Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Babywearing 101

My life as a mommy changed dramatically for the better the minute I placed my baby in a wrap style carrier (one brand that makes this style is Moby.)  My little one was about 1 or 2 months old when I tried this carrier.  She was still too small for something like the Ergo, Baby Bjorn, or Jeep carrier.  The wrap worked perfectly.  It snuggled her too me.  If she was crying, I'd wedge the pacifier between me and her mouth and she'd just suck and calm right down.  This allowed me to hold her upright and close and freed my hands to do anything that needed to be done!  
Wrap Style Carrier ------------------------------------------------------------------>

As my little pumpkin grew, we used the Jeep frontpack carrier.  The Jeep frontpack carrier swallowed her whole as a newborn so we waited until she was about two months old.  At this point, I had not yet discovered the joys of the Ergo and the Jeep was quicker to use than the wrap-style carrier.  For quick trips to the grocery the Jeep was great.  But for longer walks around the mall and the park, I  preferred the comfort of the wrap for me and sweet little girl.

The Ergo carrier is uniquely different from the standard baby carrier pack because the baby's weight rests on your hips, not your neck and shoulders.  This becomes especially important after your baby passes that 12 lb mark.  Plus, my daughter slept like a champ at 9 months when we would go for a walk using the Ergo.  That NEVER happened using the Jeep carrier.  She just wasn't as comfortable in it.  And the wrap could be a little to restricting and hot for her as she got bigger

I never tried the Baby Bjorn but it has the cross back just like the Jeep carrier so I'm assuming it feels similar when wearing - the weight is situated on your neck, shoulders, and upper back which is not good for your posture or comfort!

<---------------------------------------------Adjustable Ring Sling
I just purchased a Maya adjustable ring sling.  I used it the other day with my 21 lb toddler and must say she's a bit too heavy for my comfort in it.  However, when I have baby number two, I'm looking forward to using it.  Since it is adjustable, I think it will fit better than the Hotslings that I purchased when my pumpkin was about 4 months old.  I also think it will be more comfortable, but we'll see.  I like the idea of the ring sling because I can wear a newborn in the upright chest-to-chest position in it just like the wrap-style.  And, in the sling I can accomplish this carry more quickly with a quick tug at it's adjustable tail tail.  Also, the sling's tail can act as a cover for discreet nursing - big added bonus!
Out of all of these wraps and slings, I recommend the Ergo as the best.  It is the most comfortable and easiest to use.  It is quickly snapped into place and very safe to use.  Its only drawbacks, that I've noticed, are that you can't wear your baby facing out (which I've read isn't as good for baby's hips) and you can't wear a newborn in it without the newborn insert.  However Ergo did just upgrade their newborn insert and it seems to be much improved.

The Ergo Carrier ----------------------------------------------------------------------->

I think we are gradually getting away from baby-carrying now that my pumkin is a very active 20 month old.  There are still times when I pull out the Ergo but usually she just sits in the grocery cart or rides in her stroller.  And, I let her walk whenever possible.  Although, the stroller seems to be great for keeping my toddler out of mischief.  I know some folks are anti-stroller but I feel like they have their place as long as one isn't over reliant on it.  For goodness sakes, I prefer to wear my toddler than put her in a stroller but if she protests the carrier, and we are in a situation where she cannot be allowed to run around and make a mess, the stroller is a lifesaver!

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