What’s the Best Baby Carrier for Back Support and why? Top 5 Reviewed in this Complete Guide

Last Updated on March 6, 2021

Baby carriers allow moms, dads, and other caregivers to wear their baby, helping them feel safe and secure. They also make it possible for parents to get a few things done as they have their hands free. We all know that babies require a lot of attention. Especially at times when you need to cook dinner, tidy up the house, or pick up some groceries at the store. This all said, many parents, especially those who already have back pain, find some baby carriers to be uncomfortable to wear. I’ve put together this article to help you find the best baby carrier for back support to let you enjoy all the benefits of wearing your little one even if you have a bad back.

Check out the best baby carriers’ reviews for back support, or scroll even further down for more information.

5 Best Baby Carriers for Back Support Reviewed

LÍLLÉbaby Complete six Position Baby Carrier With Lumbar Support (Check the Price on Amazon)

The LÍLLÉbaby Complete has a wide belt for better weight distribution and extra lumbar support for added stability. Additionally, you can choose how to wear the straps (crossed or parallel). Parents with back issues usually prefer the X-configuration as it provides extra support.

When it comes to LILLEbaby Complete, you need to know that you can choose between five different versions- “Original”, “All Seasons”, “Embossed”, “Organic”, “and “Airflow. ” The main difference between them lies in the type of material used. For example, “Airflow “is made of only mesh to enhance the airflow in hot weather. If you’re looking for a luxurious baby carrier, then take a look at the “Embossed. ” And in some parts of the world, you can also get the “Organic “made of organic cotton. This all said, “Orginal “and “All Seasons “are very popular options.

This baby carrier is ergonomic for both you and your little ones. Your baby’s legs are positioned as recommended for proper hip development, and the material is soft, so it doesn’t cause hyperextension of the back.

You can wear your little one in six different positions:

  • You can wear your infant facing you, legs in, and there’s no need for an extra insert
  • “Infant Infard “means that your little one faces you, has neck support, and his or her legs are outside
  • Toddlers can also sit facing you, but you don’t need to use a neck support
  • Older babies can also sit facing outside, although this isn’t usually recommended
  • You can wear your toddler on your hips
  • It’s possible to wear older babies and toddlers on your back 

PROS

  • This carrier comes with a wide belt and extra lumbar support
  • You can wear the straps crossed for better upper back support
  • LILLEbaby Complete is an ergonomic baby carrier for your baby
  • A temperature-regulation panel and a sun hood (or sleeping hood) will make your baby’s life more comfortable when it’s hot outside. And if you live in the warm part of the world, you can opt for the “Airflow “version
  • In addition to other features, you can also adjust the seat width
  • LILLEbaby Complete has a pocket in the temperature-regulation panel. This said, you can’t really take advantage of this feature after opening the panel 
  • You can machine wash this baby carrier
  • Thanks to the five different versions (discussed before) and many different colors, you can definitely find a suitable model. At the moment of writing, you can even find Warcraft-themed “All Seasons “and “Original “versions 
  • This is a soft baby carrier

CONS

  • Because LILLEbaby Complete offers so many options to wear your baby, it can be hard to understand all the possibilities at first
  • It’s relatively bulky, but that’s the cost of providing good back support
  • There’s no pocket for the sleeping hood, but you can remove it 

Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier With Back Support (Check the Price on Amazon)

The Ergobaby Omni 360 is another excellent option to consider. This carrier is designed with padded lumbar support to keep your back comfortable and supported when you wear it. It also has deeply padded shoulder straps that can be worn in a backpack-style or a crossed style to allow you to tailor the support to your specific needs. The breathable mesh ensures sufficient airflow and keeps both you and the baby comfortable. The Ergobaby Omni 360 is designed to be used with newborn babies weighing 7 pounds to older babies or toddlers weighing up to 45 pounds. 

If offers five different carrying positions:

  • Front Carry: For newborns (baby facing inward with neck support)
  • Front Carry-Baby/ Toddler: For older babies and toddlers (facing inward without neck support)
  • Forward Facing: For babies five months and older (baby facing outward)
  • Hip Carry: For babies six months and older (baby on hip facing in)
  • Back Carry: For older babies with neck control and toddlers (baby or toddler on caregiver’s back)

To allow for easy adjustment or moving baby between inward and outward-facing, this carrier has a one-handed slider adjustment. It also features a generously-sized storage pound and a UPF baby hood. The hood is ideal for offering protection from the sun as well as privacy when the baby is napping or breastfeeding.

