What Is the Most Versatile Carrier?

Updated on January 19, 2008
T.M. asks from Gold Hill, OR
26 answers

We recently switched our soon-to-be 5 month old baby's car seat and it isn't a traveller kind. We are now faced with how to easily carry our baby when we grocery shop and run errands. A stroller isn't practical while grocery shopping. And just when we want to go into the store, she falls asleep. We have a Snugli carrier, but it is like putting together a puzzle to put it together and to get our baby in there is a royal pain. Plus, it is very uncomfortable to wear the baby in.
Any suggestions on what carrier would be most comfortable for us and the baby? And one that would be appropriate for a sleeping little one?
Thank you!

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M.R.

answers from Richland on

I have two boys - a 2 year old and a 5 month old. I really liked to use a sling. Both of my boys were comfortable in it and slept just fine while snuggled close to me. I had to practice getting the oldest in and out at first, but once I got the hang of it we both loved it.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.M.

answers from Seattle on

You could always just keep the old infant seat in the car for in stores. Then put her in her convertible carseat when in the car.

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C.C.

answers from Eugene on

I absolutely LOVE my Ergo baby carrier. It can be used in the front, on the side and as a backpack carrier. You can also put your child in it until they are about 40 lbs - not that I plan to carry him around on my hip at 40 Lbs!!! Anyhow - it's been a GREAT carrier - really versatile and easy.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.V.

answers from Seattle on

Ergo, Ergo, Ergo! I use one for my 6mo son and we do everything in it! Errands, shopping, housework, you name it! I can even nurse him in it because it comes with a great privacy hood that is also great for helping him sleep in it. Visit their website to learn more about this awesome carrier: www.ergobabycarrier.com. It doesn't suspend the baby by the crotch like a Bjorn does and it is really easy on the wearer. My husband and I both use it and it is good for up to 65 pounds worth of kid, so it is long-lasting. It's pricey, but you may be able to find a deal on Craigslist or ebay.
Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
J.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.J.

answers from Portland on

Go for the Ergo! I still put my 15 month old in in and wear him on my front. He loves it. He says, "Pack! Pack!" when he sees me get it down from the coat rack.

It's easy on your back and gives you a nice chance to snuggle up. It's the best of all the carriers I've tried.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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T.M.

answers from Eugene on

It takes some getting used to, but a regular sling is really handy and less complicated than other carriers. You can configure several positions (and switch sides). I've used ours for over a year with our 16 month old daughter (she loves her "sing"). We used the Bjorn a lot when she was tiny, but when that got too small (and she got too heavy), I switched. Like anything, it takes getting used to, but once you're comfortable with it, it's a life saver. 5 months is a great time to start! When my girl is sick, she'll sleep in the sling while I shop, go to church, whatever. When she's well it's great for snuggle time while I get stuff done around the house. A sling is great for a picnic blanket, carseat pillow, towel, whatever. Check out: http://www.simplyslings.com/ --Not the cheapest for buying, but a good resource on style and wearing techniques. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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K.L.

answers from Yakima on

Hi T.!

I am a mother of a 6 yo girl and an 18 month old boy. I've tried a ring sling, a bjorn, an ergo carrier, and a mei tai. I think each one has its purpose and can be so helpful but for me, the ring sling is by far the most versatile and the best for shopping, errands, stuffing in your diaper bag, family reunions etc. It does take a bit of a learning curve to figure it out but once you do, I think you'll really enjoy the different positions you can try. My girl loved the kangaroo position, my boy always faced in to my chest and now enjoys straddling my hip. A web page that might help in your decision and has a great how to section - http://www.thebabywearer.com/

With the ring sling, one of my favorite things is once a child falls asleep in it, it is actually pretty easy to transfer them to their bed, the car seat etc. And in reverse, you can pick up a sleeping baby from a car seat, hold them close, through the sling around you and wa-la you are cuddling your sleeping baby while still having your hands free! You can find them cheap, make them yourself (thats what I did), or find some ones so fancy that they are art pieces.

Have fun!
K.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.L.

answers from Seattle on

I would go with a maya wrap. They are 100% cotton, fully adjustable, can be used front, back, side...sleeping, sitting up, laying down, forward facing, backward facing, ANYTHING. They come in lots of really cool colors so you can get one personalized to your own style. My best friends all had one when our babies were young (my ex husband was too cheap to let me have one...hence the ex part). Anyway, they could not live without them. They are good for the swaddling stage all the way through toddler stage (good to keep little ones from running around and grabbing everything in sight LOL). That will be the first thing I get when it comes time for number 2 with me. You can check them out at: http://www.mayawrap.com/

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

I love my Baby Bjorn active carrier. We had the snugli with our first daughter, and the active model bjorn offers a lumbar support that rivals anything else I have tried! I didn't like the sling, we tried that this time too. The bjorn looks confusing but is really easy to put on. Depending on where you live, there are many stores that let you try on different types of carriers before buying, then we got ours on ebay, there's also some on craigslist, which once you know which one you want, you can save a little there. Good luck!

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T.B.

answers from Portland on

Any soft structured carrier will be great!
Beco or Ergo would be my advice; they are pretty much the same but Ergo just has plain colors and Beco has a variety of cute prints!
I still wear my 20 month old without any trouble!

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C.S.

answers from Yakima on

I am with the girls who suggested the Moby wrap. I have 3 children. With my 7 year old I just used a regular baby carrier like evenflo one. With my 4 year old I used a ring sling and boy oh boy do I wish I had the Moby for all three after finding it with my now 10 month old. You can actually make them your self. I made mine for about $2.25 a piece. You can get the instructions for wrapping yourself on www.mobywrap.com. It looks hard and intimidating but it is really easy after a time or two. If you want the instructions to make them just email me at [email protected]____.com is really easy and takes no sewing.

