Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Carrying the Load....

I love to carry my newborn around in a front pack. It's so convenient when they are little to just whip out the front pack and carry the baby while shopping, or taking a walk, or even around the house when I need my hands free. However... my back doesn't like my front pack so much. After my baby gets to be about 10 lbs it starts to be unbearable to wear.

Luckily I get to have a BRAND new front pack courtesy of my mother-in-law (a birthday present for me). She's willing to spend $100 dollars on it if need be. So I can have a NICE front pack.

What I need is advice... the front pack I have now is the $25 variety and is NOT comfortable at all. I NEED something that will offer comfort, especially since I'll have 3 children to chase. I'm not afraid of something pricey.

So... what can you tell me? Do YOU have a wonderful front pack that you like? OR, do you have a wrap or sling that you like? I'd also like safety precautions too, since I hear alarming rumors of newborns suffocating in wraps. Please, share your knowledge with me!!


Megan said...

I currently don't own a decent front pack. But my SIL who has a bad back (she has three fused disks), loves her Ergo front carrier. She has three kids and uses her ergo carrier all the time for her little boy who is six months old and weights a lot for a six month old. They cost between $100-125.

Lisa said...

I love baby slings and wraps. Honestly, I own three and use all three.

I have a Sleepy Wrap ($40). I use my Sleepy Wrap my baby is younger. I use it mostly for when I am at home because it gives good support to me when I wear it for a long period of time. I also like the way it supports the baby as I do my chores around the house.

I have a ring sling (mine is a Maya wrap ($65)). I wore this sling as a part of my daily clothing from the time my daughter was born until about six months. I love the versatility of a ring sling. You can carry the baby in a variety of positions, nurse discreetly using the tail to cover up. It is great for running errands because it is easy to get the baby in and out of it without worrying about straps. It is also easy to adjust to different people. I have also used to my sling to carry my 20 month old son when he needed some extra care.

My third sling is a pouch sling ($40). I use this sling everyday now that my daughter is six months old. I like this sling because I can carry my daughter on my hip while still getting my work done. I am even able to cook while wearing her because the can adjust the sling so that she sits on my back.

I am a huge supporter of babywearing. I believe it is very good for both the mom and baby emotionally as well as making it easier to get things done around the house while taking care of other kids.

Good luck making your decision. I am very happy with my slings. I don't know how I would get anything done without them.

Erin said...

There are a few different types - Asian baby carriers including mei teis and podaegis, pouch slings, ring slings, soft structured carriers (like the ergo megan talked about..or baby bjorn or snugli) and wraps. so when you say sleepy wrap or moby wrap, it's just talking about the brand.

I have a snugli, a moby wrap, and a ring sling. I liked the ring sling a lot when the baby was smaller. As she got older and heavier, it dug into my one shoulder more, so I got a Moby wrap too. I love it! I can still put her in it and she's almost two (although I prefer the stroller...because even though it's easier than carrying her she's still heavy!). I really like the versatility of it too. It's good to snuggle up in when they are newborns and as they get older you can do a variety of carries - facing in, facing out, hip carries, even back carries. It has a bit more of a learning curve, so you should practice a few times at home before you go out in public to try it. I found this by far the most comfortable.

There are a few other types that I've never tried but wanted to. Pouch slings like Lisa was talking about seem really great. And right now there is a company (same one that makes udder covers) that are giving some away free - you just pay shipping. sevenslings.com and the code is pumpkin.

Mei Teis are sort of comparable to a snugli in how the baby is worn - but there are no buckles. Instead they have thick straps that you tie around you. You can also carry the baby a variety of ways with this. I think this is what I would try next. Or maybe an Ergo. :) Remember that the thicker the strap on your shoulder, the more comfortable it will be, which is why most people love wraps.

Each website where you buy the carriers should have instructional pictures for different carries, and you can always look on youtube to see them in action.

The only ones I would stay away from are the infantino type deep pocket slings. These are the ones that were recalled. Besides from being completely uncomfortable, they weren't designed very well and pushed the baby's head up into their chest and cut off breathing. To me this is more like carrying your baby in a bag than baby wearing. In most slings your baby is right up close next to your body as if you were carrying them. I think in general slings are very safe but it doesn't hurt to read up on it and make sure you are doing it the safe way. Make sure your baby's face isn't covered too closely with the cloth and that their airway is open.

Laura said...

I agree with what Erin said about the pocket slings...those are the ones that have had the suffocation issues. And why would you want to put your baby in a purse anyway?

I have three different baby carriers--Moby wrap, Ergo carrier, and the pouch from Seven Slings--and have varying opinions on them all. I'll be verbose and give you a full rundown of each. :)

Moby Wrap: http://www.mobywrap.com/, $40.

Pros: This one is wonderful for newborns. They can be snuggled up just as if they were swaddled. It holds the baby quite securely, so I am never worried about them falling out (as long as it's put on correctly). Like Erin said, there are a lot of different options for positions. I like that it rests on both shoulders, so the baby's weight is more evenly supported.

