If you're into babywearing, you probably have a favorite baby carrier that you're willing to rave about to anyone. Many of you showed your loyalty to your preferred baby carrier by sending in nominations for Best Baby Carrier in the 2013 About.com Baby Products Readers' Choice Awards! I've read through all of your awesome nominations, and selected five finalists whose names came up most often, and with the most passion, during the nomination phase. Learn more about each of the finalists here, and then click the brand name link to visit the official poll page. You can enter one vote daily per email address, and the voting phase ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on March 19. Winners will be announced on March 27.
© 2010, BabyHawk. Used with permission.
This mei tai baby carrier
is a modern twist on an ancient design. You can wear your baby in the front with a tummy to tummy hold
or kangaroo position
, or in a back carry. The BabyHawk straps are padded at the shoulders for comfort, and plenty long to fit a variety of parent sizes. Even with a toddler at the maximum weight limit, which is 40 pounds, the BabyHawk straps can be arranged for comfortable babywearing. You can choose from a variety of patterns and colors, along with nifty features such as minky lining or two-tone straps, for $80 to $100.
Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber.com.
If you've ever admired the comfort and snuggliness of a wrap-style baby carrier
but were afraid you'd get tangled in yards of fabric trying to put it on, the Baby K'tan carrier might be perfect for you! This stretchy cotton carrier goes on like a t-shirt, over your head, and most of the wrapping is already done for you. The Baby K'tan can be used for babies 8 pounds to 35 pounds, and in several babywearing holds
, including tummy to tummy, hip carry
, and kangaroo. The favorite features cited in the nominations included superior poppability
, no wrapping necessary, no plastic pieces or buckles, light weight, and super soft fabric. It comes in seven colors for about $60.
©2013 Beco Baby Carrier
The Beco Gemini is a soft structured carrier
that can be used in a variety of ways. In fact, the versatility of this carrier was the number one reason for nomination. You can use the Beco Gemini as a front pack or a backpack baby carrier, and in the tummy to tummy, outward-facing, hip carry, and back carry positions. The carrier has a fold-down head support, padded shoulder and waist straps, an adjustable waist belt to accommodate lots of parent sizes, and an adjustable-width carrier base to fit babies of all sizes. This carrier comes in six patterns plus basic black, and it sells for about $130.
Cybex consulted with midwives and orthopedists to create this ergonomic structured baby carrier. The seat base adjusts out to reduce pressure on an infant's hips while facing inward, and then can be adjusted to a narrower base for an older baby who wants to face outward. The wide, padded hip belt places most of baby's weight at the parent's hips, instead of on the shoulders. The versatility and comfort of the Cybex 2.Go were the most common reasons for nomination. You can use this carrier in five different positions, including tummy to tummy, outward facing, hip carry, and back carry. The Cybex 2.Go carrier is available in three colors for about 120.
The Stokke MyCarrier was nominated most often due to its stylish looks and ergonomic comfort. This carrier can be used from birth in the tummy to tummy position, and then up to about three years old in the outward facing and back carry positions. It's adjustable for parents of all sizes, and the double-locking carabiner fasteners provide top-notch security. The seat base is designed to provide hip and thigh support for baby, too. The Stokke MyCarrier comes in three colors for about $250.