26 July 2012

babywearing / advice wanted


favorite bloggers with babes. olya / mindy gledhill (photo by justin) / sydney / naomi

 hello friends. no babe yet. any day now (we hope)! i may as well take this empty space to ask you for some mama advice. i'd love to hear your thoughts on baby wearing. i am guessing it will be a necessity with number two. of course being a newbie i'm a bit intimidated by the long material wraps, but i hear they are awesome. (this striped wrap is super cute.) what have you liked? the sling, a cloth wrap (so many brands to choose from!) or something more user / daddy friendly like a structured clip-on and go ergo front pack? any baby carrying suggestions or brand favorites? any specific details i should look out for?

46 comments:

Audrey said...

Hi Marta! Can't wait to hear the good news...

With my first daughter, I had a Baby Bjorn. It never got used because it hurt my back A LOT. With baby #2, I wisened up. When Clara was really small I used a mei tai wrap. I loved it and found it really easy to use. Once she got a little bigger, I lucked out and purchased a used Ergo from a fellow Mom. Best purchase ever! It is so comfortable and easy to use. Clara's close to 20 pounds now and my back still doesn't hurt when I carry her. Lots of Moms recommended it to me and I'm glad I listened!

I hope you find the right one for you and your baby ~ it's so nice to carry them so close ~ while giving you free hands to deal with Baby #1! XOXO

robyn devine said...

we use the Baby Bjorn and love it! Owen is 11 months old and I can still strap him in it and carry him around when i need to!

Kristin said...

We love the Ergo - I have had back problems with other carriers, and never with the Ergo. Also, my 2, almost 3-year old can still ride in it as a backpack, and it takes up very little space in the car, so love it for that.

Michelle said...

I loved the Moby when both of mine were infants. I was really intimidated at first about tying it, but once you've done it a time or two, it is super easy. I learned via youtube, there is a video for pretty much every wrap imaginable. It would be great to do a Mei Tai or something easier/quicker now that Tate is a year old and can hold herself up.

Anonymous said...

For our first child we used a Snugli back-pack carrier. It was okay, but we didn't feel comfortable putting her in it until she was about 3 months old and we weren't able to use it for long because as became heavier, it hurt our shoulders and backs. For our second I had my eye on the Solly baby wraps but didn't want to pay $80 for something I wasn't sure my husband could/would wear, or that my baby would like. So I went to the fabric store and bought 5.5 yards of stretchy cotton fabric. It cost me $20 and all I had to do was cut the fabric in half lengthwise (you can leave the edges raw and they don't unravel or fray). So I have two wraps for $20 and LOVE them (and, since they were inexpensive, I wasn't upset when our baby's diaper failed us while wearing it...just bought some more fabric). They look identical to the brand-name wraps, except they're missing the little logo/tag. The only downside to the long fabric wraps is that it's a bit bulky to put in the diaper bag and, since it's so long, putting it on outside or in a public place means the ends touch the dirty floor for an instant. I have gotten dozens of compliments and questions about where to "buy" the wrap in the past month.

lalalovely lindsay said...

I carried my first baby around everywhere in my arms. Never invested in a wrap because my parents had very strong opinions on spoiled babies as a result of carrying/babywearing.

I blew their "beliefs" out of the water when I gave birth to my very high needs son. We went through months of "colic" and my husband was never home to help since it was tax season. I had bought a Moby wrap from a friend but never felt comfortable with it until a girl showed me how to tie it quickly and efficiently at a cloth diapering class. She gave me the confidence and it was the perfect wrap for my son. I loved him being so close to me, but the black heavy fabric was a bit warm in the summer. We also used a Baby Bjorn, but I thought it was extremely uncomfortable for me and for baby. When my husband wore him (he too was intimidated by wrapping the long fabric of the Moby) I hated to see him dangle by his crotch. I did a lot of reading and discontinued our use of the Bjorn after I read an article about hip-dysplasia.

For baby three, I've purchased a Solly Wrap but have yet to use it. Same concept as Moby but very lightweight and beautiful fabric!

I never did find it easy to nurse in my Moby. I'd like to try a ring sling this time as well and see if that's the trick. I didn't like them at first with the dangling excess fabric, but I've seen some moms wrap it around the sling and that is attractive.

Alex said...

