Are there baby carriers that can last for months (or even years) and make it through several children?  We spent our time searching for the most flexible, and most durable products and came up with the following list.  If these seem a bit spendy, remember that you can always search for them used.  Our book, The Economical Baby Guide, has the inside scoop on finding quality secondhand gear and an index of green products for a range of budgets.

The Ergo Carrier tops our list, partly because as the name implies, it’s a comfortable carrier that helps you manage baby wearing without back pain.  Since it can carry infants from a few months old through the first few years of their life and be worn both on the front and the back, it will be worth the investment. Young babies can nurse while in the carrier and with the hood flap down, it’s very discrete. There’s also a handy zippered pocket to carry keys and baby paraphernalia.

The Scootababy Baby Carrier can tote infants from five months to three years old and will also transition from front to back with baby’s weight centered on your hip.  It’s gotten rave reviews for comfort the ease with which you can strap baby in.  The waist belt is padded with a stretchy shoulder panel that helps to support the child.

The Moby Wrap and Maya Wrap are far less expensive than the previous carriers, but will require a bit more adjustment than the other two carriers.  The Maya Wrap is a ring sling that will allow you to cinch your baby into place on your chest or hip.  It comes with a DVD to help you learn the multiple ways it can be adjusted and also has a built in pocket for keys or diapers.

Moby Wraps can accommodate tiny premies up to 35 pound children.  The thick fabric allows you to wear your child close to your body in a variety of positions on the front, side or back.  It does require you to do a bit of fabric origami, but doesn’t have a single fastener or clip.

What is your favorite baby wearing device?  For those of us who wore our babies for months and years on end, I know our product loyalty runs deep.  Of course, our children also have to be a part of our shopping decision.  Did you choose a sling or carrier that your infant refused?  Did you wait to buy until your baby arrived and could help you chose the right one?