Re: Baby carrier recommendations
posted at 4/15/2010 1:04 PM EDT
I love this topic maybe a little TOO much.
We used the moby, bjorn, ergo, and babytrekker. We tried the maya wrap but couldn't get the hang of it. Our first carrier, before we knew better, was the now-recalled infantino sling, which we used for about 1 minute before realizing that it was a death trap (different from the infantino carrier the OP used, which is also crummy but not a death trap). There are other carriers -- chicco, snugli -- that purport to be similar but cheaper versions of the bjorn or ergo. They are terrible and you shouldn't buy them. They'll kill your shoulders and back, and the baby will hate them.
First off, the moby
. The moby is, in my opinion, the BEST way to carry a newborn. You wrap it around your body (it comes with a booklet, and there are also many instructional videos online) and tuck the baby into the folds. (It's also a nice way to cover your post-pregnant body.) The baby can snuggle against your heart in an upright position, and you can see her face and feel her breathing against your chest. Babies are super into it because it's warm, dark, and tight, and they're in constant motion (just like life in the womb), and it's also very comforting for mom, who is trying to adjust to the feeling of having the baby outside her body after so long on the inside. You can eat two-handed, pee, and do light yoga with the baby in the moby. You can also nurse the baby in the moby, which means you don't have to go through a whole ordeal of positioning and disrobing, and the moby will keep you covered in public when you nurse. There are other positions for larger babies, and lots of babies like those too. My daughter didn't, so we retired the moby after three months. But for those three months it was a very important part of our lives and worth every penny. There were times when she'd be crying inconsolably and seemed like she'd never stop, and then we'd pop her into the moby and she'd immediately fall asleep. CONS: There's a learning curve, so you should practice with a doll before the baby comes; putting it on can be kind of a pain; it isn't supposed to go in the dryer, and it takes a really long time to air dry 40 feet of heavy fabric.
: you really can't beat the bjorn for ease. It's so simple to pop the baby in and out. If you have a fat baby who likes to face in, this carrier can work for you for a short period of time. BUT if you have a skinny baby, the bjorn is very loose. And if the baby likes to face out, she'll always be leaning away from your body, which felt, to me, unsafe. Also, the bjorn is really hard on the parent's back and shoulders. There are models that offer back support, but they're more expensive and harder to use, so if you're going to go to all that trouble you might as well just get a better carrier. Also, the bjorn is supposed to be bad for babies because it dangles them from their crotch, putting pressure on their spine, instead of having them seated with their legs around the parent's body. I don't know how much that really matters, since nobody uses the bjorn for extended periods of time because it's uncomfortable.
: The ergo is a soft-bodied carrier that keeps the baby in a proper seated position, with a wide base that cradles her bum and allows her legs to wrap around the parent. It fastens around your hips, so there's a strap across your belly fat. It comes with a hood which allows for semi-discreet nursing. CONS: the ergo is expensive, and I've read that their customer service is not good; the baby can only face in, so if your baby wants to outward-face, like mine did, she won't like it; it's not very easy to get it on -- there's a strap in the back that you're supposed to be able to snap, but I couldn't do it without help.
My absolute FAVORITE is the BabyTrekker
, which is a soft-bodied carrier with FIVE positions (http://www.babytrekker.com/advantages2.htm
). Our daughter didn't like to face in, and with the trekker I was able to put her on my back in the outward-facing carry and do all kinds of stuff, from walking to planting a tree. For smaller babies there's a nursing position, but for larger ones you can just pull down your shirt and flip the hood over her head -- my daughter often falls asleep nursing while we shop. I don't have to stop what I'm doing, I just walk and nurse. I could wear the trekker for hours without any back strain. It's very comfortable and easy to use. The only CON is that the strap goes around your waist instead of your hips, which isn't super flattering. The Trekker carries a satisfaction guarantee. When you call to order, you speak to the actual lady who designed and makes them, and she's very nice and helpful. It's $150, which is a lot of money, but for us it was worth it.
Magic Beans in Brookline has an assortment of carriers with floor models and a scary weighted baby doll for experimentation.