Which baby carrier is best for my baby and me?
Which baby carrier from manduca® is perfect for me?
This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions we hear from parents. Basically, there is no such thing as the best baby carrier in the objective sense. But there is a baby carrier that will fit you and your baby best - and that's what you need to find out. Our online baby carrier guide is designed to help you find the perfect baby carrier or sling from manduca® that really suits you. That's why we're rephrasing the question:
In the following we will ask you some questions, just as a good saleswoman in a baby shop or a babywearing consultant would do in a one-to-one conversation. In the end, you will hopefully have come to a decision yourself about which baby carrier or sling is best for you.
Sling or baby carrier?
The baby sling:
A baby sling is the most flexible of all baby carriers and offers the most carrying options. It can be adjusted to the exact size of your baby and consists of a 4-6 metre long piece of cloth that is tied around you and your baby. You will need to take some time to learn how to tie it, but with practice it can be done very quickly.
One disadvantage, especially in bad weather, is that the long ends of the sling will hang to the ground until you have finished tying.
Tip: With elastic slings like the manduca Sling, there's also a pre-tied carry so you can just leave the sling on like a t-shirt when you're out and about, even without baby in it.
The baby carrier:
A baby carrier is an already more or less pre-shaped carrying aid consisting of a (padded) hip belt, a back section or pouch for the baby and two (padded) shoulder straps and is closed with buckles. It is sometimes also called a backpack carrier or baby backpack. For some time now, one has also heard the term full-buckle baby carrier or, in German, "Vollschnallen-Tragen", which, by the way, Stiftung Warentest also adopted in its last test.
FunFact: We at manduca call these carriers "comfort carriers" and have been using this term since 2007. Because comfort carriers like the manduca First or manduca XT guarantee optimal comfort, best weight distribution and fatigue-free carrying even over hours and without back pain for the parents.
Donning baby carriers is quite simple compared to baby slings: first the hip belt of the baby carrier is closed, then the baby is placed in the carrier and finally the shoulder straps are slipped over and closed. One advantage, especially in bad weather, is that the closed shoulder straps do not touch the ground when the baby is put on.
The hybrid carrier:
And then there are the hybrid carriers, which combine elements of the sling and the baby carrier. Hybrid carriers have a lightly padded hip or waist belt, a sling-like back or pre-shaped pouch for the baby and, instead of padded shoulder straps, two shoulder panels (often made of sling fabric) that are closed with a knot, just like a sling.
FunFact: When both the waist belt and shoulder panels are made entirely of (unpadded) fabric and each is closed with a knot, it is called a classic mei tai or meh dai. These wears are typical of Asian wearing culture and have been handed down for centuries. Classic, traditional mei tais are hardly ever found in modern western cultures, even though the name is often used and advertised for "similar" carriers.
Modern hybrid carriers mix buckles and knots, padded and unpadded areas of fabric.
They are often referred to as half-buckle carries because the waist belt comes with a buckle, while the shoulder panels are for tying and are fastened with a knot.
The term WrapCon (wrap conversion) is also becoming more common
The advantage of hybrid carriers is that they combine the best of both worlds: The waist belt is quickly and conveniently closed with a buckle, as with a comfort carrier, and is put on even without the baby. The fabric back and shoulder panels, on the other hand, are wrapped around you and the baby like a sling and can be flexibly adjusted to the size of the baby and the wearer with millimetre precision.
Are you more of a sling type? Then take a look at our manduca Sling.
One or rather two carriers?
Are you planning to use just one carrier for the whole babywearing period? Or rather two different ones? One carrier for your very newborn and one for later as your child grows?
If you only want to buy one baby carrier in your life, our bestseller, the universal manduca XT carrier is the one for you.
The advantages: it grows continuously in width and height, has a well-padded hip belt and softly padded shoulder straps like all comfort carriers. The manduca XT can be used as a front carrier, back carrier and hip carrier and has all accessories already integrated. The only disadvantage: it is not quite cheap and slightly higher in price than all our other baby carriers.
