October 29, 2007,
K.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN on October 28, 2007
Infant Baby Carrier
I need a new baby carrier for my 5 1/2 month old son. He now weighs almost 20lbs and is way to heavy for the original wrap that I used (the Ultimate Baby wrap). We do have a front/back carrier snugli that we use when we are out at events likes sports games or fairs, but I want something that is easier to use for around the house, shopping, (Blake can't sit up on his own yet so I can't put him in the shopping cart), and while I am coaching (I coach a HS dance team and the competition season is just getting underway). I would like to be able to hold him on my hip as well as my front and back. Any suggestions on something very durable, comfortable, and easy to use? Thanks in advance for all of your input.
J.J. answers from Minneapolis on October 29, 2007
You might want to look into a Mai Tai (asian-inspired soft structured carrier) or something like an Ergo. Ergo's are sold at Linden Hills Natural Home. Mai Tais you can find online and perhaps at some stores. Try Peapods in St. Paul. There is a local babywearing group through Yahoo and they have a "library" of carriers where you can check out one to try it. I haven't done that yet, but plan to. The group is called ____@____.com The people in that group would have a lot of great advice and reccommendations for you I'm sure!
M.C. answers from Minneapolis on October 28, 2007
V.K. answers from Minneapolis on October 29, 2007
Another vote for the Ergo. I still back carry my 26-month old son in it, he's 30 pounds. And I have a bad disk. It's awesome.
C.P. answers from Minneapolis on October 28, 2007
There are so many options out there! There are non-stretchy wraps (like the ellaroo the pp suggested, as well as many other brands). They are super supportive and you can carry a baby in many different ways--front, back, and hip. They do have more of a learning curve but since you've been using the ultimate baby wrap, maybe a good fit for you. Versatile and very comfortable.
Then there are mei tais...like the Baby Hawk, Kozy, and many other brands. (Creative Kidstuff carries Baby Hawks). Basically, this is a rectangle of fabric with long straps coming out of the corners. Again, you can wear it all the ways you wanted, and I think they're easier to learn how to put on. Also they have tons of fabric options, if that matters to you.
There are soft structured carriers (SSCs) like the Ergo (can be purchased locally at Peapods, for one). This has a heavily padded waistband and is great for back carries. It's sort of like a soft little backpack you put the baby in. They can be worn on front, too, and I know I've seen pictures of some worn on the hip. There are a lot of other brands that can be found online, too, like the Beco (pretty fabrics!), Ten Toes Click, and more.
There are ring slings and pouches which can be great for hip carries. Peapods also has some of both of these. Some Targets have Hotsling pouches, too. And Kangaroo Korner is a local company selling adjustable fleece pouches (as well as a lot of other slings).
My advice would be to go to www.thebabywearer.com and look at the reviews section and at "choosing and using a carrier" under the forums. There's also a For Sale or Trade section where you can pick up a carrier for a reduced price.
Finally, this Saturday, Nov 3rd, the Twin Cities Babywearing group is having a meeting at the Peapods studio space in St Paul. Meeting is from 12:30-2:30 pm. You can try a bunch of different types of carriers and get advice about what might work best for you. They do have a lending library too.
A lot of info, I know, but there really are so many beautiful, functional, and comfortable carriers out there--just not at Babies R Us. I'm sort of (okay, very) baby carrier obsessed so I'd be happy to answer any questions if you want to send me a private message. The biggest thing is just to not give up if the first thing you try isn't comfortable for you.
M.K. answers from Minneapolis on October 29, 2007
I really like the adjustable pouch style. They have lots at kangarookorner.com. They'll allow you to carry on hip or front (but not back). A pouch style is super-easy to put on/ put baby in and out of. I also found them very comfortable when the fabric is spread out properly, distributing the weight over your whole back. Baby can lay in it, in a cradle hold when sleepy or sick, as well as sit up on your hip. They are soft too, so are easily stowable in a diaper bag.