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Baby Carriers for 5 to 18 months

Best Baby Carriers for babies from 5 to 18 months old

Manduca baby carrier with toddler in front carry position

Understanding Baby's Development - 5 months to 18 months

At 5 months, most babies would have achieve neck control. Weight wise the baby would be weighing between 6 to 9kgs. Through the next few months, your baby would be developing balance and strength to row over, sit by themselves, crawl and about 11 to 14 months old start cruising and walking. Their weight will increase steadily from 5 months old till they turn one year when they start walking, grow taller and the weight gain becomes more gradual from then on. At one year  old, your child should weigh between 8 to 12kgs. At 18 months, most toddlers would weight between 10 to 14kgs.

This is the phase of your baby's life that carrying your baby is something very essential yet it gets progressively tougher to carry them comfortably with their increasing weight. Babies and toddlers of this age continues to need a lot of sleep and napping throughout the day is common and required for healthy growth. When they are awake, kids of this age loves to see the world. Upright carry is the preferred position now compared to the curled up position when they were younger. A good baby carrier can make carrying your baby a painless affair and allow your child to learn from observing you and the world around them.

The key need that a good baby carrier must cater to for babies of this age group is essentially help parents carry their child's increasing weight comfortably. As parents would likely be more mobile and adventurous with babies of this age, the flexibility and ease of use of the baby carrier for different carrying positions and for different occasions such as hiking, traveling becomes determining factors for selection of a suitable carrier as well.

Selecting the Most Suitable Baby Carrier for Babies 5 months to 18 months

The recommended baby carrier for babies from 5 months to 18 months is the ergonomic soft structured baby carriers which includes Mei Tais, Backpack Carriers and Hip Carriers. These carriers ergonomically allow carrying babies 10 to 15kgs. The relatively ease of use also make them the preferred choice for carrying toddlers that needs to get in and out of the carriers often.

Baby ring slings are excellent for younger babies, however as your child grows, they will breach the comfort weight limit for extended periods of carrying (about 30mins). The baby slings can continue to be use for shorter periods of carrying or for baby nursing purposes but they are not recommended for extended periods of carrying.

Baby wraps have better ergonomics than the baby slings and can still be use comfortably with the increased weight of the child. However, it gets relatively more challenging to use when the child grows taller and needs to get in and out the carrier often.

Carrier Comparison Table for 5 to 18 months old Toddlers

Baby Carrier Weight Distribution Comfortable Weight/child size Limit Ease of Use Additional Remarks
Baby Ring Slings Poor
(single shoulder only)
8 to 12kgs depending on fabric & design Very Easy
  • Still the best carrier for discreet breastfeeding and short period carrying.
Boba Wraps (Formerly known as Sleepy Wraps) Good
(All round but limited by stretchy material)

16kgs or 18 mths old

Easy but gets more challenging as child grows taller
  • Most comfortable for 1 year old & below. Heavier weight can cause the stretchy material to sag which users might find uncomfortable.
Je Porte Mon Bebe (JPMBB) Wraps Excellent
(All round wrap support)

14kgs or 36 mths old

Easy but gets more challenging as child grows taller
  • Combines the ease of use of stretchy wraps with the sturdiness & support of traditional non-stretchy wraps.
Ellaroo Woven Wraps Excellent
(All round wrap support)
16kgs or
up to 4 years old*
Steep learning curve. Retying required often.
  • An extremely versatile baby/toddler carrying solution limited only by your skill in using one.
Backpack Carriers Excellent
(Hip support & both shoulders)
18 to 22kgs
up to 2 to 6 years old*
(Depending on Carrier brand & model)
Very Easy. See Backpack Carriers page for detail comparison
of our range of Backpack Carriers
Baby Hip Carriers Good
(Hip/waist support but single shoulder only)
16kgs or
up to 2 years old*
Very Easy.
  • Hip carrying is not the most ergonomic position but it is a better alternative to forward facing positions that some carriers offer that require baby to be hung by their crotch which is not good for the baby's spinal development.
Mei Tais Good
(Waist support & both shoulders)
18kgs or
up to 3 years old*
Easy but requires tying.
  • In many ways, most modern backpack carriers model after the traditional mei tai in design. Although comparable in ergonomics, the Mei Tai's long straps make it less managable when used outdoors.
* The guideline on the age of child is derived based on an average size Asian child. This can vary according to your child's physique.
Baby Ring SlingsBaby ring slings are one of the most versatile baby carriers available on the market. Suitable from newborn onwards, they are most suited for nursing babies and breastfeeding mothers as it facilitates discreet breastfeeding. Fashioned after the Indonesian Selendang, it is made simply from a stretch of cloth (material range from cotton, cotton blends, silk, linen, linen blends to synthetic mesh) and a pair of rings made from nylon or metal.
Boba Wrap Baby WrapsThe Boba Wrap (formerly known as Sleepy Wrap) is designed with just the right amount of elasticity, conforming perfectly to your body with no need for constant readjusting unlike less elastic baby wraps. When using the Boba Wrap to carry your newborn, toddler or even a preemie, the closeness and lull of your heartbeat with settle & calm your baby. No baby is too tiny for the Boba Wrap & premature infants actually thrive when in a Boba Wrap. It is also ideal for discreet breastfeeding in.
Ellaroo Baby WrapsThe Ellaroo Wrap has that just-right stretch, to form around you and baby, without being bouncy. The simplicity of design make this one of the most versatile baby carrier you can find. The Ellaroo Wraps are woven for Ellaroo by a cooperative of weavers in Guatemala. These hand woven cotton are highly breathable, comfortable to touch and extra gentle to baby skin. Most suited for use with newborns onwards to 35lbs (16kg).
Backpack Baby CarriersCarrying heavier or older babies can put a strain on a wearer or mother’s back. Selecting a baby carrier that promotes the well-being of both mother and baby is of utmost importance to us at Baby Slings & Carriers. Our range of ergonomic soft structured backpack baby carriers from Manduca, Patapum, Boba & CatBirdBaby Pikkolo products safely hugs baby close to you, while you tend to your errands.
Baby Hip CarriersThe hip carry position is a very useful to carrier position to engage a growing toddler. It allows the baby to face forward and is much more ergonomic position than a front facing carrier that hangs baby by the crotch. The Ellaroo Mei Hip carrier is designed specially for hip carry only, whereas there are other carriers such as the Manduca and the Pikkolo baby carriers are multi-position carriers that allows for hip carrying among other carrying positions.
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