Living in NY means lots of walking and public transportation, which means lots of stairs. A stroller is fine for walking, but not so great on public transportation and nothing but a headache on stairs. Consequently, I have become very interested in baby wearing. Not only is it a good way to get around NY but it is a good way to get a hand or two free when your baby wants to be carried all the time. If you Google baby wearing you will see that there is lots and lots and lots of information available on ways to carry your baby, types of carries, how to make your own carriers, safety concerns (stay far away from bag slings)… and on and on. It can get overwhelming quickly. Personally I have 4 types of carriers and I didn’t really know how to use any of them well so I signed up for a baby wearing class given by Megan Davidson. Not only did she help me figure out my ring sling, she also managed to calm Thumper in about 10 seconds flat. So what did I take away from the class? As I suspected, each carrier will be good at different stages of Thumper’s life.
The first carrier I used is a wrap (Moby is the most well-known but there are definitely other people selling them) because they are secure and I could feel close to Thumper while out and about. When she was in a good mood she would be so comfortable she would start snoring! But when she was really crying, there was no way I could take the time to get that thing on and get her inside. It is good for cold weather infants but there is so much material forget trying it in the summer. There are light weight wraps meant for wearing baby in the water (beach, pool, shower) that would work for summer.
Next up is the ring sling. I figured it would be easy to slip over my head and slip in baby. I got a used one for a great price but was really having trouble using it until I got a little help. First I wasn’t using the shoulder piece correctly and I was trying to put Thumper in the pouch which meant her feet weren’t free to move and she hated it. Megan helped with both of those things and on the way back from the event Thumper was so comfortable I heard a little snore coming up from her. This will be good for her as a baby and to hip carry her as she gets bigger although probably only for shorter trips. Mine happens to be a Psling and linen. It is beautiful but very heavy. I am currently considering a silk sling as well as a water sling… I have a feeling I will own many slings before too long because they come in such beautiful fabrics.
Baby Bjorn is carrier that you can get just about anywhere. I haven’t used it yet and from what I hear it is tough on your back and won’t be good for that long. It also has to be adjusted to every wearer every time so I think I am going to leave that one for M since it is a little more manly than a wrap or sling.
Now onto the Ergo. Not great for babies because of the way their legs are positioned unless you get the infant insert, but as Megan pointed out for the price of the insert you could get a reasonably priced wrap, pouch, or sling. It will however be the carrier of choice once Thumper is a little bigger (I predict around 6 months old) because of the great back support. There are other types of soft carriers like the Ergo this just happens to be the one we have.
If I had it to do all over again, I would purchase a pouch type carrier for the beginning months. Easy to slip on and easy to slip in baby but only good for the first 6-8 months. I would also have started saving up to support my ring sling buying habit. For any carrier make sure you do some research on potential hazards but don’t make yourself crazy.