Best Baby Carrier of All Time? What Would You Recommend? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 34 Old 02-22-2013, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey everyone!

 

We're pulling together a guide on the best baby carrier choices to help mamas who are new to babywearing and we would love your feedback!

 

Can you tell us what your favorite baby carrier/sling of all time is in any/all of these three categories?

 

Infant to 3 Months

 

3 to 12 Months

 

12 Months and Older

 

Also, if you have a specific review of a baby carrier you would like to share we would really like to include it in the guide to help other mamas. Reviews can be left in our reviews section and I will check there as well as this thread for your feedback. 

 

Thanks so much for your help!

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#2 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 10:35 AM
 
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For special occasions: Zolowear silk brocade

 

I had a wedding to go to and was able to bring my infant.  I found a gorgeous sling from Zolowear that went with my dress and was so beautiful. I got lots of compliments on it and people wanting to know where I got it.

 

That was 6 years ago. I loved it so much that I never got rid of it, now I have it for this baby!  Just hope I have something dressy to wear it to. If not, I will use it anyway!

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#3 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 03:04 PM
 
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Ergo. Loved it! It's comfy and I can still carry my 4yo in if

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#4 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 05:42 PM
 
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Beco Gemini for all age groups. I've been using it for my second baby since she was a few days old and just today I carried my 2.75yo in it as well.

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#5 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 08:35 PM
 
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through three months, definitely the moby.

 

beyond, the ergo.  hands down the best carrier on the market.  I have found that there is a pretty overwhelming number of bw-ers that are ssc fans and there seems to be a divide between the ergo and beco.  I have both and the ergo is just way more comfortable and convenient.

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Originally Posted by mamatoabirdie View Post

through three months, definitely the moby.

beyond, the ergo.  hands down the best carrier on the market.  I have found that there is a pretty overwhelming number of bw-ers that are ssc fans and there seems to be a divide between the ergo and beco.  I have both and the ergo is just way more comfortable and convenient.

I think it must be to do with body shape or something because I also had both and really, really disliked everything about the Ergo (except the little storage pocket). I recently sold my Ergo and bought a second Beco.

I would encourage anyone who had the opportunity to try both and see which one suits them better.

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#7 of 34 Old 02-23-2013, 09:50 PM
 
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I think it must be to do with body shape or something because I also had both and really, really disliked everything about the Ergo (except the little storage pocket). I recently sold my Ergo and bought a second Beco.

I would encourage anyone who had the opportunity to try both and see which one suits them better.

I totally agree with you!  it really seems to be either/or with everyone I talk to.  I wonder if it has something to do with shoulder proportion?  

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#8 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 10:21 AM
 
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Has anyone used a mei tai?  I have been looking at an Ergo, mainly b/c it is something that can grow with baby, and I have heard such good things.  However, I am concerned about using it with a newborn.  A friend recommended a mei tai over a moby, and continues to use this with her 2 year old.  Any thoughts?  Thanks all!
 

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#9 of 34 Old 02-24-2013, 01:24 PM
 
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I am 16/17 weeks pregnant with a 6 year old special needs son (relevant because he could not walk until a year ago and is only now independently walking.)  I actually have a question at the end of the post between the Boba 3G and the ERGO

 

From 0 to 3 months:  Over the Shoulder Baby Holder Ring Sling:  When ESP was newborn/infant, he was a winter baby.  We loved the OTSBH, the extra padding all around the edge was more comfortable for both of us. Nursing was a bit tricky because I have very large breasts.  I actually got  a wedge meant to go under the breast to give it some support for feeding! At first we had an Infantino sling, but E got over heated in it - later it was recalled for just that reason.  I learned not to buy slings from companies that were just jumping on the babywearing bandwagon, but stick to companies that had been doing them long term.

 

From 3 to 12 months:  We used the HotSlings SolarVeil material sling.  The material has a texture but is not scratchy.  It is very breathable and we could use it comfortably even in the summer.  Took summer trips easily with this sling.  I actually still have this one! and am excited to get to use it again.  The new baby is due in Feb, 2013.

