Baby Sling or Baby Carrier

Updated on February 15, 2008
A.T. asks from San Antonio, TX
21 answers

I'm expecting my second baby in about 2 1/2 weeks and would like to buy a sling or baby carrier to keep my hands free. I was wondering if any of you have any recommendations on a brand/type that worked for you. I have serious lower back problems (herniated/ruptured disc)- so I need a sling that will not put pressure on my lower back. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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answers from Little Rock on

START YOUNG with the sling!!! I can't speak for everyone else but my daughter hated her sling. We bought it when she was about 4 months old and she refused to be put into it. Maybe if we had her used to it when she was a newborn then things might have been easier.



answers from San Antonio on

i tried a sling but felt that it really wasn't "hands free" because i never felt very comfortable just letting my babies "hang" there.

I had a baby bjorn and LOVED it. it was totally hands free, i was amazed at what i could get done wearing it!
It's worth the price. you can find them on ebay too for pretty cheap.

More Answers



answers from Houston on

I bought one for my daugther that she loves. She can nurse, let baby sleep and it lasts. It has now been used by 5 babies and it still looks like it just came out of the package. They have a great selection and tell you how to fit it so you get the right size. The price is reasonable too and sometimes they have "seconds" I bought one of those for someone and you could not tell, we looked at it with a magnifying glass and found one thread that was not as uniform as the others.

Congrats on the new one



answers from Houston on


I A. in the same situation as you, so I A. going to try this one. The reviews mention a lot about no back pain from other users. My mom friends and I never felt comfortable with the slings - it always felt like the baby could fall out and they were difficult to manuveur.

The Ultimiate Baby Wrap (available at Babys'RUs)

Good luck!



answers from Houston on

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Oh the excitement of welcoming a new addition to your family. I have an 8 year old son and A. a big girl so I couldn't use a sling or carrier but, ny younger sister had a baby sling. She preferred it because she could adjust her sons position from laying, to sitting, from her front to her side etc. It was versitile in how to use. The baby carrier puts the baby in one place with legs hanging down facing front or back depending on age. Both can be used as a hands free way to allow you to do what you need to do. I had seen someone try to use a carrier and it was a bit difficult for them to get the baby into the thing by themselves, fitting legs into holes, etc. The sling allows you to put the sling on, then pick up the baby and slide them into the gap. Oh, I almost forgot, the previous response included a webpage for thebabywearer link, IT'S GREAT!!!!
I wish I had this kind of support when my boy was little. It's wonderful to get ideas from other moms who've been there, done that.
I wish you all the luck. Most importantly, enjoy your time while your baby is small, they grow so fast.



answers from San Antonio on

i bought an infantino carrier, just like the bjorns, and my son grew out of it before he was 4 months old. now, my boys are very tall and big for their age, but it was also uncomfortable and hurt my shoulders and back after about a half an hour of carrying a 15lb infant.

so, i just recently bought a ring sling from ebay that a lady makes. they are like the maya slings but they are WAY better. the material is lightweight, won't make you hot, but very sturdy; she has different sizes depending on your height; she also has different designs of material and if you don't like what she has, she'll make one that you like. BEST OF ALL, it is a fraction of the price that you would pay for any other sling! they are about $15 and maybe about $18 with shipping. it depends on what you get. i use it around the house since my younger son, 6 months old, LOVES to be carried and although he's 23lbs i can carry him without much pain. the other day i carried him in it for 2 hours and my back felt a little tight after i took it off but it was fine soon after. no pain. and it's meant to hold toddlers up to 35lbs.

let me know if you are interested. her email address is: [email protected] ; now this is NOT a website. don't be confused because of the www. it is an email address that starts with the www. i don't know why she did that.
anyway, her name is jeanine johnson. you can also email me with your email address and i'll email you her listings on ebay that you can buy without having to bid.

good luck.



answers from Baton Rouge on

baby bjorn. You can use it for a long time, from tiny baby to walker. Doesn't hurt my back.



answers from Fort Smith on


I purchased a sling on that me and my baby just love. They are kinda pricey (about $50), but you can use them until the baby is 35 lbs. Plus they are based on your size so they fit well. My son is 15 lbs now and I haven't had any back pain with this sling. Good luck!




answers from Killeen on

i used a dr sears baby sling for my 1st child and liked it well enough. what i did not like was the padded "railing" which i thought made it hard to adjust. the padding was nice when my son was teething but changing the length was really a chore. on the up side, there was a nice thick shoulder pad for comfort.

