If you are on the go, like we are, you don’t have the space, time, or energy for the headaches that come with strollers. We live on the sixth floor of our building, and although there are occasions where our stroller comes with us, for the most part, we leave the wheels at home and carry Elijah in a carrier. A good baby carrier is vital for us. If you plan on doing any sort of traveling, then a baby carrier is a MUST! No baby carrier means you have no free hands, a sore back, a squirming toddler on your hip, or worse, an energetic little one running away when you have your hands full. I often hear other moms say that their baby is “too big” but I seriously doubt that a kid under two can be too large for a good carrier. An Ergo carrier is able to carry up to 45 pounds. I’d say that most babies fit perfectly into most of the baby carriers out there. I understand that your child might not like being in the carrier – which is why I recommend “wearing” your baby from the day that they are born. Not only does it make life easier for mommy, but it also provides baby with the closeness that they so strongly desire in their first couple of months outside of the womb. By doing this you also get them accustomed to a carrier, so by the time toddlerhood arrives, you will have little to no problems.
We have now been through a number of carriers. We still have all of them, but we definitely have a favorite! This post is a little summary of what carriers we have use, what carriers we recommend, and other questions I have been asked with regards to baby carriers. I will start at the beginning and work through all of the carrier we have used.
When Elijah was very small, a simple cloth sling was perfect because he didn’t move much, and newborns love to be wrapped up all cozy. PROS: He was born in the summer, so this also worked well in keeping him cool since I could easily open the front of the carrier up when I sat down. Another great plus for this one is that in the sling, you can feed little one while on the go.
CONS: I have read that these are the least safe of the carriers on the market because baby’s head is pushed forward and they might not be able to breath as well. I always made sure to have Elijah more upright than lying horizontally, thereby keeping his back and neck more aligned. As he got heavier and larger, this sling become useless. It really only worked for me when he was tiny! This was definitely not a daddy-friendly option.
Next up was the Moby Wrap. PROS: I loved how this wrap felt. It was so snug and little man felt like he was a part of my body. He loved the closeness too. The wideness of the wrap meant that his weight was nicely distributed.
CONS: As mentioned above, Elijah was a summer baby. I sweat a lot and so does our little man, so this was not a great option for us outdoors during the summer. Especially not here in China, as the humidity is really high where we live. In winter this wrap would be wonderful! Another thing I didn’t like was that it was quite a mission to get this Moby Wrap on. I had to take it off to feed and change Elijah, and then try to do the whole “wrap procedure” again. There were several turns and twists, and although it looked okay once it was on, I felt like it added bulk to an already “post-baby body”. This was also not a daddy-friendly option.
The next carrier that we used was the Baby Bjorn. PROS: This carrier was great. Little man could face in or out, and the carrier came with a handle clip on rain cover/ winter cover.
CONS: After a few hours of use our backs would be killing us!!! Even though there was a part in the front that folded down when Elijah was facing outwards, it never really stayed down very well. It was always popping up and covering his face.
*Baby Bjorn has since come out with an updated version of this carrier and I have heard that it is easier on the back. They also changed the way that baby’s legs hang. Apparently the “dangling” of the legs was no good for their hips.
And finally, the winner in our opinion, the Ergo! This has been the best carrier by far. This is probably the carrier you have seen the most in our blog posts, or on us in person, because it is the one we have used, almost exclusively, since Elijah was about 3 months old. PROS: Well padded on shoulder and hip straps, plus breathable mesh for baby. Easy to put on, and even (unofficially) doubles as a chair harness if you ever end up at a restaurant that doesn’t have high chairs. I know, genius! There are two zippers – one is very handy since our hands are often full and we need a place to put cab/ bus money, or a key. The other zipper contains a hood that flaps up for when baby is sleeping. This has been wonderful for keeping Elijah asleep, or even just shielding him from the sun. The hip strap is wide so it helps to distribute the baby’s weight really well. For easy hikes, this carrier does well because babies legs don’t hang so you can climb without interference. This carrier also allows baby to be placed on your hip, and on your back. The back-option was amazing when Elijah was young, and very needy, but I needed to cook or clean. I have seen parents with one of these on their front, and another on their back – amazing!
CONS: I can only think of two negatives about the Ergo. Firstly, the newborn insert is too hot for summer (i.e wonderful for a winter baby) but it is a great addition and I highly recommend it since a tiny baby can’t be placed directly in the carrier. Secondly, we are now struggling with this carrier since Elijah wants to look around and unfortunately this model of Ergo only allows the baby to face inward (toward the parent).
Since we love this Ergo baby carrier so much, we went ahead and ordered the newest model. There it is, pictured on the left. It is called the Ergo 360, because it now allows baby to face both inwards and outwards, depending on your preference. We are waiting on the arrival of our ERGO 360, so I will do an update post at a later stage. Just from looking at it, I can see that it is going to be great!
From the above it probably seems like we spent a lot of money on carriers, right? Well, we actually didn’t buy all of them. We were given a couple of them, and one or two of them we bought second hand from the expats living one there in China. The super duper Ergo, and newborn insert, was a gift a gift from my parents. They wanted to buy us something that was “lasting” and useful in our active lifestyles. The Ergo certainly was a winner!
In conclusion, there are many baby carriers out there. This is merely a summary of our carriers and our personal experiences with them. I am sure that others might have different opinions, but while I was pregnant and trying to decide which baby carrier to get I searched for lists like this. Hopefully some of this information is useful to you if you are trying to decided which baby carrier will suit your family.