My Recommendation: As I mentioned in my personal babywearing story, I own and have used several baby carriers, but in my opinion, if money were no object and I wanted to get the fewest carriers possible, the best option for me would be to get the K’Tan for the newborn stage and the Boba 4G for babies over 4 to 6 months. I highly recommend owning both. With these two carriers, I can get by in nearly any situation.
If You Really Only Want One Carrier: If, for whatever reason, you really only want to own one carrier for the duration of your parenting experience, then I would say get a Beco Gemini which is slightly less convenient than owning the two carriers mentioned above, but is extremely versatile. (Updated to add: I recently bought a LILLEbaby All Seasons carrier (affiliate link) as a gift for my brother and sister-in-law. I have not used it personally, but after researching what was currently available (mid-2016), it looks pretty great. I still think I would prefer a wrap for the newborn stage, but if you really just wanted one carrier, I think LILLEbaby might be the way to go.)
If You’re on a Tight Budget: If $100 seems like way too much to spend, you can get by with just a Moby Wrap since it can comfortably hold kids up to 35 pounds and is very adaptable. The only limitation would be that it’s not extremely comfortable for holding bigger kids for long periods of time, but maybe that’s not in your parenting plan anyway.
If You’re on an Even Tighter Budget: Make your own Moby-like stretchy wrap. It’s just 6 yards by 2 feet of stretchy fabric like cotton jersey. Yes, there is definitely a learning curve to being able to tie a wrap, but, trust me, it’s worth it. You’ll feel much more like a regular human being and much less like an incapacitated zombie having a carrier of any form in your parenting tool kit.
Below is a list of (nearly) all the carriers I own. Click on each title for a detailed review of each.
|Carrier Name||Cost||My Rating|
|Boba 4G Baby Carrier||~$125||9|
|ERGObaby Original Baby Carrier||~$115||9|
|K'Tan Baby Carrier||~$50||9|
|Moby Wrap Baby Carrier||~$40-$50||9|
|Beco Gemini Baby Carrier||~$130||8|
|Maya Wrap Baby Sling||~$80||7|
|Woven Wrap Baby Carrier||~$70||7|
|Mei Tai Baby Carrier||~$25-$70||6|
|BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Active||~$100||5|
Read more about lessons learned Babywearing.