 

Ergo with the Infant insert (the 2007 design which is different from the 2013 design).  Both of us LOVED this carrier.  Too hot during the summer but awesome once the weather cooled.

 

My husband like the Baby Bjorn but I always had to help him get into it.  Was not my favorite because the position of the baby's legs did not seem natural.  Also got hot as we moved into Spring and Summer

 

From 12 months and older:

ERGO:  This was a fantastic carrier. I had to stop using it when ESP got taller because he did not have neck/head control.  I was never able to wear him on my back which I think would have been a very freeing option for me.  

 

This time I may try a Boba 3G, I have heard it comes up higher on the baby's bac/neck than the ERGO. Does anyone have confirmation of that????  Hopefully, this new baby boy will not have special needs but if he does, I may need the highest back option.

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#10 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 02:40 PM
 
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Infant to 3 months: The Portable Baby wrap.  It was a woven, so I could to just a simple cross carry, but had a slight stretch to hug my baby.  I adored how light and breezy it was (I'm in Texas) without making pressure points.  The middle marker is a nice touch.

 

At about 4 months, after a back injury, I switched to back carries in a Boba 3G, and I LOVE IT.  It took only a few days of practice to get him up on my back by myself without fear, and when I get the waist belt sitting right and the right tightness, all the weight is on my hips, not on my shoulders, which means I can carry him for up to an hour before I start to feel pain (unheard of, with my back issues).  The hood is easy to put on when he's sleeping, and the purse holder is a great way to keep the diaper bag from sliding off my shoulder.

 
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#11 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Grateful0326 View Post

Has anyone used a mei tai?  I have been looking at an Ergo, mainly b/c it is something that can grow with baby, and I have heard such good things.  However, I am concerned about using it with a newborn.  A friend recommended a mei tai over a moby, and continues to use this with her 2 year old.  Any thoughts?  Thanks all!
 

 

 
I have a Kozy carrier and used it for several months.  Personally, I prefer snapping buckles to tying, but I have to say that I went longer before re-adjusting with the mei tai.  I did use is successfully with both a newborn and a toddler.  Until my son was big enough for our Boba, the mei tai was the only carrier my husband would use.
 
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#12 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 03:18 PM
 
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For all ages I love my Ellaroo woven wrap. It was especially great for the early stages. We kept our DS with his legs "in" the carriers until 4-6 months per our pediatrician. The ergo with the newborn insert was hot and he outgrew it before we were ready for legs out. I use the ergo a lot more now that his legs are out. It's quick easy and comfortable. It is especially great for putting him on my back and hiking or vacuuming. I used the sling for a bit but I never seemed to feel like I could be hands free with it and it was hard on my body having all the weight on one shoulder.
A woven and an ergo are the perfect combo for us.
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#13 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 04:18 PM
 
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For infant to 3 months: Ring slings, stretchy wraps (Moby, Hug-a-Bub, etc)

 

For 3 months-6 months: Ring slings, Mei Tais, Woven wraps

 

For 6 months and up: I usually switch to back carries by this age. Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) Ergos are fine, but there are many more SSCs on the market that fit better, especially if you and/or your baby aren't average sized. i.e. petite or plus sized. (Tula, Dream Carriers, Kinderpack, Bamberoo, Beco)

 

12 Months - 4 years: Kinderpack, hands down. It is the best carrier on the market for toddlers and preschoolers. 

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#14 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 04:24 PM
 
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For Infant to 3 Months, my daughter and I LOOOOVED the Moby! It was supportive but giving at the same time. We used this through 6 mos. after much practice I could also breastfeed covered by the Moby (while sitting). I traveled with my daughter at 4 mos, and she stayed a sleep in it for the most of the 5 hr flight. Ergo has a separate infant insert which keeps newborns snug in it.

 

6 mos - 12 mos and older - ERGO!! We used it when we traveled, in the airport, when hiking, and I was able to switch off with my husband, who's got mild scoliosis.  Only thing in the summer time, it gets very hot in the ergo, so I wouldn't even put a shirt on my daughter (but for winter time it was great to have her warmed up on my back). 

