Friday, March 16, 2012

Guest Blogger: Danielle's Favorite Babycarriers

Today my sister Danielle has made another amazing list of some of her favorite things. Today's topic is Babycarriers. After reading this post I've learned that my baby carrier is actually harmful to my kids legs! Who knew? It's not like they write that on the box.

So if you're in the market for a way to carry your baby but save your arms READ ON!
Danielle has done her research well :)

Hello there, it's Danielle again. :) As promised I have returned to share with you what I know about my VERY favorite baby items... baby carriers. :)

If you are wondering WHY you should try babywearing go here :)

Babywearing can be a confusing topic, because there are so many different kinds and brands. I'm going to cover what I believe to be the three main kinds of baby carriers. And I'm going to start with my favorite kind to use for the itty bitties, as in baby's who aren't really mobile yet, need good head support and are happy to hang out and snuggle for longer periods than they will be once they get older. I used this the most often from newborn until 9 month's old. Though it will hold much older/heavier babies!

Tie Wrap (Moby/Boba/Sleepy)
(Family trip to the Zoo, 3 months old)
(about to ride the Polar Express, 6 mo's old)
This is the kind of baby carrier I have used the most. It's comfortable (no straps digging into your shoulders), safe (the baby's head is right up where you, can frequently check if they are breathing.. and you can kiss that sweet smelling head!), and pretty easy to use. It's also one size fits all. My husband (who is quite a bit bigger) and I can both use it, and it fits us both perfectly!

I think this type of wrap intimidates a lot of people because they think it looks complicated. Hey, I thought it looked complicated too! Then I went to the store, and the sales woman showed me how to put it on. I took it off and put it on by myself one time with her watching. That's all it took. I don't even have to think about it anymore. Below is a video demonstrating how to put it on.  (FYI, Boba Baby just bought Sleepy Wrap, this is the kind I own.)

One way to put the baby in.

This one above is how I wore my baby most of the time. She loved it. She felt very secure, and when she was most upset and wouldn't sleep the wrap was heaven sent. She would calm down right away and fall asleep. The warmth of your body, the sound of your heartbeat, the snug comfortable support. It feels like she is back is your womb. :) Though I do suggest trying it for the first time when your baby is happy, letting them get used to it for a couple of minutes before deciding your baby doesn't like it. We all handle new experiences differently, and everything is new when you are a baby. :)

Again, I just want to say how much I loved this wrap. If I was going grocery shopping, I would put it on before I left the house, and then instead of getting out the carseat and sticking it in the cart (which makes it too tall for a shorty like me to see over!), I would pull her out of the carseat and snuggle her in, and she would be happy as a clam the whole time. Some people have said to me, "oh, it's such a pain to get them out/put them back into their car seat!" Well, I personally think it's just as big of a pain to pull the car seat out, lug it around and then get it back in the car. Especially because, inevitably, at some point in my shopping trip my baby will get upset and I'd have to take her out of the car seat and try to push the cart one handed while trying to see around the car seat. Arghh!!
Anyway, I also used it a lot doing housework when she was fussy, and keeping my hands free so I could chase my older child at the park/mall/zoo/etc.

In fact, after I got my wrap, I found I tended to leave the car seat in the car most of the time. My little stick arms hate carrying that heavy thing around anyway, haha. And they are finding that too much time in a car seat can be bad for babies. If you want to read about it, here's a link Car Seats are for Cars. And besides.. they are only little for so long.. I wanted as many snuggles as possible. :)

Below is one more video for this wrap, a cute daddy showing how to do the newborn baby cradle carry. You can also switch them forward facing once they have good head control, and even nurse in it. There are a ton of videos on youtube showing you all you can do with it, and how. Just search 'moby wrap carry' or whatever kind you decide to get. :)

Newborn Baby Cradle Carry

Back Pack Type Carrier
Ok.. on to our next one! So, baby carriers.. the one you have probably seen most often in the past are those little backpacky ones with the baby's legs hanging straight down. I had one of these.. I hated it. Almost never used it. It's SO uncomfortable! And confusing to use. And I've learned since then that it's also uncomfortable for babies! In fact, it's bad for their hips to have their legs hanging like that. It can cause something called Hip Dysplasia.

And while I hated the one I owned, I do love the idea of the backpack type carrier. I feel like less granola minded moms and dads are more likely to try something like that. But I hadn't found one I could really get behind until I discovered the Boba and Ergo, which are very similar in their make, with a few differences in options. (There are a few other brands too, but these are the ones I am most familiar with.) I've only ever used a Boba, so that's what's mostly what I'll talk about here.

I really love the Boba for babies that have started to become mobile. I adore my sleepy wrap, but when Nora started to be able to get around on her own, I found I was putting her in and taking her out multiple times.. and just walking around with a big strip of fabric tied to me, that seemed kind of silly without a baby in it. ;) This is also one my husband can use. There are adjustment straps in several places to make it fit. So, to start with, here are a couple videos showing you exactly what a Boba Baby Carrier looks like and how to use it.

