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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Baby Wearing

In this wonderful new climate of "attachment parenting," baby wearing parents are everywhere. I too have done my fair share of strapping my baby to my body so I can go about my day without sacrificing my bonding time with the boy. From the time he was tiny, my preference has been to wear him as much as possible. Of course I've always made sure he has ample amounts of floor/free play time too. I'm really talking about wearing him in lieu of leaving him in his car seat or pushing him in the stroller.

When I look back over the past ten months, I see a gentle progression in terms of the various slings and wraps I've tried. Each has had its own unique features and benefits but there is so much to choose from out there that I thought it would be a good idea to share my experiences:

1. Infantimo Slingrider - This is the first sling I tried simply because it's the first sling I bought. Charlie was still tiny and I went to T.arget to see what they had. At the time, this was affordable and seemed handy, I honestly hadn't done a lot of research. I talked a little about my favorite features of the bag-style sling in this post. One of the comments from that post pointed out some potential concerns about this type of baby carrier; however, I will say that we still got a lot of use out of this item and I didn't feel overly concerned. I really liked the fact that Charlie was right there with me and I could easily look down and see him. He was instantly comforted when I put him in the carrier, I think because he could hear my heart beating and feel me breathing. I also liked the fact that he was concealed from nosy people out in public. At the time I was more sensitive to prying eyes and this put me back in control. I could easily go shopping or to a restaurant without having to deal with everyone wanting to touch my baby. We even took C. to a couple of movies in this carrier!

2. Baby Bjorn - Up until last week (see Ergo below) this was my favorite carrier. I would have recommended it to anyone! I actually still love the bjorn but I have found that it's getting harder and harder to carry Charlie as he gets bigger, despite the fact that we haven't reached the weight limit yet. Plus this carrier is less versatile in terms of how you can carry the baby and therefore what types of activities you can perform. Having said that, baby bjorn is one product where you absolutely get what you pay for. The carrier is extremely secure and well made. When I was initially comparison shopping I couldn't understand why the bjorn was twice the price of other seemingly comparable carriers. Then I tried it on. The criss-cross design of the straps across the back really help to distribute the baby's weight evenly. It was more than worth the extra cost given how much more comfortable it was for both me and Charlie. I also like the fact that the baby can be worn either facing out or facing in.

3. Maya Wrap (homemade) - A good friend sent me this hand-made version of the commercially available wrap. While it is beautiful and stylish, it's the wrap with which I've had the least success, hence no picture of it in use. I've used it a few times, once even to walk around the block but I still feel like I need to keep my hand on Charlie while he's in the carrier, which pretty much defeats the purpose of using a sling.






4. Ergo - Last but not least, my new favorite! I've had my eye on this carrier ever since I met a woman with four kids under four at the grocery store several months ago. She stopped to talk to Charlie and we struck up a conversation. She had one baby in the Ergo carrier on her back, another in her arms and the other two in her cart. The Ergo is not cheap, retailing for around $100; however, it is absolutely worth the investment. It's the most versatile carrier I've found, both in terms of the variety of ways you can carry the baby (front, hip and back) and in terms of weight limit (40+ pounds.) It's called the Ergo because it's ergonomically correct for both baby and adult. This carrier is relatively easy to maneuver, although there is a slight learning curve. I definitely think getting Charlie loaded onto my back is more of a feat that the tutorial videos portray. Having said that, I've only been using the carrier for two days and I'm already getting more comfortable with loading the boy in and out. A few of my other favorite features of this carrier are the side-zippered storage pocket, which for short trips, can eliminate the need for a diaper bag; the snap-on hood attachment (pictured below) that can be used as a sun shade or for when the baby falls asleep; the thick, comfortable padded straps; and finally the fact that the entire carrier is made of cloth and there's no hard wire frame like some of the other higher weight limit carriers I've seen.




All in all, my baby wearing endeavors have been quite successful. Now that I've used the Ergo, I'm wishing it had been with us all along. It will be the new carrier I recommend to anyone who asks and I will most likely use mine exclusively if/when we adopt again.


17 comments:

Rebekah said...

A true mama roo! :)

Ty LIVED in my "Ultimate Wrap" and "Jelly Bean" Sling. Hands down couldn't have lived without them those first few months!

I don't know what I'd use now....It's been so cold I've had no use for one. We'll see what happens in the spring!

Brooke said...

The Ergo is my favorite too! It took me quite a bit to learn how to put it on (guess I should have watched the tutorials), but it is hands down way more comfy than any other carrier I tried.

Anne said...

I loved the Baby Bjorn too when Elizabeth was younger. I miss those days!!

KLTTX said...

Thanks for your reviews. I totally want to get an Ergo for when we go to Africa to pick up our newest son. The price is a little off putting though.

Melba said...

KLTTX,

The place I bought mine (you can find retailers in your area online) was great and let me try the carrier on and walk around with Charlie in it for a while. I agree that the price is high but I would pay it all over again. Plus...it's an item you will use A LOT as your kiddos grow. At least see if you can find someone selling them and go try it on, that's what really sold me. :)

Melba

Laurie said...

I have the Ergo as well and it was necessary when we traveled to Hawaii with our nine month old!! She could easily nap in it and it fits so snuggly my husband even chased our toddler around the house with the baby strapped to him and she hardly moved! I love it too!!

joyce said...

First, let me say how adorable Charlie is!

I've been checking out online, the Moby Wrap. Your reviews have been really helpful and I'll also check out the Ergo.

Just Believing said...

Ok this is a sign cuz I have been debating buying the ERGO for a while now I just need to save up a little to get it! Do you like the galaxy grey one? I am thinking that one of the camel colored one but dont want them to look dirty but i dont want black because it would be too hot

i loved the bjorn too but even at only 16 lbs it kills my back!

i have been thinking ergo also cuz i love my moby and how it doesnt give a lot of weight on my back BUT it is so stretchy and by the end of wearing her its so stretched out

ok enough but thanks for sharin about the ergo cuz i do now have to get one :) ( my husband on the other hand does not thank you )

LOL

Debbie B said...

Sadly I never did find one I loved. Could be why I never got any house work done in those early months. :-)

Next time, I'll be getting the Ergo for sure. We're 10lbs away from out growing it now so I don't think it's worth it this late in the day.

Anonymous said...

Charlie is soo cute. It's been awhile since I have seen the blog since I have been off my own computer but had to check and see how he is doing.

Anne

Melba said...

Just Believing,

I do like the galaxy grey one! The embroidery is really pretty and Charlie likes to play with the stars. I looked at a few different colors but also wanted a lighter one so it didn't get as hot. The one I tried on in the store was camel and I definitely liked the look of they grey one better.

I'd love to know what you decide!

Melba

TXMom2B said...

I loved my Ergo, too. I never did get the hang of the back carry, though. I think I waited until he was just too heavy. It hurt my back. I just used it for the front carry and it worked out really well.

michelle said...

wow, I can't believe how big Charlie is getting...he is just so adorable...and you too with all your carrying abilities....:)

m :)

AJH said...

I didn't purchase the ERGO until my kids were 2, and wish over and over that I had it all along! But I still can use it with both of them even though they are both 3...one is 30 lbs and one is 38 lbs! I love it!

Karen said...

Cute Ergo! We love our cranberry one and it's great you're getting comfy with putting him on your back after only a couple of days...it took me more like a week :)

Kel said...

I just won an ebay for a cranberry one! hopefully it will come soon!! if it doesn't Ebay is going to buy me the same one you and c have!!

Malloryn said...

I LOVE our Ergo as well, but so far have been too chicken to try the back carry. Maybe this week will be the week!