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Baby Slings, Carriers, & Wraps

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > What/Where to Buy > Baby Gear > Baby Slings, Carriers, & Wraps


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2011 - 2012 Reviews


Baby sling for the first few months

Sept 2011

We're looking for a baby slings for our first few months but they all seem pretty similar, has anyone used one that they favor? We have a baby bjorn active but I don't think we can use that right away. Thanks


The term 'sling' can mean so many different things, and the best choice of baby carriers depends so much on individual preferences and fit, that it's impossible to recommend anything specific to you. No, not all slings are the same. However, all baby carriers must serve the same essential function, which is to hold your baby safely and comfortably while allowing you to use your hands and arms for other things. Knowing how to accomplish the 'safely and comfortably' part is a skill you will need to learn, and once you do that, almost anything can be used as a baby carrier -- though of course different carriers are more appropriate for different age/size babies, for different situations or for different carry positions.

You may or may not be able to use your Bjorn right away; it depends on the size of your baby, and also on how well the carrier fits you. Frontpacks are not the most comfortable type of carrier, for wearer or for baby, so it's great that you are exploring other options. Top picks for a brand-new newborn are a wrap (stretchy like a Moby or woven like a Didymos) or a ring sling (like Maya or Sakura Bloom), with a mei tai (like Kozy or Babyhawk) being also a decent option. In another few months, any of those or a buckle carrier (not a frontpack, but an SSC like Ergo or Beco) will be far more comfortable than a Bjorn.

The single best source of information on choosing and using baby carriers (including wraps, ring slings, pouches, mei tais and other Asian-style carriers, buckled carriers and more obcure types) online is www.thebabywearer.com -- I encourage you to check it out! TBW has reviews and a wonderful discussion forum which includes an active 'for sale or trade' section. And the best source of info and help with learning to babywear locally is the Bay Area chapter of Babywearing International (I am one of the group leaders), about which more info at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/babywearinginternational-bayarea/ Happy babywearing! Holly


I've found that this ends up being a very personal decision about what you and your baby like and find comfortable. For example, my baby never liked slings (always wanted to be upright) and I didn't find them comfortable either. Others love them. Also, different carriers are more comfortable at different developmental stages. We used a wrap (like a Moby) when baby was newborn, a front carrier (Bjorn) or a mei tai (like the Infantino Sash) when baby was a baby, and a semi-structured carrier (Ergo) from late babyhood through toddlerhood (still using it at 2 1/2!).

If I were just going to get one, I'd get an Ergo. If I were going to get 2, I'd get an Ergo and a Moby. If I were going to get 3, I'd get an Ergo, a Moby, and a mei tai.

I got several for free or cheap through friends, Craig's List, and Freecycle. Having a bunch of different kinds helped me to figure out which ones I liked. If you have friends who own baby carriers, I'd ask if you can try them on with a baby inside. Good luck!


Baby Carrier for Travel in Europe?

Feb 2011

We're going to Greece for 2 weeks in April with a 5 month old baby and we're trying to decide on the best carrier to take. We have an Ergo, Bjorn, Moby, and ring sling, and we like them all for different reasons, but we can't figure out which would be the best all-around option. We need to be able to wear the baby all day comfortably, as we won't have a stroller, and our babe really likes to face out when he's awake. He also needs to be able to face in to take naps. Anyone have experience wearing a baby for long days of sight seeing abroad? We're open to getting a different carrier than the ones we own if it is much better for travel. Thanks a lot. Michelle


Ergo hands down. I have used all these carriers too. Ring sling is no good for all day- it leaves one shoulder tired. The bjorn is not as comfortable as the ergo in my opinion and not as versatile. At 5 months, you could even put the baby on your back with the head shade/thing for extra support in an ergo. The Moby is the next best option in terms of comfort but it is more cumbersome to get off and on, esp while traveling. Plus when my baby was around 6 months, she started getting too heavy for the Moby which is a little bit stretchy, and it wasn't as great as the early days. We chose not to bring a stroller last time we went to Europe with our then 3 and 1 yr olds. I had the 1-yr old in an ergo the whole time. It was comfortable and fantastic! Ergo all the way baby
I highly recommend the Ergo. We have the Ergo Performance Max and used it to travel to Europe with our 4-month old in January. It was a life saver!!! We used it to visit museums and attractions with lots of stairs (where a stroller would have been a nightmare). She could nap in it and also look around at the sights. Since an Ergo is inward facing, the baby does not get overstimulated and can nap when she wants. And it has a great cover to block sun and cover when she naps. But the greatest part of having the Ergo was that I was able to nurse her in it. I couldn't believe how easy it was and it was so very discreet! I nursed her walking around everywhere, from shops to museums to restaurants. Nobody could tell what I was doing. It looked just like she was napping. It's funny, half our vacation photos are the baby nursing in the Ergo. To do this, adjust the carrier so the babies head is positioned in the right spot and then wearing a nursing top or tank, just latch and cover. It might take some practice but it really made the trip a success. Since we returned, we still nurse constantly in the Ergo. It makes NIP easy and is less distracting for the baby. Even if you aren't breast feeding though, I highly recommend the Ergo. It is the MOST comfortable of all the carriers (although, I have to say, the Beco Butterfly II is pretty comfortable too). The Ergo performance is super lightweight too. For what it is worth, we also own a Moby, Sleepywrap, Bjorn and Maya (yes, we went a little overboard!). While we loved the Sleepywrap when our daughter was smaller (0-4 mos), the Ergo has been our go-to carrier 99% of the time. From what I have read, the Bjorn is not recommended for long carries as it is not good for the baby's spine (it is a crotch dangler, where the ergo uses a ''sitting'' position, which is better). The woman who runs the Nature Center in Lafayette does not even sell Bjorn's for that reason. She has a nice range of Ergo's and Beco's. See this article http://www.becomingmamas.com/why-you-should-avoid-crotch-dangler- baby-carriers/ We use the Bjorn for super short carry's inside the house where she may want to forward face. But never for more than 20 min or so. And even then, I am struck by how uncomfortable it is for me! However, I am struck by how many Bjorns are out there. So they must work for some people. Good luck and happy travels! ergolover
I definitely recommend the Ergo. That's all you will need. Someone, who traveled with a baby to Paris, advised us a couple years ago to use it for our NYC trip with our one-year-old. It was a great decision. Ergonomically, it is healthiest for both parent and baby. Also, with the sleeping hood, your baby can fall asleep in it while you continue on your journey. Do *not* use the Bjorn. It is hard on your back, especially since it doesn't have the waist support. Meanwhile, your baby's feet dangle straight down, which isn't good for his/her spine. They should be in a froggy-leg, seated position the way the Ergo and the ring sling positions them. Ring slings are nice if you're wanting to look a little nicer for an event or dinner. But if you're planning to mainly sight-see, you will just need the Ergo. Rachel
I'd recommend checking out the Cybex 2.Go. It converts for facing in or out. When the baby faces in you unzip the lower portion so it expands to better support the hips (similar to the support the ergo provides). My daughter is very comfortable both directions in it and I have used it with her on my back as well. You can also wear it with the baby on your hip. I have not worn it for extensive periods of time, a couple hours max, but it is quite comfortable and because you can wear it in different ways it may help with your own fatigue by being able to shift the baby around. My husband also uses it and finds it comfortable too. Good Luck! Have a great trip. Cybex 2.Go Fan
You do not mention the Evenflo Snugli among the carriers that you already have but as someone whose baby, like yours, demanded to see the world while awake but who was comforted by facing in at naptime -- and as a mom with back problems who needed a good ergonomic solution to the physical demands of baby-wearing -- I strongly recommend that you purchase one of these for your trip. The Snugli's advantage over the Ergo or Moby is that baby can face in OR out; its advantage over the Bjorn is that it has a hip belt which is absolutely crucial for distributing baby's weight across more than just your shoulders (make sure you look for the one that includes this feature, BTW). Like all of the carriers you mention, the Snugli allows you to carry baby on your back or in front. It's great for attachment parenting and being on the go without a stroller -- and it's not even that expensive. Baby Wearer
I would say the Ergo, for sure, except for your requirement that your little one should be able to face outward. Ergos are the best on your back of this bunch, I think. Perhaps the Moby instead, you can face a baby outwards in one. I would try it out and see how you do on a weekend wearing it for an extended period of time. You can also breastfeed discreetly inside a Moby, so that may be an additional benefit! The ergonomics of the Bjorn are not great for wearer or baby, unfortunately. And while I think ring slings are wonderful for around the house and outside travel for infants, they may not be as comfortable for you if you are wearing it for many hours of the day. good luck!
Ergo! I put away the baby bjorn (hurts my back plus it's bad for baby's back to sit facing forward) and the Moby (such a hassle to get off and on, and not as good once baby gets bigger). I brought the Ergo to a three day visit at Disneyland and wore my then 4-month-old in it the whole time (you can wear a baby on a surprising number of the rides). While I was definitely ready to take it off at the end of the day, it was pretty darn comfortable for wearing the little 20-pounder around all day while on my feet. And if you balance it out with a backpack you're all set. Seriously just bring the Ergo! Leave everything else at home. I love my Ergo
Ergo, and you can put your baby facing sideways or forward. Just have your baby sit facing forward with legs crossed in front of him/her. Check out this website for more ergo carrying options: http://bit.ly/8EXSRI My daughter really liked this position, although her feet would stick up in front of her and other people thought it was pretty funny looking. She liked sitting sideways too. Andi
I didn't see the original post, but I love the Beco carrier. Very few people seem to use it out here, but I bought one on the recommendation of a friend before my baby was born, and he has loved it from almost the very beginning (now almost 10 months old). I think it is easier to use than the Ergo (just from observation; I haven't used both) but has the same benefits. You can carry the baby on your front or back. Both ways baby faces inward but mine just turns his head to the side to see what is going on and is very stimulated that way. anonymous
Is there any particular reason you can't bring both the Ergo and the ring sling? Of the types you listed, that would be my suggestion. When my daughter was 5 months old I used both an Ergo and a ring sling on a daily basis, and whether at home or traveling it makes a good combination. (I pick the RS over the Moby for front carries because it packs down smaller and is more comfortable in hot weather - - assuming you have a good ring sling. You didn't say what brand or type you have.) Sticking with the carriers you already know and love is also a good idea, as compared with trying to learn how to manage something new while also coping with travel stress -- but that assumes that you do love the carriers you have. If there's something in particular that those brands or types aren't doing for you, then of course it's worth exploring alternatives. I'd love to help you try out some different options at a Babywearing International meeting. (I happen to be one of the Bay Area chapter's leaders.) Feel free to email me for more info, and/or check out our Yahoo group. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BabywearingInternational- BayArea/ Holly
I'm a little late to give advice on this one--I should have early on because I KNEW you'd get a million people telling you to do the ergo and I would like to disagree heartily! Don't get me wrong, I am not against Ergos, you should definitely buy one and use it. They are great. BUT if I were going to Europe and planning all day walks and hikes, etc, I would NOT choose the Ergo as my primary carrier. Your baby will be sleeping in the late morning and (hopefully) afternoon. Do you want to have to remain standing at a restaurant because it is uncomfortable to sit with your baby on in the Ergo and if you do sit you may wake him/her up? I would recommend going to REI and looking at their baby backpacks. You can take your sleeping baby OFF your back and set him/her down and those backpacks have stands so you can get a break without waking him/her up. This would be great even if you just wanted a break but didn't want to take the baby out. In addition, I have worn the ergo for 5+ hours while my baby was sleeping and the next day she had rugburn on her face from rubbing against my back when I walked. Perhaps this would happen with a baby backpack as well, but I don't know. I would definitely NOT do a sling--bad for your back and your baby is a little big for that. Maybe the best thing would be the baby backpack AND the Ergo (for the airport, etc.)? Ergos pack pretty small. I have traveled a ton with my 9 month old and I have done so with the ergo and it has been just fine, but if I knew I'd be out all day sightseeing I would definitely invest in a backpack. Traveling Baby's Mama

Most comfortable baby carrier for men?

Jan 2011

My husband is looking for a baby carrier (preferably soft structured) that fits him. I use a Boba, a Beco Butterfly, a Beco Gemini, and a Snugglewrap) the straps on the Boba & Becos are too short and he isn't comfortable with the Snugglewrap or Moby. Our son is near;y 16 pounds and our daughter is about 13.5 pounds. Do any dads out there have recommendations for my husband? He uses a sling around the house, but for hikes, he'd really like a front carrier or a carrier that can be used in several positions. D


I imagine it might vary depending on how big the man is. My husband is 5'9' and is very comfortable with both the Moby Wrap and the Ergo. We've used both on hikes. We can still carry our 28 lb daughter in the Ergo. Laura
My husband loves our ERGObaby carrier. We use the back carry and front carry (hip carry looks too intimidating). 16mos daughter (about 20 lbs) loves it. We use it every day. My husband is 6'2' and thin, for what it's worth. -Comfy parents

2009 - 2010 Reviews


Sling/wrap/baby carrier demos

Jan 2010

hello all, I have a second child due in Spring and these days there seem to be more options for carrying a baby than there were with my first (who was in a Bjorn and then an Ergo). I'd like to consider other options before deciding on one and am wondering if there is any place that still does baby carrier demonstrations the way I believe Waddle and Swaddle used to, or if anyone knows of any other fairly systematic resource for comparison? people seem to have strong opinions about what carrier works best; I realize this is to a large extent an individual thing but I would still like to see some sort of overview. anyone? I live in Berkeley. many thanks! -Confused


call the Tulip Grove in Montclair. I always find them really helpful. Kat
I went to the Nurture Center in Lafayette. (http://www.nurturecenter.com/) They're wonderful and helped me through the crazy world of baby carriers. I went before the baby and after - some babies just don't like certain carriers. Our first liked any carrier - sling, ergo, wrap, etc. - our second only liked being upright in a bjorn, wrap, or ergo. They helped me find the best choices for my baby and my body. Christine Z
Hi -- I don't know where you live, but Natural Resources, in San Francisco, has exactly what you are looking for. Tons of different baby-wearing options, smart staff to show you how to use it, an occasional baby wearing class, and I think they may even have a rental program so you can try the things out in real life. NR Fan
Please join Babywearing International of the Bay Area! We have monthly meetings in North Berkeley where you can get exactly the kind of overview you're looking for, and lots of other information and help too. We have a baby carrier library you can use to try out different types of slings and carrier. And even if you can't make it to a meeting, you get choosing/buying advice and how-to-use tips from our leaders and members via our Yahoo group email list. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/babywearinginternational- bayarea/ We're a non-profit group and meetings are open to all comers, for free. I hope to meet you soon! (I'm the leader of the East Bay chapter of the group.) Other good resources: www.thebabywearer.com www.wearyourbaby.com The Nurture Center in Lafayette Day One in Walnut Creek or e-mail me. Holly

Beco baby carrier for infants?

