When I had my son eight years ago, we lived downtown Toronto and I walked with him everywhere. Today, I live in the suburbs and see many parents going for walks with their babies and toddlers secured safely in strollers and/or baby carriers. And when I travel, I see the same in airports as I walk with my son and reminisce about when he was a little babe in arms.

No matter where you live, once you have a baby, you’ll be traveling with them, whether it’s for day trips to the grocery store, walks to the park, visits to friends and family, road trips, or travel to exotic destinations by plane. So, you’ll want gear to transport your baby that is comfortable and safe for both you and them. And it has to be easy to use as well.

One popular option is a baby carrier. They can be great for travelling with a baby for a variety of reasons.

They keep your hands free

Wearing a baby carrier can keep your hands free to do things like push a cart at the grocery store, browse for the latest fashions at the mall, or care for a second child while still securing your baby close to you. If you’re on a day trip or vacation, you can enjoy all of the sights and scenery around you while keeping your baby close, doing things like snapping photos and checking out souvenirs, all with your baby in tow.

They are comfortable

Baby carriers often come with padded shoulder straps and secure and adjustable straps that go around your waist or hips so you can carry the baby in such a way that is both comfortable for you and them. Ones like the Ergobaby 360 All Position Baby Carrier are particularly convenient because they support four ergonomic positions so you can wear it the way that is most comfortable, including on your back, hip, or at your front either inward- or outward-facing. The waist belt is adjustable and offers lumbar support and the shoulder straps are padded so you can ensure a secure fit and avoid bruised shoulders or hip pain. It comes in tons of cool colour options, like starry sky grey, black, and fashionable gingham noir.

The Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier, which comes in a trunks up pattern or navy blue with mini red dots pattern, similarly offers four comfortable position options, lumbar support, an adjustable waist belt, and padded shoulder straps.

Available in a pearl grey finish, the Ergobaby ADAPT lets you carry a baby in one of three positions to ensure even distribution of weight between your hips and shoulders: front-inward, hip, and back (no outward-facing option.) Regardless of which way baby is positioned, they are in a natural sitting position that is comfortable for them, especially for long walks or trips through busy areas, like the airport. The shoulders straps can even be adjusted into a crisscross design for petite parents who require a tighter fit, moving from 48.75 inches all the way down to just 28.75 inches. The waist belt is also adjustable from 26 inches to 55 inches to accommodate parents and caregivers of all sizes and can be worn high or low to reflect different body shapes. Some people, for example, have longer torsos than others. Buckle it in the front and enjoy lumbar support, then use the double adjusters on the waist belt for tightening.

Baby can relax

In a baby carrier, babies can catch up on their sleep while nestled close to you, or explore the world around them from the same vantage point as you when you position them to face forward. Plus, some models offer shielding from the sun or heat. The aforementioned Ergobaby 360, for example, comes with a lightweight and breathable cotton hood for keeping your baby cool when it’s hot outside. Both the Ergobaby 360 and Ergobaby Omni 360 are made from lightweight breathable cotton so they won’t make you hot and baby can breathe comfortably. As a bonus, they’re also machine washable.

The Ergobaby ADAPT has a tuck-away UPF 50+ hood that is ideal for both protection from the sun as well as privacy while nursing. The cushioned and foldable head and neck support also provide extra comfort for your baby so they can catch up on some ZZZs as your walking rocks them to sleep.

They are convenient

While strollers are great for holding items like jackets, purses, and purchases, you still have to wheel them around. And that can be tricky when in tight spots or areas where there are stairs or inclines. Plus, if you’re only going out for a quick day trip, or going on vacation where you’ll do a lot of walking, you don’t want to haul out a stroller if you don’t have to, or at least have an alternative option for the times when you want to be able to navigate around places more easily.

A baby carrier is better to carry around since baby is right at your torso so you can go up stairs and navigate through crowded streets with ease. You can sit down at a local café for a coffee or brunch without having to navigate a stroller around everyone and peruse a small local shop without squeezing through the aisles.

Some, like the Ergobaby Omni 360, come with neat features like a detachable storage zipper pouch so you can keep essentials like credit cards, cash, and keys on hand and leave your purse at home or in a hotel.

You can use them from newborn to toddler age

The Ergobaby 360 and Omni 360 are suitable for babies as young as newborns all the way up to kids who are 4 years old and weigh up to 45 lbs. who might still need to be secured. You will need an insert with the 360; otherwise, it’s suitable for babies from 12 lbs. and larger. The Omni, however, can be used with a baby right from birth.

You don’t need an insert with the versatile Ergobaby ADAPT Three Position Baby Carrier, which can be used immediately with a newborn without any additional accessories. It can be used with a baby as small as 7 lbs. and fit a child up to 45 lbs. thanks to the adjustable bucket-shaped seat that grows with your child. It ensures babies are always in a seated, spread-squat natural “M” shape position.

They come in handy with multiple kids

If you have a second child you need to tend to as well and you haven’t opted for a double stroller, or the child is too old for a stroller, a baby carrier is great for travel because you can hold your older child’s hand while still securing your young baby. This way, you can ensure that everyone is kept safe and secure and you won’t have to chase down a rambunctious and mischievous 7-year-old with a stroller in tow.

Bottom line about baby carriers

Baby carriers like the ones mentioned here are great for travelling with a baby. They are convenient, easy to put on and place your baby comfortably inside, comfortable to wear, and secure. And the extra benefit is that your baby is enjoying that closeness with you while you are out and about, able to look up at any time and see you while you deliver reassuring pats on the head and forehead kisses.

It’s much easier to strap on a baby carrier or throw one in your luggage than it is to bring along a big stroller. While there are lots of ultra-compact umbrella strollers that are great for travel, these are typically designed for older kids, not newborns and small babies. So it’s always a good idea to have a good baby carrier as another option for traveling with your little one.

Check out plenty of baby carrier options at Best Buy Online