Unless you plan on carrying baby in your arms for their entire childhood, you’re going to need some transport items.
If you’re taking a stroll through the park, you’ll want a baby carrier or stroller. Driving or taking an uber? You’ll need a car seat.
There are so many options out there, but luckily the Moms At Odds are here to help! Here are some thoughts we have on the items you’ll need for carrying baby. And some of our personal favorite picks!
Disclaimer: This page contains affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.
Carrying Baby in the Vehicle – Car Seats
When choosing a car seat, you’ll soon find that there are two different options for your baby: the infant seat (aka “bucket”) or the convertible seat.
So, what’s the difference and why does it matter?
Infant seats have a base that stay securely installed in the car. The bucket portion of the seat is easily removed and can be carried around.
You’ve likely seen these portable bucket seats with handles attached to strollers and riding in shopping carts. Lot of moms choose infant seats for the convenience of carrying baby from the car without waking them as they run errands.
Another reason people choose infant seats is that you only need to purchase 1 seat and can get multiple bases for any car that will carry baby. So mom, dad, and grandma can all have a car seat base installed instead of each needing their own individual seat.
The downside of the bucket seat is that it only lasts most babies for about 1 year. Since there are lots of car seat years left to go, you will still need to buy a convertible seat.
To save money, some moms skip the infant seat all together and go straight to the convertible seat. Convertible seats can be used either rear-facing or forward facing and you can use them much longer than the infant seat. They’re also larger, heavier, and not easily removed (the entire seat must be uninstalled) so they pretty much just stay in the car.
If you choose to go the convertible seat route off the bat, it’s important to note that not all seats fit newborns well, especially if they are smaller or premature.
Due to the convenience, both Jo and Rachel opted to start out with infant seats.
Keep in mind that picking the right car seat means finding what works best for your budget and vehicle.
Infant Seat – Chicco KeyFit 30
It was rated the #1 car seat then (in 2014) and it still is today in 2019!
Reviews all focus on ease and secureness of base installation, ease of attaching the seat into the base, and smoothness of the handle and chest straps. It also comes in many adorable colors and has many products (like strollers!) that can go with it! Be sure to grab a few bases for anyone else who may be driving baby around.
Convertible Seat – Diono Radian 3RXT
- For those looking to exclusively use a convertible (skipping the infant all together), the weight limit starts at 5 lbs.
- It allows for extended rear-facing as the max weight in this position is 45 lbs.
- The sides of the car seat are low so it’s easy to put the child in and out.
- They are engineered with steel alloy that feels so much stronger than traditional plastic.
- It’s one of the only car seats that fits 3-across in most vehicles.
- The clasps are very easy to fasten and the straps are thick and difficult to tangle.
The Extra Car Seat – Cosco Scenera
While it may not have all of the bells and whistles of pricier seats, it is compact making it ideal for small cars or fitting three car seats in your back seat. It is also extremely lightweight for a convertible seat making it a perfect seat for travel.
It’s a convertible car seat so it will last from the newborn stage through the majority of toddlerhood. Great option to have for travel or grandma’s car.
Carrying Baby with Strollers
General Stroller – Chicco Mini Bravo Plus
For the Chicco Keyfit car seat, both Jo and Rachel highly recommend the Chicco Mini Bravo Plus. This stroller can do so many things that it will save you space and money with time.
During the newborn stage, the click-in attachment allows the car seat to snap in so you don’t have to wake your child if they fell asleep in the car. Once they can sit up better, they can sit in the front part facing out like a traditional stroller.
Chicco does also offer a stroller frame alone, but once you stop using the infant seat, the frame is pretty much useless. However, for about the same price you can use the Mini Bravo Plus with your car seat, then continue to use it as a regular stroller long after.
The stroller is easy to fold, has great storage underneath, comes with parent storage near the handlebar, and stands up straight when folded up.
Jogging Stroller – BOB Revolution
The BOB is a great all-terrain stroller! The suspension system and bicycle style wheels makes this a smooth ride whether you’re going down gravel roads, walking trails, or the soccer field.
The BOB is also a great jogging stroller. Surprisingly, not all joggers are particularly good for actually jogging. The locking front wheel of the BOB allows more stability for running, while swivel option allows for better steering while walking. The Pro version also offers extra control with a hand brake.
As much as I love this stroller, there are a few drawbacks, it’s fairly expensive (check for sales) and bulky (it takes up alot of space even folded). Despite these things, it is still my favorite stroller and I totally consider it well worth the money.
