The No-Method Method to Getting Your Baby From Place to Place

12 May

I try really hard not to be judgy. When people push giant strollers into library storytime, I tell myself that a) maybe they have back problems, or b) maybe they live close by and walked. I do, however, have a general preference for baby carriers, both for convenience and because I’m sold on the benefits. In fact after we stopped using the frame stroller and infant car seat, we didn’t even have a stroller for a while. (I love my baby; why would I want to push her away from me?)

Anyway, the result is that I’ve used a wide variety of baby carriers in the past ten months–although not nearly as many as people who are really committed to the cause–and I’ve developed some strong preferences. Here they are, in order of my encounter with them:

Infant carseat

Pros: If the baby falls asleep, she can be transferred easily back to the car. Some babies sleep better in a slightly upright position. Can be placed on shopping cart (not a recommended use).

Cons: Pretty much everything else: flat head syndrome, lack of adult interaction, turns baby into furniture, leaves baby exposed to germy fingers, heavy and awkward. Ugh, I really don’t like these things.

Moby wrap

I chopped my face off because this is about seven days pp and I look JACKED. You can still see the tape and bruise on my arm from the IV.

Pros: Lots of carrying options. Can be used by parents of any size. Baby feels very secure in it. Comes in many exciting colors and patterns. Doesn’t bind your arms.

Cons: A little hard to wrap–not really spontaneous, unless you get really good at it. Hard to manage after baby hits 15 pounds or so (for me). Abby was not a fan at first.

Baby Bjorn

Do you really want to look like this guy?

Pros: Easy to adjust. Easy to use with little babies. Helped me figure out that the only way Abby would sleep was in a carrier.

Cons: You look like a celebrity dad from the early 2000s. Baby’s weight is supported on the crotch. Not very comfortable to wear. Babies look a little uncomfortable and dangling facing forward like that. (Note: I see from their website that they’ve started making an Ergo-like carrier. Good move!)

Ergo

Pros: EVERYTHING. I love this thing. I almost didn’t buy it because of the cost, but I used it every single day from 6 weeks to 4.5 months, and for many days after that. It’s comfortable for everyone! Here is a whole series of pictures to demonstrate:

Abby’s about seven weeks old in this one. She’s swaddled and set in sideways, elevated by a burp cloth. This is how we got around the recommendation to use the Ergo only from about four months.

There's a baby in there!

Here she is at four months, still sidesaddle. It took her a few days to adjust to facing me.

And here she is at about six months:

I can’t say enough good things about the Ergo!

Cons: Can be a little tricky to adjust at first. Baby tends to get in the way of a lot of activity; you can type or knit, but cooking and cleaning are difficult. Tends to get food on it.

Maya Sling

I borrowed a Maya ring sling from a neighbor for a few weeks. It helped during the transition from sidesaddle in the Ergo to facing in, because for a while she only wanted to be carried facing out. The Maya and Moby both support facing out.

Pros: Easy to get on. Can be used in a variety of positions. Good for hip carries.

Cons: I always found the sling hard to adjust and a little painful; the ring tends to dig into my shoulder. Binds your arm.

A Scarf

I was looking into getting a Didymos sling when I took a second look at the website and realized that what they were selling was a PIECE OF FABRIC. Yes, a nice piece of fabric, but a piece of fabric nonetheless. And then I thought, “Self, what did women do before companies existed to market baby slings? They used fabric they already had.” So I went into my closet and got a long scarf. It worked great. I don’t have a picture of it, but I basically just tied it around myself like sash, fairly snugly, and used it to support Abby on my hip. No fuss, easy carrier. Not super comfortable for long periods of time, but excellent for getting from the car to the library, say. Your mileage will vary depending on the length and type of material.

Pros: You probably have one already. Easy to tie.

Cons: Not great for extended babywearing sessions. Does tend to bind an arm.

Frame Carrier (MacPac)

Blurry iPhone mirror pic!

I bought this used at a consignment sale for the long hikes that Chris and I were planning to take but have not yet taken. I did walk around the block in it.

Pros: Comfortable, has storage space, gives Abby a good view of the surrounding area. Good for rough terrain and long hikes.

Cons: A little intense for daily use.

Jogging Stroller

Since Abby broke the 22-pound mark, I’ve slowly become a stroller convert. Even in a back carry, 20-pounds is no joke; and in a southern state with the humidity and heat creeping up, carrying her is not as comfortable as it was in breezy SoCal.

Everyone in my area–and I mean everyone–has a BOB stroller. Shandon has like a freaking BOB army. If you’re planning on having a few kids, or if you have lots of disposable income, I totally get spending $400 on a stroller. For us, however, a cheap alternative is working out fine. This is a Schwinn fixed wheel (we went with a fixed-wheel because I planned to do a fair amount of running) and we got it on major sale because it was last season’s color scheme, or something.

Pros: Easy on the ol’ back. Can be used in any weather. Good for long walks.

Cons: No interaction with baby. I feel a little bad keeping her at exhaust-level. Difficult to transport and store–I can only haul the baby or the stroller, not both at the same time.

* * *

The No-Method Method to Getting Your Baby From Place to Place

Carriers and strollers each have their place. It’s nice to wear your babies if you can, especially when they’re very little. If you do, get an Ergo. (Or not.)

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5 Responses to “The No-Method Method to Getting Your Baby From Place to Place”

  1. Kristine May 13, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Really helpful info. I really wish I’d have put a lot more thought into the ergonomics of how I was getting my 4 kids around as infants and toddlers. To this day, I’m paying the price for packing them around in a way that wasn’t very ergonomic (carried on my left hip, in the crook of my arm). :/

  2. firstmute May 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    I was just thinking the other day that I couldn’t imagine how people managed with lots of kids. The pick up/ put down phase is murder! (I guess that’s why you start putting the older ones to work, right?)

  3. tracysday June 23, 2011 at 1:17 am #

    Thanks for the info. I really like my Moby but it gets frustrating that I have to keep tightening it. I’m going to look into an Ergo. The Moby has helped so much with my two year old’s transition to having a new baby sister. It allows me to still do stuff and play will him while continuing to keep baby happy.

    • firstmute June 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      Hey, thanks for stopping by! I really love my Ergo. I think Infantino makes a kind of knock-off that’s cheaper; you could look into that too. Sounds like babywearing is making your whole family happier (except for your poor back!).

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Didymos knock-off, and a tutorial! « The No-Method Method to Happy, Healthy Children - June 23, 2011

    […] making my own, I decided just to make do with what I had, which you may remember from my lengthy babywearing post–until we were in New York a couple of weekends ago, and it became abundantly clear that Abby […]

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