Baby Carriers Appropriate for Hip Carries of Infants and Beyond

September 23rd, 2012 by Dionna | Leave a comment
Posted in Guest Posts, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Use Nurturing Touch

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My thanks to the lovely Steffany Kerr for this follow-up article on hip carries. Be sure to read her first article on this subject, Hip Carries for Every Age and Stage.


If you read my article, Hip Carries for Every Age and Stage, you are well aware that the hip carry options are vast! There are so many carrier options capable of achieving a hip carry, and some are better for certain ages and stages than others.

Babywearing International provides a detailed analysis of various carrier types and tips for choosing a carrier style that’s right for you. It’s important to be aware that some carriers are not designed to for hip carries. When shopping for a carrier that you would like to use on your hip, it’s especially important to check the manufacturer instructions and carry recommendations before making a purchase. In an effort to simplify your options, here is a breakdown of various carriers and what ages and stages they best serve for the hip carry.

Shannon of The Artful Mama wears her son in a mesh water sling (only use this in the water).

Ring Slings

Ring slings are one shouldered carriers and are great for newborns through toddlers (and beyond!) The carrier is stabilized by the use of two rings that hold fabric tension and allow for an adjustable carry. The can be used for front and hip carries.

Age/Stage for hip carries: 3-4 months as an off center carry, and 5+ months and beyond for hip carries

Annie of PhD in Parenting wears her babe in a Storchenwiege Inka 4.1m.

Woven Wraps

Woven wraps come in a variety of lengths from very long (5 meters) to short (2.6 meters) and are available in many different fiber contents such as cotton, linen, wool, or hemp. Woven wraps have the potential to be very supportive. They are used for a large variety of front, hip, and back carries, and have the most versatility of any carrier. Woven wraps do have more of a learning curve but they have the potential to provide the most options. For a hip carry a one shouldered or two shouldered carry is possible.

Age/Stage for hip carries: 3-4 months as an off center carry, 5+ months in a variety of hip carries, two
shouldered hip carries for infants-preschoolers and beyond

Amy of Anktangle wears Daniel in a Hotslings Adjustable Pouch.

Pouch Slings

Pouch slings are constructed of a loop of fabric. They are either not adjustable or minimally adjustable. They can be used for front or hip carries. Pouches are one shouldered carriers.

Age/Stage for hip carries: Best used for a baby who can sit unassisted, about 5 months and up, due to the lack of adjustments

Mei Tais

Mei Tai carriers are Asian style carriers constructed of a square of fabric with waist and shoulder straps. They can be used for front, hip, and back carries. A hip carry in a Mei Tai is a one shouldered carry, but a strap does wrap around the waist to help distribute weight.

Age/Stage for hip carries: Best used for a baby who can sit unassisted, about 5 months and up

Soft Structured Carriers

Soft structured carriers like the Ergo, Boba, Scootababy, or Gemini are carriers that secure with buckles and often contain shoulder and waist padding. Some brands can be used for front, hip, and back carries, and others can only perform front and back carries. Onya Baby has a chart for gauging a soft structured carrier’s usage by brand. A hip carry with a soft structured carrier is a one shouldered carry. The padding does influence comfort of the hip carry, as some find excessive padding leads to a bulky hip carry, although others find it very comfortable.

Age/Stage for hip carries: Best used for a baby who can sit unassisted, about 5 months and up


Steffany Kerr is a mother to three children with one on the way. She is Chapter President and Master Babywearing Educator for Babywearing International of Kansas City, and also holds advanced certification through Babywearing Institute.

For another incredible article by Steffany, see Beyond Bonding: The Power of Positioning in Babywearing at Natural Parents Network.

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