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Best baby carrier?


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Initial post: Jun 25, 2008 10:06:24 PM PDT
Cruisinmama says:
I have been researching for days on this topic. I only have the Bjorn hand-me-down and I am not too fond of it, esp now I read how bad it is for the baby's growing spine and hip joints. I was all set on purchasing an Ellaroo Mei Tei due to the hot climate where I am and keeping my baby cool is important to me. I also really like the look of it. However, I ran across the Beco Butterfly and it seems easier to use and I like the idea of being able to switch from me to my husband or from front to back carry w/o taking my son out of the carrier as well as having easy buckles. But I'm afraid the extra padding it seem to have might make it too hot for us. They seem very similar and I can't decide. Which one do you suggest if following are important to me?

- Keep baby cool
- Have head support for baby when he is sleeping
- Easy on shoulders and back (my husband has a bad back)
- Does not irritate baby's thighs even during long wear
- Easy to adjust (even getting the easy Bjorn on while my baby is throwing a fit annoys me so I don't want to fiddle with something hard)
- Good for long wear

On a separate topic, how do you deal with wearing your baby during hot sunny days? I use the stroller a lot just because I can shield him from the sun. I don't see how this is possible with any carriers which is concern for young babies where using sunblock product is not recommended.

Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 25, 2008 11:58:05 PM PDT
TM says:
I have a Beco Butterfly and I live in Phoenix so we know hot! I have used several unstructured baby carriers (handmade pouch sling, and different long wraps) and I like the Butterfly quite a lot. I got it because my little one is too heavy for a front carry and I was too scared to use a wrap for a back carry. The Butterfly is very easy to use and quite comfortable for long wear, I have worn it everywhere. In terms of warmth, well, your baby is still right up against you so it is still a bit warm, but no worse than any other carrier. But a caveat, I also was attracted to the idea of being able to share the carrier with my husband. I'm 5'4" and the carrier is quite comfortable for me now that I know how to adjust it "just right", but my husband is 6' and broad shouldered and he can't wear it at all.
As for head support there is a sleeping hood which holds up your baby's head and protects it from the sun but to be honest I never use it, my daughter hates it, and it is very awkward to try to attach. She seems fine sleeping on me without the hood.
As for sun protection, all I can say is stay out of the sun. When we have to go out I put baby in light long sleeved clothing and light pants, a hat and sunglasses. I also use sunblock but my baby is nearly a year and a half.
The portable baby is a great site with lots of information for stuff to make life with a baby easier and less cluttered. They have some other carriers listed there too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 26, 2008 11:58:19 AM PDT
Cruisinmama says:
Thanks for your comments. It helps a lot.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2008 8:31:48 AM PDT
Julie says:
I would recomend the Moby wrap. I have a six month old and puchased a Moby five months ago. I am only five feet tall and had trouble finding a carrier that would work for me. My husband is over six feet tall and he loves using the Moby too. A few weeks ago I took our daughter on a cross country trip, from Florida to Oregon by myself. It would not have been possible without the Moby. We missed our flight in Vegas and had to spend the night in the airport, she slept in the Moby on my chest.

When my daughter was small it was easy to wrap her so her head was supported and now that she is older I can have her facing out with her legs free. I love that as she grows I can just adjust the Moby to fit. The only thing is that it takes practice to get the wrap on quickly and you need a place to set the baby while you get situated. I can get the Moby on in about ten seconds now, but if I am going to the store I put it on before I leave because it is so long the ends can drag on the ground while you are getting it tied.

