School Me on Baby Wearing

scoutingbear

New member
After watching a little 2 month old this week, I am sold on the idea of baby wearing (esp since we are not using an infant seat) during every day activities such as grocery, school runs, etc. But, HELP! The "popular" regular ones I can find in the store are NOT comfortable. (Baby Bjorn, etc). I tried my friend's sling with her baby (Infantimo, not a ring sling) and the plastic piece was digging into my shoulder.

I am 5'1" and had a somewhat healthy weight before elephant started growing. Dh is 5'11" and almost within his healthy weight range. He may or may not be interested in wearing baby. I have fairly poor tolerance for things on my shoulders and have weak shoulders. When we hike I wear a hiking hip pack instead of a backpack. I would prefer one thing to wear from birth and up but am open to options. I would prefer it to be something fairly easy to put on and take off, but know that there will be a learning curve and am willing to work with that.

Can you do other things with a ring sling? Besides wear it as a sling I mean...Yeah, I'm that ignorant. :eek:

So...spam me with your knowledge!
 
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kate909

New member
The best resource is thebabywearer.com - tons of great info about all the carrier options there.

I used a Moby wrap (http://www.mobywrap.com/) from birth and a ring sling. Jan at Sleeping Baby Productions (http://www.sleepingbaby.net/) has what a lot of people (including me) consider the most comfortable ring sling shoulder design on the market. She has slings in a variety of price ranges too. We use ours on a daily basis - it's quick to get in the baby in and out when you're shopping or just doing stuff around the house, but the one shoulder design may not work well with your weak shoulders as the baby gets older and heavier. For a two-shoulder carry, you can get a mei tai.

I have several Mei Teis that we've used since DD was a few months old. You can also use them with newborns if you make sure their head is supported and you froggy their legs in. A lot of people seem to like Ergos (http://www.ergobabycarrier.com) for the ease of use, but I've never used one. You can get an infant insert so you can use it from birth to toddlerhood. Another popular maker is Baby Hawk (http://www.babyhawk.com/) My favorite is my Ocah (http://ocah.typepad.com).

TBW (thebabywearer) has a great marketplace section where you can buy used carriers - cheaper than buying new so you can try things out and see if you like them. Also, a great resource is a local babywearing group. Again, check TBW for groups in your area.

HTH Kate
 

chay

New member
I totally agree with the PP. Just wanted to add a short person's perspective - I'm a small person (5'2", 110lbs, short torso). I've tried a lot of carriers and if I could only have one it would be my BabyHawk. I tried 6 other similar styled Mei Tais and it was the best fit for me. I love that it fits both me and my 6'2" DH and I love that I can use it for a snuggly newborn or for a back carry for a toddler. Being small I prefer having them centered on me rather than on my hip in a sling when they get bigger. I do own a sling and love it for quick trips but for longer use (or having them secure enough to climb around the park after other kids) I always use the BH.

A stretchy wrap is also great for a newborn but they will outgrow it (but on the plus side you can often find them super cheap used because they don't last forever). The one plus to it is that you can put it on and pop them in and out without untying it.

I have tried an Ergo and with my short torso and narrow shoulders I didn't like it for back carrying a toddler (the straps always felt like they were slipping off my shoulders). If you can try it out in person though I would definitely give it a shot.
 

krasota

Well-known member
Trying out different carries and slings will help. If you have a local babywearing group, start there! And thebabywearer forums are definitely the place to be.

I used a ring sling when DS was small (under 4mo). One shoulder carries are rough, for sure, especially as they get older. My favorite ring sling carries were tummy-to-tummy, kangaroo (old enough for head control), and a hip carry (once he was a bit older). My ring sling was made of very thin fabric for our hot summers, but a heavier weight ring sling would last longer.

Next time around? I'd totally buy a wrap. If a winter baby, a stretchy wrap. For a spring/summer baby, a lighter wrap, maybe one of the gauze wraps.

DH loved his pouch (hotsling) for months and months.

As kiddo got older, we used the Ergo almost exclusively. The infant insert didn't work for us and the Ergo just wasn't ideal for my figure (big boobs, not much of a belly back then) and a newborn. Once DS hit 4-6mo, it was perfect. Now? It works for me (short torso, narrow shoulders, busty) and for DH (slim, average height) and for DS (short and slim). There are a variety of soft structured carriers and some work better than others.

I didn't want a mei tai because I need the padded hip belt.

I've tried wrapping, but I bought my woven wrap too late and DS isn't interested.

I still use the Ergo, though DS tends to ride his bike more often these days.
 