Jogging Stroller – City Mini
Although the City Mini is technically labeled as a “jogging stroller” – I never used it for running. As Rachel mentioned above, the jogging strollers work great as general strollers because they are all-terrain with their large wheels.
Umbrella strollers are great, but honestly don’t work well on ground that isn’t perfectly flat – think paths, gravel, or even sidewalks with large gaps.
The City Mini is at a great price point (cheaper than the BOB) and folds up super easily. Seriously, just one pull on the strap and it closes up.
I loved it because it laid down flat (so I could use it for napping during the newborn stage) as well as for changing even when my child got older.
It’s also very easy to push and comes with a great variety of accessories (parents organization station, snack tray, etc.)
Baby carriers are so versatile! You can use them when you’re out or even when you’re at home to keep your hands free for other tasks.
Infant Carrier – Moby
I borrowed my friend’s Moby Wrap when I had my first baby and instantly fell in love. I started using it the very day we came home from the hospital because it works great for newborns.
Wrapping it around yourself takes some trial and error, but once you’ve done it a few times you’re a pro. Baby is nice and snug so feels the warmth and comfort of your embrace.
We stopped using it around 6 months, but because it’s just a wrap the size is very adjustable. I have friends who use their Moby through the toddler years!
Infant Carrier – Baby K’tan
If you like the idea of the wrap, but feel overwhelmed by getting it right, give the Baby K’tan a try. It looks and fits similar to a traditional wrap carrier, but no tying required.
This carrier is super easy to put on and great for around the house or errands around town. Baby can face in or out and it’s perfect for newborns to about 6 months.
It does come in different sizes, which can mean that you and your partner won’t both fit. Pay attention to the sizing when ordering. Also, the carrier comes with an extra piece of material that you can tie around for a bit more support.
Older Carrier – Ergobaby
The Ergobaby 360 is a great carrier with ergonomic design and plenty of padding.
This carrier is super adjustable with a wide waistband and padded straps, making it comfortable for both myself or my husband to wear even for extended periods of time.
It also seems comfy for baby and both of little ones have loved it. They can face in or out and be worn in front, back, or even on your hip.
One of my favorite things is that it is machine washable!
For newborns (under 12lbs.), the 360 does require an infant insert to keep them safe and snug. Or you can opt for the Egrobaby Omni 360 which adjusts for newborns without any additional inserts.
Older Carrier – Tula
Jo’s older carrier recommendation!
The Tula carrier is a mom favorite for all ages (including newborn!). It allows for all positions of carrying baby: both front carry (facing in and out) and back carry.
For younger babies they make sure that the design is ergonomic to support healthy hip and spine development as well as offer adjustable head support for napping.
Tula makes some adorable prints and designs, and it will last you forever (up 45 pounds! My 5 year old isn’t even 45 pounds yet!). There are straps to adjust the width and tightness as your child grows.
The 100% cotton material is cooling and lightweight to keep both child and the wearer comfortable. Because of this, it’s also easy to transport and not bulky. Plus it’s machine washable!
Misc Carrying Baby Items
Some hobby-specific recommendations for your carrying baby needs.
For those who enjoy biking, carriers are great way to introduce this hobby to your children.
The Schwinn Deluxe Bike Seat is currently the #1 rated bike carrier on Amazon, and for good reason. It’s extremely durable and yet lightweight, so it won’t add tons of pounds to your ride. The child’s legs are protected rather than hanging.
Schwinn recommends this be used for children older than 12 months (and up to 40 lbs!), and while some have reported using it younger we always recommend following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Don’t forget your child’s helmet!
For those families who enjoy hiking (or even long walks!) a backpack carrier is a must.
Hiking carriers are specifically designed for extended carrying, meaning potentially hours at a time. This means they have to be safe and comfortable for you and baby.
The Luvdbaby Backpack Carrier is adjustable for your height to maximize comfort. The straps are heavily padded to go easy on the shoulders and the belt disperses some of the weight to you hips.
For baby, there’s an optional visor to use on sunny days, padded interior, and feet stirrups so their legs don’t get uncomfortable from dangling.
But wait, there’s more! This one has TONS of pockets for storage and even comes with a diaper changing pad (so no lugging around a separate diaper bag!).
Radio Flyer wagons are classic! We use ours all the time, and not just for carrying baby around.
It works great on the beach or when tailgating. Not only does it allow you to carry a ton of stuff, but also gives you a flat surface to change a child and a great spot for them to eat when one seat it down and the other is up!
Now that my kids are older (3 and 5), we still use it all the time. It’s really too heavy to pull the both of them now, but they love to take turns pulling the other one. And the Radio Flyer brand is great, so the quality will hold up for years.