I am fairly passionate, or obsessed (depends on which side you stand on!), about baby wearing. I believe it has enormous benefits for both the mama, dada, and the baby. There are tons of websites out there with studies and thoughts and philosophies about baby wearing and it’s positive side effects, but I’ll spare you the rhetoric and just say that no matter your parenting style, I don’t think anyone can argue with how pleasant it is to get household chores done without the baby crying.
I’m by no means an expert, but Marion did get her first carrier before she was even two weeks old and I have at last count seven different types of carriers. Each one serves a different purpose and has it’s own unique pros and cons. Yes, you can get by with just one, but I like variety.
Some women by purses, I buy wraps and slings. (Man, has my life changed since having a baby!)
Two Month Opinions
So far, my overall opinion is that I prefer the ring sling if I’m going to be out in public for a shorter period (under three hours) and in just one place (like dinner out with Josh) and need to look cute. I prefer the Moby if I’m going to be running lots of errands (I can put it on at home and just get Marion in and out of it as we go around), or if I need to have her on me most of the day around the house (I can wear the Moby for longer periods of time with less discomfort.) I tend to wear the Moby around the house and the Zolowear out in public (but that’s just a very basic generalization.) From a male perspective, Josh uses the Moby on occasion. Not nearly as much as I do, of course, but enough that he knows how to tie it by himself! He also uses the Chicco carrier some, but I don’t think Marion likes that as much.
(Almost) Four Month Opinions
Even as Marion has gotten bigger, I still find myself consistently reaching for the Moby wraps. In fact, I bought two so I would always have one clean one. The ring sling gets very little useage now, mainly because it seems I just can’t quite get it to carry comfortably and correctly for more than a short period of time. Also, Marion’s new “trick” right now is standing up when her feet are on a hard surface, so if she goes in the sling in a froggy carry, she immediately launches herself upright. We’ve had a few near misses :). We’re using the Mei Tai more and more as she gets older, and I can only see that continuing. Especially as summer gets here and it gets too hot for the Moby. I will say I ordered a cheap(ish) Mei Tai and I think that has a lot to do with the comfort level. As much as I don’t want to, I think I’m going to have to suck it up and order one of the expensive (but beautiful) BabyHawks. The Baby K’tan and the soft structured carrier get used a little bit, but just see a fraction of our total carry time compared to the Moby. Josh has started using the Chicco carrier a lot as Marion likes to really face outwards. He takes her grocery shopping quite a bit 🙂
Six Month Opinions
I’m sad to say, but the Moby is slowly being retired 😦 We’re transitioning Marion to napping more in the bed and less on me. Plus, it’s getting so warm here already that wearing the Moby just means the both of us sweat so much. The Zolo has been pulled back into major outing rotation. Marion is big enough now for a hip carry and it’s her favorite position to be in, so it’s become my errand running carrier. I did just buy a Beco Butterfly though and so we’ll see how much that gets used. I bought it because it makes it crazy simple to do a back carry with her, but the fit is a little funny, so we’ll see if I get that worked out. The mei tai is getting more use as well, but the Beco might bump it back. However, if sleep is needed immediately or the fussiness just will not go away, the Moby gets brought out. It’s still the ultimate comfort carrier. I find that the ring sling still is hard to get and keep a proper fit with it; I find myself constantly adjusting it as we’re out and about. Marion does move around a lot, especially as we’re running errands which may contribute to it, but it’s annoying. However, the ease of getting her and in and out makes up for the fussing I have to do with it. Josh has pretty much retired the Chicco carrier and replaced it with the Beco. Her weight was just getting too much to be comfortable in the Chicco and he can do a back carry in the Beco, which you can’t in the Chicco.
