Best Toddler Carriers of 2023 (2023)

Best Toddler Carriers of 2023 (1)Best Toddler Carriers of 2023 (2)

Wait—don’t put the baby carrier away just yet!

Toddlers are eager to explore everywhere on their own two feet. But little legs tire out quickly. (And come to think of it, big legs do, too.) A carrier that can accommodate bigger kids can be a huge help when you’re out and about and trying to wrangle your tiny adventurer.

In this article:

  • Babylist’s Best Toddler Carrier Picks
  • What Is a Toddler Carrier?
  • Do You Need a Toddler Carrier?

What is a Toddler Carrier?

A toddler carrier is a soft-structured carrier that can tote kids beyond the baby stage. To reduce strain on your shoulders, neck and back, these carriers have padded, adjustable shoulder straps and a waist belt to evenly distribute your child’s weight. They should also offer a hip-healthy, wide-seat position that places your child’s legs in a frog-like formation.

Most carriers for toddlers also come with a hood to protect your child’s head from sun as well as a storage pocket for your on-the-go essentials. Many are suitable for use from infancy all the way through the toddler years.

Do You Need a Toddler Carrier?

Many families start with a ring sling or a wrap for newborns to keep them tight and close and support their neck. As your little one grows, though, you’ll need more support to carry them for long stretches.

When toddlers get tired or you don’t want them roaming free (think: street festival, the airport or the boutique with allll the breakables), having a place where they can safely sit to catch a rest is helpful both for them and you. A stroller can also check these boxes, but a carrier is a nice option to have on hand if you’re going to be in a crowded or small space or if you’re craving a little extra snuggle time.

If you already have own a structured baby carrier with buckles or Velcro, check the weight limit—it may work for the toddler years too. (For a good frame of reference, two-year-olds in the 50th percentile are about 28 pounds, and three-year-olds are almost 32 pounds.)

How We Chose our Best Toddler Carriers Picks

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best toddler carriers.

Most Comfortable Toddler Baby Carrier

What Our Experts Say

Ask most babywearing pros which carrier is the most comfortable for carrying older kiddos and you’ll likely hear the same answer over and over: Tula. Engineered specifically for carrying children from two to six years old, this soft cotton carrier has a deep, wide seat with extra padding around the leg openings, thick, cushioned straps, a high back and lots of adjustment options for ultimate comfort. It’s also available in a seemingly endless amount of fun colors and patterns.

What’s Worth Considering

Tula also makes an even bigger carrier, the Preschool Carrier. It’s suitable for children from 35 up to 70 pounds.

Additional Specs
Fabric: Cotton
Child limit: 25-60 lbs
Available positions: Front and back
(Video) Top 5 Best Baby Carriers Of 2023| Best Baby Carrier

Most Versatile Toddler Carrier

What Our Experts Say

The Ergobaby brand gets big love in the world of babywearing, both for comfort and the supportive, ergonomic design of their carriers. The Dream carrier features both these things and one more biggie: versatility. This all-in-one carrier features four separate carry positions and grows with your baby from birth up to about age four, so you’ll be able to use it from the newborn days (no infant insert required) through the toddler years. It’s made from incredibly soft cotton and features padded shoulder straps and solid lumbar support. This Icy Green color is exclusive to Babylist.

What’s Worth Considering

If you’re looking for a similar carrier at a lower price point, try the Ergobaby 360. You’ll still get four carry positions and the weight limit is 45 lbs, making it an excellent choice for toddlers.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Great multi-position carrier. The fabric is SO soft and the shade hood for baby is probably my favorite feature. Having three kids, I usually have a double stroller and then a carrier for outings. The best part of this carrier is that it adjusts seamlessly between my kids. I carry my 3-month-old on the front facing inward and then my 2 and 4-year-olds (28 and 34lbs), piggyback style. I primarily bring it for the baby but it’s inevitable with the older two that someone wants to be carried at some point and it’s nice I can just pop them into the same carrier.” -LCG

Additional Specs
Fabric: Brushed cotton
Child limit: 0-48 mos, 7-45 lbs
Available positions: Inward facing, outward facing, hip carry, back carry

Best Toddler Carrier with High Weight Limit

lillebaby CarryOn Airflow Carrier - Black, One Size


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(Video) 🌞☀️ The Ultimate Guide to the Top 10 Best Baby Carriers for Summer 2023! 😎👶



What Our Experts Say

The CarryOn is designed exclusively for carrying toddlers and older children and ties the Tula Toddler Carrier for the highest weight limit of all the carriers on our best-of list at 60 pounds. With features like a wide, padded belt, a taller back and a wider seat, this carrier makes toting around bigger, heavier children easier and more comfortable than many other structured carriers. It’s made from a breathable mesh so you won’t overheat and also includes a large cargo pocket, zippered hood and two zippered storage pockets. You can choose from three carry positions: front, hip and back.

