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What’s the ‘best’ toddler carrier?

best toddler carrier back carry in a Tula sling
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What’s the ‘best’ toddler carrier?

best toddler carrier back carry in a Tula sling
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If you’re looking for a toddler carrier or a sling for your older child then there are many options available. So many, in fact, you may be left asking “what is the ‘best’ sling for my toddler/preschooler?” Well, the best sling is one that is safe, supportive and comfortable for you and your toddler. That can be different for everyone!

There are plenty of reasons you might want to carry an older child. Many families carry into toddlerhood and beyond! In this blog we cover toddler sized and ever larger carriers, that is to say carriers for children in clothes size 2-3 years and above.

NOTE! When talking about ‘toddler slings’, and ‘toddler carriers’, manufacturers are referring to slings for children aged 2 and beyond, rather than slings for children who are toddling. Whilst your older baby may be walking now, and may even need a larger or more supportive carrier, they probably aren’t ready for a toddler carrier just yet.

Toddler carriers and slings for 2-4 year olds

Woven wraps for toddlers

Woven Wrap sling Toddler carrier

If you like using a woven wrap you can continue to do so! As your child gets older you might want to change what carry you use, such as moving to a multi layer carry with a longer wrap. You also might want to change your wrap if you’re not comfortable, to something thicker or with a denser weave or with a different blend – although sometimes you can’t go wrong with a great all cotton wrap!

You can find out more about wraps, hire one, or join The Wrap Club!

Ring Slings

toddler in front carry oscha ring sling

Ring Slings can be useful for toddlers who want to get up and down a lot, because they are quick to put on and adjust! With older children you might want a more supportive ring sling, alternatively, a different blend may be more supportive. You might also want your child more on your hip or even on your back!

You can find out more about ring slings, or hire one.

Meh dais and half buckle carriers

If you want something with more structure than a wrap but less structure than a buckle carrier, a meh dai could be a great option. Many companies make toddler size meh dais which suit children in this age group.

You can find out more about meh dais, or hire one.

Onbuhimo

toddler in Huggyberry onbuhimo toddler carrier

Onbuhimo are an excellent toddler carrying option. They are quick and easy carriers to use for older children, because they are able to step in and be lifted onto your back very easily. With no waistband they are also very lightweight carriers, and easy to use if you’re pregnant as well. Within this group you will find loop or ring onbuhimo with long tie straps, as well as buckle onbuhimo with buckles or adjusters on webbing. Many companies make onbuhimos specifically as toddler carriers for children in this age group. These are a commonly recommended as a best sling for a toddler option.

You can find out more about onbuhimo, or we have several to hire.

Buckle toddler carriers

Dad back carrying blond child in wrap conversion preschool carrier

Often people looking for a toddler carrier are referring specifically to a buckle carrier. There are a huge range of toddler buckle carriers out there which will generally fit from around age 2 to around age 3 or 4. What you like will depend on body shape and size as well as personal preferences and your child’s shape and size so it might take a little while to find the right option.

At the lightweight and less structured end of the spectrum there are options, such as:

Beco Toddler
  • Integra Size 2
  • Toddler Sleepy Nico
  • Toddler Wompat
  • Neko Switch toddler carrier
  • Lenny Lamb toddler carrier
  • Pouchlings toddler Size

There are many structured options available, for instance,

  • Beco Toddler
  • Toddler Tula
  • JPMBB PhysioCarrier
  • Toddler Rose and Rebellion
  • Easy Feel Extend Plus

There are also some adjustable carriers suitable from younger than this age group which will also last to at least age 3. These include examples, such as:

  • Lenny Lamb Up or Upgrade
  • Isara Toddler
  • Izmi Toddler
  • Toddler Emeibaby
  • Limas Flex
  • Mamaruga Zensling
  • Mamaruga Zebulo

You can read more about buckle carriers, hire one or find one to buy!

Toddler carrier options for 4 year olds & beyond

Woven wraps, ring slings, meh dai and onbuhimo

All of the advice above also applies for preschoolers and older children for these types of carrier. You might find that toddler size meh dai and onbuhimo are getting small. Many places don’t do preschool size options to buy off the shelf. However, there are places who will make you one to your size specification; we recommend Pouchlings and Melliapis.

Toddler carrier or preschool carrier: buckle carriers

By age 4 some children are growing out of toddler sized carriers, although you may find a larger toddler carrier still fits well. However, there are brands who make preschool size carriers that fit larger children.

If you want something less structured there are a couple of brands you could try, for example:

  • Integra Size 3
  • Preschool Wompat

For more structured carriers, on the other hand, you could consider the following options:

  • Preschool Tula
  • Toddler Neko Switch
  • Beco Toddler
  • Toddler Emeibaby
  • Preschool Rose and Rebellion
  • Lenny Lamb preschool
  • Easy Feel Extend Plus
  • Easy Feel Preschool

Some of these carriers will carry children comfortably to age 5, 6, 7 or even older!

You can read more about buckle carriers, hire one or find one to buy!

Would you like some support choosing a toddler carrier?

We have a range of carriers to suit older children available to hire, and if you’d like to talk through what options might suit why not get in touch to book a free phone consultation?

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Calming & nurturing toddlers, Carrying, Sling choice & fit, Toddlers
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