Mother and Baby

The safest and best baby slings and wraps

Section: Baby
Best baby slings

For a secure and practical way to carry your baby around, you'll want to get the best baby sling wrap you can find.

Baby wraps and slings are usually a long piece of fabric with special features that can be wrapped around you and your baby, tying you both together. In general, a baby sling doesn't have clips, buckles or buttons like other baby carriers, but, if tied correctly, they are super secure and your baby will love being in it (and it'll leave your hands free). They're also a good option for a newborn baby or premature baby as they allow for a snug fit.

Babywearing is also a simple way for parents to bond with their baby and get oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. When you’re pottering about at home, maximise this by undoing your shirt under the sling, so your baby’s skin is directly against yours. You’ll soon find a way to safely do up a few buttons and tuck your shirt securely into the sling in case someone knocks on the door.

How to use your baby sling wrap safely

Your baby sling needs to be tight, keeping you and your baby closely attached. You need to be able to check on your baby regularly to ensure they are comfortable. Try 'the kiss test' - if you can kiss your baby’s head, you are in the right position. The best position for your baby is on your chest, and with good support for their back, neck and hips.

Baby slings are especially good and safe for newborns as they offer closer contact with you, so they feel safe, cosy and happy while you are free to get on with doing other activities at home or out and about.

This useful tutorial from Wear My Baby's Emily explains how to put on a stretchy wrap and how to safely put your baby in and take them out.

Dr Rosie Knowles is a GP, carrying consultant, author of Why Babywearing Matters, and a mum of two; carryingmatters.co.uk who recommends following the TICKS safety rule. 

  • T is for Tight. Your carrier should be close fitting to make sure it holds your baby in a safe position.
  • I is for In view at all times. Make sure you can clearly see your baby’s face so you can check on them easily.
  • C is for Close enough to kiss. You should be able to kiss the top of your baby’s head easily while they are in the carrier, but make sure they can still move their head freely.
  • K is for Keep chin off chest. "Their chin should be off their chest and baby's airway open and unobstructed, and remain so if baby falls asleep," says Rosie.
  • S is for Supported back. "The sling should be snug so baby’s chest and back are well supported, with no slumping or sliding downwards," says Rosie.

How long can a baby stay in a wrap sling? 

You can use your baby sling as much as you want, however, we would advise you to consider the two-hour baby rule, where you avoid keeping your baby in the same position for over two hours, as their spine is still in development and it's important to keep changing their position. As opposed to a more structured baby carrier, with a baby sling or wrap you have to be a little bit more aware of your baby's positioning. For more on baby sling safety, have a look at the UK Sling Consortium's TICKS method, and see our safety tips here

Baby slings aren't the only baby-carrying options - the traditional-style baby carrier provides more back support. We love that backpack carriers are great for long walks or hiking. You can check out our picks of the best baby carriers and the best backpack carriers for a more comfortable day out. 

Which baby sling should I buy?

If you've decided a sling or wrap is for you, then scroll down to see our top picks from all the best carrier brands. These are the best baby slings you can buy now, as reviewed by our mum tester team.

Best baby wraps loved by our mum testers: 

Best baby sling for comfort

Caboo +Organic is a sling with good support. It's designed to provide more structure, and it allows you to carry your baby in five different positions. This sling is easy to use and to adjust, feeling super comfortable, even for heavier babies. You can use it during summer as it's made of breathable fabric, but will also keep your baby warm in winter. The only negative aspect of this sling is that it doesn't allow you to carry your baby on your back.

This carrier won the 2017 Silver Best Baby Carrier/Sling and 2015 Gold Best Baby Carrier/Sling in the M&B Awards

Specs: Available in black, navy and teal. Suitable from birth, including premature babies (5lb-32lb, 2.27kg-15kg)

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Good design

Cons:

  • Better support for bigger babies

Our tester Amy Connolly, mum to Bodhi, five months, said, "I love how secure it feels and how easy it is to put on – it’s so much more practical than struggling with tying a wrap sling. It’s extremely comfortable to wear and Bodhi seems very cosy and warm in this, so it’s just perfect for our long wintery walks."

Read our full review of the Caboo +Organic Sling here.

Best baby sling for design

Winner of the 2020 Gold Best Baby Carrier/Sling Mother&Baby Award. This is the ideal everyday woven wrap, which is made with flexible and comfortable fabric. With this carrier wrap, you will be able to keep your baby safe and secure all day long. It comes in one size fits all and is designed to carry up to 35lbs. You and your baby will be happy with this choice. 

The Monlo version was shortlisted for the 2021 best baby carrier/sling Mother&Baby Awards too!

