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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(it's a long novel, but please read on as I would dearly appreciate some recommendations from you seasoned baby wearing experts)<br><br>
I am a complete novice when it comes to baby wearing. First a bit of background: I have a frontpack, a backpack, a layback stroller, and a buggy - gosh all that gadget for one baby! Now that i am expecting #2 (due in October), I am faced with the decision of getting a double buggy (as my children will only be 21months apart) so I am checking out the option of slings which would be a fraction of the costs.<br><br>
As a result of the influence of a fellow cloth diapering friend, I bought a 4m fabric from the local fabric store to use as a wrap - no sewing no fuss, which was great. I use this "wrap" to carry my 16mth old backpack style - this suits me way better than using my backpack carrier as I am short and small (standing 151cm tall <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> and weighing approx 42kg or 92lbs). But the things I'm not happy with which led to my lack of enthusiasm of using this wrap is:<br>
1) it's time consuming to put my boy in and out of the wrap (it seems like a lot of time anyway, when I just want to run into the shops to pick up milk and bread for example)<br>
2) I have to find somewhere to sit (both him and I) down in order to put him on,<br>
3) when we get to our destination eg a park, it's time to take him off so he can run around in open field, I am then left with a bulky 4m fabric to cart around.<br><br>
Now recently, a friend gave me<br><a href="http://www.naturessway.co.nz/page3.html" target="_blank">this sling</a> which I am so impressed with as it is so easy to put Samuel on and take him off - a matter of seconds, wow! And it is a lot more compact than the 4m fabric. Here's a <a href="http://img265.echo.cx/img265/9584/dsc020124aa.jpg" target="_blank">pic</a> of us with the sling in action. Now I look for opportunities to wear him often!<br><br>
But...I don't think I have found the perfect sling for me yet. I have also since heard that this sling may be one of the more poorly designed slings. My issues are:<br><br>
1) I am using this sling on it's tightest setting for a 16mth old, about 9.5kg or 21lbs toddler. Surely this means that my newborn won't be anywhere near my chest? I am really hoping that I will be more successful at breastfeeding this time round, so it's important to me that my newborn can be worn closer to my chest.<br>
2) I have the opportunity to try on a Maya Wrap today at a cloth diapering mum get-together, and can understand why the top bit needs to go over the shoulder so as to spread the weight of the child better. In the pic of me above you can see how close the strap is to my neck!<br><br>
So what would you recommend for a gal like me? I don't think I like the wrap style as there are too much fabric to fiddle with and too much hassle to use. I'd quite like a ring sling as long as it doesn't have too long of a "tail" - but does using a ring sling mean I have to expect some sort of shoulder ache, especially after extended period of wear (say a 1/2hour stretch)? Also, it's likely that I am the only person using the sling, as my husband could use the backpack carrier, although he may be converted to sling wearing too! And I am in New Zealand, the choices here are very limited as like cloth diapering, we are a teeny weeny minority of the 4m people population. Having said that there are quite a few WAHMs making and selling slings on our local ebay-like trading place. I'd greatly appreciate you provide the links to the slings you'd recommend for me.
 

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Are you looking for something to wear with your new baby and your toddler? I'm thinking a Mei Tai (aka an Asian Baby Carrier) might be versatile for you. It goes over both shoulders, which I love, and you can snuggle your newborn on your chest or carry your toddler on your back. I've nursed my baby in the Mei Tai more easily than I have the sling, because with a Mei Tai there's no fabric between me and the baby.<br><br>
I know international shipping is not cheap, but there are lots of sling-making moms who ship overseas. Slings are pretty light so they don't cost too much to ship. So I wouldn't limit your search to carriers that are available in NZ.<br><br>
Here's a link to a list of sites in the Asia-Pacific region that sell baby carriers - lots in Australia, which I would think would be cheaper to ship from than the US. <a href="http://www.thebabywearer.com/cgi-bin/reviews/reviews.pl?Vendor_(Asia-Pacific" target="_blank">http://www.thebabywearer.com/cgi-bin..._(Asia-Pacific</a>)
 

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Ring Slings never really worked for me but I love MeiTais - very comfortable even with a 21lb toddler and holds a newborn very nice and snug too. I have a Freehand MeiTai and will soon be getting a Kozy MeiTai<br><br>
I like pouches as well for shorter periods of times - Hotslings and HeavenlyBUndle are my favorites
 

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Since you are liking the sling but want one you can adjust better, it sounds like an unpadded or lightly padded ring sling is just what you need. I am a big fan of the Maya Wrap myself. Some people do have trouble with the learning curve, but it sounds like you would have some hands on help in learning to use it, which is great. A lightly padded option with the same adjustability would be something like the Ellaroo lightly padded sling at <a href="http://www.ellaroo.com" target="_blank">http://www.ellaroo.com</a><br><br>
Also, is the wrap you made stretchy or a woven material? A stretchy wrap is heavenly with a newborn, and what you do is just tie it on once and leave it on, popping the baby in and out as needed. I think a stretchy wrap and a highly-adjustable ring sling or snug-fitting pouch are two things that are really ideal with new babies.
 

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Another popular ring sling option is the zolo (zolowear.com). They're very comfy. My personal favorite for a newborn is to use a pouch and do cradle hold. A little bit older and I like tummy to tummy with a Mei Tei or wrap. And you can use those to carry your toddler on your back.
 

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bgirl~<br><br>
I have a a year-old and still carry her in a sling. However, with her size I have chosen to purchase a freehand mei tai, and will be receiving it. All the mamas here seem to like that the best.<br><br>
I am not familiar with how a mei tai works for an infant, though. Maybe asked the other mamas.<br><br>
What I can tell you is that when my daughter was first born I was more comfortable having her in a padded sling. I tryed the maya wrap, which I used later with her (around 3 months). Definitely loved it. It was easy to nurse in. I did use an Over the shoulder baby holder, which has padding in the shoulder and sides, which I felt supported my daughter really well. <a href="http://www.slingbaby.com" target="_blank">www.slingbaby.com</a><br><br>
It is similar to the one in you pic, but has a different way of fastening. It is a ring sling, which I found easy to adjust and use.<br><br>
I believe that each mama will have their own preferences, and they will change as their children grow, as far as baby wearing. My best advice is to test them out and see what works best for you. You can always check out ebay (<a href="http://www.ebay.com" target="_blank">www.ebay.com</a>) and buy some used until you have a feel for what you prefer. Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ladies. I did surf the net a little last night after my post, and am drawn to Hotslings because they seem ideal - compact and no rings/complicated ties. So the only thing to watch out with the Hotslings pouches is getting the fit right yeah?<br><br>
Also quite like the look of the Ellaroo lightly padded ring sling.<br><br>
So it has begun, from cloth nappy obsession to sling obsession....<br><br>
Oh, I'd like to use a sling for Samuel now he'll be in and out of it a lot though. A Hotsling therefore sounds ideal. So for a newborn/smaller infant, would it be best to get something else then? Anyone had great success with using a Hotsling on a newborn? Did you have to have various sizes of the Hotslings as your child grew? There are so many options with Hotslings - reversible, stretch, sateen, fleece - so those of you who love them, do you find yourself just getting one of each?
 
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