(Almost) Eighteen Month Opinions
Woops! Some time has gone by since I updated this! And guess what, I have even more opinions! Imagine that! I’ve acquired two new major carriers to our stash in the past year and as she’s gotten bigger, some of our favorites have been retired and others brought into major rotation. The retired ones have been the Moby and the mei tai. I do have to say that any time we have a long night due to teething or illness and she needs to be held upright while she sleeps, I bust out one of those and we’re both able to sleep comfortably sitting up. (I do have to say she’s much more comfortable than I am!) Our heaviest rotation items are the Beco and my new pouch sling. I finally got a well fitted pouch sling and it makes all the difference in the world! We love, love, love this one! It’s great for running errands and I like it because if I’m wearing her around the house, I can scoot her on my back for a few minutes while I do housework if I need to. It beats out the ring sling because I’m not sure if my ring sling is a bit defective or it’s user error or if it’s just not right for Marion. Regardless of the reason, our problem is that the top rail constantly slips. So I find myself adjusting it every five minutes when we’re out, which is annoying. I think it’s also compounded by how wiggly Marion is, so the more she moves, the more it slips. The pouch eliminates those issues. There’s no adjusting and her wiggling doesn’t make an impact on it. The Beco is also our other most used carrier. Without a doubt, if at this stage, I could only have one carrier, it would be the Beco. Josh probably uses it more than I do, but we both love it, and so does Marion! We’ve carried her for literally hours in it with no problem. We also have no problem switching from person to person with the it. Despite our size differences, we both get good fits with it. The other big addition has been my first purchase in the wide, wide world of woven wraps! I have a Didymos Indio size 6 and while I haven’t been totally been bitten by the wrapping bug, I still have love for it! I think this one is going to show it’s true worth when Ginger gets here. You know what, strike that. It’s all about finding the right carry and we just discovered the reinforced ruck carry and I’ve been bitten by the bug for sure. And in the totally hated category, we hate the mei tai for actually carrying her. I think it must be something wrong that I’m doing though because I know people love them. With both my cheapo mei tai and the Baby Hawk I borrowed for our San Antonio vacation we had the same problem though. After any amount of time in it in a back carry (and by time, I mean like five minutes) our arms just seem to go numb and we get incredible shoulder pain. I speak for both Josh and me since we both used the Baby Hawk in San Antonio. That being said, if I need her on my back and out of my way for a short period of time, I still use this one. It’s just so easy to get her on my back in it and it’s quicker for me to put on than the Beco. But, the whole time I use it, it hurts me. Having said all of that, our baby wearing has definitely dropped off as she’s gotten bigger. She’s just such a big kid and loves to walk so we let her. We do get a little bit of baby wearing in daily though, usually as I’m vacuuming and need to keep her out of the way so she doesn’t put things in my way to sweep up!
Newborn to Six(ish) Months
I don’t think you can beat a Moby for the newborn stage. It’s readily available, inexpensive, and babies just flat out love it. You do have a learning curve with tying it, but once you get past that, it’s a breeze. Yes it’s hot and cumbersome, but there are other stretchy wraps out there that are cooler and shorter, I just didn’t have one. So I guess I should say, the best thing for a newborn is a stretchy wrap, Moby brand or otherwise.
Six(ish) Months to Year Old
This is when it gets hard. On one hand, I say a well fitted pouch sling or a ring sling because babies love the hip carry at this point. It’s quick and easy to get off and on which makes it perfect for running errands. But it’s limited to a hip carry for this age group, at least that’s all we used it for. If I could only say one, I think I’d have to go with a mei tai. You can do a front carry, a hip carry, and a high back carry with it which makes it a lot more versatile than a ring sling. But again, just drawing on our experience, once they start getting heavier, it may get more uncomfortable for you.
Nine(ish) Months to Toddler
Beco, hands down. (Or another soft structured carrier like an Ergo, we just preferred the Beco so that’s what I’m saying here.) The only thing that keeps me from recommending it starting at six months is you can’t do a high back carry in it like you can an mei tai and I think the super curious 6+ monthers really benefit from being able to see over your shoulder. The Beco is super easy to use, for dads and moms, comfortable for the baby, comfortable for the parent, durable, cute, stylish, etc etc etc.
If I could only buy ONE carrier for the rest of my life
It would be a woven wrap. Which I know is out of the blue considering I haven’t talked about it much or have a lot of experience with it. My recommendation for it though is because you simply can’t buy one carrier that offers as much versatility as a woven does. It has a steep learning curve (and will continue to have one as the baby grows and you need to learn more carries) and can be difficult to master, but it’s unmatched in options and comfort.
Reviews & Pictures
The Rest of The Stash
Didymos Woven Wrap
Small Wish Pouch Sling