Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baby Carriers

Before Sprout was born, I made a linen ring sling for him & just after he arrived, I serged the edges of a long piece of fabric to make a wrap carrier too. I like both for different purposes. The ring sling travels with us most places in the stroller basket. I like to have it with us to pop him into if I need to burp him or soothe him & I want a hand free. I've walked a few places with it as well, though if we're going far he travels in the stroller, as I think my back would get sore after too long. At home, the wrap lives on the edge of the couch, ready for tying around my body & snugging him up to me. It's handy if he needs to be held & I need to do something else too, like sewing, laundry, etc.

I'd hoped that Papa could get used to both carriers & use them too, since both are infinitely adjustable to our different body types. Unfortunately, like many other dads out there, he doesn't really like the unstructured carriers. When we tried on an Ergo & the newer sporty version at Bean Sprouts a little while ago, Papa was much more comfortable with those, compared to a ring sling or a wrap. I liked the Ergo too, & it definitely has some advantages over the unstructured carriers. I think it would be easier to adjust than a ring sling, there's less of a learning curve to get used to it. Also, you can undo the shoulder straps while leaving the waist belt on to get the baby out quickly. I like the support hood so Sprout's little head won't flop if he falls asleep.

However, I've decided that the Ergo is not for us because I want Sprout to have the option of facing outward. I've heard from a few parents that their kids hated not being able to see everything & only liked carriers that would hold them facing out to the world. The Beco Gemini offers many positions for baby, including front-facing, so I think this carrier is the one for us. However, as it's so new, finding one in store to try on has been difficult so far. I may be able to try one tomorrow, though it's a colour I wouldn't buy (Oli won't wear mauve cherry blossom print) so I'll have to wait to actually get one...

Another reason to consider the Ergo & Beco is that they're rated for much bigger kids than the more common Baby Bjorn. That one only carries kids up to 26 pounds, which means we might only use it a year or so, depending on how pudgy Sprout gets. The Beco will hold little nippers of up to 35 pounds, which could be useful for 3-4 years. Of course, I realize that Sprouty may not want to be carried around much once he's more mobile, but it would be nice to have the option.

Do you have any experience using baby carriers? Got any tips or suggestions?

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