for my daughter i bought a maya wrap which was much easier to adjust, and prettier too. a maya wrap is just a swath of cloth with rings at the shoulder. there is no padding at all, which is good and bad. as my daughter got heavier my shoulder would ache unless i had the wrap really tight so her body weight was not hanging off of me. sometimes she liked being that tight, sometimes she wanted more freedom. she is now almost 18 months old and still likes to ride in it...but she is about 30 pounds so i don't like to do it as often as she would like!

my back occasionally goes out (where i need flexeril or naprosyn, heat, TENS, sleeping on the hard floor, etc), and i never had any strain with either of these slings.

we also have a baby bjorn but i don't really like it--i don't feel like the kids were close enough to me, there are too many straps, and you can't breastfeed in that kind of baby carrier. nursing in a sling is really easy.

good luck!

ps: you can order a maya wrap from my friend julie's website, you can get a dr sears wrap at i LOVE the sears' books too!



answers from Houston on

Dear Adla,

Over the years - and babies :) - I've tried them all! My favorite is the SlingEZee, which is a padded sling. The key to padded slings is that they must be the correct size (one size fits all is impossible - the padding would get in the way of tightening the sling if the size is wrong). SlingEZee comes in five sizes. (Just a note - the basic sling sold at Babies R Us - I believe it's Dr. Sears's NoJo sling - doesn't work for so many people because they mass market it as "one size fits all" and that's impossible with a padded sling).

The Baby Bjorn is out of the question for you because it is so hard on the parents' back. Also, it is not good for the baby to be 'hanging' by their crotch (bad for their spine).

With your serious lower back problems, I encourage you to check out the ERGO. It is the most comfortable kind of carrier possible, because it puts the weight on your hips. Since the weight is not hanging from your shoulders, it will not effect your lower back. It is WONDERFULLY comfortable (which is why it's called the ERGO - ergonomic). Baby can be worn on your front or back. Baby is directly against you. Also, baby is not 'hanging' by it's crotch. The only negatives are that it will not have the 'ease' of putting baby in and out like a sling would, and that breastfeeding is not quite as discreet or easy in an ERGO. But I'm just not sure about you wearing a sling with your back issues. You'd have to be wearing it JUST RIGHT.

Check them all out at the Baby Wearing Comparison page (it compares SlingEZee, Maya Wrap, ERGO, etc..:

With all that I've learned about baby wearing through our family business, I'm also glad to help people individually. Baby wearing is sometimes not very intuitive, but the benefits are so worth it. For example:

Baby wearing...
... results in less crying for baby. One study showed that worn babies cried 40 - 50% less than the norm. Not carrying infants may predispose them to crying and colic.
... encourages language development. Placing baby on the level of adult conversation and eye contact is the perfect spot for learning.
... results in a secure baby. One study found that infants worn in a soft carrier by their mothers were more secure when left with a stranger.
... results in a more responsive mother. One study showed that mothers who wore their babies in soft carriers were more responsive to their infants' vocalizations.
... results in a happier mother. One study showed that mothers of pre-term babies who wore them skin-to-skin reported less depression than traditionally cared for babies.
... supports breastfeeding. Wearing your baby encourages baby to nurse and allows for easier, discreet breastfeeding in public.
... is great for baby's development. Equivalent to "tummy time," baby wearing allowing baby's balance to improve and muscles to strengthen as baby responds to mother's movements.
... allows the caregiver to have two free hands while providing comfort to baby.
... is great for premies. One study showed that wearing preterm babies skin-to-skin helped them cry less, have more quiet sleep, and maintain healthier temperature.
... is great for baby's digestion. Wearing baby encourages frequent, smaller breastfeeding sessions. This, combined with the motion of being worn improves digestion.
... is convenient for outings. Wearing your baby means there is no heavy carrier to lug around and no bulky stroller to navigate with.
... is great for mental and psychomotor development. One study showed higher scores for babies worn skin-to-skin on the Bayley Mental Developmental Index and the Psychomotor Developmental Index.
... is an easy way to lull baby to sleep no matter where you are.
... feels better for the parent. Carrying baby in your arms without a sling is tiring. Worn properly, a sling provides much-needed support.
... reduces instances of plagiocephaly (abnormal head shape). Wearing your infant means less time with pressure against their head due to hard carriers, carseat and swings.