 

 

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#15 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 04:37 PM
 
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Kinderpack, hands down. It's like an ERGO married a Boba and they had a baby. Twice the better fit and comfort for child *and* wearer than either Boba or ERGO, IMO. I had the original ERGO, and every variation after that one, and wore four different children in them...and have used the Boba 2G (liked it, didn't love it), so take that as you will.

 

KP's come in sizes for carrying a child newborn-preschooler. You can get special straps that adjust for a petite wearer and also for a tall wearer, so one carrier really can be worn by more than one person. They are super well-made in the USA by the woman who invented them. Gotta love that there are so many different fabric combinations for these carriers, you can be as plain or as unique as you want with the kind of carrier.

 

The market is flooded with ERGOS, unless you are fortunate enough to have a print someone happens to want, randomly. That makes it hard to re-sell your ERGO when your baby outgrows it or the wearer outgrows it (KP is comfy for a larger range of sizers of wearer).

 

On the other hand, KP resale value, at this time, is better than for the ERGO which is good if you want to buy a certain size and then re-sell to buy another size. Although, many who buy their Kinderpacks love them so much, they hoard them and just add to their stashes and buy more.

 

You're welcome for all the tips, I should be getting paid for this recommendation! ;-)


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#16 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 04:40 PM
 
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0-3 months: a good ring sling. I had a Maya wrap which was perfectly wonderful but have only tried a couple of others. I hear wrap conversion ring slings are the best. I had a stretchy wrap too but it just was not supportive - my baby would wiggle her head out and wiggle her body and next thing I knew the fabric was at the middle of her back - yes, as a newborn, and yes, I tied it very tightly. I preferred a non-stretch carrier. Also used the ring sling beyond this stage but after 6ish months the long-term comfort wasn't as much there, as this carrier sits on only one shoulder. However, it remains in my diaper bag to this day and my "baby" is 2 (granted, we rarely wear at all now). Actually, I am getting a wrap conversion from Comfy Joey so this will be lovingly handed down to my sister-in-law expecting her first baby. I hope the CJ is at least as comfy as the Maya!

3-12 months: wrap conversion mei tai. I have a Wrapstar and it is WONDERFUL. This is actually the carrier I would pick if I could only choose one carrier for all time, but this was when I used it most. I did a lot of long term wearing during this time period and my baby wasn't a lightweight anymore. I had plenty of support, plenty of comfort, and could do high back carries to let my little one see the world while I still got things done. Only drawback is the straps are very long and it isn't the most convenient public wear carrier, but you get used to making it work and get very very fast getting it on. After a little practice I would say all the carriers I've tried (from woven wraps to buckle carriers) took about the same amount of time to get on and adjusted.

12 months and older: an SSC and my favorite out of the few I've tried (others are Boba, Bjorn) is the Action Baby Carrier. Best feature is that the straps can cross in the back for front carries which make it SUPER comfy. Second best feature is that it is lightweight and folds up pretty flat for the diaper bag. This became my main carrier after a year because my daughter wasn't being worn for as long periods of time and this was sort of a quick and convenient thing to bring to the zoo where I might need it, might not, might need it for a long period of time (which is why I wouldn't rely on the ring sling), might not. I still prefer the less structured carriers overall but this is one is still never leaving my stash. =)

And just for anyone else who might benefit, most of the carriers I tried I got used through swap groups. It is a great resource! If something didn't work for us I could sell it for what I paid and only be out shipping. Actually, I bought the ABC new on clearance but it was my second one - I had already tried one by buying it on the swap but my friend liked it so much I sold it to her and bought another!

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#17 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 04:47 PM
 
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Has anyone used a mei tai?  I have been looking at an Ergo, mainly b/c it is something that can grow with baby, and I have heard such good things.  However, I am concerned about using it with a newborn.  A friend recommended a mei tai over a moby, and continues to use this with her 2 year old.  Any thoughts?  Thanks all!
 


Personally I hated the Moby (although I loved WOVEN, not stretchy, wraps) but I LOVE my mei tai. I have a wrap conversion mei tai (Wrapstar) I got from one of the swap groups so the straps are wider than some other mei tais but are unpadded. So they spread wide over your shoulder and back and are very, very comfy. Hands down my favorite carrier out of the many types that I have tried.