Front Carry

Back Carry

I was lucky enough to borrow a friends Boba wrap for a trip I went on over Thanksgiving. My husband, my 4.5 yr old (Ainsley) and my 1.5 yr old (Nora) flew across the country to Florida. We went to Disney World for 2 days and then took a Disney Cruise for 4. And while this was an amazing trip, and TONS of fun.. corralling my chitlin's throughout the week was quite the ordeal. I began to appreciate the Boba before we even got on the plane. I can't imagine how much more work it would've been to get our baggage checked, go thru security, and get us all to the terminal and on the plane without it! She just hung out the whole time. I was able to hold my prone-to-wander 4 yr old's hand, my carryon bag and occasionally have a free hand to push buttons or hand snacks.

(us in the airport)
Once we got to the Magic Kingdom I realized that pushing a stroller through the packed streets was not an easy task. Nora is also too little to wander on her own two feet, she would be knocked down by the jostling crowd so easily. Also, she wanted to be up where she could see things! There's a lot to look at! I'm pretty sure my arms would've been ready to fall off by the end of the day, from holding her up to see everything she was curious about. Instead, she happily hung out on my back checking out the sights and pointing things out to me. :) I even got her to take a nap in the middle of the day by turning it around and laying her head on my shoulder. This was a miracle! This girl does NOT want to sleep anywhere but her bed. It made the rest of the day SOO much nicer!
(Cinderella's Castle!.. as if you didn't know.. )

I borrowed the wrap with Disney World in mind, and was surprised how much I used it on the cruise as well! I don't know if you realize this.. but those boats are HUGE! And REALLY not stroller friendly. Anytime we headed out of the room to go do something, I'd snap her on.. and then she'd bob along until we got there, and then I'd let her out and she could go play. The Boba was easy to just take my arms out and leave the stomach strap on and it would hand down my backside until I was ready for it again. Though it does roll up pretty small too and fit in my bag easily. I have to tell you, I cried a little when I had to give it back! I'm still on the look out for used one. These kinds of baby carriers are definitely the priciest, (The Boba is $120-$125 and the Ergo starts about there and goes up to $160 depending on the kind/fabric.. while the sleepy wrap is only around $40) so I'm stalking local classified and baby sale sites. It's hard to justify to my husband paying for a new one since we probably only have one more baby left to come.. but if I could go back in time, I would definitely splurge for one!
(meeting Ariel)

Oh! and another reason I favor the Boba over the Ergo (besides being slightly more affordable) is the way they handle newborns. The ergo requires you to buy a separate insert to accomodate a small child. (which is pretty pricey too!) The Boba figured out an easy way to make theirs work for little ones. No additional purchases required.

 Here's a video on how to convert your Boba Carrier for a newborn.

Ring Slings
(Maya Wrap/etc)
I tried a ring sling when my oldest was a newborn, but didn't know how to use it properly, and so it never really felt safe and I stopped using it. I borrowed one to demonstrate in one my childbirth classes when Nora was about a year old and realized how much I loved it! (Again, tears were involved upon return.) It's kind of the perfect blend of the other two wraps. It's comfy and cosy like the sleepy wrap.. but it's super easy to put on and take off like the Boba. It's probably the easiest of these wraps to put use. And for the ages where they are still sitting on your hip, it's the best!! Another amazing arm-saver. (It's also a less expensive option, the brand name ones can be 50-75, but you can find a bunch on amazon for around $30.)

This is my favorite wrap for doing things where my munchkin will want to get up and down. Nora is always wanting me to pick her up.. and then 15 mins later, she wants back down again. The Boba was awesome at the airport because I knew she was going to be there until we got on the plane. If we're at a zoo or something I love the ring sling because she can hang out with me, then get down and play until she's tired again, and then back in the sling and it's SO easy to put on and take off. And I love the way you can tighten the wrap just by pulling on the one strip of fabric. ( I am NOT a fan of the slings that are just a circle of fabric, with no real way to adjust the size. People come in SO many more sizes than S, M & L. If you are an in between size, your wrap will never really feel snug enough or secure.)
Here's a video showing how I used the ring sling.

Though I must add that you can definitely use a ring sling for a smaller baby. You just have to be sure you are doing it correctly. Make sure the babies head is up on your chest, within kissing distance. :) And check that their chin is not to their chest ensuring they can breathe.



Here's a some videos showing how to use a wrap for a younger baby.

So, there you have it. :) I hope that helped someone out there to simplify the world of baby carriers. And I hope you will give babywearing a try! If you aren't sure you want to spend the money on the unknown just ask around and borrow one from a friend to try it out. (As I did for two of the three I talk about!) It was such a life saver for me, I can't help but want to spread the word. :) Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I'll come answer them. :) And as always, you can find me at

Thank you for sharing your infinite wisdom with us once again Danielle!
Whenever you buy one of these I will be sure to come steal it from you :)

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