I hear nothing but AWESOME reviews from moms I know who have an Ergo. I would love to get one, but haven't put in the effort yet - though I know you can find them on Craigslist. We were given a Baby Bjorn and it is good for my second boy right now (at 2.5 months, 13 pounds) but I can see how he will probably outgrow it in a few months. I know someone who carried her 2-year-old through the airport in an Ergo! I'd definitely go with that.

Heather said...

I LOVE the Solly Wrap! She just came out with a new bamboo line (super soft) with cute stripes!

http://www.sollybaby.com/

Alicia Fish said...

I wanted a Moby wrap because I had heard so much good about it. But they were too expensive so I went to Hobby Lobby, bought 5-6 yards of a jersey knit (in gray so it would go with anything), with the wonderful coupon too :) (http://shop.hobbylobby.com/store/item.aspx?ItemId=185869). It was wide enough that I cut it into 3 long strips (well, my mom cut it because I can't ever seem to cut straight). With the jersey knit, it stretches enough to be comfortable and you don't have to sew/finish the edges. I used the other 2 strips to give to friends who were also having babies.

I really liked this website http://www.peppermint.com/moby-wrap-instructions.html for instructions on different ways of wearing the baby.

Some also gave us a hand me down baby bjorn, which my husband preferred to use.

Good luck! So happy for you!

Anonymous said...

I made a Moby with my second, they are super easy. It is my favorite while my babies are little. I have been using a mei tei lately with baby no. 3. Now that she is big enough to crawl around and sit in her own, etc I really like the ability to tie her on my back. I tie my Moby in a sling while we are the pool, I can nurse and no one knows. Good luck.

katielicht said...

i don't know how I would have gotten through the first year of baby #2 without my angelpack. getting groceries, going on walks, in church... norah was ALWAYS in the angelpack. it was so comfy for both of us and I couldn't have loved the pack more. it goes front and back, and it's sturdy enough to occasionally hold my 3 year old as well!

hairyshoefairy said...

I just had #3 in April but have been baby-wearing since #1. It's one of the best things ever in my opinion so I'm a little long-winded about it. But since you asked. . .

For quick in and out, like when I'm running a lot of errands in a row, I prefer my fitted pouch sling. I bought two from lucky-baby.com and have made a couple more since. I just keep one in the car (along with a wrap so I have choices while I'm out) and a couple in the house. If I wear it for terribly long, though, it does tend to wear out my shoulder/neck a bit. When they get older it can be worn to the side so the baby sits on your hip without you having to support every ounce of their weight with your arm. You still need to support a little but the sling does a lot of supporting for you.

I have a Baby Bjorn which is... adequate. It's fine and better than a Snugli in my opinion, but it wears out my shoulders and neck quickly. Plus it can't really be worn backward comfortably. Mine hasn't seen use since my first baby.

I acquired a wrap with #2. I use it a lot and don't have a preference for brand. They're all pretty much the same, just different fabrics. There are a million tutorials online on how to wrap it so don't be scared. You can also make them really easily. It's basically just 6 yards of fabric cut in half lengthwise. You can taper it on the ends if you want, too. For this terrible summer heat I suggest a muslin or gauze. Just serge, zig zag, or hem the edges. If you go with a knit you don't even have to do anything to the edges. The striped one you linked to is so, so cute! Love it! I'd totally buy that. In fact, maybe I will!

I've also liked the Ergo. Unlike a lot of other carriers it puts the weight on the hips so you don't get the back and shoulder aches. If you want to use it with a tiny infant, though, you do need an extra insert. It's made more for babies that are 15 lbs+. It's awesome, though, and can be worn front or back and even on the back you don't necessarily need someone to help you get your kid in which is nice if you go places by yourself a lot. You can also carry your baby for a long time in it. If you're a sewist there's a pattern on etsy for a faux ergo that's really cute and easy. It's from Seedpod. http://www.seedpodcraft.com/blog/category/sweet-pod/

Keep in mind, not often, but every once in a while there will be a baby that doesn't like being worn or take a little longer to get used to it. These also tend to be babies that don't like breastfeeding either. They like to be out and seeing things rather than being snuggled in close. I'd say 9 times out of 10, though, babies really love it. My three have all loved being worn. They snuggle right in and usually fall right to sleep. Even if they aren't asleep they are happy and calm. Whatever you get, the very first time you put them in go take a walk with them to give them a chance to get used to the feeling.

