Types of Carriers

First Published: Aug 21, 2015 7:41 PM


Today I’m going to talk about types of carriers a little bit. I’m going to go more in depth in to the pros and cons of each type of carrier in coming weeks but I want to touch a little on each and share some pictures of each.

Simple Piece of Cloth

Among these are stretchy wraps, gauze wraps, hybrid wraps, and woven wraps. Each are a simple piece of cloth made out of natural fibers (including cotton, linen, sometimes wool) or in the case of stretchy wraps and hybrid cotton blended with Lycra to give it the stretch characteristic of the type of wrap. Woven wraps are the most versatile and the only carrier that will fit baby properly from birth to as long as you want to wear. They do have a bit of a learning curve but are wonderfully comfortable once you get some hands on help and know how it’s supposed to feel.

  • Stretchy Wrap: Best for newborns, doesn’t really support spread squat positioning well past about 10-15 lbs, may be a little warm in the summer because they are thicker, made of cotton/Lycra blended. Can DIY with a good quality of fabric.

Organic Sleepy Wrap (now Boba Wrap).

  • Gauze Wraps: Great up to about 20-25 lbs, nice and breezy for summer. Made of lightweight cottons. Can DIY with the right materials.

Wrapsody Gypsy Mama Bali Breeze, double hammock carry

  • Hybrid Wraps: Because of 1 way stretch they are ok for back carries if you have some solid experience and a foundation in wrapping, more supportive for a newborn, not as comfortable once your baby is about 20-25 lbs because you need to frequently adjust it.

Wrapsody Gypsy Mama Hybrid Wrap, double hammock carry

  • Woven Wraps: A bit more expensive at first but you can typically find a good used one for around $100 or less, a bit of a learning curve, most supportive wrap carrier, excellent from birth to as long as you want to wear, infinant ways to carry on front, hip, or back, one layer of fabric in carries is just fine so many different lengths available, can be great in summer depending on fabric, many different blends available, available at all types of price points, many brands, many options for colors, many options for patterns or stripes or plain.

Natibaby 4.6 wrap, 100% cotton, double hammock carry.

  • Kanga Carrier (not pictured): Traditional African carrier using a thin blanket looking piece of fabric. Baby is worn on the back in the small of mother’s back.


Ring slings and pouch slings are the two types of slings. Ring slings are very adjustable and can be great from birth through short bursts in toddlerhood depending on the material. Ring slings are available in cottons or can be converted from a woven wrap for extra durability and support. Pouch slings can come in adjustable sizes but are not supportive enough of a newborn’s spine so they are better suited for babies that can sit on their own for short periods of time. They are great for toddlers who want to be up and down a lot.

  • Ring Sling: Very adjustable, great for newborns and can be great for short bursts with a toddler, many options for fabrics, can DIY, be sure that the rings are from Sling Rings (not craft rings or any with any type of weld).

Wrap convert ring sling (left), cotton ring sling (right)

  • Pouch Sling: Can be adjustable, usually not. Better for toddlers, not supportive enough for newborns.

*When you learn better, you do better* Kangaroo in a pouch sling as a newborn in the cradle carry. He’s upright so his airway is not compromised but I do not recommend this position or this carrier for a tiny baby knowing more about baby’s anatomy and development. My boys always hated this so it never lasted for more than a few minutes-babies are smart and know what they need.

Asian Inspired Carriers

  • Mei Tais (pronounced may tie): Features 4 straps, shoulder and waist. Very adjustable and great for differing parent body types. Can be converted from a woven wrap for extra comfort. Possibly the lowest learning curve next to a soft structure carrier. Can DIY with the right pattern and materials.
Thank you Katie Waugh for the awesome daddy wearing picture!

Thank you Katie Waugh for the awesome daddy wearing picture!

  • Soft Structure Carriers: Many brand options. Features buckling waist and structured arms that adjust or adjust and unbuckle. Most are front and back only but hip carries may be an option if the shoulder straps unbuckle. There’s also a chest clip which helps keep the shoulder straps together. Brands differ slightly in the body shape, length of padding in the shoulders, materials used (some feature a mesh panel against baby’s back), amount of padding in shoulders, etc. May have to try several brands to find what works well for your body type. Quick to get on and off. Probably the lowest learning curve. Possibly can DIY with the right materials but much more difficult to get the right buckles.

Thank you Sarah Smith for the picture with your sweet baby in a Boba carrier.

  • Other Asian Inspired Carriers (not pictured): Onbuhimu, and Podagei (often abbreviated to Pod). Onbuhimu features rings instead of a waist strap which may be very comfortable for a pregnant mom’s growing belly but puts all of baby’s weight on your shoulders. Podagei features long top straps and a blanket-like panel. The long straps are used to cross under baby’s bottom. All of baby’s weight is on your shoulders. Can possibly DIY with the right materials and patterns.

*For full disclosure I am a Boba Ambassador. I became a Boba Ambassador because I love their products. They send me free products to review from time to time but I do not receive any other compensation from them. I like to offer my honest opinion and free products do not influence my views*

What is your favorite type of carrier?

3 thoughts on “Types of Carriers

  1. Pingback: Types of Carriers: Asian Inspired Carriers (Soft Structure Carriers, Mei Tais, Pods, Onbu, etc) | Nurturing Bonds

  2. Pingback: Types of Carriers: Slings | Nurturing Bonds

  3. Pingback: Types of Carriers: Simple Pieces of Cloth (Wraps) | Nurturing Bonds

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