Specs: Length: 500cm. Width: 50cm. Machine wash at 30 degrees, do not tumble dry

Pros:

  • Stylish
  • Soft and stretchy 
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Needs to be ironed after washing

Our mum tester, Nicola, said, "I would recommend this due to price, ease of cleaning, and the ability to just pop it in your changing bag. It is lightweight and I had the eucalyptus print which was stylish and very soft on the skin. My baby enjoyed being in it and I felt closer to her than I do in my rather bulkier carrier I have. I have washed the FreeRider and it came out very well."

Read our full review of the FreeRider Wrap here.

Best baby sling for softness

Shortlisted for the 2017 Mother&Baby Awards Best Baby Carrier/Sling, this stretchy wrap from AmaWrap is comfy and super soft for mum and baby, with no buckles or clips to contend with. It comes in a range of colours to choose from.

Specs: 100 per cent pure cotton. Newborn to 33lbs. Machine wash at 30 or 40 degrees. Do not tumble dry

Pros:

  • Can be put in a bag
  • Cheap
  • Can support with breastfeeding

Cons:

  • More suited to a younger baby
  • Takes practice to put on

Tested by mum, Vikki Hind for the Mother&Baby Awards 2017, she said, "As a baby carrier this is one of my favourites because my baby can be next to me and the wrap is comfortable to wear for long periods. There are no buckles and straps which means it fits different sizes quickly and there is also nothing digging in when wearing with baby. I like how small the wrap folds so it can be put in a changing bag. It can also be used as a makeshift blanket when out and about if not being worn."

Read our full review of the AmaWrap Sling here.

Best baby sling for multi-use

This is a multi-use wrap sling that works when your little one is a baby and later when they get to the toddler stage. You can only carry the baby in one position with this, but with a well-distributed weight that is even across the back and shoulders. It's highly recommended for newborns and for mums after a C-section. The We Made Me Wuti Wrap was shortlisted for the 2016 Mother&Baby Award for best baby carrier/sling.

Specs: 30.48 x 30.48 x 60.96cm. 87% nylon, 13% spandex

Pros:

  • Snug and secure
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable material

Cons:

  • Need a smaller size for petite parents
  • The material could have more stretch

Tested by mum, Sarah Panter for the Mother&Baby Awards 2016; she said, "I liked that this sling was made of breathable material. Wearing a baby can be warm for both mother and child so breathable material is a must. I liked the way the wrap felt comfortable and secure for both mother and baby, and allowed me the freedom to continue with day-to-day tasks having both hands free. It was easy to wrap up in a ball and transport too."

Read our full review of the We Made Me Wuti Wrap here.

Best baby sling for distributing weight

The most important advantage this sling has is you can carry both babies and toddlers (but not at the same time). It's also extremely simple to use. There are padded shoulder straps which can be helpful, making it particularly comfortable to wear, but some of our mum testers complained about the fact that it looks like a bulky style carrier.

Specs: Use from 0-24 months – 8-35lbs/3.6-15.9kg. Machine washable at 40°. Double safety lock. One size adjustable in a few seconds.

Pros:

  • Simple to use
  • Distributes weight evenly

Cons:

  • Bulky to carry when not in use

Tested by Amy Connolly, from Cornwall, mum to Bodhi, five months. She said, "I found this so simple to use. The instructions are great and easy to follow, and I found that the extra padding on the shoulder really helped distribute Bodhi’s weight evenly, making it particularly comfortable to wear. It sits well on my hip and provides good bum support, although I don’t think it would be practical for longer walks."

Read our full review of the We Made Me Soohu Sling Classic here.

Best baby sling for effortless use

This sling is different from the other ones in this list, as it is sized (rather than a one-size-fits-all design like many others). It's easy to use in different positions and for different ages. The only drawback is that you can't share it with your partner if they're a different body size to you. 

The Baby K'tan baby carrier is quick and easy to wear - no rings, belts, buckles or excess fabric. Just slip the baby sling over your head like a t-shirt.

Specs: comes in black or houndstooth colour options, in sizes XXS-XL. Cotton, machine washable

Pros:

  • Instructions are easy to follow
  • Good quality
  • Comfortable for you and baby

Cons:

  • Comes up small

One reviewer, said, "This is exactly what I was hoping for - the comfort and snugness of a sling/ wrap but with the ease of shoving on a baby carrier. Whose sleep-deprived brain can cope with a complicated wrap - mine can't - and I've tried! I can put this on in 30 secs and it soothes my baby who has colic and reflux almost instantly. It also means I can put my 4-year-old to bed while he sleeps in this so cosy and snug, and my hands are free. Feels very secure. Buy this product!"

Best budget baby sling

This baby sling is affordable without compromising on quality. You can use it from newborn to toddler, but it's perfect for when your baby is around six to 12 months old as your child can lie sideways in it for breastfeeding. It comes in several different colours and is the basic model from a wide range of slings from Je Porte Mon Bébé.

