Babywearing is an age-old tradition that keeps your hands free to get things done while your baby stays safe, comforted, and close. In this section of our 2021 gear guide, we’re covering the best organic baby carriers.
Babywearing is one of the foundations of Attachment Parenting. When baby is physically near you, you’re better able to read their cues, which enhances the bonding experience. Babywearing offers your child the security they crave, and it allows for simple on-demand breastfeeding (another tenet of Attachment Parenting).
If you’re new to babywearing, you can find everything you need to know about using a carrier (including how to choose the best one for your lifestyle) here:
THE BEST ORGANIC BABY CARRIERS
We recommend using an organic baby carrier because our babies spent a lot of time in them! It gives you peace of mind to not worry about them touching and breathing near a fabric with pesticides or potentially harmful dyes. Buying organic and choosing eco-friendly baby products are votes for a healthier planet since you’re not spending your money toward more pesticide-laden crops.
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Here are our favorite organic baby carriers and accessories:
This semi-structured carrier from Didymos takes the guesswork out of wearing your baby. It’s a hybrid of a comfy wrap sling and versatile buckle carrier. It attaches to the torso with one buckle on the waist belt and ties over the shoulders.
The back panel adjusts to baby’s size from newborn to toddler up to 45 pounds. The DidyKlick allows for three carrying options: on the back, on front and on the hip.
And you’ll never have to worry about baby being exposed to pesticides or chemicals. Didymos uses locally manufactured 100% GOTS-certified organic fabric.
The CUDL carrier from Nuna is made from GOTS™ certified organic jersey. It features mesh fabric, padded shoulder straps and waist belt, and magnetic buckles make it super easy to use.
The CUDL keeps baby facing in and snuggled up starting with an integrated infant booster for newborns, which then easily unzips as your child grows. As baby wants to explore the world, they can face out or switch to backpack mode for growing toddlers.
The Baby K’Tan carrier is another foolproof way to wear your baby. It gives the look of a wrap-style baby carrier without all the wrapping.
The double-loop design slips over your head and the two stretchy panels go over each shoulder to evenly distribute baby’s weight.
Made from 100% GOTS certified cotton, this wrap accommodates newborns and preemies to toddlers up to 35 pounds. It also offers five different wearing positions for the various ages and stages, and you can easily switch between carrying positions without having to remove the wrap.
Some soft-structured organic baby carriers require an insert for infants, but Beco’s Gemini is ready to hold your infant from birth.
The shoulder straps let you wear this carrier like a backpack or crisscrossed. The Gemini’s wide supportive waist belt helps transfer most of baby’s weight to your hips and legs. It’s machine washable, allows for 5 positions, and the adjustable seat grows with your child (up to 35 pounds).
Oscha Slings’ highly breathable fabric is great for babywearing in warmer weather as hemp’s naturally moisture-wicking properties will help keep you and baby cool.
The Oscha Bairn carrier can hold babies from 7 to 45 pounds. Oscha Slings only uses responsibly sourced and organic yarns. They’re also a zero-waste company that manufactures in a renewable energy powered facility.
Woven wraps are gorgeous, and they don’t have to be intimidating. By getting a few of the basics of wrapping down, you’ll be able to master a beautiful back carry in no time.
Didymos’ woven lightweight cross twill fabric (shown here in the Cleo style) is 100% organic cotton. It’s also super soft and cushy for a comfortable carry for you and baby.
Protect your baby carrier straps – or limit baby’s mouth being exposed to non-organic carrier fabric – with ErgoBaby’s organic drool pads.
They attach to your carrier’s straps and easily remove for washing. They’re also double layered for extra absorbency.
WILL I REALLY NEED A BABY CARRIER?
The most important question to ask before making any new purchase – especially when it comes to short-term use items – is, “Do I actually need this?”
If you buy every swing, musical bouncy seat, and other battery-powered item that shows up in your social media feed at 2 am, you’ll end up spending too much money on a house full of off-gassing plastic landfill fodder.
That’s why we try to keep our eco baby gear recommendations as minimalist and super useful as possible. In the case of babywearing, pretty much everyone on our team agrees that yes, you should invest in (or borrow) at least one type of baby carrier.
The benefits of babywearing for both you and your baby are plenty. And just in case a well-meaning relative says all that holding will lead to spoiling, chairman of psychiatry and psychology at the Mayo Clinic Dr. David Mrazek says, “During the first six months, it’s really impossible to spoil a child. Meeting an infant’s need to be comforted, held and fed in a predictable fashion helps him feel secure and builds a loving relationship between parent and child. It does not lead to spoiling.”
WHEN IS IT WORTH IT TO SPEND MORE?
When it comes to organic baby carriers, how much you spend is really up to you. From an Attachment Parenting standpoint, you and your baby will enjoy the same bonding experience whether they’re in an organic, conventional, or hand-me-down carrier.
When the budget allows, we try to opt for as much organic and toxin-free baby gear as possible. Many baby products contain endocrine disruptors and because babies and children are so small and have developing brains, lungs, and nervous systems, these chemicals can have stronger effects on their small bodies than ours.
Organic crops contribute to healthier working conditions for farmers and stronger yarns which are gentle on delicate skin.
IS IT SAFE TO USE A SECONDHAND BABY CARRIER?
In order to meet safety requirements, the two main baby gear items experts advise to buy new are car seats and cribs. In most cases, it’s perfectly safe to use a secondhand baby carrier. It may open up enough budget for you to buy more than one. It can be fun to swap between a soft structured carrier and a wrap or sling.
Woven wraps and many ring slings are essentially just fabric. So as long as it’s in good shape with no tears or fraying, it’s fine to reuse.
With structured and soft-structured organic baby carriers, be sure to check any buckles, seams, and stress points for wear and tear that could make it unsafe.
Fortunately there are websites, groups, and other resources to find used baby wraps, carriers, and slings locally or online. ErgoBaby’s Everlove program inspects, cleans, and resells gently used carriers. They discontinued their organic line but they have pre-owned organic baby carriers available.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE FINISHED WITH YOUR BABY CARRIER
Reusing or donating an item can help make any baby gear eco-friendly. You’re keeping it out of a landfill and helping someone else avoid buying new.
You can check some of the same resources above for buying secondhand to find ways to sell or donate your babywearing gear. Or try selling on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, through local babywearing groups, or Facebook groups like The Babywearing Swap which has 115,000 members. Babywearing educators often keep a training or lending library and are thrilled to receive donations.
If you have a wrap you love, keep it to wear as a scarf or shawl. If it’s big enough, it may even make a gorgeous throw for your favorite chair. It will always remind you of those special bonding days with your precious little one.