What’s Worth Considering

The weight minimum for this carrier is 25 pounds, so you won’t be able to use it with a smaller, younger baby.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I have a 4-year-old who needs to be close at all times, she has complex medical needs and this keeps her safe and secure. It is easy to pack and store, easy to wash, and she loves it. We used to have the Ergo and she outgrew it, over time we had other things and they were bulky. This is beyond perfect for any family!!!!” -Kayleigh

Additional Specs
Fabric: Breathable mesh
Child limit: 25-60 lbs
Available positions: Hip, front, back

Best Toddler Carrier for Warm Climates

Babybjörn Baby Carrier Harmony - Silver


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What Our Experts Say

Carrying a toddler around can work up quite a sweat. If you live in a warm climate and hope to babywear often, or are just someone who overheats quickly, this mesh carrier from Babybjörn should be on your list. It’s made from a unique 3D mesh, the brand’s lightest and most breathable fabric. Many of the other features are designed specifically for added comfort—a must when considering a toddler carrier—like a wide seat, adjustable headrest and padded shoulder straps.

What’s Worth Considering

Mastering a baby carrier can take some practice. Lots of parents recommend watching the brand’s how-to video in lieu of using the included instructions. There’s no hip carry option with the Harmony; your three choices are front inward, front outward and back carry.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I had a similar product before that did not have such breathable fabric and I am so glad I found this carrier as it helps minimize holding in the Arizona heat when carrying my son. I love the deep grey color as well as it matches with almost anything and is not as bulky as my previous carrier. The back support is good as well but no matter what, carrying a baby is eventually going to cause some aching :)” -Hartmama2

Additional Specs
Fabric: 3D mesh
Child limit: 7-40 lbs
Available positions: Inward facing front, outward facing front, back

(Video) BEST Baby Carriers Review 2023 | Comparison of My Top Baby Carriers for Newborns and Toddlers

Best Affordable Toddler Baby Carrier

Infantino Flip 4-In-1 Convertible Carrier - Gray


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What Our Experts Say

This extremely affordable carrier is a good pick for babies and toddlers up to three years old. It fits kids and parents of all sizes thanks to the numerous points where you can adjust straps and buckles, and you can widen the adjustable seat for bigger kids to keep their legs in a hip-healthy position. It has a detachable bib to protect the carrier during the drool and teething stages (especially useful in the front carry positions). And, there’s no overheating in this carrier—it’s lightweight and breathable for both you and your little one.

What’s Worth Considering

The only way to get your child into the back-carry position is with someone’s help. The Flip has the lowest weight maximum of any carrier on our list at 32 pounds.

Additional Specs
Child limit: 8-32 lbs
Available positions: Front inward, front outward, back

Best Toddler Hip Seat Carrier

tushbaby Hip Seat Carrier - Grey/Standard Polyester


(Video) Best Baby Carrier | Top 5 Baby Carriers 2023 Review

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What Our Experts Say

A relatively new and unique addition to the babywearing scene, hip seat carriers are simple, straightforward and can be particularly useful in certain situations. Have a toddler who loves to be carried but isn’t a fan of babywearing? Need something to help a grandparent or older caregiver carry baby? Hip seat carriers help you position your toddler in a natural carry position on your hip—but with a little help. The TushBaby features a support belt that distributes your little one’s weight, lumbar support to help your back and a memory foam-lined seat where your child’s bum rests. There are also storage pockets to hold your phone, keys and wallet.

What’s Worth Considering

You won’t be able to go hands-free with a hip seat carrier; you’ll need an arm around your little one at all times. If your waist is larger than 44 inches, you’ll need to add the Waistband Extender.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I am a grandma of a 2-year-old girl; she weights 31 pounds and this item has saved my back!!! I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! I wear it on our walks because she gets tired and wants to be picked up. I wear it at the stores, restaurants, everywhere!! I can put my phone, her water bottle and my wallet in it.” -Maria S.

Additional Specs
Child limit: 8-44 lbs
Available positions: Hip

Best Toddler Carrier for Hiking

What Our Experts Say

Headed on an outdoor adventure? A hiking baby carrier will make everyone’s day a lot easier. This one ranks high on the list in every category including fit, comfort and storage space. It has an aluminum frame, a fully adjustable hip belt and shoulder straps and an adjustable torso section so it can be used by wearers of different heights. Parents rave over how it distributes weight for a comfortable carry.

