When I had my first daughter, I felt that if I didn’t have some kind of natural baby carrier, I was going to somehow hurt her. I went to Bradley classes, and even though they were informative and awesome, the woman that was teaching them owned her own ring sling company, and she was really pushing the ring sling!
But I just didn’t like it. Sorry all you ring sling advocates. I’m just not going to trust that ring to hold my baby, no matter what you say. Plus I felt it was too complicated to adjust. I just don’t do well with things like that… remember how I couldn’t even unfold our old stroller without Travis’ help? If you are good at adjusting things with your baby already on you, then you should have no problem with a ring sling, but for those out there that are lacking in some fundamental eye hand coordination like me, onto your next option…
One of my favorite carriers for smaller babies (0 to 18 months) is called a pouch. It is essentially a sling without a ring, and the one that I had for Ksena and Kati had zippers to adjust so that it would fit 5 10′ super thin daddy along with 5 5′ post pregnancy mommy. The particular one that I ended up buying was from Rockin’ Baby Slings. I chose this particular one because they had patterns that moms and dads could both wear, and all of their slings are reversible, so it’s like getting two for one price. I initially tried to make my own baby pouch, and many hours and tears later, Trav finally agreed to shell out the $98 bucks (now they cost $80) I ended up paying for my baby pouch. I thought that amount was worth it, but what I didn’t realize is that these things are extremely well made! I used one for both of my girls, and my girlfriends have been passing it back and forth in Hungary. Soon it will be on it’s 5th baby in the last 4 years. And now they offer a one for one deal if you buy a sling or a pouch, they will donate one to a woman in Haiti. Pretty awesome huh? There have been many times when I wanted to buy another one but, I don’t plan on having #3 soon, so I resist these temptations.
The next baby carrier on the list is the ever popular Baby Bjorn. I have heard so many bad things about this carrier, including it puts a lot of pressure on the baby’s hips and spine, and that most babies only fit in it until 8 months. In my opinion, that is a waste of money! You can buy a different carrier for the same price that holds from 0 to 3 years old. So unless someone gives you one for free, I would pass on this expensive carrier.
Onto the Maya Wrap. What can I say about my personal experience with this product? I hated it. I felt like I was wrapping myself like a mummy, and since I was using it in summer in Southern California, it made me sweat to death, and Ksena would also end up super sweaty. I gave up on this one after a month. I do know a lot of people that love it though, so I won’t discount it completely.
Another popular baby carrier is the Ergo Baby. I have not owned one of these personally (the only reason being I couldn’t find a place that sells one that would do rush, international shipping), but I have used one with a baby in it while watching kids for a friend. It was awesome! Actually, the first time I met one of my best friends, she was wearing her son in one, and judging by her amazing taste I knew we were going to hit it off. I would definitely recommend this product. It is very comfortable and easy to use!
My personal pick: The Beco II Butterfly (Organic). This is the carrier I own. As I mentioned above I really wanted to buy the Ergo Baby, but I couldn’t find a place to express international ship it (I didn’t want to take my stroller on a 30 day trip to Poland in the middle of winter, do you blame me?). So we ordered one of these babies. I was extremely happy! You don’t have to buy an organic one, but I really liked this one, and it was the same prices as the other ones in that particular online store. This thing is heavy duty. Are you going somewhere that requires a lot of walking and isn’t exactly stroller proof? You and your baby will both be comfortable all day using this amazing carrier. It has a newborn insert for smaller babies, and it can even double as a shelf on your hip for hip carrying a bigger child, like a 4 year old.
I have also made my own podaegi (a Korean baby carrier) and it worked really well, but only from about 3 months to 6 months. I think I made the blanket part too short.
So those are my personal thoughts on the different baby carriers out there. I hope this list provides you with some good options 🙂 As always, please feel free to comment with any questions, or to yell at me because I don’t like the Maya Wrap 😉