When you are expecting a new baby it can feel like money hemorrhages out of your wallet! The thought of yet another item to purchase may have you breaking out in a cold sweat… but don’t worry. In this post, I am going to run you through a list of the best affordable baby carrier options!
Just because you are not paying top dollar for a baby carrier, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a safe, dependable option within your budget.
Table of Contents
- Baby Carrier vs. Baby Sling: Picking the Right One for You and Your Baby
- Best Affordable Baby Carrier Options – Carriers
- Best Affordable Baby Carrier Options – Slings
- Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Baby Carrier or Baby Sling
Baby Carrier vs. Baby Sling: Picking the Right One for You and Your Baby
Just before you meet your bundle of joy there comes the (rather tricky) task of deciding which parenting products are going to serve you and your baby best. Picking the right baby carrier or baby sling will be one of those decisions.
First things first, what is a baby carrier and what is a Baby sling? Do the two differ in any way?
As a matter of fact, they do differ. By simple definition, a baby carrier is a cloth designed with a seat that your baby rests on. It has straps that attach to you. By doing so, the straps ensure that you support your baby while keeping him/her close to you for protection. Baby carriers can also include additional back support for you.
Calling a baby carrier “a cloth” may seem too basic because it actually looks like a backpack (or front-pack). A typical baby carrier is made of heavy-duty material like cotton canvas, cordura, nylon, or PVC fabric and has a fairly large seating space.
A sling, on the other hand, is essentially a large piece of fabric that you place sash-style over your shoulder, allowing you to hold your baby in front of you.
Knowing the difference between the two babywearing products is just the first step. Next, you need to know the benefits of each, when to use it and the best products on the market today. We have you covered on all that!
Best Affordable Baby Carrier Options – Carriers
The primary selling point for baby carriers is their generous padding and fixtures. They offer nice and comfortable seating for your baby, which makes them ideal when you’re expecting a long day out (e.g. hiking or going to a theme park).
Most babies will be able to support their own heads from the age of 4 months. So it is always worth checking each option to ensure it offers the best support for your baby’s head.
Typically, carriers come in either front or backpack style. Either way, the best affordable baby carriers are those that are equipped with adjustable straps that can extend in length as the baby grows.
Some units feature a canopy or hood to protect your baby against elements like sunlight and rain. If you and your Baby are outdoorsy people then those are the ones to consider most.
Speaking of consideration, below are three of the best cheap baby carriers to add to your shopping list:
|Model||Weight Capacity||Positions Supported|
|Infantino Flip||8-32 pounds|
|MaxKare Baby Carrier||8-33 pounds|
|Lictin Baby Carrier||7.7-33 pounds|
The best affordable Baby carrier award goes to this Infantino Flip 4-in-1 convertible carrier!
Weight capacity: 8-32 lbs
The Infantino Flip baby carrier is called a 4-in-1 because you can use it in four different ways. First, you can carry your baby in a “facing-in narrow seat” position. That means your baby will be facing you and his/her legs will not be spread widely. This position is perfect for newborns who don’t need their legs uncomfortably wide apart.
Secondly, the carrier allows for a “facing-in wide seat” position. Your baby will be facing you, and his/her legs will be wider apart. This position is for older kids whose legs and groin regions are well developed.
The third position is “facing out”. While your baby will be positioned in front of you, he/she will be facing the same direction as you.
Finally, the Baby carrier supports back carry. You will need this style when you have to carry the baby for a long time. Generally, your Baby will feel lighter when you carry them on your back.
Besides the various carrying positions that it offers, the Infantino Flip earns a spot among the best affordable baby carriers because of its excellent design and finish. In addition to having straps and a waist belt (for you), it features an adjustable baby seat (for your baby). In other words, you can customize it for a comfortable fit.
Reasons to Buy the Infantino Flip 4-In-1 Convertible Carrier
- Offers 4 different ways to carry your baby
- Fitted with an adjustable seat, straps and waist belt. It can be used for small infants and older babies as well. It’s also good for parents of all body sizes, including plus-size people.
- Sufficiently padded for your baby’s comfort
- Machine washable fabric
- Package includes a Wonder Cover bib
This MaxKare carrier is made from 100% cotton and allows excellent airflow for Baby and you!
Weight capacity: 8-33 lbs
Designed with 100% cotton, this unit from MaxKare is one of the best affordable baby carriers on account of the comfort it offers to you and the baby. For starters the cotton fabric used is skin-friendly. It’s reinforced with plenty of padding that not only offers snuggly seating to your baby but also protects your back from bruising.
The baby carrier supports three babywearing styles. You can carry your baby; face inward, outward or use the backpack style. Either way, you and your baby will be safe thanks to the fastening options that come with the carrier. They include a waistband buckle as well as a hook and loop fastener.
