If you are looking for the best baby carriers for preemies, you will certainly like the Baby Wrap Ergo Carrier Sling by Sleepy Wrap or the Baby Bjorn mini carrier. Baby Wrap Ergo Carrier’s elasticity allows you to do skin-to-skin contact, breastfeed easily, and allow for Kangaroo Care, making it ideal for your preemie. Your preemie will love the closeness and comfort of your heartbeat that will help them relax and calm down. Baby Bjorn Mini Carrier comes with adjustable buckles and is made of soft cotton fabric that is breathable. You can continue reading full reviews below.
According to Stanford Children’s Health, there was an increase in the number of premature births from 1990 to 2006. However, the number is said to have declined significantly since then. And while single babies can be born premature, the organizations say that cases are more common in twins and other multiple births. The most frequently recommended carriers for your preemie are a wrap as they conform to your baby’s shape while providing ample lumbar support.
Today, I will be looking at the top baby carrier for a low birth weight that allows you to wear your preemie and carry him or her against your body. This helps enhance bonding while providing comfort, safety, and sufficient warmth to your tiny baby.
If your baby is part of the 9.8% of babies born prematurely, this post will give you all the info you need to pick the best baby carrier for your pre-term baby. As I put together this research, I learned a ton about premature birth including the statistics that 380,000 babies are born on or before the 37th week of pregnancy. Given the high number of pre-term babies, companies have moved to satisfy the needs of parents looking for safer and more comfortable carriers.
Preemies require a lot of special needs as they are susceptible to more health compared to those born close to or on their due date. They need to be taken care of in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). So, that also means that their baby carriers are unlike those of other newborns.
About the Best Carriers for Preemies
Babywearing is now a common practice among parents and caregivers of full-term babies. Preemies can be admitted to the NICU for some time, maybe weeks or months, under strict rules and routines. And while babywearing isn’t on the list of doctor’s routines, parents of preemies can as well enjoy the fun in it. The average weight of newborn babies is 7.5 pounds(3.5 Kgs), although the normal range could be 5.5 pounds (2.5 Kgs) to 10 pounds(4.5 kgs). Carriers for preemies are those suitable for carrying light babies – below 5.5 pounds, usually pre-term babies’ weights.
But parents have to choose the right carrier type for preemies between the woven wrap, ring-sling, soft-structured, and mei-Tai. The choice also depends on the parent and the size & weight of the kid. If they are preemie twins, then you will need a strong infant carrier.
How the Best Baby Carrier can help Preemies
Just like in full-term infants, baby carriers are beneficial to preemies in numerous ways:
- First off, a baby carrier acts like an external womb that promotes bonding during this stressful period.
- Preemies need skin-to-skin contact with their moms where a baby carrier provides both snugness and safety.
- Preemies are very sleepy and a baby carrier keeps them close to their moms for both warmth and comfort.
- The scent of a mom’s skin and heartbeat gives the preemie a calming effect thus promoting growth. It also reduces crying.
- Preemies tend to feed more and a baby carrier helps moms to breastfeed their infants more for weight gain and growth.
What is the Right Time to Carry Preemie Baby?
This is a common but rather tricky question that most people, especially mothers will ask after having a baby prematurely. A preemie’s development occurs in the same order as it would have while in the mother’s womb. So, mostly this depends on how early your baby was born, between 26 weeks and 37 weeks.
We recommend that you consult the health care provider who is in charge of your preemie. But the infant must at least be breastfeeding, be 4+ lbs., or breathe and add weight gradually. The preemie must also maintain warmth without the support of an incubator.
9 Best Carriers for Preemies in 2022:
Reviews of the Best Infant Carriers for Preemies
Considering all the factors mentioned above, we have come up with a review of the best 11 infant carriers for preemies. The featured baby carriers are safe for your premature baby, but always remember to consider all the provided precautions.
The Baby Wrap Ergo Carrier by Sleepy Wrap is our #1 pick in this list of best carriers for preemies or even a micro-preemie with low weight, as low as 5 pounds. It comes with a precise elasticity level that matches a parent or caregiver’s body without the need to readjust it constantly. The baby carrier keeps the preemie close to the mom’s heartbeat for a comfy and calming effect on your infant.
