Baby carrying does not stop after your baby’s first birthday. She still would rather be near mom and dad than buckled into a stroller.
There are also times that carriers are a necessity, when you may be in a crowded area or on terrain that is not so stroller friendly.
But some baby carriers that are great for newborns become impractical when lugging around a growing child beyond one year.
Thankfully, there are some carriers that do support a growing baby while still remaining comfortable for both parent and baby.
In this article we will review the following baby carriers most suitable for one year olds through to toddler age:
- Ergobaby 360
- Babybjorn One
- Boba 4G
- Tula Ergonomic
- Onya Outback
- Infantino 4 in 1
- Ergobaby Adapt
- Hip Baby Ring Sling
What Makes A Carrier Great for a 1-2 Year Old?
You can afford to be a little less picky with a carrier for your toddler than you can be for your infant.
Ergonomics are not as much of a concern, and you do not need to worry about support for the head and neck.
But there are still some things you want to consider when purchasing a carrier for your little one.
You are going to want something that offers different carrying positions. Being an older baby, she will likely be more curious and interactive, so having the option to face out is good.
On the other hand, when it is time for a nap, facing in is a must.
From personal experience, I can also say that the ability to carry your baby on your back is a necessity, as she will soon be too tall for you to see around when carrying on the front.
Carrying a heavy baby means you need additionally cushion and support in your carrier, particularly in the shoulder and lumbar area.
You want the carrier to take on the bulk of your baby’s weight so that you can remain upright and comfortable during long wears.
3. Ease Of Use
You will not always have someone around to help, and while trying to buckle in a squirming child, you do not want more buckles — especially in hard to reach places — than necessary.
By the time your child is walking regularly, you will also be wanting something that is easy to take them out of and put back in, since she will likely want to stretch her legs often.
While some of the carriers we will see can also take your child into her second year of life, you are likely not going to be using it on a regular basis.
You do not want to end up paying more than you need to for something that will only be used occasionally.
Best Baby Carriers For One and Two Year Olds in 2021
1. Ergobaby 360
Ergobaby carriers are designed with safety and comfort in mind, for both parent and baby.
Out of the multiple baby carriers we looked at, this one is one of the best when it comes to supporting the size of a one year old.
This carrier can be used in a front carry, both facing in and facing out, and can be used on the back.
The additional cushion and support in the lumbar and shoulders takes the weight off of your shoulders and back, redistributing it to your waist where it should be.
Ergobaby keeps your little one’s safety in mind, as well, with the built-in sun shade hood and ergonomic seat.
The mesh material allows airflow in and out, keeping both you and your baby cool in warm weather. The baby hood is also protects your baby by blocking out the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Due to the positioning of the buckle on the back, it can be hard to fasten and adjust this carrier alone when using it in a front carry position.
Compared to other similar carriers, this one seems a bit on the higher price scale.
- Great for summer months
- Features all carrying positions
- Difficult to buckle alone when wearing on the front
When it comes to baby carriers, the name BABYBJORN stands above them all.
his newer design, updated in 2015, has been improved with additional padding in the shoulders and a wider, more supportive waistband.
It also comes in 24 different colors and features all carry positions, including front carry face out.
We like this carry because of how easy it is to use. It can be used from birth with the inner seat height being adjustable (supporting babies from 8-33 pounds), is easily convertible, and can even be put on by one person since there is no back clip to fasten.
This carrier is comparable to the Ergo 360, but with quick release straps on the BABYBJORN, this one is easier to get in and out of quickly.
In addition to the quick release straps, this carrier is also designed to be put on over your head due to it not having a back clip between the straps. This eliminates the hassle of needing another person to clip it for you and makes it easy to put it on alone.
This carrier is a bit on the bulky side, and shorter or more petite people may find that it does not fit them well.
You will definitely be paying for the name when buying this carrier, and depending on the color you choose, you could be shelling out a pretty penny to have this.
- Quick release straps
- Easy to use alone
- May be too big for some
3. Boba 4G
Boba is another name that is well known for their trustworthy baby carriers, particularly their versatile wraps.
This one, however, is a soft structured carrier, designed to carry babies from 7-45 pounds, with a removable infant insert and foot straps for older babies and toddlers.
This carrier is by far the best for going completely hands-free.
It features a purse strap holder, which is unique to this carrier, and a pocket that is big enough to hold cash, credit card, driver’s license, and cell phone.
No need to fuss with keeping a purse on your shoulder, as this carrier features a purse strap holder on the shoulder.
You can also travel light by using the pocket on the carrier to hold your cards, cash, and phone.
Includes a removable infant insert and foot straps for older children, and can be easily adjusted to fit the wearer and the baby.
This carrier is a bit limited by not offering a front facing position for more alert and curious babies.
With the design of this carrier, your baby may feel a bit cramped until she is tall enough to be able to put her arms over the carrier frame.
- Go completely hands free
- Easy to use from birth
- No carry out position
- A bit restrictive
The design of the Tula Ergonomic Toddler carrier is similar to the Tula Baby, but with one noticeable difference: the seat is much wider, made to accommodate longer legs.
It still features a wide padded waistband with built-in pocket, and comfortable padded straps, as well as the ability to carry on both the front and back.
