Navigating baby wearing can be somewhat overwhelming at first. There are so many great choices available it can be hard to know where to start. One thing to keep in mind is that a certain carrier might work well for a particular age, occasion, or need but as those things change so might the carrier you select. I have three carriers that I use on a regular basis; a wrap, a structured carrier, and a ring sling. I have tried others and enjoyed them, but always seem to go back to the following three:
This is my favorite carrier to use with a newborn. The stretchy fabric contours to the shape of baby and cuddles him/her extra close. I remember wearing my second son in the Moby and my older son being confused because he thought baby was back in utero! I have fond memories of lots of skin to skin time around the house in the Moby during the first few weeks of my babies’ lives. You can put baby in just his/her diaper and comfortably wear baby topless in the Moby. There is a bit of a learning curve to using a Moby Wrap. You may need to practice several times before getting the hang of it. One tip a friend gave me that I found very useful was to pre-wrap it around me before heading out the door. Then when I arrived at our destination I could baby right in and go.
My ERGObaby Carrier is so essential to my everyday life that if I could select only ONE baby item to bring to a deserted island with me it would definitely be my ergo (second in line would be my cloth diapers). I usually switch from the Moby to the front in the ERGO around 12 weeks old depending on the size and trunk strength of baby. Once baby is about 5 months I alternate between the front and back carry depending on the situation. My ERGO goes everywhere with me. I love it for running errands because it’s super easy to pop baby in and out. When doing chores around the house, baby is usually napping on my back. I enjoy hiking with baby in the ERGO because it’s super light-weight, comfortable, and supportive. Use of the ERGO while traveling has been invaluable in getting through busy airports quickly and safely. The learning curve with the ERGO is super short. After practicing just a few times you will likely be able to use an ERGO with ease.
I originally started using the ring sling because I wanted a “pretty” baby wearing option. I found a dress that I absolutely loved (and could nurse comfortably in) to wear to a friend’s wedding. I planned to bring my 4 month old with me to the wedding and knew I would need to wear him on and off throughout the night. As much as I love my ERGO, I wanted something ‘softer’ to wear with my dress. I experimented with using a Ring Sling and discovered that in addition to being beautiful they are also quite versatile. The learning curve is a bit longer and takes a little more practice, however ring slings are pretty forgiving. It is super easy to pop baby in and out of a ring sling. I also find it’s fairly easy to nurse baby in a ring sling. The other advantage I found was that in social situations a ring sling allows for baby to visually engage with the environment but still be close to mom.
Each mom and baby will have their own favorite. It may take a little experimentation but the process can be a fun one! What baby carrier(s) do you prefer and why?