Made of 95% cotton and 5% Spandex French Terry mix, the Sleepy Wrap might be shorter in length, compared to others, but it fits any body size. Parents can tie the wrap knots in three positions depending on the size of their slack, including the front, side, or back.
This wrap creates a custom, ergonomic fit for your preemie, with an X-seating shape that adjusts to the infant’s growth. It is lightweight, offers a convenient breastfeeding experience, and can fit your diaper bag comfortably.
- Uncomfortable for petite moms. You can check out carriers I picked and reviewed for petite moms.
BabyBjorn Mini, our second-best baby carrier for preemies, is a small, user-friendly infant carrier that comes with a few adjustable buckles. The carrier is made from three different materials, including 3D mesh, 3D Jersey, and Cotton, for comfort and breathability.
The preemie carrier comes with robust, adjustable head support for the infant’s neck and head. You can keep your baby close at all times, and the carrier has been tested as safe for the infant’s legs, hips, and back. The carrier hugs the baby gently in a C-shape which is healthy for the spine.
The infant carrier can be used until the baby hits 12 months or 24 lbs. I love this baby carrier particularly because it comes with 2 front carrying positions that keep your preemie close monitoring and engagement during walks and work. It is also is made with three different materials which and it currently the 2nd best-seller in the Soft Baby Carriers category on Amazon.
Baby K’tan is our fourth-best baby carrier with loads of benefits for Kangaroo Care with preemies. This award-winning infant carrier is made of 100% cotton and does not require buckling, wrapping, or fussing with snaps.
With this infant carrier, moms can discreetly nurse their preemies with a skin-to-skin bond, and on the go. Baby K’tan Original baby carriers are exclusively designed to fit the size of a parent or caregiver and not the child. As such, it keeps your preemie snug and secures with its dual-loop design to offer more comfort. The carrier gives parents a hands-free experience.
The carrier comes with instructions to help you use it appropriately. You can also refer to the video below on how to use Baby K’tan with a newborn or preemie:
Check out how Baby K’tan compared with Baby Wrap:
#4. Boba Baby Wrap Carrier (Editor’s Choice)
Boba Baby Wrap Carrier is our Editor’s Choice infant carrier for preemies! This calming and meditative carrier is a straightforward choice of gender-neutral style. Made of 95% cotton, it allows easy airflow, is durable, and is easy to take care of.
The carrier also constitutes 5% Spandex that allows for stretching capabilities, wrapping your preemie close and tight to your body. When you wrap your infant, you create an ideal ergonomic seat that holds the preemie in the precise posture for hip-healthy development.
The infant carrier comes with straightforward instructions on how to tie the wrap for your infant’s safety and easy breastfeeding. The preemie can feel your heartbeat and the warmth as well. You can also check out these carriers most ideal for breastfeeding.
You can also check out a separate post, I have compared Boba Wrap vs Moby vs Solly wrap.
Moby Classic Baby Wrap by Moby is our fifth-best baby carrier for preemies. The carrier offers an infant’s skin-to-skin contact with the mom for both warmth and comfort. Made of 100% cotton, this baby carrier supports adequate breathable experience to your preemie, and it is both durable and soft on the infant’s skin.
The infant carrier encourages preemie-parent or caregiver bonding, allowing the baby to feel the parent’s heartbeat, thus reducing stress and discomfort. Since preemies tend to breastfeed often, Moby Classic Baby Wrap allows the mom to nurse discreetly while facing her.
The infant carrier also comes with user-friendly instructions on Kangaroo Hold baby carrier position. It is also hands-free for the parent’s comfort while carrying and nursing.
CuddleBug’s Baby Wrap Ergo Carrier Sling is our sixth-best infant carrier for preemies in our review. Available in nine different colors, the carrier is a premium blend of Cotton and Spandex (French Terry), making it both durable and stretchy.
