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A guide to the best carrier for each stage of childhood

Choosing the right baby carrier can make a significant difference in your parenting experience, providing comfort, convenience, and bonding opportunities. Each type of baby carrier offers unique advantages suited to different stages of your baby's & child's development and your lifestyle needs. Here's a deep dive into the pros of each carrier and our opinion on which is the best baby carrier for different stages!

Soft Wraps

Our fave for… keeping your sweet newborn/infant as close as possible & skin-to-skin cuddles.

Soft and Adjustable: Soft baby wraps are made from our tencel/cotton blend which is, breathable fabric that is perfect for your newborn's delicate skin. Our soft wraps are safety tested for up 7-35lbs, and do not sag like some other brands tend to do after a few months!

Skin-to-Skin Contact: Wraps provide a snug and secure hold, promoting skin-to-skin contact that is beneficial for bonding and comforting your baby.

Even Weight Distribution: The fabric wraps around both shoulders and your torso, distributing your baby's weight evenly and reducing pressure points, allowing for a hands free fit as well. Great for wrangling other kiddos or multitasking!

Pro Tip: Although baby wraps are not difficult to put on, they can be seemingly intimidating to tie correctly. Like anything, practice makes perfect. We recommend watching our tutorial videos and practicing with a stuffed animal or play doll to achieve an unbeatable speed for when baby is impatiently waiting to be held. You want a nice, snug fit while wearing your newborn. When tying your soft wrap, remember you just need a small pocket and want to make sure the fabric is snug enough to hold baby high + tight to your body. 

Ring Sling

Our fave for… pregnancy to toddlerhood! Our favorite carrier for nursing and easy & quick up and downs!

Easy Nursing + Bottle Feeding: The design of ring slings makes nursing on the go more convenient, providing discreet coverage and easy access. Simply lower your baby down to chest height, feed, and tighten them back up when finished. Using the tail of your sling is a great way to cover yourself if you prefer, or even use to protect your baby from the sun. It is also a great option to bottle feed your baby in a ring sling without having to move your child much at all (depending on age.) 

Quick Setup: With its simple setup and easy adjustments, the ring sling is perfect for new parents who need to carry and soothe their newborn frequently. We prefer ring slings for quick ups like a quick walk, a trip into the grocery store, picking up other kids from school, etc.

Versatility: Suitable for newborns through toddlers (8-35lbs), ring slings can be used in various carrying positions such as front, hip, and back carries.

Fabric choices: Ring slings are made from soft, breathable fabric that is gentle on your baby’s delicate skin. The adjustable rings allow for a customizable fit, ensuring your baby is securely held close in an ergonomically safe position. 

Speaking of Fabric… which one is best for you?

Hemp/organic cotton blend:

Hemp is a fantastic natural fiber known for its durability and strength. When blended with cotton, it creates a strong, breathable fabric while still soft and easy to use! We sew together two lightweight layers of our hemp blend fabric, providing excellent support and handling heavier babies comfortably.

Linen/cotton blend:

Linen/cotton blend is known for its breathability and moisture-wicking properties. Linen is super airy, which makes it ideal for warmer weather or parents and babies prone to getting sweaty, but it may not offer as much support for heavier babies as it is only one layer of fabric.

So, which one do you need? It often comes down to personal preference and your specific needs. A linen blend might be your go-to choice if you're in a hot climate or plan to use your carrier during summer. If durability and long-term use are top priorities for you, a hemp blend is your best bet! 

Two women babywearing in hope&plum baby larks

The Lark (our SSC)

Our fave for… People who want a baby carrier with dual shoulder support and that can be easily put on with the click of a buckle!

"I am so happy about this carrier! My expectations were met and beyond. Only regret is that I tried it after other carriers, I should have just gotten the lark initially."


Supportive and Versatile: Soft structured carriers provide excellent support for both parent and child, distributing weight evenly across your shoulders and hips. This reduces strain and makes it easier to carry your baby for extended periods. Our lark offers front & back carry, great, evenly distributed support for larger/older kiddos, adjustable straps & waist and a removable chest strap.

Ergonomic Design: These carriers ensure your baby's hips are in the recommended "M" position, promoting healthy hip development and providing comfort.

Easy to Use: With buckles and adjustable straps, SSCs are easy to put on and take off, making them a practical choice for busy parents.

Longest use: With a weight range of 10-45lbs with our baby lark & 25-65lbs with our kid lark, the lark is a great option for parents who want the longest use out of their carrier. 

Meh Dai

Our fave for… versatility! A carrier to take you from the infant stage, through toddlerhood and beyond!

Hybrid Design: Meh Dais combine the structure of SSCs with the custom fit of wraps (our lark design was based off the fit + comfort of the meh dai! They feature a fabric panel with straps that tie around your waist and shoulders, offering both support and flexibility.

Comfortable for Long Periods: The wide straps and ability to customize the fit make Meh Dais comfortable for long periods of babywearing.

Multiple Carry Positions: You can carry your baby on your front, back, or hip, adapting as they grow and your needs change. Our Meh Dai is safety tested for 7-45lbs.

Traditional Yet Modern: Meh Dais have roots in traditional babywearing practices but have been modernized for contemporary use, making them a unique and effective option.

Women wearing hope&plum baby carriers

Selecting the right baby carrier depends on your baby's age, your lifestyle, and personal preferences. Each type of carrier—from the soft and versatile ring sling to our Lark baby/kid carrier—offers distinct advantages that can enhance your babywearing experience. For a detailed comparison and to find the perfect carrier for yourself and your family, visit our comparison page.

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A woman babywearing a toddler in the tan Lark Baby Carrier

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