Small and compact things are great because they’re easy to carry and store. But if that small size is a mom looking for the best baby carrier for petite moms, all the advantages of being short or small go out the window.
Not every soft-structured carrier fits petite frames that well. Many soft-structured carriers are bulky and have straps that tend to stick out a bit. And this makes it look like the carrier is wearing mom and baby!
As for ring slings and baby wraps, they’re OK. However, some smaller moms don’t enjoy the feel of all the fabric folds that baby wraps pile on the body. Plus some wraps such as the Boba Wrap can heat things up real bad, making for extremely uncomfortable carries.
Fortunately, I researched around quite a bit. I asked questions in a bunch of parenting communities and consulted a few petite moms I know. I also pored through tons of customer reviews online to learn even more. And I found 5 baby carriers that fit small moms better than most.
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Who Came Out on Top?
The SUNVENO Baby Hipseat Ergonomic Carrier did. This carrier is designed to allow kids to sit on a soft, comfortable, foamy seat so that their legs don’t dangle. The waistband is wide and solid, and it adjusts with ease and stays secure once buckled up.
One area where the SUNVENO outshines most carriers is its generous storage capacity. There’s at least 3 pockets that hold everything from a smartphone, keys, baby wipes, diapers, its wind/sun canopy, credit cards, baby snacks, and more. But it gets even better: there’s a water bottle or coffee cup holder so that active moms can hydrate on the go.
While this carrier doesn’t offer any kind of dedicated lumbar support, the majority of parents who used it didn’t experience any kind of lower back pain. I suppose the crisscross shoulder strap design took most of the pressure that’d otherwise have distributed over the lower back.
Finally, this thing comes with a sun canopy that you can attach and detach as needed. But the MAIN reason I chose the SUNVENO Baby Hipseat Ergonomic Carrier is that babies LOVE it...because it’s one of the comfiest carriers they’ve ever sat in.
You can carry baby facing in or out, and it works for newborns and older kids up to month 36. It’s the only carrier you’ll ever need.
Most importantly, this baby carrier works great for petite moms. Its easy-to-adjust straps let you customize the fit to different sizes. It even works well for short, busty moms. All that said, it’s a bit bulky, but that’s the way it is with carriers this structured and solid.
5 Baby Carriers That Petite Moms Really Love
Here’s a list of 5 baby carriers designed with the unique needs of small, petite moms in mind. They’re not perfect in every way, but they work. Plus, they’re reasonably priced and are available in multiple colors and designs so that moms of all body sizes are spoiled for choice.
1. Baby Tula Coast Explore Mesh Carrier: Premium Pick
The Baby Tula Coast Explore Mesh Carrier (with the Land Before Tula color and print) fits small moms better than most. It’s size adjustable, and the shoulder straps and waist strap have adequate padding that makes for super comfy carries.
Speaking of carries, this option lets you carry baby on the back, facing out, and facing in. Every carrying position is hip healthy, and the leg openings have decent padding so that your baby won’t be fussy.
Most Baby Tula carriers don’t allow parents to tote tots around in the face-out position, but the Baby Tula Coast Explore does. If your kiddo is curious and their neck muscles are strong enough that they can hold their head up throughout the carry, get this.
It’s good for newborn use and serves you and baby until they’re old enough to no longer need babywearing. You can use it for little angels weighing 7 pounds and toddlers weighing up 45 pounds. 7-45 pounds happens to be the standard weight limit for this kind of carrier so nothing spectacular there.
And no, you don’t need an insert to safely carry a newborn or infant. Nothing sucks worse than an expensive carrier that needs you to buy the insert separately. I feel baby carrier brands should stop making carriers like that already.
One thing that makes the Tula Coast Explore is how lightweight it is. Soft-structured baby carriers are naturally heavy and bulky, but the Tula Explore is different. Well, it still feels a tad bulky if you’re a petite mom, but it doesn’t wear you like others do!
It’s a simple, functional design that keeps baby closer to mom/dad than most structured carriers ever could. There’s no bulky parts to adjust, and it feels like you’re carrying your baby in a baby wrap.
The cotton fabric used to make this carrier is pretty soft, even softer the Lillebaby Airflow’s fabric, but it could be softer. And like that this carrier has a mesh panel on the back so your baby can keep cool during those quiet summer walks on the beachside or wherever your adventures take you.