If you choose this baby carrier, you’ll be able to choose from over 15 attractive color choices, including pearl gray, blue, khaki green, midnight blue, onyx black, and plum.

PROS

  • Ergobaby Omni 360 comes with a wide lumbar support 
  • This carrier is ergonomic both for you and the baby. Additionally, you can choose between four different carrying positions depending on your needs
  • There are over 15 different color options to choose from
  • A tuck-away baby hood is ideal for sun protection, and you can also use it when breastfeeding
  • You also get a removable storage pouch 
  • It’s made of cotton, which is a soft material, and you can machine wash it

CONS

  • This model is a bit bulky to store or bring along when traveling

Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier With Lumbar Support (Check the Price on Amazon)

Baby Tula’s Explore Baby Carrier is another popular option for those who need the best baby carrier for back support. This model is designed with a deeply padded waistband that evenly distributes your baby’s weight to keep your back more supported and comfortable. It also has padded shoulder straps to support the neck and shoulders and keep them comfortable. The straps are easy to adjust to allow different caregivers to use the backpack at different times.

This carrier also offers flexibility in how you’re able to carry your baby based on their age and preferences. There are four different positions to choose from:

  • Front Carry-Infant: For newborns (baby facing inward with neck support)
  • Front Carry-Baby/ Toddler: For older babies and toddler (facing inward without neck support)
  • Forward Facing: For older babies and toddlers weighing between 13 and 22 pounds (facing outward)
  • Back Carry: For older babies with neck control and toddlers (baby or toddler on caregiver’s back)

Each of the four positions offers an ergonomic position to keep babies and toddlers comfortable. The carrier is also designed to ensure a baby’s hips are placed in the right position to allow for the healthy development of their hips and spine. There are also three width settings to accommodate growing children.

Tula offers five different attractive prints to choose from: Everblue, Forever, French Marigold, Sleepy Dust, and Tempo.

PROS

  • The wide lumbar support band evenly distributes weight to keep your back comfortable
  • You can choose from one of six carrying positions to best accommodate your baby’s needs. 
  • The carrier helps ensure babies are ergonomically positioned to allow for the healthy development of their spine and hips
  • The carrier is made from lightweight and breathable 100% cotton to keep both the baby and the caregiver comfortable. It can be washed in the washing machine for easy cleaning
  • It’s probably the least bulky option when it comes to baby carriers for bad back

CONS

Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier (Check the Price on Amazon)

Next, you’ll want to take a look at the backpack carrier from Luvdbaby. This carrier is ideal for parents looking for a solution to hold older babies and toddlers on walks and family outings. The carrier features an ergonomic design to keep parents comfortable as they carry their little ones. The design features comfortable padded straps and a padded support belt to ensure that the child’s weight is evenly distributed to prevent back pain. As a result, it’s one of the best baby carriers for hiking. The backpack height can also be adjusted to provide a proper fit for users of different sizes.

This carrier was also designed with a child’s comfort in mind. It has a padded interior and a removable sun visor to shield children from getting too much sun on a bright day.

Luvdbaby also designed this backpack to make outings with your child easier. It offers various pockets where you can store essential items to cut down on additional items you’ll need to carry. A foldable diaper pad is also included with the backpack for on-the-go diaper changes.

High-quality materials were used to make this backpack to allow it to last for many years. It is primarily made from durable and waterproof 600D and 300D ripstop polyester fabrics. The kick-out stand is crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum.

PROS

  • The backpack offered padded shoulder straps and a padded waist belt to distribute the weight evenly and alleviate back pain and pressure. A hard frame gives good support for the whole back
  • Numerous pockets are integrated into the design to hold essential supplies when you’re out
  • It is designed using durable and long-lasting materials
  • This backpack baby carrier is perfect for hiking as there is a rain and sun cover for your bundle of joy
  • The foldable aluminum frame makes it self standing if needed 

CONS

  • This backpack is designed for older babies and toddlers who have reasonable neck control; it is not a good option for newborns

BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One With Back Support (Check the Price on Amazon)

Last but not least, take a look at the BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One. BABYBJÖRN made improvements to previous models to create a more ergonomic and comfortable carrier for both the caregiver and the baby. This carrier is designed to be used with newborns through three-year-olds. It does not require a separate infant insert for very tiny babies. Additional padding was added to the shoulders to keep caregivers comfortable. It also features a waist belt to relieve pressure and provide extra stability.

