So, I'm just going to go over the different baby carriers that we've used and what we've liked and disliked about them. =]
I was going to elaborate on the benefits of babywearing, and why you should try it if you don't already, but I decided to just link to Dr. Sears because we all know that he knows everything. So if you're at all interested in the benefits (less crying, learn more, more organized, more quickly "humanized", smarter, lowers the risk of SIDS) check out what Dr. Sears has to say.
Alright, on to the carriers!
The first carrier we used was a ring sling that I made when I was pregnant. A ring sling is a long piece of fabric with two metal rings attached to one end. You thread the fabric through the rings, creating a pouch that your baby goes in.
What we liked: When Z was a newborn, Ben could wear her in this and she would fall asleep. He wore her while I was resting and got some things done around the house too!
What we didn't like: When I tried to wear her in it as a newborn, she cried. How heartbreaking it was for a new mother that my baby liked being worn by her daddy but not her mother. I got over it. Lol. As she got a little bigger I tried it again. It just didn't work for me. She was constantly stretching her legs out and I felt like I always had to keep on arm around her, even though the point of wearing her was partially so that I could be "hands-free."
The next carrier we tried was a Baby Bjorn. We bought this at a yard sale for $20 with the manual. The Bjorn is a front carrier that straps on with buckles. Baby can face you, or look out at the world.
What we liked: Ease of use. It's really easy to strap on, if you've already adjusted it to fit you. Hands-free.
What we didn't like:
-After a little while it gets super uncomfortable. The weight of the baby is distributed across your shoulders.
-It was confusing to adjust the straps inbetween wearers. When Ben wore it after me I had to adjust it for him by pulling on the contraption in the center of his back... what if he was alone and he wanted to use it? =P
-If Z fell asleep in the Bjorn her head would just fall forward and it looked SO uncomfortable. For some reason her body wasn't close enough so that she could just rest her head on my chest. It was bizarre. I eventually found that if I rolled up a receiving blanket I could prop it under her chin, but it still didn't look very comfy.
-The Bjorn is designed so that the baby is supported by her crotch. This can cause stress to her spine, which can in turn cause spondylolisthesis (displacement of vertebra in relation to the ones below). Obviously, very painful, and not good.
The third carrier we tried was a wrap style that I made. The wrap is a 6 yd piece of fabric that is 95% cotton 5% spandex. You wrap it around yourself a certain way, then baby is put in while you have the wrap on.
What we like: VERY comfortable. She feels safe and secure, no need to keep one arm around her or anything. She stays warm cuddled up to you and you can stretch the fabric down over her feet, and up over her head if it's cold.
What we don't like: It's kind of a pain to wrap it. I usually put it on at home and wear it in the car so that I don't need to put it on in a parking lot. (Since the fabric is so long it drags on the ground when you're wrapping it and it would get all dirty.)
The fourth carrier we've tried is the Ergo Baby Carrier. This is a soft carrier that straps on with two buckles.
What we like: Where to begin? I just got the Ergo today and I'm already in love with it.
-First of all, it's so easy to put on. Just strap the waist buckle, hold baby against you, pull up the front with your arms through the shoulder straps and buckle the back buckle. (For the front carry.)
-If you need to adjust the shoulder straps all you have to do is pull towards the front. No funkiness. =]
- By its name, you may have guessed that the Ergo is ergonomically correct. For the baby and the wearer. The Ergo distributes baby's weight across your hips, not your back or shoulders. Instead of baby being suspended by her crotch, she is in a natural sitting position.
-The Ergo had 3 positions you can wear it in. Front, back, or hip. (Back and hip and for older babies and toddlers.)
-The Ergo is recommended for use up to 40 lbs, but has been tested up to 90 lbs.
-The Ergo has a built-in "sleeping hood." If baby falls asleep in the carrier, you just pull up the hood from the front pocket and snap it to your shoulder straps so that baby's head is secure while she sleeps.
-There are two front pockets on the Ergo. A small one, and a larger zippered one to keep a few small belongings in. (So handy for a tube of lip balm or a diaper!)
What we don't like: So far, nothing! If I find something I'll come back here and update. =]