Now, there are gazillions of parents out there who managed to raise their children just fine without ever owning a baby carrier. I, on the other hand, have somehow managed to con the DreadBrewer into letting us get not one, not two, but three of the damn things in six short months. Here are my thoughts on the models we have:
BabyHawk Mei Tei: I really liked this one when the Littlest Brewster was small and cuddly. It’s nice because you can use it from birth without an infant insert. It’s not nice because when your baby is tiny, you can froggy her legs and she’s fine. When your baby is big, she can straddle you and she’s fine. But when your baby is in the middle, she hates being froggy-ed and she hates straddling you and there’s a period where it’s not so good. Luckily, LB is now in the big phase and can comfortably put her legs around my waist, so the BabyHawk is back en vogue with us. Also, you can design your own in a million different combinations at the BabyHawk website, which makes it extra super awesome in my book. Its machine washable, folds for easy portability, and is pretty easy to put on, even by yourself. The only other con I can think of is that your little one can’t face out – she either faces you or faces the back of your head – but some babies prefer that. I have not worn this carrier on long walks (longer than ½ mile), but at shorter distances it’s pretty comfortable.
Infantino Flip Front 2 Back: I got this one because I wanted to try a structured carrier but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on it. And I liked the fact that the Littlest Brewster could face in or out. And it was pretty great – until LB hit the 16 lb mark or so. At that point, the carrier put so much strain on my back that there was no way I could comfortably tote her for more than 5 minutes. It’s not a very ergonomically designed carrier and in no way supports good posture or healthy back mechanics. But, it is easy to get your little one in and out of and is very inexpensive. I would not recommend buying this one – if you want to spend your money on a soft structured carrier, I highly recommend that you go with the Ergo.
Ergo Performance Carrier: This is the carrier that I finally ended up with and it’s the carrier I should have gotten from the start. It is a little difficult to get the shoulder strap buckled and in position by yourself, but I’ve gotten around that by leaving it buckled and sliding it over my head with LB in the carrier already. (Do not try that if you don’t want to mess up your hair. It leaves you looking like a hot mess when you’re done, but it works.) You can wear your baby on your front, back, or hip in this carrier; so far, LB likes the front carry the best. It is a very comfortable carrier and doesn’t put crazy strain on my back the way the Infantino did. It’s been too hot lately to put LB in for long periods of time, but I really think that this will be my go-to carrier when it cools down in the fall. Even DB tried it out the other day, although he said it was too hot to keep her in there for long. (Which is true – the carrier does make you and your little one hot. But I don’t think the Ergo is worse than any other carrier would be.)
I also thought about, and rejected, the idea of getting a Moby or a ring sling. I figured 3 carriers were plenty for one baby.
The Littlest Brewster was never one of those babies who refused to be put down, so I never had to strap her to me in order to get things done around the house. I mainly use our carrier for running errands and watering/harvesting the garden. ((It’s a great workout to squat and pick vegetables with a 20 lb infant strapped to your chest.)) Now that LB can sit in the front of the cart (such a big girl!), I might not use it as much. But then again, I might. I worry the entire time she’s in the cart – What if she falls out? What if someone steals her? What if she licks the cart handle? – and I don’t when she’s strapped to me.
Although after the amount of money we’ve got invested in baby carriers, DB might have an apoplectic fit if I don’t continue to use them. 😉