I know there's a ton of anecdotal "evidence" out there online about how smart or well adjusted or secure or whatever kids are that are worn as babies which may or may not be true. All I know is sometimes it's been the best way to calm my babes and they really love it. It's also a frillion times easier than dragging along the big carseat carrier which usually ends up empty anyway because baby wakes up and wants to be held. I almost never take my carseat carrier out of the car and just use a sling/wrap/carrier instead. Even if it wakes them up they almost always immediately fall back asleep so it doesn't matter whereas every single time I tried to keep them asleep by taking the seat they woke up and cried. Plus it's so much easier when I'm chasing a 3 and 6 year old.

And now I apologize for this novel. Can you tell I'm a bif fan of baby-wearing? Best wishes to you. I hope your wee one comes soon!!

Emily said...

When expecting our second boy, I found an adjustable sling that we all loved from Mama's Milk (http://www.mammasmilk.com/baby-slings). I could slip it on more quickly than a more structured carrier, didn't have to learn to tie it but it's still adaptable with different positions for baby, use it through many different stages, and convince my husband to use it all the time too since I went for a plain black design (there's even a pic of Brad Pitt using it!). It easily became our favorite baby item.

Who knows if it's related to being held in a sling constantly but our baby is now 4 and still loves snuggling...good luck with your decision!

Lettie said...

I used a Baby Bjorn on the first 3. I have an Ergo, but never used it as a front pack, just back. I have heard that wraps are great and fairly easy to make, actually. Whatever you use, it is definitely so helpful to be able to be close to your baby and be hands free when you have someone else to help and other things to do. I'm excited for your big day! Please really let me know if you need anything...even if it's just running to the store post baby to snag some extra diapers or something. :)

Nessa Bixler said...

I love my Baby K-tan and Moby. The K-tan is so easy and my husband loves it. I found the Moby at Goodwill - love it - but I think you could make one so much cheaper.

I also have a Boba carrier that LOVED with my 1st. It is a better carrier for older babies.

shay said...

I used the Moby wrap until my son was more mobile and then switched to the Maya wrap. I highly recommend both! I loved that the Moby had three layers of fabric holding him in. He was always so close and safe. And the Maya wrap is very simple - I'm still using it and my baby is 16 mos old! I have even carried my four year old in it when I needed to. Best of luck in your search for the right carrier for you. Wearing your baby will make things so peaceful and you'll get to nurture the bond with your baby while your hands are free to keep up with your older one. :)

Monica said...

I loved my Moby wrap from the newborn stage until about 3 months. Then I loved my Babyhawk and my Ergo Sport. I used both of those until each of my girls were 2 or 3. Baby carriers saved my sanity and I loved having my babies so close to me :)

Kelly said...

I have an ergo and love it but if I was buying a new carrier it would be the beco butterfly. The beco has an internal insert so it is easy to put your young child on your back. My friends with a second child said the soft carriers aren't as good as you'll be bending a lot more. Highly recommend baby wearing as it helped to sooth my daughter.

J, K, and L said...

I had a Moby but could never quite get the hang of it on my own...plus I had a kiddo who absolutely HATED being carried (now she loves it, but she's toddler-sized!).

I am due with #2 on Valentine's Day, 2013, and I am definitely getting an Ergo. A friend has one & I tried out her baby in it, and I couldn't believe how comfy it was for my back. Completely worth the money for me & the hubby (esp on hikes), I think!

Good luck with your delivery! Hope all goes well.

Tara said...

I have a wrap n wear (similar to moby but lighter weave fabric for summer) and a Becco Gemini. I love the wrap carrier for around the house with my infant and the Becco will be awesome as the baby gets older and for my husband as he is excited about baby wearing too.

Amy said...

We tried a Moby wrap, but I never got the hang of it and it didn't feel secure - I'm sure I was doing it wrong! We ended up getting a Baby Bjorn and love it. Eli is eight months now and we still use it.

meg said...

I loved the moby wrap for when they are very little, and the connecta was incredible for when they got older. I loved the connect because it lasted me at least two years, as I could wear the little guy in the front and on my back. Good luck!

Jessica said...