There are four different carrying positions you can use based on your baby’s age and your preferences. Each position offers a wide seat to keep the baby healthy.

The four carrying positions you can choose from include:

  • “Newborn “: For newborns and babies who haven’t developed neck control yet (baby facing inward with neck support)
  • Facing In: For babies with good neck control and toddlers (facing inward without neck support)
  • Facing Out: For babies with reasonable neck control and toddlers facing outward)
  • Back: For babies with good neck control or toddlers (on the caregiver’s back)

PROS

  • This carrier is designed with padded straps and a padded wide waist belt for comfort and back support. This said the new model does not offer the option to wear the straps in a cross on the back. Many parents loved this feature as it provided more back support
  • Previous BabyBjörn baby carrier wasn’t ergonomic for the babys’ back- the material was too thick and caused hyperextension. This new model uses softer materials, so the newborn spine should stay in the natural C-shape. And the position of legs is, of course, ergonomic
  • Four different carrying positions help you to accommodate it to your needs
  • It’s made of soft mesh, so the carrier is breathable (perfect for hot weather) and easy to clean

CONS

  • There are no storage pockets
  • It’s the most expensive option from this list, but prices change, and you may want to check the latest price by clicking the provided (affiliate) links

What Baby Carrier Should I get?

The LÍLLÉbaby Complete (also sold on Amazon) ended up being the best baby carrier for lumbar support. You can scroll down to Sum Up section for a more through analysis. There’s also a comprehensive buying guide in case you wish to learn more.

Types of Baby Carriers and Different Ways to Carry Your Baby

Babywearing is an ancient tradition. As a result, you can find many different carrier versions around the world. Traditional types have become quite popular, so you can effortlessly buy them online.

If you’re looking for the best baby carrier for bad back, then structured versions are a more sure way to go. Still, it usually doesn’t hurt (see what I did here;) to also know about other popular options. 

Baby Carriers Based on a Piece of Cloth or Sling

Here I’ve explained the two most popular types (wraps and ring slings) more thoroughly. But Korean podaegis, onbuhimos from Japan, and Chinese Mei-Tai also belong here

1) Wraps

Wraparounds are long pieces (6.5ft to 20 ft) of cloth that you wrap around both you and the baby. Wraps allow you to carry your baby in different positions (front, back, or on the side), so they are very versatile.

They are woven or stretchy depending on the material used. Many parents prefer the latter because it’s easier to remove the baby from the carrier. Additionally, you don’t have to untie stretching wraps every time. This said, not all brands allow different positions.

If you’re looking for a baby carrier with back support, then some models provide it, although they usually aren’t the best baby carriers for bad back. Here’s a popular example by Boba Store (also sold on Amazon)

2) Ring Slings

While ring slings are a popular carrier choice for many parents, they aren’t ideal for those who need back support. These are essentially long pieces of fabric with one end attached to two rings. When your baby sits in it, you use the rings to lock the material in the right place.

Ring slings are versatile baby carriers, but because you carry the weight on your shoulders, not the best for parents with back pain. One side of your lower back has to work harder, which certainly won’t improve back pain and may make it worse.

Structured Baby Carriers

Structured baby carriers come with a predesigned system of straps and buckles to make babywearing possible. This said, not all of them are the best baby carriers for back support, and some of them require your baby to sit in an unergonomic position.

I’ll give you here the most popular types, and you can find my list of best baby carriers with lumbar support under the reviews section.

1) Soft-Structured Baby Carriers (SSC)

This is the most popular group and four out of five reviewed baby carriers can be calles SSC-s.

2) Baby Carrier Backpacks

Although many soft structured baby carriers allow you to carry babies on the back, hikers usually prefer models with a frame. Both options could be called carrier backpacks though.

