I Have 4 Baby Carriers and 1 Favorite
As it turns out, I am an obsessive baby wearer. There are just soooo many benefits, for the dude and for me, that since he's been born, I've been on the hunt for our perfect carrier. I now have four, which I don't think is particularly excessive (even if Raz does). With all due, though, I'm the person spending 99% of my time with Mr. ODP, so I have every right to track down the easiest way for us to chill together. If you're on the hunt for a carrier, or pregnant and considering all the options, or just in it for the thrill of it, I'm here to help.
For each of my carriers, I've hyperlinked where to get them, and bulleted out their PROs and CONs. Here we go:
Baby K'Tan, ~$50
When Oliver was super fresh, this was my go-to. He was very cozy in it and, after getting used to wrapping it, I was most comfortable toting him with this option. As the summer progressed, it did get me pretty warm, so I started exploring the marketplace. I loved the flexibility our cloth wrap allowed us as far as throwing it in the diaper bag and carrying him with us on our treacherous little rickshaw ride through Coronado, though. Couldn't have done that without the K'Tan!
- Easy to wrap once you get the hang of it
- Light-weight, although I would get a more breathable one if I were to get another
- Cozy for VERY fresh babies (ODP would fall asleep in it really quickly when he was tiny)
- Can be used face-forward for babe
- HOT in the summer (if you don't have the breathable one noted above)
- Kind of overwhelming to figure out how to wrap when you're stressed and sleep-deprived. I carried the instruction manual with me everywhere
- Not particularly fashion-y
Ergo 360, ~$180
I gave up on this one for me pretty early on. I tried to run out of the house and re-adjust it from Raz wearing it and it was taking too long, so I just grabbed my K'Tan and moved on. Keeping it adjusted to Raz makes it a lot easier for the Ergo to be his carrier, so if we're going out for a casual weekend mountain walk, we can bring it with us and have him plan to wear Oliver. For him, we really like it. For me, not so much.
- Many wearing positions—e.g. the "360" notion of it
- Can be used for babe to face-forward
- Difficult to adjust if you want both partners to wear it
- Hard to put on by yourself
Sometimes the baby is fussing and you're trying to put dinner in the slow cooker and the only thing that will chill him out is if you hold him. Or, in many cases for me, wear him. This is where the Wildbird has come in handy for me.
- Can be fitted at different parts of your body. For example, I can wear him on my hip, which is nice
- Pretty (comes in an array of colors—many die-hards have multiple)
- Team is super-active on social media and very willing to help
- Steep learning curve initially (it looks A LOT easier than it is, but once you get the hang of it, it's pretty straightforward)
- This is just my experience, but Oliver doesn't seem to feel as secure in this one than in the others. We're good in it for about 30 minutes and then he's ready to move on
- Puts (minimal) strain on one shoulder vs. spreading it between both
Far and away, this carrier is my favorite. It's easy for me to put on quickly and pack with us pretty much anywhere. It's fashionable and functional, which I really appreciate, and the dude seems to enjoy it too. There are a few things worth mentioning, though:
- Little to no learning curve
- Can wear baby on back if desired
- Does not allow for forward-facing
- If your baby likes to chew on things, he'll like to chew on this, which will show (depending on fabric color)
I can't say I've found THE perfect carrier, but as far as form and function combined, the Happy Baby is certainly my favorite. I'd love to hear from you, though! What are your favorites? What have you tried?