I love babywearing, I think its the best mothering tool that exists. Afterall, many cultures have different ways of carrying babies and it does free up your hands. I was introduced to Babywearing when Sarah Cate was 5 weeks old, and I tried a sling from Infantino which sucked...pardon my french, it just didn't work for us at all. My cuz Lyn and friend Randi helped me overcome my fears - they were embracing babywearing and encouraged me. I had and I started my quest for the perfect carrier for us. I have bought and sold a few carriers, and tried on MANY at my local babywearing group the Koala Mommas. Heres a trip down memory lane in the order of what I tried. My only regret is I didn't start right after Sarah was born..... some of these pics are bleh, but who cares....
#1 Baby Bjorn Mainstream USA
Here's the carrier we all register for - you can get them at Babies R Us, Target and all the megastores. We did use it and Sarah Cate loved it! Andy could wear her when she was very small facing in, she didn't tolerate me wearing her until around 2 months. Comfy carrier until she hit about 15lbs then it pulled on my neck.Sarah is about 6 months....check out those cute thighs. She really liked facing out. I sold our Bjorn to another mom.
#2 Sleeping Baby Productions Solarveil Ring Sling
LOVED IT!!! Pics are from 5 - 7 months or so. Sarah loved being all squished up in this facing out. When she hit about 20 lbs, it was a little uncomfy for longer carries. Sold it during the fall as we just weren't using it anymore. Looks like the ring is a little low in the pic that is kind of yellowed, this was my first time trying it on after I got it. We have facing out and facing in hip carry. Solarveil is a very lightweight fabric, great for summer. It also contains UV protection, the "tail" was great as a cover. You can also use this one in the pool, it dries quickly. Andy wouldn't try the ring sling..... I miss this one...maybe because it was my first non mainstream carrier.
#3 Mei Tai - Ball Baby Overall
AHHH, a two shouldered carrier that is so comfy! The Mei Tai is my favorite carrier. You can use from infancy to toddlerhood. Sarah Cate is about 7months in that photo, check out the baldness like daddy. This BBO carrier is the most comfy front carry for me. I have to say, being able to snuggle and kiss any time, this is my favorite position - look at that cute little snuggle. I have worn Sarah on my back in this carrier, but I prefer it for the front. FYI BBO is one of the carriers I sell I love it THAT much.
#4 Hip Panda Hip Carrier
I really liked this one, its a one shoulder buckle carrier. VERY fast to put on and the way the shoulder strap hugs the shoulder was actually VERY comfy. I used it alot when we did quick in and out of smaller stores like Kroger, Trader Joes or Walgreens. Because it was a one shoulder carrier, couldn't wear for very long. I got it when SC was about 8 months, wish I would have got it when she was smaller as she seemed too big for it very soon after I got it....she could easily lean. You can see the flap on the top of the back does fold up for head support when they are smaller. Sorry these shots are bad, I wore it and sold it around 11 months, just didn't get any good pictures. Playtex has a similar carrier for sale at the megastores - but the Hip Panda has a MUCH better shoulder.
#5 The Search Continues for the Perfect Soft Structured Carrier - like a backpack....
I began to look for a Soft Structured Carrier, similar to the Mei Tai, but it buckles instead of ties. You can wear all these type of carriers on the front or back. In my search, I tried on an Ergo Blue/Green, Beco Blue/Brown Circles with Brown Straps, Babies Beyond Borders Green Floral AND ended up with the Patapum in Navy Blue. Crafty me,I even made a cover for the Patapum out of some Ralph Lauren paisley fabric I got on markdown. The Patapum to me was the most comfy and didn't dig under my arms or put any strain on my shoulders, its an Italian company and actually the cheapest of them all...bonus. But it was blah boring on looks..... never satisfied..
#6 Nana's Jetpack Soft Structured Carrier
In an effort to get something cute, I bought this carrier from my cuz Lyn. It didn't work for her, but was super comfy on me. VERY lightweight and great for the diaper bag as far as compact. Cute summery colors, nice and bright. Sarah Cate loved it also, she was always happy in that carrier. I sold it during the winter when I wasn't using it as much. I regret selling it. Nana I love your jetpack.
#7 Kozy Mei Tai
Tried on a Kozy and fell in love. Nice large body that evenly distributes the weight. Heavy duty fabrics for support, and cute. Nice padded shoulders. I sell Kozys because for a Mei Tai back carry, for me, they are GREAT! Here's a pic of us at Church heading towards the picnic on my back and one from Halloween on my front. Kozy is my all time favorite Mei Tai - especially for the back carries.
#8 Olives and Applesauce Soft Structured Carrier
Sarah has reached about 25lbs and while I am still loving my Kozy carriers, was looking for something with a little more support to put the weight on my hips. So I tried what had to be the prettiest carrier ever, the blue flowers, but it was too tall. Sarah likes having at least one arm out and she couldn't do this, so off it went to another home. I was lucky I found the brown strapped one one which is actually a backpack/mei tai hybrid.....it buckles at the waist and has straps like a Mei Tai. OMG, this is one comfortable carrier.....I am in love. Its purty AND comfy. We went to Pittsburgh for a wedding and I didn't take a stroller. Sarah napped on my back for well over an hour, almost 2 one day and I was super comfy. It puts all the weight on your hips, NONE in your shoulders. My Kozy is super comfy, but let me tell you, for long haul wearing, this one beats it...again I attribute to the padded waist as the shape of the carrier and body size are similar enough. As for the name Olives and Applesauce, I have NO idea where it came from, other than the company slogan, something for every taste.
So, what is the perfect carrier for me? Well..... they are all good and have merits. I have really loved my Ring Sling, BBO Mei Tai, Kozy Mei Tai, Jetpack, Patapum and my Olives and Applesauce. I don't wear my BBO as much these days since Sarah is so tall....the front carry is just not as condusive and again, the BBO for me is the most comfy front carry. Still use my Kozy when walking the neighborhood or when out and about and I wear Sarah. If I wear it for long periods, I can feel it in my shoulders, not painful but I feel the weight on my shoulders compared to my O&A. I love how you can fold up Mei Tais, so the Kozy is probably my fav right now, and its a great price. the Patapum is a great carrier, but i have the infant version and its short so Sarah an lean, which pulls on my back. For travel, the Olives and Applesauce hands down is the best as I can wear it for much longer and feel nothing on my shoulders. Sarah will also nap in this carrier, she doesn't do that in the Kozy anymore, she used to, but not anymore. There is no best one.....I have moods, and I wear what suits me at the time. It sure is fun trying on different carriers though - and my car always has 2 carriers in it. The best place to do that is at a Koala Mommas Meeting which I colead in Decatur. You should see how many carriers some of the other mamas have....my little stash looks like nothing in comparison. If I had to do it all again, I would have gotten a wrap when Sarah was tiny....I didn't even touch on those with her.
Bye for now, its been fun! If you want to buy a carrier from me....Sweet Baby Sugar is the place to go.
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