Friday, June 8, 2012

My favorite things-Part III-Baby carriers!

If you've ever been into a baby store, seen a Time magazine, or been outside of your home in the last year, you've probably already seen the armies of hippies, I mean people, walking around with babies strapped to their chests, straddling their hips, or slung over their backs like chattel.  I mean, who actually wears their baby? What is this baby wearing movement about and why would I do that as a mother? I've already carried them inside me for 40 something weeks, you mean I have to keep doing it once they come out? I feel like that's just asking a little too much.
If this sounds like you, don't worry, it's really not that hippy to carry your baby. And even if it was, you're reading a cloth diapering focused blog, so you already have hippy tendencies. Just accept it already. Okay, so baby carrying is great bonding, blah blah blah, keeps the baby feeling secure, blah blah blah, and other attachment parenting things. I love baby wearing, but I'm not writing this blog to convince you of the benefits.  Just buy a carrier and you'll experience so much more than what I could describe to you in my sarcastic,slightly mocking, but nonetheless very informative tone. Actually, better yet, go hang out at your local non-Starbucks coffee dispensary and befriend someone already wearing their baby. I'm sure they will let you borrow one and in the process talk your ear off about the benefits of baby wearing.

Okay, so I'll bite. What are my options?

Most new parents have heard of the Baby Bjorn as the best carrier out there. Well, this post is to debunk that myth and to blow your baby carrier wearing mind.

Baby Bjorn
(all info and pictures taken from BB website)

Looks pretty cool, eh? I've personally never used one of these before, but I've heard good and bad things about them. All of the talk I've heard that is negative deals with the hip problems that can develop, but I'm not a scientist. The company seems to have an option for 3+ months that fixes this problem. If you notice, with the bb's you will have to buy two carriers. One for newborns up to 3 months, then one for 3 months(13 lbs)-2 years (31 lbs).

Front and back facing
Cool color options
Very easy to register for and buy at most big box baby stores

Weight limits require you to buy two different carriers if you want to start from birth
Possibly bad for baby hips
Possibly overwhelming for a baby to be forward facing

If you'd like to look into all the options that Baby Bjorn has to offer, click here to visit their website.

Moby Wrap
(info and pictures taken from Moby website)

I love this pattern, although it's not really my style.

This was the second carrier that I had heard about during my pregnancy, and although I didn't buy one at first, I eventually did. I wish I had gotten one earlier. It is a little more complicated than a ring sling, or a snap on carrier like the baby bjorn, but it makes up for all of that in the experience. When I wore my daughter in the hug hold, it literally would melt my heart. She was so soft, and her little arms around me were amazing :) This carrier goes all the way up to 35 lbs, which is more than the BB. I don't know if you would want to carrier an older child with this type of wrap personally, but for a newborn up to 5 or 6 months, I would say this is my ideal wrap. Of course, every carrier is a personal decision, so don't take my word for it, try one out! There are tons of videos on youtube and on the company's website about how to tie this wrap. It takes a couple of times, but after you get the hang of it you'll be fine.

Keeps baby really close
Very soft
Great support on hips and shoulders
High weight limit so you'll use it longer

Tying it can be confusing at first
Stretches as you wear it some
It's more complicated to put the child into
It can be more difficult to tie in public
Here I am with my baby girl at five months rocking the hug hold. I look exhausted! Oh yeah, I have a baby. I should look that way.
If you'd like to look into all the options that Moby has to offer, click hereto visit their website.

Ps. Don't tell my husband that they have a Red Sox wrap now.

Ring Sling

There are so many of these out on the market, that really it's just a matter of a quick web search for one that you find appealing. I am not as big of fan of these as the Moby, Ergo, Beco, or Boba because I don't think the distribute the weight around enough. I used one when my daughter was first born until the age of 1 month or two and then I switched over to the Ergo because I liked to go for long walks, and my back would be killing me after an hour. Some people swear by them, and honestly, I think they are really cute, they just aren't practical for me past a certain baby weight. I currently own two slings-The Balboa sling in Geo Trim which you can find here and a sling I picked up from a local cloth diaper store by BabyEtte which I loved while she was little.

Keeps baby close
Easily slipped on and off
Doesn't take up much room in the diaper bag
There are even mesh ones for the pool!

Not as much support to wear for longer periods of time
Can be frustrating to get the right fit

Front and back carriers


Okay, I'm totally biased, but I love the Ergo carrier. Honestly though, you can get a Beco or a Boba, which are basically the same. There are differences, like they are made by different companies, the colors are different, and if you buy a Beco or a Boba, you're a little more crunchy than the average mom. But seriously, the Boba does have a feature that I really wanted in a carrier and I might end up breaking down and buying one when our little bundle turns 2. I'm talking about the stirrups that you can see in the picture below, taken from their website found here.
If you look very carefully you can see the stirrups on the sides of the carrier on the moms hips.
Boba also has two male patterned carriers for the dapper daddy wearer. Trust me, daddy will eventually break down and want to baby wear after awhile. My hubby did and now we fight over who gets to wear her.


Now the Beco has two types: the butterfly2 and the gemini. I'm officially lusting after this one now. Here is a picture from the website because I just want to look at it some more.

With the Beco, unlike the Boba and the Ergo baby, you can wear the baby facing out like the BB, hip, front facing inward, or in on the back. It also has a head rest that you can put down or up, depending on whether baby is sleeping or needs head support. I think the Beco has better patterns than the Boba or the Ergo, if that is important to you. I personally would love to have one of each in my baby wearing stash (hint hint husband)!


Finally we get to the one that I currently own. The Ergo baby carrier is a great carrier from birth to 45lbs. I ended up buying this one because of the infant insert. I can't remember exactly when I stopped using it, but I think it was around 3 or 4 months. This carrier is a great fit for my 6'2 frame and is easily adjusted to fit my 6'5 husband. My sister-in-law also has one, and she can't be over 5'6. I'm not really sure because honestly everyone shorter than me looks the same height. I just saw on their website that they have a new pattern, which I'm kinda crazy about now. Guess what print it is?

Zebra what? Are you kidding me? It is literally taking every ounce of self control that I have left to not buy this carrier right now. I am all kinds of in love with this print. Real Housewives eat your heart out.

If you'd like to check out all the Ergo baby carrier options, visit their website and while you're at it you can buy this carrier for me. I am officially in love.

Alright mommas that's all I have to say about baby carriers. I know there are others like the Mei Tei, and Sleepy wrap, but I don't know everything. Google does, so ask her. In the meantime, happy baby wearing!

For more information on baby wearing go here.

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