baby wearing

we are big fans of baby wearing.

here's a few reasons why:
-we live in a tiny flat with very limited room for stroller storage.
-we live up two flights of super narrow stairs, and we don't have a lift.
-we love traveling (and thus are on an airplane or an adventure often - and we don't want to lug around a bulky stroller!).
-wearing our baby has seriously promoted soothing, bonding, napping, and productivity.
-we don't want to spend money on a newborn attachment for a stroller, or on a stroller generally before we feel we really need one.
-our little moses makes a lot of strangers on the streets of london happy when they see him peering out of (or sweetly snoozing in) a baby carrier.

i am so so glad that moses has spent so much of the first months of his life snuggled close to mom or dad, and that he has been along for all of our adventures, no matter the terrain.

we have used five different baby carriers over the past five months of moses's life, and i've gotten a lot of questions about our experiences with the different brands/types. every carrier has pros and cons, and it can be tricky to decide what's right for you and your baby. today i'm sharing some info that i hope is useful to future baby wearers out there! please let me know in the comments section if you have any questions!

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nesting days newborn carrier


this carrier is especially designed for brand new babies and for skin-to-skin contact. it's really fantastic for starting out with baby wearing and for the precious (but wild) first weeks of baby's life. {you can read my full review of this carrier here.}
pros
-it's super easy to put on and to put the baby in. it's also really easy to breastfeed in because you can just take off the shoulder straps and then slip them back on when you're done (no re-wrapping or adjustment required).
-skin-to-skin has a lot of benefits, and this carrier makes it convenient to have lots of good skin-to-skin time.
-the spandex fabric is really great. not only does it make the carrier so easy to put on and adjust (as noted above), but it also just feels really good on a newly postpartum body. the panel of fabric under the baby pouch holds any squishiness around the belly in, which - believe me - is really awesome in the first few weeks after giving birth.
cons
-it's only suitable for newborns up to eighteen pounds, so it's an expense that can only be utilized for a few months.
-in my experience, it's tricky to get baby's head in a comfortable position. when i tucked moses's head into one of the shoulder wings, it would often slip around.

solly baby wrap


we borrowed this carrier from a friend, and i'm absolutely buying one (or more - there are so many pretty colour/pattern options!) the next time we have a baby.
pros
-this is the most comfortable carrier i have used. weight distribution is just right, the fabric is super lightweight and breathable, and it's so adjustable that you can find the perfect fit continually as your baby grows.
-i think it looks really stylish - kind of acts as a cute accessory in addition to a baby carrier.
cons
-it's a hassle to get on. because the strip of fabric is so long, it always touches the floor when being wrapped on, so it's not the best for putting on when you're out and about. it also takes a bit of time to get it wrapped correctly (without any twists, etc). i've gotten a lot quicker and better at getting it on and situated, but when i want to quickly get out the door, this is not my preferred carrier.
-it's tricky to get the right looseness/tightness. sometimes i have to rewrap a few times, and sometimes i get out and about and realize moses is situated uncomfortably high on my chest, or has become wrapped too loosely.

wildbird ring sling


i was sent one of these carriers to try out with moses.
pros
-it's pretty. i love the way it looks on and it's just a really beautiful, well-made product.
-it's very quick to put on and to put the baby in. super easy - the first carrier i grab if i'm in a hurry.
-wildbird's website has great video tutorials, and the company provides super support. i was struggling a bit with getting the sling and my baby adjusted correctly, and a wildbird representative sent me a personalized video explaining how i could fix a couple of issues.
cons
-it takes a bit of work to figure out and a bit of time to break in. i had a little bit of a hard time deciding if i had threaded the fabric through the rings correctly, and am actually still discovering ways to make it fit more comfortably.
-it is more uncomfortable to wear that the other carriers i have used - i get bothered by the weight over only one shoulder or the rings on my collarbone or the fabric on my neck. (i'm sure these things could be rectified with more experience, but it would take some investment of time and energy.)