Oct 2009

I have a ways to go, but I'm starting to think about baby carriers. I really want something that will last me awhile. I found the Beco carrier, which is similar to the Ergo, but a little more stylish (IMHO). The website says it's safe for infants, so I wanted to ask if anyone had experience with the Beco carrier, especially if you've used it with an infant. Thanks! Jen


I absolutely ADORED my Beco for my infant! she was colicky and she was in it 24-7 for her first 5 months of life! The infant insert, which comes with the carrier, makes it fit even newborns comfortably. I loved the design, especially the ability to transfer (even sleeping) baby from one parent to another without disturbing baby and feeling safe! Its super comfy, cute, and made by a small business owner. I couldnt recommend this carrier more! dani
I have both the beco and the ergo. You can use the beco with newborns, so I think it is better than the ergo. It is also much cuter, people compliment me all the time. The ergo does have a way to carry infants, but it is very cumbersome and uncomfortable. The beco is great, although truthfully all the baby carriers end up making my back tired after awhile. Meredith

Hip Carrier for 9 month old?

Aug 2009

My 9 1/2 month old son has grown out of our carrier options and i'm thinking a hip carrier would be a nice way for me to carry him these days. does anyone have any recomendations? Lily


I know a couple who raved about their Scoot-a-baby carrier. I tried it for about an hour and it was really comfy - it didn't slip up the neck as often happens with hip carries! Here's their website: http://www.scootababy.com/ Victoria
What about an Ergo carrier? They can be used on the front, back and as a hip carrier, so it's very versatile. I started using one when my 3 year old twins were 4 months old and am still using it. I even had to use it once to carry my 5 yr old on my back when he got sick on a walk. There's also another carrier, I don't remember the name but it's from Canada, that's just like the Ergo except you can also carry a child forward facing on the front (whereas with the Ergo they can only face towards you when on the front).
I really liked the Hip Hammock by Platex. I had a friend borrow mine before my first child was ready for it and she loved it too and went out and bought one herself. Here is the link on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Playtex-Hip-Hammock-Standard-Black/dp/B0007XTN5S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1252613130&sr=1-1

(Note there was a recall back in 2005, but that is no longer an issue. Happy Hammocker


Carrier for very petite mom

March 2009

I'm 5 feet, thin, and small-framed, and am wondering if anyone (also small) has had success with a carrier? My son is 21 lbs, and I'd like to carry him on my hip or back for short errands and travel. The moby works for me but I find it cumbersome. I have an ergo and it works ok in the front but also feels too bulky for me. I've pretty much given up on all carriers but would love any suggestions. Thanks. anon


The ergo didn't work well for me either, because it was too big to properly fit my frame and too big to stuff into a bag & always have available. I ended up getting the most use out of tentoes click (a favorite among smaller ladies). Apparently they've been discontinued though you can still find them online. It was especially good for front-carrying when my son was younger, but we used it for backcarrying for quite a while too. At some point, though, he got heavy enough that this carrier just didn't have enough support, so the bulkiness thing is kind of a trade-off. Check out babywearer.org for *way* too much further information and suggestions for small backs. Good luck! Missing the snuggly carrier days
Look at a Scootababy hip carrier... I really like mine. It's really easy to use, comfy, and packs down small. Pamela
Sorry I didn't get to post last week, and seeing how few responses you got, I thought I'd chime in. I am a small narrow shouldered mom and too found the Ergo too bulky for me. I have since used a Angelpack and a Beco Butterfly II. I love them both! Both are good for front and back carrying. The Angelpack is really light weight and comes in some solid colors, so my husband will use it too. The Beco is really my favorite as it has a built in infant insert, and an internal sling which makes it the easiest carrier to switch to your back. Both are available from frogmama.com (to whom I have no connection with other than being a happy customer) Happy baby wearing! baby wearing mama

Bjorn baby carrier - Synergy model

March 2009

Just bought Bjorn Baby Carrier (Synergy model). A few days later found out the hazards of carrying my four month old in this-- the weight of baby is supported by crotch, which stresses his spine and can cause long term back problems.

I'm wondering if there's any risk wearing baby facing me (belly to belly). I tried it the other day, it seemed his bottom was supported well, though it didn't seem his weight was distributed through his back, too, like when wearing the Ergo.

Any thoughts based on your experience or research? Thanks! I'm hoping I can still use Bjorn with baby in reverse facing position, but if there are any risks, the Bjorn will go out to the pastures. Laurie


For our first child, we tried a Maya Wrap (type of sling), a Baby Bjorn, and an Ergo. We also had heard all the great benefits of an Ergo, but that was the one carrier we ultimately never used. Our daughter just hated it. For all its plusses and popularity, the Ergo just doesn't suit some babies. It only allows the baby to face in (or sideways, at best), and the legs are splayed quite far apart. Our daughter hated having her legs spread out like that and really wanted to face out when we were walking. When she was just very tiny, we used the sling over the Ergo with the infant insert - she seemed more cradled rather than pushed into it. It was also easier to take her in and out by yourself and it was very easy to adjust between me and my husband. We even preferred the sling over the Baby Bjorn when she was tiny. Once she got older, she liked the Baby Bjorn and we used it almost daily. She hasn't had any problems whatsoever with her spine or back or posture two years! later. However, we did carry her for a maximum of 3 hours, and much more often just an hour or so in the neighborhood. We had to take her out of it just to get her changed frequently any way, and I think it was good for her to be in other places at home - jumping in her jumperoo, doing tummy time, laying on her back and playing with a mobile, napping in her crib, etc. I just don't want you to feel like if the Ergo doesn't work for your child, that you are endangering their health. Personally, I'm not sure that there is one way for carrying a baby that you should stick with for more than a few hours at a time any way (whether stroller, carseat, sling, etc.). It seems like the variety is best for them. I'm sure that keeping them in the Bjorn regularly all day long isn't a good idea, but I'm not convinced it would be good for them to be stuck in the Ergo like that either, even if it didn't hurt their spine. If our second child is happy in an Ergo and hates the Bjorn, we'd use the Ergo instead, but again, not for really long periods of ti me. We'd go by what seems comfortable for all of us rather than worrying about damaging our child with either of those carriers. Anon
Out of curiosity a few years ago I tried to find the original research showing that the ''spinal compression'' from the Baby Bjorn was harmful. All references pointed back to the same essay written by a chiropracter, which as best I could tell was only his personal opinion -- he cited no research to show bad outcomes for babies who were worn in Bjorns. I like babywearing and not terribly into the Bjorn myself, but am thoroughly unconvinced that it does any harm. Kate
From reading about Spondylolisthesis on this network, I was prompted to learn more and landed on this wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spondylolisthesis. Text says:

''... the frequency of spondylolisthesis among Inuit is 30-50%. (This statistic is controversial, however, because further anthropological studies have shown that the occurrence of spondylolysis in Inuit people living in civilized communities is within the normal variancy at 7%. These people are hereditarily linked to the study group showing ~40%. It is theorized that the nomadic Inuit have a higher incidence of spondylolysis due to trauma acquired as infants by being carried in an amauti. While in an amauti, the baby is put into compressive extenstion with each step taken by the mother.''

The amauti is probably worn many more hours that our carriers, is worn on the back rather than the front, and may differ in other significant structural ways. Still, gives us something to think about. Those percentage figures are rather shocking.


Baby Carrier for a Bad Back

Feb 2009

We're expecting our first child in June. I have had back problems stemming from scoliosis since I was a teenager. While it's mostly under control, carrying things can still be a problem. I'm looking for recommendations for a baby carrier that won't put too much pressure on my back. I like the idea of a sling, but am concerned that the uneven distribution of weight will give me trouble. Budget is an issue, so while I don't mind spending a lot on a carrier that will work for me, buying several to ''try out'' which works best isn't an option. I'd love some advice from mom's with back trouble! Mama-to-be


I have three children and have had a bad back much of my life. Honestly, none of the baby carriers have worked for me. All I have tried (slings, close wraps, backpack style, etc) have been triggers to spasms. I wound up doing my close body contact in a sitting or laying down position and using a buggy to keep my baby near me in the house at other times (rolling it from room to room to be able to hold the child when needed). We did great this way. Don't feel you have to wear your child to attend to its needs. Enjoy motherhood! Mary
I believe that the Ergo carrier is the best product on the market for carrying babies sans back pain. The Ergo costs ~$100 new. urban hiker/mom
Absolutely get an ergo with an infant insert (or use a folded up baby blanket like we did). I used alot of different slings as my baby needed to be worn almost all day and my back was in serious trouble. I liked the simplicity of the slings but really it wasn't working out for me. Finally I got an ergo and life got better. The ergo allows for most of the weight to be on your hips and is the best option in my opinion. Sometimes people sell used ones on bpn or on craig's list. Good luck and please do yoga! carmen enlayuma@yahoo.com
Hi- I didn't see your original post, but I too have scoliosis. I can highly recommend the Baby Bjorn baby carrier.It has been a while since I've used one.(my children are 4 and 5 yrs old now). I don't know if I just have a high pain tolerance, but the Bjorn carrier was very supportive for my back- I never left home without it!Plus the babies enjoyed being carried close to me and eye level,when faced forward.Hope this helps! Denise
How about a stroller? You can cuddle with baby when you are sitting down, but if you need to transport your baby, and you don;t want to wreck your back, try a stroller!

Moby Wrap vs. Infant insert for Ergo

Jan 2009

I am soon to have my 2nd baby. For my first baby I initially used the new native sling. My daughter and I loved it until one morning I woke up and literally couldn't get out of bed. I was mostly bed ridden for a little over 2 weeks from having the weight unevenly distributed over one shoulder (had a BIG baby too!). My husband had to take off work and my mother in law had to come stay with me to help with baby. After this, my husband and I decided it was worth the investment to buy an Ergo for when my daughter was old enough.

Now, with #2 on the way and #1 just 2 years old, (and the fact that I work from home with no childcare arrangements) I know that I will desperately need a reliable carrier. I have heard mixed reviews about both the Moby Wrap and the Ergo insert so I would like to hear very specific reviews from people who have both good and bad experiences with either, or ideally both, or even could suggest another carrier appropriate for infants that distributes weight evenly.

I have moved away from the Bay Area (unfortunately!!!) but will be back visiting from Jan 31 - Feb 7 and would love if you could email me directly so that I can make my purchase while I am there and save money on shipping (neither could be found near where I am now). Thanks! Jessica


I have both the Moby and the Ergo -- though I never used the infant insert for the Ergo. I found the Moby particularly good for when my baby was very small -- it kept him close and protected -- but as he grew, I found it could be painful to have so much weight borne almost exclusively on my shoulders and back. I invested in an Ergo and have loved it. The child's weight is carried mainly on your hips, and we'll be able to use it well into his toddlerhood. I still use my Moby sometimes, when I want him to be able to be caried faced outwards, but I think for your purposes, I'd invest in the Ergo. anon
Hi. We had and used both the Moby and Ergo with my son when he was a newborn. After our experience, I would recommend buying the Ergo only (the Moby wrap is too inconvenient, especially if you're going to have two little ones!). We never purchased the Ergo infant insert. Instead, we used a folded/rolled bath towel as a substitute, and it worked fine. I love the Ergo - I can still carry my now ~30lb son for hours (on my back) with almost no discomfort (my feet do get tired!). Brook

2007 - 2008 Reviews


Baby slings - which one?

Nov 2008

Since I had my last child over five years ago I am in need of expert advice on baby slings. I really want to use a sling/wrap/pouch for baby but have NO CLUE on which one to buy!!I am tall (6'0'), size 14-16 and am well endowed up top even when not pregnant. PLEASE help me choose the right wrap,sling,pouch, etc! Thanks!! Jennifer


There just isn't enough information in your post to allow for a good recommendation. The world of babywearing has totally exploded in the last five years and there are approximately 952,653,481 excellent carriers available! They break down into five major categories, though, so it's maybe not QUITE as hard to figure out as it seems. Those categories are: Pouch (example: Hotsling, Peanut Shell), ring sling (example: Maya, Zolo), wrap (example: Didymos, Moby), Asian-style (most common Asian-style is the mei tai; example: Kozy, Babyhawk), and buckle carrier (most common type, soft structured carrier, of which the Ergo is the best known example).

Start by investigating www.thebabywearer.com which is the most comprehensive source of babywearing information and advice in the world. Sign up for the discussion forums, which is where all the best stuff is, though it can be a bit overwhelming to navigate. There's a mentor program available to help you if you want it.

Then join Bay Area Babywearers (soon to be Babywearing International of the Bay Area), by visiting http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareababywearers/ Come to a meeting for personalized hands-on help and the opportunity to actually try on a wide variety of different carriers. (I am the East Bay leader.)

