Conidering Buying a Baby Back Carrier and Not Sure What to Get

Updated on April 24, 2008
J.K. asks from Topeka, KS
30 answers

I have a wonderful, loving 11 month old little boy that is well over 26 pounds. He is cruising, but not yet walking. He's getting a lot of floor time and does a great job entertaining himself. I have a sling that I love and use it around the house when I'm needing to go downstairs to do laundry, etc., need to get things done outside or he is just needing some extra Mommy time and I simply can't sit and cuddle, but he is getting so big that I think a back carrier would be better at this point. I could 'wear' him around the house and have two free hands to get things done. Can anyone recommend a carrier? Or even carriers to avoid. The only non-frame carrier I can find is the Ergo, but they are so expensive I wonder if I should go with a framed carrier. It would be more cumbersome for around the house, but may be a better long-term investment. Any thoughts on the Ergo or others?

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So What Happened?

We have ordered the Ergo and are quite excited to use it. Thank you so very much for all of the response. All of the comments were very interesting and helpful ... and many were compassionately supportive. Thank you for the kind words. One extra comment - the responses were incredibly varied with lots of strong opinions about baby wearing - I love that this forum allows for Moms with different ideas to bring their thougthts and experiences to the table.

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B.B.

answers from Springfield on

I would recommend any two shoulder carriers. You can compare carriers and find LOTS of information at thebabywearer.com

I have used a homemade Mei Tai with my first and wear a MobyD (wrap) with my new child. The Moby offers more options to babies of all sizes. I have not yet done a back carry with the Moby. Happy hunting.

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E.H.

answers from St. Louis on

I know this wonderful site you can go to. www.christyscreations.com The lady that makes these baby carriers does an aswome job!!!

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D.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I just started using the ergo for my 4-month old, and so far, I like it, but he doesn't. I think I'm actually a little early for him - he's still a little small (not even 13 lbs yet) and I don't think his legs can wrap around my waist very well so he's not quite comfortable. But, I'm very excited for him to get bigger and really get to start using it. I've found it easy to use and comfy for me.

One thing he absolutely hates is the sling! I've been trying to get him to use a Peanut Shell since he was a newborn and it's always a disaster. I think maybe I'm not putting him in it correctly. Does anyone know of a store or local place that sells them that can also help with usage? I ordered mine online and I've tried to follow the instruction sheet, but can't seem to get the hang of it.

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M.I.

answers from St. Louis on

My daughter did well if I would bring her to the room that I was cleaning. I'd put her on the floor in the kitchen and let her play in one of my cabinets while I washed dishes, cleaned the refrigerator, etc....

When I cleaned the bathroom, I'd alternate blowing bubbles and scrubbing the toilet, tub, countertops, etc.....

When I washed clothes, I'd put her in the playpen in the basement, which was full of toys, and she'd play while I washed and ironed.

While I did all this I'd either have nursery rhyme songs playing on the CD player or I'd sing a goofy song about whatever it was that I was doing.

I could vacuum all day and she'd be thrilled so she always went through every room with me while I did this chore.

I would mop when she took a nap...which was always short. Sometimes it would take me 2 days to mop...but who cares~

I hope I've given you some ideas that you haven't already tried and I pray they work as well for you as they did for me.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.A.

answers from Kansas City on

I love my Ergo. Out of all my baby stuff that is what I use everyday and it is wonderful. I know that expensive but it is going to last you a whole lot longer than any other carrier. My sister in law also has one for her baby but was using it carrier her four year old daughter at the zoo. So if you think about how you won't have to buy another one when baby gets bigger so you are actually saving money. I have worn my hours and hours at place and it has never hurt my back and I don't even feel like I am wearing my baby. You can wear the baby in three different positions and they are all great. I have been wearing my son since he was an infant (he is now 14 months) and the ergo is the best. If you have anymore questions I would be happy to answer them.

A.

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J.Q.

answers from Kansas City on

Just want to put my two-cents in on this subject. I completely agree with Sara who responded. As a Mom who also uses baby carriers I think they are absolutley wonderful! An 11-month old is still just a baby. I don't think we can "hold" them too much or spend too much time with them. Babywearing actually helps babies and children to become more independent not dependent. I don't think putting Baby Einstein on is a better alternative than wearing your baby and helping them to feel right and learn about their environment. There are lots of books and articles which discuss this.
As for baby carriers, I am using the Beco Baby carrier right now and I love it! It can be worn on the back too. My 8-month old is just a little guy though and weighs about 16 lbs.

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E.M.

answers from Lawrence on

The Ergo is probably the best baby purchase I ever made. I thought it was too expensive too, but I took the plunge and NEVER had buyers remorse. I used it for both my kids until the second was over 3 years old. I definately have gotten my moneys worth! My husband liked to wear our frame backpack, it was easier for him to put on, but I couldn't stand that thing. Go for the ergo!