I like my moby. It's very versatile for all shapes and sizes and grows with baby. Plus they've got a UV one.

Jayme @ No Regrets Living said...

I have a K'Tan and I love it! I haven't tried any others though. The only downside is that it's sized for 1 person, so if you and your hubby were different sizes and both wanted to 'wear' the baby, you'd need 2. But my hubby isn't interested in wearing the babe, so all is well for us!

bedelia said...

We use the Baby Bjorn and love it. Its easy to buckle them in and I'm confident they aren't going to fall out.

When they are sitting up, I start using a sling sometimes but for me it took a long time to feel like I was doing it right. Like I used it off and on and didn't really think I was doing it "right" until I was on my 4th kid.

Childhood101.com just posted something today about babywearing. She listed a few things about how the baby should be supported that I hadn't heard before so you could check that out.

Kari said...

Without any thought/research at all, I quickly bought a bjorn-style carrier to help transport my adopted newborn home on a plane trip, but it killed my back.
He was baby number two and required more of the hands-free holding, so I looked into a sling and ended up making one to try it out. (Wanted to make sure I would use it before I forked over the big bucks, so I made it out of fabric on-hand and rings from the hardware store.) And I never switched.

So easy to use--it goes over one shoulder and then hooks at the bottom like a double hoop belt. Tightening, loosening are all in one spot. And when draped right over the the shoulder, it evenly distributes the weight over my shoulders and back--I could carry him for hours without adjustment or pain. It continued to work great when he wanted to sit up. I loved it.

It took less than an hour to whip up, with minimal sewing from the pattern here (I did add a large strip of ribbon around the mess of sewing by the ring to cover it, but other than that followed instructions exactly):
http://www.mayawrap.com/n_sewsling.php/

cay said...

Obviously this is a passionate topic! Everyone has their own opinion because there isn't one answer that fits everyone.

I called my Ergo Sport my salvation. I used it from the very beginning with the infant insert and then used it multiple times a day (for naps) up until he was 10 months old. My little man was a chunk, and while I wanted to love the Moby and the Maya, it just didn't work for me, mostly because I'm on the smaller side and he was on the ginormous side.

My lad is now 19 months and I don't use it much any more--as he'd rather be running around, but it's a life saver in the airport.

My husband had no problem wearing it, and wore it proudly, but he did prefer a (used) Bjorn once we got it.

Also! Be warned the Ergo Sport isn't a smaller, sportier version of the classic Ergo. It's made for taller, wider people. So while pretty much anyone can wear the Ergo Sport, it has a bit of a different shape than the classic one. (I kind of wish I'd had the classic, but the hood was softer on the Sport.)

Most dads don't love learning the Moby, but my brother wore it proudly and it still makes my heart swell when I see the pictures of him wearing his little baby girl.

Another novel! I wonder if you have enough people around you who have different carriers, if you can try them out once your lad arrives and see which one you both like?

Best of luck!

Tina said...

I have a 23-month old and a 1 month old and several carriers (bjorn, ergo, moby, sling and woven wrap) and I find that the only two I reach for are the ergo and the woven wrap (the stretchy knit moby wrap is way too hot for us). I like didymos wraps, but don't have the budget for one so we have a DIY woven that we love (and it only cost $20 to make)

Julia Wade said...

Wow girly, you've gotten some wonderful advice! I wore Quin quite a bit when he was born in the Baby K'Tan.. http://www.babyktan.com/

Changed my life. He slept in it, we snuggled in it, and for a newborn, nothing was better.

We wore him outside with the Bjorn for awhile, and then went to the Ergo.

The K'tan however, is far and away my fave. Good luck!!

cranny + b said...

oh dear, I am probably just echoing another commenter, but here goes :) With my first little guy, I bought a very inexpensive carrier and it hurt my back so badly and on top of that, Graeme hated to be in it. The I borrowed a Moby from a friend and it worked well for a few weeks. Graeme just seemed too chunky for it! And I was always so nervous that he was going to slip out of it-- I do not think that I had it tied well? User error? :)

All the while, I kept hearing about the Ergo and almost everytime I would see someone wearing their baby in one ( which was quite frequently here in Portland! ) I would ask their opinion. Never once did I hear negative words about it-- instead, these mommies could not stop saying great things about it! So. . .I bought one and it was the best decision for me! I have used it so, so, so much! And Job LOVES it.