All that said, some favorite choices for wearing a 0-4 month old: Moby Wrap, Wrapsody (formerly Gypsy Mama) Bali Baby Stretch wrap, Sleeping Baby Productions ring sling (www.sleepingbaby.net), Maya Wrap lightly-padded-shoulder (NOT the original style unpadded shoulder) ring sling, EllaRoo lightly padded ring sling, Posh Papoose lightly padded ring sling, Sachi mei tai, Kozy mei tai, Mei Tai Baby adjustable-width mei tai, Connecta buckle tai, Pikkolo soft structured carrier.

That is by no means an exhaustive list, and there may be something else that would suit you better. I hope to see you at a meeting so we can help you find the most comfortable and convenient carriers for YOU! Holly


I have used a number of different slings, and when my child was infant, I used the Nojo sling. As the child got older and much heavier, I switched to a sling/pack that distributes the weight better, and the ergo carrier is the best I've found for being lightweight, very versatile and effective. Toshi
I'm your tall and large and enjoy two carriers, the Ella Roo and the Ergo. I have a three year old and a month old baby and am getting to use both carriers with the newborn. For little babies, the Ella Roo (ellaroo.com) keeps them close with head support. It is sixteen feet of woven fabric that is wrapped around the body a few times and is therefore flexible for larger frames. It's so easy to use getting in and out of a car multiple times as it stays on the body like an elaborate scarf. I could not stand the back strain using a Baby Bjorn, and the Ella Roo somehow distributes the baby's weight all across the back and shoulders quite nicely.

After about three months old the Ergo is wonderful (and the Ella Roo stays useful, too). It's a soft backpack that puts most of the kid's weight on the hips, yet keeps their body up against you still. At first the child stays on the front of your body, and when they get bigger and have really good neck control, they can go on the back. I put even my two year old on my back when he'd get too tired on longer nature walks. My partner at 5' 5'' likes both the Ella Roo and the Ergo, too, with adjustments for her wider hips and shorter body. a dedicated baby-wearing mama


I am on baby #2, and I have lots more slings this time around, so I speak from some experience. This time, I have a moby wrap, a maya lightly-padded sling, a slingling, a baby bjorn (don't love it at all- easy to put on, but doesn't distribute weight well at all!) and an ergo. I love the moby and maya. I don't really like the slingling, probably b/c I don't have the right size, these types are hard to find the proper fit with, so you might want to steer clear of this type. I loved the ergo with my 2 yo, but haven't yet used it with my 2-month old.

I am only 5 ft 2, but I also have a large chest, and I can say that the moby is probably a good choice for you. Don't be intimidated by all the fabric, once you tie it on a few times, you get the hang of it and it is really easy. It's like most strollers, they are all easy to fold and open, once you know how to do it. The moby is also really affordable at around $40. You can also find them used on craiglist almost everyday. My baby is 2 almost 3 months old, and this is my favorite baby carrier right now, I love it! As the baby grows, you can wear the moby in different ways, so I think I will continue to love it.

I think the maya wrap might be a good fit for you too, considering how tall you are, it comes in sizes, so you could get once that is large enough for you. The manufacturer has a sizing chart, most people are M, but you might prefer a L. The price went up $10 recently, to like $65, but there are some websites that still have the lightly padded one for $55 *that's what I paid a few months ago. Plus, they are often for sale on Craigslist. Hope this helps! very happy baby-wearer, very happy baby!


I have two slings: one is a Moby-style (was homemade by a friend) and the other is a ring sling (Rockin' Baby - an LA company). I don't know how well endowed you are but I am a 40E. Neither sling actually bothers my chest, though. However, as my baby gets bigger and heavier, the Moby is FAR more comfortable. The ring sling is easier to get her in and out of so I still use it, but if you only got one, get a Moby (mine's just a long piece of fabric). It is the only carrier that never hurts my back a bit, no matter how baby is placed in it (although she didn't like going in it until about 2 mos old). Also it is the only one my husband has figured out how to use and he also loves it (and he has a bad back). Hope this helps! happy with my moby
Jennifer, I have received many different recommendations from friends who recently had babies. What they've each said to me is that every baby is different and that it really depends on what you're baby will like. They suggested that I wait until baby arrives and then try out different slings/carriers. Rockridge Kids on College Avenue has a pretty good selection of carriers, including the Moby Wrap and Kangaroo Sling that you can try on before purchasing. The Kangaroo is completely adjustable. Rockridge Kids also has all the sizes for try on, so you can see which fits you best. For something super stylish, I love Serena and Lily's Market Sling.(http://www.serenaandlily.com/Gift/market-sling-cloud-petal) However, it is double/triple what other slings are running.

In terms of what I decided to go with...I loved the Maya Ring Sling (available online at http://www.mayawrap.com/) because it is adjustable as your baby grows, and also serves as a nursing cover. If price is an issue, I bought a clearance sling through the Maya online Outlet and it was half the price. When I called to see what the defect was, they said it was that the fabric dye turned out a little lighter than they wanted. It was perfect for me. A friend let me borrow her Moby Wrap once her son outgrew it. It really holds the baby tightly against you. However, it is a little cumbersome to put on at first because the material is so long. Hope this helps! Kay


Check out the SnuggleWrap - http://www.thesnugglewrap.com It's made by a local bay-area mom and is an improved version of the Moby Wrap. Soft, flexible, easy to use, versatile, great for different sized adults and babies. I could go on and on... babywearing fan

Baby carrier - Ergo vs. Beco

Nov 2008

Because my old baby bjorn carrier without the added back support is just not cutting it anymore, I would like to purchase one of the soft baby carriers that have been getting rave reviews among parents. However, I can't decide between the Ergo and the Beco. Does anyone have any strong preferences/recommendations for one over the other? I can find positive reviews of both, but are there any ''cons'' I should know about? I have heard that the company that makes the Ergo carrier does not have the best business practices. But aside from that, is there a significant difference between the two? Anon


I've never heard of the Beco, so I can't compare, but I do have a few negatives to say about the Ergo since you asked. I found the padded straps a nice comfort, and love the waist support, which is so much nicer than the Bjorn. But the Ergo has some drawbacks that keep me using the sling far more often. I feel like a contortionist trying to get it clipped in the back. I consider myself reasonably limber, but it is quite annoying to have to flail my arms around looking for the clip. I often feel like my baby is not as secure as I'd like while I try to get everything arranged properly. (Maybe this gets better with more practice?) It is a bit tricky to switch between its various options, and the side carry resulted in a strap seemingly attempting to saw off my head. You can't face baby out, which is the position my baby prefers when alert. The safety straps to put the buckles through are annoying, but necessary as it is designed-- they make it take a bit longer to get the fussy baby in and out of the carrier. The newborn insert I paid for was a ridiculous waste of money. My older child (probably too old at 2 to be in there, I admit) complained after sitting in it as a backpack that her legs had fallen asleep and she actually started crying about how much it hurt when we got her out. This is probably because she was so big, although within their specified weight limits, but it made me a bit nervous about using the carrier for a long time with my baby. Bjorn Free, Ergoes Nothing!
I have borrowed ergos and love my Beco MUCH more. It's not only prettier--such great fabric options--but it's cut just a bit narrower so baby's legs aren't spread more than necessary. Other than that, I think they're the same. brook
If you're talking about buying a new carrier, there are some very significant differences. The Beco Butterfly (which is the version currently sold) has an inner seat/harness arrangement that functions very differently from the Ergo (and most SSCs). Some people love it, others hate it. The Beco, as compared to the Ergo, also has a slightly taller and differently shaped body panel, without seat darts; has somewhat lighter padding, a different strap length adjustment system, and a different type of hood; and the fabrics it's made of are generally prettier but somewhat less sturdy.

Which one would fit you best is a matter of individual body shape and size and personal preferences. The best single place to get more comparison information (as well as ''specs'' on other brands of SSC and other types of carriers, if you're interested in other choices) in written form is the discussion forums at www.thebabywearer.com

But really the best way to figure out what suits you is to try them on. You can do that for free, as well as get expert help with learning to use your carrier, at a Bay Area Babywearers meeting. Check us out (I'm the East Bay leader) at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareababywearers/

You might also simply buy both, and return one after you've decided which you prefer. Most vendors who sell these carriers have decent return policies, and the Ergo, especially, is readily available at local brick-and-mortar stores. You might be out the cost of shipping on a return, but that's a reasonable price to pay for the convenient try-out opportunity. Holly


I am a huge crazy Ergo fan and was recommending it to my friend who is 5' 2''. She did her research and ended up deciding on a Beco because the reviews she read suggested that the Beco was slightly better for shorter people. --love the Ergo!

The waistband on my carrier is too small

Nov 2008

I just purchased a Belle Baby Carrier online. I now know I should have tried to find one in a store, since the waist band is to small by about 4-5''. It feels like my baby is pressed against me too tightly. Can any of you recommend an expert who could reliably make that alteration? Of course, I could always return it, but I think I might have this trouble with any of these types of carriers I purchase. Lisa


You really are most likely better off returning that carrier and trying a different brand or a different type. I'm not familiar with the Belle Baby, so I Googled it up and I will say that almost all of the model photos show it being worn much too low. Otherwise it looks like an okay carrier -- pretty good for a frontpack, actually, although I'm not a fan of frontpacks in general -- but the type of alteration you're talking about will almost certainly void any warranty, the chances that extending the waistband will work the way you hope seem low; and there ARE a number of other brands of more-or-less similar products available, so you shouldn't have that much trouble finding something else that fits you better.

By the way, any baby carrier should hold your baby very snugly against you (and in the same position and at the same height you'd carry the baby in your arms); allowing the baby to swing farther away from your center of gravity is neither safe nor comfortable for either of you. A waistband is too tight only if you physically can't fasten it around your waist. And the tightness of the waistband should not really affect the position of the baby. I see that the Belle Baby website does talk about setting the waistband tighter or looser in order to raise or lower the baby in the carrier body, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but as I said I've not personally seen the product, so perhaps there's something going on there that I don't know about. In any event, 4-5'' is a big discrepancy so it does seem like the carrier probably just doesn't fit you. If you have a large waist size, you may have more success with a mei tai (which has long waist straps that you tie on, so they fit nearly anyone) than with any type of structured carrier (which can be adjusted only so far).

Best of luck figuring it out! Holly


Baby sling advice wanted

August 2008

I'm trying to buy a baby sling and wanted some advice. I will get the moby, but also wanted one especially in the beginning that is ready to go as is and I can just put on quickly without having to worry about wrapping, material, ties, etc., and easily put the baby in in a lying down/sleeping position. I heard that the new native was good and another one over the shoulder(?), and am wondering if anyone has anything to say about these two or others that I don't know about. I went on one site that listed tons, but it was too much info. and overwhelming. Good on the back would be a plus too! Thanks!


I didn't like the New Native's fit, though it was easy to use -- but with a pre-formed sling, a lot of the fit depends on your shape and size and the baby's, which is different for everyone of course. I highly recommend visiting The Nuture Center in Lafayette, where they will let you try on several kinds of slings and give you good advice. They periodically offer sling classes as well. I ended up just waiting till the baby was big enough to sit up and then using the Ergo, which I loved. Part-time Baby Wearer
I really liked the hotsling. It is has less stretch than the new native which made me feel more secure. And it's nice to convert to a hip carry when the baby can sit up - it has a little padding around the edge for their legs. You can try these on, (as well as other slings) at the Nurture Center in Lafayette. It might be better to wait until your baby is born and try them out with the baby. anon
Firstly: I am a leader of Bay Area Babywearers, a local non-pofit group dedicated to helping parents choose and use baby slings and carriers. We would love to have you attend a meeting (East Bay meetings are the third Saturday of every month) and/or join our Yahoo group, and we'll get you into something you will love to wear. Look us up at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareababywearers/

I could go on and on and on in response to your specific questions but I will try to just cover the basics! The most ''no fuss'' type of carrier is called a pouch. There is nothing to wrap, tie, buckle or adjust. This of course makes it easier to use in a way and it's much faster than other type to get on and off, but the disadvantage is that if you have one that doesn't fit you just right or you have trouble getting your baby positioned correctly in it, there is nothing you CAN adjust to make it better. The New Native is a type of pouch; it is readily available and lots of people like them, but I think there are better choices. You might want to look at Hotslings, Karma Baby, Slinglings, Comfy Joey...there are lots of other good brands. There are also ''adjustable pouches'' which means you can adjust them up or down a few sizes, which is nice for post-partum changes in your weight and breast size, and may allow you to share a pouch with Dad or another caregiver if you are not too different in size. The Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch (KKAFP) is a popular example, as is Mamma's Milk.

You also mention the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder, which is a closed-tail, padded ring sling. This type of ring sling is really more like an adjustable pouch than it is like a typical ring sling, and it's not something I would recommend in most cases. The padding is bulky and makes the sling less adjustable, so -- as with a pouch -- you must be careful to get one that fits you well, and -- as with a pouch -- you may have trouble finding a position that both you and your baby like. Padding can make a sling a bit easier to learn to use, but the versatility and adustability you get with an open tail is more than worth the effort to learn to use it.

So a better choice for a newborn is an open-tail, unpadded or lightly padded ring sling. These can be adjusted in all sorts of ways to fit anyone and to support a baby in lots of different positions. They are just as easy to get on and off as a pouch. But (like the Moby and other stretchy wraps) they do have a somewhat higher learning curve, and it may take a week or two and perhaps some hands-on help from a more experienced sling-wearer to really get comfortable with one. Some brands to consider include EllaRoo and Kangaroo Korner for lightly padded, or Maya Wrap (the newer style with a lightly padded shoulder, but no padding in the rails, and NOT the older shoulder style), Sleeping Baby Productions or Taylor Made for unpadded. Or if you would like a really gorgeous ''investment'' sling, one you will wear at every opportunity for the next three years and then save for your grandchildren, try a silk Sakura Bloom or maybe a Zolo.

