I am a big fan of babywearing, I believe it really promotes bonding between mommy and baby (as well as strengthening their core) – but the problem is I’m super-short and mega-awkward (but with big boobs thrown in for good measure). So it makes it a little hard sometimes to find the right carrier.
When A was first born, I had an awesome-awesome-awesome friend let me borrow their Moby wrap. (LINK - as you can see, not the techno dude from the late 90s.) This thing was so soft and cushy for baby, and you could make it as tight or as loose as you wanted - but I'm not going to lie, I simply could not accomplish wearing this without my husband helping me. It's, like, 9 or 10 feet long, and I'm 5'2" in shoes with short little arms. I loved it when he helped me into it, but I couldn't do it by myself. Since my husband and I were working opposite shifts at that time to minimize the amount of time A had to be in daycare, that left a lot of time with it not working for me. I think I should be able to get it in the future, I just need to study more or train A how to tie a knot. The price on these is pretty moderate, around $45 or so for a wrap - I think they're an amazing deal. I know wraps are very coveted and can go up into the several hundreds, but this is a great starter!
Since I liked the idea of a wrap for a wee baby, I found the My Baby Nest carrier (LINK). It essentially works like a wrap for people with short arms like a T. Rex.
(I do not look exactly like this, just roughly)
Anyway. It's basically two loops and a belt part. So it's got the basic setup of a wrap, but you can do it on your own. It was not the cheapest, ran about $70, but still pretty reasonable for a baby carrier. Except remember how I told you I have big boobs? Yeah - with it not being very easy to customize how tight this is (or, conversely, how loose), I had the choice of wearing this and smothering A with my giant rack, or returning it and looking for something else. I went with option B, as I didn't want her most traumatic childhood memories to be linked with boobs stealing her air.
By this point, A was old enough to be worn in a sling. So I tried, if I remember correctly, a SevenSling (LINK), roughly $40-ish. Um, first off, I would not recommend this site because they got kind of weird with my credit card information. (They also make Udder Covers - since they were advertising a free one where you pay shipping, I did that, and they charged a crap-ton for shipping and it also went weird with my credit card.) Also, they NEVER STOP E-MAILING. Anyway, the carrier didn't make me feel very good about my daughter, as she was still pretty little. I think I'd have felt more comfortable with her in a sling if she were older, but this one was a pretty rough weave and I didn't really care for the construction a whole lot. I'd probably look at Etsy or something next time. I think I returned this one as well, I sure couldn't find it in my damn house.
So, I finally decided that she was big enough that I wanted to try a soft-structured carrier. I am not coordinated to use a lot of the wraps (yet), too Chesty LaRue for the My Baby Next, and didn't really dig the sling at the point I tried it. I did a lot of research between the Ergo and the Beco Butterfly II (which is actually no longer made, but I'm reviewing it anyway), and decided on the Beco Butterfly II. Here's a LINK. It ran about $140, which was the most expensive carrier I'd tried yet, but it was really well-made, had an insert for infants, could be used for both a front carry (which we love) and a back carry (which I have yet to figure out). It goes up to 45 lbs, so I could still cram A in there if she'd let me (which she won't at this point, but it's nice to have options).
A loooooooved her carrier. Here she is around 10.5 months, you can't tell the best due to the anonymity bars and binky, but she's grinning from ear to ear:
(I did not protect the anonymity of the dude in the background's butt)
I have pretty poor posture there and am slouching out at the waist, but even then it was really easy on my back. She would let me wear her in it until a bit after two years old, which was awesome and so convenient, I didn't have to drag the stroller anywhere. She loved this thing so much that she wouldn't let our care provider use it to try it out on any of her own children!
I guess I've read and learned a lot more about carriers since back then. I think if we had a future baby, I'd definitely use the Beco again, and check out their new options, but consider the following:
- Look at an OnyaBaby and a Tula for a soft-structured carrier.
- Look at wraps like Oschas and Ellevills and such, but just not be such a dumbass and figure out how to use it.
- I REALLY want to use a mei tai. It's the same theory as a soft-structured carrier, but with sashes that you tie instead of buckles and snaps. You can get them from any number of places on Etsy, etc.