Anywho, best of luck in finding what works best for you! I love the look of the fabric wraps, but I love the ease and comfort of my Ergo. I can literally wear Jobie for hours and am so comfortable-- and he is too :)

bradget said...

I just had baby #2 and since toddler #1 is a wild child I pretty much have to wear #2 at all times. Here are my thoughts after six weeks with two children:

For active things (housework, running around at the park...) something structured like a Bjorn is a must! This is the one I have and it's awesome. The sport version is super comfy and very easy to use.

http://www.amazon.com/BABYBJ%C3%96RN-Baby-Carrier-Active-Black/dp/B0009JOSNC

Now for anything that requires sitting (church, sewing, crafting, blogging, airplane rides...) the wraps are much better because you can't really sit in the Bjorn because their little feet get all smashed. I am a first time user of the Moby and they are great. I got it in grey so not only is it gender neutral my husband will even wear it (and the bjorn too).

http://www.amazon.com/Moby-Wrap-Moderns-Cotton-Carrier/dp/B002PIZV36/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1343409678&sr=1-1&keywords=grey+moby

So even though its a lot to invest in two, if you use them both all day everyday like I do it's sooo worth it. GOOD LUCK!

Kristy said...

So. With our three children, we have tried the Bjorn, various slings, and the Moby. We liked the Moby best, though we still used the Bjorn a little bit and we use a structured baby backpack as soon as each baby could hold their head up. I would say if you want to buy just one to go with the Moby (or something like it) because the baby is carried so much closer to your body and you can change the way you carry the baby--lots of different positions, even on your back when they're bigger. The Bjorn is pretty good, but it did hurt my back more and the baby seems to flop around and need a hand for support when you're doing a lot of bending (like I do all day long with small children and picking up the house). So. There's my two (or seven...or twenty) cents. Good luck!

paper{whites} said...

First time caller, long time listener (adore your beautiful blog, btw) and this post by a fellow, fab blogger is super helpful on the baby wearing topic: http://www.thehaystackneedleonline.com/2012/01/thoughts-on-babywearing-my-baby-carriers.html. Sending light and love for a healthy delivery!

Ihilani said...

I had a Bjorn, Sleepy Wrap and Ergo. Hated the Bjorn - painful on back and shoulders and too many buckles to make it easy to adjust to Mom AND Dad. I LOVED my sleepy wrap. Supposedly the difference between that and the Moby is the Sleepy has most elasticity so it snaps back into place and doesn't loose its' shape. I say anything that stays stretched out for a while will lose shape eventually. That being said, wraps take a little while to get the hang of but they're so comfortable and mold to your body nicely. I used my wrap until my daughter was about 18 lbs. After that I switched to Ergo and still wear her comfortably at 27 lbs, 2 years old. I don't do this much as she's a great walker. I'm in love with wraps for infants and the Ergo for older, heavier babies. Wraps are so cozy and cradles them perfectly. There will be a learning curve for every carrier you try, but once you get the hang of it, you will love them!

Tara Celeste said...

You've gotten so much good advice already, so I'll just say that I used the Moby all the time with my son but the wrap is super long and I've heard the K'tan is easier to use but similar in style. My husband used a structured carrier similar to the Ergo but from Target by Infantino. Best wishes as you await the arrival of the new babe!

Caleb & Em Prenevost said...

Check put lilpeeperkeepers.com!!! I have a wrap from her and I absolutely love it!!!!!! I still use it and my baby girl is 7 months old now!!! It looks complicated but is actually super easy once u figure it out :) I also used a regular sling when she was a newborn and loved it!!! :)
Another great thing about lilpeeperkeepers is she is a stay at home mom who runs her own business :)

Erin said...

Hi Mart,

We've just passed through this dilemma. I had a bjorn for the first two but it really hurt my back, so I was up for something new this time.

I borrowed a mobe wrap but didn't love it. I felt clumsy and I needed it to work in a pinch and it never came through. I also felt like I was dragging fabric everywhere.

In a last minute decision I bought a Baby Bjorn off of Craigslist, but this time with the back support. For me, and for Jimmy it made all the difference. I recommend that wholeheartedly. Jimmy especially likes the Bjorn.

