If you are looking for the best baby carriers with good back support in the market, this LILLEbaby Complete Original is a terrific choice as it has a lumbar support piece that slides on the band. This carrier is ergonomic and comes with wide, padded shoulder straps and a wide waistband that fits securely as you wear your child. This, in turn, helps distribute your baby’s weight evenly without putting unnecessary pressure on your back and shoulders. LILLEbaby supports your back by engaging the core with 6 different carrying positions for fetal, infant, outward, toddler hip, and back carry.
According to NCBI, the overall commonness of lower back pain (LBP) is higher in women than in men. In addition, women are also susceptible to a number of chronic pain disorders and painful conditions of the musculoskeletal system in large numbers as compared with men. This means that carrying a baby would only make these conditions worse than it already is.
Thanks to innovation in the baby products industry, there is a solution for you moms with back problems so you can enjoy babywearing by using a well-fitted carrier. These carriers in my list will help distribute your infant or toddler’s weight evenly all over your body to protect your back.
The months you may be spending carrying an unborn baby or carrying your newborn in the first few months after birth can take such a toll on your body. I had extreme aches myself when I had my firstborn and I was able to overcome the consistent back pains and still carry my baby. As an expert in baby products now, I am excited to offer unbiased advice to parents looking for the best baby carriers that have good back support in 2022. Most moms will say that motherhood is the most life-changing, beautiful, and treasured gift they have ever experienced and I want to make it easy for you to carry your baby regardless of any back pain.
One of the most common complaints among mothers is postpartum sciatica. In simpler terms, this is pain that occurs in areas where the sciatic nerve is found. This nerve is the longest in the body running from the lower back and down to the lower extremities. So these women complain of lower back pain, pain that radiates from the hip to the foot, and pins and needles sensation, among other symptoms.
Mostly, this condition starts in the third trimester when the weight of the growing bump compresses the sciatic nerve. Luckily, most affected moms get relief after delivering. Still, some moms perhaps due to the trauma of delivery, start to experience these troubling symptoms for the first time, and others suffer from having their preexisting back problems aggravated.
If you suffer from back pain, you can still carry your baby. In this review, we will be discussing the best carriers that you can use without hurting your back even further. I will also be sharing tips to keep that terrible back pain at bay so you can keep enjoying the sweet moments of wearing your baby.
Comparison Table of Best Carriers for Good Back Support
|Baby Carrier||Carrying Positions||Weight Limit||Material||Ranking on Amazon||Storage||Price|
|#1. Lillebaby Complete Original||6||7-30 lbs.||100% cotton||4.5/5 stars in 1,255+ ratings||Yes||Check price here|
|#2. Ergobaby 360 Carrier||4||7-45 lbs.||100% cotton||4.7/5 stars in 2,719+ ratings||Yes||Check price here|
|#3. Babysteps Hip Seat||6||8-44 lbs.||No||Check price here|
|#4. Baby K’tan Original Carrier||3||8-35 lbs.||100% cotton||4.2/5 stars in 12,883+ ratings||No||Check price here|
|#5. Ergobaby Omni 360||4||7-45 lbs.||Cotton||Yes||Check price here|
|#6. Nuna CUDL Carrier||4||8-15 lbs.||Cotton mix||No||Check price here|
|#7. Zarpar Bebe Baby Carrier||3||5.5-15 kgs||Cotton mix||No||Check price here|
|#8. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One||3||8-33 lbs.||Cotton mix||4.6/5 stars in 610+ ratings||No||Check price here|
|#9. Moby Fit Baby Carrier||2||8-33 lbs.||100% cotton||4.3/5 stars in 321+ ratings||No||Check price here|
|#10. Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier||3||8-32 lbs.||Not Specified||4.6/5 stars in 37,349+ ratings||No||Check price here|
|#11. Baby Tula Explore Carrier||3||7-45 lbs.||100% cotton||4.7/5 stars in 450+ ratings||No||Check price here|
|#12. Boba Wrap Baby Carrier||4||7-35 lbs.||100% cotton||4.7/5 stars in 17,045 ratings||Yes||Check price here|
Reviews of Best Baby Carriers with Back Support in 2022
#1. Lillebaby Complete
Lillebaby complete is the overall best carrier for you if you have back pains because it has all the features that help to alleviate back pains. The shoulder straps are wide and well-padded, and you can wear them crisscrossed, which helps to distribute the weight evenly across your back. You can also opt to wear backpack style.
