My ds2 is 6 months, just starting to crawl and pull up, and suddenly wants nothing to do with the SSC that we've relied on EVERY DAY. He arches his back, throws his head back and grunts and groans in it, even if we're briskly walking outdoors, which would normally be very soothing to him.
I don't know if he just doesn't like the restraint of it, or wants to be able to see out more, or if it's just a phase since he's going through a major milestone right now?
The only other carriers I have are a sleepy wrap, which isn't supportive enough anymore, and a pouch that I could do a hip carry with, but it hurts the back too much for my liking. I really don't have the budget to be shopping for more, but I can't survive caring for my 3 year old as well without being able to carry the baby contently somehow.
I was thinking of trying a back-carry, but I hate the idea of not being able to watch/interact with him as much.
I have an Action Baby carrier, and the rim of the carrier is in line with his mouth (perfect for nomming) but I wonder if maybe he's just too low in it/carrier body is too long? His arms can't really come out over the top of it- they only fit out through the sides. I'm not sure if a bolster would work.. I guess I thought that's more for newborns. He's pretty average size, about 18 lbs.
Maybe there's a different SSC that would allow more of the "freedom" he's looking for? I know out-facing is a no-no, but it almost seems like that's what he's itching for.
Hey mama! I do think it would be worth it to try a back carry. It could be that the new point of view would be more stimulating for him, which could keep him happier in the carrier for a longer period of time, but he'd still be able to snuggle down and go to sleep if needed.
As far as the carrier being a bit tall for him right now, make sure you have the waist strap as tight as possible (without becoming uncomfortable to you!). At 6mo he may be a bit too small to comfortably ride with his arms out, but making sure that there's no gapping in the waist causing him to sink down a bit wouldn't hurt (and might even help).
I think you might have the same problem with most SSCs, except maybe the Ergo as it is notoriously short bodied (which can be good for younger babies but not so good for toddlers!). You said you have the Sleepy Wrap which he is too heavy for... have you considered a woven wrap? It would be much more supportive and very versatile, he would definitely be able to ride arms out. With a woven wrap, you'd also be able to do a high back carry, which would put his head just above your shoulder. In that position not only will he be able to see a lot, you will be able to see him a bit and talk to him easily. Woven wraps do have a little bit more of a learning curve then other carriers, but they are usually worth the effort, in my opinion.
I hope you find something that helps soon!
Sounds just like my baby. He does the exact same thing, unless he's tired, then he sometimes likes it. He does like the back carrysometimes. Then, I discovered you can do a hip hold with the ergo and I tried that, and it went pretty well.