Vacation & Baby Carriers

Vacation & Baby Carriers

Today I have a guest blogger, my wife Jamie.  She is a volunteer babywearing educator with Babywearing International. Wearing our kids on a daily basis, as well as vacation, as been a value to us. Read on to find out more.



4 yr olds get tired too. Hiking in the Smoky Mountains using a toddler sized buckle carrier.

You will see in many of our photos one of us is using a baby carrier.  Carriers have become an essential part of our day to day life.  The practice of people using carriers for their babies goes back thousands of years. It is a traditional practice in many cultures and we have them to thank for it. Mexico, Africa, and Asia are just a few of the places babywearing originates from. Today’s modern carriers have been inspired by these cultures and are now manufactured in western culture.


A few tips about wearing on vacation


Early or late flights can be tough. Having your child in a carrier will keep them close and comfortable while you get to your gate.  Having baby on the front and your carry-on as a backpack on your back will allow you 2 hands free to pull your luggage or wrangle your other kids. We prefer to use a backpack as our diaper bag on vacation because it is easier to carry, the 2 straps are more comfortable on your shoulder, and it holds more than the average diaper bag.  You may have to take your child out of the carrier at security, but not always. Remember to be polite and just do as asked so you can get through quickly and get babe right back into the carrier. Here is some info on travel with children from the TSA.

Road Trip

We rarely fly to our destination, instead we prefer to drive. This allows us some flexibility and we get to see other sights too. Wearing at rest stops are great! Babe will be happy to stretch outside of the car seat but you can keep them safely up and able to see and stretch. Taking other kids to the bathroom with babe in a stroller can be cumbersome. Wearing the little one helps keep your hands free and from needing the largest stall. If your child doesn’t travel well in a car wearing them before and during your trip (at rest stops! a carrier doesn’t replace a car seat) can calm them and provide comfort before everyone gets back into the car.


Where you go, the weather, and who will be wearing the child will come into play when you decide what type of carrier you want to bring on vacation. Depending on your destination you may choose to use a carrier only or carrier and stroller.  Many of our trips are at National Parks, there isn’t much use for a stroller there!  When we go to Disney or other theme parks we opt to bring a stroller and a carrier.  The stroller is great for theme parks because our older kids can sit for a while when they get tired of walking, also for holding our diaper bag, snacks, drinks, etc…

While on your vacation wearing your younger child can be a huge comfort to them when in a different place and with a different schedule. On our last trip to Disney our son was 8 months old and would not sleep in the stroller. All his naps were in our carrier. This was fantastic because we could continue on our day with our 6 & 3 yr old.

A quick review of carrier types.




Soft Structure Carrier (SSC) aka Buckle Carrier

Can be used on the front, back, & hip.

pro: put on quickly once adjusted to wearer, 2 shoulder carry.

con: must adjust between caregivers, may need to use infant insert for small baby or a larger size carrier for older child




Woven Wrap

Can be used on the front, hip, & back (stretchy wraps are able to be used on the front and hip only)

pro: many carry positions for woven wraps, one or two shoulder carries, it can be pre-tied to pop babe in & out, short wraps can be tied quickly, easily shared between caregivers

con: long wraps can be overwhelming on a trip, learning curve

Ring Sling

Can be used on the front & hip

pro: quick to put on & adjust, easy to pop babe in and out

con: one shoulder carry

Bei Dai/Meh Dai

Can be used on the front, hip & back

pro:quick to put on & adjust, 2 shoulder carry, can easily be worn between caregivers

con:long straps to tie can be inconvenient in small spaces like airport

Pouch Carrier

Can be used on the front & hip

pro: small easy to put on, easy pop babe in & out

con: sized , can not fit all, 1 shoulder carry

Water Carrier

pro: comes in all carrier types, dries quickly, light weight, added UV protection on some brands, keep hands free in shallow water.

con: material can be slippery when dry, stay in shallow water, not always comfortable with larger children.

Themed Carrier

There is a carrier out there for every Fandom! Disney? Harry Potter? Deadpool?  Even Browncoats have carriers out there!  There are a lot of small businesses creating carriers check out these from Shiny Star Designs!


Photography by Beautiful People Portraiture


Water slings with Disney accent!


Photography by Beautiful People Portraiture


Mr & Mrs Mouse, reversible carrier!

Any HP fans?!

And this one from Cari Slings


“The Pilot” from Cari Slings ‘Verse collection


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5 Replies to “Vacation & Baby Carriers”

  1. We loved using our baby carrier and I miss it, but we stopped using it a few months ago. He still fits, but he doesn’t want to be in it anymore, even if he’s tired. I think it’s more of an independence thing for him.

  2. My oldest son hated all carriers. My middle son liked the soft ones (like k’tan and Moby). My youngest doesn’t like the soft carriers at all. Only then Lilibaby. Thankful for the two that like the carriers or I would never get anything done!

  3. I love this review of different types of carriers. Very helpful for someone trying to decide which carrier is the right one to get. I have a Lillebaby and a SevenSling and use them both for different reasons while traveling.

  4. I miss being able to wear my babies! My youngest is 15 months but is way too busy now and doesn’t like it anymore. Any tips? It sure would be nice when we travel!

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