A typical baby carrier has room to move and requires a certain level of strength in the infant that a newborn just does not have. For safety reasons you need a carrier that is designed for a smaller infant if you are going to use it with your newborn.
The flipside of this is you also do not want to have to purchase another carrier when they quickly outgrow your specialty newborn carrier. This can get expensive real fast!!
Did you know that some carriers can offer both? Newborn support, and room to grow!
We have sought out carriers that provide the supportive environment and warmth that a newborn needs, while also having one eye on the future so that you can continue to use the carrier for years to come.
In This Post:
In this article we will be reviewing the following newborn carriers and wraps:
- LilleBaby All Seasons COMPLETE
- Infantino Flip Advanced 4-In-1
- BabyBjorn Original
- Boba Wrap
- Baby K’Tan Original
Baby Carrier Styles Suitable for Newborns
Not all baby carriers are created equal and not all are suitable for newborns. Out of all the types of baby carriers, these are the two that have options most suitable for newborns:
The soft-structured carrier (SSC) is the quickest and easiest option. You will find straps and buckles very similar to a backpack, and can usually be worn straight out of the box.
Most designs will accommodate multiple positions that will be appropriate to babies at differing stages of their growth.
Not all will be suitable for a newborn though. We have excluded any carrier that requires an additional insert to make it infant friendly.
Wraps will give you the closest and most intimate baby wearing experience. The only downside is that you also know how to tie the wrap, and have the time to do so.
This is not for everyone… But it will get faster if you persist and it is very rewarding.
Excluded Carrier Styles
We have excluded the following styles from our list as they are unsuitable for a newborn:
- Hipseat Carriers: The bulky seat is there to help support the weight of your baby. Considering a newborn is tiny and light, the bulk is just not required.
- Slings: The excess fabric poses a great risk for suffocation. In addition to that, the lack of structure allows your baby to begin to slouch, pushing her head to her chest, and cutting off her airway. You can use them if you need to but extra caution is advised.
- Hiking Carriers: The cockpit is massive and a certain level of height and strength will be required before this is a viable option for a baby.
Best Baby Carriers for Newborns of 2021
With up to six possible positions you can simply alter how you use this carrier over the years as your baby turns into a toddler.
High quality material and a strongly built frame will ensure you get that longevity of use. And the mesh area built into the back also enables good ventilation when desired.
This may be at the higher end of the price scale, but if you only ever have to buy one baby carrier you will likely come out ahead!!
When in use be conscious of your baby’s positioning so that the mesh doesn’t rub on their skin. Any rubbing could cause irritation.
- Includes Fetal Position Hold:
- Vented Area for Warmer Months:
- Material could cause irritation
The Infantino allows for narrow and wide seat adjustment options. This enables use with a newborn with no additional insert needed.
The design is very user friendly and can be self adjusted easily. The straps tighten around the shoulders, across the back (or front is you are back-carrying), and the waist with the simple pull of a strap.
Changing between carry holds is super simple too!
The main bulk of the material is on the baby’s back (when worn facing in), which minimises any suffocation risk.
A little piece of material is included that can be attached to the carrier, when worn both facing out and in, to keep your clothes and the carrier protected from drool.
Due to the positioning of the waist band, toddlers can sit pretty high, especially when worn on the front. This can make it difficult for you to see or maneuver around a big head in front of your nose.
Ss your baby gets heavier, you will begin to notice that the straps are not as comfortable to use anymore. There is very little padding in the shoulders, and a heavy child will cause them to start digging in and become uncomfortable to wear for longer periods of time.
Read our full review of the Infantino Flip here.
- Easily Adjusted
- Minimal Material
- Bonus Drool Bib
- Difficult to Use with Toddlers in Front Carry Position
- Very Little Padding
Read our full review of the BabyBjorn Original here.
- Minimal Straps and Adjustment: the design of this carrier is very simple, with minimal straps and bands to adjust, eliminating the hassle of excess material hanging around or blocking the baby’s face.
- No Newborn Insert Needed: can be used straight out of the box with your brand new baby. Its design, which includes a high back and narrow seat, allow this carrier to be used without the need for an additional insert for newborns.