I love that it is totally adjustable; it can be used by anybody and until your baby is 35 lbs.
It is machine washable (in cold water)
It is light weight and comfortable
I have worn it for 24 hours straight ( in and out of airplanes and airports) and it was still comfortable
My baby loves it!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 29, 2008 10:20:47 PM PDT
I absolutely loved my sling. That would solve all of the problems you mention except perhaps the heat, but I live in las vegas and used it in the summer! I recommend newnativebaby.com. Good luck.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 30, 2008 11:09:11 AM PDT
B. Jen says:
Ergo Baby. I would recommend the Ergo over any other carrier. It is the only (really and truly the ONLY) carrier that doesn't hurt my neck, back, or both. And I've tried many. It's also better for the baby, because the baby's weight is distributed on the bottom and thighs, not just the spine (like you mentioned). It very easy to put on and adjust. It's a mei tai style carrier, but without the wrapping and tying.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 1, 2008 10:03:24 AM PDT
ami says:
i would highly recommend you going to thebabywearer.com and you will find all the info you are looking for. its all broken down with reviews and sections to ask all types of questions. there are a couple of different types of carriers- wrap(too hot imo and hard for a newbie), ringsling(if you get a light material like solarveil it would be fine), pouch(not good for long carries), mei tais(can get lighter weight fabrics like a Freehand that would work, straps are long so it looks intimidating but i swear it is so easy), or soft structured carriers(like the beco, have the harder waistband). i personally like mei tais and soft structured carriers. look for lighter materials, or no padding in the body. check out a connecta or babies beyond borders in solarweave. matter what, the body heat will be hot, but carriers are wonderful so just look for less hot fabrics.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2008 10:03:00 AM PDT
J. Patton says:
ERGO all the way! I've used a Bjorn, mei tai, Peanut Shell and Moby, and this has been the best all-around carrier since my daughter was 4 months (she's now 9 months). The hood is great as a sun shield and to cut out distractions while she's sleeping. I experience NO back/shoulder discomfort and wear her off and on all day. My aunt also wears her in it comfortably, and she's in her 60's. It's quite adjustable and an extension strap is available for larger folks. No thigh irritation. She gets warm in it due to close physical contact, but it hasn't been too bad (and it's been 90s and humid here). And, we cover as much skin as possible w/ lightweight clothing/sun-protective clothing and use California Baby sunblock where/when needed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2008 11:07:26 AM PDT
T. McHenry says:
I second (or third) the ergo. Both my husband and I wore our 9 mos old daughter endlessly in hot, humid Japan last year and she slept great and our backs didn't hurt--it saved the trip for us! It was hot--no way around having a hot baby against a hot body in 100 degree humid heat, but it was really OK and it dried quickly. At home, we'd been using a ring sling (padded) since birth and a unpadded ring sling and a bjorn but the ergo is by far the best. With our new baby expected any day, I think we'll be using the ergo from birth. Except we can still use it with our 19 mos old so hmmm.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2008 11:42:17 AM PDT
LOOK INTO RECALL ON STRAPS OF BECO BUTTERFLY--CAN LOOSEN & SLIP. I don't have time to fully read these posts, but I skimmed, & I have an Ergo which is FANTASTIC (I too researched for days)--can use front, back, hip, & has insert for infant under 6 mos. My husband & I both use easily, it has a hood which is attached, has a pocket for when not in use, & can be snapped for use in about 10 secs :). On the DVD which comes with it, they show a woman grocery shopping with her baby (old enough to sit up I think) & she changes the child from front carry to back in literally about 20 secs. Has a little purse you can get that attaches to front & reach while baby in carrier + more... May be a little warm, made of canvas. Straps have safety loops to prevent Beco's problem with straps slipping. Check out the website.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2008 9:40:42 AM PDT
Horse Mom says:
I wore my daughter in the Ergo until she was 2 and I was too pregnant with #2 to keep wearing it. I have tried five other carriers and can't say enough good things about the Ergo. All of the others hurt my back. I now use it with my infant.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2008 11:01:40 AM PDT
Sue says:
I would also suggest that you check out thebabywearer.com. I would not get a moby wrap like a previous person suggested. It is just way too hot. It is a wonderful carrier when babies are small but too hot for the summer months. I have a couple of Mei Tais and I think that they are wonderful. I was amazed at how comfortable they are. One of them is solarveil that I purchased at www.carriersandcloth.com It blocks most of the sun and is lightweight. I bought it with a detachable sleeping hood so that I could cover my baby from the sun. We used it at the beach and it worked really well. I've never tried a Becco or Ergo but I've heard really good things about those carriers as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2008 1:28:34 PM PDT
D. Blum says:
On my 2nd child.I now have the best thing ever!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE my "Peanut Shell Sling" . I have tried the ERGO baby carrier with my 1st, as well ast he Bjorn and snugli's. But I ordered this sling on a whim while pregnant with my son. it has been awesome from when he was a newborn and now with him being 5 months old and nearly 20 lbs. I could even wear my 3 yr old in it if I wanted to. It is all in the positioning. I have friends that make their own slings that have those heavy d rings that they complain about but I'm telling you my sling..is a solid ring of fabric with no painful hardware. It is so comfortable and the sateen cotton fabric makes it easy to use in hot weather. My son loves being worn in it. It make shopping at walmart or the mall a breeze..compared to even using the stroller it really does appease him the most. the way the sling is worn on the shoulder easily distributes the weight correctly and prevents wear on your back and neck. If you breastfeed, the sling can also be utilized to feed while wearing as well, though I never tried it myself. I hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2008 4:42:20 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 8, 2008 4:50:54 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Jul 18, 2008 9:26:05 PM PDT
Cruisinmama says:
Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
I ended up purchasing the Beco Butterfly and have been using it for few weeks.
Here is my take on it and I'm going to be detailed since I was desperate for some detailed review when I was researching....

