With Baby 3 on his/her way and my first niece due in the next month, I’ve been thinking a lot about my favorite baby items. One of my must-haves is a baby sling/carrier. I love baby wearing. It makes like so much easier to have your hands free and be “holding” your baby. Not to mention the perks of not galavanting everywhere with a giant, awkward stroller in tow (I didn’t even bother buying a stroller for Lucy)! But I always have a hard time answering the question, “What’s the best kind of baby sling/wrap?”
Here’s some I love and the pros and cons of each:
The Moby Wrap:
(Daniel and a sleeping Baby Benjamin)
Daniel and I both love using this one for itty bitty babes. They feel so snuggly and secure and the two-shoulderedness keeps it comfortable for your back.
Pros: Very Secure. Easy on the Back. You can make it yourself with some long, slightly stretchy fabric. Great for babies with reflux because they can fall asleep in an upright position.
Cons: Really annoying to take on and off. Also takes several attempts before you can remember exactly how to wrap it. And my personal pet peeve, when the long ends drag the ground in the parking lot when you’re putting it on. Eew! Also, the way it wraps really isn’t flattering on my post-partum lovehandles. Just sayin’.
(Lucy slept through her first Nutcracker very cozily.)
The Maya is one of my favorites because it’s so easy to put on and take off. Once I got the hang of tightening the fabric with the ring sling, it takes mere seconds to get baby in. I also really love the particular pattern of fabric I have.
(Daniel carried Lucy in the Maya everywhere on our trip to St. Augustine.)
Pros: Great for a newborn hold or an older infant. Easy and quick to put on and adjust to the right length. Attractive. Great for grocery trips, short walks and errands, etc. Very, VERY durable. I’ve used mine several times a week since Lucy’s birth and it still looks brand new. The “tail” of extra fabric is also handy as a nursing coverup.
Cons: The one-shoulder style hurts my back and makes my shoulder cramp after a long day of walking around with baby tucked in the Maya.
(Lucy loving the mesh sling on her first trip to the beach.)
This is simply awesome for the shower or the pool. I used this to take Lucy to the pool all summer and was able to keep both hands free for my daredevil 3-year-old’s antics while she happily dipped her toes in the water and napped. Lifesaver. Similar in design to the Maya. I even used when we weren’t going to be in water over the summer because it’s so darn hot in Florida and the mesh is breathable.
Be Cozy/Mei Tai
(Toddler wearing Lucy in a BeCozy.)
I was bemoaning that I couldn’t cook or garden with any of my wraps/slings because Lucy could reach out and grab things (making the kitchen especially dangerous). My friend Alyssa introduced me to her BeCozy wrap in a Mei Tai style which allows baby to be carried on your back or in front. I know that technically the Maya and the Moby can be used with babe on the back but it was honestly too tricky for me to figure out. This carrier is awesome for being in the kitchen or other tasks when you need both hands and don’t want baby’s hands in your project.
Pros: Two-shoulder design is very comfortable. Can be worn in front or back. Very secure. Better than the Maya for longer outings when you’ll be doing a lot of walking (I walked with 21lb Lucy on my back for over two hours with minimal discomfort even for my pregnant back.)
Cons: A little tricky to learn to put on. I needed an extra hand to get her on my back securely before I got it down.
So, what do I recommend? I really can’t nail it down to one wrap because each one shines in different circumstances. But if you were going to buy just two, I would recommend the Maya and the BeCozy–one for quick errands and one for longer walks/outings/cooking.
Do you have a favorite way to wear your baby?
Disclosure: I received a review copy of the BeCozy. All other wraps I purchased myself. I was not paid to write this post. All opinions are, as always, my own 🙂
I did a DIY sling, similar to the Maya. I had HUGE problems with it because my baby is sooooooo long that even as an infant, she didn’t fit in the infant hold and wasn’t old enough to use any of the others. Just something to keep in mind for taller people with taller babies. I love my Beco though and it’s a front, hip, and back carrier, infant all the way up to 40 lbs (or whenever you can’t bear the weight anymore). If I had paid for it, I would say best couple hundred bucks I ever spent, but I got it as a hand-me-down so even better. I am considering a mobi for #2 though so I can work in the kitchen easier.
I have an Ergo and a Didymos wrap. We both love the Ergo for its ease and comfort. I love my Didymos but I don’t use it as much as the Ergo, mostly for the same reasons as you listed for your Moby. But it is so comfortable and versatile. My husband, however, will not even attempt it 🙂 If we ever have a newborn or small baby I am getting a ring sling!
I also love the Moby (though not perfect because of the origami wrapping to get it on!) for small babes, but after the first few months my hands down favorite is the Ergo. It’s comfortable and super easy to use. Baby feels close. Can be worn like backpack for toddlers.
I love my Beco. The fact that it had a huge owl on the front did help the money spring from my wallet. My only complaint is that my ‘model’ does not forward face baby.
Molly Makes Do says
We actually loved our baby bjorn, but I want to get a maya or similar for next time around. Timely post though – I’m starting to go through all the things I did the first time to create a plan and wish list for next time around!
