Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How Do You Carry Baby?

As my due date draws nearer, I have been gathering all of the items that I know I will need immediately upon the birth of our next child. All of the neutral-colored baby clothes have been washed (but have yet to be folded!), the baby seat is in the minivan, and I'm gathering together my nursing-friendly clothes and other such things.

I loved using the Ergo baby carrier when Maria was little (until she was about 18 months!), but remember that she wasn't really comfortable riding in it until about 4 months of age. Up until that point I used a sling that someone had passed down to me, but wasn't thrilled with the fit or the support. I'm wondering which baby carriers you have found to be the most comfortable, functional, and easy to use. Does the Ergo infant insert really work, and if so, could I start using it from the beginning with our new baby? Is there a sling that is easy to use with itty-bitties and allowed you to still take care of your older children while wearing it? I am definitely investing in one of these water-friendly baby slings, recommended by Tex last summer, for all of the days that I know we'll spend at the swimming pool starting in just a few months!

Thanks once again for your infinite mama wisdom, dear readers!

17 comments:

Maria said...

I have a Babyhawk mei tai which I absolutely love for the first year. At about a year I switch over to my Ergo for carrying on my back. The Babyhawk is similiar to the Ergo in that it puts most of the weight on your hips, not your shoulders. However, since you tie it directly on your body, you can get the baby very close and comfy. My youngest is 5 weeks old, and I've been using it since she was 5 days old. My kids have all loved it for the whole first year. Plus they are really cute! And you can't get a girly fabric on one side and a more manly look for your husband on the other. I even sent in Ohio State material and had a custom one made for my sister and her husband who are big Buckeye fans. I could definitely see some of you ladies sporting Princeton logos on your Babyhawk! Here is the website: http://www.babyhawk.com/

The only drawback is that you can't nurse with the baby in the carrier, but I was never able to do that really well with a sling so it isn't a problem for me. I'm tend to be over busy, so it is good for me to force myself to sit down and nurse.

Maria said...

I meant to add that this is the absolute best hands-free carrier I have found. I had two non-walkers for about 5 months at one point and needed to be able to have the baby in carrier that allowed me to bend over and pick up my older baby with no worries. I can bend all the way to the ground with a baby in the Babyhawk with no worries at all. And I could hold the older baby on my hip with the little baby in the Babyhawk with no problems.

Drea said...

I have a two month old and for both him and his sister who was a preemie, I loved using the Dr. Sears NoJo sling (I think it is sold under Balboa these days). I also really really love my Moby wrap. You can easily make one of these, and they are great for holding newborns close to the body. Go on YouTube and search "newborn hold Moby" for great how-to's on how to tie the wrap. :)

texas mommy said...

Kat, I did use the ERGO infant insert a lot...your godson preferred that to the sling starting at 3 days old until about 4 months. Now I use the Ergo on my back if we are out and about and the sling if we are in church and the babe is in front.

I think the insert was almost $40, which is a lot. I would be happy to drop mine in the mail to you (wish I could deliver in person!). I suppose you could use a medium sized towel as well, but the insert does fit nicely.

Also, the ergo with the infant insert is super secure, even when bending down to tie shoes, etc., which I liked. Also, just like with the older hold, it is almost weightless since the babe's weight is not on your shoulders/back. I anticipate using the infant insert often in the future.

Anonymous said...

Kat,

I have a Beco Baby Carrier and I love it. You can carry a baby in the front or on the back and it goes from 7 lbs - 45 lbs. I use it mostly with my 3 month old (and she loves it), but also sometimes put my almost 2 year old on my back (he likes it too). You can nurse while wearing it. It is pricy, but I use it every day. I've never used an Ergo so I'm not sure how they compare.

Kate

Melinda said...

Hi Kat,
I followed the directions here: http://balancingeverything.com/2009/02/07/make-a-faux-moby-wrap/
to make a really lightweight wrap for my newborn and LOVED it. It was super easy - I used the "baby rib knit" and just cut. I was able to trim it perfectly to my size, no long dangling extra cloth. Very comfy and easy to use. The cloth cost $40 - I cut three and gave two away. I liked the wrap MUCH better than the sling or ergo with infant insert. I love the ergo now that he's older.

Melinda said...