But for the price, this thing should really come with lower back support. Fortunately, Baby Tula sells $20 lumbar support, but why spend more when many similar options offer lumbar support for cheaper? If you have a bad lower back, buy something else, and if you really love this Tula carrier, get their detachable lumbar support.
Related: Best Bad Back Baby Carriers
- Fits petite moms better than many
- One of the lightest structured carriers out there
- Doesn’t feel bulky, a good choice for small moms
- Made from really soft cotton fabric
- Decent padding where it should be: waist, shoulders, and leg holes
- Good for summer walks thanks to the mesh on the back
- Supports baby-facing out carries unlike most Baby Tulas
- Machine washable
- Pricey but lacks lumbar support
2. Baby K’Tan Original Wrap Carrier: Available in Multiple Sizes
Baby wraps are a great way to tote around tots in, but most wraps are a real hassle when it comes to wearing them. The Baby K’Tan Original is one of the easiest baby wraps to get on and off.It’s for kids in the 8-35 pound range.
Unlike other wrap carriers that are a million miles long and require watching countless YT videos to figure out, the Baby K’Tan Original is extremely easy to use.
Get it out of the box, wear it, slip baby in, and off you go! If you’re like me and prefer things that work right out of the box rather than those that necessitate bazillions of trials and errors, you’ll love this.
In the package, you get very-easy-to-follow instructions (pictures) so you can strap baby in, free your hands for other tasks, and start bonding with baby.
This is a sized baby wrap BTW. To decide what size Baby K’Tan Original wrap to order, use the size chart provided on the company’s website. And if you’re between sizes, go with the smaller size. Why?
Because the Baby K’Tan Original is made from a T-shirt-like material that stretches quite a bit. Since baby needs to stay close to your body and the carrier stretches, it’s best to size down. If you’re between dress sizes 4 and 6 (US) for example, pick size XS and not S.
Once your baby gets used to the snug fit, they’ll start loving this wrap. If it feels a tad too tight at first, don’t worry. It gets roomier after a couple of wears and the fit gets that much better and comfier.
Size small is for the smallest moms out there. Even if you’re a US dress size zero, this the ready-to-use baby wrap for you — just make sure to choose the right size, in this case size XXS. Size XS works comfortably for most 4’11” moms all the way up to 5’4″ give or take.
Remember that calculating your size using the provided baby wrap size chart is the best way to decide which size to choose. For the most part, this wrap fits true to size.
Even though the description says you can nurse your LO in the Baby K’Tan Original, I’m not too sure about that. I’m not petite, and I have a different size, but when I found I had to take baby out for a better breastfeeding position.
Here’s one reason to support the founders behind Baby K’Tan: they give a portion of their profits to the National Down Syndrome Society and the American Heart Association. They definitely deserve my $$.
- A Hip-healthy choice
- Cheaper than most soft-structured carriers
- Several sizes available: There’s a size for every size
- Offers a great fit for small moms
- Stretches a bit for comfort and better fit
- Not technical to use: no buckles, straps, and excess fabric to mess with
- Machine washable (put in a wash bag)
- Doesn’t work great for nursing moms
3. Ergobaby Embrace Cozy Newborn Wrap Carrier: Best Petite Mom Baby Wrap
The Ergobaby Embrace works for many different sizes, from XS all the way to size XXL. The waistbelt adjusts from 22″ all the way to 54″, meaning petite and big moms can comfortably use it.
It’s the quintessential baby wrap, a cross between a structured carrier and a ring sling. Its fabric consists of 3 different fibers namely cotton (79%), polyester (17%), and spandex (4%). Each of these fibers brings a certain advantage to the mix.
Cotton adds strength and keeps things nice, soft, and warm. Polyester adds strength, durability, and makes the fabric dry quicker while spandex pours in stretchability which improves the fit while boosting comfort.
Unfortunately, this fabric pills over time, and it doesn’t look too appealing on colors such as blue. You probably won’t be able to hand this carrier down to anyone since it’s not the most durable. And because it stretches, it tends to gets all saggy as baby grows.
For these reasons, I recommend this for newnborns and not older kids and toddlers even though the stated upper weight limit is 25 pounds. Past 15 pounds, it begins to feel like your baby’s outgrown the carrier.
