Considering I bought my third baby carrier today (and many moms don’t even have one), I figure I could do a review on the different types. Now, I won’t wear my baby 24/7, but there are great benefits to “wearing” your baby (especially skin-to-skin contact, known as kangaroo care). For example, wearing Champ lets me hold him, which reduces crying and helps him sleep, but also lets me be hands free, so I can actually get things done.
Anyway, I have three carriers: a wrap (Moby), a front/backpack carrier (Infantino EcoSash), and a homemade ring sling. There are other brands of wraps, front/backpacks, and ring slings. We didn’t get a Baby Bjorn, one of the highest rated and most common baby carriers, because it was too metro and European for my husband. But if you are looking for a common, solid carrier (or just one with straps and buckles), a Bjorn is highly recommended. By people who have actually used them.
Wrap Style (Moby Wrap)
Price: Moby Wrap: $40-70. Other Wrap Carriers: $5 (make your own)–$200
Ease of use: The wrap takes a few minutes to figure out, and there are different ways to wrap it. But once you get the hang of it (which doesn’t take long, esp. if you are watching how-to vids on YouTube), it is fairly easy.
Comfort: This is a very comfortable carrier. The weight of the baby is spread out evenly. I felt no back or shoulder pain wearing Champ. It was basically like I was pregnant again when I was holding him in the front, in his first few weeks.
Fool-proof: Once you figure out how to put it on, the wrap is pretty easy to get right. The biggest problem comes from twisted fabric. There are really helpful instructions that come with the Moby Wrap. If you make your own wrap, there are plenty of instructions online.
Will Dad wear it? Mine? Never. But some men will wear them.
Versatility: The Moby Wrap is for babies and toddlers 8-35 lbs. These positions are the ones listed in the expanded Moby Instruction Booklet (here’s the PDF). I’ll bet there are even more to be found online.
(newborn–3 mo)—Newborn hug hold, Kangaroo hold, Cradle/ Nursing hold, twin hug hold, twin cradle hold
(3–6 mo infants)—Hug hold, Kangaroo hold, Cradle/ Nursing hold, Lotus hold, Joey Hold, twin hug hold, twin cradle hold
(6+ mo infants)— Kangaroo hold, Cradle/ Nursing hold, Lotus Hold, Joey Hold, hip hold, hike (back) hold
(Toddlers)—Joey Hold, Hip Hold, Hike (back) hold
Front/Backpack Style (Infantino Ecosash)
Design: I really like the design. I like the cute pattern on the front and the black color. The fact that it ties makes it extremely easy to adjust (much more than something with buckles or straps you have to loosen and tighten), especially if more than one person will be using the carrier. The front design pattern is also reversible, to a solid black.
Will Dad wear it? Out of our carriers, LT is most likely to wear this one. But the design will be switched to all black. For a more “masculine” option, go for something with straps rather than ties. I recommend the Infantino Flip Carrier, which we were planning on getting, but was out of stock.
Versatility: The Infantino Ecosash is for babies and toddlers 8-35 lbs. It “only” offers three positions—front facing in, front facing out, and backpack—not particularly comparable to a wrap or sling. But, considering many baby carriers only offer one or two positions, this is still an improvement.
(newborn–3 mo)—front facing in
(3–6 mo infants)—front facing in, front facing out
(6+ mo infants)— front facing in, front facing out, backpack(?)
(Toddlers)— front facing in, front facing out, backpack
Sling Style (homemade)
Price: My handmade (albeit purchased) carrier: $6 Other Similar Slings: $12–$300 (yeah. Some are made from silk. But I wouldn’t pay $300 for a sling even if it were made by silkworms who could speak Latin and dance the Sardana.)
Ease of use: EXTREMELY straightforward when it comes to putting it on. If you have ever worn a belt with D-rings, you can wear a sling. Positioning the baby correctly was something I am still getting used to, though. Perhaps because he is so squirmy, or because I had it on wrong…
Comfort: If you wear this too low or don’t put it on your shoulder (wearing it on your neck), it is very uncomfortable. These are pretty easy fixes, but even wearing it correctly can give you some back and shoulder strain, since it is an asymmetrical carrier. Be sure to switch sides often.
Design: This looks more fashionable than the other carriers, because you have an endless choice of fabrics, and some of them look more like a baby-carrying accessory than an uber-obvious baby carrier.
Will Dad wear it? Doubtful, unless he doesn’t mind also wearing purses, decorative scarves, or ascots.
Versatility: A popular ring sling brand is the Maya Sling. They are recommended for 8-35 lbs. Slings have more versatility than fitted, formed carriers. However, they don’t have quite as much versatility as a wrap carrier, the main difference being the front-facing and twin holds (you need two ring slings for twins).
(newborn–3 mo)—tummy to tummy, cradle
(3–6 mo infants)—tummy to tummy, cradle
(6+ mo infants)— tummy to tummy, cradle, hip carry, back carry
(Toddlers)— hip carry, back carry
For more information on baby carriers, checkout the Sling Station
Well, that wraps it up (bahaha. Sorry. Ahem.) I will post some photos of myself carrying my little Champ in our 3 carriers once I wash the spit up off of them…