You may need to know that the carrier only comes in purple, which, to an extent, is a nice thing. Purple doesn’t stain easily, so keeping the carrier clean shouldn’t be an uphill climb. In fact, it’s machine-washable.
Reasons to Buy the Maxkare Baby Carrier
- Can be used for Babies who are at least 3 months old
- Made with 100% cotton that is durable, breathable, skin-friendly and machine-washable
- Fitted with a hood to protect your baby against sunlight and other weather elements
- Anti-scratch edges prevent both you and your baby from injuries and bruises
- Supports three different carrying positions, namely, front-outward, front inward and back carry
Weight capacity: 7.7-33 lbs
If you thought cheap baby carriers don’t pack impressive features then this model from Lictin will definitely change your mind. It is SGS-certified and tested to meet ASTM F2236-16a standards. In other words, the material used is soft enough and safe for a baby.
Plus it is breathable, so your Baby will get enough air during those hot summer outings.
Lictin did consider the baby carer as well during the design of this carrier. While the shoulder straps are interlayered with sponge for extra comfort to the user, its belts are widened to help distribute the weight of the carrier. That means your waist will not have to bear all the weight. And the fastening tape, together with its accompanying buckles, allows you to adjust the fit of the carrier while at the same time guaranteeing your baby’s security.
That extra safety and comfort that you and your young one get from the Lictin Baby Carrier are what earns it a spot among the cheap baby carriers to consider.
Reasons to Buy the Lictin Baby Carrier for Newborn
- A removable hood that protects your Baby against sunlight and other weather elements
- Pocket breathable window for temperature regulation. You can zip it during the cold weather or unzip it when its hot outside
- Lots of padding and sponges for extra comfort
- Has H-type safety belt for easy adjustment. The carrier can be used by people of all body sizes. Buckle locks and unlocks easily
- Has pockets for storage
Best Affordable Baby Carrier Options – Slings
A sling makes an excellent choice when you want body-to-body contact with your baby, which is always an important aspect of bonding. The best affordable baby slings feature a ring that allows you to make simple adjustments. You can move your baby up and down more easily (compared to a carrier) when you want to stand/sit or breastfeed.
Yes, the sling will help you create some privacy for breastfeeding sessions.
Overall, slings are ideal for newborns who need to be held in the arms frequently. With one of them, you can hold your baby on your hip and free up both of your hands. Their small and lightweight nature makes them easy to transport. Plus most of them are made of very soft fabric, rocking your baby to sleep will feel like a breeze.
An important point to note is that baby slings can be a bit confusing to use for first-timers. If you’re finding it hard to figure out how to use yours you may consider watching a how-to video, requesting a sales clerk for help or asking someone who has experience with baby slings to help you get a hang of it.
In the meantime here’s a review of three of the best affordable baby slings on the market today.
|Model||Weight Capacity||Length of Sling||Material||Already Tied|
|CuddleBug Baby Sling||35 pounds||177 inches||Cotton & spandex||No|
|Boba Baby Sling||35 pounds||180 inches||Cotton & spandex||No|
|Baby K’tan||35 pounds||N/A (already tied)||Cotton & spandex||Yes|
Simple, easy to use, highly rated, and totally affordable!
The proprietary blend of French terry cotton and spandex that is used to make this baby sling will make you fall in love with babywearing. It is nice and soft to the touch thanks to cotton, yet it expands gently on account of the spandex material used.
Besides offering a warm snuggly feeling, the blend allows your baby to grow in the sling. That’s one of the reasons why it’s among the highest-rated affordable baby slings.
In case you’re not sold yet then you may need to know that the CuddleBug baby sling is, in fact, a 3-in-1 product.
First, it’s a sling that doubles up as a wrap. Secondly, you can use it as a nursing cover. The 177-inch-long material is more than sufficient to cover your baby when he/she falls asleep (when you’re not at home) or create room for privacy when you need to breastfeed.
Finally, you can use the sling as a postpartum belt during the recovery phase after delivery.
Reasons to Buy the Cuddlebug Baby Sling
- More than just a baby sling, it can also be used as a nursing cover and postpartum belt
- Cotton and spandex blend makes the sling warm, soft, breathable and expandable
- Recommended for babies and Toddlers of up to 35 pounds
- Fits slim as well as plus size baby carers
- Perfect for the front as well as side carry (on the hip)
The Boba Baby sling is another easy to use, cheap option!
If you are interested in cheap Baby slings for new parents then this piece from Boba ought to be on top of your shopping list. It’s very simple to tie, which explains why it’s one of the best slings for new parents.
Actually, there’s only one way of tying your Boba Baby Wrap. No second-guessing yourself, no unnecessary “fashion” experiments with the sling and most importantly no safety risks for your baby!