My mother-in-law also surprised me with an Ergo Sport, and I am loving that as well. Claire sleeps so well in it and although she is bigger now and likes to be forward-facing if she is in the Bjorn, she will nap for a while in the Ergo so that is nice.

Good luck. These are some serious mothering decisions that you've gotta make. Can't wait to hear of the good news!

--r said...

my sister recommended a ring sling (she made her own, and used/uses it all the time). she also sent me her moby to try, but i haven't gotten the hang of wrapping it yet (i still have a couple more weeks to practice).
the last time we visited she let me borrow her boba carrier for a trip to the zoo. it was super comfortable to carry my toddler (nearly 3 at the time), and that's no mean feat considering that my sister is 5'10" or so and i'm only 5' (it adjusted well for both of us). i've heard great things about the ergo too, but they're both a little pricey so i'm saving my pennies and waiting on purchasing one of those later on.

Jaimie said...

I like my babyhawk : )

Julia said...

Didn't have time to read all comments ... But I loved, loved carrying #4 in the moby. Before him i used just a bjorn. Moby was kept him close and contained (no hand grabbing from strangers). I nursed in it and comforted my high needs baby. It's one of the biggest things I miss now he's 4 and the last one.
As a "I can make that" mama, I have to say, I tried and there's no fabric that compares to the tight jersey of the moby that you can find at your everyday stores. And when comes to baby, why go cheap when it's a matter of safety?

Melissa said...

Baby Bjorn! Loved it. So easy to put on. Looks good on dad or mom. :D

Alisha Stamper said...

the "best" carrier depends on your baby's age. as a newborn, I loved the moby style or a ring sling (ring slings are fast fast fast to put on. so fabulous!) ergos are fabulous after about 4 months of age. I actually have been meaning to have a girlfriend over who is currently pregnant with her first to show her all the different styles and how they work. Want to just come over and you can try them all on, see what you like? i'm glad you're local again.

Anonymous said...

i don't know if its too late to comment, but i used EVERY baby carrier out there and here is my advice/experience:

1. when newborns, use a moby. it takes a little bit to learn how to wrap it but it is the most comfortable for you and them at that stage. they LOVE being snuggled that close. and since you have other children, its great to have your hands free.

2. when they get older (4months +) get either an ergo or a becco. i have a smaller frame so the becco fit better than the ergo. if you can, try both out so you will know which one will fit your frame better.

good luck! i love your blog and can't wait to see pics of baby!
hugs!

Janis said...

So excited for you Marta! My husband and I both loved our Baby Bjorn Active carrier. It's a little different from the standard Baby Bjorn in that it has more back support. We chose it over other carriers because it allows the baby to both face in and out, and we used it on a daily basis until our little one was about 16 months old, and so mobile that she refused to be carried anymore. It was a breeze to get on and off by myself in the airport, and I never had an aching back. Loved it! I've had friends who've loved their wraps, but do say they take some practice. The one piece of advice I would give you as an ICU nurse is to avoid slings until your baby has good head control- about 3 months old, as the sling encourages a chin to chest position of a newborn with poor muscle control and can result in suffocation. Good luck! Janis

Anonymous said...

I have three kids and no second car, so we walk everywhere! Our baby is 9 months old and tiny (just 15 lbs now). I have a ergo classic and LOVE it. I can put my other two in the stroller and walk for hours with the baby in the carrier. I didn't use the infant insert for very long and even with a small baby she's been great in there! My back is never sore, even after long walks to the market and back. I've recently seen a lot of information on not putting babies forward facing in a carrier, which many of the cheaper brands advertise. It's apparently not comfortable for baby and not good for their structural development.
I also love how easy to clean my ergo is. I have the camel colour, so no worries about fading (we're having more, so I need it to last!).

Have fun! Congratulations on your pregnancy!!

Diana Hulme said...

I had this starred in Reader for so long, finally going through my posts. I'm sure that you already got a carrier, but I had to add my suggestion...I have the Beco Gemini. I think it's the best baby carrier, and a total must have for city life (we live in Manhattan). You can face in OR out, and I never have back pain - it's great ergonomics with the waist hip carry. I used the Moby wrap for the first 3 months or so, because it's so snuggly. I loved it. Hope you are doing well with your two boys!

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