(Video) The BEST baby carrier for Dads

What’s Worth Considering

This hiking baby carrier also includes a built-in daypack to hold your extra stuff and a pillow in case your travel buddy needs a nap.

Additional Specs
Child limit: Child + gear + pack 48 lbs
Available positions: Back

This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. We do not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here. Babylist may earn compensation from affiliate links in this content. Learn more about how we write Babylist content and the Babylist Health Advisory Board.


Best Toddler Carriers of 2023? ›

Most carriers allow you to carry up until around 2 years of age, but some like the Isara The One, the Tula Preschool Carrier and the Little Frog XL Carrier allow you to carry until your child is 5 or 6 years old.

Can you get a carrier for a 2 year old? ›

Most carriers allow you to carry up until around 2 years of age, but some like the Isara The One, the Tula Preschool Carrier and the Little Frog XL Carrier allow you to carry until your child is 5 or 6 years old.

Can a 3 year old go in a baby carrier? ›

Preschool carriers typically work well for children of 3-5 years of age. Even big kids need cuddles sometimes! We have a range of preschool carriers (buckles) to keep you on the move when little legs get a little tired. Preschool carriers typically work well for children of 3-5 years of age.

What age do you stop using a baby carrier? ›

18 Months to 4 Years

At this age, when children begin to walk on their own, parents often assume that it's time to put the sling away. But there are actually no developmental reasons to stop carrying. Children at this age usually love to be independent.

How old is a 35 pound baby? ›

Once the child passes 35 lbs, which is usually around two years of age, you should start thinking about a front-facing safety seat, or a harness, that will keep your child safe and comfortable.

Are toddler carriers worth it? ›

Actually, there is no reason why baby carriers should only be used a handful of times, they are simply tools to keep babies close, where they belong. If they are not comfortable, get some help! Babies need to be held and carried, often, every day.

Can you carry a 4 year old in a carrier? ›

Carrying a 4 year old can be pretty practical

Comfort: For many people it's more comfortable to use a sling or carrier which distributes weight across your body rather than carrying a heavier child in a piggyback, on your hip, or on your shoulders.

Is there a carrier for 4 year old? ›

Overall, the Osprey Poco AG is probably the best overall hiking carrier for a 4 year old. Osprey Poco AG Plus Child Carrier, Seaside Blue, (Prior... With 6 inch/15cm of torso adjustment, the poco ag...

How do you carry a heavy toddler? ›

While standing close to your child, place one foot slightly in front of the other. While keeping your back straight, bend your hips and knees to slowly lower yourself down onto one knee. Now that you're down on one knee, use both arms to securely grasp your child and hold them close to your body.

How do you transport a 2 year old and a newborn? ›

Using a single pushchair for your toddler and sling or baby carrier for a newborn can be a good option . Plus, some toddlers might not want to ride on buggy boards, so using a sling for your newborn can be an alternative.

How does a 2 year old go through TSA? ›

We have modified screening procedures for children who are 12-years-old and younger.” Parents/guardians should remove infants and children from strollers and car seats and carry them in their arms through the walk-through metal detector. Infants may be carried in a sling/carrier through the walk-through metal detector.

What is the maximum weight for a toddler carrier? ›

TL;DR Best Soft-Structure Toddler Carriers For Travel
Toddler Carrier NameProduct WeightMax Capacity (incl gear)
Beco Toddler Carrier2.25 lbs60 lbs
BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Air2.81 lbs33 lbs
Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier2.69 lbs45 lbs
LÍLLÉbaby toddler baby carrier1.75 lbs60 lbs
2 more rows
May 28, 2023

How do you carry a 3 year old? ›

The easiest way to carry a toddler is at the front of your body, with their weight resting on your chest and arms. Keep your arms around their back and under their backside. Having your child face backwards over your shoulder is a great position to soothe a toddler who is getting ready for nap time or bedtime.

Which baby carrier is the best? ›

Best baby carrier 2023
  • Best overall: Ergobaby Omni Breeze.
  • Best budget: Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Carrier.
  • Best luxe: Nuna CUDL Clik.
  • Best wrap: Moby Classic Wrap.
  • Best ring sling: Nalakai Ring Sling Baby Carrier.
  • Best for newborns: Beco Gemini.
  • Best for plus-size parents: Tula Explore.
  • Best for dads: Lalabu Dad Shirt.
Jul 13, 2023

How do I choose a baby carrier? ›

Babies need to feel secure to feel comfortable and safe. Carriers that hold the baby close to your body and up high enough for you to kiss the top of their heads are ideal (and safe!). The baby's head and back should be adequately supported as well. Soft-structured carriers do an outstanding job at this.


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