For a great deal more information and advice, sling reviews (with links to vendor websites) and a really fun community of babywearers -- besides the Bay Area Babywearing group of course! -- visit www.thebabywearer.com. It is rather overwhelming but the discussion forums are a fabulous resource, and I or any of the other ''mentor'' members would be glad to help you find your way around. I hope to meet you in person or online soon! Holly


Ring sling or Ergo carrier?

June 2008

I am trying to decide between a ring sling and an Ergo Carrier. I have some back issues, but am very committed to wearing my baby. How do you like your Ergo? Has it held up well? Does the hip belt help with the strain on your back?


I think the Ergo is the best thing EVER. I have had great luck with it, carrying my two year old and my baby... my kids love it and think it is such a treat now (and since they are older I can wear them on my back). I could never get any of the sling products to work for me. I have large breasts which already strains my back and makes wearing my baby difficult because, let's face it, they're in the way! (that's why I finally decided no on the slings ~ maybe I just couldn't figure it out though). I totally, fully love the Ergo. Don't know if there is something better though! I haven't wanted/needed to look. love my ergo
I love my Ergo. I switched to it after the sling started hurting my back, when my little one was about four months old. I think having the waist strap and the even pressure on both shoulders(rather than the asymmetrical pressure of the sling) was a tremendous help. Mini-Me is now eight months old and 15 pounds, and my lower back does ache when I wear her on the front. I started wearing her on the back and it's no problem. -Ergo fan
i loved my ergo type carrier ( i used a brand called patapum). i did front & back carries. i'd say that the ergo is better for your back than a sling since there is more of an even distribution of weight. the chest clip made a difference for me regarding a better fit and for my comfort. i carried him no problem until about 2. Something else to consider is your frame. If you are on the more petite side there may be an issue with getting it tight enough. Anway, i have seen them at crackerjacks. maybe if you try it on in person that might help with your decision. miss wearing my babe
We have gotten more use out of our Ergo in the last 25 months than any of our other carriers (Maya pouch, Moby, Ring sling, and some others). My son has always been a big dude (36 pounds now), and the Ergo is the only carrier that we can still use. It is great for my aching back, and the hip belt has been a big help. It's in great shape after 2 years of use. It does seem, though, that as he's gotten taller in the last few months more of his weight has shifted to my shoulders. C'est la vie - it's still easier than carrying him! During his first year, my wife mostly used a ring sling while I used a Maya pouch, but he outgrew them last spring. Kevin
I can't speak to the back issues, but I tried all manner of slings and wraps, and I liked the Ergo best. I found it comfortable for me and the baby, and a lot easier to get in and out of than the slings -- but from talking to other moms, it seems to be a matter of personal preference -- I'd recommend visiting the Nuture Center in Lafayette, where they will let you try on all kinds of carriers and patiently answer all your questions. They sometimes have carrier classes, as well. My Ergo, which I bought used, held up well through wear, travel, washings, you name it. It was a life-saver to wear baby #2 while chasing toddler #1 around. Mom on the Go
Welcome to the baby-wearing-club! It helps soooo much to carry them, and it is fun, too. If you have back issues you should go for the ergo, because the hip belt helps a lot. Friends of mine use the ergo and are very happy with it. I use the beco baby carrier (4th generation), and it works great. My 8-months-old is now 20 lbs+, and my back is ok, although I wear her a couple of hours a day, and I tend to have back issues, too. happy baby wearer
LOVE my Ergo. In fact, love it so much that I have two! I bought the Ergo when my second son was born almost 2 years ago and still use it almost daily. With my first, I went through a used Bjorn, then a new Bjorn with the lower back piece. Neither worked well once he reached about 20 pounds. With my second, I bought a ''ring'' sling because a friend told me she was still using hers for her 2 yo. I found that it just wasn't comfortable for me as I felt hunched over all the time. Once I put on the Ergo (son was still under a month) with infant insert, it was a whole new world of comfort for me...and I could use it with my then two yo. Today I mostly use it with my almost 2 yo, but my husband also uses the other one with our 4yo. Amazing how long they last and how well the hold up...and YES, VERY COMFORTABLE. We often pack ours these days INSTEAD of a stroller as it is more compact and when the little one gets tired, we just scoop him up and put him on my back. Good luck!
Hi - I love the ergo, and have been using it since my daughter was 5 months old... she is now a little girl of 32 months (about 36 inches tall, and weighing about 32 lbs.) Like you, I have bad back problems... both upper and lower back issues, adn she is pretty close to out-growing the ergo. Before the ergo I used a moby wrap... I had tried the sling, but even when she was a scant lil thing of 10 lbs., the sling hurt my back and shoulders. We are pretty close to not using the ergo anymore, though I understand that it can be used up to 65 lbs or more. It has been a real life saver for us, and I still use it on occassion (when she lies down on the sidewalk and refuses to walk another step, for instance). sara
I love my Ergo. I tried a sling and it wasn't for me. The fact that you are carrying all the weight on one shoulder was tweaking my back and I'd have to be constantly switching which shoulder I had it on which was a pain. The Ergo keeps the weight balanced and is much more versatile. Sure, it's way more expensive than a sling, but it saves you from having to buy a Bjorn or other carrier when the baby is older. I wore my twin infants (one at a time) in front until they were sitting up and then I usually now carry them on the back so I'm clear in front. Plus the Ergos are good up to age 5 I think and you can use them as a hip carrier. I also used it a couple of times to carry my 5 year old when he got tuckered out on long hikes and it was great. I have even carried one twin in the front in one carrier and one twin on the back w/ a 2nd carrier. All that being said, if I had to do it all over again I would buy this other carrier, similar to the Ergo but it's from Canada and I don't remember the name. The Ergo only allows you to carry the baby in the front facing you, but this other carrier I'm talking about lets the baby face either out or in. For a while one of my twins HATED facing towards me and was only content if facing out so I had to use a Bjorn with her. But she's ok going on the back. Baby carrying mama
If the carriers that appeal to you so far are a ring sling and the Ergo, I must recommend that you get both. The ring sling will serve you much better when your baby is a newborn, and later on when you want something small and fast for an up-down-up-down-up-down toddler. A soft structured carrier (of which type the Ergo is the best known example) is, however, is great starting at 3-4 months for longer carries, especially if you need the baby on your back and out of the way of household chores or other work, and will be more comfortable than one-shoulder sling once the baby reaches a certain size and weight. If you'd like an opportunity to try on a variety of brands and types of both categories of carrier (as well as mei tais and wraps, if you're interested -- for someone with back problems, a good woven wrap is usually the best choice), with some individual hands-on help in choosing what fits you best and learning how to wear it, please come to a Bay Area Babywearers meeting! We're a non-profit organization dedicated to helping all parents and caregivers wear their babies -- and our members love to share their experiences with lots of different carriers, as well as passing around the actual carriers to be tried on. Join our Yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareababywearers/ or feel free to email me personally (I'm the East Bay group leader) for meeting details and other information. You can also get lots of helpful, unbiased information (though I admit the site, especially the very useful discussion forums, can be sort of overwhelming) at www.thebabywearer.com Hope to meet you soon! Holly
I absolutely LOVE the ergo!!!!! Especially if you have back problems, I would definitely choose the ergo over any sling, from experience. I liked the sling idea for my daughter (now 16 months) when she was first born, so I used the new native. I absolutely inured my back severely and had to stay in bed for 1.5 weeks. My daughter was just a couple months at the time and weighed ~15 pounds. I didn't wear her for very long and was switching between sides, but one morning I woke up and couldn't get out of bed. My husband had to call off work a few days and I was unable to be up and around. This lasted a LONG TIME, until eventually ( after about 3 or 4 weeks) we figured out a way to pay for a chiropractor. After a couples weeks of treatment I could finally not think about the pain constantly. I switched to an ergo immediately and LOVED it. My daughter is now about 27 lbs and we still use and love it, as does my husband. For my next baby, I will maybe try the infant inser! t while she is newborn or go with another 'system' that has the weight even on your body until s/he is big enough for the ergo. But if I ever win the lottery, I will start a program to gift an ergo to new mothers. That good! Oh, and about the waist strap, I have found that if you learn to adjust the ergo correctly, most of the weight does go onto your hips and if you wear him/her a VERY long time, you may get a little bit tired in your lower back, but not bad. Ergo-loving family
The Ergo carrier is THE best at allowing you to easily bear the weight of your baby. I've had slings, a bjorn, and other carriers that were comfortable for a very, very short time and then useless. But the Ergo, with its soft structure, hip belt, & padded shoulder straps all go a very long way towards providing a pain-free way to wear your baby until he or she is quite big. It's a big ticket item but well worth it since you don't need to buy any other carrier. Happy Baby Wearer
I used a ring sling with my daughter from the time she was 4 days old until she was three plus years old -- it was great. But I don't have back issues. And when my whopper of a son was born, I found it much less comfortable with a big floppy newborn. I have the Ergo but found it not at all well adapted to front carry for a newborn, though I know people say it's absolutely fabulous once the baby's bigger. What I'm using now, and I love love love love love is a Babyhawk -- a Western adaptation of a Chinese mei tai. You carry the weight on both shoulders and a bit on the waist. If you're trying to use one carrier from birth on I don't know if you'd be better with one of those or an Ergo. They're overwhelming, but two resources to look at are thebabywearer.com (also has classifieds for finding these expensive carriers used) and the Yahoo group for Bay Area Babywearers. Bay Area Babywearers has monthly meetings where you can try out different carriers. Good luck! Kate
I did not see anyone respond to your question. I have a very bad lower back that I am in pain a lot(I am not sure what part of your back is bothering you). I found the Ergo has worked the best for me. I have it low on my hips not at my waist as some do. I kept on moving the straps around until it felt good on me. I wish I had it for my first child. But I am going to add more. Baby wearing is wonderful but a pain free Mama is more important. I became a better mom with my first when she could walk and I stopped picking her up (made me sad but I am more fun when I am not in pain). If your back is bad like mine no carrier is going to be the magic fix but it can make things better and the Ergo did for me. bad back mama
I have an ergo and a ring sling. I love the sling for smaller baby and quick trips in and out of the store... but the Ergo is a must have for hikes, and bigger baby-- more prolonged use. But who knows what your baby will prefer? I would go to http://www.thebabywearer.com/ and look for a used ring sling, and a used Ergo (which don't resale for that much less then a new one, but at least it won't be 100 bucks, right?) and when baby has arrived, try both out and see which works best for when. If you really want to carry baby successfully, a variety of options seems best as baby grows and his/her needs change. It is really best to try on the Ergo for your body with your baby--then decide... wearer of 3 babies so far

Baby carrier for big daddy?

May 2008

Hi, does anyone know of a baby carrier that would work well for a big baby (22 lbs) and a big guy (6'1'', 220 lbs)? Baby and I love the Ergo, but Ergo doesn't work for baby and daddy, they both get pretty uncomfortable. Anon


My husband is 6'5'' and the only carrier he's used with both our girls is the Maya wrap. I ordered a larger size five years ago for our first baby, who was about 25 pounds by 10 months and now our second is 22 pounds at 10 months. Maya Wrapper
This might not be what you want to hear, but I seem to recall that Ergo offers an extender, in case the standard waist-size isn't the right size for you. I am 6'4'', 200lbs, and the standard size is just fine for me, luckily... is the problem the waist strap? Or shoulders? Or everything fits, but it's still uncomfortable? Don't feel bad -- I love the Ergo, but my wife hates it and finds it really uncomfortable... and she's smaller than me! Everybody's different!

Also, maybe you could try one of those slings that is just a long piece of fabric? It's more work than an Ergo, but I like mine, too. (Thought I use the Ergo a lot more, since it's less work.) kevin


Check out www.attachedtobaby.com, www.peppermint.com, or www.thebabywearer.com for loads of recommendations, advice, etc. He might like to try a Babyhawk (www.babyhawk.com) with extended straps. It's like an ergo except the straps tie instead of buckle. You can choose you own designs (so can pick something guy-friendly).

Or, for ultimate comfort, try a woven ''wrap'' like a Didymos. It's like a Moby, but more supportive and not stretchy. My husband used one with our son until he was 2. They take some time to figure out, but they are SO So comfy and cuddly. baby-carrying family


My husband is about the size of your baby's father. We ended up calling Baby Bjorn and they made custom straps for him. That worked great, for us (our baby loved her Bjorn; I know not all babies do). Lisa
thebabywearer.com has a lot of info about carriers and if you sign up to have a password i believe you can post questions such as yours. i haven't used this site in awhile but it's used by people that are quite passionate about baby carriers and i bet you'd get some good replies. good luck! susan
The main drawback of soft structured carriers like the Ergo is, as you've discovered, that they fit best on people of fairly average size. Your husband may want to try a mei tai or a wrap, because although unstructured carriers take a little more time to learn to use, they are almost infinitely adjustable and so can comfortably fit anyone.

If he insists on something with buckles, I'd suggest a buckle tai with an unpadded or lightly padded waist, rather than the firmly padded hip belt, again because it offers more adjustability and because sometimes those work better on men who, after all, don't carry weight on their hips in quite the same way women do! The Connecta is a favorite example of the type.

Or it may actually be possible to get him more comfortable in the Ergo, by adjusting the way he's wearing it.

