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Slings, wraps, and carriers

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 

There are a zillion styles to carry/wear baby and I am confused.  What has worked for you and your LO? I will be breast feeding as well, not sure if that matters on the type of carrier.  I would love to get something both DH and I could use if possible.  

post #2 of 99

I can't use slings. Even with a tiny newborn, the fact that they are only on one shoulder is more than my back can handle. I love wraps-- here in the desert especially gauze ones-- for wee babies, because they offer a ton of support and are totally customizable for size. For older kids I really like my Beco Gemini SSC (soft structured carrier). I haven't tried using a more heavy duty woven wrap, but it is next on my list!

post #3 of 99

I wore and breastfed my son in my Moby wrap for almost his entire first year of existence. We had "wrap time" every day and it was a great way to get skin-to-skin time and cuddle. I was also able to get things done around the house while he napped. It was great.


Once he was older (probably 1 1/2), I got an Ergo and started to carry him on my back. I love it! I also had some type of Mei Tei, but it was nowhere as comfortable as the Ergo. So...in my opinion, I'd get a Moby and an Ergo. The Ergo is pretty dad friendly...but not something I'd use with a really smal infant (even though they have an infant insert). I prefer the closeness of the Moby.

post #4 of 99

I loved the Moby, but could not breastfeed in it.  It just wouldn't hold him at the right angle.  I bought a very cheap used MT ($40 off babywearer) and could breastfeed like a boss in that thing.  Now that he's bigger, he still uses the Ergo a lot.  It's been one of our faves.  I love all kinds, including woven wraps, but my hands down favorites were my Kangas.  I had a J when he was little (still have it, breastfed in it all the time, plan to use it again) and an XT when he got bigger (sold it and have regretted it ever since, will probably buy another soon).  Now they even have a preschool version, which I really want to pick up.  They're a little pricey, but oh so worth it.

post #5 of 99

I have a bunch because there are different uses for each.  This is the list ranked in order of how much I love them:


1. Ring sling (RS).  If I had to only have one wrap, this is the one I would use.  I don't have the problem with the single shoulder, but I have heard that complaint before.  For me, as long as the linen was spread evenly all over my back I never had any back problems. Linen is great because it is lightweight yet still sturdy.  My DD lived in this sling for the first three months of her life. The first one we owned was a maya wrap linen ring sling. The only issue is that linen isn't as secure as your child gets heavier. I now use a double panel silk ring sling and it's my go to wrap.  Ring slings are easily portable, soft, very easy to use and figure out, and for me, incredibly comfortable for both me and my baby. DD slept in this all the time and it enabled me to live my life while keeping DD right next to me at all times. The ring makes the sling easily adjustable and very safe and secure. Highly recommend. GREAT to nurse in and DH used this too because it was totally adjustable.


2. Mei tais.  I have two of these too - one is infant size, one is toddler size.  I used the infant one all the time when I knew that I would be carrying DD for a long period of time - walking at a fair, hiking, etc. There are two shoulder straps so it does distribute the weight a bit more evenly. It takes a few more minutes to get set up, but once it is on, it's really secure and comfortable. I also learned how to do back carries with the mei tais really early and they are awesome and versatile.  If you could only have two wraps, this is definitely the second one I would own.  Be careful about brands though, some are homemade and not super safe. The infant one I have is from Babyhawk, a well respected brand. Pretty easy to nurse in and DH could use these although he didn't use them as much as I did.


3. Soft Structured Carrier (SSC). We have an Ergo. I never used this when DD was tiny because it is better once they hit at least 15lbs or so. DH used it when she was tiny though.  SSCs are similar to the mei tais, but instead of tying straps there are buckles.  It is not quite as comfortable and adjustable as a mei tail.  Not my favorite because I like my ring slings and mei tais better, but it is the only wrap DH uses now. There are other SSCs on the market and are comparable to the Ergo. I was never able to nurse in this. This was my DH's preferred wrap and it fits both of us.


