Revisiting: Baby Carriers

Posted by  | Sunday, November 23, 2008  at 9:52 PM  
Hi Ladies. This week we will be re-posting various items from the past. I decided to start with Baby Carriers because it was one of the first posts we did and we haven't really talked about them since. If you want easy to follow instructions on how to make your own baby carrier, check out Sling Your Baby (Leah's instructional blog). Here is the post that originally appeared October 7, 2007:

Baby Carriers are a great way to tote your little one around – you can use one while at the store, around the house, or to church. The following post will include 1) Types of Slings, 2) Different Ways to Carry the Baby, 3) Benefits of Each Type of Carrier, and 4) Helpful Links.


Ring Slings – A one-shoulder type carrier. They are adjustable because of the rings that hold the fabric together around your body. They can have a short tail (the part that hangs down in front) or a long tail. A longer tail can serve as a cover-up for wind protection, nursing, or sleeping babies who don’t want to be disturbed.

Pouch Slings – Also a one-shoulder type carrier. They are not adjustable, and must be made/purchased according to the size of the wearer. They are the easiest to use of the carriers because there is no adjusting to be done – you pop baby in and out fairly easily. These are now being sold at select Target stores under the Hotslings brand name.

Mei Tai – A two-shoulder sling that requires tying. There is a body and four long strips of fabric that make up this sling. The bottom strips are tied around the waist, and the top strips are wound around in different ways to carry baby.

Wraps – A long strip of fabric that can be tied in a number of ways. There are wraps made of stretchy, t-shirt like materials (i.e. Moby Wraps) and wraps made of woven fabrics. The fabric is wound around mom and baby to create different carries.

Ergo Carrier – A constructed carrier that distributes the baby's weight evenly over the parent's body because it has two shoulder straps and a very supportive waist belt. There is also an infant insert, blanket-type thing that can be used with small babies. This carrier is especially great as your baby gets heavier.

Structured Carrier – The most popular being the Baby Bjorn. These carriers are worn over two shoulders.

This is easiest to show with pictures - click through the slideshow to see each carry. I listed the name of the carry underneath the picture. I tried to show the carry with each type of carrier. Here are the the types of slings/carriers that can be used for each carry.
1)Cradle Carry – Ring, Pouch, Wrap & Ergo w/ Infant Insert
2)Tummy to Tummy Carry – Ring, Pouch, Mei Tai, Wrap, Ergo & Structured
3)Kangaroo Carry – Ring & Pouch
4)Front Facing Carry, Legs Out – Structured (this is not a recommended carry because baby's back is not encouraged to round, but to hollow. Also, all of his weight is being held by his crotch.
5)Hip Carry – Ring, Pouch, Mei Tai, Wrap & Ergo
6)Back Carry – (Can be done in Pouch & Sling – but it’s awkward), Woven Wraps & Ergo

BubbleShare: Share photos - Halloween contest

Ring Slings - PROS: inexpensive to make, pretty fabrics; CONS: not as comfortable w/ toddlers, fussing w/ the rings
Pouch Slings - PROS: easiest to use, pretty fabrics; CONS: not adjustable
Mei Tai - PROS: good weight distribution, pretty fabrics; CONS: long tails of fabric, more cumbersome to put on
Cotton Wraps (like Moby) - PROS: good weight distribution, holds baby securely; CONS: plain fabric, takes time to wrap it around, covers your whole outfit
Woven Wraps (like Didymos) - PROS: good weight distribution, holds baby securely, very versatile; CONS: must learn to wrap each carry, fabric drags when putting it on
Ergo - PROS: great weight distribution, very comfortable; CONS: a little hard to snap on
Structured - PROS: inexpensive, can be bought in a store; CONS: not good for baby's development, not comfortable

I’ll also throw in here my top picks for a few categories. I’m sure the other authors will chime in as well with their picks.

For a Newborn Baby, I pick a Ring Sling or a Cotton Wrap because these mold the best to the little newborn ball of a baby.

For Someone who can only get ONE carrier (boohoo for you!), I pick an Ergo because this really is the cream of the crop. I’ve heard tons of raves about it and never heard of someone who didn’t like it. (Ironic: I don’t actually own one of these! I drool over them and borrow them from friends, but I haven’t been able to afford one yet. Believe me, it’s on the Christmas list!)

The Easiest in my opinion is the Pouch Sling. This is probably the one I’ve used the most through Samuel’s first year. I still use it now on a daily basis – Samuel is 14 months old and 20 pounds. I use the hip carry and take him in the store, to church, and out and about with it as opposed to putting him in a stroller.

HELPFUL LINKS (I know, a personal plug!)


Terra Jones said...

we love our wrap :) w/in seconds, I'm usually guaranteed a nap out of Benjamin :)

I tried using the hotsling when Benjamin was a newborn but we couldn't seem to get it right, however, now that he can hold up his head, he LOVES sitting in it & looking around as we're out & about :)

we have a meitei that we've carried Keaton in a few times, but Benjamin doesn't like it so much...

and I will be your first. I do not like the ergo, lol :)

Christina said...

wow terra - you are the first!! I've never heard anyone who's tried it say that they don't like the ergo!!

Terra Jones said...

lol :) I don't know what it is...I just did get what the hype was all about :)

Melissa Pearce said...

I have an 8 month old, 20-21 lbs and the pouch sling with the hip carry no longer works well for me. It kills my shoulder. I use the ergo now and LOVE it. No pain. I have a moby wrap, but confess, I haven't taken the time to try out how it wraps....

The Monier Family said...

I LOVED my Ergo!
My youngest was a preemie and he nursed CONSTANTLY. The Ergo allowed me to nurse my little man hands-free while I cleaned, took care of my older children, or even as I grocery shopped (nobody was the wiser!). It was well worth the money that I paid. I still have it and use it from time to time on my preemie who is now almost 3:)

noahandlylasmommi said...

Thanks for revisiting this. I will definintly be getting a few different carriers with our next baby to see which one works best for me.

Shannon said...

Just this morning, I was wearing my sling I made (using Leah's tutorials last year)... but I was carrying a baby doll! :) I tied a piece of cloth around Maggie so she could sling her little bear, and she wanted me to sling her baby.

She followed me around, watching how I carried baby. Then later she came up to me and said, "Mommy, Bear feed my boobies." :O haha.. I guess that's what happens when you breast feed!

Shannon said...

P.s. Let me give Leah another personal plug... I made my pouch sling using her instructions, and it was SO easy! And I'm totally just a hack seamstress. The sewing machine comes out about once a month, maybe. :)

ChezDeshotels said...

yep, I agree with shannon, I have made Leah's slings and they work great I also made them for my sister's as well Thanks Leah


Katie said...

I too could not afford an Ergo and came across another soft structured carrier called the Action Baby Carrier. I got a discontinued print for $55 and I LOVE it! My 8 month old is huge and I wear him in the front and my almost 2 year old loves to ride in the back. It is much cuter than an Ergo, but I don't think you can do the hip carry in it.

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