I know there are a lot of different preferences, but I'd like to know what are the most popular and well-liked out there now?
My husband prefers his ring sling. I gave away my Moby , which only works for me when they are really tiny. Love my Didymos and Babyhawk. I would really like to get a Beco, too, since I have a very active 4 year old to chase around during my older kids' activities/practices/classes. Oy. I'm getting tired just thinking about it...
DS1 and DS2 were both August babies, but we used the Kangaroo Korner fleece pockets with them and LOVED it, especially as the months grew colder. I love the lack of stuff (straps, tails, rings, etc), and that I could just wear it around the house with or without a baby in it. It was totally easy to pop them in and out in kangaroo position, where I could kiss the tops of their heads, or, with my second one, smell the top of his head. (He was one of those babies who smells just... magical.) DH and I could also use the same sling, since they are adjustable to a point, and he and I are not that different in terms of size.
With an April baby, we'll start with the fleece pocket, but may get a cotton version as the months march towards summer.
Courtney - I got my Ergo used on Diaperswappers when I was pregnant with DD. I still see them on there all of the sudden .... still not cheap, but I have seen them for around $60 which is a lot cheaper than new!
Diaperswappers is a message board for discussing, buying, and selling cloth diapers - but they have a babywearing section where you can get all sorts of different carriers used - and then resell whatever you might not like.
I just looked, and hey, they redesigned the Ergo for a wider range of bodies! Back when I was shopping a year or so ago the regular Ergo barely fit my 34" waist; the ErgoSport was a better fit, but it wouldn't have worked for my much larger husband. But now the regular one goes up to 43"! Glad I looked because I've been advising larger people away from the Ergo for awhile. Maybe it'd actually be comfortable for me too (I found the belly panel on the Ergo really annoying, possibly because it barely fit at its largest size).
For versatility though you still can't beat the wrap. However, that does get interesting with larger bodies. For instance, I prefer the moby-style wrap, which requires a lot of fabric. If you do a less fabric intensive wrap there's too much excess fabric with the longest length wrap. Which is why I have a long woven wrap and a short woven wrap.
The regular ergo still didn't fit my husband when we tried it (2XL) but the ergo perfomance did, so that's what we are getting for him. I hope it will also fit me, I didn't try it on. We have a moby wrap as well, and I want a mei tai. I'm hoping that's enough variety, we may add more. I am not sure what mei tie I want. I don't like ring slings or pouches from trying them out sans baby. If it really works with the wrap though, then I will add a woven wrap later too.
With DD I used a cotton ring sling for the infant phase and then an Ergo as soon as she could hold her head up and straddle me. I also had a baby bjorn that I never used--gave that one away. My best friend has the "new" (well, new since my last pg) infant insert for the Ergo, so I'm going to borrow that. I also got rid of the ring sling, but I found a Maya Wrap ring sling for $10 so I'm going to give that a try.
So I have an Ergo and a ring sling, and I'd like a Moby wrap (think I can borrow one to try it) and an infant-appropriate soft structured carrier. The Ergo is hands-down my favorite, because I was able to use it FOREVER. I think they have waist extension belts you can buy, if that would enable anyone to buy a used one online. DH is (or was) able to wear the (older) Ergo with the belt let all the way out sitting below his belly. He wears a 36 or 38 but has no butt.
I loved my Ergo, but I have to wear it almost on the biggest setting and I'm not a huge person - tall and big boned, but not overweight (size 10ish)! Good to hear they starting making them a bit bigger! I still have my old one and it's in great condition so I will keep it. They DO sell waist band extenders which I think we will have to get for my DH! The infant insert they sold when I had DD was awful, but my sister has the new version and it is great - so I got one of those as well which will make the Ergo a great carrier for birth-3ish.
But I still do want a Beco, even though I can't really justify it :)
i absolutely loved my moby! i just thought it was very versatile with all the different ways that you can wear baby. i've been meaning to try the back carry with my toddler, but then i got pregnant and now i'm afraid to do it with my belly! i would like to try an ergo, but they are so expensive!
I used my Maya wrap for years and ended up making a few copies, some with a little padding, some without and some from knitted material. I only have my original left as I had a bad habit of losing them on airplanes! I also liked the knit wrap around slings. There is a learning curve but really worth it once you get the hang of it. but nothing beats the simplicity of a ring sling IMHO. great for discreet breastfeeding, too.
I have yet to meet a baby carrier I didn't like!
I love wraps. Moby is awesome the first month or so, but now that I have a few didys, I'm sure I will be using those in the early days too.
I had a maya wrap and a maya pouch for my first and those were fantastic. I still have them but they were not the best with my low toned second baby. I moved to a wider cotton psling and it was fantastic (but not exactly the same as a typical ring sling.) It is kind of the best of both a ring sling and a pouch all in one. I also had a linen pslin, but it was too fragile for me (but so, so beautiful!) I tried a high end silk sling and it was too much fabric for me. I love my simple single layer silk sling with a pocket. It's red and shiny, so it's my fancy sling. I love my water sling. I have one made of the dicontinued solarveil and it has become very soft. It dries fast. I use it all summer in Florida for water fun.
Wraps, shorties and long ones, were the best and most versital.
I like a mei tie. They are very comfortable. I had a baby hawk but sold it since it was not being used much. I still have my kozy carrier, and it is awesome for a bigger kid. I gave it to my sister, wraps were too much for her.
I want to try an ergo, they look great for daddy and a heavy kid.
If I could only have 1, it would be a long cotton wrap. If I could have 2, I would have a wrap and my psling. 3 would be a long and short wrap and the psling. 4 would be the 2 wraps, the psling and my water sling. From there it's all wraps.
I never did like the ring sling I had. It was just not comfortable for me.
I love, love, LOVE wraps though! I loved it all the way up until age 2 1/2. Then they just want to walk too much. lol I used it daily until the crawling stage though. I never did like having my infant on my back though. Toddlers, yes, infants, no.