Probably every household with a baby has a soft-structured, front baby carrier in their nursery, and chances are it's either a BabyBjorn or an Ergobaby. These two wildly popular carriers appear on virtually every best-of list, and there are good reasons why they always come out on top.
The BabyBjorn Miracle (*Est. $150) squeaks by as our top choice because it gets raves from experts and owners for its comfort for both baby and parent. It can carry an infant without an insert in a wide-legged position that supports their hips. The weight of the baby is distributed between the parent's shoulders and waist, and owners say they can wear it for hours without discomfort, in spite of thinner padding on the shoulder straps than other BabyBjorn models.
As a bonus the baby can face forward once he or she has full head control, a feature that the Ergobaby Original (*Est. $100) lacks. However, the Ergobaby gives you the option of carrying your child on your hip or back -- though parents say you can't load the baby on your back without assistance. The Ergobaby is rated for babies from 12 to 45 pounds; using it with a newborn requires an optional insert (*Est. $25). The Ergobaby is a great choice for parents with back problems as it distributes the weight on the hips, reviewers say.
A throwback to an earlier time when it was the only game in town, the BabyBjorn Original (*Est. $100) still has the "crotch dangle" design that some experts say may lead to hip and spine issues. It gets rave reviews from parents of newborns and infants, but they say their child outgrows it long before they reach the 25-pound upper weight limit. With its ergonomic design, experts say the BabyBjorn Miracle is a much better pick in the BabyBjorn line, and it surpasses the Ergobaby in reviews.