Designed with 95% French terry cotton and 5% spandex, the Boba Baby Wrap is soft, comfortable and breathable. The spandex allows it to stretch and add more room for your growing baby (without sagging).
With a length of roughly 5 yards, the Boba Baby Sling is long enough to act as a nursing cover, especially during breastfeeding. Plus the stretchy material (cotton and spandex combo) provides more room when you need it.
That may be the case if you are a plus size or if the baby is closer to walking upright than crawling. Boba recommends it for toddlers who are 35 pounds or less.
Reasons to Buy the Boba Baby Wrap
- Very comfortable. Baby will likely fall asleep every time you tuck them in this sling
- Made with a strong blend of cotton and spandex to keep your baby safe
- One of the simplest baby slings to ties
- Its machine washable
Boba offers arguably the best after-sale support. You can contact them for help on how to tie and use your baby sling
Baby K’tan has released some awesome Baby carriers, but this is the most affordable!
The Baby K’tan Original Baby Wrap Carrier and Sling has cotton as the predominant material, as is the case with all the good and affordable baby slings.
But there’s a twist to this one.
While most cheap baby slings require you to do the tying yourself, the Baby K’tan comes ready-to-wear straight from the box.
If you are a new parent or are generally new to baby slings you may find them rather complicated to tie. And that’s where this model comes in. All you have to do is wear sling, tuck your baby nicely, and ensure that he/she is snug in the warm cotton fabric of the Baby K’tan. It has a double-loop design for added safety of your baby.
Since its slip-on wearable, this Baby sling is not adjustable. That would have been a major downside if the good people at K’tan didn’t offer it in varying sizes. Just make sure you choose a size that fits you and the baby comfortably. The rule of thumb is to base the decision on your pre-pregnancy size, and there’s a K’tan chart to help with that.
Reasons to Buy Baby K’tan Original Baby Sling
- Tied and ready to use out of the box
- Can be used for five different carry positions
- Supports up to 35 pounds
- Well-built with natural cotton and double-loop design. It is machine washable
- Available in various sizes starting from 0 to 24
Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Baby Carrier or Baby Sling
There are so many brands and models of affordable baby carriers and slings. You would think that’s a good thing, and it is in some respect because parents are spoilt for choice. The problem comes when you have to choose just one, without making the wrong choice.
The recommended products (above) will work fine for virtually all parents and Baby carers, but just in case you want to keep browsing here are some tips to keep in mind:
Affordable Baby Carrier Considerations
- Safety: Your baby’s safety should always come first. Whether it’s a carrier or sling, look at the design and construction. Make sure its well-build to sustain the baby’s weight. The material used should be strong (cotton is always a safe bet) and connections at the edges should be tight. Check that the openings are not too large for your baby to slip out and fall down.
- Comfort: here we’re talking about your comfort as well as that of your baby. How you tie your Baby sling will determine your baby’s level of comfort, so be sure to get that one right. If you’re buying a ready-to-wear sling then check that its size fits both you and your baby. The same goes for baby carriers. Those with lumbar support and extra padding will make you feel like you’re getting a massage.
- Climate control: breathable fabric is great for warm weather. On the other hand, heavy-padded carriers and thick slings make perfect choices for wintery weather. Some baby carrier units like the Lictin Baby Carrier allow you to zip or unzip when it’s cold or hot respectively.
- Durability: the longevity of a baby sling or carrier largely depends on the material used and the quality of tailoring work put in its production. As mentioned, cotton is always the best in terms of comfort and in durability as well. In the case of a carrier, you can consider one whose skeleton is made of lightweight metal like aluminum.
- Usability: how easy is the carrier or sling to use? Carriers are generally straightforward, but slings are not. Don’t buy a sling that you can’t tie. If you know you probably won’t be able to tie the sling by yourself you can consider buying one that’s already tied, like the Baby K’tan Original Baby Sling.
- Maintenance: Babies are messy, and that’s okay. But it doesn’t justify using a dirty or stained baby carrier or sling. For easy cleaning, make sure that the one you choose is machine washable, or at least easy to cleanse. Check its labels for instructions on the same.
Those are the ultimate best affordable baby carriers and affordable baby slings. Each one of them will make your parenting job a lot easier and fun while putting your baby safely under your protection. And if you have the budget it won’t hurt to have more than one; perhaps one carrier and one sling.
From a general point of view, some activities like breastfeeding and completing house chores feel easier and convenient when you have a sling because you can rest the baby on your laps or hip.
On the other hand, doing outdoor activities like hiking or trips to the store will feel like a breeze if you have a baby carrier. That is to say, if you can get at least one of each then, by all means, do so.