4. Pouch slings.  I have a few of these, they are my backups and live in our cars.  These are tiny so they are great for backups in a diaper bag or a trunk of a car.  They slip on easily and are super fast to get the baby into, but not the most comfortable to wear long term. They aren't really secure either, so unless you are proficient at babywearing using a sling, I wouldn't recommend this for a beginner. Can't nurse in this. These are not adjustable so you can't share it with your husband. 


5. Wraps. This is a long (15 feet) piece of fabric that is wrapped around you and the baby to secure the baby to your chest.  I never really got the hang of this.  The moby wrap is supposed to be good for small babies, but for me, no matter how tight I wrapped it, I always felt DD sagging lower and lower after 15 minutes.  I used it, but not my favorite. I also have a woven and a gauze wrap.  These are just like the moby only different fabric.  You can't use the moby after about 25lbs or so, but wovens and gauze wraps I think you can use up to 40lbs.  I never got the hang of either.  I kept them in hopes that I would figure it out this time around because I know that mamas that are really serious about babywearing all seem to use wraps, so I can't help but think that they know something I don't. In any case, the learning curve was too steep for me when there were easier options. I am going to give it another shot though. I was able to nurse in the moby, but as I said, I never felt it was really that secure. Totally adjustable so DH can use it too. 


There are fantastic resources to get gently used wraps for half the retail price.  The two sites I frequent are diaperswappers.com and thebabywearer.com.  thebabywearer.com also has a ton of information about different wraps as does the forum on the mothering.com site. Youtube is also a great resource to learn how to wear the different wraps. 


Bottom line, for me, the wraps that I couldn't live without are the linen ring sling and the mei tai for the first year or so. You need to keep in mind what your goals are when selecting a wrap.  If you want something you can slip on and off and get your child into and out of really fast, the ring sling is a winner.  If you want something for long term use - hiking etc., I would recommend a mei tai.   If possible, I highly recommend that you go to a natural parenting store to try on the different styles of wraps to see what suits you.


Good luck!




post #6 of 99

Ring sling is my fave for new baby too.  When you are out and want to nurse it is absolutely nothing to lay them down and nurse.  Plus the end covers you if you prefer more modesty.


also, i also like  a stretchy wrap for around the house.  YOu can tie it on and pop them in.  Without trying to get them in and then tie it. 


But it's really just preference. See if you have somewhere that will let you try some on.  Some cloth diaper stores. Then bring a bag of flour so you'll have some idea.  LOL


post #7 of 99

Another thing about wrapping: Because I used a non-stretchy gauze wrap pretty much exclusively for the first 4 or 5 months, I became really fast at tying it. Like, before my friends with SSC's had their babies settled, I had mine in and ready to go. It becomes very second nature very quickly if you do it a lot, like tying your shoes. And also, I found that with my girl's reflux and gas issues early on, being upright in the wrap was pretty much the most ideal position possible for her. It allowed her to keep her breastmilk down easily and get her gas out easily. She practically lived in that wrap! smile.gif

post #8 of 99

I used a homemade ring sling from a friend when Elsa was brand new.  As she got bigger I preferred the Moby, but that was one I couldn't really use at the store and such, because I hated tying it on in the parking lot or the store itself because the ends drag on the dirty ground/floor.  Putting it on before I left isn't an option because I'm large and I have to tie it in the back, and I can't drive with a big knot digging into my back. 


We did an Ergo pretty much exclusively after she was six months or so.  I liked it a lot but I never felt comfortable doing a back carry with it, and once she learned to walk she was D-O-N-E with being worn.  From that point on it was walk or stroller. 


I bought a Beco to use this time because I've heard it feels more substantial for newborns and back carries.  I may also get a new ring sling.

post #9 of 99

Honestly, everybody will have different opinions on their favorites.

