My Favorite Baby Carriers for Baby Wearing
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It’s almost March, which means one thing – it’s almost spring! Up here in Minnesota, spring is maybe the greatest breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a girl who loves a white Christmas and a beautiful snow fall, but when the weather starts getting sunny and 40 degrees? Oh yeah. We’re ready for it. It means we’re putting our parkas away, going outside without jackets, and basically soaking up the weather like it’s summer.
Spring also brings a chance to finally stop bundling your little one so tightly and being able to let them enjoy the outdoors. One of our favorite things to do as a family is take walks. We have a red lab, Ruby, who cannot get enough of the walks too. While we love having the opportunity to walk around our neighborhood, our favorite outings are family hikes where we can let Ruby off her leash and hike with O on our back.
Now, strollers are great for walks, and we absolutely love our travel system stroller; but can you imagine how bad that would be for hiking? I don’t think I’d ever. Go. Again.
So for our big adventures, we love the Kelty Pathfinder! The backpack is lightweight and comfortable for the wearer and your little one is tucked in so nicely and securely you don’t even have to worry. My husband even raves about it, he loves it so much. Why? Because it’s SO COMFORTABLE. And it’s fun to have your baby on your back.
Okay, so let’s get into the details…
Check out this beauty!^
In the Kelty, your baby is buckled in to a five point harness. They’re able to comfortably look around, but are not about to go anywhere. You can rest assured, while you’re busy hiking, your little one is secure!
If you stop to take a break, the Kelty Jouney also has a kickstand that comes out so you’re not setting your little one on the ground! The kickstand is stable enough to help prevent the carrier from tipping over.
In addition, the Kelty journey also includes no pinch hinges, so you’re not worried about your baby getting hurt.
Your little one isn’t the only one who will be comfortable in the Kelty. It is by far the most comfortable carrier I have ever worn, which is exactly what you want for longer walks or hikes. There’s an adjustable strap that fits comfortably around your waist and sternum, while also providing a padded back panel and shoulder straps. The frame is also made from lightweight aluminum. All of this helps distribute the weight of your little one and make your hike a little easier!
I love this added feature. As a nurse, I know how important skin health is, especially for little ones. The Kelty Journey comes with a sun shade to help protect your little one from the elements while outside.
The Kelty is also easy to store under your seat and has great carry/lift handles that make taking it with a breeze. You can also store any extras like diapers/wipes, toys, or snacks in the large front storage pocket. There’s even toy loops to keep your baby occupied during the hike!
My other favorite part of the Kelty Pathfinder is its durability. We’ve used it many times already and it traveled with us to Colorado on an airplane and a few Uber rides. You can undoubtedly use this Kelty over and over again for children to come, or give it to a friend to use for their kids.
What Could Be Improved
The price point is a little high, typically running around $299.
Our Favorite Alternative
Now, if you’re not looking for sometime quite as complex as the Kelty. We do have another baby carrier. This one is for all my frugal friends out there! We absolutely love our Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier. The best part? The price is extremely reasonable! This is probably one of the least expensive baby carriers of this type on the market. Here’s what we love about it.
The 4-in-1 ability of this carrier is great. We’ve utilized all 4 as our baby has grown and developed.
- Your little one can be tucked in close in the front facing you with the head support up or down. They count these as 2 different ways to carry the baby – which honestly seems a little silly to me, but it was nice to have the option. We loved this way of holding O close when he was little very little. Your little one will be snuggled up close, but still be able to peek out the sides to see what’s going on in the world around them!
- Your baby can be placed up front facing out. As O got bigger, there was nothing he loved more than being able to see everything! Placing him in the front was great. We could cook, clean, or shop, and there was O – happy as can be being able to see the world from a new perspective.
- Your baby can get a piggy back ride! Now that O has gotten even bigger, we use this method most frequently. Your little one is facing you while riding on your back. This is the best way to clean your house while keeping your baby close! They get to see all the action, all while staying close to you. It’s also a great workout to clean with your baby on your back.
This carrier is typically about $29.99.
This little carrier can be thrown into any bag. It is extremely lightweight and made from fabric. Therefore, you can fold it up quickly and throw in into a diaper bag or suitcase without taking up hardly any extra room.
What Could Be Improved
Comfort. As long as your baby doesn’t weigh too much, this carrier is totally comfortable. However, as your little one grows you’ll notice that while the waist and sternum strap are helpful, they’re not cushioned enough to give you complete relief from carrying an extra 15 pounds on your front or back.
So Which One Should You Choose?
This all depends on the activities you plan to do with your little one!
If you are not a hiker or don’t plan to go on long walks with your baby (where you wouldn’t use a stroller), I don’t recommend spending the money on a Kelty. It’s not necessary for the activities you’re likely to do. A standard baby carrier, like the Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier, will work perfectly for you as an around the house baby carrier.
On the other hand, if you’re a family that loves long walks or hikes, the Kelty Pathfinder is a must have. The price point is a little high, but for the great quality, comfort, and safety, you’ll find it’s well worth it. If you fall into this category and have it in your budget to get types of carriers, I highly recommend it. A Kelty is NOT a practical carrier around your home.
As a nurse, I always think of the ABCs, even with my little one!
Airway, breathing, circulation.
Make sure that no matter what baby carrier you get, your little one can breathe. I worry a lot less now that O is bigger, but early on I always made sure he had an open airway. To do this, just check to be sure that nothing is covering up your little one’s nose or mouth. While this may sound like common sense, it can be easy for fabric to accidentally cover a baby, especially a newborn that spends so much time sleeping and snuggled in close.
Now go enjoy that nice weather that’s coming! Get outside, get active, and enjoy making memories with your sweet little ones.