If you are thinking about buying two carriers to suit the age of your baby or are not sure if you want to carry longer than 9 months at all, we recommend the elastic sling manduca Sling as a starter model especially for newborns, the manduca Duo or manduca Twist or even the marsupi belly carrier.And then later you switch to a comfort carrier like the manduca First.
Which carrier for in between or for the grandparents?
Are you looking for a baby carrier just for a short time, as a spare carrier, for the babysitter or the grandparents who have no experience with baby carriers?
Then the marsupi belly carrier or the manduca First are the right baby carriers for you.
The marsupi belly carrier with Velcro is just really small and compact to fold and store and child's play to put on.
Ideal as a spare carrier in the car, in the diaper bag or for shorter journeys in between, especially for lighter and small babies
The manduca First is also easy to use.
The length of the straps of the manduca First are preset to the size of the person carrying the baby, then the carrier can be put on and taken off quickly and easily. The advantage: you can also carry your baby on your back and it is really comfortable to wear even for heavy lumps and toddlers up to 20kg.
How do I actually tie a sling?
Would you prefer a sling, but don't really dare to use it because it is supposedly so complicated to tie and you feel insecure? Do you supposedly have two left hands and little patience to learn how to tie a sling?
Then we recommend one of the two hybrid carriers:
manduca Duo (which doesn't require any knots at all).
or the manduca Twist in the Regular version (with a pre-formed pouch and shorter and narrower cloth panels than a normal sling).
Carrying on the back? Is that possible?
How do you feel about back carrying?
If you think you will never carry on your back anyway and want to use the baby carrier only as a tummy carrier, you can of course do that with all our manduca baby carriers and slings.
And also really affordable in terms of price range. So you're easy on your wallet and can always switch to a super back carrier like the manduca First or manduca XT later, when you've taken a liking to carrying.
But if you're already saying I need to carry on my back too, then I have my hands free in front and it's also better for my own back (and pelvic floor 😊), we can only agree.
Here we recommend
A new baby carrier, even though my child is already six months old?
My baby is now 5 months old. Is it still worth buying a new carrier, and if so, which one?
Yes, of course it's still worth it!
In this case, the manduca First is the best option for you, which shows its strengths especially as a back carrier and is slightly cheaper than the manduca XT.
With the optional accessory manduca EXTEND you can extend the fixed bar width of the First later if your child is over 15 months old or has very long thighs.
Or you can treat yourself to the manduca XT.
Carrying despite back and intervertebral disc problems?
I have problems with my back and my intervertebral discs and I get back pain easily, do you have anything for me there?
If you're looking for a carrier that's as practical and comfortable as a hiking backpack, our comfort carriers like the manduca First or manduca XT are for you. Both models have a heavily padded and anatomically shaped hip belt that transfers your baby's weight to your hips; both close with a three-point safety buckle; the shoulder straps are padded with a slightly softer foam and are slightly curved so that nothing pinches there either. We therefore call our carriers comfort carriers.
What is the difference between the First and the XT?
And what exactly is the difference between the manduca First and the XT?
The manduca First is our "firstborn", our first model, which has been on the market almost unchanged since 2007 and has stood the test of time. You can often get them at very low prices in the Sale, also as used model/ second hand - but unfortunately often also as cheap and unsafe plagiarism.
The manduca First is perfect for babies and toddlers up to 2 years old. It really comes into its own on the back. With the (integrated) seat reducer and (chargeable) accessories like Size-It and ZipIn Ellipse, you can also use it for very small babies from birth with a minimum weight of 3.5kg. And with the manduca EXTEND accessory, you can further extend the bar width for older children if you are not only travelling short distances, but also want full comfort on long walks. Weight-wise, the manduca First is tested up to 20kg, just in case.
The manduca XTis the evolution of the manduca First, our new all-in-one universal carrier, which already has all accessories integrated and is not only adjustable in height but also in width. Find out more about the manduca XT here.