The wide padded waistband offers lower back support and helps to take your child’s weight off of your shoulders, allowing you to easily carry her over longer periods of time.
This carrier is the best for carrying your child longer as it is capable of withstanding 25-60 pounds.
Given the bulkier capacity of this carrier it is again not ideal for smaller Moms.
- Nice wide seat for long legs
- Comfortable for long use
- Waistband can dig in on small Moms
The Onya Baby Outback is a great carrier for taking your child out in any weather, with its nylon and mesh material and removable hood.
It can hold up to 45 pounds, and can even be converted into a harness that attaches to any chair, giving your baby a safe place to sit, no matter where you are.
The nylon and mesh material can withstand rain and heat, and the hood protects your little one from sun and wind
This allows you to take your child out whenever you like, including on a walk or hike.
There are two pockets available for you to carry the cards and cash you need as well as a D-ring for your keys, allowing you to go hands free and minimize your load.
There is not a lot of padding in the waistband, and little to no padding in the straps. This can make it difficult to carry a heavy child for a long period of time.
- Bonus carrying pouches
- Does not give baby much room to move
- Very little structure
This is the baby carrier that I opted for (in addition to the Boba Wrap for the earlier months), simply choosing it due to its versatility and low price point.
We have included it in our list as the most affordable choice for a baby carrier that will take you through your baby’s first year.
The Infantino Flip Advanced features all carrying positions, and its seat width can be easily adjusted to fit your growing baby.
It can support up to 32 pounds, and is machine washable. We just wish it was available in more colors.
There are very few buckles and straps that need to be changed to switch the carry position, and it is easy for multiple wearers to adjust this carrier to their size quickly.
The structure of this carrier allows it to be used right away without being too deep to carry an infant.
Whether you are a stocky, muscular man, or a petite, small-framed woman, this carrier is likely to fit you just fine.
Because no infant insert is needed for this carrier, the seat is very shallow, which makes front carrying after one year difficult due to your baby’s height.
There is very little cushion to this carrier, and after a year of use, it begins to wear thin and lose its structure, digging into your shoulders and making it uncomfortable to wear over long periods with a heavy baby.
- Easily convertible
- Can be used from birth with no insert
- Fits most body types
- Front carry difficult after 1 year
- “Structure” wears out over time
This carrier differs quite a bit from the others on our list as this one features a hip seat.
The foam seat is ideal for toddlers as it gives them some structure to sit on while taking the pressure off of the parents.
The versatile design allows for the hip seat to be used on its own without the shoulder straps.
You can carry your child around the house with ease by having them propped up on the hip seat.
This carrier is also great for summer months due to the breathable mesh allowing airflow in and out of the seat area.
It can carry up to 45 pounds, and includes a removable hood and a pocket on the belt.
The price of the Bebamour is great, but that also means that the quality is not on par with others on this list.
The materials are a bit rougher and you will not get the same life out of the zippers if not handled with care.
- Includes a hip seat
- Breathable mesh
- Can be used with or without the carrier straps
- Hip seat is a bit bulky:
- Lower quality materials
This carrier by Ergobaby is ideal for taking your baby from infancy through toddlerhood, perhaps even into early childhood, with its 45-pound weight limit and padded straps and waistband.
It features an adjustable seat, which grows with your baby, and is made of durable “quickdry” polyester, making it easy to keep clean.
The seat is adjustable to take your child from infancy through toddlerhood, supporting them from knee to knee, keeping their hips in the correct, ergonomic position.
It is also very comfortable to wear with thick padded shoulder straps, and a wide waistband.
This gives you the support you need to carry your little one comfortably for long periods of time without feeling strain on your shoulders or lower back.
On smaller framed parents, this carrier can look a little oversized and feel a bit cumbersome.
- Size adjusts to grow with baby
- Offers great support
- A bit bulky
Best for children who want to walk a lot, 8-35 lbs, 100% cotton with aluminum rings, lightweight (best for mobile baby).
Finally, we wanted to include sling in our list that is able to support the weight of a toddler.
Slings are ideal for those babies who want to get down and walk a lot but who also like to be carried occasionally.
This ring sling by Hip Baby is available in 26 colors and can hold up to 35 pounds. It is made of 100% breathable cotton so you can be sure to stay cool even in those warm summer months.
Best of all, it is lightweight and easy to pack into a bag to have handy in can your toddler wants to be carried.
There is virtually no adjustment needed for this carrier. You can just throw it across your body and make some minor adjustments to the length, and you are good to go.
The cotton fabric is gentle on your baby’s and your skin, and the thick material is relatively comfortable when fanned across your shoulder.
There is no versatility with this carrier as it can only be used in a front hip carrying position.
With no structure or padding, this carrier will likely become uncomfortable if you are trying to wear it for a long period of time.
- Quick and easy to get on
- Soft and comfortable material
- Only one carry position
- Not ideal for long wearing
It is comfortable for long periods of wearing, can be worn in all carry positions, and is relatively easy to use, especially when wearing on the back.
The only downside to this carrier is the cost, but if you decide to purchase the infant insert, this carrier is a good investment to take you through your baby’s early years.