It also has a wide padded waistband to help distribute the baby’s weight evenly on your hips. But it also includes lumbar support to help those with back problems by cushioning and supporting the lower back.
As for carrying options, it is a 6-in-1 baby carrier, allowing various front-facing positions, hip and back carrying styles. This is really helpful if you are suffering from back pain because you can switch to positions that feel comfortable for you.
The other thing to like is that this model has variations for all-weather wear. The airflow model has a temperature-regulated panel that you zip up for warmth or zip down to reveal a cool, breathable mesh. Airflow, the best if you live in hot places, is all breathable mesh. The one above is the original version which is all cotton.
Ergobaby 360 carrier is one of the most popular in the babywearing trend with thousands of happy customers and it came second in this 2022 list of best carriers for back support. It is a great carrier for anyone suffering from back pain.
This carrier is designed with comfort in mind. The shoulders are wide and padded to avoid putting any stress on your shoulders. The waistbelt is also wide with lumbar support at the back. Thus, the baby’s weight is distributed evenly on your shoulders and back, without causing you any discomfort.
Even if you are petite or plus size this carrier is very adjustable with the velcro waistband to give you a comfortable fit. It is also versatile, giving you many carrying positions that will be comfortable for you and enjoyable to your little one.
And whenever you are strolling in the sun, your baby stays protected with the provided hood which also doubles up for a cover for discreet breastfeeding.
This is also one of the carriers that have a wide range of color and pattern options that look amazing for both mom and dad.
#3. Babysteps Hip Seat
BabySteps Hip Seat is one of the hip seat carriers that are great for people with back pain because it has a detachable panel that allows you to carry the baby backpack style or with the hip seat alone. It is our 3rd best carrier for support of any parent’s back in 2022.
The hip seat is attached to a wide velcro waist belt to distribute the weight evenly over your hips. If you also attach the carrier panel with comfy shoulder straps, the weight is distributed even more nicely over your shoulders and hips, helping to alleviate discomfort on your back.
It is a highly versatile carrier offering up to six positions with the shoulder straps and some with the hip seat alone. Additionally, it comes with an extra strap to use around your neck without the shoulder straps for supporting a weightier toddler in the hip seat hand-free. As you can see, if you have a bad back, you have many adjusting options to help alleviate your pain. However, keep in mind that with a hip seat, it really depends on where your injury is because it places the weight on the belt and around your waist.
If you want to go out, but you don’t want to carry a purse, this carrier has a convenient pocket at the waistband and another one in front to keep a few handy items, keys, phones, cash, etc. and, this pocket opens to reveal breathable mesh if it gets too hot in the day.
The other thing that you will love about this carrier is that all the buckles and clips are easily accessible, making it easy to wear and take off on your own.
#4. Baby K’tan wrap
Baby K’tan is famously the no-wrap wrap; you don’t need to wrap and is the 4th on our list of best baby carriers for back support. It has patented double loops, so you slip over your head and put your arms through the loops like wearing a T-shirt. It has sizes from XXS to XL, so you just use your dress size or shirt size to select the K’tan that will fit you.
This is another option to explore because apart from affording you the natural feel and snugness of a wrap, the design can also help some people with bad backs. When wearing the baby in this carrier, the baby actually sits high on your torso so the weight is not placed around your waist or hips, which helps relieve any pain you may be having on your lower back.
As you can see from the picture above, the shoulder straps are worn crisscrossed and bound together, which helps to distribute weight evenly on your upper back and shoulders. They are also wide so as not to dig into your shoulders and you can still spread the material over your shoulder even more to get better weight distribution. However, because the weight concentrates on the upper back and shoulders rather than also spreading to the waist and hips, it may trigger soreness and pain for some people, especially the busty moms.
It is also a versatile carrier giving you 5 different carrying positions so you can switch to any that feels comfortable and enjoyable for you and your baby.
Baby K’tan also has other models for summer wear. They have a Breeze model with mesh on one to keep you cool, and an Active model with mesh, UVA protection, and moisture-wicking fabric, ensuring you are not drenching in sweat.
#5. Ergobaby Omni 360 all-in-one cool air mesh baby carrier
If you are looking for a back-support carrier with a breathable air mesh, Ergoaby Omni 360 is your best option. This carrier shares a lot of similarities with the Ergo original we saw above, but there are a few differences. The first obvious difference is that the Cool version is all mesh while the original 360 was cotton. This is the carrier to choose if you live in hot places. Second, the Cool version has a buckle waist belt instead of velcro which customers disliked in the original Ergo due to the loudness.