Specs: Available in black, olive and black and tan. Height: 50cm. Length: 460cm. Certified OekoTex 100

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Supports your little one

Cons:

  • Comes up small

One reviewer said, "Love this sling, originally bought a harder sling but my baby didn’t take to it. Highly recommend, great quality, feels safe and very secure and once you have mastered putting it on it becomes second nature. Just watch a video and practice, you won’t regret it. My baby struggles to sleep during the day but 9/10 times will sleep when in the sling. Hopefully not jinxed it by saying that!"

Best eco-friendly baby sling

The Izmi Baby Wrap was awarded bronze for best baby carrier/sling at the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards.

This supportive, super-soft bamboo wrap is designed to distribute your baby’s weight evenly, reducing pressure on your back. It has two carrying positions including parent-facing front carry and side carry.

Specs: Made from bamboo. Designed to fit around your growing baby from 2.3kg-9kg. Machine wash on a cold cycle.

Pros:

  • Good airflow
  • Easy to store
  • Well made

Cons:

  • Quickly outgrown

Tested by mum, Emily Hentley, she said, "This is absolutely amazing it’s like giving your newborn a cuddle the sling holds them right in tight and they are comfy as well as you. When my little boy was in the wrap he was so happy and settled. I have a toddler too and being able to have him in the wrap means I can easily go to playgrounds with my daughter or help her with other activities."

Read our full review of the Izmi Baby Wrap here.

Best baby sling for newborns

The Close Parent Caboo Lite Carrier was shortlisted for best baby carrier/sling at the 2021 Mother&Baby Awards.

Caboo is the original sling re-invented and has long been the UK's favourite newborn carrier. Easy to use alone it pops on over the head like a t-shirt, giving you all the great positioning, support and flexibility of a stretchy wrap but without the headache of tying. Once on it tightens down to fit baby and wearer exactly thanks to the clever rings. The soft wide straps make carrying more comfortable, and allow you to tuck little one's head in cheek to chest when needed. Caboo Lite is designed to provide all the same closeness for that little bit less!

Specs: H28 x W8 x D22cm, minimum user weight 2.27kg, 100% organic cotton, machine washable

Pros:

  • Perfect for newborns
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Instructions could be clearer

Tested by mum Laura for the M&B Awards 2021; she said, "In the early days, after my baby was born, she would only sleep for long periods of time when on me, therefore by being safe and secure in the carrier it would allow me to have my hands free and do jobs whilst she sleeps comfortably. I only received the carrier when my baby was a little older but it was still useful in that I could get out and about knowing my baby was comfortable."

You can read the full Close Parent Caboo Lite Carrier review from our mum testers here.

Try before you buy

Finding a sling you love is just like searching for a new fave pair of jeans – you need to try a lot to discover the style that really fits you. Go to a sling library or a sling meet – a get-together for new mums to try on different designs – and if it’s an option, book a slot with a babywearing consultant while you’re there to get tailored advice. Once you find a sling you like, it’s worth the small fee to hire it for a proper test drive – you’ll only use a sling if it’s seriously comfy, so spend time making damn sure before you invest! Find your nearest meet at slingpages.co.uk

Can I breastfeed my baby in a sling wrap?

You can use a sling wrap while breastfeeding however it does take some practice. Some manufacturers may suggest you don't feed while using their slings, so be sure to check this first. You can breastfeed in a sling wrap vertically or a more reclined position. Ensure your baby can breathe easily and keep an eye out for any trip hazards that may obstruct your path. You need to support your baby at all times while feeding, but using a wrap gives you more freedom generally. After feeding, change the position of your little one, making sure their head is facing up as well as being clear of the sling wrap and your body. 

Check out our tried and tested baby carrier slings

Our annual Mother&Baby Awards sees hundreds of baby products tried and tested by our panel of mums, so for extra peace of mind, be sure to check out the slings that won in the Mother&Baby Awards. Want some more options? Have a look at our favourite baby carrier backpacks and other baby carriers. Products are sent out to between three and 10 mum testers - they are completely independent of us at M&B and are recruited from thousands of mums who apply to be testers. They are all verified as trustworthy real mums and really put products through their paces - each item is tested in real life, with real babies. So if these products suck, our mums will tell us honestly! This means our list of the best baby slings is really comprehensive - we compile a list of our M&B Award winners, plus best sellers in the market with real mum reviews. 


Read more popular articles

 
  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited motherandbaby.co.uk before moving on to write about family cars for Parkers.co.uk - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and WhatsTheBest.co.uk 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

Other contributors

Lorna White - Digital Writer
Emily Thorpe - Digital Writer

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