Friday, June 17, 2011

Baby Gear Top 10: Baby Carrier

We have a number of friends who are joining the wonderful world of parenthood, so I'll be sharing information about our favorite gear for the newborn phase over the next couple weeks. Picks are not ranked in any particular order.


Get excited friends, today we're going to talk about my favorite piece of baby gear: a carrier! I use my carriers daily, often multiple times per day. I could NOT live without a good carrier!! I realize that some people prefer strollers (and we use ours at the mall, or if it's super hot, or when Lana hangs out with the grandparents), but for walks and errands, I really prefer a carrier. It's so much easier to get things done when you have both hands free. Plus, who doesn't love having their little bundle snuggled up close! (Especially when it's the only way you can get them to stop crying and sleep during the day for the first, say, 4 months of their life...!) 

So, let's talk details! We've tried at least 5 different carriers: the Beco Butterfly (our primary); two different versions of wrap carriers (like the Moby); a ring sling; and an old school Bjorn. 

A structured carrier is your best bet for taking walks, especially as your baby gets a bit heavier. Wanna lose that baby weight? Do yourself a favor and buy a carrier that you love so that you'll get out for some fresh air with your wee one every single day! When it comes to structured carriers (like the Bjorn, Beco, Ergo, etc.), the Beco is my favorite. I find the Ergo to be on the bulky side (it tends to need it's own tote bag). Our Bjorn doesn't have a waist strap, so while Lana loved the forward facing capabilities as she grew, my back could only hang for 20 minutes or so, and I'd be sore the next day. The Beco Butterfly doesn't have forward facing capabilities (unless strapped on the back), which is a bit of a bummer, but it's super comfortable for both of us and I can walk with Lana in it for hours.

Long story short, I recommend you look for a structured carrier that has front carry forward and inward facing capabilities AND a waist strap. Also, it MUST have newborn carry capabilities. If it requires an infant insert and doesn't come with one, buy it. Trust me, it's worth every penny. The Beco Gemini is the only one I've been able to find that fits the bill. (I thought that the Bjorn Comfort Carrier was another great option, but it doesn't work for infants, and I think the sooner you start carrying, the more comfortable your baby will be with it, the more accustomed your body will be to it, and the sooner you'll get out of the house! Our Beco is borrowed, so I plan to pick up a Gemini before the next babe comes along.

When it comes to unstructured carriers, like wraps and slings, I highly recommend you try borrowing multiple styles from friends to test before buying your own. I love the feel of carrying a newborn in a Moby-style wrap, but I just couldn't get mine tight enough on my own to feel secure. (Though with more practice and patience, I know they're wonderful.) Instead, I relied on my structured carrier until Lana was able to maintain a sit up position on her own. At around 6 months, I started using our ring sling religiously. The fabulous thing about a ring sling is the ease of loading/unloading. I wouldn't recommend using it for walks, but it's my go-to tool for running errands. The bummer of a structured carrier is that they take some time to get your baby in and out of, but with a ring sling, you're good to go in seconds! And know that you can use them at a much younger age, I was just most comfortable using it once Lana could hold herself up on her own.

I registered for my ring sling through the Baby Ette shop on Etsy. You can find multiple sellers through Etsy, or can find instructions for making your own online (which maybe I should test myself, considering how often I get asked about mine while out and about!)

Carriers are an investment, and an item you'll use together daily for quite some time, so be sure to do your research and talk to friends to find the one that's right for you.

Do any of you have a favorite not mentioned here that I should know about?

Happy Baby Wearing!


Lauren Z said...

I just love your site! I am also a crafter, who found you when I was looking at craft and deco ideas... Now I'm planing my wedding and you have a host of awesome ideas.....and when we start planing on kids I still know this site is what I will be looking for:) keep up the good work!

brooke said...

Thanks so much for saying hello and following my little corner, Lauren! Congratulations on your engagement! Have a FAB time with your wedding planning! The Monday Club is such a great little spot! Oh how I miss San Luis...!

jassica austin said...

I have visited your blog for the first time and found it a well organized blog. thanks for sharing. Great and useful Post. Thank you for all your efforts for this post and really once again Thank you, will keep in touch with your gear and all baby products

useful link said...

Keeping your little one close to your heart. Make them feel warmth.