Sling
As you can see, if you can get used to using the ring and fabric then there are some stunning ring slings available.
The Moby is just stunning and with a little practice, you will be able to take it on and off quickly and easily.
Hiking carriers are generally bulky and can be difficult to put on by yourself. However, it may be easier for dad to step in for this one.
Putting it on by yourself is one thing, but taking it off is actually much harder and it is always better to have some help to ensure the carrier doesn’t tip over with your child inside.
This is a result of the weight, and the uncertain terrain that you will come across when hiking. The center of gravity is also higher and built-in kickstands don’t offer much protection from falling sideways.
Example: Deuter Kid Comfort
This is a serious toddler carrier that will stand up for heavy-duty use. The handle at the top of the back panel allows you to pick up the carrier and swing it around to your back.
It is heavy and you should practice this without your baby inside first.
While most parents will help each other out you will eventually be on your own with your baby, and having a baby carrier that is user-friendly will make your day much easier!
The best baby carriers to use on your own will be lightweight, and easy to clip on and off, and will hold your baby securely in place.
Most soft structured carriers available will do this to varying degrees and will make your baby wearing experience simple and easy to do on your own.
This includes all designs with a shoulder strap; hip seat carriers, mei tais, and also the hybrid Baby K’tan wrap carrier.
There are lots of options for any parent going solo on a day out with their child.