Janelle G says
I hated the Moby because I felt like the stretchy fabric was very unsecure (especially once your babe is no longer a newborn). The Baby Bjorn was nice up until about 13lbs for me then it started to hurt my back (thank goodness I bought it off of Craigslist so I wasn’t wasting money!) I purchased a Boba baby carrier for my toddler and am excited to try out the infant mode when our newest little one arrives (any day would be great now little one!). I love wearing babies because I hate having to lug around a giant stroller plus I’m pretty sure wearing my baby will be a huge advantage as I chase my 18 mo old around 🙂
I love my Moby wrap for around the house in the very new itty bitty stage. I used and still use my ring sling all the time, but as you stated it’s not for long trips. I mostly keep it in my purse for quick trips to the store. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Ergo carrier. We bought it before a family trip to the mountains. Originally – we intended to use it with our oldest, James, who was then 21 months. I started using it with Evelyn when she was about 5 months. For a time – the only way I could get her to nap was to put her in it while I was cleaning/cooking/housework. We really dragged on getting one due to the price. I’m so glad we finally sucked it up & splurged. It is worth every penny.
With all three of ours, we’ve always bought 3 yards of jersey knit from a fabric store, cut it in half lengthwise, and bam! 2 “moby-esque” wraps. I thought it would be tricky at first, but you really just need to learn one good front carry and one good back carry. I relied on a website called wrapyourbaby (org or com, I don’t know) with step by step pictures (no videos!) to help me practice. I could never go back. And we’re talking 5 dollars a sling, no hemming, and washable, t-shirt like, just great!
I’ve never had problems with support, even with a 3 year old, hiking, what have you…
I love your hair short, by the way.
Thanks! I’m growing it into a bob because my face get so chubby when I’m pregnant that I’m always yearning for some extra length 🙂
I’m with Julia and Cassidy – Moby for the first few months (I have a circa 2009 Moby D, which I don’t think they make any more, but it seems a little sturdier than most Mobys), then switch on over to the Ergo (works both front and back, and so comfy). I am also obsessed, in a borderline unhealthy way, with the Gypsy Mama Water Wrap – http://www.wrapsodybaby.com/shop/proddetail.php?prod=water – similar to a Moby, but stretchy, has UV protection, and waterproof. And it doesn’t turn me into quite the sweaty mess my Moby does when it’s hot out. I’m going to live in it this summer after I have my May baby, for sure.
Have you ever tried the Ergo? It looks like the BeCozy is similar, except the Ergo has all backpack-like adjustable clips instead of tying. Obviously, I don’t have a lot of personal experience, just carrying around our friends’ twins sometimes in during the 2 months we stayed with them here in Nepal, but I found them comfortable on front or back. (This was w/ ~ 16 lb 6-7 mnth olds.) One time, their dad had one on in front and one in back at the same time! Several other friends here also swear by them, because they are durable, sturdy, and good for your back for anything from walking to get veggies to day-long trekking. One of my friends trekked for multiple days with a 2 yr old in one. (She is also super strong, but she did think it was far more comfortable than using a bigger carrier made for backpacking, like a Kelty.)
All the Nepali women just tie their babies on their backs with a big shawl. They’re amazing at slinging their babies back and tying them on without a hitch.
I haven’t tried the Ergo. But I have friends that swear by it!
Oh, I’ve got to add a vote for a soft structured carrier (Ergo, Beco, Boba). Having both shoulders and hips to support the weight of your baby is awesome. Awesome.
For my first I used a mei tai and a stretchy wrap until I finished my carrier (I made it, and I love it).
For my second I used a woven wrap (with a tiny bit of stretch the width of the carrier) until he was big enough for me to feel comfortable with him in the carrier (15ish pounds). I was sooooooo glad too. My back was definitely hurting after walking the mile-ish to the grocery store with the little one in the carrier and dealing with the toddler/groceries. We still walk to the grocery store, but I’m telling you, that waist strap is my best friend.
Not so good for sitting though, so I still go back to a wrap for Mass, etc. where I know I’ll be sitting a lot.
Sarah O says
I loved my Moby in early months (as seems to be the popular usage time frame), and I still use it from time to time if my (now 10 month old) son is having a bad teething day or is sick.
Otherwise, I am a Beco addict – I tried out both the Beco and Ergo, and ended up with the former due to the fact it has an infant insert that comes with, and baby/child can be put into the carrier when it’s not already clipped to you, thus making back carrying a little easier.
I tried out slings with my oldest, and they just didn’t work for me. I always felt like he was attempting to lunge out, and when I leaned over (which I realized I do *all* the time), he’d swing away from my body, which just scared me too much. I think much of this had to do with him being a huge baby and me being super short.
Next baby I’ve been considering adding a MeiTei of sorts to my collection as I’m pretty sure my time spent babywearing will only increase with each kiddo.
I just came across this article about baby carrying via a friend who is a doula and I thought you might find it interesting. http://www.bobafamily.com/research/strollers-baby-carriers-and-infant-stress/