My Love of Babywearing – Carrier Comparison : newborn to toddler

 In my last post I talked about some of the benefits of babywearing. This week I’m discussing my experience with different carriers. As always, my aim is to help you find something that works for you and your family. I’m not sponsored and I’m not trying to promote one carrier as THE best. I’m sharing what worked for me.

babywearing2Babywearing keeps your hands free for important things – like drinking all the coffee.

 

My babywearing journey began when I was pregnant. I knew I wanted to try it out. As with most of the baby things I bought I talked to other moms first and bought based in part on their recommendations.

My first carrier was a stretchy wrap. It’s perfect for the newborn stage – easy learning curve, soft material, inexpensive, and great for skin to skin. I loved this wrap and both of my babes had many a solid nap within the cozy confines of my stretchy wrap. However, as babes get bigger the stretchy wrap starts to sag. It’s tested for up to 35lbs (see specific manufacturer instructions) but it doesn’t offer as much support or variation in type of carry as other options.

Enter: Ring Slings. Ring Slings are great for similar reasons: inexpensive (depending on the type of fabric), easy to use, portable, easy to clean, suitable from birth to up to 35lbs. I used mine with my little one from 1 week old and still use almost daily at 15 months. We started in a tummy to tummy carry but now she prefers a hip carry. While the ring slings are great for quick ups (think: grocery shopping, taking babe from car to house) the weight is distributed across one shoulder, so they are not as comfortable as other carriers for longer stretches of time. So, if you’re going on a hike or an all-day outing read on…

A lot of people like soft structured or buckle carriers. I don’t really love them. Sometimes the fabric sits too high or they require an additional piece for an infant (usually purchased separately). If adjusted properly they are really comfortable as they distribute the weight across the hips and shoulders and usually have adjustable straps (like a backpack). The good thing about this type of carrier is that they can take you all the way from infant to toddler.

With Baby #2 I’ve purchased a few Meh Dai‘s. They are a nice hybrid between a woven wrap and an SSC. They have a full panel and wrap straps. It’s sort of the look of a woven wrap with a little easier learning curve. There are a few variations of them – sometimes with a waist buckle, sometimes with shorter thinner straps. Typically, they are good for front or back carries and suitable from infant to toddler. There is a wide range in price point and materials.

I also purchased some woven wraps. I want to love them. I really do. They’re absolutely gorgeous and suitable from birth to whenever you decide babe is too heavy and there are a million ways to tie them. My hesitancy is that I’m not quick at tying them. I am sure this would come with practice but for now I reach for something easier – especially when you have another kid to chase after. When I do use it, I am amazed at how comfortable it is. It’s also gorgeous. They also come in an endless variety of colours, patterns, and fabrics so you will be certain to find something you love.

My Current Carrier Collection:
Stretchy Wrap: Mamakangourou
Ring Sling: SewFunky 100% Cotton (Locally made!) and Little Frog Bamboo & Cotton Blend (so soft and lovely for little babes)
Meh Dai: Chimparoo (Canadian made and easy to use) Lenny Lamb Wrap Tai (incredibly comfortable and gorgeous patterns)
Soft Structured Carrier: Ergobaby Performance (good for toddler back carries)
Woven Wraps: Yaro Dandy 100% cotton (easy to break in but durable for older babes) and Didymos Facette (soft and easy to tie)

In my next post I’ll talk about tips on finding a carrier you love and some other accessories that make babywearing great!

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