The Ergo cool air mesh carrier is well designed, has premium quality materials, and is adjustable to fit all body types. It has cushy shoulder straps, a wide waistband, and padded lumbar support, making it super comfortable to wear even with a bad back.
This carrier allows all carry positions (front, hip, and back), so you can adjust to whatever you find comfortable and enjoyable for you and your little one. The good thing is that it distributes weight evenly across the shoulders and hips so as not to strain your back.
#6. Nuna Cudl carrier
Nuna Cudl is a new carrier that just hit the market in June this year, so it does not have a lot of reviews and it is our 5th best baby carrier most suitable for back support. However, it is stylish, innovative, safe, and comfortable for you and the baby.
This carrier can be used from birth up to 4 years with the integrated infant booster to hold babies four months and below more comfortably. It allows you to carry facing in, facing out, and back depending on your baby’s age.
If you suffer from a bad back, this carrier may work well for you because it has cushy shoulder straps and a wide waist belt to distribute the weight evenly on your hips and shoulders.
You will also love its innovative design with magnetic buckles that make wearing and taking off a breeze. Plus a convenient pocket for small handy items and two organic cotton bibs included.
You will also not be sweating buckets, because this carrier is all meshy and airy, keeping you and the baby comfortably cool under hot weather.
#7. Zarpar Bebe Bohemian Sands Snap Baby Carrier
Zarpar Bebe Snap Baby Carrier is an Australian wrap made in Nepal and Indonesia. It is designed like a wrap but with the ease of buckles.
It is made with linen fabric making it lightweight, absorbent, and cool- the perfect carrier for summer adventures.
It provides an ergonomic seating position for the baby, with front and back carrying modes. With wide shoulder straps that are worn crisscrossed across your back and a wide padded waistband, the baby weight is evenly distributed, keeping you in proper posture and comfort.
The other impressive thing with this carrier is that it is very simple to use and doesn’t require any assistance to wear. The buckles are secure at the front, making it easy and quick to wear or take off. The shoulder straps and belt are also easy to adjust to fit multiple wearers.
Moms will also love that they can breastfeed on the move. You can loosen the straps to lower the baby and shift the waistband to the side you want to nurse from. The large hood will keep things discrete from curious eyes as well as shield your baby from the sun or wind.
#8. BabyBjorn baby carrier one – ergonomic edition
BabyBjorn ergonomic edition is a very stylish carrier designed with comfort in mind. This version uses soft materials that feel cozy for your baby.
If you have a bad back, this carrier has form-fitting shoulder straps and a sturdy waist belt, so you will hardly feel weighed down as you carry your little one. The wide waist belt helps support your back and distribute the weight on your hips, preventing any discomfort on the shoulders and back.
This carrier keeps your baby in the recommended ergonomic position where thighs are supported to almost knee level to allow healthy hips development. And it will enable you to switch between four carrying positions to keep your baby happy and ensure you are comfortable.
#9. Moby Fit Baby Carrier
This Fit Baby Carrier from Moby brand is the new favorite for many parents for years after their Classic version. The baby carrier is designed with your newborn, infant, and toddler in mind as it comes with a weight limit of 8 lb. (min.) to 33 lb. (max.). It is made with a t-shirt style design and offers you two carrying positions including front-inward and front-outward. The two positions distribute your kid’s weight across your shoulders and back for comfort even with extended use. This helps keep your baby closer to your heartbeat and the warmth of your body for perfect bonding.
Made with 100% cotton material, the Moby Fit Baby Carrier Wrap is soft which is very friendly to your little one’s skin. I love the elasticity that gives this carrier a one-size-fits-all sizing so it can be adjusted to fit a range of big wearers. It also has two sewn-in rings in its back that helps you tighten or loosen for a custom fit. This carrier features crossed fabric panels in the front that makes a comfy, ergonomic seat for your baby with sash wraps for enhanced safety.
#10. Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier
If you are looking for affordability and premium quality in a single basket, you will definitely love this Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Baby Carrier from Infantino. Unlike the Moby’s above, this baby carrier comes with three carrying positions, including front-inward, front-outward, and back carry. It is one of the best baby carriers that you will get with under $25 from dealers and is perfect for newborns and older babies with a recommended weight of 8 lb. to 32 lb.
