Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Morgan's Picks: carriers/slings addition

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.

Carriers:

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.

The ERGO

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.

Slings: 

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?

8 comments:

Lisa said...

I love hearing other people's thoughts about baby products because there is an obscene amount of stuff out there just waiting for our money! We have the baby bjorn air. I really like it but next time I would get the synergy with the back support (john just could not stomach spending the extra 50 bucks for back support!) That Ergo looks pretty nice though so maybe that would be even better for long term wearing. You'll have to tell all if you get one.

Amanda said...

I loved my moby wrap - very versatile, and my Maya Ring sling - used it until Silvester was walking, but now he's too heavy.
And for backpack carriers - we love the Deuter Kid Comfort II that we bought at REI - didn't like the REI brand ones. The Deuter is super comfortable for hikes, and the sun/rain shade is a must.
We didn't really like the Kelty Kanga kid carrier, which we tried but didn't really get comfortable with. I say wrap 'em up in a wrap and they can co anywhere - on your back, side, front, wherever.

DaNae said...

I never used one with Ella cuz I thought they were sort of hippy style, but it seems like most people have them these days. I will have to refer back to this when I am in the market again.

Ash & Ry said...

I LOVE my Bjorn, I just have the regular one but have used it with both kids a ton. I got the New Native Carrier this time around but haven't used it a ton... I can see how the Ergo would be nice on your back. You'll have to let me know if you like (if you get it). Good luck!

Michal Thompson said...

I have a pouch sling that I love, however, I don't use it too much. I don't know why. RIght now I use my carseat stroller the most. It would be way cool to get a stand attatchment for it. I know you can get that seperate. So many options, so hard to decide.

Sarah said...

Thanks, Morgan for the great links. Yes, weraing your baby has so many benefits for mom and baby. The baby gets the bonding and comfort of smelling mom and being close(it is also great to nurse with a sling and most people can never even tell). For mom, you get your hands free! I didn't get a sling till Bella was 8 months or so but I wish I had had one earlier. From what I understand, the Bjorn/snuggli types are not good for babies hips and back. The less structured ones are supposed to be better. I loved my pouch sling till Bella was almost 11 months or so and then I got a Baby Hawk Mei Tai carrier which I have been using ever since. It can go on front or back just like the ergo. They run about the same in price but I guess I got the mei tai because I could pick any cool fabric I wanted(personal style) and it seemed to roll up smaller. A friend of mine who has an ergo loves it because she says it feels the best on her back and she has EVERY type of carrier. Well, just my input. Check out the Babyhawk website to see how cool they are!!

Bethanne said...

Nothing glamorous for us, but I have used the Baby Bjorn for both my kids...and I have LOVED it. With Leah I used it a lot more, but she fit it better (Jax is so stocky). Plus we got it as a gift (free is always great!) Thanks for the ideas for next time!

Lark said...

What a fun post! I loved hearing your input on all the baby stuff. Although I just had my 3rd baby, I feel like I hardly know what is out there with baby wearing. I am barely scratching the surface.
About my slings, I actually use the pouch sling more. It is way more versatile than I thought. I really thought i would use my ring sling a lot, but I honestly never do because it ends up being so much effort adjusting and re-adjusting the rings. I also have a baby bjorn and this is the first that I heard taht they are not good for baby's back and hips. I like it fine for the first 9 months of baby's life.
About hiking backpacks - we have 2. One is the Kelty original - its an old hand-me-down. We just bought one last year but I don't even remember the brand. It works fine. We are still pinching pennies so we usually go with cheap. As soon as Parker gets "a real job" we will probably be done having kids. That will be the time we could actually afford all this stuff.