- Narrow Seat: even though the narrow seat can be okay to use with newborns who are facing in, it can still be a concern for hip dysplasia, especially when the baby is worn facing out, due to the positioning of the joints and dangling legs.
- Limited on Carry Positions: this carrier can only be used on the front, both facing in and facing out, but cannot be worn on the hip or back, which have the possibility of giving some relief with long-term wear.
- Uncomfortable with Older Babies: minimal padding and its limitation on front-wear use only, your baby will likely outgrow this carrier quickly – or, rather, you will – as she will become too heavy for comfortable wearing.
Best Baby Wraps for Newborns of 2021
1. Boba Wrap
Since there are several different ways to wear this wrap, we have included this video which shows the basic newborn hold:
- Comfortable for Long-Term Wearing: the soft material and its ability to contour and shape to both your baby’s and your body makes this wrap very comfortable for wearing over a long duration of time.
- Super Easy to Clean: with no buckles and straps to worry about, and the 95% cotton material, this wrap can easily be thrown into the washing machine and can even be machine dried, making it very easy to clean after those inevitable messes happen.
- Easy to Pack and Take:just being a long piece of fabric, this wrap can easily be packed nice and small, easily thrown into a diaper to take on the go. It even comes with its own matching drawstring bag to make it even easier.
- Requires Tying Every Time: there is nothing you can do when removing this wrap that will make it easier for you to put back on. It needs to be retied every time you use it.
- Causes Sweating in Warmer Months: the material is comfortable, but it is not very breathable which will can you and your baby to sweat a lot in the summer months.
- The Length Makes It Hard to Tie in Public: this wrap is so long since it needs to be wrapped multiple times around your body, and this makes it difficult to wrap yourself in public without the ends dragging in dirt as you tie it by your car or on a dirty floor.
Read our full review of the Baby K’tan here.
Just like with other baby wraps, this carrier can be worn several different ways, and we have included a video that demonstrates one of the best holds for a newborn:
- Does Not Need to Be Tied: unlike other traditional wraps, like the Boba mentioned earlier, this carrier does not need to be tied all over again with each use, making it quicker and simpler to use.
- Can Be Worn in Multiple Hold Positions: also like traditional baby wraps, this carrier is highly versatile when it comes to wearing positions. As demonstrated in the video above, you can simply use the prefabricated loops for a newborn hold, or you can choose from even more options when you use the included sash/storage bag.
- Need to Choose the Right Size: this wrap comes in several sizes, and choosing the right one for your body can be a pain. The sizing chart recommends choosing your size based on your pre-pregnancy size/weight, but if you are like me, you may have gained 50 pounds during pregnancy (making my pre-pregnancy size too small) and now weigh 30 pounds less than pre-pregnancy weight (making that size too big).
- Stretches Out Easily: unlike the Boba wrap, the material for this carrier stretches a bit too much, which may cause your baby to start sagging – something to be cautious of in terms of airway constriction and spinal/neck alignment.
Risks When Babywearing an Infant
Not all baby carriers are suitable for newborns. There are certain safety factors you need to consider when choosing the right carrier to use from birth.
Head and Neck Support
Newborns have little to no strength in their little bodies, especially their necks. You need a carrier that has a high back and/or head support that can protect your little one’s head from moving around too much.
Too much material can be a cause for concern as well. Because newborns have minimal neck strength, excess material that hangs near or on your baby’s face can lead to suffocation. With any carrier you decide to use, always make sure your baby’s nose and mouth are clear of any obstructions.
One of the main topics of baby carrier safety is the risk for hip dysplasia. A seat that is too narrow, not keeping your baby’s legs in an ergonomically friendly “M”-shape, can put stress on your baby’s hip joints, causing them to dislocate and/or develop improperly.
For sheer versatility and longevity of use, the LILLEBaby All Seasons is a clear standout. The quality of the fabric and flexibility with the positions will ensure that you get maximum value for money and years of use.
If you prefer wraps, the Boba Baby Wrap is the best quality you will find. A wrap requires a certain level of expertise for a sound hold, but your baby wearing experience will go to a new level of intimacy that cannot be matched.
If you have questions or comments about baby carriers for newborns, be sure to comment below. And share this article with other parents who may find it useful!