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J.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Look into the mei tei carriers...they work similar to the sling and have the same concept. I am a babywearing fanatic, and wore each of my 4 kids in a sling all the time. NEVER had a problem with my child walking on time, or any other milestones. HOWEVER, I did have a happy content baby that could see everything from the same prospective that I did and was happy and content, never crying unless they were hurt.
I ended up trying out a mei tei on a whim, when my twins got too hard to double sling together. THey will be 3 on July 1st, and my daughter still wants "on my back" whenever we go out shopping, or to other activities that the stroller is not easy. I think it is because she is up high, can see everything, and is comfortable enough to sleep. Plus, you can wear them on the front easily also, no matter what age, so if they are sick and need the front cuddles, it is soo easy to wear that way.
Check into the other baby wearing products, there are tons out there if you google Babywearing. If you need websites, I can get you some, email me at [email protected]____.com
I hope that helps.
J.

D.H.

answers from Kansas City on

I agree with the three ladies about not holding your child all the time. Get a carrier for when you go out of the house, not for while you are in the house. Your son will get so used to being held by you that when he is 2,3,4,5 years old he'll want to be held all the time then also. You don't want to have to carry him around while you are cleaning when he's 3 or 4. Let him learn to play with himself while you clean or wait until he naps. Start teaching him now how to go down the stairs on his bottom and how to crawl up the stairs safely, he's definately old enough now to do that. It's great you want to be close to him and he you, but that can happen without you holding him all the time. Be creative. Good luck and God Bless.

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D.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Have you checked to see if the sling you have can be used as a back carrier? I have a sling from www.Lucky-Baby.com that can be used to wear your baby...well...anywhere. We love it and use it all the time. Don't let anyone tell you that it's better to have your child on the floor. You already know that wearing them and having them with you is what is best for him. He will walk and hit all of his other milestones when he's ready. another great thing about wearing him while you are doing housework is, you won't have to worry about him when he does start walking, you can just put him in his carrier and don't have to worry about what he is destroying in your house now. It is good for them to explore but when they start getting into things they shouldn't it's a great time to put them in their carrier. They get to spend time with mom or dad and don't get into trouble.

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K.C.

answers from Kansas City on

I think it's wonderful that you're giving your son the gift of you. He will learn to walk, he will learn so much more, too, being with you, talking with you and seeing what you do all day. Also, he will appreciate the work and won't mind the time you spend on housework because you'll still be near. But you know that. I didn't mean to get preachy, but espeically for a full time working mom, that time together is so precious, it's great that you've found a way to get more him time while you get things done (and they certainly help keep the pounds off). Anyway... Mei tais are great, if you're at all handy, there are great patterns out there for them. http://www.wearyourbaby.com/ is a great site for information about wearing your baby, it's nice to be able to try carriers out before you buy, you might look into the local attachment parenting group (if you go that way) and see if you can find someone to get together with to try one... I use a hiking backpack some (that we got actually for hiking) which is okay, but cumbersome, I just can't allow myself to spend the money on another carrier (I have several different styles of slings, I love them and use them often, for my 16 month old, and if the walk gets long, my 4 year old), but I have used a mei tai (Topeka has a great ap group that periodically has baby carrier instruction/tryout days) and liked it a lot. Plus I love that they don't take up a ton of space when not in use either. Anyway... this is really long, I hope you find what you need.

K.

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T.W.

answers from Topeka on

We bought an infantino from Babys-R-Us. It was only $30-35. And it works as a front AND back carrier. We've loved it so far. It has a strap that clips around your waist so it offers additional support.

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J.B.

answers from St. Louis on

I agree...If you carry him all the time he won't learn to do things (explore) on his own. He needs to be put down to learn to play and entertain himself. Also he's a big guy to be carrying and you could hurt yourself. Now if you go hiking, walking, I could see that you might want to get one.

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T.Z.

answers from Topeka on

I think that it is wonderful that you want to continue to carry your son with you and are looking for options to help you do so. I really like my mei tai, although I've never tried the ergo so I can't compare them. There are a ton of different ways that you can tie the mei tai so virtually everyone can find a fit that is comfortable for them. My 27 month old daughter still sometimes needs to be carried on my back. I use it while I cook, vaccuum, do laundry, and for long walks. She loves being snuggled close, I get a lot done, and she loves being able to see and be involved in what I'm doing. Carrying your child provides a lot of stimulation and opportunity to talk about the world. Particularly with working full time I think that it is a great opportunity for you to spend time with your little one and still get things done. I hope that you find something that works for you.

M.A.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi J.,
I have done that! You can do it for a while but if he is heavy your back won't stand it. It is also difficult to do chores around the house if you have him in front of you, like vacuming....you can't kneel and your back will hurt, if not now you'll feel it later in life.
I have a couple that i don't use anymore, one it is like a backpack that you can carry front or back and the other he can stand in your back, it has a metal bar for him to stand in if he wants to. heavier but somehow confy. I will be happy to give them to you to try sice I don't use them anymore, they are old but still works....I have to find them though:)
Let me know if you want them.
Good luck,
Mariana Abadie
www.MaiaCreations.ecrater.com
www.MykidsFirst.com

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S.H.

answers from St. Louis on

I have the Ergo for my almost 15 month old son, and it is FANTASTIC!!! I know it is expensive, but if you have him on you a good majority of the time, then it is totally worth it. There are 3 different ways you can wear the ergo. You can wear it on your hip, back, or carry him in the front. Go to Babymoon and try one out. See if it is for you.