It’s a lightweight knitted fabric that breathes quite well, which means you can use for summer babywearing. It’s pretty thin and easily stores in a diaper bag.
This wrap comes all sewn up with an-easy-to-adjust buckle straps fitted across the middle of the back. As is the case with the Baby K’Tan, there isn’t any kind of technical tying to do.
Nor is there any excess material to drag on germy floors and other surfaces. Simply wear the wrap, buckle the waist strap, get baby in, snap the two shoulder straps in, and that’s it.
Compared to the K’Tan (which provides zero head and neck support), the Ergobaby Embrace offers great neck support so your baby won’t suffer whiplash. Very few wrap-style carriers offer good neck support, so it’s a big win for this option. One you put your LO in this wrap, I promise they’ll stop fussing around fall to sleep right away!
Can you breastfeed in the Ergobaby Embrace? I found it’s easier to nurse your baby in this thing. The manufactures recommends that breastfeeding be done when seated.
First off, loosen the shoulder straps and then position the baby’s mouth over the titty. When nursing baby, make sure that the face at no presses against your body. Once you’re done nursing baby, return baby to the original carrying position and tighten the shoulder straps.
- A long waistbelt that accommodates different parent sizes
- Soft, stretchy material that feels super comfortable
- Easy to use and works for nursing moms
- Great for toting newborns around
- Breathes pretty well and dries reasonably quickly
- Available in a variety of color options
- Machine washable
- Not ideal for heavier, older kids
- Price could come down a bit
- Fabric pills and sags over time
4. SUNVENO Baby Hipseat Ergonomic Carrier: Best Value and Best Overall
So your LO’s been fussy and refuses to be comforted in every other carrier you’ve carried. And you’re wondering if the SUNVENO Baby Hipeseat Ergonomic Carrier is that elusive option your baby needs to be happy when being carried. I have good news for you — the SUNVENO Baby Hipseat is really different and works differently.
As the name suggests, this choice has parents carrying their babies on a foam-padded seat that’s positioned around the hips. Many carriers out there have a seating area that’s totally uncomfortable, and demonstrate their displeasure by being all trouble and nothing else during the outing.
The beautiful thing about the SUNVENO Baby Hipeseat is that your little one’s legs don’t dangle as they do with other carriers. Rather, your LO stays seated on a soft, foamy seat with a wide enough sitting surface. And this seating area is so soft so that even newborns with super soft skin don’t want you to get them out.
Another beautiful thing about the SUNVENO Baby Hipeseat is how easy it is to use. Position it at the hip level, get the shoulder straps over the shoulders and crisscross at the back. Take the straps and bring them to the sides of the seating area, clipping them into place. Adjust these straps to tighten or loosen them as needed.
Next, place baby on the seat and hold them with one hand as you work the straps attached behind them. Snap one of the front buckles into place below the top of the shoulders and do the same for the other buckle strap.
Finally, work the waist straps and then tighten/loosen every strap for the best fit possible and comfort. BTW, one part of the waistbelt has velcro while the end has a buckle.
Even though it lacks dedicated lower back support, most moms didn’t experience discomfort even after babywearing for long. Maybe it’s because the crisscross strap fit on the back takes some of the pressure of the back.
If you’re a short and plump mom and can’t seem to find anything that fits perfectly, give this thing a chance. One thick-in-the-middle mom found this to be the best-fitting carrier of everything she’d ever tried.
It also works well for short moms who aren’t as plump, but it’s quite bulky. If you really small, like short and skinny, this might not work very well for you.
Many carriers even some obscenely pricey ones, don’t have pockets for storing keys, smartphone, credit cards, library cards, baby wipes, diapers, and whatnot. But the SUNVENO Baby Hipeseat is a pocket-rich choice. There’s a side pocket on the right side that’d fit most phones and a place on the other side to fit in a sippy cup or a even a water bottle.
Below the seating area is another zippered pocket for storing things like debit or library cards and keys. Finally, there’s a velcro-shut diaper and baby wipe pocket behind the back panel.
Lest I forget, this carrier comes with a detachable, thin-fabric canopy for when things get sunny outdoors. That’s lots of value for just $80.
