When I was pregnant with my first baby, I did what every expectant parent would do. I went on amazon to figure out what I needed.
I found that most baby gear falls into three categories: Total waste of money, Totally Essential, and Good for some people, but not me.
For me, baby wearing is absolutely essential. For the first 3 years of my children’s lives, I had no consistent child care, no family near by, and a small business that needed an owner. Baby wearing made that possible.
I have tried several types of baby carriers.
These are the 3 that I have gotten the most use out of. YEARS of use. Part of the reason is they work for my life, I teach Martial Arts classes five nights a week, so I’m on my feet teaching classes, cleaning the floor, etc. So for me, baby wearing is a convenient way to include my kids in my family business.
For me, the essentials of a good baby carrier is:
- Hands free – I need to be able to use my hands to clean, move, etc. Otherwise, I could just hold the baby.
- Comfortable for baby – If the baby isn’t going to be able to settle down when they’re fussy, be supported when I move, or take a nap, then it wasn’t going to work for me.
- Comfortable for me – Having a baby is hard enough on your body. If my baby carrier was going to leave me achy and sore, then I wasn’t going to be able to use it every day.
Just because you don’t teach Martial Arts classes, don’t think you won’t get use out of these: I find it’s very helpful to wear my baby to help sooth them when they’re fussy, when I want to walks with my dog, at the grocery store, in the airport, at the park and it’s so convenient to just bring along the backpack. I often use my backpack instead of a stroller when I want to have a little less to tote. It doesn’t take up a lot of space and I can pull it out when I need it.
My first baby carrier was a Moby Wrap. I loved the fabric, the comfort, the way it swaddled my newborns close. Once you get it on, the Moby is VERY comfortable. My babies would sleep in these things for hours, and I could work around the house, sit and snuggle, whatever I needed to while knowing my baby was close and safe.
There is a learning curve for the Moby Wrap. It took me about three weeks (granted, they were the first three weeks after I’d had a baby) to learn how to tie it and put the baby in. But, the Moby Wrap website has some really helpful tutorials online. You can also find a friend to help you!
The other downside of the Moby wrap is that my babies were both pretty big, and so I felt like they outgrew it pretty quickly (within 6 months). It was totally worth it while they were tiny, but as they got bigger I wanted something easier to use and a little more supportive.
One of the things I loved about the Moby Wrap is that it’s a pretty inexpensive start to baby wearing, so you don’t have to invest a lot of money and you can see if it works for you. If you like baby wearing as much as I do, you can upgrade to a sturdy back pack and know you’re investing in a piece of baby gear that you’re going to use. If not, you haven’t spent a lot of money on something that isn’t going to work for you.
This backpack style carrier is a lot easier to put on. Now, the ergo says it can be worn front or back, but I have found it much more suited to back. My Ergo is sturdy, durable, easy to adjust and doesn’t require watching a lot of youtube videos to figure out how to wear it. This thing has travelled with me, and I was able to use it with both of my daughters.
After my second daughter was born, I felt like my Ergo carrier was still getting the job done, but as much as I use it, I wanted something that I could leave at work and still have a carrier at home, and I was hoping for something a little more comfortable for me.
Boba Baby Carrier:
When I was searching for something to replace my Ergo, I ran across this Boba Baby Carrier. It was well reviewed, so I decided to give it a shot, and I feel like I am in baby backpack heaven! First, it’s VERY comfortable for me. It’s got better lumbar support, so I can wear my 4 year old or my baby and we both feel comfortable. It’s versatile – I can wear either my 4 year old or my baby.
It’s also comfortable whether you want to wear it in the front or the back (which is important because newborn babies should be worn on the front until they can sit up on their own). It’s pretty light so the girls don’t get too hot when they’re in it (big consideration in Florida because it’s ALWAYS hot here), and I like the cute pattern.
This was a little more expensive than a new Ergo carrier, but I feel like it was well worth the extra cost in terms of comfort for me and my babies.
You might consider:
There are more heavy duty carriers if you need to carry an older child or if you’re going to do some heavy duty hiking or something like that. I feel like all of these baby carriers are great for day to day use around the house, normal travel or going out on errands.
I hope you enjoy baby wearing as much as I do! It’s a great way to keep your baby close when you’re trying to get things done in your life!
Something to consider when you shop: a couple of things that didn’t work for me:
I found that baby slings were really hard on my back and not something that I could wear for more than a few minutes. I also tried a sash tie style carrier that was not very comfortable for me or my babies (i.e. I would put the baby in, and they would cry until I took them out). Those style carriers tend to be a little less expensive, but I couldn’t really use them, so for me they were ultimately not a good use of money.
If you decide to try out one of my recommendations, feel free to click through the links provided as they help me bring you more great tips for surviving and thriving in parenthood!