If you’re looking for the best baby carrier with back support, then these are hard to beat. Carrying a baby on the back isn’t probably a viable option for everyday use though. The most obvious con is that you don’t see what’s up with your little one. 

Here you can see a popular model by Luvbaby (check the latest price on Amazon)

3) Hybrids

Not all carriers strictly belong to a particular subtype. You can find mei-tais with buckles, for example. 

4) Hip Seats

Hip seats aren’t ideal for parents with back issues, but it’s good to know that such things exist.

Why get the Best Baby Carrier for Back Support?

There are many benefits associated explicitly with wearing a baby in the best baby carrier with lumbar support. But I’ve also included the benefits of best baby carriers in general in case you wish a more comprehensive onlook. If you’re looking for the best baby carrier for bad back, then these are the way to go for the reasons listed below.

Best Baby Carriers for Back Support Don’t let Your Spine Tilt Forward

Carrying weight in front of you naturally tilts your body forward, and you need strong core muscles to counter that effect. Otherwise, you risk placing too much stress on your lower back and hips, and this may result in back pain. Wide lumbar support will aid you in keeping your body in the desired position. This is especially important if you already have a bad back.

Additionally, it’s relatively hard to do rotating movements with a structured baby carrier. This means that you’re less likely to make that wrong movement with extra weight and end up lying in bed with pain.

The Weight Distribution is More Optimal With the Best Baby Carrier With Back Support

Most traditional baby carriers require you to wear most of the weight on your shoulders. The process is similar to wearing a regular backpack. Best baby carriers with lumbar support have wide straps, so a lot of the weight is distributed to your hips, and load on your spine is reduced.

Additionally, wearing a structured baby carrier has the benefit of distributing the weight evenly. You can, of course, achieve this with a traditional version (e.g., wraps), but there’s more room for error. I don’t recommend wearing your baby on your hip if you’ve got a bad back.

Structured baby carriers are more forgiving in case you’re new to babywearing.

Best Baby Carrier for bad Back can Reduce Pain

Many people have back issues and chronic back pain. Sometimes very little is needed to exacerbate the ache, and baby carriers certainly aren’t magic items to eliminate the underlying cause. That said, if everything else fails, the best baby carrier with back support may help to get you through those first twelve months.

When working in the ER department, I saw hundreds of people with chronic back pain. Studies say that the effect of lumbar support is doubtful, but I’ve talked to many people who have benefited from using it. The pain-reducing effect can at least partially be attributed to the extra warmth caused by a wide belt. But a more balanced distribution of weight and extra stability are surely at least as (if not more) important.

Man with back pain trying to raise up from bed

Best Baby Carriers are Excellent for Transportation

Many parents prefer baby carriers to strollers when going to the grocery store or other places with their little ones. You can move faster as you don’t have to push a bulky stroller.

Additionally, you don’t have to worry about stepping away from the stroller (and leaving your baby alone) when grabbing things off different shelves. 

If you have another young child, then a baby carrier may be one of the best options to get around. 

Baby Carriers Help you to Keep up With Other Tasks

One of the biggest benefits, and a reason many parents choose to babywear, is that it can make day-to-day life with a newborn or young baby manageable. Many babies are very needy (they are babies after all:) and can make it challenging for parents to address the other household or work-related tasks they need to complete. With the best baby carrier with back support, you can both meet your baby’s need to be held and enjoy the use of your hands to attend to other tasks around the house.

Continue Working out

After your baby’s birth, it’s hard to find the time (or motivation) for exercising. But try to work out with your infant. The best baby carrier for bad back allows you to at least do your leg days or go walking with your little one.

Woman carrier a baby in a baby carrier

You can Calm Your Baby Thanks to the Extra Closness

One benefit of using a baby carrier is helping soothe your baby and keep them from crying. Many babies are very fussy or colicky and have a hard time sleeping or calming down if they aren’t being held. With a baby carrier, the baby is able to enjoy that sensation of being held tight by mom or dad, which is often enough to help them calm down, cry less, and sleep when they need to.

Although I want to point out to all new parents that it’s not a magic device. Babies need some adjustment time (at least ours did), and at first, baby carriers may have the opposite effect.