- Tons of storage space for phone, cards, keys, diapers, and wipes
- Adjusts easily to fit petite moms and bigger ones
- Detachable sun canopy
- Packs tons of value for the money
- Price seems reasonable for the price
- Features a place to hold a Sippy cup/water bottle
- Baby sits on a seat and legs don’t dangle — a super comfortable sitting position
- Great for short, plump, busty moms
- No lumbar support
5. Nalakai Linen/Bamboo Ring Sling : Best Summer Small-Mom Sling
If you’re petite, live in a Texas-like climate, and tried the Boba Wrap and hated it, it’s time to try out the Nalakai Luxury Bamboo/linen Ring Sling.
This is a stylish ring sling, one that draws comments like a magnet. Please be nice and tell every curious stranger where you bought it.
Formerly known as Pura Vida, Nalakai is a mom-owned business that deeply cares about carrier safety. Small wonder all their carriers boast the CPSIA and ASTM approval for safety. Provided you tie the sling properly and babywear within the stated weight limits (be sure to watch Pura Vida videos on how to use this sling), it shouldn’t be unsafe for your baby.
Tying this sling involves a little learning, but it’s not too hard. Even a beginner babywearer shouldn’t have trouble using it after watching a video or two.
Any petite mom who ever wore the Boba Wrap knows how oven-hot the mile-long wrap gets. If you wore that wrap in the summer, all those extra layers did a great job of trapping heat in and nearly roasted your baby and you! You hated the experience and probably vowed to never ever buy anything from Boba.
The Nalakai is nothing like the Boba Wrap. One big different (and the most important one) is that while the Boba Wrap is over 5 yards long, Nalakai ring slings measure between 74″ and 85″ lengthwise. That converts into just 2-2.3 yards, which is a reasonable length for petite moms. A sling this long won’t have you creating so many folds, nor will it have some of the fabric sweeping the ground clean wherever you go!
It’s made environmentally friendly blended fabric consisting of bamboo and linen. Not only are these materials soft, but they’re also lightweight and breathable, making the carrier a worthy choice for summertime babywearing.
The aluminum rings are solid and durable, plus testing’s found them to free of lead. As for the fabric, it’s been tested for flammability and support and found to be safe. With this thing, you can hip-carry, side-carry, back-carry, and front-carry with a worry in the world PROVIDED you tie it correctly.
Even though the Nalakai lacks neck support for newborns, you can get creative and twist the tail and fold it behind the newborn’s neck so it can serve as a supportive pillow.
- Made from Mother Earth-friendly natural fibers
- Lightweight yet strong and breathable
- Tested for flammability and safety and approved by ASTM and CPSIA
- Made by a mom-owned company
- Wraps around petite moms without leaving too much excess fabric
- Good for summertime babywearing
- Sold in a wide variety of colors to fit every style
- No head and neck support
Petite Mom Baby Carrier Buying Advice
Choosing anything wearable is never easy if your size is outside of what’s considered normal or average. If you’re taller or shorter than most people, finding something that works well for your smaller frame isn’t always a stroll in the park. But with the buying advice below, picking out a well-fitting and comfortable baby carrier for a small wearer gets that much easier.
9 Considerations to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a Petite-Mom Baby Carrier
Let’s dive right in.
1.Which Baby Carrier Style Works Best for Small/Petite Moms?
Petite can easily and comfortably use structured baby carriers such as those from Ergobaby, BabayJorn, and many other carrier brands. A petite person can choose from any of three baby carrier types: soft-structured, pack-style carriers (mostly for hiking and heavy outings), baby wraps, and ring slings.
Are Soft-structured Carriers a Good Option for Petite Moms?
Yes, most are. One good thing about a soft-structured carrier is that it offers great comfort and adjustability. This adjustability makes it possible for parents or caregivers of different body sizes to share baby carrying.
You adjust the waistband, shoulder straps , and even seat position. Those with a crisscross design are a favorite for many petite moms due to the extra support and comfort this ability provides.
A wide waistband that adjusts really well is a great choice for many parents, but if you’re a small mom, you likely won’t like the waistband too wide. I mean, you have a small body. And a waist belt that’s too wide hides a large chunk of your body, making you look even smaller. Plus, too nothing that’s extra wide ever looks particularly flattering on a small frame.
