The Cool Moms agree: babywearing using a sling or baby carrier can be a real sanity saver and a great way to bond with your baby–and hey, maybe get some exercise or, you know, go out in the world. In honor of National Babywearing Week this week, here’s my picks for our top 5 baby carriers from the last few years.

1. LilleBaby buckle carrier
Do you see how versatile the LilleBaby buckle carrier carrier is? Once your baby is three months old and has some head control, you can wear them in tons of different ways to free up your hands. We dig it because it allows six different carrying positions and is made to carry kids up to 45 pounds, which means I could technically still wear my almost-five-year-old, although he would consider that deeply insulting. Plus the designs have come a long way since our original review, and they have organic styles now too.

The Ergo X-tra buckle carrier | Cool Mom Picks

2. Ergo X-tra
Ergo has been around the block, and we’ve especially loved the Ergo buckle carrier for years. But they’re always updating their beloved, sturdy design to stay on top of of safety and fashion. The latest offering is the Ergo X-tra, especially created so that multiple caregivers of all sizes and shapes–including dads–can share the same carrier.

We also love the limited-edition Ergo Christy Turlington designed to benefit Every Mother Counts.

Rockin' Baby slings | Cool Mom Picks

3. Rockin’ Baby Slings
If you’re looking for peacock-pretty slings, you can’t go wrong with Rockin’ Baby, whose pouch slings both Kristen and Liz always recommend as the best sling for new moms who might be a little sheepish about babywearing. Not only are they distinctive and well-made, with a no-nonsense design that doesn’t require an engineering degree to figure out, but they donate a sling to a mom in need for every sling you buy.

The ring slings are especially handy if you’re shy about nursing in public or need a zippered pocket to cut down on the non-baby stuff you have to carry. I used to tuck my wallet, my keys, and a diaper in the pocket, which left me one hand to snuggle my baby and one to shop for groceries. Score!

Baby K'Tan sling |Cool Mom Picks

4. Baby K’Tan Carrier.
If you want to hold a new baby close, check out the Baby K’Tan. It feels like a wrap, but instead of thirty feet of fabric that makes postpartum mamas scream, it’s easy to use and pack in your bag. Stretchy carriers like this work best only until around three or four months, but it’s the next best thing to being in your belly when those infants are still teeny and snuggly.

Boba Air baby carrier | Cool Mom Picks

5. Boba Air Baby Carrier
We called the Boba Air the LBD of carriers, mainly because it’s sleek, easy, light, and breathable; it’s great for 15 – 45 pound kids making it super versatile, and folds down small enough to fit in a Ziploc baggie. And, like your Little Black Dress, it goes with almost everything and works for so many occasions. Of course, the fine folks at Boba also make more colorful buckle carriers and also wraps, which are always great for carrying newborns. –Delilah

What’s your favorite baby carrier? Let us know in the comments!
And happy Babywearing Week (and month and year…)