Come to a Bay Area Babywearers meeting (the next one is June 21st, 11:00 a.m. at Totland Park -- I am the East Bay group leader) and we'll be glad to try tweaking the Ergo and help him try on a variety of other carriers so he can get a better idea of what will work for him! You can sign up for our Yahoo group here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bayareababywearers/

Meanwhile, the best single source of baby carrier information online is www.thebabywearer.com -- the discussion forums can be overwhelming but offer a wealth of information and advice. You can find people there who've tried just about everything and can comment on the pros and cons for just about any size or shape person. Holly


try www.thebabywearer.com. they have tons of resources on carriers. anon

Baby carrier for ten month old

March 2007

I have a 2 1/2 year old and a ten month old and I'm looking for advice on a good baby carrier for the ten month old for trips to the park, preschool pickups and other outings where I need two hands for my older son. My ten month old is on the large side but not overly so (about 20 pounds). I'm about 5'3'' and the Bjorn doesn't work so well anymore. I'd love to find something where I can wear him on my hip and see his face as opposed to having him on my back but I welcome any and all recommendations especially from parents in a similar situation. anne


Ergo! You can wear it on your front, back, or side. See http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/ for photos. Elizabeth
The Ergo. I LOVE the Ergo. It's great, it's comfortable for the kids and moms. It puts all their weight on your hips, so you don't get back pain. And the shoulder straps are very wide and padded. It's an excellent baby carrier. You can try it on with the baby at Rockridge Kids. I've only used it in the front and back, although technically you can do the side. (When I put my daughter on my hip, I usually use the Maya Wrap.) Also, I've seen friends carrying their 3 year olds in the Ergo, so you can use it for a very long time. Sarah
i love the old hip hammock (meaning not the ones that playtex makes since they bought the company). you can often find them being sold on bpn or ebay or at kids' stores that sell used stuff. they were made by a woman by the name of nancie swanke who lives in iowa (or idaho) and i believe she still has a website that you can contact her at. my daughter has really loved hers and we use it all the time. she likes to ride on my hip and be able to see my face and get to look out at everything. we bought ours from bpn for 15 or 20 bucks but i've seen them at used stores for 10 bucks. it's a bit hard to find them unless you know what they look like because the label is unusually hard to read. i buy a lot of baby carriers and i have to say that i'm very impressed with the simplicity of this one. it's the baby carrier i use most often with my year old and it's the least expensive one i've got! you could also try the baby eco carrier but it's expensive or the hip hugger: http://thehiphuggeronline.stores.yahoo.net/shop.html i've never tried one of those but they look good. anon
I have a 9 month old and a 2.5 year old and I LOVE my Ergo. I wear the little one on my back when we start out our morning and he usually naps on my back for ages. Then I usually take him out at some point to nurse or play, and then I can easily put him on my front to get us all back in the car. It's hard to get used to putting the baby on your back at first, but I've found a way to do it in my car or I ask another mom for help. I've heard that the newer Ergos have a hip-wearing device -- not sure how that works exactly. But the Ergo is by far the best, most comfortable thing I've used. sf
I'd say the Ergo all the way. We have a 9mo on the large side- and I can comfortably carry him around on the front, hip and back for long periods of time (hour+). If you get a new one it comes with an instruction dvd on how to wear it best . . . I personally haven't viewed it - but I guess it would help if you were struggling- I find the Ergo much more comfortable than the baby bjorn ever was! Ergo fan
I love my Ergo. It can be worn on front, back or hip and is shockingly comfortable. I got it at Rockridge Kids and they showed me how to put it on, how it should fit, etc.
The Ergo Baby carrier is great. You can wear your baby on your hip, or put him on your back when you are in the mood for that. It also is so lightweight and can be stuffed into a bag when you don't need it. http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/gallery/2/pages/image22.html Andi
I used the Bjorn w/ my first child and always found it uncomfortable. So for my second pregnancy I bought an Ergo carrier and LOVE it. It is so comfortable and better on your back. You can carry your child in the front, on your hip or on your back. The other day we went for a walk and my 4 year old didn't want to walk any more as he was feeling sick, so I carried him on my back and while it was heavy, it was actually very comfortable. an Ergo lover
i highly recommend a sling. my 1st was ''velcrochild,'' and she spent a great deal of time on my hip, until she was almost 3. for older babies, they ride with most of their weight on your hip, as if you were holding them, but the sling holds them in place. and you can put your arm in front of baby to do 2 handed things, like meal prep, dishes, etc. also great for the playground while you're following #1 around, or neighborhood walks. people often disparage ring slings, but i like the padding, and the possibility for minute adjustments. usually available used at consignment stores for under $20. try lauren's closet in alameda, or they grow so fast in lafayette (call first). oakland stores have them less often, but try crackerjacks off piedmont ave, silver moon on grand, making ends meet on fruitvale, child's play on college. if you don't mind spending $$, there's a million beautiful fabrics online. non adjustable slings never seem to hit me just right, either too tight or too loose (and then you find yourself leaning over, or using your arm to hold baby up higher on your hip). i did get a hotsling (non adjustable) in polartec, nice and fuzzy warm for the winter. you can try them on at the nurture center in lafayette (mt diablo blvd), and i think they have classes there, where you can try on a variety of slings and learn how to use them. sling fan
I have a 9-month-old that I also wear while taking my 2-year-old to the park, library, etc. The baby is large (26lbs) and very active. I have had luck with the Ellaroo Mei Hip carrier. It's really easy to use (no rings) and folds up really small to fit in the diaper bag. Even my toddler likes to ride in it. The Ergo can also be worn as a hip carrier and I use that as well. It's a little harder to ge the hang of, but someone in the store can show you how, or you can watch the DVD that comes with it. They have both carriers at the Nurture Center in Lafayette and the sales staff can help you. baby sherpa

2005 - 2006 Reviews


Ergo carrier - When can I wear baby on back?

Oct 2006

I need some help from seasoned Ergo mama's and papa's. I would like to start wearing my baby on my back using the Ergo but wonder how do I know when it's appropriate? He has good head control but is sometimes ''wobbly''. Babe is almost three months old. When did you start wearing your child on your back and how did you know the time was right? Thanks for the help


Product manual says wait until 6 months for backpack. I bought mine when my baby was 9 mo. and she loved it in the back ergo mom
You can start wearing your baby on your back any time, but it is easiest and safest if you wait until he can sit up with little to no support. Usually around 5 months. If you try it now, you'll probably want to use the hood in order to give him good head support.

If you would like some in-person help with learning to use your Ergo, and/or explore your best options for use in the next couple months before Ergo back carries get easier, please come to a NINO meeting! Nine In, Nine Out is a babywearing support and advocacy organization, and our East Bay chapter meets the third Saturday of each month -- at Totland Park while the weather's good. Please feel free to e-mail me for more info, or join our Yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NINOBayArea Holly


Anyone really like their Baby Eco carrier?

Sept 2006

Hi, I'm considering buying one of these but would get a customized one and imagine I wouldn't be able to return it if I didn't like it. Pros/Cons? Comparison to a Patapum? If anyone has one are they willing to have me come see it and try it on with my 6 month old? I buy too many carriers (they're so tempting...) and was hoping to avoid making an expensive mistake. Thanks! Susan


I believe you must be referring to the carrier I know as the ''bEco'' which is a modernized version of a mei tai that fastens with buckles rather than by tying -- sort of like a less structured Ergo. I don't have one myself but they are very well- regarded among the baby carrier aficionados at www.thebabywearer.com and, in fact, if you order one and then don't like it, you should have no trouble re-selling it for close to the price you paid on TBW's ''for sale or trade'' forum or on the Yahoo BabywearingSWAP group.

More generally -- as I don't know whether any of us have a bEco - - there is a fantastic local resource for trying out different types of carriers before you buy, and getting lots of expert help on using them. NINO Bay Area is the local affiliate of the national non-profit babywearing support and advocacy group Nine In, Nine Out (www.nineinnineout.org) and the East Bay group meets the 3rd Saturday of each month. (There are also South Bay meetings and intermittent gatherings in other areas.) For more information, join our Yahoo group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NINOBayArea or e-mail me (I am a co-leader of the group). We'd love to meet you! Holly


I don't have a Baby Eco carrier, but I also like baby wearing and carriers. I am sure you know about (but I will mention anyway) www.thebabywearer.com You can join the forums there and get feedback from other baby carrying parents. Also there are a few members that post there that are part of a local group here in the Bay Area, some of whom might have just the carrier you are looking for. Good luck and happy baby carrying! another baby wearer

How to wear wrap style baby carriers

June 2006

I am trying to use a wrap carrier with my newborn and I am quite confused about how to use it. The instructions provided by the various manufacturers are different for each wrap, although the way I understand it the wraps differ from each other only in the fabric? My question is, can I, for example, wrap a woven wrap like the Ella Roo in the same manner I would wrap a stretchy Moby wrap, or do they need to be tied diffently? Can I do any wrapping style with any wrap? I purchased an Ella Roo woven wrap, but found later that it is easier for me to wrap it like instructed on the Moby wrap web page. Should I exchange the Ella Roo wrap for a Moby wrap, or just wrap the Ella Roowrap like a Moby wrap? Any help would be greatly appreciated


Yes, you can follow the Moby Wrap instructions for the Ellaroo. Just follow whichever instructions make sense to you, and always pay attention to how secure your baby feels, and you can't go wrong. I think the woven wraps are actually better than the stretchy ones because you can do everything that you can with stretchy wraps and more, because they are more supportive. So, when the baby gets heavier, wearing it on your back is not really secure with a stretchy wrap, but perfectly safe with a woven one. Much more versatile.

Here's how I put on my wrap, for the basic front carry.
-- Find the middle, and put it at my belly.
-- Take each side and wrap around the back of my belly and forward over the opposite shoulder, so that I have an X at my back, a band at my waist in the front, and two long tails hanging forward over my shoulders.
-- Take the tails and tuck them under the band at my waist. Cross them.
-- Wrap them back around my waist, cross in back at my waistline, and bring them back to the front to tie them.

This leaves me with an X in the back, and X in the front, a band layered above the X in the front, and the rest of the fabric around my waist and tied in front. The baby's legs go through the top parts of the X in front as well as through the band. The fabric from the crossed pieces in front gets spread over the baby's butt, and the band comes up over his back to support him. His arms get tucked into the crossed pieces. I hope that makes sense! babywearing fool


Try mamatoto.org--they have instructions for oodles of different ways to tie wraps and even for making your own. They also tell you when you can use a stretchy fabric and when it's better to have a woven fabric (although I used stretchy for lots of the different ties they recommend for wovens because I found it more comfortable and didn't mind it sagging a bit). Great site, it's a fantastic public service they provide! --Another baby-wrapper in Oakland

Baby carrier for chubby squirmy baby

May 2006

Hi. We have a 6 month old with the chubbiest legs in history. He also happens to be pretty squirmy and is starting to dive for things. Unfortunately, he loathes his stroller. Can anyone suggest a baby carrier that might be good for him? We are way past the baby bjorn stage. Thanks, Jenny


How about a mei tai? www.babyhawk.com Or go to the Nurture Center in Lafayette and try a bunch of different carriers in person. They also have a 'sling class' there. Slinger
You might try a sling. The Rosado sling or any of the slings with rings are great. They allow you to carry babies in several different positions mary
Hi Jenny: We, too, have a diving, squirmy 6-month-old who is quite the chunkster. When he outgrew his Baby Bjorn several months ago, we settled on the Ergo - by far, one of the best pieces of baby gear we've purchased. My son - who always tried to squirm out of the Bjorn - loves it (and often falls asleep in it), and it is surprisingly comfortable for both me (5'2'') and my husband (6'1''). The Ergo allows you to wear your baby in the front, and also on your back, backpack-style. Initially, I thought my son would be bothered by the fact that the Ergo doesn't allow him to face out when I wear him in front, but he hasn't at all seemed to mind. (Also, I love the way the Ergo supports him; he doesn't just hang there from the crotch like he did in the Bjorn.) They're kind of pricey ($90-ish), but if you're game, I highly recommend visiting the Nurture Center in Lafayette, where they will let you try on the Ergo (and other carriers) and tote your baby around the store so that you can make the best choice for yourself and your little one. (By the way, one of the reasons we were willing to spend the money on this is that it has such a long life; my friend still uses her Ergo, backpack- style, for her 3-year-old during long hikes, so you'll likely be able to get years of use out of yours, as well.) Good luck! Ergo devotee
I would try either a Sutemi Pack (www.sutemigear.com) or an Ergo (www.ergobabycarrier.com). Both of these are very comfy (for wearer and baby) and versatile (you can wear them on back, front or side). They might seem pricey at first, but it's definitely worth it. The Ergo is a little more user-friendly, but both are great carriers -satisfied Ergo/Sutemi user
I too have a chubby, squirmy baby (a 9-month old) and I highly recommend the Ergo baby carrier. I got it when she was about 5 months old - mostly because my back was hurting from an old bjorn, and I needed to pop her in something to keep up with my 2-year-old. I wear her on the front when she is fussy and it calms her right down (and she often falls asleep and can be easily put down). I wear her on the back to go on longer walks (hard to put her in without help, but doable) and she is very happy there too. This weekend, I actually wore my toddler on the back for the first time and it was perfectly comfortable for him and me! Even though it's a bit pricey, I have found it to be well worth it. I got mine at Day One in SF. I think they have them at Rockridge Kids too. You could get them on-line but probably better to try them out with your squirmer in them. Note: it helps if you are moving, especially the first 5 minutes or so til they settle in a bit. Good luck! Trish
You want the Ergo Baby Carrier. It puts the weight on your hips, so you can carry a heavy baby, and the leg holes are BIG Elizabeth
I just got an Ergo Carrier and really like it. It's very flexible. Rockridge Kids always has some available for trying out.

