Before you put that baby carrier away, wait! Read on for the best toddler carriers of 2022 and find a carrier that can help accommodate bigger kids too (2022 review).
Raise your hand if you know a toddler who is insistent they’re a “big kid” already and don’t need any help? While toddlers are eager to be independent, it can get exhausting quickly when their little legs wear out and you are trying to carry them.
It was a game changer when I discovered that there are some pretty incredible baby carriers for toddlers. They can be a huge help and so handy to have when you’re out and about.
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What is a toddler carrier?
Similar to traditional baby carriers, good toddler carriers are soft, structured carriers that are specifically made to accommodate kids who are older than 1. The majority of the most recommended ones on the market are soft structured carriers that have padded, adjustable shoulder straps and a waist belt. These features help to reduce the weight and strain on your neck, back and shoulders by evenly distributing your child’s weight.
Ring slings or wrap carriers are not structured to safely carry a toddler or distribute weight.
There are actually quite a few baby carriers for toddlers that are suitable for use from infancy through the toddler years! My personal favorite toddler carrier is one I discovered with my first child. I invested in a second one specifically to carry him as he got older and we were also juggling baby brother.
Similar to how a baby carrier keeps baby close, a toddler carrier keeps older children close.
Do you need a toddler carrier?
In short: yes. While toddlers are able to do so much on their own, they also can wear themselves out quickly. When you’re at home it might not be a huge deal, but when you’re out adventuring you’ll start to feel the strain quickly on your own body while you try to carry them.
Toddler carriers are also super handy for when you don’t want your child roaming free, like in an airport or at a festival. While a stroller is great, sometimes you are in places with very limited space, and that’s when a toddler carrier is especially appreciated.
Personally, I also love how a good toddler carrier gives me the opportunity to “baby wear” and snuggle with my big guys for just a little bit longer. Before I know it, I’ll blink and these days will be gone!
If you already own a baby carrier, you might be wondering if you need to purchase an entirely new one. You might not! Double check the weight limit on the particular carrier you have to see if it is built to carry larger children as well. The average two year old is around 28 pounds, and the average three year old is about 32 pounds.
There are literally hundreds of baby carriers on the market today, and choosing one can feel a bit overwhelming with how many options there are. Narrowing down the ones that are built to accommodate a bigger and heavier child can be even tougher.
Luckily, I personally navigated this hunt while searching for my own, and am here to help! I loved babywearing my children, and knew when my youngest was born that I needed to find the perfect toddler carrier so I could continue doing this.
I’ve narrowed things down to the five best baby carriers for toddlers. The high-quality toddler carriers on this list not only have a higher weight limit but fantastic reviews and are built to last.
Read on for some of the best toddler carriers on the market this year!
The Best Baby Carriers for Toddlers
Read on for some of the best carriers for toddlers. This list was curated from my own experiences when searching for my own toddler carrier, from connecting with friends who also use toddler carriers, and by combing through reviews.
Baby Tula Explore Carrier
I personally use and love the Baby Tula Explore Carrier. Tula Baby has a huge amount of colors and patterns for their carriers, which means that no matter your style there will be something you for you!
This toddler carrier also has extra padding on the shoulders and leg openings, as well as a wider base and high back to help keep bigger kids comfortable. I also like how there is a small waistband pocket for stashing things like my keys while we are out and about.
It also has a weight limit of 7 to 45 pounds, and the ability to use it front facing out, facing in or as a back carry. This makes it a great carrier to grow with your infants through bigger toddlers.
Looking for a toddler carrier that’s a little more slim and compact? The Baby Tula Discover Free to Grow also has a weight limit up to 45 pounds, and is another great option too.
- 3 positions and a weight limit up to 45 pounds
- Super comfortable fit with padded shoulder straps and an adjustable lumbar support waistband for the best fit
- Lots of colors and patterns available
- Included privacy hood offers sun protection
- No breathable mesh option
Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier
The Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier has been a parent favorite and top pick for years, and for good reason! This versatile carrier has four different carry positions: forward facing front, inward facing front, hip carry and back carry position.
It can also grow with your child from birth through 45 pounds (for many toddlers, this would be through age 4). With comfy, padded straps and a lumbar support belt, the Ergobaby 360 is also ergonomic and comfortable for parents and children alike. It also has a breathable mesh option, the Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh, if you need something with more airflow!
This Ergobaby carrier is another fantastic option for infants, older babies, through 1 and 2 year old toddlers, and can continue to be used comfortably for many children through age 4.
- 4 positions and a weight limit up to 45 pounds
- Super comfortable fit with padded shoulder straps and a lumbar support waistband
- Breathable mesh option available
- Adjustable seat
- Does not require an additional infant insert
- Acknowledged by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as a hip healthy product
- No extra storage pocket
- Some parents report the shoulder straps feel too bulky
lillebaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 Baby Carrier
If having a toddler carrier that works throughout many different temperatures and environments is important to you, consider the lillebaby Complete All Seasons 6-in-1 Baby Carrier for your toddler carrier needs.