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A.Z.

answers from Portland on

Hi T.,

I would recommend a wrap or asian style carrier from the description of what you need. I have many different styles at my house that you are welcome to try on and see if they work for you. I only sell two types on my website, but working on getting a third one on my website in conjunction with another local WAHM who makes them. So I can give you a good deal on any I sell or if you like a different one, I can pojnt you in the right direction for places to buy them new or used at really great prices. Once you find a carrier or two that you love, you will be so happy!

Many moms find they end up using different tyoes for different occassions. If I am wearing my baby for a long time, I wear a wrap because it is so comfortable and the weight is evenly distributed over my entire back. If I need to run in and out, then I prefer an asian style carrier. Slings are super handy and small, but they pull on my shoulder and hurt my lower back after a short while, so it's not my personal preference, but many moms really love them, so it's worth trying one on and seeing how it works for you and your little one. The key is to put it on and carry your baby around and see how you feel and how comfortable your little one is. If they are miserable, you will be soon! If you need any advice, please let me know!

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J.P.

answers from Portland on

I loved my Moby carrier. It looks a bit complicated but try it 2x and you'll get the hang of it, no problem. It was the most comfortable for my body and for my son just snuggled up inside. There are many positions you can carry your little one in and I have no doubt that she will be able to sleep comfortably. Good luck!

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C.B.

answers from Seattle on

An Ergo is the way to go. I LOVE mine and hey hold from infant up to like 40 lbs and can be worn on the front, hip and back. They have them downtown at the Chifferobe and a lot of online stores have them. Try this site to check it out. Good luck!

http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/

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E.T.

answers from Seattle on

I would go with a non-stretchy wrap or an Asian-style carrier at that age. Both will hold a child securely on front or back, and support the child's weight across both shoulders and your waist.

Some people log slings but I never found them as comfortable. (We use them all the time now that my daughter is older because she's constantly wanting in and out and in and out, but it's still not as comfortable!)

I would NOT get a Moby Wrap because it's not really as useful or comfortable once your child gets heavier -- my daughter was a peanut and we were done with the Moby around 6 months.

I'll be the odd mom out and say I had an Ergo and hated it. But, I'm pretty short-waisted and I think that was the problem -- it was just too "tall" for me.

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A.B.

answers from Seattle on

We use and like the Ergo carrier. It is a bit on the expensive side but is easy to use and really puts the weight of the baby on your hips instead of your back. I use it when we go shopping or just for a stroll around the neighborhood.

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B.B.

answers from Portland on

try - www.toocutebabyslings.net -
I wore my baby to work and everywhere with a sling I got off Target.com - it's since been passed on to 2 other mommies and it just keeps going 'cuz everybody loves it....but a friend found a salem oregon mommy based bussiness called Too Cute Baby Slings for 1/2 the price and almost the same idea - very versitile!!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.K.

answers from Portland on

Hi T., Congrats on your new little one!

My best advice is to go online to www.mothering.com and look at their babywearing advice section. They have many baby carriers listed along with how to use them. It's VERY helpful!

1 mom found this helpful
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T.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hi T.,

I would recommend the Ultimate Baby Wrap. I got this for my shower and I love it. As far as versatility, you can use it as a front carrier, back carrier, side carrier and sling. It looks intimidating at first but if you watch the DVD that comes with it you will get the hang of it in no time. My 2 month old son loves it because he can be snuggled right next to mom. I love it because it is a total back saver.

Good Luck,
T.

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A.L.

answers from Seattle on

I have the Yamo and love it love it!! It's a cross between an Ergo and Beco. I've tried the Beco and love it too. We used a wrap earlier on with DS2. Now, we hardly even use the stroller for DS2- we bought a Joovy Caboose before he was born thinking that both boys can sit in it- we've only taken it out once.

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J.G.

answers from Portland on

I used a Chic Pappose pocket sling when my son was that small. Still use it and he is 18 months. I also used a Moby wrap and Baby Bjiorn Active. I think there is a place and time for most carriers. No one seemed to be the answer. I think you might want to check out the pocket slings for easy use. There are lots of different brands. Also check out NINO (Nine in Nine out). It is a parenting group that can show you how to use all the carriers. Good luck!
www.nineinnineout.org/ Not sure if this link works. Hope you can find them at Milagros in N.E.

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S.S.

answers from Spokane on

I have used them all

I have back problems and there is nothing as good as an Ergo

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S.M.

answers from Portland on

Ergo is worth all the money in the world! it is the best!!
you can even use it until they are five years old as a piggy back ride helper too!
we loved ours and so did our kids!
other ones hurt our back and shoulders!

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K.M.

answers from Medford on

You need to try the Ergo Baby Carrier!!!!!! You can wear her on the front until he is 7-8 months depending on size. Then you wear her on the back. It is very comfortable and easily adjustable especially using it without anyones help. (Very important I found)I have never seen a baby look more content and safe then with the Ergo. Check it out on-line. My 15 month old always falls right asleep once we start walking. This is becoming very popular in my community and we all love it, including my husband.

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hi T.. I've had good luck with the Bjorn active carrier and
hotsling (a pouch type carrier which actually has some great fabrics). Its not bulky and easy to use once you figure out all the different positions. They can be found at www.hotslings.com. ALSO... I'd like to hear about the type of work from home you have found. I also have a 4 month old daughter and have been searching for something I can do from home. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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