Kangaroo Karrier fleece pouch

April 2006

I've heard such great things about Kangaroo Karrier Fleece Pouches (slings) but can't find anywhere to get one, even online. Do I have the name wrong? Anyone know where I could get one? Want a comfortable sling


It's Kangaroo Korner. http://www.kangarookorner.com/
The web site is www.kangarookorner.com. I have the original fleece pouch and I love it! I use it every day and find it very comfortable. anon
My sister bought me one as a gift and I love it,especially given the Bay Area's year around cool weather. Make sure you get the right size--they are supposed to be snug. here's the link: http://www.kangarookorner.com/k_shop_pouches_custom.shtml# Kangaroo Konvert
The fleece sling you are thinking of is called the Kangaroo Korner adjustable fleece pouch and can be found at www.kangarookorner.com or the Nurture Center in Lafayette. I got my online at Kangaroo Korner but if you want to try one on the Nurture Center is a good bet (they just don't have as much selection in all the cool colors as online). I have used mine with my 10 month old and have loved it (and she has too) since she was little little and we can still use it now (mostly on the hip). I know a lot of other new moms who love it too. It's definitely very comfortable. Good luck! happy with my fleece sling
Is this what you're looking for? ..... http://www.kangarookorner.com/
Have you tried looking under Kangaroo Korner? I have one and that is what its called, and just test-googled it and there it was. Enjoy jdelio
The carrier you are referring to is the Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch (abbreviated as KKAFP). We carry them at The Nurture Center (http://www.nurturecenter.com) so you can come in and try them out. The company website is http://www.kangarookorner.com, and they are based in Minnesota. They just recently started offering their pouches for wholesale, so not many stores carry them. Sherry
I believe you are thinking of the Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch. (I think the Kangaroo Carrier is a completely different thing.) In my opinion they are the best sling on the market! The website is www.kangarookorner.com The woman who makes them is super friendly and helpful and will answer any questions that you have Pouch Lover
I bought a Kangaroo Korner fleece pouch for my infant son, and we both loved it. I purchased mine directly from their website: http://www.kangarookorner.com/ but you can also find them used (and less expensive) on eBay. Enjoy! Kangaroo Korner enthusiast
Yes, you have the name wrong. It's the Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch. www.kangarookorner.com And yes, it's a great product with many adoring fans! Kangaroo Korner also makes a very nice lightly padded ring sling. (Vastly preferable to the heavily padded mass-market brands.) Depending on your taste and how you will use the carrier, you may want to also consider Hotslings and the Slingset. And when you get one, if you find you'd like some help figuring out to use it, please come to a Bay Area NINO meeting! (I'm a co-leader; e-mail me for info.) Holly
I think you might want to take a look at www.kangarookorner.com. Good luck. -Kara
I love my Kangaroo Korner fleece sling and couldn't have made it through the past 2 months of new parenting without it. It feels very safe and secure and because it's adjustable (with snaps) both my husband and I can wear it. It has seemed a bit hot for our child the last couple of weeks but we just dress her in a short sleeve onesie only and she's fine. She fusses for two minutes then instantly falls asleep in it. It's been the only consistent place we know she'll take a nap for 2+ hours. I believe you can purchase them through the Nurture Center in Lafayette or at kangarookorner.com Anon

Sutemi or Ergo baby carrier with back problems?

Feb 2006

I have a slipped disk and my physical therapist is recommending that I stop using a sling to carry my 3 month old baby (he's 12.5 lbs now). Does anyone with back problems have any experience with either the Sutemi or Ergo carriers, or with any others? I have the Bjorn Active too, but it hurts my back after a few hours. Thanks so much. anon


I bought a ''new generation'' ERGO carrier for my baby (5 mo. old, about 12.5 to 13 lbs) just over two weeks ago. I love it, but with a couple of small qualifications. I got it to replace the Bjorn, which hurt my ''bad'' back, esp. my mid back (I have bad lumbar disk degeneration, and also some cervical disk problems). My husband still prefers the Bjorn. And my baby really loves to face outward, which she can't do in the ERGO. She can, however, look around by moving from side to side or leaning out from my chest.

I used it very extensively on a recent trip to Las Vegas, and use it whenever I am shopping with the baby, or out on the town. I use it as a front carrier mostly, very rarely as a back carrier b/c the baby is still a little small for that, and sometimes seems to get a bit motion sick when I wear her on the back. However, I can do chores around the house when she's on the back and needs to be held RIGHT AWAY!!. I'm expecting I will carry her more on the back as she gets older. Right now I ''back into'' the carrier when I want her on my back. I decided to buy the new generation ERGO b/c I could get it in black, and also b/c I bought the companion ''Velcro on'' wallet carrier, which fits my big wallet perfectly... all a vanity thing. The new generation has more of a ''butt pocket'' for the baby, which I think might set her a little to deep, and it seems to wear on her legs a bit. I think this will pass as an issue as she grows into the pack. The waist belt cold be padded a bit more. It is possible to wear a daypack with the ERGO when you wear the baby on front, though I felt overloaded like that. A small ''Amoeba Bag'' (From the record store) or a similar cloth bag is better for carrying light amounts of baby diaper supplies when wearing the ERGO. I have worn the ERGO for up to four hours at a stretch, with no real problem, only a bit achy sometimes, but not bad considering my history of back problems. I have also nursed her ONCE in the ERGO, though only with lots of adjusting and not very comfortably for either of us. It's better to take her out to nurse her.

It comes with optional accessories. I think the only really useful one is the wallet holder that can attach to the waist belt. That is $19. I ordered direct from the company. I would confidently recommend this carrier, which I anticipate I can use for a good long while. Apparently it can also be used as a hip carrier too. Now quite sure how that works, the instructions are a bit opaque. However, given all the straps and attachments and adjustments, I don't doubt that it can be made to work that way as well. I liked the old style ERGO a lot, it was very comfortable, but I don't know how it would be for very long wearing times. The company is selling the old style in orange for a good sale price last I looked (two weeks ago) sara


Try a wrap sling... it is very supportive for your back and shoulders. I've never tried Sutemi or Ergo, so I can't comment on those. Jen
I don't have back problems, but I do have hip dysplasia and was having serious discomfort carrying around my 16-pound baby in the Bjorn. At the advice of a friend I got the Ergo carrier. It is SOOO much more comfortable and gives me a lot of support. The big downside is that our little guy loves facing out in the Bjorn and that is not possible in the Ergo. Apparently you can do a hip carry but I haven't yet figured that out. I rented mine at Waddle and Swaddle for a trial period for $3/day and then was able to subtract the rental charge when I decided to keep it. I think it's worth a try! Nina
i din't see your original post, so i don't know your specific concerns, but I've worn my son in the sutemi since he was 5 months old, he's now 20 months, and I still wear him comfortably. my husband also wears him often and we have gone on many many long hikes with him in it. my son and other babies I've worn in it all love it. toddler wearer

Baby carrier for my husband

Feb 2006

We have a baby bjorn that someone gave us, but our daughter hates being in it, and it hurts our backs. I just got a hotsling which seems to work well for me. Can anyone recommend another type of carrier for my husband? Lucy


My friend just started a business making baby wraps. She gave me one for my baby and I comfortably wear her for hours every day. My husband and I both love it. It's comfortable on your body (unlike the bjorn) and holds the baby snug against your body so your hands are free to do your thing. Go to www.thesnugglewrap.com and get one. They are amazing and you'd be supporting a local business. MB
Try the hipseat from Hippy Chick. It is a product from the UK. I don't know if it is for sale in the US, but they will ship here. The website is www.hippychick.com. My son was a Big, Big boy and I used the hipseat with him starting at about 6 months or so... It was perfect for those times when he got fussy in his stroller while I was shopping or for getting through airports or airplanes. I used it to go on ''modest'' (20 minutes or less) walks with him as well. You can use it for longer periods, of course, but your child is basically resting on the hip, against your body -- so you will always have one arm occupied to keep him from falling. (That probably sounds bad -- but I encourage you to check out their website and pictures of the product in use, before discounting it.)
Baby bjorns are not good for babies' spines - which may be why yours doesn't like it. I highly recommend wrap type slings (check out Maya Wrap or Hug-a-Bub online). These are long pieces of fabric that you wind around yourself and the baby. Babies' bodies are much better supported, they are kept closer to your body, and their weight is well distributed between your shoulders, back, and hips. This is really the most comfortable carrier I have (and I have 6). Also - invariably my son would be asleep 5 minutes after I put him in it... it's that cozy for babies. They are a little complicated at first, and maybe a little intimidating, but the one I have came with a little instruction video, and after using it for a week, I found it just as easy to put on as the Bjorn or as a ring-sling. You can also wear the baby in the back or on the side. You don't say how old your daughter is - wrap slings are best for babies that are not yet asking to be up, down, up, down. Once my son was a toddler, I used a ring sling with him on my hip, and found it comfortable until he was about 2.5. I've heard that Hip Hammocks are more comfortable because they distribute the weight better, but someone else will have to comment on that, as I never had one. babywearing addict!
is your husband tall or short? is your daugther sitting up yet? I recommend going down to REI and getting some help from the staff there who are very knowledgable this way you can find out what specific features you need and what brands to look for. then look on craigs list or BRN or a consignment store for a less expensive version of what you want good luck
Check out the Ergo carrier. We just got one for our 7-month-old, and my husband likes it. It works for younger babies on the front (facing in only) and older babies (and up to age 5, according to the instructions!) on the back (facing in). My husband said it felt like the weight distribution on our framepack child carrier (a decent but not great one) but was lighter because it has no frame. new to the Ergo
My husband loves The Ergo for carrying our newborn. He could never get comfortable with our sling. Linda
Both my wife and I love the Ergo carrier it's soft and adjusts to both of us. I'm 6' and she's 5'4'' We have been through our share of slings and other carriers and like it the best by far. The one disadvantage is the baby must face in but you can carry them on your front, back, or even side to have them face out. kk
We've gone through a whole lot of carriers since our little one prefers to be carried to strolling. At first it was no problem when he was small, now he's bigger, and we've finally settled on two that work well for us. My husband, who is a little over 6 feet, prefers a Baby Trekker (http://www.babytrekker.com). I, who am about 5'3'', prefer a Mei Tai by Baby Hawk (http://www.babyhawk.com). Both are soft, compact, comfortable, easy on the shoulders and carry a kid up to 40 pounds. Both are also carried at the Nurture Center in Lafayette in case you want to try them on. Robin
The Baby Bjorn (BB) active carrier is really nice. We had an old BB that was a pain to use. Once my daughter turned about three months (or whenever it is you can turn them around) she started liking it. My husband really liked the active carrier. We ended up throwing the old one in the car to use at the spur of the momemt. We'd use the active carrier daily for walks. I have a Native Carrier that is nice as well. Husband never really used it but I've used it all along, not very ergonomic in comparison to the BB but it works well for doing chores and helping the baby go to sleep. Jennifer
I used a New Native sling for the first few months, which my husband hated, then an Over The Shoulder Baby Holder, which has padding on the shoulder and is more comfortable to wear as the baby gets bigger. Then we bought an Ergo and my husband and I (and the kid) LOVE it. He's a foot taller than me, but it's really comfortable for both of us. We have no car, and use the Ergo every day, much more often than the stroller, even now with a 22-pound toddler. Best parenting purchase so far! Love My Ergo
Not knowing how big your daughter is or what she hates about the Bjorn, it's hard to say ... but my husband (and I) like the Babyhawk brand mei tai. He also uses a New Native sling when he wants our son to nap. Our son is 6 months old, 17 lbs., and loves both these carriers. One great Web site is www.thebabywearer.com. N.
I agree that the Baby Bjorn is not particularly back-friendly. My husband used the Bjorn more often than I did, but he didn't use it for extended periods of time to complain as much about his back. For carrying our children (we have 3) for more than an hour, my husband preferred a sling (Nojo brand) for routine errands and a hiking back carrier (w/ frame) for vacations, hikes, extended city walking, etc. I personally use the Moby Wrap (almost identical to the Native Wrap), which is a long piece of cloth that literally wraps around your body, including the waist and back. The wrap style baby carriers are extremely adjustable to all body types and heights, comfortable for the back, and very cozy for kids. You can try a Moby Wrap at Waddle and Swaddle on Shattuck Ave. If you prefer a Native Wrap, (same technique for wearing it as for the Moby), you can buy the Natives online or search for local vendors online. Carolyn

ERGO baby carriers - How do you like yours?

Dec 2005

I've been on a search for the perfect baby carrier. I've read lots of reviews about the ERGO baby carrier and I'd love to hear some first-hand accounts from people who have used them. If you've had one of these carriers, what did you think? What were the pros and cons? At what age/weight did your child become too big for it? Is there a huge difference between the 'new generation' and the old style? Also, if anyone has an ERGO baby carrier that is ready for a new home, please email me, I'd be very interested! Thanks in advance. ~Kim


We loved our old style Ergo (although I saw a woman the other day w/ a new generation one that looked very cool)! I discovered it when our daughter got too heavy for me to be comfortable in the bjorn or sling (8 or 9 months?) and would likely start using it much sooner w/ #2. She was never a big stroller baby and the Ergo was all we took on trips, including a week long one to Mexico when whe was 9 months. I could carry her for hours and she even napped in it while we were out for the day (there's a flap to go over their head and keep it from flopping around). The pouch had enough room for an extra diaper and a small wipe packet and maybe a small snack. If she would have anything to do with it (early walker, very active) I would still probably carry her in it at 19 months and 25lbs. Other pros, it's soft and compact to carry when you travel, it adjusted to fit both my husband (6'3'') and me (5'4'') comfortably, and you can use it for front or back carry. Cons are that ! the baby can only face in for fron I love my ergo baby carrier! I have tried slings, bjorn, kelty, everything and the ergo is the best. I have used it with my one year old as a backpack and a hip pack. I can't wait to use it with my newborn next year. It is the best baby carrier, easy to use, comfortable, etc. Can't say enough good things about it. backpacking momma
I love the ERGO carrier although I had some reservations at first. At the moment I only use it as a side-carrier--basically because it's what me and my son are used to.

When I tried it on in the store I was frustrated that the lowest strap dug into my belly if I carried my son on my back. I'm not sure if that was just me not having figured out a good way to adjust the carrier, though. And carrying my son on the front wasn't going to work because he's so tall--not the carrier's fault!