Shanora

Well-known member
Welcome to babywearing!!! Its totally awesome! I agree with both PP. And yes do check out thebabywearer.com.

I wrap in woven wraps exclusively. I have since birth. LOVE them. But there are many different types of carriers out there that promote proper positioning for babies!

This is a really good blog http://parentsvillage.blogspot.com/
Arie is a local babywearing vendor and she is also a Baby wearing Educator....she has some really good blog posts in there about proper positioning, and how to nurse in a carrier....etc.
 

Michael9

New member
For a newborn, I would recommend either the Moby Wrap or the Sleepy Wrap. We have a Moby Wrap that DD loves. It creates this perfect little pouch and holds her right next to my chest. She's not colicky, but I can see how it would really help with colic since you can keep the baby upright.

For 7 months and older, I recommend the Ergo. It provides a lot of support for baby and is comfy. I would stay away from the Baby Bjorn--it seems to "dangle" the child rather than support her.
 

natysr

New member
I think that you may find that you needs will change as baby grows. The good thing is though that babywearing products have a fairly good resale value. So you can sell one in order to defray much of the cost of another.

I didn't really wear Jordan as an infant (all I had was a snugli). For Trevor, I do plan to wear him alot. We are also skipping the infant carrier seat. I did a bunch of research and found that everyone seems to have a different opinion. Many people really like wraps. Lots of people love ringslings. Some swear by the basic loop sling, etc. etc. I think it is just so subjective. Everyone's bodies are built differently etc. I could listen to others, but I still wouldn't know exactly what would work for me, until I could actually practice it hands on. I've managed to collect a nice stash of different carriers throughout my pregnancy, because I wanted good deals, and if I felt I wanted to try something new, I didn't want to feel stuck paying boutique prices.

What I have so far:

Peanutshell sling. This is a basic padded sling. One loop of fabric. It got it directly from Peanutshell for $10. I wasn't picky about colors, so I bought it from their grab bag section where you don't get to choose the color/pattern. You do get to choose the size. (I also found a coupon coded that defrayed the cost of shipping.)

SBP Ring Sling. She has a few that are marked at really good prices. I think mine was $25ish. It was a moby convert. (She bought mobys and resewed them to be like her ring slings.

Wombfruit wrap. I got this as a Christmas gift from my mom. I think it was about $35, which is not bad. It is a gauze style which will be cool and lightweight for my summer baby.

Babyhawk. I've heard great things about mei teis, and the babyhawk in general. I bought mine used, but in excellent condition for $55.

So, I think I did pretty good having basically one of each style on a budget. $125 was the total spent for 4 different kinds.

The only thing I'm really missing is a soft-structured buckle carrier like an ergo or becco. I do have a soft-structured buckly carrier for a toddler though. I have the Toddler Patapum. (they also make a baby version of it). You may want to look into this, because it is worn a bit different than many other buckle carriers. It is worn mor on the hips than on the waist. So even though it does have nicely padded shoulder straps, there is very little pressure actually put on the shoulders, because the weight is mostly on your hips. We have this carrier for my 5 year old.
 

amy919

New member
I've found that is totally dependant on the person wearing - the fit, what's comfortable, how long you plan to wear and if you want one that will work "forever" or if you're willing to buy different carriers to meet you/your baby's needs as they grow, and of course, your budget. For me, I tried a TON. I finally found a babywearing "expert" nearby who runs a boutique out her home. I met with her, tried a few and found one that worked best for me and my baby. The 45 minute drive to meet with her and have her school me in person on the differences between all kinds of carriers and then show me exactly how to use it was worth every penny. If you can find someone like that near you, I'd highly recommend it.

I was completely sold on a Beco. Wanted one in the worst way. Was sure it was "the one" for me. Met with this lady, tried it, and nope - not a good fit for me. Just didn't feel right. I ended up buying a Pikkolo and it is without a doubt the best money I have ever spent. It is super comfy, I can walk around with it for hours and feel absolutely no strain on my back at all. I highy recommend it and would definitely look into the Pikkolo. I :love: mine.

I originally bought a Moby and used it maybe twice for about 10 minutes each time. I'm just not a fan of all of material and tying. I spent a lot of time on babywearer and it was definitely time well spent. The Moby was/is awesome and I have much love for it, it can't be beat for newborns. I found it very comfortable and felt like Sean was very secure in it. The only issue I had with it is that I didn't want to deal with all that material. I'm more of a buckle kind of girl.

Even here in swap, carriers turn up on occassion, so keep an eye out there as well :).

Good luck and happy shopping! Babywearing is a dangerous addiction, almost as bad as car seats :p.
 

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