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#18 of 34 Old 02-27-2013, 04:58 PM
 
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I am 16/17 weeks pregnant with a 6 year old special needs son (relevant because he could not walk until a year ago and is only now independently walking.)  I actually have a question at the end of the post between the Boba 3G and the ERGO

 

From 0 to 3 months:  Over the Shoulder Baby Holder Ring Sling:  When ESP was newborn/infant, he was a winter baby.  We loved the OTSBH, the extra padding all around the edge was more comfortable for both of us. Nursing was a bit tricky because I have very large breasts.  I actually got  a wedge meant to go under the breast to give it some support for feeding! At first we had an Infantino sling, but E got over heated in it - later it was recalled for just that reason.  I learned not to buy slings from companies that were just jumping on the babywearing bandwagon, but stick to companies that had been doing them long term.

 

From 3 to 12 months:  We used the HotSlings SolarVeil material sling.  The material has a texture but is not scratchy.  It is very breathable and we could use it comfortably even in the summer.  Took summer trips easily with this sling.  I actually still have this one! and am excited to get to use it again.  The new baby is due in Feb, 2013.

 

Ergo with the Infant insert (the 2007 design which is different from the 2013 design).  Both of us LOVED this carrier.  Too hot during the summer but awesome once the weather cooled.

 

My husband like the Baby Bjorn but I always had to help him get into it.  Was not my favorite because the position of the baby's legs did not seem natural.  Also got hot as we moved into Spring and Summer

 

From 12 months and older:

ERGO:  This was a fantastic carrier. I had to stop using it when ESP got taller because he did not have neck/head control.  I was never able to wear him on my back which I think would have been a very freeing option for me.  

 

This time I may try a Boba 3G, I have heard it comes up higher on the baby's bac/neck than the ERGO. Does anyone have confirmation of that????  Hopefully, this new baby boy will not have special needs but if he does, I may need the highest back option.


For a baby that may need very long term wearing, I wouldn't even do the Boba. Yes, the Ergo has one of the shortest SSC backs on the market, and the Boba is better, but say in your oldest son's case he could STILL potentially be worn in certain carriers depending on his height and weight. Woven wraps are one option, but for buckle carriers I'd go with maybe the KinderPack or a Kanga. They both make different sizes of carriers - the preschool KinderPack claims ages 3-5 and the Kanga XTP claims ages 2-6, but I don't know exact measurements of either. There might be other preschooler-friendly carriers as well. For just taller toddlers, there are many companies besides the Boba that make toddler sized carriers. I have tried the Boba but I prefer the Action Baby Carrier and they now have a toddler sized option. My 2 year old still fits in standard but she isn't above average in height either and she has good head and torso control. The ABC is also a few dollars cheaper than the Boba. Hope that helps! I know either way you will be fine for the first several months or so with that you have, so I'm giving you some things to consider if you end up needing a taller carrier in the future!

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#19 of 34 Old 02-28-2013, 05:23 AM
 
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My personal favorite for at least up to a year is an Infantino 5 in 1 (I think it was called). It's best features are how sturdy it is, how adjustable it is, and how versatile it is. It can be worn on the back, front, put in a cart while shopping, kept on baby in the car seat, swing. . .I especially loved that with it's clips I was able to gently lower a sleeping baby down to bed or the car seat without usually waking them. It wasn't very good support around the waist though, and consequently was poor at keeping baby close to you when bending over. . .the plus being that you didn't risk having the baby fall out the top. (Which is pretty unlikely anyways as the carrier has a lot of padding and is a bit of a snug fit.

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#20 of 34 Old 02-28-2013, 05:48 AM
 
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We have friends who were missionaries in Africa, and gave me a kitenge.  It is basically a big piece of fabric.  I used it for front carry, back carry, hip carry, blanket, nursing cover, sunshade.  I wish I had more, I may see with this baby if I can find fabric that I like and trust to hold up and make a few.

I had a ring sling, regular sling, and ergo, and used all some of the time, but the kitenge was my favorite by far.  It isn't as intimidating as it seems to learn the ties, but I did have the advantage of having my friend to show me.