I love wrapping... it's versatile enough to go from birth to 3, but sometimes a quick carry is easier and for that I love my Babyhawk. .When I'm able, I really like to use my pouch sling. They all have different uses and pros/cons. :) I do not like ring slings or anything wtih buckles.

post #10 of 99

Yup, it's an entirely personal preference. Ideally, if you have a place you can try out different options, it's great to actually try them out with the baby and see what you like.  As for me, when my daughter was a newborn, I used primarily a pouch (the Kangaroo Korner--which I think is subsequently out of business). This was super easy to get the baby in and out of and fairly comfortable at least for a small infant, but not as completely hands free as I would have liked.  I had a Moby too, and count me as one of those people who never quite got used to it. It wasn't so much the wraping itself, although that was a pain, especially at 5'2'', but my daughter's head just always seemed to fall out of it. All in all my favorite "carrier" of choice for those very early days was probably my arms (a luxury that you likely only get with number 1, since it's not exactly conducive for "getting stuff done").  At three/four months I got an Ergo and never loooked back (although I still did a lot of just plain holding in my arms).  I absolutely loved the Ergo and continued to use it regularly until I got pregnant (at which point my daughter was almost 2).  My husband used a Bjorn that we had received as a present.  I don't like it nearly as much as the others, but he did and it became his carrier of choice. I think there is something that seemed "manly" about it to him, especially compared to the more sling/wrap type carriers, or maybe it's just that that's what he saw most of the men in our neighborhood wearing


This time around I am probably going to buy the Baby K'tan, which a number of friends who are on number 2 have discovered, and adore. It's like the Moby but comes partially wrapped already. And I'll probably get the heart2heart infant insert for the Ergo (which wasn't around when my daughter was an infant) and seems much better than their earlier infant insert.



post #11 of 99

I wish Bjorns and other "crotch danglers" didn't exist. They're too easy to get at Target or whatever and they're just not good for the baby, OR for support for the parent!

post #12 of 99

I have two favourites - pouch sling and Mei Tei (both homemade).

I actually have two sizes of pouch slings, one for immediately post-partum while I still have a pregnancy belly and while baby is a little smaller, I fold a receiving blanket into the bottom for easy nursing and in/out.


The Mei Tei I use a lot around the farm, but it's not so hot if I have to bend over as baby shifts around a lot. And it depends on the baby, my 2nd didn't like the froggy legs but 3rd loved it.


I use the pouch sling well into toddlerhood, I don't like carrying those dumb bucket car seats around, and I find it so much handier to have baby right there with me, easy to nurse while grocery shopping etc. :)

post #13 of 99

Oooh, I really want a wrap/combo. I loved my moby, but had to quit using it around 7 or 8 months. We also have an ergo (sport). DH's mom got it for him, but it has too much fabric for me.

I also liked my Mei Tai (Ellaroo) until I felt dd was to big for it.

I had a Maya Wrap but passed it along since it hurt my hip. That being said, I LOVED the convenience of a sling. like pop in pop out. I might try again. I have heard good things about sleeping baby.



post #14 of 99

I just freaking love babywearing.  Seriously.  One of the major things I'm looking forward to is breaking out my carriers for this new little one.  DD hasn't been interested in being worn for over a year now.


For the newborn stage I liked stretchy wraps and ring slings.  For me it took longer to learn to use a RS well, but once I figured it out it was my favorite out and about carrier.  It's quick on and off and folds (or rolls) smaller than other carriers.  The stretchy wrap is easy and comfy, but can be hot.  I prefer the upright holds in both as opposed to the cradle type holds.  I was always a bit paranoid about correct positing in the cradle holds and felt like my giant boobs really got in the way.  I haven't read all the other replies but wanted to dd that stretchy wraps should never be used for back carries.  They're not safe used that way.  Here's a video demo-ing why.


As DD got older and heavier and able to support her own head I still used the RS for quick hip carries but transitioned to a woven wrap or Mei Tai for longer back carries.  I also have a beco butterfly (an SCC) that I used occasionally, but bought that mostly for DH and my parents who are more comfortable with a more structured carrier.