Cons: I don't love this one, personally, when my baby gets older. Since there is no frame or official straps, the support sometimes isn't enough for me and my back will start to hurt after a while. It can also be a bit cumbersome to put on and take off, since it is essentially just one huge piece of fabric. This was generally only a problem, though, when I would be putting it on outside (like standing next to the car before going grocery shopping) and I didn't want it dragging on the ground getting dirty.

To sum up: I love love love this wrap for newborns up to about six months. Past that, I want something with a little more support.

Laura said...

I tried to post all three reviews in one comment, and it told me it was took long. Ha. Next...

Ergo Baby Carrier: http://www.ergobabycarriers.com/babycarriers/category/carrier/

I have the original style, camel color, $105.

Pros: This carrier has a lot of good support, I think. I injured my back a few years ago and I can wear this carrier for quite a while before I have any problems. There is some versatility, too, with carrying on the front, back, or hip. It's fairly easy to switch it around while wearing it, too, even with the baby inside (carefully, of course!). My husband also has no problem wearing this, whereas he's less excited about a wrap. :)

The pocket on the front is handy for keys, cell phone, and extra pacifiers, since generally I can't get into my pants' pockets with the carrier on.

There is a cover that can stretch up over the baby's head. That is nice to have when it's really sunny or raining, to protect the baby's face. It's also nice when baby falls asleep because it gives some extra head support so it's not bouncy around while you move. Nice feature.

Cons: It's a little bulky when you're not wearing it...meaning, it doesn't pack up nicely to be put away. Minor issue, though. I also would not ever want to use it for an infant. There is an infant insert that can be purchased, but it only allows for one position for the baby to be in, and it never felt as secure to me.

The other thing I don't like is that your baby can only face in. You can't turn them around to be forward facing (away from Mom). I know that many die-hard babywearers argue that you would never want to do that anyway, but I find that there comes a point when my child is more interested at looking at what's going on around us rather than just staring at my face, so having the other option would be nice...of course, that could just be my kids. ;)

To sum up: Love this one for older kids who weigh more and it's great for my back. Not ideal for tiny babies.

Laura said...

Only one more, I promise.

Pouch Sling: https://www.sevenslings.com/, $39 at cost or $11.95 for shipping after using a free promo code--very worth it!

Disclaimer: I didn't get this carrier until my daughter was already 10 months old, so I don't have personal experience using it with younger babies.

Pros: This is so so so easy to put on. It just slips right over your head and your done--no extra fabric, no straps, nothing. That's nice while putting it on and also while wearing it, when you don't have to worry about anything flapping around getting caught in things or whatever. It's also very easy to get baby in and out, as well as switching around from front to hip to back.

It is very compact and lightweight. I keep this in my diaper bag all the time in case I ever need to pull it out in a pinch.

Cons: My daughter is tall (now 13 mo.), so sometimes when I'm wearing her in this sling I feel like if she leans too far back she'll slide out. The sling only goes over one arm, which can be good or bad. I find that it tweaks my back weird to have all the weight resting on one shoulder if I wear it for too long. I also find it kind of annoying how much the movement can be restricted on that one arm.

To sum up: I love having this as a backup, but I wouldn't want to use it as my one and only carrier. Worth $12, but probably not worth $40 + s/h.

Britta said...

I have the Maya Wrap. We'd previously used a cheapo front pack carrier from Walmart and I could use it about 2-3 months before giving up on it. It was cumbersom and difficult to adjust.

The Maya wrap has already been touched on a lot but I have to add my two cents- I love it!!! My husband is in the Airforce and left when she was around 16 days so I've done all the raising on my own. With the toddler in tow, having the wrap is a necessity when shopping, and luxury at church and just awesome during the day when I have to clean and she's tired.

She was weighed two days ago at 16 pounds, and I'm still not struggling with how heavy she is. I've even carried my 3 year old with it (pretty much just using it to hold her in place) and she gets a kick out of it.

Good luck!

The Pearce People said...

I just got a sleepy warp and I absolutely love it!! It lets my little guy be with me all snuggly and cozy while allowing me to be with him and get my homework and housework done. The wrap has several different positions the baby can be in and can fit anybody type. I would recommend this to any mom!

Tannie Datwyler said...

THANK you all so much - I have so many ideas now that I won't be able to choose. :) I am grateful for all the insight.

Tressa said...

Hey, I'm late to comment, but have been looking into this myself now that I have two kids. I looked up some instructions online and made my own "Moby Wrap" using a $5 bolt of fabric from ShopKo and, again, online instructions for how to use it. I'm still figuring it out and haven't found it super comfortable yet, but for $5 it was worth trying out before buying something else. Also, I found some safety links on the Moby Wrap website that were helpful:



One or both of these have a link to a statement from the CPSC that you may want to check out.

Good luck and call me if you have questions about making a wrap.