I love the adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt in this baby carrier that helps you to shift your baby’s weight to the hips for a more comfortable fit to prevent back pains. The buckles also make babywearing hassle-free as you can adjust them to fit different sizes. Your little one will enjoy sitting in the convertible seat that can be adjusted as well for a hip-healthy position. In addition, this baby carrier is lightweight with breathable material for you and your kid’s added comfort. This awesomeness explains why Infantino baby carrier stands out as #1 in Soft Baby Carriers in Amazon Best Sellers Rank.
#11. Baby Tula Explore Carrier
Do you love the delight that comes with lots of fun prints in baby products? You certainly should check this Explore Coast Beyond Baby Carrier from Tula. Like the carrier above, this one comes with three different babywearing positions, including front-inward, front-outward, and back. What makes this baby carrier unique is the recommended weight limit of between 7 lb. and 45 lb. I love the 100% cotton fabric which is soft, lightweight, and breathable to keep you and your baby cool.
The shoulder straps of this baby carrier are padded for maximum neck and shoulder comfort when you are wearing your baby. Its waistband is wide and padded to help distribute your little angel’s weight evenly to prevent back strain and pain. Each of the carrying positions provides a natural, comfy ergonomic position that promotes your baby’s healthy spine and hip development. The carrier’s leg openings are padded for extra coziness with an adjustable and padded neck support pillow to help support your newborn’s neck and head or when your baby is sleeping.
#12. Boba Wrap Baby Carrier
Boba has always been on the list of most parents’ go-to baby products and their Wrap Baby Carrier is an excellent product for baby carriers with back support. It comes with an ergonomic baby seat that distributes your kid’s weight evenly all over your body each time you wrap. This, in turn, helps alleviate back pain. What I love most about this baby carrier, unlike some in the list, is its hassle-free tying and ability to breastfeed in it by re-adjusting it just a little.
This baby carrier is made using 95% cotton and 5% spandex, therefore making it elastic enough for a custom fit to any person wearing the baby. The fabric is soft and machine washable for ease of caring. It also allows for quick and effortless airflow to keep your baby healthy. This carrier for babies is suitable from birth until your child hits 35 lbs. and is certified as hip healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. No wonder this Boba baby carrier ranks at #1 in Child Carrier Slings category on Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank. Did I mention that it offers 4 babywearing positions?
That’s it, guys! Those are our 12 best baby that carriers will be gentle on your back whether you have back conditions or not.
7 tips for preventing child wearing back pain
There are set guidelines stating how many hours you should spend carrying your baby, but it is wise that you cut down the duration as soon as you start having discomfort. You can also use the following tips to avoid pain on your back:
- When carrying the baby in front of your body, position the baby high enough that you can easily kiss the top of their head. This helps to minimize pressure on your back.
- Tighten the carrier to keep the baby as close to your body as possible. Wearing the baby too loose increases pressure on your lower back.
- When using a soft structured carrier, ensure you secure the waistband tightly over your hips so that the baby’s weight is on your hips instead of your back.
- When wearing the shoulder straps of your SSC, ensure you tighten them sufficiently and evenly.
- Switch to back carry position when your toddler reaches 6 months or 20 pounds. Carrying a heavy baby from the front strains your back and can cause lower back pain.
- Consider back wearing once your baby is old enough to support their head. Avoid the forward-facing position on your front because it can place pressure on your lower back and pelvic floor, leading to many undesirable issues like back pain and urinary incontinence.
- If you have suffered from back pain in the past, you can still be able to carry your baby. Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist first to get the go-ahead. They will also advise you on how best to carry depending on where your injury was. Then select a carrier that is designed to distribute the baby’s weight evenly across your shoulders and hips.
Buyer guide – what to consider when buying carriers for back pain
There are different types of carriers that you can use even if you suffer from back pain. Below are some factors you need to consider as you look for a suitable carrier that won’t worsen your problem:
Types of baby carriers
Basically, there are five different types of carriers. Each has its own unique characteristics, so you need to consider which ones are most desirable for you in a carrier. The five types of carriers are:
Babywearing tips for those with high back pain
If you normally experience pain in your upper back, below are a few points to keep in mind as you wear your baby, so as not to hurt your back even further:
Lift your baby carefully when placing your baby in the carrier at all times
Bend your knees as you lift the baby into the carrier
Avoid jumping and bouncing games while carrying the baby; sudden movements can cause the buckles or snaps to come undone.
