Today we are talking about carriers and slings.
There is nothing better than a good carrier or sling, or maybe one of each, or a couple of each. There are many carriers, and even more types of slings... but they all have different uses and benefits.
Baby Bjorn Synergy
With Asher, I got the Baby Bjorn original carrier, which is nice, although I don't think it really is the BEST. If I were to get a bjorn again, I would get the new synergy carrier, as it has the extra back support (like the active bjorn model), as well as the mesh, breathable material (from the bjorn air model), which I think would be nice, as the regular model hurts my back after awhile, and the mesh material is cooler, and quick drying, which would be good for the pool. They are of course, a little more costly, ranging from about $132-$150, but I am all for getting it cheaper on ebay or craigslist. The bjorns are great for short term wearing, like for a shopping trip, at the pool, maybe a short walk. I have used mine a lot more with Sayer, as I still don't have a double stroller.
I got in touch with a friend of a friend who lives in NYC, when I found out we were moving there. She said it would be helpful to have a carrier or sling, but not one of those "wussy baby bjorns". She suggested the ERGO, which is more ERGOnomically correct, and allows the weight to be distributed evenly on the hips and shoulders, instead of the back. It is also supposed to be good for the babies hips, legs and spine alignment. It does look super cool, and is also very versatile, I think you could even use it for hiking. They can be a little costly as well, ranging from $92-$105, again, she said she got hers on craigslist. This carrier looks like it would be great for a more long term wear. She said it is great to walk around the city with, so I would take that to mean you could wear it all day if you needed to.
When I was prego with Sayer, I wanted to get a sling, for various reasons, but mostly for the newborn stage, so he could sleep in it. When I delved into my sling research, I couldn't believe how many options there were out there. My friend Sarah, helped point me in the right direction with her recommendations: zolowear, and Mei Tai. Both of which can accommodate infants and toddlers, and are very versatile.
Hotslings pouch sling
Through my searching, I ended up finding this awesome website, that has pretty much every brand of sling (as well as carrier), which you can search by style (ie: pouch, ring sling, wrap, etc), and it has tons of reviews, and pros and cons to each type of sling, as well as price ranges. It was awesome. From that, I decided that I wanted a pouch sling, and narrowed my favorites to Hotslings and Slinglings, which are both very similar. They are both pouch slings, which are very versatile, and can be used a ton of different way, for toddlers even. I don't know many people who actually want to carry their toddler, but it's nice to know you have the option. I would kind of like to try a ring sling next time around. I know my friend Lark made one, so I will have to ask her how that turned out, and if she likes it better, or just as much, as her pouch sling. I made my own pouch sling as well, as you will recall from this post. It turned out pretty good, and I do use it, even now, as it has other ways to use it as well. But, if I make one again, I will use different fabric, something more breathable and a little bit stretchier and soft. My previous post has the sites I used to make my pouch sling, one of which has patterns for many different types of slings. I believe that is where Lark got her ring sling pattern as well. Most slings, really aren't too expensive, although they can be. They range from as little as $20, to as much as $150 (which is pretty ridiculous, when you can get a great one for $35!)
Ella roo organic ring sling, from the sling station
As far as hiking carriers go... I have no idea, as I have never been in the market for one. So if you have any to recommend, let's hear it.
What are your favorite carriers and slings?