Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baby Carriers

If you know me very well, you know I love babywearing!  I love the emotional and bonding aspects of it as well as the convenience when you have other children to tend to.  That being said, I have owned quite a few different carriers.  Lately, I have had several people ask my advice on different carriers.  Below is a listing of the various carriers I have owned and my opinions on them.  I hope it helps you and feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

Pouch slings - Urban Baby, Lucky Baby, Peanut Shell - the Peanut Shell fit me so much better than anything else. Pouches work great to nestle little babies in or to do hip carries with older ones. I carried Bright when he was 3 on my hip in a pouch. He wasn't fond of it, but he still fit! You can do a back carry with a pouch, as well. I just haven't been brave enough to try it. I use my SSC for back carries. I only use a pouch for quick trips, though. My boys are both too big to be comfortable in a one shouldered carry for very long. If you use a pouch sling or ring sling, make sure that you see how to properly fit an infant so they can breathe properly. The chin should NOT be touching the chest and fabric should not be covering the baby's face.

Wraps - Moby Wrap, Bekaboo Baby Wrap - keeps baby nice & close, however, it is not quick to get on/off. Stretchy, so really only good for smaller babies, less than 9 months or so.

Hybrid Wrap/Pouch - Baby K'Tan - love, love, love this carrier. Keeps baby close like a wrap or you can do lots of other carries, but you don't have to deal with actually wrapping. Stretchy like the Moby, so best for smaller ones.  It is super versatile, I think there are like 6 different holds you can do with one.

Soft Structured Carriers (SSC) - Yamo, Pikkolo, Ergo, Olives & Applesauce - They are all good carriers, the Ergo is the only one that didn't fit me that well just b/c I have really narrow sloping shoulders, but most people love their Ergo's. These are quick and easy - some even come with infant inserts for itty-bitty babies.

Asian Baby Carriers (ABC) - Babyhawk Mei Tai- comfy & cute, but you need to be comfortable with tying the straps. It doesn't take long to get accustomed to, but if you are doing alot of up & downs with the kiddo, it is annoying. I got rid of mine b/c it was too much to thread the straps through Rigley's brace. Although, I miss it and wish I would have kept it. I have not used it with a tiny baby, but many people do. With a small baby, you would probably want to roll it at the waist to give it a shorter body.

Also an ABC is the Beco Obi. I really liked this carrier, but it is probably best for the less than 1 year old crowd as well. They don't make these anymore and they are difficult to find.

I want to leave you with some babywearing safety tips from QuirkyBaby:

Here are the rules you should follow for a newborn or young baby under four months of age, or until she achieves good head and neck control:

  • For a front carry, baby should be in the same position you'd hold her in in your arms. She should be in the "babywearing zone" between your collarbone and your waistline, either upright in a tummy to tummy position or in a slightly reclined seated position. In the correct carrying position, you can kiss the top of her head.
  • Never allow baby to be curled into a C-position with her chin forced to her chest. Think T2T (tummy to tummy) not C2C (chin to chest).
  • Her airway must always be clear. Her chin must be up off her chest with her neck straight and her head in a neutral position. You should be able to get one to two fingers between her chin and her chest.
  • Her face must always be visible. Do not allow fabric to cover her nose, mouth, or face.
  • Do not allow her face to be pressed into your body. Check her when she's actively nursing to ensure her nose is not blocked, and when she's finished nursing, re-position her so that her nose and mouth are not obstructed by your body or by the sling fabric.
  • Her body should be fully supported by the baby sling or baby carrier, from her bottom to her back to her neck, to avoid any slumping or slouching.

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