How to Make a Toddler Carrier: Simple DIY Steps for Parents

Making your own toddler carrier can be an exciting and rewarding project for parents who want to keep their little ones close while on the go. A good toddler carrier offers comfort for both parent and child while promoting a strong bond between them. Furthermore, creating your own carrier allows for customization and ensures the perfect fit for both you and your toddler.

In the upcoming sections, we will delve into various methods and materials to create a DIY toddler carrier. From using a simple sheet to sewing a more elaborate carrier, you’ll find the right method that suits your skill level and personal preferences. By the end of this article, you’ll be well-equipped with the knowledge necessary to make your own toddler carrier and enjoy those special moments with your little one nestled close to you.


Types of Toddler Carriers

Ring Sling

A ring sling is a type of carrier made from a long piece of fabric and two rings. The fabric is threaded through the rings, creating an adjustable pouch for your toddler to sit in. Ring slings are versatile and can be worn on the front, hip, or back. They are easy to put on and take off and can be adjusted for different caregivers. Some advantages of ring slings include their compactness and ease of use.

Wrap Carrier

Wrap carriers are made from one long piece of fabric that is wrapped around the wearer’s body to create a carrier for the toddler. They can be tied in various ways, allowing for different carrying positions, such as front, hip, or back. Wrap carriers provide a snug and comfortable fit for both the wearer and the toddler. However, they may have a steeper learning curve for those new to babywearing, as the wrapping techniques can be more complex than other carrier types.

Mei Tai Carrier

A Mei Tai carrier is a traditional Asian-style carrier that consists of a rectangular fabric panel with long straps at each corner. These straps are used to secure the carrier to the wearer’s body, with the toddler sitting in the fabric panel. Mei Tai carriers offer a customized fit, as the straps are tied to the wearer’s body, making it suitable for various body types and sizes. They can be worn in multiple positions, such as on the front, hip, or back. These carriers may require some practice to tie correctly, but they provide excellent support and comfort for both the wearer and the toddler.

Soft-Structured Carrier

Soft-structured carriers, often referred to as buckle carriers, are designed with padded shoulder straps and a waist belt that buckle together to hold the toddler in place. These carriers typically offer multiple carrying positions, such as front, hip, or back. Some soft-structured carriers are specifically designed for toddlers, providing additional features such as padded, adjustable shoulder straps and a waist belt to evenly distribute the child’s weight. Soft-structured carriers are easy to put on and take off, making them a popular choice among caregivers.

DIY Toddler Carrier

Choosing the Right Fabric

When planning to create a handmade toddler carrier, it’s essential to select the right fabric. Consider choosing a sturdy and breathable material that can provide both comfort and support. Some suitable fabric options include:

  • Cotton: Known for its breathability and softness, it’s a common choice for DIY carriers.
  • Linen: A durable and lightweight fabric, it’s excellent for warm weather.
  • Canvas: A heavy-duty fabric that provides strong support, especially for heavier toddlers.

Make sure to opt for a fabric with little to no stretch to ensure proper support for your child’s weight.

Sewing and Assembly

Once you’ve chosen your fabric, follow these steps to create your DIY toddler carrier:

  1. Cut the fabric into the required pieces, including the main body panel, straps, and waistband. The size of these pieces will depend on the carrier style you’re making and your toddler’s size.

  2. Sew the main body panel with a reinforced seam for added strength. Consider using a French or flat-felled seam for this purpose.

  3. For padded straps, you can sew two layers of fabric together. Add padding, such as foam or batting, between the layers before sewing closed. For unpadded straps, simply fold the fabric in half lengthwise and sew along the open edge, then turn it right side out.

  4. Attach the straps and waistband to the main body panel, making sure to reinforce these attachment points with additional stitching.

  5. Hem any unfinished edges to prevent fraying and to give a polished appearance to your carrier.

Remember to frequently try on the carrier and test the fit with your toddler during the construction process. This will help ensure a comfortable and secure carrier for both you and your child.

Additional Tips for Your DIY Toddler Carrier

  • Attach a small pocket or pouch to the main body panel or waistband to store small essentials like keys, snacks, or a phone.
  • Add a hood to the carrier for sun protection or to serve as a headrest for your toddler. Simply sew two pieces of fabric together, leaving one side open, turn right side out, and attach it to the carrier’s top edge.
  • Use adjustable buckles or sliding fabric loops to make it easier to get the perfect fit.
  • Integrate small loops or D-rings on the straps for attaching toys or a pacifier clip. This can keep your toddler entertained while in the carrier.

By following the steps above, you will have created a customizable and functional DIY toddler carrier. Always prioritize safety and comfort when creating your carrier to ensure a positive experience for both you and your child.