-It's really nice looking...I get complements on it. It is the most attractive carrier I've seen so far.
-It's good quality...very sturdy, quality workmanship, good fabric
-It's padded and hot like the Bjorn, which sucks. It has the outer layer, baby insert layer, and another layer that lays on me directly...that's 3 layers with outer layer being pretty thick. Yah...no wonder it makes my chest and stomach all sweaty after a walk in the hot weather.
-It does distribute the weight to the hip so back does not hurt as much..so I don't mind wearing it for a long time. I have not noticed any irritation on my son after a long wear neither...it has padding for his legs.
-Infant insert works very well with my 5 month old (now almost 6 months)
-It's quick to get on but the buckle that was put in due to that previous recall is pain in the butt. It takes a lot of fiddling around with to adjust the top straps but it's super fast once you have it set since there really is no need to change it.
-The back buckle is hard to reach and push down.
-But I like the buckes vs tying stuff...it's quick...snap snap and it's done
-I kinda don't like the straps...they are regular heavy duty nylon straps. It's good quality but it's not the softest thing to be rubbing against my baby's skin...most of the time it's out of the way but still....
-The headrest attaches awkwardly and is useless for infants...maybe it'll come in handy when he is a toddler.
-It holds the baby nice and close to me (adjustable) and my baby is happy in it and sleeps in it well.
-I tried to put it on my husband's back...baby freaked and was not happy. It is bit too small for his wide back and my son was uncomfortable...perhaps we need to do more adjusting but adjusting the thing is not that easy with all the buckles. It's only easy once everything has been set up just right....but not so switching to diff person where every strap needs to be readjusted.
-I do find myself taking it everywhere and using it a lot. I love how he sits in it. A friend of mine recently got a Moby wrap and she loves it. But I have to admit that I am not fond of how it looks on...all that extra fabric hanging and the tie knot...not so attactive. But it does look like it would be good for a little baby.
-I do find myself considering getting an Ellaroo Mei Tai as I was originally planning since it's known to be lighter. I also find myself wanting the outward facing option...for those short periods when i want my son to see what's going on (like the 4th of July fireworks)....But after spending $140 on it (w/shipping) can I really spend another $90 for another one? Hmmm? Maybe...
-I can see loving this thing more during the cooler season.
I hope this helps someone who is desperately searching for more info like I was.
Good luck and thanks everyone!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2008 8:21:33 AM PDT
Julia Baum says:
Ergo baby is far the best. And I had them all- you name it!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 8:18:32 PM PDT
R. Carlson says:
I actually purchased an adjustable baby sling from mamasmilk.com They make one in that solar veil material that is lightweight, breathable, comes with an extra length of fabric that can be used as a sun shade (or nursing veil if you nurse while he/she's in it) over the little guy/girl's face, AND can be worn in the water. They're fairly easy on the shoulders and back, at least in my experience, and they're designed to mimic the environment in-utero. It looks like your little one is all squished in there, and you'd think it'd be uncomfortable, but my little guy crashed out almost immediately every time I put him in there. There's no risk for the hip joints with these. That's the main reason I chose it over the Bjorn carriers. The only two down sides of them are 1. It can be a little tricky getting a baby into one (esp. if you're large-chested), but it's pretty much instantly soothing once you get them in there. 2. If you buy the micro-corduroy version, it can get a little warm.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2008 2:22:56 AM PDT
elei says:
I had the Bjorn, but it killed my back. My baby was 20 lbs at 4 months! Anyway, ERGO bay has been wonderful. I can't say enough about it. You have to try it. Make sure you have it strapped really tight. Baby looks kinda weird in it ... almost uncomfortable, but you ask any mom with it and they will tell you time and time again, it's "THE ONE" that soothes baby and is great on mommy. I'm 5'4" and my husband is 6'3" and we both love it. good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2008 11:40:48 AM PDT
M. J. says:
My favorites are either the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder or the Mia Wrap. Both are soft, Sling carriers, the OTSBH has a padded edge, and the Mia is simply cloth.