Another huge pro with SSCs is that they’re extremely durable, at least the best ones. Plus, most come with pockets which serve as storage for things like keys, phones, and other essentials. Also, they’re easy to figure out compared to either baby wraps or ring slings. But they’re not without a few disadvantages…
What’s Not So Great About SSCs
One disadvantage of a soft-structured carrier is that some can be pretty large and bulky. And some are clearly meant for larger moms and dads since they have really wide shoulders and waistbands. When a small mother wears a carrier like this one, comfort suffers greatly because the shoulder straps tend to stick out in a way that doesn’t look nice.
Also, SSCs aren’t the most budget-friendly choice. While some cost as little as $80, the best of the best (which also tend to be the bulkiest of the bulkiest) live well north of $250.
On the whole, many small-sized moms love structured carriers because most are pretty comfortable, fit different body sizes well, plus these are the easiest-to-use and safest baby carriers out there.
Ring Slings and Baby Wraps
Ring slings are just as the name suggests, a simple fabric creation that parents pop on and off as needed. But don’t let their simplicity of design deceive you, some can have quite a learning curve as far as use.
They’re almost always a single-color straight material with two metal rings sewn into the ends for holding things together during use. Slings are usually a one-shoulder carry, which means they’re not the best option in the comfort department.
Baby wraps don’t have any rings, and while they’re really lightweight, they tend to be bulkier than slings. There’s more fabric to deal with, which isn’t a good thing for petite moms.
One reason wraps and slings are a great choice for petite moms is that they’re easy to adjust to the size of the wearer. Most are a one-size-fits-all designs, and they work for both large and small parents.
Note that baby wraps and slings aren’t as safe as soft-structured baby carriers. In fact, doctors and other experts have warned parents about the potential risks of toting tots in ring slings. To be clear, ring slings can be safe if used correctly, but there’s always a chance that they may come loose and drop the baby!
Another thing with wraps and slings is that some consist of too much fabric. Whether you’re a smaller or bigger mom, you need to find a way to tuck in much of the excess fabric. Of course there’s more of the excess material to handle if you’re on the smaller side of the size spectrum.
2.Will You Share Baby Carrying With Another Person?
If you’ll share babywearing with your SO or another person, be sure to pick something that adjusts to a smaller or larger body size. Fortunately, the baby carrier swarms with adjustable size baby slings, wraps, and soft-structured carriers of all sizes and shapes.
When shopping for a carrier that’ll be shared between two or more caregivers, pay attention to how well it adjusts for size. Note that some baby carriers such as the Baby K’Tan Original Carrier are a single-size option. The Baby K’Tan Original is available in several sizes, and you need to choose a size that fits your petite frame. Once you pick a size, you can’t adjust it at all since this baby wrap isn’t size adjustable.
3.Carrier Support and Comfort
Since the baby will be resting on your weight, it’s advisable to choose a carrier that offers adequate padding. You need sufficient padding around the shoulders and waistbands for comfort and support.
In terms of carrier support and comfort, structured carriers win out over baby wraps and ring slings. Slings and wraps are typically a thin piece of fabric, and while they mold nicely around the body, they’re not super supportive to baby.
Take care when buying because some slings tend to keep the baby in the fetal position which experts say can be unsafe for babies. The back of the baby curls into a C shape, and this can make it hard for baby to breathe.
Also, doctors have associated suffocation risk with ring slings, and while suffocation-related deaths aren’t common, they do happen. Few undesirable eventualities have been reported, and some feel that ring slings are a no-no for babywearing.
4.Consider an Option With Multiple Carrying Positions
Some carrier styles such as backpack carriers are designed exclusively for back carries. But many structured carriers offer multiple carrying modes such as back carries, side carries/hip carries, and front carries. A front carry can have the baby facing outward or inward.
If you’re wanting to buy a carrier for toting a newborn or infant around, make sure it offers front carrying positions. A forward-facing carry isn’t for newborns and infants. It’s for kids who have relatively strong torsos, those who can keep their head up during babywearing.
But whether you’re shopping for a newborn or toddler, you never want to allow your kid to snooze while facing forward. When a baby falls asleep, they have less control of their body which leans forward into the carrier. The carrier pushes in the opposite direction, against the baby’s body. And this can cause issues to breathing.
