Friday, January 14, 2011

Baby Wearing–Carrier Comparison

I have a few different carriers that I have been using for Eva over the past fourish months. Most often, I wear Evalyn at some point every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes at home to have some snuggle time. I thought it might be useful to some of you for me to give a little comparison of the carriers I have, what I think of them, and what I like/dislike about them. Remember these are simply my own opinions from the experiences I’ve had with them in the past few months. I have no affiliation with any of the brands that I am discussing and what works for me might be entirely different than what works for you.

Maya Wrap Ring Sling

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At this point, this is my least favourite carrier. However, this might change as she gets older. I picture myself enjoying this sling as a hip carrier more. Right now, I find it is the most difficult sling to position her properly in and it does not allow me to be hands free. I always feel like I have to have a hand on her. Perhaps I haven’t practiced with it enough or I need an experienced baby wearer to help me figure out exactly how to wear it, but so far, it hasn’t impressed me. My good friend was over last week and I remembered her using a ring sling with her babes so I asked for some help. She told me she preferred it for the hip carry, as well. She helped me get Evalyn in it in the cradle position, and it was most definitely the most comfortable we had been with it for a while, but the problem is that I needed her extra hands to tighten it properly while I held baby in place. Needing two sets of hands to get the baby into a sling properly and comfortably sort of defeats the purpose for me. I liked it for the first 3-4 weeks when she was a tiny newborn and could be totally and completely tucked away inside it (as you see in the above photo). But once she got too long to go in in the newborn hug hold, I started to find it to be difficult to adjust properly.

One thing i do like about the ring sling is that it’s the only one that I have been able to successfully breastfeed in. I have yet to attempt to breastfeed in any carrier in public, but I have been able to nurse Eva in the ring sling at home. It required some super awkward adjusting though, so I’m not sure how keen I’d be on attempting in public. For me, I think it’s easier to just sit down for 5-10 minutes to nurse.

Also, the ring sling is adjustable in size so both the Dude and I can wear her in it which is a benefit, although I think he has only put her in this carrier once, and that was in her first week of life.

I find this sling a bit bulky. It’s not easy to grab and go so it stays hung on the hook on the back of her door most of the time. Lucky for me, I got it at Once Upon a Child for 8.00 so I’m not too upset about the lack of use I’m getting from it. And like I said, there is a good chance I may start to enjoy it more when she’s strong enough to go on my hip.

Moby Wrap

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I love the Moby Wrap for things like going for a long walk and doing things around the house. I don’t like the Moby for times when I will be needing to take baby in and out multiple times (i.e. church, mall etc). Because the wrap itself requires more work to get on and off, it’s not useful for me unless I’m I going to be putting baby in and leaving her there. Some people say that they just leave it tied onto themselves and take baby in and out but I find that eith each transfer, it gets looser and looser and I end up needing to retie it to tighten it anyway. One thing I find, is that the Moby wrap seems to sag. If I carry Eva in it for a walk around the block, I find that by the end of the walk she is much lower than she was at the beginning. I have to make a conscious effort to tie it super tight. It needs to feel almost TOO tight at the beginning.

We liked the newborn hug hold, and are now enjoying the cradle hold, the hug hold, which allows her feet to be in or out, and the forward facing hold, which allows her to look around. She loves this especially when she gets to look in the mirror (as you can see in the above photo with her Nana). I also like that I can tuck her feet in in the forward hold for when it’s cold. We chilled out like this at the arena over Christmas while the rest of the family skated. You can’t actually see the hold in the photo since she’s zipped under my coat but you get the idea.

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Until she was able to go forward facing, I didn’t love the Moby if she was going in at a time when she wanted to be awake. Most of the other holds, I find, don’t allow her to look around very much.

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If she’s going in at a time when she’s going to fall asleep, it’s great because she can be tugged in and snuggle up with me. She likes both the cradle and the hug hold for sleeping. I find it easy enough to switch her from forward facing to cradle or hug when she’s getting sleepy without disturbing her too much.

Again, I like that the Moby wrap is adjustable so both E and I can use it. It’s handy to have if we are going to be somewhere where we might like to switch off and both be able to wear her. And yes, the Dude does wear her. Definitely not as often as I do, but he does. He’s worn her to go for walks (and I’m sure this will start to occur more when the weather gets nice and she can go on his back), and he sometimes wears her when he does stuff around the house. I may or may not have a photo of him wearing her while vacuuming to prove it, but I was not given permission to share it.

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Pouch Slings

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I have three pouch slings. One is a handmade version of the Peanut Shell and the other two are Seven Slings pouch slings (which I got for free, I might add). I adore both of these types of slings. My experience with them is opposite of my experience with the ring sling. I did not like the pouch sling for the first two months or so. I found it was very difficult to get her in there without feeling like I was cramming her in. I always felt like she was too squished. At first, I thought it was because my first pouch sling (the peanut shell type) was too small for me. Now I know that this is not the case so I think that maybe I felt like she was too fragile as a newborn to be crammed in there. Now, I feel like I can kind of stuff her in there without breaking her.