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#21 of 34 Old 02-28-2013, 02:01 PM
 
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I am 16/17 weeks pregnant with a 6 year old special needs son (relevant because he could not walk until a year ago and is only now independently walking.)  I actually have a question at the end of the post between the Boba 3G and the ERGO

From 0 to 3 months:  Over the Shoulder Baby Holder Ring Sling:  When ESP was newborn/infant, he was a winter baby.  We loved the OTSBH, the extra padding all around the edge was more comfortable for both of us. Nursing was a bit tricky because I have very large breasts.  I actually got  a wedge meant to go under the breast to give it some support for feeding! At first we had an Infantino sling, but E got over heated in it - later it was recalled for just that reason.  I learned not to buy slings from companies that were just jumping on the babywearing bandwagon, but stick to companies that had been doing them long term.

From 3 to 12 months:  We used the HotSlings SolarVeil material sling.  The material has a texture but is not scratchy.  It is very breathable and we could use it comfortably even in the summer.  Took summer trips easily with this sling.  I actually still have this one! and am excited to get to use it again.  The new baby is due in Feb, 2013.

Ergo with the Infant insert (the 2007 design which is different from the 2013 design).  Both of us LOVED this carrier.  Too hot during the summer but awesome once the weather cooled.

My husband like the Baby Bjorn but I always had to help him get into it.  Was not my favorite because the position of the baby's legs did not seem natural.  Also got hot as we moved into Spring and Summer

From 12 months and older:
ERGO:  This was a fantastic carrier. I had to stop using it when ESP got taller because he did not have neck/head control.  I was never able to wear him on my back which I think would have been a very freeing option for me.  

This time I may try a Boba 3G, I have heard it comes up higher on the baby's bac/neck than the ERGO. Does anyone have confirmation of that????  Hopefully, this new baby boy will not have special needs but if he does, I may need the highest back option.
My son is a tall 21 mnth old and I felt my month 18 that he could flip out when he was on my back. I now am using the Noba 3G and I love it and he loves it also. But up until he grew out Ig the ergo we lived it too!!
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#22 of 34 Old 03-01-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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My comment will be based on experienced in this thread

 

From 0 to 3 months : Have not used any.. why? I'm not aware that a newborn can be wear already!! I totally missed this one and would surely wear my second as soon as possible smile.gif

 

From 3 to 12 months : My nephew is 4months older than my DD and I saw how a carrier has been so helpful in carrying so I COPY her. LOL I also use the Brand/Style she had used. It was a dangling style carrier with no hipbelt use it for front carry and front facing.  I started wearing DD when she was 3 months, were enjoying it but I have noticed that my back is aching and I had thought it was just normal until it was totally unbearable so I had stop wearing.

But, not wearing DD has so many disadvantage. So I got a new one, the Action Baby Carrier this is a lightweight SSC which is cooler and more comfy which is best suited for our hot weather specially  for my sweaty DH and DD.

In structure : ABC structure suits me and my baby well. The straps can be criss-crossed on the back so my baby's weight is evenly spread to the back so it is not giving me backache plus it has a hipbelt for added support. With regards to DD's opinion she just totally love it, she even cries just by the sight of this carrier because she wants to be in it.

In the position : I can do front, back and hip carry in this carrier, though front facing position was not recommended by ABC it was just okay I stop doing it anyway. I have read that front facing has so many disadvantage such as over-stimulation and a high risk in Hip Dysplasia. you can check it here.. http://www.hipdysplasia.org/developmental-dysplasia-of-the-hip/prevention/baby-carriers-seats-and-other-equipment/

Breastfeeding in the carrier : I can breastfeed in my ABC easily even in public and others won't even notice.

Accesories : Yes, the toyclip and a hip pouch was very nice and helpful!

Origin : It was made ONLY in USA! 