Start babywearing for a few minutes then progress to longer and longer durations as you feel comfortably possible.
Choose a carrier that distributes weight evenly on your hips to relieve upper back and wear the baby close to your body as possible.
How to wear a baby carrier if you have back pain
The following are some principles to apply when wearing a baby carrier if you have a bad back or a history of bad backs.
Don’t let your baby slant forward because it will cause you to bend your back to support the weight, and could lead to strain and muscle or joint injury. The idea is to keep your baby close to you in an upright position so you can also maintain the correct posture.
Secure the straps tightly to keep the baby stable and not sagging; this, in turn, keeps your back from slouching, which causes pain.
Choose front carry over a back position to avoid placing unnecessary strain on the back muscles.
Why use a baby carrier & benefits
- Holding the baby close in a carrier helps the baby feel loved, happy, and gives them a better playful mood.
- Close contact with your baby boosts breast milk production and promotes frequent breastfeeding.
- Walking around bearing the baby’s weight also counts as a great form of exercising.
- A carrier puts the baby at almost eye level, which promotes early speech development from constantly learning your facial expressions and speech patterns.
- Wearing your baby is a convenient option to keep your baby close and remain hands-free to attend to do other stuff. It also gives you the freedom of going to anywhere without lugging heavy car seats or strollers- imagine crowed places and stairs.
- When your baby held so close to you in a carrier, they feel safe and protected.
- It has been shown by research to promote better digestion, respiratory health, emotional wellbeing, better sleep, and more.
Carrying With Back Pain
Which carrier position for a bad back?
If you have a bad back carrying your baby in a position that distributes the baby’s weight poorly across your tummy will cause your pelvis to incline forward and your spine to be more arched than normal and may make your back pain.
Here are some ways you can carry the baby without hurting your back further:
- Carry the baby higher up in the front facing position to minimize back pain
- Place the baby in the middle of your back, so their weight is distributed evenly on your hips to ease the pressure on your spine.
Keep in mind these are just general guidelines, and that the best position for you would depend on your specific injury. So if you are looking for a suitable carrier, choose one that gives you the option of both fronts and back carries.
A hip seat carrier is a great choice for people with back problems. It consists of a wide waistband with a padded shelf-like seat for the baby. It helps by having the baby’s weight supported by the sturdy seat and belt rather than your back. But it can also worsen the pain for some people depending on the area of injury.
Some hip seats models do not have straps, so you support your baby by holding them close on one or both hands. Other models have removable panels that attach to the waistband allowing you to be hands-free. For anyone with back pain, we recommend getting a hip seat model that also has straps to help balance the weight.
It is also a versatile carrier allowing you to carry the baby from the front, hip, and back. However, we do not recommend carrying the baby at your side if you have back problems because the weight will pull on your spine unevenly.
Go for good adjustability and several positions
Choose a carrier that allows you to adjust the position where your baby is sitting. That way, if you feel sore in a particular spot, you can shift your baby a bit higher or lower, front or back to get some relief.
Shoulder straps – structure and padding is better
Some baby carriers have shoulder straps in H-style like a backpack with a clip at the back of the head to connect them. This is not the best style for anyone with back pain.
The best carrier designed to distribute weight evenly on your shoulders should have the straps permanently joined into an X-shape or Y shape. A good example is a carrier from Stokke My Carrier shown in the picture above. When the straps are also connected to the waist belt, it helps to distribute the weight evenly on the waistband even further. Even weight distribution not only ensures you are comfortable when carrying your baby but also great for your back.
Consider a carrier with lumbar support on the waist belt like this one in the picture above. Lumbar support is designed to stabilize and cushion your lower back. It helps relieve lower back pressure and allows the baby’s weight to be evenly distributed for a more comfy ride.
Avoid the ring sling
Carrying the baby in a ring sling puts the weight on one shoulder resulting in your body being weighed down on one side and consequently placing pressure on one side of your lower back. You are better off with a carrier that spreads the weight across both shoulders evenly like a wrap.
Now that you know what to avoid and what to look for in a carrier, let’s get to the best carriers for people with back pain
I am Ashley Davis, a mom of three kids and the editor here at MotherhoodHQ (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 firstname.lastname@example.org.