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looking for a new baby carrier, need input

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have a Maya Wrap, and my son Cole and I both love it. However, I want to take him on some hiking trails when the weather warms up and the wrap just doesn't seem like it will cut it. I was looking at the Babytrekker and the Ergo carriers and they both look pretty good - does anyone have any experience with these carriers? I have a frame backpack-type carrier made by LL Bean that a friend lent to me but it's kind of big and bulky and I'm not sure if it will be a good choice? I haven't used it yet - Cole is almost 4 months old so I think he's too young for it. He'll be 6 months probably by the time we go for our first hike. Actually, our second hike - we had a warm spell about a month ago and I did take him on a trail in the Maya Wrap and it worked pretty well, but he was smaller and lighter then. My friends that I went with had a frame carrier for their 2-yr.-old and frankly it didn't work so well - he kept slipping, etc. Maybe it was just the kind they had, and the Bean one will work better? Anyway, any input on the subject will be appreciated.

Jen, mom to Cole born 10-30-02
post #2 of 20
We got a frame-style backpack carrier for Xmas. We have "test-driven" it while on a long walk through our local park. Our 6 mo DD seemed to really enjoy it, and DH said it was comfortable. But the only problem was when she fell asleep in it there was no head support, and her head just lolled over to one side. So for an even younger baby, I don't think this would be good (though probably you can get some sort of head support device as an attachment).

I haven't tried any of the other backpack style carriers, but the ergo one looks good and has recently been "reviewed" on the Life With a Babe forum.
post #3 of 20
We have a Baby Trekker - I would highly recommend it! Dd is 20 pounds now and admittedly, getting a little heavy to carry in the front position for more than an hour or so. The back position is still comfortable for both of us, although it is kind of a pain to get her in it that way (takes two people for me).

We have a external frame backpack too, and the one advantage for using it for hiking over the Trekker is that I can keep the bugs off of her. We purchased a sun shade canopy/frame that goes over head and attaches to the backpack, and then I sewed up a 'bag' made of mosquito netting to go over the whole thing.
post #4 of 20
I just got a Didymos specifically to use in the rucksack carry for walking in the warmer weather. I got it now so that we can practice.

The thing is intimidating, and I got the size recommended for the rucksack carry which I think is too small and I'm trying to sell the one I have and replace it with a larger size.

But the size 3 has been enough for us to practice with. Dd took a day or two to understand that she has to climb on my back and stay there awhile while I fumble with it. I can't say it's easy or painless, but I think we need more practice and we're doing well considering how imtimidating the thing is and how few times we've used it.

Dd loves it. She asks for it, and when she's riding she exclaims with glee "backpack!"

I think it will work well for us. I stopped using the backpack we had when she was 8 months old and almost jumped out by propelling herself upwards on the bar on the bottom.

The other thing I like about it is that if she wants to change to a hip carry and nurse awhile while I walk, you can re-tie the Didymos to allow that - I admit I haven't tried that yet but it makes more sense to me than carrying a second sling.

My biggest recommendation if you go with this is that you invest in one of the larger sizes, and buy from a place that takes exchanges, like kidsnature.com. I got mine directly from Germany and they are willing to make the exchange but I think the postage will kill me.
post #5 of 20
I just bought a Baby Trekker and LOVE it! My only regret it not getting one sooner. I now take my 26 month old, 25+ pound child for regular walks with no back pain. I have a bad back so this is saying a lot. I would suggest the chest strap for the backpack position. You can order it as an accessory. I can't wait to use the Trekker on a new little one. The sling is okay but one arm is blocked from use in the hip position, and with my bad back the rear carry position hurts. Not so with the Trekker.

edited to add that in the backpack position you can set the Trekker on the sofa or on the back seat of the car, sit your baby on it in the upright seated position, and then put it on as usual with no need for another adult to help you.

post #6 of 20
Do you use the babytrekker in the front position? How does that work for you?
post #7 of 20
I have used it in both positions. I have a curved back so the front position is actually more comfy for me, but she's tall and her head gets in the way of my mouth. Otherwise it would still work great. She feels insecure facing out but loves facing in chest to chest still. She's been asking for the Baby Trekker by name lately, so it's a hit!

post #8 of 20
USAmma, you've gotten me thinking. The Didymos is great: when Dd wants to get into it. Using it requires her cooperation. Today I could not get her in when I wanted to take her to work with me. Grrrr.

Does the Baby Trekker require any cooperation or can you pick up your Dd and plop her into it?