In general, the ERGO felt a bit weird at first anyway and I probably wouldn't have gotten it if I didn't need it for a plane trip the next day! But now I'm used to it I'm really, really happy to have it and use it every time I take my son on MUNI or BART. And he loves it (or at least isn't bothered by it.). He's started bringing it to me as a sign he wants to go out!

The new one is definitely better--more stuff to adjust and safer straps. The ERGO website has a comparison of the two. Enjoying the ERGO!


I just got an Ergo carrier about a month ago, and I absolutely love it. It is one of the 'New Generation' ones, but I have no comparison to the old style. This is my second kid, though, so I've tried and have many different carriers - Bjorn, Native sling, an expensive frame pack for the back, for example. The Ergo is hands-down my favorite.

The great things: -the baby (who's now 8 months) is so incredibly content in it. He wants to be held a lot (unlike my first kid) and when I just stick him in the pack, he's quiet and happy, checks everything out. In fact, the reason I decided to go ahead and spend the money on the Ergo was because I watched a friend's tired and cranky almost-2 year old just melt when she got in the Ergo. Content, quiet, and nice and close to mama. -the baby feels weightless! All the other carriers I've tried, including the frame pack with waste belt, strained my neck and back. Uncomfortable for any long time period. The Ergo? I swear I've been wearing it for the month since I got it. I've taken multiple hikes, at least one was ten miles, and no problem. So comfortable. And again, baby is nice and close to mama, and no fussing.

The positives far outweight the negatives, but here are the not-so-great things: -takes a bit of practice to get the baby in my yourself. I bought mine at Rockridge Kids so that they would show me how to do it. As always, great and knowledgable staff showed me step by step what to do. -I'm a small woman, and the Ergo is clearly designed for bigger people. I have all the straps pulled to the tightest and shortest settings, and it's still the slightest bit loose. As the baby gets bigger, this may change a little. -Lastly, a vanity issue. I've still got a bit of my pregnancy weight on, and that waste belt just accentuates the rolls in my stomach for the whole public to see! I hope that'll be gone in a few more months!

Good luck. I highly recommend the Ergo. -baby carrying mama


Baby sling recommendation?

June 2005

My daughter is expecting in December and I want to get her a baby sling. I've looked online and there are different styles. What kind can those of you who have used them recommend? young grandma


I had a few different kinds, for different situations. For long walks or times when the baby would be sleeping, I used a Hug-a-Bub - this is basically a very long piece of cloth (like 5 or 6 yards), tapered at the ends, and you learn how to wrap it around yourself and the baby. Keeps the baby very very snug and comfortable, and once you learn how to put it on it becomes easy. Also, the baby's weight is evenly distributed on shoulders and hips, and the baby is kept out of the sun, rain or cold, so I really liked this one the best.

For quick in-and-out, like running errands, I had a padded ring sling (can't remember the brand name - but I had the Dr. Sears one) - not as comfortable as the Hug-a-Bub, but much easier to get the baby in and out of. Also, this one lasted longer because once my baby became a squirmy 1.5 year old, he wanted to be up, then down, then up again in a matter of minutes. This one came in handy up until he was about 2.5, especially for cooking.

My husband didn't like either of these, so we also had a Baby Bjorn, mostly worn by him. The Bjorn is easy, but I don't think it's as comfortable as the Hug-a-Bub because the weight is all on your shoulders, and the baby isn't snug against your tummy like with the Hug-a-Bub. The positive is that when the baby falls asleep, you can unhook the part under the baby's back and put the baby down without waking him.


For a baby sling, I had the maya wrap which was versitile but a bit of a pain to put on--lots of fabric that would get on the floor as it was being wrapped. Also, I had my baby in the late spring and found that it was often too warm to be wrapped up in so much fabric.
Congratulations on your new grandma status! Re: slings, you can find someone who will rave about pretty much any of them, and someone else who will hate each one. New moms I know seem to like the ''Ergo Baby Carrier,'' which you can find online if you search for that name, or at Rockridge Kids.
I'm a sling fanatic and depending on the needs of your daughter, the sling that fits will change. A ring sling is the most versatile, long lasting sling. There's no need for padding, as unpadded slings are much more adjustable. A wrap is a wonderful newborn accessory that keeps baby close on the chest and is a great two shouldered carrier. A non stretchy wrap will extend to the toddler years, while a stretchy one will not work as well after 25 or 30 lbs. A mei tai is a beautiful asian alternative, akin to a backpack that you can wear front or back. My faves are at www.mamamadeproducts.com but search www.thebabywearer.com for different brands and reviews. hope that helps, Sling fanatic slingin mama
Slings....I have a baby bjorn and a nojo sling and we used both for different occasions. I used the bjorn to carry my son around until he was about three or four months old, while my husband preferred the sling. I couldn't eat with my son in the bjorn so we used the sling when eating, esp. eating out. We have a nojo sling but it has a little neck/shoulder pad which is inconvient as you cannot cinch up the sling as tight as you want sometimes because the neck pad acts as a stop for the rings. I may get another sling for the second baby without a pad, just cloth and rings. I hear such rave reviews about the Ergo carrier from sooooo many women. I am definitely getting one of those for the next baby. Have fun young grandma! Anon
For carrying a baby around the house, I like the padded Rosado Sling the best of the three or four I've tried. If I had realized how much it cost, I might have tried to dissuade my wife from buying it, but in retrospect I suppose it was worth it. Even though my daughter can walk now, in the event I need to carry her for a short period of time I'm still most likely to use this sling (in a different carrying position) because it's the fastest to put on me and get her in and out. http://shop.nurturecenter.com/rosadosling.html

Wearing even a small baby can start to strain your shoulders and neck after a while. If you are planning to carry the baby around for a longer period of time, you really want a carrier with two straps (one for each shoulder) and a waistband. Note that these tend to be for older babies, not newborns. I like our Sutemi Pack (similar to Ergo Pack) and Baby Trekker about equally well, but did not like the regular Baby Bjorn we borrowed so well. Keeper of of the sling museum


Ergo baby carrier- Do you like it?

May 2005

I'm looking at The Ergo baby carrier as an alternative to the baby bjorn that is hard on my shoulders. Anyone with experience with The Ergo? Is it comfotable? Do you use it? Do you like it? Thank you very much.


I carry my baby a lot and have several carriers that I use for different situations. I bought an Ergo so I could carry my baby on my back, but it didn't work at all for me. I tried it for three weeks and then ended up returning it (if you buy from the company directly they have a 30 day return policy). I am rather petite in my upper body and have fairly narrow shoulders (although I am 5'6''). The straps that go over your shoulders were too wide set for my body. Yes, you can use the chest strap between the shoulder straps to keep the shoulder straps on, but it was rather uncomfortable. I spoke with the company several times to try wearing it in different ways, but nothing worked. Ultimately I concluded that the Ergo has been made for an average to larger sized woman or men rather than smaller women. I think it would work better if the straps were set closer in or if they were curved. I know people love the Ergo, and I had high hopes for it - but it wasn't the carrier for me and my babe! Baby carrying mama
I don't have an ergo, but I have something that works in a similar manner that I LOVE. It's called a mei tai, and it's based on a traditional Chinese carrier (or so I've been told). It is super easy to use and distributes weight very well. I have a 25 lb. one year old and can use it for hours at a time, in front or back carries. The Bjorn did not work for me beyond month three for my chunky little guy. This thing has been a lifesaver. And as a bonus, these things are pretty much exclusively made by work at home moms who are really helpful and nice. Mine is from meitaibaby.com, and I HIGHLY recommend it. There are many others out there, though. Good luck finding something that works for you! Stephanie
I love the Ergo baby carrier and I highly recommend it! I am pregnant again so I used it until my daughter was 1 1/2 and about 22 pounds. I bought it after the Baby Bjorn started to hurt my shoulders. The Ergo really does an excellent job distributing her weight mostly on your hips, I was able to put her on my back by myself pretty easily after a little practice and the head hood is fantastic for when she fell asleep (it was also pretty easy to take her out of the carrier and keep her asleep and put her in the crib). My daughter is now 20 months and about 25 pounds and my husband used it last weekend on our hike in the redwoods. He's 6'2 and I'm 5'5 so it adjust prettty well - we just had to buy the hood extension since she's fairly tall for her age. I would still be using it if I wasn't pregnant but plan on buying the infant insert for the new baby. It's one of the best baby products we have. ergo fan
Hi, we, and our son, loved the Ergo from the time he was about 5 months old until about 11 months old or so. (We used the hug-a- bub prior to that and also loved it when he was smaller). We used the Ergo a lot, then he became a little too heavy to carry for long periods. We switched then to a hiking backpack (but now he mostly walks).

My husband and I are both body/movement people, so it was important for us all to be comfortable and well supported structurally with a carrier. The Ergo has a much better structural design than the Born (much of the weight comes into the wearer's center/hip area on the Ergo, which is much easier than having it mostly in the shoulders on the Born.) We also found the Ergo better for our son's body (he's better supported through the core/sitz bone/hips with the Ergo).

I also had a clavicle injury and had no problems at all. Though I found it more comfortable with him on the front, and a friend found it more comfortable with her baby on her back, probably due to body structure differences. Terese


Hey there I love my Ergo carrier. I used the bjorn until my little guy was to big and began to hurt my shoulders. At first my husband didn't like it, because it seemed like our son only had a great view of our back! But, now at a year old, he looks from side to side. I'm getting a lot better at putting him in by myself (which can sometimes be very hard) His weight is distributed evenly, I can walk for a very long time with him in the Ergo. We tried a larger backpack type and the backpack itself was so heavy that after having a child in it we became exhausted. I also enjoy the Ergo being so travel friendly - no bulky backpack taking up valuable space. anon
I too found the bjorn painful and poorly designed as far as weight distribution. I got the ergo when my son was 5 months old, and I have been using it almost every day since (he is now 17 months, and at a whopping 35 pounds I can *still* carry him in it comfortably). So I can give you a wholehearted reccommendation. However, different carriers work for different people. The ergo tends to be better for somewhat taller moms/dads (I am 5' 7''), for people who like all the weight on their hips, and very little on their shoulders, and for people who like ''buckles and straps'' as opposed to the more ''organic'' tie on carriers (mei tai's, wraps, slings, etc.). It is also much, much more comfortable for a back carry than a front carry, so you have to be willing to master throwing the baby on to your back...not as daunting as it seems: after a few weeks I could get him on in under 5 seconds, and I am not the most coordinated person. But don't get it if you are only thinking of wearing the baby on your front...unless you have a very light baby who plans to stay that way. Also, it cannot be used for babies under 5 months old, and even that might be a tad on the young side, if your baby is small (the seat is very wide). I advise checking out www.thebabywearer.com for *extensive* reviews of every babycarrier imaginable, plus help with using the babycarrier. Good luck! fellow babywearer and bjorn hater
I love my Ergo! We take it everywhere we go. I used a baby bjorn until my son was almost 20 pounds, but then decided I needed something with more support. He's now 25 pounds and I can carry him quite comfortably for an hour or even much more. I like to carry him on my back, but my husband carries him in the front, and our son seems fine with both. Many times when we're out walking strangers have stopped us to say ''He looks so happy in there!'' I also love that it's a soft carrier, so I can roll it up and stick it in the diaper bag or in the bottom of a stroller.... my only challenge was that it was really hard to learn to put him on my back by myself. I can do it now with no problem at all, but had to create my own way (I still can't do it the way the Ergo manufacturers suggest)-- basically, I reverse their suggestions for taking a baby out of the carrier. Hope that helps.... Laura
In the last newsletter, a small woman wrote in to say that she found the Ergo all wrong for her body type. She could have been describing my body -- short, thin upper body frame -- and I love the Ergo. It's been ages since I took my son out in the stroller. He's now 15 months and 23 pounds, and we're going strong. He often goes over to the Ergo and points to tell me he wants to go out for a walk. I have a taller friend for whom the Ergo never worked because her daughter had trouble seeing over her shoulder when she was strapped on the back, and she got frustrated. Another friend likes the idea, but dislikes the coordination required to swing her baby on to her back. It seems that every adult and baby have their favorites. I wonder if you might be able to borrow a friend's Ergo and give it a try before you purchase. Ergo lover
I have an Ergo and like it very much. It is very easy to use and comfortable to wear for a long time. It adjusts easily so that both my husband and I can wear it, it's machine-washable, the pockets and the sleep hood are cool features. It puts the baby's hips and legs into a much healthier position than the Bjorn and similar carriers that hold the baby by the crotch.

But it is much better as a back carrier than a front carrier, and can't be used with the baby facing out; it's not clear from your question whether that matters to you. I do find that I wish the shoulder straps tightened a bit more than they do, and I've heard other short-waisted or large-bosomed moms say it doesn't fit them well. And the padded waistband does tend to push down the waistband of low-rise pants!

There is a similar carrier, called the Patapum, that's a little less expensive. It lacks some of the Ergo's features, like the sleep hood, but fits and functions very much the same. Worth considering if price is a big issue. If you'd rather have a good front carrier (which can also be used on your back, but is better on the front), look at the Sutemi. If you want to be able to have the baby face out, consider the Baby Trekker.

All of which assumes you are sure you want a structured carrier - - but if you've never tried a sling, mei tai or wrap, you should consider it! If the only type of baby carrier you've ever used before is a Bjorn....well, there are many, many, many other, and I think better, alternatives. I know everyone around here has Bjorns and some people love them, but it is the most uncomfortable and difficult-to-use baby carrier I have ever tried, and I have tried a lot! I used only slings with my first, having found them to be far more comfortable and versatile than the Bjorn. This time around, in addition to the Ergo, I've also discovered mei tais, which can be used as a front, back or hip carrier, fold or roll up very compactly for carrying around when not in use, and come in all sorts of wonderful fabrics. I still prefer slings for younger babies, but now believe a comfortable back carrier is an absolute must with an older one (5-6 months plus)! And then there's wraps, which still intimidate me, but are reported to be extremely comfortable and versatile once you learn how to use them.