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G.N.

answers from St. Louis on

Ok, I dont want to sound mean here, I know you want to spend all the time you can with your son, but you need to let him be down on the floor, he will never learn how to walk if you keep carrying him around. Clean when he naps.

I refuse to carry my son around with my he is 26 1/2 lbs and he is heavy, kills my sides and back.

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V.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Check out magicsling.com to see if any of her products look appealing. She can custom-design one for you in the fabric of your choice and adjust it to accomodate your little guy's weight.

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J.S.

answers from St. Louis on

Have you thought about a hip carrier? I have a 9 month old 24 pound son and it's what I use in Target, the Grocery Store, Zoo, etc. It doesn't hurt my back unless it's been like 4 hours of walking around. All the weight rests on your hip and a little on your shoulder and you have 2 hands free to shop, etc.! And at $30 it's much cheaper than alot of slings and carriers.

http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/601-###-###-####-###...

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L.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I adored my mei tai when my kids were little. I don't think you'll spoil him by holding him. He's still young, even if he's getting heavy. He'll be off and running soon and you'll miss those baby days of cuddling.

The nice thing about the mei tai is the flexibility. You can hold him on your back, your front, or even your hip. Check this site out http://www.ellaroo.com/mei-tai.php

Good luck! :-)
L.

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A.L.

answers from St. Louis on

Kangaroo kids has a sling that you can use to carry the baby on your back too.

They'll give you instructions on how to use the sling in all positions:

http://www.kangarookidsonline.com/pages/slingdemo.php

It's also a great consignment shop if you haven't been there yet.

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S.D.

answers from St. Louis on

Hi J.. I highly recommend the Ergo. You can get one a little cheaper used on eBay. It is worth every penny. I used a sling when my babies were little and also used the Moby wrap for awhile, although neither my babies or I really liked that one. The Ergo is great for an older baby. I used it constantly last summer when my youngest was 10-11 months.

Just to address the concerns of those worried about "never putting a baby down". Both of my kids are super content, always slept well, and spent exploratory time on the floor. I agree that is important, however, it's also important to spent a lot of time with a baby and many babies need to be held constantly. These babies should not be made to be on their own just so they get used to it. Also, the AAP highly recommends that children under 2 watch no TV. Quite frankly, babywearing is a much better alternative than TV for a young baby. I wish as mothers we would all just cut each other some slack and not second quess every decision another mom makes. J. was just asking for a recommendation about baby carriers, not for everyone's opinion on babywearing.

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L.V.

answers from St. Louis on

We love our Ergo! Our son is almost 2 now, and while he doesn't get carried alot anymore, the Ergo is still fabulous for outings when the stroller is cumbersome. AND, if you get an Ergo that is sortof gender neutral, your husband might be apt to carry him as well. My husband liked that it was not too girly looking. (but my husband also didn't mind wearing a sling) It is so comfy!

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H.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I have really been enjoying my moby wrap. You can do multiple positions with it. They say the fabric can hold up to 45lbs but most feel comfortable up to 35. I have not tried the back position yet.

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S.D.

answers from Topeka on

I wouldn't buy one (Waste of Money) at this age let him down he need's to explore and play yes even outside,this is best for your child.I didn't want my kid's to get dirty either to play in mud piles or the huge sand box dad made this yr. your son's attitude of wanting to be held all the time will likely change if you let him down.I rarely carried my kid's around the house to get work done the TV is off and they are having fun playing with their toy's and books. Yes it is nice to want to alway's hold your child and cuddle so do I and all the other mom's.
Wife sahm of 2

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L.W.

answers from Kansas City on

Hiking backpacks are lightweight and sturdy. They are pricey new, but you can find them on Craigslist.com or at resale shops pretty easily. We got one on craigslist for $50 that's worth $250 easy (it's a Kelty Co.). We love it!

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T.F.

answers from St. Louis on

Kelty Journey is a really good one.

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

Yeah I agree, you don't want him to get used to having to be held ALL the time. Turn on a Baby Einstein for him, set a timer for you, and get done what you can in that amount of time. Kids should definitely learn to entertain themselves.

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J.B.

answers from Kansas City on

Kelty Kids is a wonderful brand, especially for hiking. It is what we used it for. My daughter loved it. They are strong and won't fray and very secure. Just make sure you destribute the weight and don't cary the child on your hips. It feels so much better. They Keltys are more expensive but because they last so long you can usually find them at garage sales.

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E.K.

answers from Lawrence on

I was given a kelty backpack that has a frame. My daughter is now 3 and I have rarely used it with her. The problem is the frames are heavier than the ergo and so she quickly outgrew it. I am expecting #2 and considering buying the ergo. Several friends have it and rave about it. It is easy to put on, can be used front or back and one friend has a daughter who is almost 4 and still uses it for her daughter on occasion. I hear it is a worthwhile investment. The framed backpacks are harder to get on and off of your back while you have your child in it, and of course the bigger they get, the harder it is. And less comfortable too!

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