Babywearing Advice? Looking for Comfortable Carrier...

Updated on December 06, 2008
M.W. asks from Philadelphia, PA
28 answers

I am carrying my 3-month old daughter in a Baby Bjorn right now, but it's starting to get painful for me.

Any advice on comfortable baby carriers to wear? I need something I can wear most of the day for at least the next 6 months. I'm thinking about getting a Mei Tai. Does anyone have experience with this or other carriers?

Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Wow. Thanks for all the advice! I went ahead and ordered a mei tai... I'm looking forward to something different.

My baby just doesn't sleep well during the day in her crib. She has infant reflux and also spent the first two weeks of her life in the NICU, so even though it's hard sometimes, I really think it will be worth the "long haul"! My older daughter, who also had reflux, was carried a lot and I'm very glad I did it, even though it was in a Snugli. This time around, I am glad to know that there are many more comfortable options!

Featured Answers

S.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have a Mei Tei and a Maya wrap and have tried countless others. (I have three kids- the youngest is 6 mo). I like having more than one option, as some are better for different needs (travel on plane versus day to day use versus playground or longer wearing periods) and some are easier to get on and off, etc. But hands down, my favorite is the Kangaroo Korner adjustable pouch. I have a fleece one and a cotton one and have used it daily, sometimes for long periods when the baby was small. Good luck!

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M.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

LOVE, LOVE, LOVED, the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder!!!!! Wore my son til he was 3...

I actually have about half a dozen, if you'd like one... I bought them to have on hand as baby shower gifts. lmk if you'd like one! [email protected]____.com

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C.H.

answers from Pittsburgh on

The Ergo baby carrier is the best and most comfortable thing going, and you can use it for a long time. I carried my 3 1/2 year old in it last week and I felt great! We've used it since he was 10 months old, but many people use them from birth.

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B.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

hi there! i see that you have already made a purchase, but i would still like to tell you about the ergo baby carrier! u can find it online at ergobaby.com - it is the most amazing thing!! i have really bad back and neck issues and i can actually carry my 13m son in this carrier still! it can even be used as he gets even bigger! it is absolutely the best baby invention in my eyes! check it out!

1 mom found this helpful

S.Y.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Wow....I am SO GLAD you asked this...I've been dying to recommend the "ERGO" baby carrier.
It's easy (one snap) and can be worn back front or side. I have been in TWO car accidents and this is the ONLY carrier that doesn't hurt my back. Plus, my dd loves it (she hated all others). I shop for two hours every week at Giant Eagle with her in it and she is happy as a lark!
They are a little over $100, but worth EVERY penny...you can call the company and ask if they have used ones...they will sell for about $60, or maybe check Ebay.
:)

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S.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

M.,

Where are you located? The best thing to do is get in touch with other local baby wearing mamas - they're almost always willing to show off (and let you try out) their stash. I do it all the time!

There are a ton of great carriers out there. What's most important is you find one that's comfortable for you and for your babe. To ensure proper spine alignment in the infant, you want to make sure they are seated in the carrier with their upper legs (knee to hip) parallel to the floor or angled up away from the door - this makes sure they are seated and their weight is properly distributed across their bottoms, rather than letting them dangle from the crotch.

We started out with a Moby wrap and used that daily until she hit about 15 lbs. I moved into a Moby but we never really got the hang of it - it's a beautiful carrier and easy to use, but wasn't for us. I had the chance to see and try an Ergo (soft structured carrier or ssc) and instantly fell in love. It was easy to put on and easy to get DD into. I loved the Ergo dearly but one look at a Beco Butterfly (another SSC) and I had to have one. The BB has an internal harness that holds the child securely in the carrier (both a small infant and an older child) which makes it super simple to do back carries - just like putting on a back pack.

What activities do you anticpate doing in the carrier? Do you think you'll stay with a front carry? Prefer a back carry? or a hip carry?

I actually just traded my mei tai for a didymos (woven) wrap. I cannot wait for it to arrive in the mail. I'm anxious to get back to wrapping. They are so versatile.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, or if you're in the Eastern PA/DE area, I can suggest a few babywearing groups.

S.

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A.P.

answers from Allentown on

Hi, M.!
Sounds like you are having the same problem that I had w/ my first, when I used the Baby Bjorn! Once my daughter hit about 12 lbs, it killed my back & shoulders! That's when I developed THING-A-MA-SLING. They are ring slings that can be custom-made. Each comes with 3 built-in pockets (for wallet, keys, cell, sippy cup, etc...), are machine washable & dryable and are extremely comfortable! I design them with a special "shoulder tuck" system that automatically spreads the fabric accross your shoulder area & accross most of your back. That way, you have LOTS of muscles all working together to reduce strain & increase comfort.

I have worn my son for 10+ hours, 3 days in a row (when we went to Disney) and was fine! Just yesterday, I wore him for 2 hours straight (he's 16 mos now) while I was carrying tons of heavy stuff & was perfectly fine! I used it regularly w/ my daughter till she was over 3 years old!

