For the Love of Babywearing: My Personal Experience with the 5 Baby Carriers I Own

My new ERGOBaby carrier arrived in the mail yesterday. Yippee! Yes, Emily is 8 months old and I just bought ANOTHER baby carrier. Well, in my defense, they’re all different. And I absolutely love wearing Emily. I would much rather wear her and be able to kiss her head than push her around in a stroller any day of the week. I thought I’d spend some time sharing my personal experience with all of our baby wraps. I’ll go in chronological order from the time each of them arrived in our house.

1) The Beco Gemini

This was the first carrier I got and it is hands down my absolutely favorite carrier. It’s very comfortable for me to wear, and the buckles are a cinch to clip. I clip the waist belt on, place Emily either facing out or facing in, throw one of the shoulder straps across my back and clip the buckle under my opposite arm, and then do the same with the other shoulder straps. Three buckles and I’m done. I’m so good with this carrier that I can lift Emily out of the car seat, place her in the carrier, and then start walking towards my destination while I’m buckling the shoulder straps. This carrier also has a hip-carry option and a back-carry option. I started using this carrier the moment she hit 8 pounds (and maybe a little sooner), and it was so easy that I haven’t stopped. I also tried out the back carry position a few weeks ago, and after a few practice tries that didn’t go so well, I got the hang of it. I get so much more done now! She weighs 16 pounds now, and carrying her in the front is starting to feel like I’m 20 months pregnant — a little overbalanced! Now I can vacuum, do laundry, do dishes, and walk and hike with a 16-pound baby and her weight distribution on me is terrific. I love this carrier!!!! It has a weight limit of 35 pounds, which means it will stay in our household a long time. If I could only have one carrier, I would have this one and ditch all the others.

2) The Moby Wrap

When Emily was born, she weighed 6 pounds 14 ounces, and dropped down to 6 pounds 4 ounces. The Moby Wrap was absolutely perfect for my sweet little newborn. I wrapped her up in the newborn hold, and both of us just thrived on it. We would sit in the hammock swing together, her in the Moby Wrap, and me just swinging and looking at this beautiful baby (and kissing her head). Once she got to be 8 pounds, I started using the Beco Gemini and haven’t looked back, but I treasured this as a newborn carrier.

3) The Maya Wrap

I also used this when Emily was born, and I’ve used it off and on. It’s a gorgeous sling, with green woven stripes, but it’s not my favorite. The Maya Wrap is a ring sling, and I’ve never quite got the knack of cinching the strap down in the rings. When I watch the process on YouTube, it looks so easy, like you could do it in your sleep. Then when I do it, the rings slip off my shoulder and the fabric gets all bunched up in the rings. You might say that I’m ring wrap-challenged. And it pulls on whatever shoulder it’s slung over. Ouch! My body hurts enough from lifting and carrying Emily around all day. I want my baby carrier to make my shoulders feel like I’m not carrying a baby at all. HOWEVER, this seems to be the perfect carrier for the dinner table. I put her in the sling in the hip-carry position, and she can face outward and interact with us without her head being in the way of my getting food into my mouth. She also has her hands free in this wrap, and can hold onto a spoon and gum it while the rest of us are eating. And since she’s in a sling, that means that MY hands are free to eat dinner with. A win-win situation, so I’m keeping this wrap around.

4) The Baby Bjorn

I read so many negative comments about the comfort level of this carrier on Amazon.com that I didn’t want to get one. But my husband didn’t like the fit of the Beco Gemini. It was uncomfortable on him. He said that when his son, Levi, was a baby, he carried Levi around in the Baby Bjorn and loved it. He complained so much about the Beco Gemini that I broke down and bought him a Baby Bjorn. Problem solved. Sort of. I was curious, so I tried the Baby Bjorn myself. Meh. I didn’t like it. It pulls on my shoulders and my mid-back, and my shoulders hurt within the first 5 minutes of putting it on. But John has loved it and it’s been his go-to carrier for months. I think that for broad-shouldered men, this is just a more comfortable carrier for them. But now that Emily is 16 pounds, he’s been complaining that her weight is pulling her forward and pulling on his shoulders more. The Baby Bjorn is supposed to go to 25 pounds, but he’s probably going to stop using it soon because the ergonomics work better for a smaller baby.

Last, but not least:

5) The ERGOBaby

Like I said, this one just arrived in the mail yesterday. I bought it primarily for my husband to replace the Baby Bjorn, but I took it for a test drive today. Pretty good! I can carry her in the front comfortably, and getting her in the back carry position is easier than with the Beco Gemini. I even nursed her in the front carry position, and I will say that while the other carriers boast that you can nurse a baby in them, I never got the hang of it. But for the Ergo Baby, I just pulled out a boob and stuck the nipple in Emily’s mouth. She nursed for quite a while in that position. Damn, that was easy! It’s got a privacy hood too, but I was at home, so I didn’t care. The straps are well padded and comfortable, and there’s a zippered pouch in the front. My husband will love that! The only minus is that you can’t wear your baby forward facing in this carrier. The Beco Gemini and the Baby Bjorn are better for that. But the ergonomics of a hip strap to distribute the baby’s weight over your hips rather than your back combined with comfy shoulder straps is pretty good. Both the ERGOBaby and the Beco are my favorite designs. Oh yes, one more minus: there’s a chest strap that you need to buckle, and you need to move it way up in order to reach it to buckle it when it’s on your back. Some people might not be flexible enough to reach behind them and clip that buckle, let alone unclip it. And then you need to move it way down if you switch to a front carry (or else the strap is choking you). It doesn’t move up or down particularly easily, and I thought this logistical detail was a bit of a pain. But when the strap is buckled, it really makes a huge difference in the comfort level of your shoulders. The weight of the baby is distributed quite nicely. The weight limit of this carrier goes up to 45 pounds, and I can see why. I felt like I could carry Emily for hours in this carrier.

Well, there you have it. I hope this review is useful to some of you out there in cyberspace.