I never figured out how to nurse in any carrier.  My boobs are just too big and my torso just too short.


Over all I'd say the 2 carriers that got the most use were the RS and the woven wrap.

post #15 of 99
Originally Posted by rebecca10 View Post
This time around I am probably going to buy the Baby K'tan, which a number of friends who are on number 2 have discovered, and adore. It's like the Moby but comes partially wrapped already. 


This is the kind of carrier I want for when the baby is brand new. The one I *really* want is the Blue Celery wrap (http://bluecelery.com/sling.html) but it is pretty expensive and there aren't any stores near me that carry it so I can check it out first (though it has been recommended by a friend). I also think either the K'tan or the My Baby Nest carrier would work well for me. I basically want something stretchy that goes on both shoulders but doesn't require a bunch of tying. I think I will want a woven wrap later on, once the baby is heavier and I'm more confident with babywearing. 


I bought a Beco Butterfly awhile back (on sale) and I think it will work well for my partner, and I like that it's easy to do back carrying with it when the baby is older. I don't think I will like it for back carrying, because the waist buckle will dig into my belly, but I will probably use it for front carrying. 


post #16 of 99

I don't really know what we're going to do.  I'd love to baby wear most of the time at home and especially when I have to bring the bambino into the office, but I think I will just have to try a bunch of different ones out.  We have a maternity consignment expo thing this weekend and I might see if I can pick up a few inexpensive used ones just to have on hand.  My friend will have a moby for me by the time the baby comes, so we can try that out.


Has anyone tried Seven Slings?  I've heard negative things about their quality, but I got a coupon for a free one and free seems like it would be worth it.  Unless it like self-combusts or something really unsafe.  Any experience with that brand?

post #17 of 99

The only concern I have heard about them has been cheapy fabric. 


Also, it's pretty easy to position a very new newborn incorrectly in a sling if you're laying them in it cradle style. You can use a sling and still have the babe froggied upright, and that way you have way less worry about constricting airways. Some babies really don't like it, but most do, and it also helps with aiding digestion and reflux.

post #18 of 99

I tried a Moby a few times with my niece (about 1 at the time), and it was all right, but it was HOT (I was cleaning house). And it took me forever to get it wrapped. I know it would get faster with time, but I can't ever see it getting fast enough to take to the grocery store. I've seen a lot of people use ring slings, and they look awesome, but I'm also worried about hurting my back/shoulder with one. I'm going to a cloth diaper meeting at a resale shop next week, though, so maybe they will have one I could try? Or maybe my midwife would. I will have to see!


About Seven Slings - I also got one of the coupons, and the thing is... they're not really free. The shipping is something like $12 or $15, and you have to pay extra up front if you want to be able to return it because it's the wrong size. So I don't think I'm going to get one, because I've also heard that they're pretty cheaply made and most people don't like them.


I am appreciating all the insights from you experienced ladies! Keep in the info coming!

post #19 of 99
Originally Posted by monkeyscience View Post

I tried a Moby a few times with my niece (about 1 at the time), and it was all right, but it was HOT (I was cleaning house). And it took me forever to get it wrapped. I know it would get faster with time, but I can't ever see it getting fast enough to take to the grocery store. I've seen a lot of people use ring slings, and they look awesome, but I'm also worried about hurting my back/shoulder with one. I'm going to a cloth diaper meeting at a resale shop next week, though, so maybe they will have one I could try? Or maybe my midwife would. I will have to see!

This is why I went with a gauze wrap. It's way too hot here to have more layers. As for the wrapping, I really do promise that it gets fast!! It took me around 1 to 1.5 minutes max to get Cecilia wrapped up as an infant. One way to make it faster is to leave it half wrapped-- not tied, but the first part looped around-- when driving.


post #20 of 99

I need to sell my moby, lol. I made a cotton gauze wrap... so simple. Go to Joann's buy fabric take it home wash it.. think about dying it for 4 months, finally get around to it, lol, and voila!! Beautiful wrap!




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