Hi Kat,
I followed the directions here: http://balancingeverything.com/2009/02/07/make-a-faux-moby-wrap/
to make a really lightweight wrap for my newborn and LOVED it. It was super easy - I used the "baby rib knit" and just cut. I was able to trim it perfectly to my size, no long dangling extra cloth. Very comfy and easy to use. The cloth cost $40 - I cut three and gave two away. I liked the wrap MUCH better than the sling or ergo with infant insert. I love the ergo now that he's older.

4ddintx said...

I have an Ergo infant insert and found that it doesn't work well with large newborns. I tried it with my 9lb 10oz daughter and she just couldn't get comfy in it--she was too big. So, I use a Maya wrap sling for the first 3-4 months and then switch over to my Ergo. So it depends on how big your babies are for the usefulness of the Ergo insert. Since it's so pricey, borrow TX Mommy's to make sure it's worth it!

Olivia D said...

I have three wraps for three different uses. I use the Moby for at home with a newborn to have both hands free. I use the Maya ring sling for newborn when out and about. And lastly I use the Ergo for 4-5 mos. and older, when out and about and at home. They all have a specific function and they get lots of use!

p.s. I didn't like the Ergo insert either but I think that's because my babies are also very big at birth and it just seemed like their head and feet were dangling out the sides. Mmmmmm... I miss having a little newborn snug in a wrap.

Blair said...

I just got a Beco but haven't used it for an infant, but my favorite newborn carrier is a Moby Wrap-type baby wrap.

I make my own using just 5 yards of stretchy fabric and cutting down the middle lengthwise. You can find videos online for how to wrap it. I used it until my youngest was a little over a year.

Here's the post where I show some pics:
http://blairandsteven.blogspot.com/2008/02/moby-wrap.html

helen said...

We have an Ergo but baby didn't seem comfortable in the infant insert...perhaps I was putting him in incorrectly? Now he's a toddler we have found the Ergo a very, very worthwhile investment.

Most Ergo owners we know are also Baby Bjorn owners: they use the BB when baby is an infant and the Ergo when they get a little bigger.

Elena said...

When is Kat's due date? I am as interested as you are, Kat,in all these answers as the sling (hotsling) I bought for the last baby wasn't up to par.

Lisa said...

Hi ladies, This may be a silly question but when do you most use a carrier like this? I'm pregnant with my first and live in a city where I think I'll mostly be using a stroller when I'm out of the house for any length of time. Thanks!

Erin said...

Lisa:
we used our Maya Wrap at church and for walks around the neighborhood when our baby was very little. We used our Baby Bjorn for trips to costco and longer walks when he get a little bigger. We didn't use the stroller in stores until he could sit in it without the car seat attached (6 mo?), because it was just too big to hull around town with the car seat and stroller. I found the wrap and BB to be a little too cumbersome to wear around the house with baby. We might try to use them more with the next one.

Maria said...

Lisa,

I use my Babyhawk carrier both in and out the house. Unless we are doing serious walking, I find the carrier is faster and easier for running errands. Also, my babies have never slept well in a stroller, but sleep like a dream in a carrier. I often use it around the house to put the baby to sleep for a nap. With other little ones to watch over, I can't spend a lot of time rocking the baby to sleep in the nursery, so I just pop the baby in the carrier until they fall asleep and then transfer to the crib (or just wear them for the whole nap). The carrier is great if you have fussy baby who doesn't want put down for long. I do laundry, cooking, sweeping, etc. all with the baby in the carrier. My carrier is probably my most used piece of baby gear.

texas mommy said...

I really did love the Ergo infant insert, but my babies are 7 pounds and quickly drop well below that. I kept the babe's arms folded in and legs scrunched up...really like the fetal position. He slept great like that. I guess that is why they make so many different kinds of baby carriers for different people!

Lisa, I used my carrier all the time, cooking dinner, running errands, playing outside with the big boys. Anytime I needed to use my hands and the baby needed to be held (often!).

Joanne said...

I love a Moby wrap for the beginning, especially in cold weather. I used it *all* the time with my fussy girl, I used to put it on (which can be kind of a pain but you get used to it) and then do everything, but a light workout was my baby's favorite thing. As soon as they have head control, I switch to the Bjorn and then I just recently bought an Ergo, when my girl was about six months old and getting too long for the Bjorn. I haven't used it on my back yet, but I love carrying her on my front.