Find The Right Carrier
Babywearing isn’t a new concept. Women all over the world have been wearing their babies for centuries. For the rest of us, Dr Sears made the term popular in the 1980s, and in recent years the trend has grown. Read on for a list of some of the current baby carriers, wraps, as well as been-there, worn-that mom opinions.
The Ergo is a soft carrier that grows with your little one. Ergo carriers can be used with young infants if you purchase an insert, and they're functional well into toddlerhood. While the manufacturer recommends an upper weight limit of 40 pounds, the Ergo has been tested for children up to 90 pounds. It is also highly adjustable for Mom and Dad, accommodating many heights and sizes.
"I battle sciatica and hands down, the Ergo has been my favorite. I've tried every carrier on the market and the Ergo seems to distribute the weight evenly across my neck, shoulders and back."
-- Kate D, mom of four
The ERGOBaby Carrier is a popular choice and was awarded 1st place in the 2010 SheKnows.com Parents' Choice Award for best baby carrier in the Baby Gear and Equipment category.
An alternative to an adjustable sling, a Hotsling is made up of one piece of material that has slight give and allows your baby to be held in a few different positions. You can select your size based on manufacturer specifications for height, weight and bust size.
"I liked the Hotsling. It was easy to get on and off and wasn't as hot as the Ergo. It's basically one small piece of fabric, so it's super-easy to transport."
-- Kelli K, mom of one
The Moby Wrap is made up of one large piece of fabric that is wrapped over both shoulders. The manufacturer notes that it distributes your baby's weight across your entire back as well as your shoulders. You have several different carrying position options, and it is suitable for infants and children up to 35 pounds.
"When my daughter was little, I liked the Moby Wrap for at-home use because it was compact and made it easy for me to do things around the house."
-- Stacy C, mom of one
Stacy isn't alone. The SheKnows.com editors picked The Moby Wrap as the Editor's Choice award winner in the 2010 SheKnows.com Parents' Choice Award for best baby carrier in the Baby Gear and Equipment category.
A Mei Tai Baby is a carrier made from a rectangular shaped piece of fabric. It has ties on all four corners and your child can be worn on your front or back. It works for newborns, toddlers and everyone in between.
"I loved the Mei Tai! My daughter [adopted as an older infant] was frightened when we were out in public and in the airports. She would tuck her head down and the Mei Tai allowed her to hide completely."
-- Karin B, mom of one
The ring sling is made of a long piece of fabric and two rings. Simple, right? By following the directions, you can carry your baby in a variety of positions. Even better, ring slings are great for nursing. Your kiddo can safely fit in your ring sling until she reaches 35 pounds.
"For me, the ring sling was the most versatile and adjustable. I could nurse in it very easily. It was also super-easy to get a sleeping baby into and out of and super-fast to get on and off."
-- Nicki B, mom of four
There are so many carriers to choose from that we can't possibly list them all. Many parents also like the Baby Bjorn, the Beco, the … well, there really are that many! Do some research, ask around and make a selection – or several. New mom Rachel S, who has four different carriers, says, "I wear the baby eight-plus hours a day, so they have all gotten a lot of use!"
And even if you're not a babywearing kind of gal, remember the main benefit of babywearing, other than convenience: keeping your baby close to you. When asked about her favorite carrier, mom Mary Kate H's response sums it all up: "Just my own two arms. Nothing else needed and you can take them anywhere!"
Read more about babywearing