Thursday, January 10, 2013

baby wearing our newborn

by now your familiar with the fact that baby wearing, talking about baby wearing, and hunting down new awesome carriers is one of my favorite things! we have generously received some great carriers and well as purchased other must haves - a lot of these after stella was quite a bit bigger, still well within carrying limits but it is a totally different experience carrying a thirty pound toddler then it is a infant. 

that all being said, while i was pregnant i had been dying to try out some of my new carriers with robin, thinking all along that it would be really great to kind of layout and document my experience and review of each one. i know my preferences will change over time. a carrier that feels amazing carrying stella isn't the same for robin or one that stella likes best is different for robin as well. also, sometimes it even comes down to what we are doing and what is best for me!

a good carrier isn't always budget friendly (however, i will list some options below!) so it is important that you find one that you can use through many stages and that is comfortable for a baby and a toddler, unless you plan on purchasing several. i have had a lot of luck purchasing used off craigslist, i even scored my fifty dollar ergo seconds after i posted a "wanted" ad for one and then a couple of years later scored an organic ergo at a garage sale for fifteen dollars. another option is a lot of boutique style baby shops that are centered around attachment parenting and organic living allow you the option to come in and try on the carriers - take your baby and let the staff help you find a good fit and educate you on how to wear it and your baby correctly.

carriers like baby bjorns (and almost anything you can wear your baby front facing in) are not good for your baby or their development at all. it is unnatural for their legs to dangle the way these carriers allow and can cause some serious hip and back problems, a frog position is much more natural. i also know from experience that they are no good for mom and dads back either! it is so important to use a carrier that is equally distributing baby's weight. in the didymos instruction booklet it asks you to do a little test to experience the optimal vs. bad leg position. stand on one leg with your other one held out in front bent at the knee. place your hands under your knee to support your leg and let the full weight of your leg rest into your hands. now move your hands back towards your bum. you will instantly begin to feel a strain in your back that wasn’t there when your leg was supported under the knee. that’s the same strain a baby will feel when his legs aren’t supported to the knee. (source)

there are a million other benefits that come along with baby wearing that hold up well into toddler hood. just the other day i wore stella to avoid pushing a stroller through tiny old town boutique shops and also helped keep little stella hands from breaking all the things. i stayed super comfortable the whole time and she even fell asleep!

so, now that i have spewed all of the information on you - i wanted to breakdown the carriers we have tried with robin so far:

the stretch wrap: while this was an all time favorite when stella was first born, it wasn't my favorite with robin. it takes a few minutes of wrapping and adjusting before you get used to securing baby just right and with three other kiddos running around every second is precious. however, when i did use it i instantly noticed the weightlessness of the wrap and how comfortably it conforms to my body. not recommended for very large babies but perfect for keeping a new little one snuggled in close to mama and while i have never tried it myself, i can see why people would love it for nursing as well! great options: boba, moby and loveyduds etsy shop.

the ring sling or classic sling: i put robin in it once when he was a couple of weeks old and instantly decided to store it away till he could hold his neck up better and try sitting positions. i know these work great for others at the same stage but i just wasn't comfortable with robin in it - i watched the "how-to" videos that came with both my maya sling and snuggy baby sling relentlessly and neither had me convinced that i was using it right for such a small baby. i just couldn't imagine going about my activities with the way his face was so smooshed in there. but, i love using the ring sling with stella and really can't wait to pull it out again! splurge versus budget options: didysling and peanutshell.

ergo with infant insert: this has been the most used thus far! perfect for throwing in the car when we go somewhere because both tim and i can wear it comfortably. i am not sure i have mastered the insert yet because half the time it feels awkward but i am a little suspect to the fact it might just be because of how big robin is. recently i wore it up to play in the snow and the attached hood provided the perfect cozy shelter for my little man while i snapped photos of stella building a snowman. again, i can't wait until he is a little bigger and we can utilize the option of back wearing with our ergo! a couple of great options: ergo and boba carrier.

woven wrap: even though the idea is very similar to the moby, i prefer this one carrying newborn robin. it provides a much more supported carry that i feel more comfortable going about my activities without needing a hand behind his head for peace of mind. another one of my favorite to carry toddler stella, it is so fun trying out all the different wrap options for front, hip, and back - i can't wait to try some with robin. also, using it on stella a lot over the summer gave my the confidence to back carry on my own. i have mastered how to hold and support her while i fasten which ever carrier around her and me. for now i am limited on how i can use it with robin but that will change quickly! i would love to add a girasol rainbow to my collection sometime, they are just so gorgeous! splurge versus budget options: chimparoo and girasol.

mei tei soft structured carrier: this has been another very used and loved type of carrier since robin was born! while you still have a little bit of the wrapping and tying that comes along with a stretch wrap, these carriers make it pretty easy to master. a big bonus: i am able to use my ergo infant insert in my babyhawk! it works the same as in the ergo and makes it that much more comfortable for robin and me, haha it might actually even work better since the waist is a little more adjustable with my mei tei. splurge versus budget options: snuggy baby and infantino.

wrap conversion mei tei: first off, if you have never heard of this - usually how it works is, it is a woven wrap cut up and pieced together to form a mei tei with wide flat straps. sometimes, like in the case of this conversion from baby sabye, the carrier is just created to mimic the same thing. these usally offer a gorgeous option carrier wise and mine is no exception, it is soft and sturdy in all it's hand made glory. ours has a hood like the ergo so if offers cover and coziness if we get hit with rain or robin needs a shaded nap. i have been using my ergo infant insert in this one as well! options: custom or pre-made.

the only one we own that i haven't mentioned is the kelty and he is way to young for that! by summer time though he will be big enough to ride along for some fun family hikes!

these opinions are all my own so take them lightly if you are about to chose a carrier. like i mentioned, find somewhere you can try them out or ask a friend to borrow theirs for a few days, to see if that type is a good fit. i will do an updated post when robin is a good six months to see where we are with carriers that i can try more carry positions with, i can't wait for that! in the mean time...

this is one of the hands down best baby wearing sites/stores i have come across! it breaks down a few popular carriers, offers use instructions, and other helpful information! check it out for sure!

what is your favorite baby carrier? does it change as your little one grows?

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melissa rohr said...

Thank you thank you for this post! It's exactly what I needed. :) I love the rundown of each type and the high/low price options! We have an ergo but I still need to get an infant insert for it. :)

melissa rohr said...

you can have mine! i am totally done with it now - it is the cream color, would that work?

melissa rohr said...

I haven't bought a carrier yet because I haven't been sure which one to buy. I wanted to avoid buying 2 or 3 different kinds, so I think we're going to go with the Ergo. That's the one that EVERYONE continues to recommend and seems to be the longest lasting and most versatile. :) Great post!