"The problem with the Baby Bjorn is it’s a two-man job,” complained my brother Mike. A new dad, he was having trouble finding a comfortable baby carrier. “Someone needs to adjust the back straps for me. Otherwise, the buckle rides up too high on the back and it hits me on the wrong spot. Once it’s on correctly, it’s comfortable. But I won’t always have someone with me.” The man needed a back-up baby carrier, and his li’l sis had the mission.
“I covet my friend’s Maya wrap [$49.95–$84.95 at mayawrap.com],” admitted sis Nancy. “I used to be turned off by the tribal look, but now they come in a variety of fabrics. All my friends who have the wrap…their babies are always so happy in it.”
Nancy owns two baby carriers, a Baby Bjorn ($79.99 at target.com) and the Lucky Baby ($25–$38 at Lucky-baby.com). “I use the Bjorn for walking with the baby. The Lucky Baby I use more often. It’s a one-piece sling, no clasp, with a tiny pocket for a credit card. Mine is black toile, very chic. It comes in different sizes, which is good for my smaller body. Some other carriers I’ve tried hit me way too low. The Lucky Baby is easy to put on but bad if you need to put the baby down. It feels like you can do more with it than you can with the Bjorn, since the baby is more to the side.”
“I tried the Hot Slings [$48 at hotslings.com],” explained sis Meg, “and it felt better than an Over the Shoulder Sling because it wasn’t so bulky. But the baby was really close to me, and my babies get so fat so quickly, I couldn’t shove them in it. Then I tried a Moby Wrap ($69.95 at Mobywrap.com). “It took me so long to get on, I stopped using it also. Now I just carry my babies around.”
“My Over the Shoulder Baby Holder [$49.95 at Slingbaby.com] has been used for six babies. It’s 14 years old,” touted friend Lissa. “I use it every day. It was the only carrier I could cinch up tight to get the baby close to me. And they sell it in petite sizes. It’s very comfortable, has a shoulder pad for when the babies are little. I wear it backwards so they can lay their head on the padding like a little pillow. When they are older, I turn it around and can hold the baby chest-to-chest, which is very comfortable, or I can hold them on my hip. I can use it that way until they are about two or three years old.”
Bernice is also a fan of the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder. “I can nurse the baby in the sling while I’m out and about,” she said. “There is nowhere to nurse when you are at a grocery store. So I put the sling on, put her on the breast, and hold her with one arm to keep her in position and continue my shopping. Even at home, if I’m cooking and I need to stir the pot, I can do that with one hand.
“The other nice thing about the sling is it’s easy for dads. My hubby can take the baby from me and put the sling on and adjust it to his size very quickly…. The newborn babies feel like they are back in the womb when they are carried in a sling. They can lie with their knees bent up, arms snuggled at their side, cuddled just like they were in the womb.”
Mary, a longtime college friend, swears by her Ergo Baby Carrier ($94–$105 at ergobabycarrier.com). “It’s an Italian-made carrier,” she explained. “When our baby girl was little, we used a sling. She grew so big that it was taking a toll on my back. I tried other carriers, but my back always hurt. Then we found the Ergo, and my back never hurts. It can be used for a newborn up to a large toddler. And you can wear it on your front, back, or on the side.”
“The only baby carrier I’ve ever owned is a ZoloWear [$34 at SoBeBabies.com],” said my friend Erica. “And, to be honest, I bought it for the pattern on the fabric,” she laughed. “It’s a one-piece pouch that you can adjust with buttons on the side. There is no padding, but it doesn’t ever cut into me. You can have the baby kangaroo style, cradle hold, chest-to-chest, or on the hip, which I use it most for. The baby sits very comfortably on the hip.”