ergo adapt


we were gifted this carrier at our london baby shower - we had heard great things about ergo's soft structured carriers, and this was their brand new model. we didn't realize when we got it that it does not support an outward-facing position, which is why we bought another soft structured carrier (baby bjorn below) and may sell this one (even though we've loved a lot of things about it!).
pros
-it is straightforward to put on and adjust (i like that it has clips as opposed to velcro) and it's ergonomic design feels very secure and comfortable for baby as he grows (there's several different levels/positionings so it will work for many, many months).  
-no newborn insert is needed (like with some other soft structured carriers).
-it can be worn on the front or the back of the adult. 
-the pocket in the front (which contains a sun shade but can also be used to store other small things) is really useful.
cons
-it does not have an outward-facing option and it's pretty pricey (we'd say it's definitely worth the cost if it had an outward-facing position, but it doesn't).
-it's hard to clip the back clip without someone else to help, so it's tricky to get on when you're alone with baby.

baby bjorn one air
we just bought this carrier because we could tell moses would really appreciate being able to face outward and see more of the beautiful world around him! 
pros
-the meshy breathable fabric is really comfortable and easy to wipe down. 
-the clips on the straps and the front of the carrier are a cool design that make it easy to put baby in and turn him around. often we'll be wearing moses in the baby bjorn and turn him from inward to outward facing or vis versa really quickly and easily. 
-it has several levels/positionings so it's safe and comfortable for baby as he grows.
-no newborn insert is needed (like with some other soft structured carriers).
-it can be worn on the front (inward or outward facing) or the back of the adult.
cons
-it feels quite strappy - there's six different straps that sometimes are annoying as they dangle (when the carrier is on and also when it is off).

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all of our carriers have taken some time and learning to get used to ... i think some people give up on baby wearing because it doesn't feel comfortable or convenient right away. but it's so so worth it to stick with it.

we will be getting a stroller in the next few weeks and i'm not sure how moses will respond to being strapped in to one! we will continue to wear him for many many months to come and are excited about all the adventures we will take our different carriers on - with moses inside, and eventually his siblings!

again, please let me know if you have any questions that i can be helpful with re: baby wearing! 

32 comments:

  1. So many options! It's funny how with so many things to choose from the good, old fashioned baby bjorn remains a top choice. My boys loved it so much that when they got bigger we always had it in the bottom basket of the stroller to pull out when they got fussy.

    It's so sweet that you are looking forward to having more children but there's something very presumptuous about the way you often (this is at least the 3rd or 4th time) talk about Moses' siblings with such certainty. Such a HUGE blessing can certainly be hoped/prayed for but the assumption in your statements strikes a really "off note" in an otherwise lovely song. You sound entitled and sure of things one can never be certain of! I hope you and Ian get your hearts' desire. As you well know from painful experiences in your own family (and I assume with friends) the next baby(ies) is/are in no way a sure thing. Staying focused on your current gratitude, and I know you are so grateful, is a much more gracious and mature philosophy.

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    1. thanks for letting me know that my comments about siblings come across this way. i wasn't aware and will be more careful in the future. of course i am gratefully hoping rather than assuming in an entitled way.

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    2. Thanks so much for this post! I found it really helpful when you mentioned which ones you liked for future children because it helped me to narrow down my thinking. There are so many choices out there for carriers and sound advice from a grounded mama who has tried out a few options is golden! Grateful for you and your writings.

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    3. I think we can all agree that there is no question that Charity is absolutely certain that she would welcome more children into her family, however. :) To me, it might be more of an eyebrow-raising thing to state "I always knew I'd have lots of children" after the fact, than to fervently live with that goal in mind. I just can't fault any mother who excitedly hopes (even plans) for more children, and hope they have those dreams fulfilled - especially when they keep posting adorable photos of the kids on their blog! :)

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  2. Hi Charity! Thanks for all this great info. I have a question that you may not know the answer to, but I figured I'd ask anyway. When the baby is in a carrier like the last 2 options (with legs dangling rather than all tucked in), is there any issue with his legs/feet falling asleep? I'm thinking of how uncomfortable I find it to sit for a long periods of time without anything supporting my feet, because eventually they get all tingly and numb, and I'm wondering if that's a problem with babies too. Thanks!