Comfort Features

Padded Shoulder Straps

One key aspect of a comfortable toddler carrier is the padded shoulder straps. These straps help distribute your child’s weight across your shoulders, reducing the strain on your neck and back. To ensure maximum comfort, look for carriers with wide, thick, and well-cushioned straps. This will not only provide additional support but also minimize the pressure points on your body.

Waist Belt and Lumbar Support

Another essential feature for a comfortable toddler carrier is a waist belt with lumbar support. The waist belt and lumbar support work together to distribute the weight of your toddler evenly across your hips and lower back, reducing strain on your shoulders and spine. When choosing a waist belt, ensure that it is easily adjustable to provide a snug fit and proper weight distribution. Lumbar support should be well-padded and curved to match the shape of your lower back for maximum support and comfort.

Breathable Mesh

Lastly, a breathable mesh material in the toddler carrier’s body panel, shoulder straps, and waist belt can significantly improve your overall comfort while wearing the carrier. This type of fabric allows for ample air circulation, keeping both you and your toddler cool and comfortable during long periods of wearing. Carriers made with breathable mesh are particularly beneficial in hot or humid climates or while engaging in outdoor activities, where maintaining a comfortable temperature is critical.

In conclusion, when selecting a toddler carrier, prioritize comfort features such as padded shoulder straps, an adjustable waist belt with lumbar support, and breathable mesh. These elements will ensure that both you and your child have a pleasant babywearing experience.

Additional Features

Storage Pocket

A storage pocket is a convenient addition to any toddler carrier. It provides a place for parents to store essential items, such as diapers, wipes, snacks, or a small toy, while on the go. Some toddler carriers include a built-in storage pocket, while others offer attachable pouches that can be purchased separately.

When choosing a toddler carrier with a storage pocket, consider the size, location, and accessibility of the pocket. A well-designed storage pocket should be large enough to hold necessary items but not so big that it adds unnecessary bulk to the carrier. It should also be easily accessible for parents while they are wearing the carrier, so they can quickly grab items without having to remove the carrier or their child.


A hood is another useful feature that can be found on some toddler carriers. A hood provides additional support for a sleeping child’s head and can also offer added protection from the sun, wind, or rain. Some hoods are removable, while others are built into the carrier. Additionally, some hoods allow for adjustments to accommodate a growing child or different carrying positions.

When selecting a hood for your toddler carrier, ensure that it is made from breathable, comfortable material and provides ample coverage without hindering your child’s ability to see or breathe. Look for hoods with a UPF rating (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to ensure your child’s skin is protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

In summary, adding a storage pocket and hood to your toddler carrier can enhance its functionality and convenience. Be sure to consider the size, location, and accessibility of the storage pocket and the material, coverage, and UPF rating of the hood when making your decision.

Popular Toddler Carrier Brands

Tula is a well-known brand that offers a variety of toddler carriers. Their products are designed with comfort and style in mind, offering both semi-structured and soft-structured options. With a focus on ergonomics, Tula ensures that their carriers provide proper support for both the parent and the child. Some popular Tula models include the Tula Toddler Carrier and the Tula Free-to-Grow Carrier.

Ergobaby offers toddler carriers that are durable, comfortable, and versatile. Their Omni 360 Baby Carrier is a popular choice, as it provides four different carrying positions and can be adjusted for children from newborns up to toddlers. The Ergobaby Adapt Carrier is another beloved option, featuring three-position carrying and a weight limit of up to 45 lbs.

CarryOn is a brand known for their high-quality carriers that cater to both toddlers and preschoolers. The CarryOn All Seasons Carrier is a standout product, with a weight limit of up to 60 lbs and six carrying positions. It is designed to provide optimum comfort and support for parents and children alike, with an adjustable seat width, padded shoulder straps, and a lumbar support waist belt.

In summary, Tula, Ergobaby, and CarryOn are reputable brands that offer toddler carriers that prioritize comfort, support, and functionality. When choosing a carrier, consider factors such as weight limits, adjustability, and desired carrying positions to determine the best fit for your family.

How to Choose the Right Toddler Carrier

When selecting a toddler carrier, there are several factors to consider to ensure you find the best option for your needs.

Firstly, think about the type of carrier you prefer. There are various styles to choose from, such as structured carriers, slings, and wraps. Structured carriers are designed to evenly distribute the child’s weight across your shoulders and hips, making them a popular choice for extended periods of babywearing. Slings and wraps, on the other hand, are more lightweight and offer increased versatility in carrying positions.

Comfort is an essential aspect to consider for both the wearer and the child. Look for a carrier with padded shoulder straps and a wide waistband to help distribute the weight evenly. Your toddler should also have a comfortable seat with proper support for their legs and hips. Some carriers, like those from Tula and Ergobaby, are particularly suitable for smaller parents or those with shorter torsos.