 

From 12 months and older : DD is 22 months,25lbs and still love being wear in our ABC. DD's knees is longer now and we are still using the standard size,so I'm already planning to have the toddler size of ABC because it is wider and support extends to the knees. DD loves the back carry and still falls asleep in this carrier fast. So I guess when our toddler carrier arrives my "Happy Design ABC" will be given to my sister in law who had just given birth last January. Hope she enjoys it too like I do. Goodbye standard size, Hello Toddler size!! ROTFLMAO.gif


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#23 of 34 Old 03-02-2013, 06:05 AM
 
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For the 0-3 month stage I like using a stretchy wrap around the house and a ring sling if I'm out and about. As my babies get older they get heavy quickly so we outgrow stretchy wraps pretty quickly. I also don't use ring slings for long because it's hard to keep them in as they get squirmier and tend to lean and pop out the bottom.

 

As soon as they are a little bigger 3+ months I LOVE the Kinderpack. You can get infant adjustable ones now that can be worn with a very small baby. They are very comfortable for me and the child I'm wearing. Kinderpacks are of a very high quality and I love that the sleeping hood is attached and can be stuffed inside the body of the carrier when not in use. I would definitely recommend Kinderpacks for any age or size of child since they come in four sizes. 


Catholic, SAHM, Married 5 yrs. love.gif, Miscarried Sept. '08 April '09 & Jan. '14, DD is almost 4, DS is 20 months-we had a wonderful homebirth.jpg, EDD early Jan, 2015! I'm also a first time foster mom to a girl-22 months. 
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#24 of 34 Old 03-02-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jujubee752000 View Post


My son is a tall 21 mnth old and I felt my month 18 that he could flip out when he was on my back. I now am using the Noba 3G and I love it and he loves it also. But up until he grew out Ig the ergo we lived it too!!

I also have a tall son! I agree the Boba 3G is excellent for carrying him on my back - really comfy.  Have just started using the foot straps too and he loves bouncing up and down :)

I have to say I have never found the Boba very comfy for front carrying - the shoulder straps seems too wide for me - but ds is too big for front carrying anyway.  

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#25 of 34 Old 03-03-2013, 11:55 AM
 
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my son was born on the larger side, so that may impact my experiences with carriers.
0-2 months: had no luck with hot sling or infantino 5 in 1 carriers. Ended up loving baby bjorn.
2-4 months: chubby monkey is now over 16 pounds and my back was starting to hurt when he was 2 months... so tried a Boba 3g. I love it! It's so sturdy and makes it much easier to carry him (he's a cuddly little one and loves to be held). It's also better designed than the bjorn, it supports his body in a much more comfortable and natural position.

I've been wanting to try moby or a ring sling... But I'm not sure if He's too big (18 pounds now).
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#26 of 34 Old 03-03-2013, 12:04 PM
 
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As a plus sized woman I have to say its Boba 3g, hands down. My husband who is average sized loves it also. I wrote a review here.


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#27 of 34 Old 03-03-2013, 06:32 PM
 
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We have friends who were missionaries in Africa, and gave me a kitenge.  It is basically a big piece of fabric.  I used it for front carry, back carry, hip carry, blanket, nursing cover, sunshade.  I wish I had more, I may see with this baby if I can find fabric that I like and trust to hold up and make a few.

I had a ring sling, regular sling, and ergo, and used all some of the time, but the kitenge was my favorite by far.  It isn't as intimidating as it seems to learn the ties, but I did have the advantage of having my friend to show me.


You might be able to find this type of carrier also called a kanga. I have seen them on ebay and etsy! They are definitely less expensive than German-style woven wraps. =)

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#28 of 34 Old 03-04-2013, 01:06 PM
 
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0-3: Ring sling (never could get into the Moby)

3-6: Ring sling & SSC

Going to try Mei Tei and the K'tan with my twins this time around, should be interesting to see what I like best!

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 

 

 

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#29 of 34 Old 03-04-2013, 04:43 PM
 
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Maya Wrap padded for all three and Scootababy for young toddler. My Scootababy got so much use, it was GREAT for hip carry until baby's legs grew and really began to dangle.

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#30 of 34 Old 03-04-2013, 04:45 PM
 
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Maya Wrap padded for all three and Scootababy for young toddler. My Scootababy got so much use, it was GREAT for hip carry until baby's legs grew and really began to dangle....at that point Maya Wrap was better for hip carry.

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