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    1. hmmm, i don't think so ... i think all these carriers have been tested and retested to make sure they are comfy and safe for babies. but i'm certainly not an expert on all the physiology...

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    2. I don't think this is an issue because babies are much more flexible than adults. Also, if your baby is uncomfortable he will let you know. No need to imagine he might be.

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  3. Have you seen the ergo 360? Options for both in and out facing positions with the simple snap I love in my original ergo! I was always bothered by the straps on the Bjorn nor did I think it was as comfortable as the ergo. I know the ergo is pricey, but let me say the quality makes it a worthy investment in my opinion. I have used mine almost constantly the first year through six babies and it is still going strong. We actually invested in a second because they are awesome for babies and toddlers, so often I would take the baby on my front and my husband would carry the toddler on his back! We are both tall, 5'10" and 6'4", so that might play in to how comfortable they are for us. Loved my solly wrap for newborns, and wish I had tried the nesting one, it looks awesome!

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    1. yes, we considered the ergo 360 but decided to go with the baby bjorn because our friend has one and we really liked it (the look, the mesh fabric, the clips). i'm not a fan of the velcro that is on most ergo 360s. and we have found the baby bjorn to be super comfy!

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    2. I just realized that you said the Bjorn can be used on the back! I had no idea that was an option (used one before that feature was around I guess), and you are right that the Velcro can be a pain on the 360. Great to know, and sorry I didn't read closer the first time. These kinds of posts though are a favorite to share with new mom friends who are trying to decide what kind of carrier to buy, so thanks for taking the time to share your opinions!

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  4. Does it ever make you feel a bit greedy to own so many carriers? There are so many Syrian refugees out there that are in dire need of a carrier to assist them in getting out of a war zone and here you are with many of them and mostly gifted.

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    1. absolutely. i also feel greedy for having many changes of clothes, and plenty of personal hygiene products, and blankets and coats to spare. and i'm sure i would feel some greed/guilt if i had a super expensive stroller, like so many new moms i know. i try to translate this guilt into action as i reflect on balance - and donate and serve where i can. i definitely could be better at this, and hope to be more giving in the future. your comment has given me the idea of donating our ergo - thank you - i will have to do some work to make sure it gets to a refugee parent in need.

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    2. Thank you for your reply. I came off very mean and i apologize for that. I'm working on taking vacation time to donate my nursing skills to help their desperate need and my children have been doing a research project and fundraising for the victims in Syria. My heart breaks thinking of these innocent families and children being affected. I couldnt imagine if something like this happening to my Midwest city and we were forced out of our homes in search of safety.

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    3. emily, looks like you have a computer...you could donate it...

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    4. emily, you're forgiven :) and you didn't come across that mean to start with. i also carry a lot of worry about refugees, and i am ashamed that i let my life push that aside. i should do more to help.

      anon, i think your point could be made more kindly.

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    5. Charity there is an LDS charity in Canterbury called Care4Humanity - they are on FB. I just donated my Ergo to them - they take supplies to the women and children's centre in Dunkirk once a month. They could certainly help you give it to someone who may benefit. As ever, your responses make you worthy of your name xx

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  5. Baby wearing is great. We didn't start until Jonathan was born and now Ben is just about too big to wear--I'm waiting until I get home to call it quits. I loved my Solly-style wrap--I made it myself and our Ergo. I'm glad you've found options you like. I've loved having our Ergo while in Europe. I'd hold off on the stroller as long as you can, especially with your crazy stairs! The Ergo has been so helpful with Ben over the past 4 months.

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  6. Ergo 360 is the best best! I was gifted the regular ergo and took it back for the 360 one! Maybe you can sell it and get the 360. I don't like Bjorn and if I remember correctly it might make them sit in away that effects their hip joints. I know in utah their are baby wearing specialist and lending libraries. You might be able to find more info that way. I also remember your little guy was going through a sleep regression. Seriously the no cry sleep solution book is amazing. I have read some of your sisters blogs I know some of them believe in the cry it out method. No worries whatever you decide! Parenting and motherhood is rough. And you seem to like doing your research! Just letting you know so you can make an informed decision. Which might still be cry it out. Knowledge is power right.

