In the NICU preemies spend lots of time in the “kangaroo position”. I would know- I had a preemie. Once they come home this position is just natural. Premature babies love being held ALL THE TIME. Unfortunately many of the baby carriers have weight limits greater than 7 or 8 pounds, meaning you can’t use them. I did some research into the best baby carrier for preemies- and here’s what I found. I ended up buying and loving the Baby Bjorn Mini for when she first came home and then I sized up to the Ergobaby after a couple months. I selected the Baby Bjorn Mini as the best baby carrier for preemies due to its comfort and convenience.
The Best Baby Carrier for Preemies: The BabyBjorn Mini
Minimum Weight: 7lbs.
Pros: I love this baby carrier because it is so soft! I got the 3D jersey and i’d recommend it When you bring your little one home you want something soft because they are so delicate in those first couple weeks. However, unlike many of the others on this list, the babybjorn mini is structured. This makes it very easy to get on and off!
I actually found this carrier to be the easiest carrier to get on and off compared to any other carrier. This feature was very helpful in the beginning when we were overwhelmed new parents. You put the straps on like a backpack and then everything snaps in front. We used this carrier daily when my daughter was little because it was so easy to get her in and out. It provides good head control when you need it, but the head support can be unsnapped if your baby wants to look around, or if your baby wants to strengthen his or her head control.
Cons: This carrier claims to support an “M” shape for proper hip development from 0-3 months. I will admit I used it a little past 3 months and I wasn’t so happy with the hip position. I also couldn’t use it until my daughter reached 7lbs, which for her was a few weeks after coming home since she came home weighing 5 1/2 lbs. On the other hand, once she got to be 10lbs she was too heavy for it. In the later months this baby carrier would hurt my back and I ended up switching to the Ergobaby.
Minimum Weight: none
Pros: This is essentially one long piece of fabric. It is very soft for a newborn. You can easily sit with your preemie still wrapped. You can breastfeed with it, although I haven’t tried. You can use this baby carrier with a baby of any weight. In fact the Boba website even states that the Boba wrap is excellent for premature babies.
Cons: It is difficult to put on. Let me repeat: it is one long piece of fabric. In comes the art of baby-wearing. I am not a baby-wearing magician, so I prefer baby carriers that clip and snap into place. It has little to no support as your baby gets heavier and more active. This baby carrier will not last you very long.
Minimum Weight: 7lbs
Pros: This baby carrier will last a long time. You can use it from 7lbs and it will last for years. It will last until your child no longer wants to be carried- around 45lbs, or 2 years. I found this carrier to be extremely comfortable for carrying a heavier child. All the weight is on your hips, but unlike some of the competitors, the waist strap is comfortable. The head support is great when they are little and then you can flip it out and use it only when your baby is napping. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute acknowledges this carrier to be “hip healthy“. I also love that this carrier has a pocket (for a burp cloth or pacifier) and a rain cover! And it comes in mesh or cotton.
Cons: This carrier is not the softest. It felt comfortable when my daughter got to be a couple months old. However, I still preferred the Bjorn mini for her as a newborn. The Ergobaby is easy to get off and on, but still not as easy as the Baby Bjorn Mini. The baby bjorn mini is still the best baby carrier for preemies.
Minimum Weight: none
Pros: I’m mentioning this carrier because I bought it and tried it, but I did not necessarily like it. You can use it in the NICU for any weight. It is a piece of fabric that velcros around you. It is soft and easy to use.
Cons: I did not find this product to be comfortable or convenient. I found it to be uncomfortable. And I couldn’t get it tight enough to go hands-free, but at the same time my daughter seemed uncomfortable. However, I didn’t end up using it in the NICU. In the NICU I was always sitting during kangaroo care, so it didn’t seem to provide me with any advantage. I used this product a couple times and then stuffed it in a drawer somewhere.
Looking for the best diapers? Checkout my review of the best diapers for preemies.