The infant carrier’s cotton fabric makes breathing for your preemie hassle-free and offers maximum comfort. Its wraps can also be tied as a nursing sling or traditional nursing cover, which is important as your infant breastfeeds often.
The carrier offers a hands-free infant carrying experience, with your baby secure and snug, reducing crying and letting them sleep more. It also offers more mom-infant bonding with more eye contact and cuddling.
Check this tying video!
LILLEbaby complete all seasons is our seventh-best baby carrier for preemies in our review. Like the name suggests, the carrier is appropriate for carrying your infant through the four seasons. What makes it a decent choice for preemies is its adjustability, where you can tune it to narrow settings that fit your newborn preemie.
The infant carrier comes ready for use and includes padded, adjustable head support that secures the infant’s neck and head. It is also made from 3D mesh breathable and comfortable material, an important consideration for your preemie.
Parents get lumbar support with the baby carrier, and it is recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute as hip-healthy. This product is babywearing at its finest as it ranked as the Winner of “Most Comfortable Carrier” by prestigious Cribsie Awards. Luxury, functionality, and style.
Ergo Baby Omni 360 by Ergobaby is our eighth-best baby carrier for preemies on the list. The carrier includes Cool Air Mesh that allows for breathability to keep your infant cool. A perfect fit for all parents, this infant carrier offers an M-shape seating position for your preemie’s comfort.
While preemies might not be that weighty, the infant carriers include a lumbar support waist-belt with double adjusters for the parent’s comfort. It also comes with a removable storage pouch to keep your infant’s necessities, plus a hood that gives you and your preemie baby privacy and sun protection.
The baby carrier allows for a hip-healthy carrying design for preemies and can be used when nursing, which is crucial to preemies.
If you need a surprise baby shower gift for your wife, friend, or family member, I would highly recommend this Lightweight Baby Carrier from Acrabros. This quality baby wrap carrier is the perfect balance of comfort, style, and support that your preemie angel needs and deserves. I love this baby carrier as it allows your 32-week preemie to fit comfortably and sleep quietly like she would in his or her mother’s womb. It is the most affordable baby wrap on the list.
This baby sling wrap is made using a mix of rayon and polyester material for better breathability and is long enough to accommodate all-size parents, including dads. It measures 210 L by 22 W making it appropriate for XS to XXL adult wearers. You will also love the two-sided stitching design for safety and posture stability for your preemie’s safe hip development. The product ranks #2 in Child Carrier Slings on Amazon Best Seller’s Rank which is why I would recommend this baby carrier for your 4 lbs. preemie.
Are you looking for a preemie baby carrier that you can just wear like a t-shirt without the need to buckle or wrap? Meet this Ultra-Lightweight Baby Carrier from Konny that comes in a chic design and a wide range of colors. This baby carrier for preemies is made using soft, breathable, and finely woven fabric that allows for excellent airflow when you are carrying your baby. It has gained the name ‘sleep magic’ baby carrier. What makes this baby carrier excellent is the Sun Protection (UPF 40) fabric that also reduces moisture concentration as your baby breaths.
This product meets the Standard Consumer Safety Specifications for Sling Carriers and is also acknowledged by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) for promoting healthy hip joints. To make it even much safer for your growing preemie, the fabric used meets the KC standard for children’s underwear with certifications of being free from toxic substances. If you are searching for the most ideal baby carrier for your 6 lb. preemie, this is it!
You can check this product’s availability, sale, and price here on Amazon
I also found the baby carrier below to be a good option despite having few customer reviews which is why I included it in this review of best baby carriers for preemies.
Sleep Belt is our ninth-best baby carrier for preemies in the review. Preemies sleep better with skin-to-skin contact with parents and when swaddled, which are both offered by Sleep Belt. The Yale-New Haven Health clinically demonstrated Sleep Belt to be breastfeeding-friendly for preemies.
The infant carrier holds the preemie snug and secure, preventing falling and offering more comfort which is both essential. Typically, this infant carrier belts the preemie to the mom, which encourages rest and comfort. You can nurse your baby in three positions, including Football hold, Tummy-to-Tummy hold, and Cradle hold.
