March 26, 2012

Baby Wearing


Since I always seem to be wearing a baby, I've had a lot of people ask me which baby wraps and slings I like best. I know not everyone gets hooked on them, but I think they're too useful, and even essential, to live without.

Scenarios:
1. Your toddler is throwing a tantrum at the playground. You need to pick her up and carry her home because she won't walk. But you're holding a baby too. There's a wrap for that.
2. Your baby doesn't love being in the stroller, or you have two kids and no double stroller. There's a wrap for that.
3. You're out hiking on uneven terrain and you don't want to risk dropping your baby, and a stroller obviously won't work. There's a wrap for that.
4. Your baby is being fussy and won't let you put her down to get anything done. You either have to just let her cry or . . . There's a wrap for that.
5. You're grocery shopping and your baby hates being in the carseat or there's no room for it in the cart. There's a wrap for that.

Okay, I'm obviously getting a little repetitive. But you get the point. There are unlimited circumstances that would be greatly facilitated with the help of a baby wrap.
So, what are your choices?

Wrapsody Bali Stretch
Wrapsody wraps are made of a 5-6 yard x 23 inch piece of fabric with just the right amount of stretch to support your baby and your back comfortably. What's amazing to me is that Maren is about 14 pounds, but when I wear this wrap, I can hardly even feel her weight because it's so well distributed on my back and shoulders. I go on long walks with her wrapped in front and it's not tiring at all.

The other thing that I love most about this wrap is all the different ways you can position your baby inside it:
Front, facing toward you, legs in (great for newborns)
Front, facing toward you, legs out
Front, facing forward, legs in (my current favorite for Maren's age)
Front, facing forward, legs out
Back, hip, one baby on front, one on back . . . Your choices are almost unlimited.

I love my Wrapsody. Definitely my favorite.

I bought my Wrapsody used, but in perfect condition, for $45, but they're usually about $80. The similar Moby wrap is $40 and up. I know several people who really love it. I chose this over the Moby because it was made of a thinner, more breathable material. They also have a higher weight limit and are supposedly the only stretchy wrap supportive enough for using on your back as well as your front. There are woven wraps (like the Bali Breeze) that have higher weight limits and are even more light and breathable. The material just isn't as soft and there's no stretch, so it could be harder to get the baby in and out. You could also get the right kind of fabric and make your own, which I'll definitely be trying sometime.

Cons: Although it's not difficult once you watch someone do it (like this video) and get the hang of it, tying it is hard to do if you're out somewhere and you don't want it to touch the ground. It might take a little while to get it right at first when you're still learning.

Ivy in the Baby Hawk

Baby Hawk Mei Tai
I used a Baby Hawk a lot when Ivy was a newborn. They are super cute and customizable. Just about any fabric can be chosen for them. They're comfortable on the shoulders, but the weight isn't quite as well-distributed as a Wrapsody. My back was more likely to ache, but they're still great over all and very quick and easy to tie.

Ivy in the Baby Hawk

Cons: Makes your back and shoulders sore after wearing it for a while. They're not that versatile in wearing positions. I really was only able to do front, facing in, legs in with it. There's no way to face a baby forward in it. You can only have the legs out with a larger baby because it stretches them uncomfortably far apart on a baby younger than six months. A bigger baby (or toddler) can be worn on the back, but I didn't use it long enough to try that.

Forward facing with Ivy in a Hotsling
Hotslings Ring Sling
If you are interested in a sling that's very small and portable, easy to make yourself, and super quick to put on, the Hotsling fits the bill. It's pretty versatile in wearing positions: cradle, facing in, facing forward, on a hip with legs out, etc. If you want to get your baby in and out fast for a quick trip, a ring sling is ideal.

Cons: Since it's only worn on one shoulder, it naturally can't be as supportive or comfortable as the type worn on two. When your baby gets heavier, you won't want to wear it for very long at all or your shoulder and back won't be happy.

Hip carry with Ivy in a Hotsling

If I decide to try another type of baby carrier, I'd get an Ergo (or something similar since they're so expensive). These are better for babies past the newborn stage, but they are supposed to be very quick to put on and supportive too. They don't have lots of fabric or tying. They're also more masculine looking, so dads might feel more comfortable in something like this (although Jared has worn every type that I have. He doesn't mind--much).

Jared with Ivy in a Hotsling

Jared with Maren in the Wrapsody

I'm always open to using other types of wraps and slings, but these are what I've liked so far.

What about you? If you're a baby wearer, I'd love to know what you like!

2 comments:

  1. Adalyn is two and a half and still wants to be carried about 90% of the time. She's anti-stroller and anti-walking. It's annoying and endearing at the same time. She's too big for my moby or maya ring sling so I end up wearing my kelty pack when we go on outings. I look a bit like a freak but it keeps Adalyn happy and I don't get sore from carrying her.

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  2. Baby-wearing is so awesome, especially (I imagine) if you have two kids. And I loved your scenarios preceding "there's a wrap for that." Very clever, my dear.

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