Hey Everyone -
My DH and I are foster parents. Currently we have a 7 month old, but we could end up having a variety of different ages of infants in our home before the child we are meant to adopt comes to us.
I am looking for a sling, mei tai, anything really, that works well with a larger woman and wearing a baby (Arg, I don't like the term babywearing, but I can't think of anything else to call it...). I am 5'4" and 280 lbs. I currently have a Maya wrap, but it keeps sliding up my shoulder and bunching at my neck. When it stays in place, it is great, when it doesn't...it's not so great. I have watched the video and I put it on correctly, it just doesn't stay where it needs to be.
Also, I am somewhat coordinated-challeneged, so that long piece of fabric that wraps around you is confusing to me and I can't figure it out...so not that one :)
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
I'm a smaller mom but I noticed you haven't gotten any replies yet so I thought I'd jump in. First, with the Maya Wrap - do you have the "new shoulder"? It's kind of like a fan (the old shoulder was folded in a wide fold directly on top of the bottom fold). The fan shoulder stays a bit better I think.
I never loved the wraps either -- they just seem like so much fabric. Plus, I don't find them especially good for in and out, which I do a lot of with my babies.
Have you considered something like the Ergo?
I'm on the heavier side and I love my Ergo for my 9 month old. I've got large breasts and I thought it would make it hard to wear him, but it does not! Makes a nice pillow for a sleeping baby.
I also have a Maya wrap and have the same issue you do now that my baby is bigger. When he was little and weighed less it wasn't an issue, so if you ever have little ones you should try it again!
I am totally in awe of you for foster parenting. That's a really wonderful thing to do!!
Some models of the ergo have a waist expander. I use a boba myself and I am about a 16/18 at my heaviest with the boba. I am tallish and broad and somewhat chesty. I have a lot of extra room still in the buckles/adjusters. My cousin traded in her ergo for a boba and she was perhaps 5'2 and 250 or a bit less? so perhaps similar proportions as you and while she liked the ergo she loved the boba. Maybe see if your area has any babywearing demos/meetings and what shops are recommended if there's anywhere to try things in person. The ergo is probably recommended the most followed by the boba. I haven't tried an ergo but I understand that it's slightly more structured than the boba. I also have tried fitted slings (can't get a good fit even though I have two sizes), a ring sling which I plan to wear with number two because it seemed like too much bother to figure out with number one when I loved the boba so much. I used a stretchy sleepy wrap when #1 was a newborn, that would work with a little one but by 20 lbs they are not very easy to use- but are fantastic to keep a NB snuggled up and easy to put on at home, keep on all day for in and outs doing errands as the slight stretch allows them to slide in and out. There is material to spare on the length of the sleepy wrap (my cousin also used it when her DD was a NB). I also had a light weight wrap- a calin bleu, which was great for that in-between stage (and great for travel because it's not hot and thick like the stretchy wraps) but the boba was just so easy that DH and I both chose that most of the time and the wrap just got stashed.
I'm pretty round, and I wasn't comfortable in the Ergo. I'm also tall, and in order to feel balanced I had to wear the waist strap up a bit from my hips, and it's pretty uncomfortable when it starts going across soft flesh rather than hips. I've had a lot more success with a mei tai. You can order ones with longer straps so there's plenty of strap to go around.
Baby girl arrived 10/11/11
Fluffy mama here. I LOVE my boba g3. very comfortable and it fits up to a 58 inch waist without an extender.
Liz Lovin' DH DS (12) and forever missing DD (12/02/07)
From the withered tree, a flower blooms~ He's here!!! So crazy in love with my boy!!! 12/14/11
I'm large and in charge and the most comfortable baby carrier for my was my Hoppediz wrap. It gives a lot of support, without digging too much into my back fat. The mei tai is a close second. For a newborn/infant, I really liked a sling. And the Ergo is just so-so for me because it really digs into my fat and makes me feel uncomfortable. There is something to be said about the convenience of the Ergo though. No long straps to drag in the snow and it fits the same way every time.
I am also a larger mama and DH is a larger Dada. I am 5' 5" and about 225 and large chested. I love my woven wraps, there is a much bigger learning curve but they are super versatile. I have carried newborns to my 7 year old niece in my woven wrap. They are fantastically supportive for both child and wearer and you can use them for all kinds of other stuff (blanket, sun shade, change mat, pillow, tether on a toddler that likes to run, etc)
My second fav carrier is my ring sling that was made from a woven wrap with a pleated shoulder. This is my fav quick carrier and short carry carrier (for bigger babes) I have also carried from newborn to 40lb 3.5 year old in this carrier. Storchenwiege now makes ring slings from their woven wrap material.
Scarlett , DH Boris , DS 1/29/08 Julian DD2 6/7/12 missing our DD 1/06/06 Sonja and MC @ 9 wks 11/18/06 Satchel
Wrap conversion! Best of all worlds. Hard to come by because they are made by only a few people, but you can pick them up on the Facebook swap, Diaperswappers, and the Babywearer. They can be pricey, but they offer the comfort of a wrap with the ease of use of a structured carrier.
Mei tais are great and the Ergo works well for us also. I lived in my ring sling when DD was a babe though.
Happy , delayed/selective vaxxing, WOHM to DD1 4/10 , DD2 8/12 and partner/wife for thirteen years to SAHD DH.
I was a larger mama not that long ago... and I preferred to make my own Moby-style wraps by buying 6-7 yards of ribbed t-shirt fabric (cotton with 3-5% spandex) and cutting it in half lengthwise to make two wraps. No sewing required... and if you can get the fabric on sale, much cheaper than the others!
The only problem with a moby style wrap is the stretchy fabrib is not great for babies of all ages and weights; past a certain point, it gets saggy and and not nearly as safe.
I love, love, love my wraps, but understand they are not for everybody. I'm 4'11 and 220ish. for a soft structured carrier, I far prefer Boba over Ergo, also it will last you lots longer as far as baby sizes go; alot of people are uncomfortable wearing toddlers in the Ergo, as the back is not as tall as the Boba. For a little more money (or look on used boards, like here in the marketplace, www.diaperswappers.com, or www.thebabywearer.com ) You can get a Kinderpack which are very well made and come sized for both the baby and you. As in Infant/Standard all the way to Preschool/Plus and all the combinations in between.
Mei Tai are also a good option, look for ones with XL straps.
ring slings like the Maya Wrap are a great option for quick ups and downs, but can be hard on you since they are a one shouldered carrier for long babywearing. Different brands do the shoulder part differently, you are bound to find one that suits you. As a larger mama, you should be able to do most standard sized ring slings, the "tail" of it just will be shorter. Personally, I like a longer tail, both for asthetics, and it makes a nice nursing/sleeping cover. Jan at www.sleepingbaby.net makes awesome slings that are very affordable, however she is just one person, and it's hard now to get a spot. If you look on the used sites and see ring slings with an SBP shoulder, that's her. Her products are highly recommended. Also, if you sew, she has instructions on her site for sewing your own.
Hope all that helps!
Katrina - Mama to Gabriel 11/20/2009 and Norah 10/11/2011- married to Wayne -  and now new baby Theodore born 3/11/13