I have "worn" all my babies. I couldn't use a regular sling with my first two kids, because I am so small, and the Slings in the 80s were too large, and my babies would fall into a ball at the bottom of the sling and cry! But, a few years later, The Over the Shoulder started making Petite Slings and my babies and I were in Sling Heaven!

But, don't expect you and your husband to be able to use the same sling, unless you are about the same height and weight. My dh is 100 lbs heavier and almost 15 inches taller than I am! There is no way that my Petite Sling would fit him. He prefers to carry the babies in his arms when they are small, and on his shoulders when they are bigger. As I do most of the Infant Care in our house, he rarely uses any carrier, but used to like an old, out of date one called "The Tot Tender" as it was adjustable enough for him. (But, only while camping and hiking, he doesn't even want to be seen at a store or a Festival with a sling, (He refers to it as "being tied to the baby" which I LIKE to do, and he prefers to carry) he prefers to carry the babies, that's just him, though.)

So, I commend you for wanting to Wear your baby, but you may prefer one sling and your dh will probably prefer a different type or style.

I also commend you for NOT simply falling into the trap of hauling your sweet baby around in a Car Seat. One of the first things I tell my clients (I am a Lactation Consultant) especially if they have Supply Issues or have to work outside the home. "LEAVE THE CAR SEAT IN THE CAR." Body to body contact is not only great for Attachment, but it has been proven to help boost your milk supply.

Mothering Magazine and the Mothering Website have good information about using and choosing a sling. "The Baby Book" by William and Martha Sears as well as "Attachment Parenting" by Katie Allison Granju are also good sources on HOW to use a sling. But having someone show you is best. Many La Leche League groups have members who are more than happy to show you many ways to use this most helpful baby necessity, at most meetings. IMO, stay away from places like Babies R Us, because they only have nearly impossible to use, uncomfortable, buckle laden, confusing strapped conveyances, which are not only expensive, but impossible to return, if they have been used, the "help" there is useless. (In fact, IMO, stay away from Babies R Us for just about anything for any type of baby things you need or that will enable you to attach and bond to your baby. The people who work there are not only clueless, they have been trained to steer you towards expensive things you don't need, to undermine breastfeeding (in order to sell you their "on sale" formula, even if you aren't using it) undermine family bedding, and will sell your name, address and phone number to all kinds of companies who will besiege you with "offers" of things you don't need or want.)