I feel the most secure when she is in the pouch sling. I can be hands free and not worry about her slipping out. This is not to say that I just pop her in there and go on my way – but I am able to eat, do dishes, shop, carry things, and so on, without worrying that she’s going to fall out if I don’t have a hand on her at all times.

I love that these slings are compact (especially the Seven Sling – so tiny). They fit easily into my diaper bag without taking up a lot of room. They are a quick on and off, unlike the others that require adjusting and/or tying. They are not adjustable, though, so only I can use it. However, because mine are all flowery, I’m pretty sure the Dude wouldn’t wear her in it anyway!

I use the pouch slings at church, in the mall, when I’m eating, when I’m at a friend’s house, and at many other times. I find them to be the best for getting her to sleep when we’re somewhere other than home and she can’t sleep in her crib. She very rarely will fall asleep in our arms anymore, but if we put her in a sling, then she will. It works great for wearing her at the grocery store, or in the mall, or whatever, because I can easily put her in while I’m sitting in the car, put my winter coat over both of us backwards, and keep her warm enough while I walk from car to store – although I’m sure I’m quite a site while I’m doing it since people can’t see her and probably wonder why I have my coat on backwards.

The handmade pouch sling I have boasts that you are supposed to be able to breastfeed in it, but I don’t really see how that would work, unless I was naked, and didn’t have to fiddle with getting my shirt out of the way. And, um, I’m not really going to do that. Something tells me that people at the mall would not be pumped if I was wearing my baby – and only my baby.

There are a smaller number of carrying positions with the pouch sling. At this point, for us it’s either cradle or upright cradle, which allows her to look out a bit more. Eventually we’ll be able to do a hip carry, but not quite yet. The handmade one I have has a padded rail and a bit bigger pouch than the seven slings type, so I am starting to be able to put her on my hip a little bit in that one, as I can pull it up over her back and tuck her arm in, reducing the chance that she’ll loose control and wobble out. But, I have only done this twice and only to experiment with it really. She’s not quite strong enough to go in that position for any length of time, or at a time where I’d want to be hands free.

So there you have it – that’s my take on those three types of carriers. There are many many others that I haven’t tried and I’m sure that many of you have had experiences that are different from my own. What’s your favourite baby carrier?

10 comments:

Jillian said...

I can't wait to try all mine out!!

Katie said...

I have a ring, and a pouch sling (and a jeep carrier type thing) and although I swore I'd be a baby-wearing mommy--my back just cannot handle it :( I hate my messed up back sometimes. I did wear her a lot when she was REALLY little...but kind of had to stop that. I'm okay with it, but I do wish I could wear her a little more. :)

Good post, especially for new mommas....!

Bon said...

I have the Moby and dislike it for the same reason (loosens with wear). I find as I work, walk she shifts lower and lower. Thanks for the reviews.

Tricia's Tellings said...

I may need your help in showing me how to wear the seven slings sling. kinda confusing so far when i practiced but alas no baby to practice with yet either!!! :)

Jaclyn_Rose said...

Do you buy the seven slings one at a certain size just for you? is that why it's not adjustable?

I have something similar to a moby, it's called a "hug a bub" from Australia, and it's good... it doesn't loosen very much at all. But I agree that it's difficult if you aren't going to leave baby in there for very long. And maybe because I didn't use it enough, I found baby would get angry while I was getting him in and it would take a long time to get it tied and him in... but I will try to use it more with the next one.

When he got bigger I bought a used "snugli" and LOVED how easy it was to get him in and out... husband liked it too because it was easier, and we could put him on the back easier with it. It's probably not as ergonomically correct though for your back and weight distribution, but I liked it.

Jackie said...

I did the Moby for a short time, but was so big so fast (20 lbs at 6 months--she even out now though ;) that I only used it for about 2 months, as it hurt my back. I liked it though, wished I could have got more use out of it.

Amanda said...

One thing with the ring sling is to make sure it's "cupped" over your shoulder to help it distribute weight better. I think there are some YouTube videos showing more how-to info and finer points of wearing. That Moby looks so cool! I think my kids would have loved it when they were small :)

d.a.r. said...

My SIL said the same thing about the moby--it is great but it stretches out. And she had toddler sized new borns and said they just stretched it out SO much that it was pretty worthless. But, she loves her Maya wrap.

This is fun, I'm glad yall are having babies before me so I get all of the good reviews:)

Anonymous said...

Hi there!

My favorite carrier is by far the Ergo. It is expensive, but well worth the cost as it can carry up to 40 lbs comfortably.

Hope that helps!

Rashell
seashellsters@gmail.com

Cristina said...

I wish I would have had one of these...I don't know why I never thought to buy one!