They can Help to Bond

Babywearing can also help strengthen the connection between a baby and his or her parents. Holding a baby or wearing them allows for more contact with a baby. Since parents who wear their baby in a baby carrier end up spending more time with their baby than they would without, they may be able to learn their cues and what they mean more quickly. For example, parents may quickly pick up on which cries indicate that the baby needs a diaper change, is hungry, or is overtired.

Baby Carriers can Prevent Unwanted Contact With Strangers

Having the best baby carrier with back support can also reduce the chance that strangers will try to touch your baby as they comment about how cute he or she is. 

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Baby Carrier for Back Support?

Ergonomic Design (for Your Baby and you) is Essential

Ergonomic Baby Carrier for the Baby

When choosing the best baby carrier, the health of your baby is paramount. The ergonomic design means that your little one is kept in a natural position. This is essential for normal hip and spine development :

  • The carrier should have a wide seat so it can support his bottom and allow legs to stay in a Jockey Position 
  • Newborns have a C-shaped spine. The best baby carrier for your back should also be good for your infant’s back. The material should be soft enough to let him or her assume the natural position. If the back is too hard, then the baby stays in a too straight position (hyperextension)
  • You want a carrier that places your baby so close that you can kiss his or her head. But it should be uncomfortably tight

Ergonomic Baby Carrier for you

The best baby carrier for back support should also be ergonomic for you. This means that you need a carrier that you can adjust to your height, that distributes the weight evenly, and you don’t feel any discomfort wearing it. I’ve already discussed some of the aspects more thoroughly in the previous paragraph.

ASTM/JPMA Certification

When you’re searching for the best baby carrier for your back, you see that they all are ASTM/JPMA certified. It’s important to point out they this label only ensures that the product is sturdy enough and isn’t directly dangerous to a child. The certification doesn’t guarantee that the product is ergonomic for your baby (that for you to find out:)

Some independent parties provide extra certifications, but if you have read this paragraph, you can make your own decision:

  • Make sure that the seat is wide and the child’s legs in a suggested position
  • The material should not be so hard that it causes hyperflexion of the spine

Lumbar Support Should be Wide

The lower back (lumbar spine) supports most of our upper body weight when we’re standing. This means that we can pretty much assume it to be synonymous with back support. There are, of course, hard-framed backpack baby carriers that support your whole back. 

Best Baby Carrier for back support help to hike. A dad holds his kid in a baby back carrier and they are hiking, there's a seat in the background

The lumbar support is designed to provide extra cushioning and support to your lower back. Baby carriers that offer lumbar support typically integrate it into the waist belt, which should be wide. A wide band ensures that you can tighten it above your hips and reduce the load to your spine. Additionally, the extra warmth provided by the support can have a local relaxing effect if you’ve got a bad back.

Is it adjustable, and do you Want to Carry him or her in Different Positions?

Best baby carriers with back support allow you to carry your bundle of joy in different heights and positions (front and back). While there are baby carriers that will enable you to move your little one on the side, they aren’t ideal for parents with back issues.

As we’re all different, one position may feel better to you. This may often change as your baby grows older and heavier though. In general, carriers that position the baby in a higher place on the front side tend to be more comfortable. 

As said (sorry for repeating myself), some carriers also offer the option to wear older babies on your back. It’s typically a good position for many users with back pain since it helps to evenly distribute the baby’s weight. But I know a dad who chose this option simply because he enjoys hiking with his little buddy.

Padded and Structured Shoulder Straps

Shoulder straps connected for more structure are the right choice for those looking for more back support. This design allows for more even weight distribution along the shoulders, which is also good for the back. In addition to finding more structured shoulder straps, look for models with sufficient padding. This will aid in your overall comfort and help ensure that weight is evenly distributed.

Dad carries a baby in a baby carrier

Pick a Material That’s Effortless to Clean and Breathable

The best baby carrier for back support should be lightweight, easy to clean, and breathable.

Cotton and mesh are two of the most popular options, and many models incorporate both. This said some manufacturers allow you to choose between a variety of different materials. All in all, the final choice comes down to your personal preferences.

I like mesh because it’s durable, so you can resell or give the carrier to other parents when you don’t need it anymore. As it’s also easy to clean, the receivers should be quite happy. Additionally, mesh is very breathable, so it’s comfortable to wear. The material is oftan scratchy, though, so even baby carriers made of mesh usually have cotton linings.