Available in three colors, Sleep Belt is used in NICU in hospitals with preemies, full-term babies, and C-sections. It is easy to wear and is unisex and adjustable.
That’s it, guys! Our eleven best baby carriers for preemies. Remember, preemies require special care and baby carriers come in handy to help you achieve this. Check out the requirements and please, learn to wrap it before you wrap it!
Best Front Carrier for Preemies
The best front carrier for preemies is our editor’s choice – the Boba Baby Wrap Carrier. While it has a steep learning curve, the carrier is lengthy enough to snugly secure your premature baby. It is also gender-neutral, not forgetting soft and breathable.
Babywearing Your Preemie in the NICU, A Beginner’s Guide
Things to Consider when you Carry Preemie Baby
As mentioned above, preemies are more delicate to handle than full-term infants. As such, carrying them should not be done instantly! You must first observe the infant’s abilities and limits.
Many factors come into play, so observe these things when you carry a preemie:
- Practice how to wrap up an infant before actually doing it (using a doll, for instance) so you can be sure of what you are doing. The last thing you want is to cause harm to your baby.
- Is your baby strong enough to be in a baby carrier? Check the preemie’s physical stability.
- Wrap the infant up snugly, but make sure they are comfortable.
- Nursing a premature baby is very demanding for parents. So, you need to wear patience and confidence as a virtual to be the best parent.
- Baby slings are the best choice for preemies. Yet, they can raise breathing problems due to keeping the preemie in a C-shape. Also, make sure you can see the kid’s nose and mouth all the time to avoid suffocation.
How to wrap a premature baby
Follow these steps:
- Fold the baby wrap completely and securely on your left hand side and support your baby upright on your left side.
- Next, pull the lower edge of the wrap over your baby’s feet, body, and head to form a pocket. This pocket must be over your baby’s head to provide suitable head support.
- You should then complete the fold over your shoulder and your baby’s head to ensure that the pocket over the baby’s head remains in place.
- Next, use the fabric on your right side to form a pocket around your baby’s legs and feet continuing to fan the fabric around the baby’s body.
- Complete the fold over your shoulder and upper back. Roll the fabric at the center up to your baby’s head to ensure maximum support.
Check out the YouTube video below on how to wrap your preemie baby correctly.
Babywearing your preemie is a process with a learning curve that requires patience because you can never wear your premature baby until they are stable.
To wrap your premature baby, you need to choose the right type of carrier that works for your preemie and make sure that you consult with your baby’s primary nurse. Many premature babies or preemies or preterm babies, according to Stanford’s Children Health, are born with a weight of less than 5lbs. 8 oz. or 2,500 grams. This makes them very vulnerable which is why you should gain skills and confidence with the carrier you choose and how it works. Wearing a t-shirt like the Konny Ultra-Weight baby carrier, for instance, is not similar to tying the Acrabros one.
Another good tip that will help you take care of your preemie baby well is learning to read his or her cues. Why so, you may ask? If babywearing him or her is increasing stress, your baby’s nurse may request you to take them off for a while.
How to tie a baby carrier
Follow these steps:
- Place the logo label over your belly button and wrap it around your waist.
- Cross the straps behind you and make an X on your back and bring right over your shoulders. Keep the wrap flat as best as you can to make it comfier for you.
- Ensure that the opening is facing the inside for both sides and not facing out.
- Take both ends and tuck it right down to the front under the logo.
- Cross both sides into an X in the front then take it around the back and tie a double knot. If you have excess fabric, you can take it around to the front and tie it in front of the other side. You can now put the baby in using the above process.
Check out this YouTube video below for visual aid on how to tie your baby carrier.
I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at Motherhood HQ (formerly 10BabyGear). I have been a parent since 2011 and have been doing full-time consulting as a baby sleep expert since 2019. When I am not researching or testing the next baby gear hitting the market, you’ll find me teaching my toddlers a trick or two – especially over the last few months with the lockdown. I hope you’ll find my guides and reviews helpful as you make your next purchase decision. If you have any questions, you can reach me at email@example.com.