The materials used in the carrier should be breathable and easy to clean. Pay attention to the fabric type, such as cotton, canvas, or mesh, as it will affect the carrier’s breathability and durability. For instance, the Baby Tula Toddler Carrier offers both cotton and canvas options, while the Coast Mesh line features a breathable mesh panel.

Adjustability is vital, as it ensures a secure fit for different body shapes and sizes. Look for carriers with adjustable straps and waistbands to accommodate growth and changing preferences. Some carriers also offer multiple carrying positions, allowing you to switch between front-facing, back, and hip carries as your toddler grows.

Consider the carrier’s additional features, such as pockets and storage options, to determine if they meet your needs. These can be helpful for storing small essentials like keys, pacifiers, or snacks during outings. Some carriers even include built-in hoods for added sun protection and support for your child’s head while they nap.

Lastly, take into account your budget and be prepared to invest in a quality carrier that will last throughout your toddler’s babywearing years. Keep in mind that the price may reflect the carrier’s quality, durability, and additional features. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the right toddler carrier for you and your child.

Toddler and Baby Doll Carriers

Creating a handmade baby doll carrier for toddlers can be a fun and rewarding project. With a few simple materials and basic sewing skills, you can create a beautiful and functional doll carrier that your child will love.

To make a toddler carrier, start by choosing appropriate fabric. You should select fabric that is comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. Cotton or a similar breathable fabric is recommended. Measure and cut out fabric pieces for the main part of the carrier, straps, body, and pocket. The main piece should be approximately 8 inches wide by 7.5 inches high, while the straps can be adjusted to the desired length based on your child’s size DIY Toddler Baby Doll Carrier.

Next, prepare the carrier by sewing the straps to the main body piece. Position the strap ends at the top corner of the main piece at an angle, and then sew securely to the front piece Baby Doll Carrier Free Pattern and Tutorial. Fold the strap up to create an angled corner.

Consider adding a pocket to the carrier for added functionality. The recommended pocket size is approximately 3 inches by 5 inches. Sew the pocket onto the carrier body before attaching the straps DIY Toddler Baby Doll Carrier.

To finish assembling the carrier, sew the main body pieces together, being careful not to sew the straps. Attach the carrier to a waist strap to ensure a secure fit around your child’s waist. Secure the carrier to the waist strap using a top stitch, beginning an inch before the opening and ending an inch after. This will help provide extra stability and security for your child’s baby doll Toddler Baby Doll Carrier from The Crazy Tailor.

Lastly, add your preferred fastener for the waist strap, such as Velcro, snaps, or buttons. Your toddler carrier is now complete, ready for your child to carry their baby doll with ease and comfort.

Remember to use good sewing practices and select high-quality materials in order to create a durable and attractive baby doll carrier. With your new handmade toddler carrier, your child can have hours of imaginative play while also developing a sense of responsibility and nurturing skills.

Carry Positions

There are several carry positions to choose from when using a toddler carrier. Knowing these positions will help you decide which one suits your and your toddler’s needs best. Remember to always prioritize safety and comfort when carrying your child.

Facing-in Position

The facing-in position is suitable for younger toddlers or those who still need more support. In this position, your child’s chest is against your chest, promoting a sense of closeness and security. This position is also helpful for monitoring your child’s well-being, as they are directly in front of you. Make sure the carrier provides proper support to your toddler’s head and neck in this position.

Facing-out Position

Once your toddler can hold their head up independently, the facing-out position can be a great choice. It allows the child to observe their surroundings while still being securely attached to you. This position should only be used with carriers specifically designed for facing-out positions. Make sure your toddler is properly supported and doesn’t slump forward.

Hip Carry

The hip carry is a popular option for parents who need to frequently take their toddler in and out of the carrier. In this position, your child sits on your hip, making it easy for you to pick them up or put them down. This position can promote hip health by keeping your child’s legs in a natural and comfortable position.

Back Carry

The back carry is an option for older toddlers who can comfortably sit up on their own. This position allows you to carry your child on your back, giving you more freedom to move around. When using the back carrier, always make sure that the carrier is adjusted for this position and that your child is securely fastened.

Remember to always use the appropriate carry position for your toddler’s age and development. No matter what position you choose, ensure both you and your child are comfortable and well-supported by the carrier.

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About the author
Daisy is a writer, mom, and expert on all things toddler-related. As a parent of three young children, she's experienced the highs and lows of parenthood firsthand, and she's passionate about sharing her insights with others. Through her website, The Toddler Life, Daisy offers practical advice and tips on everything from potty training to picky eaters. She's not afraid to get real about the challenges of parenting, and her honest and relatable writing style has earned her a loyal following of readers.

How to Make a Toddler Carrier: Simple DIY Steps for Parents

How to Make a Toddler Carrier: Simple DIY Steps for Parents