Baby-wearing is an intense sense of comfort for your babe and helps them feel secure and content. While baby-wearing can leave you, the parent, hands free and able to accomplish tasks you never again thought would be done once children came around it can also pull and wear on your body.
So what carriers are the best? Which ONE carrier will save your back and allow you to do everything you need to?
The truth is, none.
Each carrier has it’s own purpose and it’s own helpfulness. The each come in handy at certain points in a child’s age, size, and development and each child is bound to like a different one at a different time, or one not at all.
The first most popular is the Moby wrap. This wrap contains yards of fabric that you wrap around your body and then snug in your little one. Ideal for when they are super tiny and can be hidden away and snuggled close to your skin it also works as they get older. The child can be worn in a variety of fashions including forward facing or inward facing. You can even wrap twins.
While many children love this wrap some don’t, and some mama’s don’t either. It can be warm to wear and difficult to get on. LM HATED her moby from day one. So it was not a carrier we used more than 3 times. She was not okay with being that confined and I think she was becoming a little overheated as well.
Another great carrier are Mei Tais. A little more structured than a Moby these carriers allow you to carrier front or on the back and you have the ability if front carrying to place the baby inward or outward. These carriers tie around your waist and back. They are softer in the back piece allowing you to carry smaller children by gathering the middle so that their hips are not stretched. Or you can tuck their little legs in and carrier in that . Also great for children as the get older.
Mei Tai’s are fantastic for out and about and for snugging your LO in. Also if you have one with longer straps they are great for Daddy to wear because they often fit them the best. Again some children will not be fond of these carriers but the symmetrical nature of the straps makes it easier on the back than a side carrier, and it is a little less warm than a Moby. The tie straps allow you to wrap around the baby giving their backs a bit more support as you move. The downside to this carrier is that you have to tie it each time and when out and running errands that can be time consuming. Also if your LO is in it and becomes unhappy it can be a bit more time consuming to get them out.
LM loves her custom made Mei Tai and when Daddy is home it is his go to for working with her around the house. This is from when she was little! Daddy cleaning with LM on his back! She was only a couple months old in this photo.
Next we have the ever popular Ring Sling like the Maya Wrap. These slings have a lot of potential and make it very easy to get a child in and out quickly especially when running errands. This sling is most commonly used on the hip but can also be work on back or front. Great for pulling infants close to the skin when they are little they also work well as they get larger. Children can face in or out in this wrap.
So while the versatility of this carrier is fantastic and it makes it easy to load and unload when running errands I find that this carrier is harder on my back that ones with dual straps. Regardless of if you have back issues or not be sure to vary the side in which you place the shoulder piece so as to work both sides of your body equally and avoid creating problems.
I have noticed that while LM likes this carrier a great deal because she can see what is going on it is rather hard on my back/neck and now that she is larger is not one of my favorite carriers for her.
LM and I did go to the pumpkin patch with our Maya wrap though and it was a lot of fun!
The final one that I am going to go over is the ERGO. This is a carrier that is growing in popularity because of it’s secure and structured nature. The dual straps allow for comfort carrying and makes it easier on your back and this ability to carry on the front or the back allows the ability to carry larger infants as well as toddlers, hands free. Better for children after they are 6 months of age this carrier requires the child’s legs to be outstretched. This should not be done prior to 6 months because of the risk of hip issues. Ergo does however make an infant insert for their carrier that allows you to carrier smaller babes while tucking their legs in. The Ergo allows you to carry on the back or the front but the child must ALWAYS be facing your body, not outward. There is also a hip carry option with the Ergo. A little more costly in price than the others it is made of a variety of different materials from Organic to Performance Cotton.
Aside from the more stiff material the biggest difference between this and the mei tai is the appearance of clips and buckles verses ties. This helps maintain secure-ness and stability as well as easy on and off access. It also has a hood to snap up and down to keep your child’s head from flopping around if they fall asleep.
This carrier seems to be LM favorite because of her ability to see what is going on around her when she is on my back. I often feel when she is on my back and I need a mirror to be able to see her, because it is impossible to see them otherwise. I find myself standing near shiny things so I can “check on her.” Being front carrier isn’t her favorite but often is when she will snuggle down and nap. When she does I put her hood up and she is able to get a good rest.
A great thing about ALL of these carriers the that if you are a breastfeeding mom you have the ability to nurse in each and every one of them, while it is one.
Each of these carriers serve different purposes and personally (with the exception of the moby) have found them all useful at different points in LM development/size/mood/mobility. So there really isn’t just ONE carrier that fits the bill ALL the time. But there are a few that get the job done for each stage along the way .
Fun for the whole family!
What carrier did your LO like best? Which did YOU like best? How long did you baby wear?