Supporting you as you nurture your family.



answers from Houston on

if you are trying to decide between a sling and a carrier I wouldnt go with a carrier. I had a carrier and it puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders



answers from Chicago on

I wouldnt go with the baby carrier if u have a bad back, I have a good back and the carrier when i use it puts a lot of pressure on my lower back, a bit of pain from making the curvature stronger to where i have to stretch while carrying my son in it. I bought the baby bjorn, the high pricerer of carriers. Good luck



answers from Houston on

Maya Wraps are awesome, and you can buy them online at They even come with an instructional video to help you use them as your child grows older. You can use it even when they are 2 or 3 (if your strong!) :)



answers from Minneapolis on


Congrats on your baby. I love the baby Bjorn and it has held up through 3 babies and it is still in great shape. You can get a similar and less expensive model at Target, too. My only complaint is that when my babies hit 20 lbs it does give me back pain.

I would recommend that you try different kinds with a baby in them (either at a friend's house or at the store) to find what is comfortable for you. If you buy one, keep the receipt so you can take it back. Definately get something that allows the baby to change positions as he/she grows. Most babies want a view by the time they are 2-3 months old.

Best wishes,



answers from Austin on

YES YES YES!!! Let me get you addicted! I was in the same position for you - looking for something to tote around the baby when I had another one to run after. I found and A. SO grateful this website:

It's got so much information about so many baby carriers out there that are not mainstream (made by WAHMs etc.). I did not like my Maya or Bjorn and really wanted something else - again, this site is GREAT!

Newborns - I love Hotslings ( and a stretchy wrap (Cuddly Wrap) and when they are a bit older LOVE LOVE LOVE my Mei Tai (Asian Baby Carrier) - favorite brand is the Kozy Carrier ( I still use it on my back for my almost 30 pound 22 months-old. I also still use my pouch (Hotslings) for short trips too. I miss the days of lots of babywearing. Good luck and let me know if you have questions. That site has GREAT info.

Good luck and congrats!!




answers from Houston on

I would second the ERGO recommendation. I have used an ERGO with my third child after trying several types of slings. The ERGO is so comfortable, and it is really easy to put on. It also can be used on older children- I can't remember the exact weight limit, but we carried my 2 year old in it last Halloween. I did lots of research before buying it and almost everyone with back problems recommended it over any other carrier out there. Hope everything goes well with you and your second child!



answers from San Antonio on

I "second" the endorsement for HOTSLINGS. I have 4 of them and can't wait to use them for #2. HOTSLING was the only thing that would calm my infant who had reflux and is "high needs" when it comes to needing closeness, even now at age 2. They're very compact (smaller than a receiving blanket), durable, well-made, washable, and come in a variety of beautiful fabrics you'll find in no other sling. Shipping is fast, and they have an easy exchange policy and personal customer service.

A HOTSLING can be worn many different ways depending on the age of the baby:
Cradle: Infant - 4 months. Also great for discreet breastfeeding
Front (Kangaroo): 4 months - 9 months
Hip: 4 months+
Back: 4 months+

I tried 'em all, and my daughter loved it! She would clap her hands at the mere sight of a Hotsling. I have a bad back, too, so I could only carry her until she was about 22 pounds (about 18 months) before the one-sided nature of the sling got to be too much for me, even though the weight is very well distributed. But they're rated up to 35 pounds. I buy one for every pregnant friend I have. Congratulations, and I hope this helps!



answers from New Orleans on

I used a Hotsling brand sling with our newborn, but it did hurt my back on occasion when she was smaller. Now that she is 3 months old and a tighter fit in the hotsling I have very rare times (when the sling is on correctly) that I experience any back pain. Because I really want to "wear my baby" I ordered a Moby Wrap to try out. It does seem to alleviate my back pain but takes 2 people to put it on for the newborn hold.



answers from Houston on

Depending on your price range... check out for a wide range of slings... also, I'd steer clear of carriers if you have back pain. They do little to relieve pain... they are just more convenient!

I make custom slings if you are interested... message me!



answers from Anchorage on

I use a sling wih my 11 month old. I use the Peanut Shell brand and what is nice is that you use it as a sling when they are tiny and the they can sit on your hip in the sling and the baby sits on your hip in the sling which is a huge help. I, too, have back problems and I found that my son was to heavy to carry in the original baby sling we had by the time he was 1 month old.



answers from San Antonio on

I had the Baby Bjorn when my daughter was little. It worked when she was very tiny, but as soon as she got very big it was really hard on my back b/c all the weight is on your back.
I just recently bought a hotsling. My daughter is 2. So, I don't know how it works on newborns, but it seems like it would be really good - I can't wait to use it on our number 2. It does work for my daughter - and most of the weight is distributed evenly over your shoulder. Here's the link to buy one from the girl I bought one from -

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