I hope I can hold out with the Didymos until Dd is old enough to be more cooperative.
post #9 of 20

Has your dd fallen asleep in the backpack position? If so, does her head hang back or is it supported? I have a frame backpack & agree this is a problem in it. I wondered if the Trekker is better in this? It looks from the photos like babe could rest her head on your back?
post #10 of 20
Does the Baby Trekker require any cooperation or can you pick up your Dd and plop her into it?
In the front position you just have to secure the waistband, then hold the baby in place while securing one strap, then secure the other strap. I was able to do this with my toddler so I imagine it's easier with a smaller baby.

With the backpack position, it does require the baby to stay laying over the pack while you put it onm similar to Didymos. The instructions say for a crawling baby to hold onto the shoulder straps to keep baby in that position while you put the Trekker on. I haven't tried this with a crawling baby. My toddler stays put just fine because she enjoys riding in it and can follow instructions.

It definitely takes practice and it lives up to its nickname of "octopus" when it's not being worn. lol! I mastered it in one day with dd's cooperation. When on it's very, very comfy. I like the fact that the front pouch turns into a Trekker carry bag when you turn it inside out. Although we have used it so often that I don't bother storing it that way.

Has your dd fallen asleep in the backpack position? If so, does her head hang back or is it supported? I have a frame backpack & agree this is a problem in it. I wondered if the Trekker is better in this? It looks from the photos like babe could rest her head on your back?
She's never fallen asleep in it that I know of, so can't help you there. I imagine if she was tired I'd wear her in the front position instead. She has rested her head on my back and also pats me and kisses me. :-) I can tell she feels very snuggly in it and close to Mommy.

I used a frame pack for awhile but *my* frame is too small for those to fit properly at 5'4". What irritated me further was that she would lean to one side to see past my head and I would be walking like one of those V-8 commercials, and it was the same side every time. When she fell asleep she could rest her head on the frame, and later as she was bigger on my shoulder. It was very uncomfortable though, like a dead weight.

post #11 of 20
Putting a baby in the Trekker does not require their cooperation - you just pick them up, hold them firmly, and strap them in!

My problem with the back position is that my dd will not hold still long enough for me to get the straps in place! Granted I haven't tried it for a few months, and she is definitely capable of understanding some instructions now.
post #12 of 20
Well, I can't speak for the Trekker or the Didymos.... but I just ordered and received the ErgoBaby backpack and I LOVE IT!!!! It is sooooo comfortable. And dd (almost 6 mos and on the big side) fell asleep in it.... it has this head support that you can pull up and attach quite readily if/when the baby falls asleep. It's kind of tricky to get her in on my own, but after a few tries I can do it, and she is certainly not helping out at this age! I highly recommend it.
post #13 of 20
Is the ergo tricky in the front position?
post #14 of 20
mamajulie, i haven't tried it in the front position, but i'll do so this weekend and get back to you....
post #15 of 20
Just a "report" after taking dd to the zoo today in the Trekker. She fell asleep on the way to the zoo, and once she's out, she's out for awhile (must have been from slinging her and her napping on the go from birth). So when we got there I set up the Trekker on the back seat, then lifted her out of her carseat and on the Trekker, secured the belt, and then slipped the shoulder straps on. Amazingly she stayed asleep! I set her way down so she was practically sitting on the belt, so the back of the Trekker was about at her shoulder blades. She slept soundly while I walked around the zoo and woke up about 30 minutes later.

So yes, they can sleep comfortably in the back position. Her head was resting on my back. I had the pocket stuffed with a diaper change, wipes, a sippy cup, and my wallet and keys, so no extra bag to carry. :-)

BTW I saw a dad wearing a Didymos!! It was pretty but I think the Trekker was a whole lot easier to put on from the looks of the way it was all tied up. I'm sure he had help getting the baby on.

post #16 of 20
My Ergo came today--I like it, but I can't get it on by myself. That's a major drawback, IMHO.
post #17 of 20

Practice it a few times -- I was able to after a few tries!
post #18 of 20
Were you able to get it on by yourself in the front position?
post #19 of 20
I got it on by myself! It hurts my back a little, but I have a bad back.
post #20 of 20
The backpack postion for the Didymos is not as complicated as it looks. I actually created my own variation that works better on my bony shoulders and bad back. The problem I still have is that I can only use it when Dd is willing to get up on my back. She's used to being in the front, and while she likes the back postion, sometimes she will only want the front and will not cooperate. I hope this will improve as she gets older and can more easily understand "if you want to come to work with Mom (downstairs from home), you have to be in back." One can hope, anyway.
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