Before I was even pregnant I knew I was going to carry my baby everywhere. Like Pocahontas, we would run through the wilderness together. Singing, dancing, and laughing.
I know, I know. Pocahontas didn’t have a baby – and God help the woman that runs through the wilderness with a baby strapped to her.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love, love, love carrying my baby. It is my favorite thing to do. If I didn’t have the body of a human, I would do it 24/7. But my body – strong as it is – needs help with the task.
Thankfully, brilliant parenting innovations have made my pursuit for the best baby carrier fairly painless. And I’ve tried a bunch, trust me. Some were ok, some were life-changing.
Here’s what I found:
I saw the NuRoo when I was pregnant and had mixed feelings of “that is the most bizarre thing in the world” and “holy moly, that’s brilliant”. In the end I decided I was too embarrassed to put it on the baby registry, but way too excited to forgo it, so I secretly ordered it for myself.
I LOVED it. First of all, it was the ONLY carrier that I could find that would truly hold a newborn in place – no wobbly head and I was handsfree. It’s also the only carrier I could find that truly does give you the option of skin to skin contact with your baby while still totally covering up. The material is surprisingly strong and also very comfortable.
I really can’t say that there’s a downside to this one other than it’s only useful in the newborn stage…but then again, it’s the only one that actually worked in the newborn stage. And that’s a nerveracking time, so I was very grateful to have this.
Oh, my water sling. One day I will write a love song for my water sling.
I said earlier that some carriers were life-changing – and this was that. It came to me out of desperation – my poor little innocent newborn baby hated – HATED – the bath. But, he loved to be in the shower with me. While showering with a newborn is an amazing experience and is tied to tons of benefits (breastfeeding and bonding, as examples), it can be quite an experience – they are like slippery little eels! And as you can imagine, you’re already terrified under normal circumstances, so the last thing you want is a situation where you could drop your baby.
Enter the water sling. I’ll tell you once more – it was life changing. And not just because we could all of a sudden safely and happily shower together (though that is certainly why I fell in love with it). We soon found that it is an amazing device to travel with. It’s extremely lightweight and is meant to get wet, so it’s perfect for the beach, pools, or any other water activity. It’s also just great in the heat because the material will let both your and your baby’s skin breathe.
There is absolutely no downside to this one. In fact, it is the only sling that I have used (and continue to use) at every stage of development for my baby – and surprisingly, it was the least expensive of all carriers I own.
The Sakura Bloom
The Sakura Bloom was a gift from my parents and it’s now my sling of choice and definitely gets the most use. It’s made of linen so it doesn’t stretch at all which is really important when you’re trying to secure a baby. It’s also pretty lightweight and folds up nicely, so you can easily fit it in a diaper bag – and best of all, it can be thrown in the washer whenever you want. An added bonus – it’s pretty stylish looking as far as baby carriers go and comes in lots of cool colors.
Another benefit that’s worth mentioning is the ease of use. I can put this carrier on WHILE I’M HOLDING MY BABY. This is not something that’s easily done with most carriers. But it is really a lifesaver when you have a fussy baby that just wants to be held. And it gets even better – my husband and I can actually transfer the carrier to each other while the baby is asleep in it! Literally, he falls asleep inside the carrier on me and then in one swift motion, I can slip out of the carrier while my husband slips in – while the baby is still in it. Then he can carry him the rest of the way.
A friend lent me her Ergo when my baby starting getting bigger and was convinced I would love it. Well…she was right. It was the first (and only) carrier I’d used that lets you put your baby on your back. At first, I wasn’t a fan of carrying my baby back there, but it is sooooo much easier on your back that I quickly got used to it. Surprisingly, my little guy loves being back there! The first time I put him in it he actually started laughing! He thought it was hilarious!
The only downside of this one is that it’s not quite as easy to get your baby onto your back without help. It’s also a little too bulky to fit into a diaper bag. But it is soooo comfortable! Major points for that. This one now gets a ton of use from my toddler.
The Baby Bjorn
The Baby Bjorn is quite a contraption. It’s the most “classic” carrier I own and by far the most expensive. It will definitely allow you to be handsfree and you will have no concerns about whether your baby is secure and safe. It is very well-made and allows your baby to be front-facing or back-facing which is really nice.
One thing I really like about the Baby Bjorn is that it provides fairly good head support for a baby that can’t yet hold their head up. It is a little too big to use on a newborn, but was really great at that in-between time when they’re not quite a newborn but not quite stable on their own.
A slight downside of the Baby Bjorn is that it is too large to fit into a diaper bag, so it’s not the most portable device.
The Boba Wrap (or Moby Wrap)
I thought I would love the Boba Wrap. I saw so many beautiful pictures and it seemed so earthy-meets-modern. Maybe I set my expectations too high, because I was really, really excited to use this…and then really let down.
First off, I have not the faintest idea how anyone gets this on in a pinch. And in my opinion, that’s kind of essential when you’re baby carrying. I don’t have the time to flatten the material, fold it equally, wrap it properly, adjust it accordingly, and then coax my baby into it. So I found it extremely difficult to use. I was actually convinced that I was doing it wrong until friends confirmed that they do in fact have to do that each and every time.
I will say though, once it’s on, it’s fairly comfortable. The material is very soft and it distributes the weight nicely. However, the material is not as strong as the NuRoo or Sakura Bloom and it does stretch, so your baby is not as secure one hour into carrying as they were when you started.
Finding the right carrier is no small task, but when you find the right fit, you’ll be a happy baby-wearing mama with a happy baby.
Happy carrying! (And make sure to stretch each morning…your back needs it!) If your parenting style extends far beyond baby wearing, check out my Pinterest board on Attachment Parenting!
Follow Nikki @ MBAsahm’s board Attachment Parenting on Pinterest.