Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I wanted to try several of the "best" carriers on the market. Now, this is by no means a complete list of the best, it's just the ones I deemed good enough to try. There are a few more that I haven't tried, but these are all basically variations on a theme. Just like cloth diapers, they are all similar in style and function.
Some of my fit mom friends and I were talking about carriers, and I got an idea. Since I am a stay at home mom now and have nothing to do all day but chase around my little toddler, I decided to have a little mommy daughter fashion show with her carriers. This turned out to be great because she is also teething and nothing says flexible like a teething baby!
While I loved this carrier for when my daughter was younger, now it just seems a little too constrictive for her. It's less comfortable than the soft carriers when they start getting heavier. I believe that I stopped using this one regularly after she got to be about 10 months. But, when I first got the Moby, around two months, I loved it. It felt the closest to being pregnant again, which strangely enough, I missed. The other problem with this carrier is that it is long and you have to be somewhere where it doesn't drag on the floor while you tie it or you have to be very careful. I usually would pre-tie the carrier on me before we left, as a way to avoid this problem.
Best ages: Birth-12 months or probably 18 lb, whichever comes first
Pros: Soft, feels like you're pregnant again
Cons: You feel the weight of a heavier baby on your shoulders and back more.
Boy do I love the look of this carrier. It's a little different than most of the soft carriers on the market in that it has a forward facing option like the Baby Bjorn. I know there is a lot of controversy out there in the baby wearing world about if you should do this or not. This post is not going to try to convince you either way. If you're baby wearing, you're probably already aware of this debate and will come to a thoughtful decision on your own. Okay, back to the carrier! I cannot get enough of this print. It's a little harder to match my clothes with, but I think it's a great summer print. It fits similarly to the Ergo or Boba, but the buckles are slightly different. If you're looking for a carrier just for mom, then I think this is a good option. I find it very comfortable, and so does my daughter. While we were doing the photos for this post, I had her in the hip carry and she immediately put her head down on my shoulder. Why don't you just melt mommy's heart right now? I love it when she shows love back. One of the many blessings of toddlerhood! The problem with this carrier is twofold for me. First off, it doesn't have a pocket in the front, which I feel like is a must. Since I don't use a purse anymore, I like being able to put my wallet in the front zipper pocket. If I could get Beco to do this, I would probably wear this carrier more than my Ergo. The second problem is it doesn't fit my husband very well. I don't know why, but it looks awkward on him, despite the super girly print. There is something in the shoulder area that doesn't work right with his frame.
Best ages: 7-35 lb (10 less than the Ergo)
Pros: Very comfortable, a large selection of stylish prints, and 4 different ways to wear it!
Cons: Doesn't fit all body types as easily, lack of zipper in front, the way you tighten the straps is counter-intuitive
The Ergo carrier is my favorite for two reasons, and two reasons only. Well, okay, maybe three. First off, it has a zipper in the front, which for me is very important. It's my mommy purse/binky carrier. Secondly, it fits my husband well, which in turn means we can change out the carrier on one trip easily without having to either bring a second or me listen to him how he doesn't like how the Beco doesn't fit him. Less whining hubby equals more shopping time for mommy while daddy wears baby! I always take the opportunity to remind my husband that I gained 50 lb during pregnancy, and he shouldn't complain about how heavy it is to carry around our 25 lb toddler. So what if we live in a hillier place now. Suck it up! I was 50 lbs pregnant in 115 degree weather in Texas! Ergo doesn't have the same selection of cute carriers as Beco, but they do have quite a few. I've had my eye on the Zebra print for awhile now....Push present? Seeing as I am pregnant again, I think I deserve another carrier, right? And some more diapers! Well, we should probably find out the sex of the baby first.
Best ages/weight: 7-45 lb (10 more than the Beco) You must use the Infant Insert from newborn until 4 or 5 months.
Pros: Zipper in front, fits a wider range of body types, the buckles and straps are more sturdy than the Beco
Cons: The patterns aren't as cute or varied as the Beco.
I'm just going to write a brief little blurb about ring slings since I honestly don't care for them so much. I really really really wanted to like them, but they just aren't as comfy or as stable as the other three options I just mentioned. There are a lot of options out there on the market, so take your pick. I have a BabyEtte in grey cotton that I didn't take pictures of and the Balboa Baby sling in black(see below).
Best ages/weight: Newborn-25 lb
Pros: Better for newborns, but be sure you have them in the correct position or they could suffocate
Cons: They aren't as comfortable or as stable as the other options above, low weight limit