    PS my kiddos do cry I don't give them everything. We have boundaries.... I just never let them cry alone! ♡ this is not a tear down. Mothers already go through so much. I was just very thankful for the people that showed me a way that I resonated with!
    You are doing awesome as a mother! And you look incredible! I'm pretty sure I feel lucky to brush my teeth every day! Haha

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    1. hey heidi. thanks for the reading suggestion. i'll check it out for sure. while i do appreciate doing my research and learning from others' experiences, i keep realizing over and over and more and more clearly that every baby and mom and family is so different, -and my best source for information and advice is prayer and intuition. it's been a really great exercise trying to super tune in to figure out what is best for moses when it comes to sleep (and everything else). we are going to do some sleep training come january, and i feel really good about that. but i will definitely check out the book you recommended!

      we love our baby bjorn and are confident that it's a good fit for our baby :)

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    2. thanks for your nice comments!!

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  7. I'm saving this list! Thank you so much for sharing ☺️

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  8. Charity your sweet responses to comments that are perhaps written with good intention, but none the less come across as offensive, are awesome. Keep shining the light of Jesus. It is noticed!

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  9. Charity, I miss you! You look like you are doing awesome! Hoping to come see you in the spring. I would hold off on getting rid of the ergo. It is so great when they are a bit older. I always use my bjorn for the first few months, and then use the ergo way more at about 6 months. I would still carry livia in teh ergo, well after jackson was born. (Until she was like 3). I like it for older kids on the back. it is so much better than a backpack....just a suggestion. i would keep it for a few more months. you will probably use it a ton after 6 or 7 months....Merry Christmas. We will be thinking of you next week while we are in San Fran.

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    1. hey ash!! miss you too. our baby bjorn is good for older kids on the back too - we plan to use it for a long time. but we may keep the ergo in the event that we have two babies we want to wear (gratefully hopeful for that! :) )

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  10. Hi Charity! How did you decide to get a stroller in the next few weeks? I know you've been trying to hold out for various reasons, so I'm curious what changed (just Moses getting bigger)? Thanks for your thoughtful blog!

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    1. hi! yes, just mo getting bigger. there have been a few times that i've just thought "man, it would be nice to have a stroller right now" (for long walks, to put groceries in,etc) ... and we know we will want one eventually. the past few days i've been considering waiting a bit longer, though. we will see.

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    2. also, we decided on which stroller to get. the sheer enormity of options and considerations was overwhelming! but now that we have narrowed it down, we are feeling more ready to invest :)

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  11. Thanks so much for this, Charity!!! I wish I could figure out baby wearing when they are newborns. Did Moses seem to fight back with his arms and legs when he was pinned inside the carriers? My little Schroeder (almost a month old now) always seems to fight them, but I know he can't control his arms and legs... I always give up after five minutes of him fussing/crying and seeming so uncomfortable. Is this something that they ned to be trained to do? (I don't have problems when they get older with the carriers that leave their legs hanging, just the newborn ones that bundle them up). Thanks again!!!

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    1. hey!! yes, moses fussed when he was first put in the carrier - sometimes for up to 15 or so minutes. but he always always calmed down and 9 times out of 10 went to sleep! he's a baby that also loves a good tight swaddle (but not always initially), so it might be a personality/preference thing, but i'd suggest waiting it out through the fussing a bit!!

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  12. I'll mention just in case that I love my Lillebaby. It also does forward facing, and the lumbar support is great. I can still comfortably carry my two-year-old son while six months pregnant.

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  13. I've tried several carriers (I have 5 children, my baby is 8 weeks) and my very favorite is the baby k-tan carrier. It's quick to use, grows with baby, and can be used in a variety of ways. It is a life saver! My second favorite carrier is my baby Bjorn. It was fun to read your reviews!

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  14. Thanks for this! I'm pregnant with my first and all the info that you provide about products and otherwise baby is so helpful!

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