Thursday, November 29, 2012

Babywearing: My Two Cents

I'm not a babywearing expert by any means, but babywearing is a part of my everyday life and over the last couple years I've had the good fortune to try out a few different types of carriers.  I recently had a request for an overview of my carrier preferences (Hi Hannah!) so I thought I'd write up some thoughts on each type of carrier I've had the luck to use.

This won't be a comprehensive babywearing post - I will assume that you already know the benefits of babywearing and the basic types of baby carriers.  Rather this will be a bit about how each carrier has worked for me, my body, my lifestyle and my kids.  Everyone has their preferences and these are mine.  Two main things that have affected my preferences are convenience (this is among the top reasons for just about every parenting-related choice I make and size/comfort (I'm a size 16/18 with a large bust and I've found some carries more comfortable than others for my body type).


If I could only have one carrier (oh the horror!) this is the one I'd choose.  It looks good, it's comfortable (even over long periods), jb feels comfortable wearing it (convenience and style wise), and it's truly hands-free.

My newest Ergo is the Organic Bundle Of Joy in navy blue.  This is the most comfortable of the Ergo's I've tried, but it does get a bit warm in the summer months.  I do love that it comes with the infant insert.

The first Ergo I had was this older version of the Original that I bought second hand.  I like it a lot, but the waist buckle was a little tight (the newer ones are larger).  If you are buying second hand keep in mind that you might need to buy an extender if you have a fuller waist.

If I had to choose my favorite Ergo, the Performance would probably be it.  It's made of a more breathable fabric than the original and organic so it feels cooler in warm weather and I love its sporty look.


I have a Becco Butterfly II in the (out of print) Ryan print. The big difference between this and the ergo is that it has an inner sling that holds your baby.  This is a nice feature because it makes it easier to put a baby (especially one that can't hold on) into a back carry.  On the other hand, it's another layer between you and your baby.  I also love that this carrier is quite slim, comes with an infant insert (so you don't have to buy it separately) and comes in really lovely prints (or at least came, I think now it's only available in black - but there are many available second hand).  I haven't tried the newer Gemini version.

Ring Sling

I love my ring sling (mine's a ZoloWear).  It's great for nursing (I've never gotten the hang of comfortably nursing in buckle carriers).  It's easy to take a kid in and out of - great for toddlers, but also so snuggly for newborns. I wouldn't wear it on a hike, but it's perfect for quick trips - like into a store.  It's the only carrier that actually fits in my diaperbag, so that's a big plus.  I don't find it to be totally hands-free; I feel like I need to keep a hand on the baby's back. It's my choice for formal babywearing - I've worn it to a few weddings and I think it looks simple and elegant compared to other carriers.

Mei Tai

I only had my BabyHawk Mei Tai for a short time, and I wish I could give it another chance.  They are gorgeous and come in any print you can imagine.  It has the structure of the buckle carriers but with the flowing feeling of a wrap.  I gave up on it because I never felt like I could tie the waist tight or secure enough and I didn't like that the long shoulder straps were hard to keep off the ground when tying in public.

Woven Wrap

Ahhhh wovens.  I have a Storch Leo wrap in size 7, which has been plenty large enough for the carries I've tried.  It's great - comfortable and sturdy.  There are a zillion ways you can wrap these things and they come in all the colors of the rainbow (and in rainbows, too!) and different fabric weights.  I do feel totally hands free when it's wrapped well.  The downside?  It takes a lot of practice to really master a wrap.  I watched a lot of YouTube videos and looked at a lot of pictures and spent a considerable amount of time perfecting my skills - and I still can only do a couple different wraps.  I still don't feel confident wrapping a back carry.  I haven't tapped into it's versitility, but I love it at home and for walks in cold weather.  I covet the Girasol Northern Lights.

Stretchy Wrap

This is my favorite for a newborn - but it isn't very useful beyond 15-20 lbs.  I have had two Moby wraps and the official weight limit is 35 lbs, but I find them not supportive enough and a bit saggy after 15 lbs.  That said - before that point they are wonderful.  So snuggly and comfortable.  It feels like a thick t-shirt material and is fairly easy to get baby in and out of.  It is the one carrier that really makes me feel like I have a marsupial-like pouch for my baby.  These are also easy to score second hand and while they are pretty limited I wouldn't want to have a newborn without one.

There are a ton more I'd love to try, but I think I'm at my carrier capacity.  What are your favorites?


  1. Such gorgeous models for these carriers! You're a pro!

  2. We love our Moby for newbies. Our Ergo Sport has gotten the most love, but we also have a gauze wrap I LOVED in summer and a DIY woven wrap we made and dyed that I wish we would have used more.

  3. Hi Sandra! Thank you so much for this post! I really appreciate it-and of course-all of your blog!!!!