It took another baby and another maternity leave to get me in the blogging spirit. Life as a full time teacher and full time mom made it near impossible to keep up with all the writing that I wanted to do. However, I am going to try in the future to make this a priority as I love documenting interesting things that I have found about life, love, mommyhood and everything in between!
So baby wearing and I have gone together like bread and butter since my first son was born. Since then I have grown quite a collection of carriers and have created lists of pros and cons for each and every one that I have used. I thought that others looking to compare and contrast carriers might enjoy this information from my personal experience. Also, veterans to baby wearing may see something they haven't tried before and, from my review, try it out! So here it goes.
The very first baby carrier I purchased was a Baby Buddha that was included with a lot of children's clothing and products locally bought off of kijiji. The entire lot cost $80 from what I remember, so scoring a $129 carrier felt like a true find! Plus I was extremely happy that this was a Canadian made product. This 'wrap' comes in three sections that can be worn as a pouch or as an ergonomic, legs out carrier that you normally see. Because it was the only thing I had, I loved it. My son was extremely colicky and needed a lot of extra care. This let me be close to him while allowing access to my arms to do all the things moms need to do in the run of a day. In the picture to the left, my son was about 4 weeks old. I used this carrier until he was big enough to sit legs out and upright during our walks. However, I found that after awhile he was getting 'too heavy' for the wrap and I would be constantly adjusting on the relatively short/ moderate walks we were taking. Now these do come in 'sizes' and since it was purchased second hand, the lack of support might have been due to incorrect fit. Their website and instructional 'how-to's' show that this carrier can be used from newborn to toddler, so I'm assuming that if you had the right fit it could be a great carrier for you.
Because I wanted to do long walks with my son on country roads, I needed to make sure I had something that could last hours without having to adjust straps/ buckles/ snaps or ties. I read a lot of reviews and thought I would try the Ergo next. Since Ergo themselves do not ship to Canada, I purchased mine from Ebay. A bonus to this carrier is that they offer different styles to fit your needs and climate. The one I chose was the Ergo Performance which retails for $140. For the next year this was my go to carrier. I loved the support it gave me, and my son was content to be in it for hours. The only downside is how it made my post baby body look when I back carried. I wanted to make sure everything was nice and snug, which meant for a lot of... uh.... spill over in certain areas. That being said, I still enjoyed it immensely. So much so, I was a little bit over protective about it though as I didn't want anyone to adjust my buckles. I needed something I could put on at a moments notice and although this can be adjusted easily for different body types, trying to do so with a cranky overtired baby isn't very fun.
That's when I started eyeing wraps and slings. At first these beautiful fabric carriers were scary to me. I mean, how does one even BEGIN to tie one of those securely enough to keep a baby in? But I was ready, I mean, I was a baby wearing veteran by this time so I was up for the challenge.
|This photo was taken as soon as my sling arrived. The rings|
are not in the proper position but I kept the photo because
I was so excited it finally came!
Now with baby number two here you would think I would have this baby wearing thing figured out and grab my go to carriers and be done with it. Oh, how you are wrong. I am a baby wearing junkie remember? There is always something new to try from my experience and Babyhawk was the next carrier on the horizon.
I was introduced to BabyHawk Mei Tei by a friend who was able to snatch a second hand one for me to try. I was lured into their beautiful carriers by all the fantastic prints and their design but after spending retail on two carriers and having three to choose from at home, explaining the need for a forth to hubby was stretching it a bit, especially without trying it beforehand (Note from Hubby: Hubby edits blog and agrees).
|The carrier I won from Babyhawk :)|
Since my second son has been born, he spends most of his baby wearing hours in a Babyhawk. Once I became a fan of their facebook page, I was excited to see that they have contests in which they offer a chance to win an array of their products. I would enter any I could because although I loved the functionality of the carrier I purchased, because it was second hand, it really wasn't my style. Not that I was complaining, but I thought I might try for a new one if I was lucky enough. I was ecstatic to find out I was chosen from an open contest of over 350 applicants (I lost count) in which we were asked to describe our "wishes" for our children to win a customized carrier featuring their new print.
My newborn has been happily carried in the Ergo by his father. (He laid claim to that carrier quickly once I moved on to the sling and Babyhawk.) I wore him briefly during a grocery trip in which I didn't want to lug out a stroller in the sling, which is still faithfully in our car. It was OK but I still prefer a sling for when babes are a little bigger. And finally, my new little guy gets daily carrying love in one of my two Babyhawk carriers. Usually my French Lilac one.... because it's just so pretty! His older brother ? Well, if you can catch him, you can try and wear him but that guy is on the MOVE! In his words, you better be wearing your 'fast skates' (What a Canadian boy) in order to stand a chance.
Finally, I'm going to be happily trying out a woven wrap after I attend MommyCon in Boston; as it is a part of the VIP swag package. Eeeeek! I think that will mean I have officially tested every 'type' of baby carrier out there so stay tuned as I will update this baby review at that time. Hopefully this long review has helped shed some light through my personal journey of baby wearing to what option might work best for you and your family.
What's your carp ?