Take the Cost Into Account

Best baby carriers for back support cost more than wraps and ring slings. You can expect to pay around 120 dollars for them (it very much depends on the model though). A simple baby wrap, on the other hand, costs approximately 25 dollars. If you have back problems, then a structured model is, of course, the way to go. But if you plan to use it only a couple of times, you may be able to lend it from someone.

Additional Tips for Using the Best Baby Carrier for Back Support

When it’s Safe to use Baby Carrier for Newborns? 

It would be better to use wraparounds for the first couple of months. The reason is that carrying a small newborn may need some finetuning, and wraps are incredibly versatile. This said, they don’t offer much lumbar support, and the task can be daunting for a beginner. 

You can, of course, use baby carriers with back support from birth. The minimum recommended weight is usually 7-8lb. The problem with newborns is that they can’t support themselves and may easily end up in an unwanted position. So you need to be extra vigilant.

When your baby is around two months old, he should be able to raise her head. This means that your little one has developed some muscle strength, and you can safely use a structured baby carrier.

Read the Instructions

When using a baby carrier, it is essential to make sure your baby is properly secured. Always check with the manufacturer’s instructions regarding how to wear the carrier, how to strap a baby in, and appropriate age or weight limits for different carrying positions.

I know that it seems like a lot of effort for many dads, but these things aren’t as intuitive as we’d like. Additionally, sometimes only a little adjustment (mentioned in the booklet) makes all the difference.

Carry Your Baby Facing you

As I’ve explained before (sorry for repeating myself), many baby carriers allow different positions. And it’s up to you which one you like the best. The only one I recommend avoiding is the front-facing position (at least for the first twelve months). You can’t monitor your bundle of joy, and it’s hard to position him or her ergonomically. In the reviews, you can see official manufacturers’ recommendations though.

A father looks at his baby in a baby carrier

Some Space is Good but not too Much

As a general rule, when you use a baby carrier, you want your baby’s face in view and close enough that you’ll be able to bend your head down and reach your baby to give them a kiss. If they are farther away from you than this, it is likely a sign that you’ll need to reposition them. 

Also, check to ensure that your baby’s chin is not directly on their chest. There should be at least a one-inch gap under their chin to ensure their airway is open.

Don’t be Afraid to ask for Help

All baby carriers are different, and after a couple of days of using one, you’ll be a pro. That said, at first, they are quite confusing. So don’t be afraid to ask somebody (partner, friends, parents, anybody) for help.

I used a product that had a quite confusing locking system, and I needed help in even getting the thing off. Additionally, somebody had to place my little buddy inside the carrier as I fastened the shoulder straps. After a couple of days, I was self-sufficient though. And some models are also easier to use than others.

To Sum Up

A baby carrier makes it possible for parents and caregivers to hold and soothe their baby while also retaining the use of their hands to attend to the numerous other tasks they need to accomplish. Finding the best baby carrier for back support can help parents take advantage of all those benefits even if they’ve got a bad back.

While I like all five reviewed carriers and think any one of them would be an excellent solution to parents or caregivers who require some extra back support, the LÍLLÉbaby Complete is my top choice (check the price on Amazon). It offers padded wide shoulder straps that can be used in X-position. A wide ergonomic waist belt distributes some of the weight to your hips. All in all, these features work together to ensure that it’s probably the best baby carrier for your back.

The LÍLLÉbaby Complete also allows for six different carrying positions to accommodate babies and toddlers are varying ages and sizes. It is also designed to ensure that your baby stays comfortable and secure. And there are five different versions available, making it a really versatile product.

We think you’ll love the LÍLLÉbaby Complete. However, if you feel like one of the other carriers we reviewed is a better fit for your specific needs, don’t hesitate to purchase it either, as you really can’t go wrong with any of the five carriers we reviewed!

Baby Tula Explore (also sold on Amazon) is probably the best soft structured baby carrier out there. It’s very soft and isn’t bulky. Additionally, it’s guaranteed to be ergonomic.

Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier (Check the Price on Amazon) is again one of the best baby carriers for hiking.

Thanks for reading!