I am offering 10% off right now by using coupon code "HH08" during checkout, if you're interested. My website is www.ThingaMaSling.com . Also, if you're anywhere near the Easton area, I'd be happy to meet you some place so that you don't have to pay for shipping.

I know I am biased, but I truly do find these slings to be insanely comfortable and extremely versatile! Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you at all!

Thank you so much & Happy Holidays!!!
A.
www.ThingaMaSling.com
1-877-SLING-99

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M.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

We love our mei tei's (got 2 for $50 on ebay from moms who make them). I've worn our son in it since he came home at 4lbs from the NICU, and he's still in it today at almost 7mos. He really enjoys it. My husband likes that I can wear the fun material showing, and he can flip it to wear the plain black. We like it that one size fits us both.

We've tried 4 others and this is the best for us. None of the slings worked because our son used it as a jumping point to jump right out of, no matter what position.

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R.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

Try the Ergo, it is very comfortable.

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H.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

I see that you got a lot of advice for the two-strapped carriers. I just wanted to speak up to say that I had a lot of success with a ring sling. So much success that I now make them! (www.lydi-bug.com) Slings spread the weight across your back, instead of pulling on two shoulders, and there are lots of positions to wear a child so that you aren't always pulling on the same parts of your body! My primary purpose was to make slings affordable for low-income families, so prices are low but my fabrics are limited. We've used a sling with our daughter since she was born and in fact still use it - at age 2. If fashion is important, there are lots of commercial-grade slings available. I would check out theslingstation.com or thebabywearer.com. Best wishes!

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E.J.

answers from York on

i know other ladies have agreed but i have to add my vote or the moby wrap! love it. i have one of every other kind of wrap, between my sisters and gifts, and my first son never liked any. now with my 7 week old, i have him in it almost everyday. love it!

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V.N.

answers from Harrisburg on

I would suggest, because this is what I did, go to a babywearing group and try out different carriers. I use a sling, Moby and baby nest. My three favorites but the ERGO looks lovely, too. It can be very expensive to buy ones that you don't like and possibly aren't comfortable for you or baby.

I'm not sure how close you are to this one but its the one I found out the most great information:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LancasterCoBabyWearing/

T.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

s.

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C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Get the moby wrap. Mobywrap.com

That is what we use and it works really well for both hubby and I.

good luck!

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J.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

The Moby Wrap is wonderful. It fits to your body like a T-Shirt and the baby is snuggled up against you. They love it! When my son was born I used one from babies r us - it is very affordable and comfortable. It's not called a Moby, but that's what it is. When my daughter was born I bought a new fancy wrap from birthandbaby.com. It is lovely, but it cost more and works the same. Also, my husband won't wear the fancy one! Hope this helps.

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I.W.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I know you've already bought one, but in case others are looking at your question thought I would add something. The ergo is great...IF...you are skinny. For those of us who are plus-sized I would NOT recommmend it. Your baby is straddling you (either your front or back) the whole time you wear it. I found I loved wearing it (very comfy), but it is too hard on my little one's legs. Hope this helps.

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W.F.

answers from York on

My all time favorite baby carrier is The Ultimate Baby Wrap! It's awesome! It's around $40 and I got mind at Babies R Us. It takes a little getting used to, but once you put it on a few times, it's easy. I've used mine for two children and I still wear my 12 month old occasionally. I've tried a million baby carriers (or so it seems) and this one is the most comfortable, and affordable, carrier I've found!

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S.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

The moby wrap is absolutely awesome! It looks complicated, but its not. I got it when my son was 6 months (and almost 20lbs) and I was able to carry him while grocery shopping (at least an hour) w/o any pain. I was still able to carry him at a year old (about 23lbs) and I was 3 months pregnant. I only stopped using it b/c he started walking & now doesn't want to be carried. I'm looking forward to using it w/baby 2. Since its just a big piece of fabric you can wrap it in multiple different ways. You can use it from birth thru toddler years. The directions that come with the wrap are excellent & I had no problem using it the first time. The best things are that there are no buckle to dig in to you, its infinitely adjustable (so multiple people can use it), its cheap (compared to other carriers), & super comfy for you & baby. My husband & I spent over $100 on a fancy carrier & another $40 on a sling & the Moby is the only thing I liked & used.

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L.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi -

Another vote for the Moby Wrap! Very, very comfortable to wear.

But definitely go somewhere they will help you try them on. Nursing Mother Supplies on the main line is great. She can show you how to wrap it.

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A.S.

answers from Allentown on

There are so many out there. With my first babies I had a sling style (mammasmilk.com) and a mei tai (don't remember who i bought this from). I used the mei tai with my one son until he was 3.5yo. It is very comfortable and easy to use.

I just ordered a new sling for this baby from slinglings.com and will either get a moby or an ergo a few months down the road. I love baby wearing and it's so practical when you have another child to chase after. You can check out thebabywearer.com for help on which style might be right for you and lists of reputable vendors. The website has a lot of information, but it is easy to sort through what you need. Good luck!