This carrier was specifically made to keep your child comfortable no matter what the temperature might be like. It has a back panel you can keep zipped up during cold weather, or unzip to expose the mesh panels lining underneath during warmer times.
As the name suggested, this lillbebaby carrier also has SIX different carry positions! These include back carry, hip carry, front facing outward and three different front inward options for comfort and safety (fetal, infant and toddler).
- 6 positions and a weight limit up to 45 pounds
- Adjustable to be comfortable in many different types of weather
- Good choice for warm weather or hotter climates
- No extra storage
- Some more petite parents report this carrier is bit too long to fit them comfortable
Beco Gemini Toddler Carrier
The Beco Gemini was made specifically as a baby carrier for toddlers, with a weight range of 20 – 60 pounds. This makes this carrier ideal for children age 18 months or older, and can comfortable hold a 4 or 5 year old child, too.
With an ergonomic seat, padded, crossable and adjustable shoulder straps and a built-in headrest, it also has the most impressive weight capacity on this list! They put extra thought into the weight distribution, making this a great choice for older toddlers or children with special needs.
It also comes with a removable hood for sun protection and a storage pocket on the waistband to hold your smaller items while out, and allows for 3 carrying positions: back carry, hip carry and front carry facing in. Surprisingly, it does not have a forward facing position.
This toddler baby carrier is available in two versions: one that is made from 100% cotton and another option made with breathable mesh and a moisture-wicking microfiber fabric for hotter climates or temperatures.
- Biggest weight capacity, holding up to 60 pounds
- 3 carrying positions
- Crossable, padded shoulder straps and ergonomic design for extra comfort
- 2 different fabric options
- Storage pocket
- No ability to do a forward-facing carry
- Reviews say it can be too bulky for petite parents
Boba 4GS Carrier
If you are looking for a toddler carrier that’s also affordable, the Boba 4GS Carrier might be just what you have been searching for.
With a minimalist design, adjustable straps, lightweight fabric and extendable waist belt, it’s also one of the most affordable toddler carriers out there, making it a great value.
The Boba is easy to put on and adjust, and also features a storage pouch for your valuables and padded, adjustable straps. Plus, it’s available in lots of unique and adorable patterns to fit your toddlerwearing style.
The Boba 4GS offers two carrying positions, front and back, and offers outstanding value to parents looking for the best baby carrier for toddlers. With a weight limit of up to 45 pounds, this carrier can safely accommodate toddlers through age 3.
- One of the most affordable baby carriers for toddlers on the market
- Great option for plus size parents and all body types as all the straps have extra length
- Easy to put on and adjust
- Includes detachable sun hood
- Handy storage pouch for valuables
- Machine washable
- Great price
- Only offers 2 carry positions
- Material can be a tad bulky and gets too hot in warmer climates
Related Toddler Posts:
Can You Babywear A Toddler?
You can absolutely babywear a toddler, as long as you have a carrier that was built with the increased weight in mind. When it comes to choosing the right baby carrier for a toddler, you need one that has a higher weight limit (ideally over 40 pounds) so that you can get years of use out of it.
There are also a few out there that are adjustable, giving your toddler room to grow and be carried until they are 4 and 5 years old.
Can you put a 2 year old in a baby carrier?
Yes! The average weight for a 2-year-old is about 26 pounds, and there are dozens of options out there that can accommodate a 2-year-old in a baby carrier.
Many infant carriers can be used up to 30 pounds, so just check the weight limit first! When it comes to the best baby carrier for a toddler, this is super important.
Can a 3 year old go in a baby carrier?
As long as you have one that can safely hold your child’s weight, yes, a 3-year-old can go in a baby carrier. The average 3 year old weighs over 30 pounds, so you will most likely need to invest in a new carrier that is built specifically for toddlers to ensure safety and comfort for both of you.
How Do You Carry A 2 Year Old?
Toddlers are heavier than babies, so if you want to carry your 2 year old you will need to be sure your toddler carrier has at least two carrying options, allowing you to use it as both a front carrier and back carrier (think backpack carriers).
Some parents find it easier to carry a 2-year-old on their back, while others prefer on their front. It’s up to you and your child on which position is most comfortable!
What Is the Best Carrier For A Toddler?
All of the toddler carriers on this list are fantastic options, and I wouldn’t say that there is one that is necessarily the hands down best baby carrier for a toddler. Instead, I think it comes down to your lifestyle, needs and toddler.
I personally use and love the Tula, but I have friends who use and love the others on this list! Toddler carriers are an awesome way to keep your little one from roaming around public places, giving you hands-free power when they’re not feeling good but you need to get things down around the house, giving them extra support on long walks, or just a special spot for them to snuggle up to you for a bit longer.
Do you also use a toddler carrier? Which is your favorite?