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Best Carriers for Toddlers: Quick Carries
When you want something fast and easy and you’ll be wearing your toddler for less than an hour, we recommend a ring sling.Why?
- Ring Slings are super quick to put on – perfect for kids that want to get up and down a lot (which is pretty much most toddlers).
- Ring Slings are super snuggly and mimic your natural position of holding your toddler on your hip.
- Ring slings are compact and can be easily stowed away in the diaper bag when not needed.
These beautiful silks slings are our favorite toddler ring sling – although they are easy to use with younger babies as well!
- Silk is both strong and lightweight…and supportive enough for a toddler
- Silk molds to your body, giving you the perfect fit every time – especially important for supporting additional toddler weight.
Other great ring slings for Toddlers
- Sakura Bloom Simple Linen – two layers of supportive linen is solid colors
- Sakura Bloom Chambray ring sling- two layers of slightly lighter linen, with a distinct heathered look
- Sakura Bloom Theory – thick and strong bamboo mixed with linen, amazing hand feel
- Tula Ring Slings converted from wraps, so definitely toddler-worthy!
To carry your toddler for longer carries (over an hour or two) and hiking, our top recommendations for toddler carriers are soft structured buckle carriers. We think these are the best carriers for toddlers because:
- Simple up/down without any straps to drag on the ground
- Great ergonomic support for both baby and parent. A good buckle carrier can make your heavy toddler feel almost weightless!
- Can be worn on the front or the back. Back carries are most comfortable as your child gets bigger.
Best buckle carriers for smaller toddlers
For a smaller toddler (not yet wearing 2T pants and under 32″),choose any of our standard buckle carriers.
Tula Carriers are our most popular buckle carrier for smaller toddlers.
- best for babies age 6 months to 2.5 years
- comfortably fit wearers of different sizes, from petite to plus-sized
- bigger and taller and base than some other carriers means they won’t grow out of the carrier too fast.
Other great buckle carriers for smaller toddlers:
Boba Carrier – can be used from birth, lightweight, lower price point
Lillebaby Complete All Seasons – super versatile with lots of positions and a zip-down panel for coolness
Lillebaby Essentials – great budget choice.
Best buckle carriers for older toddlers and big kids
For a big kid at least 18 months old AND over 25 lbs and 32″, we love buckle carriers that are designed for older kids. Please note that if your child does not meet all of the size requirements, it is best NOT to size up. The Standard carriers are often perfect for kids as old as 2.5-3 years.
- Our most popular toddler carrier.
- Choose only for children longer than 32″ and wearing size 2T pants! If smaller, choose the Tula standard carrier.
- pocket on the waistband
- Perfect Fit Adjusters at the top of the carrier help get a great fit and make nursing easier.
- available in canvas and Coast (canvas with a mesh panel for coolness on baby’s back)
- body: 17″ inches wide, 17.7″ tall
The Beco Toddler carrier
- different fit from the Tula, with a taller body
- darted seat is deeper than the Tula’s to offer great support, making it ideal for big kids
- can cross straps in back if wearing on the front
- Perfect fit Adjusters help get a great fit and make nursing easier
- additional detachable pocket on the body as well as a pocket on the waistband.
- has a cool mesh version, the Beco Cool, which is great for summer
- 17″ wide at base, 19.5″ tall from top of waistband to top of curved panel
- currently available in Airflow (with mesh panel) models
- can cross straps in back if wearing on the front
- lumbar support on the waistband adds support to front carries
- waistband pocket plus additional pocket behind the back.
Other great carriers for Toddlers
Looking for something different? Try a meh dai (mei tai) or a woven wrap with toddlers.
Meh Dais (formerly known as Mei Tais)
- comfortable for wearing with older toddlers, and many people find them easy to use.
- have a very natural feel on the body and are less bulky than buckle carriers.
- great for people who don’t love buckles or bulky straps
- great for petite wearers
- less intimidating than wraps for new babywearers.
Woven wraps (like the Wrapsody Breeze)
- very comfortable and can be worn in varied ways so as to reduce your risk of fatigue, soreness or injury.
- recommended as toddler carriers for babywearers who have wrapped previously or love the idea of trying to get into wrapping.
The only carriers that we don’t recommend purchasing for a toddler or older child are stretchy wraps. The stretch does not make them as supportive due to the weight of the child. While it is possible to use the Wrapsody Stretch Hybrid for heavier children, woven wraps are a better choice if you are buying at this age.
Shop best carriers for Toddlers and Older Children
3 reasons you need a Toddler Carrier or a Child Carrier for your older child
1. Children don’t always walk as quickly as you might want, or in the direction you want! Pop her in a toddler carrier, and you can get where you need to, when you need to.
2. Children are not always cooperative, especially when you are in a hurry. Load him into a comfy child carrier and he is likely to settle down, or, at the very least, he can’t wreak any more havoc!
3. Children get sick, tired and cranky, too! They still need and want cuddling, and not always at the most convenient of times. A great carrier can be a lifesaver!