When your baby grows into toddlerhood or gets too heavy for a front-carry, it’s best to start carrying them on your back. Back carrying distributes baby weight more evenly compared to hip and front carries. And if you have lower back pain, a back carry is more comfortable and less stressful.
Hip carries are also a nice way to stay in close contact with your body, but they’re not comfortable for everyone. Always go with a supportive carrying position that also feels nice and comfy for you and your baby.
Soft-structured carriers typically offer more carrying modes compared to slings and wraps. Some have as many as 6 or carrying positions while others are designed exclusively for back carries. As for baby ring slings and wraps, choose these if you’re OK with toting your tot around in 1-2 positions.
5.Storage Space for Keys and Other Items
Having a few pockets on a carrier is always a nice thing. You need a convenient way to store your keys, your smartphone, wallet, and whatnot. But here’s the thing: most carriers (with the exception of some heavy-duty structured carriers for hiking and other heavy outdoor pursuits) come with tiny pockets that don’t fit much stuff.
If you’re active and like being outside walking with your baby, get an option that comes with a detachable daypack. Carriers with a daypack tend to be pricey, often costing upward of $250. You can always use an existing pack though.
Such a bag increases the carrier’s storage space so you can bring pretty much everything you need. You should be able to pack a few baby wipes, maybe a diaper change, a wallet, keys, phone, and even snacks.
6.Comfort Around Leg Openings
Leg hole openings need to be super comfortable or your baby will start hating being toted around in a carrier. Babies and toddlers hate soft-structured carriers that lack soft, comfortable padding around the leg openings. Such options keep rubbing off against baby’s soft skin, causing discomfort and annoyance.
Leg opening comfort isn’t important in slings and baby wraps though. These carriers are merely a soft fabric, and for the most part, you get to decide where the legs will stick out of the carrier.
7.What’s the Climate Like Where You’re At?
If you live in an area that sees moderate weather conditions year-round (not too hot nor too cold), get an all-season baby carrier. This carrier works well for warmer weather and cooler weather as well.
But if you’re from a predominantly warm or hot climate geo, consider getting a highly breathable baby carrier. Slings and wraps work well for this climate type, but there are also a bunch of SSCs with highly permeable mesh panels for breathability. And if you live in a cold climate, there are carriers whose fabric and overal design works great for those weather conditions.
8. Ease of Use and Care
If your SO is also short and wants to share baby wearing, get something that’s easy to use. And no carriers outperform SSCs in the ease-of-use parameter.
Also, you want something that’s easy to wash. Because babies are naturally messy and there’s spit-up and other messes to clean up.
Luckily, most baby carriers are easy to clean. Most can be tossed in the washer and machine-dried on low heat or air-dried. You can also handwash most carriers with a mild soap and cool water. Be sure to follow the carrier manufacturer’s washing advice though.
9. Carrier Price and Brand
For baby slings and bill, you’re looking at a $40-$100 bill. But for the best petite-mom soft-structured carriers, you’re going to spend a decent amount of change.
Some of the finest I’ve used or seen cost over $350. But are they worth the hefty price tag? Honestly, you may not need all of the whistles and bells these costly carriers offer. I’m talking about extras such as stirrups for tired toddler feet, a dedicated rain cover, and a daypack.
Brands? There’s a bunch of brands that make carriers that work for small, short moms with narrow shoulders. Babyjorn, Baby K’Tan, Baby Tula, and Ergobaby among others.
Did you like any of my recommendations? If yes, what are you waiting for? Grab whatever it is you liked and start bonding with that little, lovely thing.
I'm Esther Moni, a proud stay-at-home mom and a psychology graduate of the United States International University (USIU) . I hate it when anyone calls me a housewife, because what does housewife even mean? Being a mother of two babies and a pup, Bailey, as well as being Ricky's wife tires me to no end, but I still manage a smile at the end of it all. And when my boys aren't done doing mischief, I juggle writing a post on parenting or baby gear performance for this blog and running my little counselling office based out in Nairobi. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/esther.moni/">Visit my Facebook profile here</a>, and this is my <a href="https://ke.linkedin.com/in/esther-moni-3841b573/">LinkedIn profile</a>, and here's my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKcVb3NNDrURDH8C0KiAE1g/">nascent youtube channel.