A.J.

answers from Williamsport on

Most of the day for six months???!!!!! Holy cow. I admire your devotion, but I think that will hurt your back no matter what. The Bjorn was the most comfortable one I found, but I wore it only when out walking and needing two hands before my kids were stroller sized (about 3 months). www.theslingstation.com has live help as well as lots of brands to look at. Go easy on your back, and be sure to get frequent massages. Even though I only carried mine sometimes, my neck and shoulders were full of knots!

ps-I just read your other responses and realized how much I DIDN"T KNOW about carriers!!! I have one on the way and will have to try one of these next time-thanks for asking this! :)

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A.C.

answers from Allentown on

My absolute favorite is the Baby Ergo. It is pricey I agree ($100+/-). However when you consider how much the baby is in it it is a good deal. I have tried many others as well as made many but this one is the best! I have a roadside veggie stand so my little (20lbs) guy was in it for 4+ hours a day and I was able to go about my normal routine.(picking vegetables, pushing a wheelbarrow) It does not hurt your back or shoulders at all. The way it is designed the weight sits on your hips. It is rated up to 40lbs and the baby can be carried on your hip, front, or back (the most comfortable I think). good luck!

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L.D.

answers from Philadelphia on

I found the Ergo baby carrier with my third child. I used the Over the Shoulder baby Holder with my first two, which I still love and will use the earlier months with my upcoming fourth child, however, I absolutely think everyone needs the Ergo. It is super comfy and is similar to the idea of the Baby Bjorn, however, it holds the baby much differently. The baby bjorn is actually not the best because it kind of just hangs the baby there, which is why it can stress your back after awhile and it also can stress the baby's spine. The Ergo situates them, so they are more in a seated possition. It can be used on the front or the back for mom or dad and is very supportive. You can also use it up to like 28 lbs or something crazy! Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have a mei tie and LOVE it. I have used it for both my kids. My son is 3 and I can still use it with him on my back occasionally. My daughter (9 months)spends half her life in the mei tie. I would recommend it. I have a home made one, but if you go to etsy.com you can get one for a reasonable price.
Good luck!

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J.E.

answers from Philadelphia on

I had the same problemwith mpst carriers hurting my neck.Anyway I got one from babies r us but i have mommy brain and can't remember the exact name of it but i loved it.it is how i got through my sons first year.Anyway I think it might be called the baby wrap?It is basically a long piece of cloth that you tie on yourself.I know it sounds funny but it was great.it comes with a dvd for insructions and after a few practice runs i was good to go.you can leave it on all day just take the baby in and out.note that i found it impossible to get my son out asleep but he was perfectly happy to sleep an me.I t says you can use it til they are 2 or 3 but my son wants no parts of being restrained at 15 months.i hope this helped.

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T.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm not sure where to send you, but go to a store where you can TRY THEM ON! I was given one and then too nervous/busy to try one in a store, and ended up not really wearing my baby. At 14 months, a friend visited with FOUR carriers and I tried them ALL on and ended up with the Ergobaby and still use it occasionally (my daughter is 20 months). You can get an insert for infants, so I plan to use it again if we're lucky enough to get pregnant again.

Good luck!

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V.F.

answers from Scranton on

Mei tais are great! They work very well. I know one well known name is the Baby Hawk. You can also make your own if you are handy http://thosemartins.com/bmt/index.htm
You can add padding to this one if you want
V.

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G.S.

answers from Allentown on

Babywearing is a truly individual enjoyment. You may not have the same comfort in a carrier that someone else has. I know people who love ring slings. And I liked mine when my daughter was smaller and lighter, but I couldn't keep doing the ring sling when she got bigger & heavier (and squirmier). I'll echo the call for the Ergo. My daughter LIVED in the Ergo on me for the first 2 or 3 months of her life, easily. After that, we used it a lot. At 20 months old, she still sits in it at least once a day with me. (She does not hold hands, walk with me, etc...and I just find it easier, and she's quite comfy back there --- even at nearly 30 pounds and 34 inches tall. Speaking of which, the Ergo is OK up to 45 pounds!! and would probably hold even more).
HOWEVER - It is important for YOU to pick the carrier that works for YOU. The only way to decide is simple trial and error. Mei Tais are great. They're compact, and they can be quite comfy. But I found that when my daughter outgrew the usefulness of the ring sling, I also didn't feel comfortable using a mei tai any more because the weight of her cut into me however I tied it. Wrapping is nice (especially with a good quality german style woven wrap), but it takes a long time to really manage - and finding the right wrap for you can take forever, too. Plus - huge learning curve for dad!
My advice to you is: BORROW and TRY. There is a Lehigh Valley Babywearing group that meets the first and third Tuesday of every month on 3rd Avenue. They also have a Yahoo Group you can join. If you can't make a meeting, you can always join the Yahoo group and express your interest in various carriers, and there are likely to be other babywearing moms who have what you want to try - who would be willing to meet you so you can try it out. Then you know what you like in advance of making your purchase.
The LV NINO site is not functioning at the moment, but ... here's the Yahoo Group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LVBW/

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