The newest Lillebaby Complete All Seasons ($135+) is an incredibly comfortable carrier that offers a lot of babywearing possibilities for kiddos from 7 to 45 pounds… along with some seriously gorgeous prints!
It’s one of our favorite carriers — and, like choosing between Coke or Pepsi, it is just a matter of personal choice. Its two big “forward-facing” competitors are the Ergobaby Omni 360 and the Beco 8. Like the ErgoBaby Omni 360, one of the greatest things about the Lillebaby is that it doesn’t require a newborn insert— due to its adjustable seat width, babies as small as 7 pounds can go straight into the carrier. [See also: Favorite Soft Structured Carriers.]
Again, this carrier allows you to wear your baby forward-facing, which is a fantastic option once she’s ready for it (6 months and up).
Let’s take a closer look.
Lillebaby Complete: Strengths and Weaknesses
This carrier’s greatest strength, IMO, is how well it effectively distributes baby’s weight— and boy, is this thing comfortable! I really appreciate the lumbar support (see below), which makes a huge difference in how your back feels after some extended babywearing.
Another big pro: the Lillebaby offers the option to wear the shoulder straps crossed in an X position across your back, which is an awesome feature (also found in the ErgoBaby Omni and the Beco 8).
Additionally, it has nicely padded shoulder straps and a wide, comfortable waist belt. Lillebaby brags about being voted “Most Comfortable Baby Carrier” … and they have a right to shout it from the rooftops, because this thing feels amazing — even with heavier babies. The bigger your baby gets (especially if you keep wearing your kiddo into toddlerhood), the more you will appreciate the comfort you get with this carrier.
Lastly, another big pro is the price: this carrier can run about $30-$40 less than the Omni or Beco.
On to the Lillebaby’s greatest weakness: while this may not be a big deal for some, it takes several steps to convert this carrier from an inward- to an outward-facing seat (and vice versa); you don’t have this problem with the Omni 360 or the Beco 8.
You have to take the Lillebaby carrier completely off to change positions (you can keep the waist belt on with the others). If you’re out and about when you want to switch positions, this means either having someone else hold your baby or putting her down somewhere. Once you take the carrier off, it takes a few steps to convert it to the other position.
Here are the steps:
- Take off the waist belt
- Unsnap the two seat flaps from the waist belt
- Remove the lumbar support pad
- Thread the waist belt through the seat flaps to free them
- Fold/snap the seat flaps inward to narrow the seat
- Re-thread the lumbar support
- Buckle yourself back into the carrier
By the time I’m done converting the seat position on this carrier, my daughter will have crawled into the woods after a squirrel. With the Ergo Omni and the Beco, you simply change the seat’s width setting (with buttons and snaps, respectively), undo your shoulder straps, turn baby around, and redo the shoulder straps. Easy peasy.
This feature of the Lillebaby may bother you if you’d like the option of quickly changing your baby’s position mid-walk. However, if you tend to use a carrier in one favorite position (e.g. you carry your toddler on your back or you have a baby who usually prefers to face inwards), this shouldn’t be a problem.
So there you have it: you know this carrier’s biggest strength (sooo comfortable) and its biggest weakness (many position-switching steps).
The Lillebaby Complete All Seasons carrier is on the longer, somewhat bulkier side when compared to carriers such as the slimmer Omni 360… but that’s because it can carry a kid up to 45 pounds (around 4 years), compared to the Omni’s 33.
The Lillebaby also has a wider seat than the Omni; however, the Omni offers three different seat widths for your growing baby compared to the Lillebaby’s two. You will get more life out of the wider Lillebaby carrier if you plan on using it into the toddler years (and if you’re like me, you’ll quickly get used to the size). That said … a 33-pound kid is still pretty darn big. My back would not even let me consider putting my son into a carrier by the time he hit 33 pounds. But, to each his own!
Check out the super wide seat on the Lillebaby, designed for proper hip support well into toddlerhood. This and the tall headrest offer a bit more coverage for nursing discreetly in this carrier.
Pocket and Mesh Panel
The Lillebaby has a panel that unzips to allow for greater airflow; on this panel, there’s a small pocket which fits my phone and keys, but not much else. Personally, I’d prefer a larger pocket, especially since you lose access to this one when you’re unzipping the outside panel to get air flow.
This may or may not bug you— but I like to carry as few extra bags as possible when I’m out for a baby walk.
The mesh panel is a great feature to help keep baby from overheating on warmer days. The pocket rolls up neatly beneath the mesh panel when unzipped.
The removable hood is another great feature of the Lillebaby carrier. It’s easy to attach and tucks into the outside pocket when you don’t need it… unless you’re zipping down that pocket to expose the mesh panel. Then you can either remove the hood entirely or roll it up.
If you prefer a carrier that maximizes airflow to keep baby cool, Lillebaby also makes the almost identical Complete Airflow (made with 3D mesh) and the lux Embossed carrier (made with super soft, breathable microcloth…ooh la la!) Bonus: both of these carriers have large external pockets.
Note that the slimmer Omni 360 has a detachable pocket (fanny-pack style) and provides an easy seat change and is more expensive ($180 vs. $140).
The larger Beco 8 has a waist belt pocket, a mesh panel, an easy seat change, and a lumbar support pad similar to the Lillebaby. However, it requires an infant insert, which is included.
At the end of the day, the Lillebaby Complete is a fantastic value (our Best Value pick, in fact), is super comfy, comes in beautiful patterns and has great accoutrements. Read more about our favorite baby carriers.
Check out all of their patterns here. And happy baby wearing!
Although this carrier is super comfy, there’s two big caveats worth knowing. One is, for women with small waists, you can’t tighten the waistband enough with the lumbar support piece on- you have to wear it without, which makes it way less comfortable. Second, because the shoulder straps don’t have convenient buckles, you load the kid in by putting both straps over your shoulders and buckling behind your shoulders. For not-flexible people (ahem…dads), this is an impossible reach, and requires help.
The Lillebaby can also be worn with the straps crossed in the back, which is nice because then you can avoid that difficult move to buckle behind the shoulders (you swing the strap across your back and buckle it in with both hands on the side of the carrier, then repeat for the other side). I also find it’s easier to clip behind my shoulders if I move the H-strap lower down- but I hear you about how it’s easier to buckle it that way with others’ help. I highly recommend crossing the straps for anyone using this carrier. As for the tiny-waisted peeps out there, try wearing the carrier lower on the hips so that you don’t need to remove that lumbar support pillow if possible, which is a godsend on longer walks. Thanks!