Baby wearing has become hip in more ways than one. Firstly, you can’t walk down a trendy high street without seeing a yummy mummy or daddy strolling along wearing their precious little one as proudly as if the kid were the latest Hermes bag.

Secondly, “hip” is the word to remember when you are buying a baby carrier. They hold children’s legs in a frog-like position, so if you plan to use one you must ensure it is not damaging your baby’s hips. If it isn’t endorsed by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI), don’t buy it.

Mr Alexander Aarvold, consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Southampton’s children’s hospital agrees: “The key to a hip healthy baby carrier is one that holds the hips out wide, with the thighs supported. The IHDI has done a huge amount of work assessing different baby carriers and influencing design. I would urge buyers to read their findings.”

Baby slings and wraps tend to be made of soft, stretchy material and cocoon babies closely to the carrier. These are popular with new babies who crave closeness and security.

Baby carriers and backpacks are good for heavier, wrigglier children. They can often be used in front or back carrying positions to make it easier on the adult’s back and sturdier to cover long distances.

We tried a range of slings and carriers, looking for optimum comfort and safety for our little testers, and pain and fuss-free carrying for grown-ups.

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The verdict: Baby carriers

The Boppy Comfy Fit carrier ticked all the right boxes for us. It was simple to use, felt snuggly and strong for our baby and incredibly comfortable for us, like a piece of sportswear. When choosing a carrier, we learned it is best to think about how you want to use it – around the home or for long walks. This will help inform your choice. Local sling libraries allow you to borrow different baby carriers so you can find your favourite before investing.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.