Good luck and Happy Slinging. You have made a good choice to Wear your baby.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 8:38:30 AM PDT
I have a bunch of different slings and carriers and my two favorites are my Ergo and my Original Hip Hammock. The Ergo with the infant insert I used a lot when DD was younger, I use the Hip Hammock a lot more now that DD is almost 9 months old and loves to be held sideways. I can also nurse in the Hip Hammock. I had originally purchased the Playtex Hip Hammock and didn't like it. I was about to give up on a hip carrier until I realized the link on the Playtex box (www.hiphammock.com) went to Nancie Swanke's website - she was creator of the Original Hip Hammock and had worked with Playtex for a few years to have it mainstream. Her own creations are far more superior to the Playtex ones. I called her and she tried to help me get my Playtex one working and when that was exhausted, she made me a hammock and sent it to me to try before I buy as I am petite with a large baby. The first time I put it on, the difference was very obvious, no back aches and discomfort and no chaffing on my DD's underarms. The fabrics used were nice and sturdy yet soft and breathable. Nancie's Hip Hammock starts for babies who weigh at least 15lbs and she has worn her own children to 40lbs. Even though Nancie had made the straps shorter for me, my husband who is 10 inches taller than can also use it without issue. DD loves it and has fallen asleep against me or DH.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 11:52:15 AM PDT
JILL S says:
ERGO is the only way to go. I have the Bjorn, the Maya sling, and have tried several others. Everything hurts my back (sooner rather than later) except the Ergo (my baby was born at 9lbs, so back support is an issue). I live in NYC and walk a lot. It is HOT. The Ergo is comfortable, has a sun/rain hoodie, and even has an insert you can get for use with small newborns. Mothers see me walking confortably all over town and stop me to ask me the name of my sling. Unlike the Bjorn, the Ergo remains useful for about 2 years. As the child gets older, you can turn it to carry your child on your hip or back, and it works great. This is the best sling on the market.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 1:10:22 PM PDT
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Ergo carrier!!! I live in Georgia, so we certainly have the heat factor here , too. It has been wonderful for my toddler...I got it after my youngest was a year, so I have no experience with the infant insert, but cannot say enough good about the carrier itself, even my 5 year-old likes riding in it. It has a wonderful head hood that you can snap after they fall asleep and it is very light weight.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 2:59:15 PM PDT
I have had trouble figuring out the best carrier too. My baby is only 2 months old but we needed a carrier to work for her right away. We have an Ergo, sling, and Moby wrap. Right now the Moby is the best because she likes to be tightly wrapped, it's the only way to get her to sleep sometimes- you can cinch it up really easily. I can get on by myself pretty quickly now. It is hot when you spending a long time outside but for regular wear is not too bad. She doesn't seem to mind getting a bit warm. It's a little cumbersome getting out of it if we've both nodded off but I have slept almost all night with it on and been fairly comfortable. It is the only thing that she really likes. The sling is too loose for a small baby and digs into your shoulder. It is easier to get them in and out quickly though. The Ergo didn't work when she was one month, we'll try again when she's a bit bigger. She didn't like the position I think. The Moby allows her to be tight against my chest. It seems to be her favorite place to be. I like how there are no straps or anything complicated about the Moby, you really get the hang of it pretty quick.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2008 5:20:38 PM PDT
I LOVE the Ergo. We were the happy recipients of many hand-me-downs - as she got older I used the sling so she could sit on my hip while I did chores...the Bjorn got too small when she was 7 months...her head kept hitting my chin (I'm 5'4" with a long back and she was a completely average sized baby). We had a Kelty frame pack, but then began using the Ergo. She's over three now and we STILL use the Ergo - we do a lot of walking and when she gets tired I carry her, and it's like having a living backpack on your back. It even works for tantrums when she won't stay in her room. LOVE the Ergo.
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