Anyway, the Ergo is terrific -- but you might want to investigate other options too. A good place to start is www.thebabywearer.com Babywearing mom


Walking Rock Farms Hip Baby carrier

April 2005

I've been searching online for a hip carrier that will accomodate breastfeeding well and that will be comfortable enough to wear for long walks. I've found a couple different options: hiphugger and sutemi, but both have their drawbacks. I've settled on the Hip Baby from Walking Rock Farms, but can't seem to find much info out there about it. I wanted to find out if anyone here has used it and, if so, could offer their opinion. Thanks! Mary


Check for reviews at www.thebabywearer.com A TBW regular
I have a Sutemi Carrier and I LOVE it. I also run a day care and find it the most comfortable for the babies and me, especially for my back. I also have a HUGE baby boy and I can comfortable carry and breast feed him for a very long time in it. I haven't heard of the other brand, but that's my 2 cents. big baby wearer

2004 & Earlier


Baby Bjorn carrier new and improved?

June 2004

I'm hoping to buy a used Baby Bjorn carrier for our forthcoming baby. I've heard that recently the Baby Bjorn carrier was improved. Does anyone know how it was improved, and when is ''recently''? Mother-to-be


Well, I don't have advice about the ''new & improved'' version. But, I did have donated to me a used Baby Bjorn. It was navy with white pinstripes that used heavy duty snaps attached to the straps that ran through closed ''U'' rings to hold the baby in. It worked perfectly fine for my husband and I and we both absolutely loved it. We preferred this to the slings we had and our daughter loved it. The Bjorn we had was probably new around 1999 and I know they had the newer ones when I had my daughter in April 2003.
There are a number of changes, to my knowledge. There is the ''classic'' Bjorn, which you see all over. This has had slight revisions over the years, mainly focusing on better (easier to use) fasteners on the baby-securing part. In the last 6-8 months, a really different version of the Bjorn came out. Something like ''the Active Bjorn'' (!). The major improvement is the harness straps that go across the parent's body, which now include a piece of shaped plastic in the lumbar area that is supposed to make it easier to carry your baby for longer periods of time. I think the company still sells both - check their website for a visual. anon
In 2003 or so, the snaps that fasten the baby carrier part of the Bjorn to the straps were replaced with ''sliders''. Not having used the newer version myself, I don't know exactly how the sliders work, but supposedly they are easier to use. Also, they've come out with a new model of Bjorn that has a waist belt; this provides some additional support and may help with the main problem most people have using a Bjorn -- it kills your back!

If you buy a used Bjorn with the snaps, you will pay a LOT less. With a used one that was manufactured before 2001, you just need to make sure that it has been retrofitted with the additional straps to make the leg openings smaller (and thus safer for smaller babies). 2001 and later models came with that.

You might also want to consider other types of carrier, either instead of or in addition to, the Bjorn. There exists a large variety of superior (in many people's opinion) and/or less expensive, but less well known, front packs, soft back packs, slings and wraps that accomplish the same basic goal. Check out www.thebabywearer.com for more information. A babywearing mama


I think they updated the bjorn to add much needed back support, though I'm not sure when they did it. Instead of a bjorn, we used a Kelty Kangaroo which has really good lower back support. I was able to use it for a lot longer than my bjorn-wearing friends with a lot less back pain. I never understood why bjorns have the corner on the market when kangaroos are so much more comfortable. New they sell for about the same amount as a bjorn. We got ours used from a consignment shop, and when I was looking, I saw a few around. Even an older model will have the back support. kelty kangaroo fan

Sling for Baby #2?

May 2004

Is it practical to use a baby sling while chasing a 2 year old? We never used a sling with our daughter but thought it might be helpful to have free hands with #2? Or does it just get in the way of picking up the toddler? Previous postings listed recos for last year - what is good now for a small framed person who is not terribly coordinated? Do you need a class to use one? Any store recommendations? Thank you. Sling Novice


Hi, Congratulations! Yes, I think a sling definitely can be a good thing with Baby # 2. My daughters are exactly 2 years apart, and I used both a sling and Baby Bjorn with both kids. I actually still keep a sling in the car, and if the little one (now 27 months and 22 lbs.) falls asleep while I still have an errand or two to run, I can just pop her into the sling and hit the post office or video store. I think the Bjorn is a little more secure-feeling when doing a lot of walking or running around with the 2 year old, but the sling is quicker and easier to pop the baby in and out of for shorter periods. Heidi
It is absolutely practical to use a sling for baby #2 so that you can play with/chase after/care for a 2-year-old. In fact, I can't figure out how anyone with a newborn and an older child ever does without one!

Having the baby in the sling does not prevent you from picking up the toddler, either, depending on how you wear the sling. One of the major advantages of a sling as compared with frontpack carriers (like the Bjorn) is that you can use them in many different positions, and that they are comfortable with much larger children, too -- you'd also have the option of carrying your toddler on your hip in the sling while holding the baby!

Ring slings (like the Maya Wrap) don't take a lot of effort to learn to use and are very adjustable so they work well for people of any size. Pouches (like the New Native) aren't as adjustable, so you have to make sure you get one that's the right size for you, but can be easier to use. There are many brands and styles available in each category (I don't necessarily think the Maya Wrap or the New Native are the best ones, just the brands you are most likely to have heard of and to see in local stores), and it's worth doing a little research to figure out what might work best for you. Once you've decided, it's possible that a little hands-on help will be useful, especially if it turns out you're not comfortable with it, but a class may not be necessary.

Good sources of all related information: www.thebabywearer.com (an independent site that is a wealth of information and reviews of all sorts of different slings and carriers; the folks in the discussion forums are really helpful too) www.peppermint.com www.kangarookorner.com www.mammasmilk.com (all vendor websites with a nice selection of comparison articles, photos, etc. of various carriers) Holly


Hiya using a sling for baby No.2 is a great choice. I don't think it will get in your way at all, in fact I have experienced an ability to care for both children BECAUSE of using a sling. Your wee one will be safe and close to Mom's body while you get to attend with both hands to your other child. I suggest a maya wrap (they have a website I think). Mine cost about $45 3 years ago and I STILL use it for my nearly 4 yo, usually when we travel through airports late at night. They adjust easily so are good for all body shapes and sizes. Great for infants, toddlers and beyond! They come with a video but if you attend a playgroup with AP parents and get an experienced ''slinger'' to help show you the many positions, you will figure it out in no time. Good Luck! cass
A sling is a lifesaver with baby #2! My first son was 28 months when little boy #2 was born. He's now 6 weeks, and he spends most of the day in a sling. I'm convinced it has helped make the transition much easier for my older child--I seldom have to tell him that I can't play with him because I'm holding the baby. I also nurse a lot with the baby in the sling, so I can continue playing with him. It also has enabled us to keep up most of the activities we had been doing, without lugging around a baby seat, diaper bag, and chasing a two-year-old. It allows me to have both hands available for the older when we're walking. Also, I'm not a stroller lover, so I can just push a single stroller for my older and put the baby in the sling, rather than taking out a big, cumbersome double stroller.

It is, however, harder to pick up your older child. I can still carry my son on my right hip, but not for very far. But at nearly 40 lbs, I don't carry him very far anyway.

I don't know what particular sling to recommend, as I am 5'9''. I have both a Nojo sling, and a Maya wrap. I find the Maya harder to use in the cradle position (love it for the older baby/toddler, though), so I mostly use the Nojo right now. I got this one at Passion after Fashion in Alameda...they have several used slings. I have never taken a class, just learned by trial and error and reading ''The Baby Book'' by Sears. Heather


I never figured out the sling for baby #1, but baby #2 lived in it. Yes, you can have #2 in the sling and carry #1 at the same time. You can also nurse #2, and #2 can nap while chasing #1 around Fairyland or wherever. You can also wear a backpack while you have #2 in the sling. Its the way to go for #2. Slings come in different sizes. Sarah

Baby Carrier for Europe trek with 11 mo

April 2004

Any suggestions for child carriers after a baby has outgrown the Baby Bjorn? I read the past recommendations on the website but am still unsure which one would work the best. I am planning a trek through Europe but won't always be on foot. I am wondering if I would get more use out of a metal-frame backpack or something soft like a baby trekker or a hiphugger? I have tried on the Kelty Kids pack but find it a little bulky for me. I am hoping to find something a little more lightweight. Also, does anyone know how many pounds a hiphugger or a baby trekker can hold. My baby is 11 months and aprox. 22 pounds. Thanks for your suggestions.


Get a Deuter. Not as expensive as the Kelty but don't let that fool you - it's way better! I got the Deuter Kid Comfort 2 because i do a lot of hiking in the hills and it has good baby support and good back support. Plus, the baby sits really close to you, which is good for not throwing off your balance. the hip belt is the best I've seen. The Deuter Kid Comfort 3 is a bit burlier, and may be something to think about because it has so much storage built into it. The only place I've seen them is at Rockridge Kids, so go check them out! It's not non-bulky, but if you're looking for something you can wear for extended periods of time (and it sounds like you are), I promise you that this is the pack you're looking for. Jen
Get an Ergo! Previously available only online, now available at Rochridge Kids. Much easier on your back than the Bjorn and less cumbersome than a frame back. The only drawback is there is not much storage space, but its great if you have one parent to carry the baby and one to carry the stuff. (I just went to their website, http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/ and they now have a daypack attatchment available. I must not have been the only one looking for more storage space!) We use ours nearly every day, from walks around the neighborhood to carrying the baby AND the laundry. We will also be taking ours to Europe this summer.

I also considered taking our Deuter Kangaroo pack because the child carrier part zips up and it becomes more like a regular back pack. Our little guy will be 18 months and does a lot of walking on his own so this seemed ideal. However, the backpack is more like a frame pack and a little cumbersome on its own. It would probably be great if you were going to be on the trails a lot with a toddler, but it seems a bit much for city trekking. Ergo Momma


We used the Hip Hugger after our daughter outgrew her Baby Bjorn at about 8 months. While it was useful for a few months, until she decided that she really preferred walking to being carried, I found it much less practical than the Bjorn. It was harder on my back (even with the waist belt, I found that I carried most of her weight with my shoulder), and it felt a lot less secure (its configuration makes it imperative that you keep one hand on -- or at least close to -- your child at all times). We ended up using it mainly for trips to the store and other short errands. I don't think I would have been comfortable using it for any long hauls. A backpack might be a better option in your situation, despite the bulkiness. Janice
Hi there! My son is also 11 months and 22 pounds and I JUST went through this same issue and would be happy to share what I found out and did about it.

The bjorn became useless (as you know!) about 5 pounds ago. I explored both options, a hip carrier and a backpack and ended up buying one of each (both used to save some money!)

For a backpack we purchased the Snugli Cross Country (see following link) http://snugli.com/pr/fc/prfc_crosscty.phtml

I found it at Rockridge Kids for approx. $80 and online from Wal-Mart for approx. $65 but ended up purchasing an almost new one on ebay for only $45, including shipping. (side note: I've found ebay to be a WONDERFUL resource for baby gear, especially if you're patient enough to wait for the right deal). I am 5'4'' and my husband is 6'1''. Although the specifications state that it will fit adults as small as 5', I do not find the backpack to be the *perfect* fit for me. I can use it but the lower lumbar support does not hit me in the right place on my lower back so I think I would find it uncomfortable for a longer walk. It hits a little low, but maybe once I get to know the backpack better I can make an appropriate adjustment. When we're on a ''backpack'' activity, I just let my husband carry the baby. The great thing about the backpack is the kickstand. It makes a great highchair in a jiffy which may be something to think about for a trek through Europe. It also has a big storage area underneath to keep some spare diapers, etc. But I wouldn't load it up too much because it will just add extra weight to the pack.

I also purchased a hip hammock (used through the newsletter for half the price of a new one) which I keep in the car for quick trips into the grocery store, etc. I used it at a 2 hour trip to the zoo once and wasn't even a little tired afterward. No sore neck, no aching back. The *key* to getting it comfortable is the waist adjustment. Make sure it's tight enough around your waist. Once I figured that out, we were set! The benefit of the hip hammock is that it rolls right up and you can easily throw it in the diaper bag. They say it can carry kids up to age 4. After using it now, I think that as long as a child can still be carried on your hip, it will work. See their website for further info. www.hiphammock.com

Both carriers (and other brands) are sold at Rockridge Kids. If I could have afforded to purchase both of them new, I would have given them my business because I love to support small, local businesses as much as I can. I cannot say enough good things about the staff in that store. I would suggest going there and talking with the staff about the carriers and trying them both on with your baby. (and not just for carriers, but for everything!)

We've been using the backpack and the hip hammock for about a month now and completely happy and satisfied with both systems. We don't find the backpack too bulky or awkward in public spaces and the hip hammock is surprisingly useful and comfortable. I would be hard-pressed to pick one over the other but considering a trek through Europe and if I could only pick one or the other I would probably pick the backpack, if for nothing else because it would probably be more comfortable for my son for longer periods of time. (although I'd probably sneak the hip hammock into the storage space...) Hope that helps. Happy baby-carrying! Tiffany


I used a sling with my babies until they were each 3 years old, and even occasionally after that. We loved our slings! But personal preference for mom and baby can vary and I suggest you try out several styles (see if friends will let you try out). good luck
We used the Tough Traveller Stallion extensively for both our children. I tried on all the packs at REI and it was the most comfortable hip belt and straps to fit both my husband (6') and me (5'6''). Plus it has a detachable daypack in addition to the attached zipper compartment, and a detachable sun/rain canopy. We used it around town and for fairly serious hikes. There are alot of straps so take time adjusting it the first time or ask a salesperson to help you. Also, attaching a few toys to the top was very effective as entertainment. kathryn l
While a frame backpack, like a Kelty, may work better for, well, hiking, it's not the best choice for walks-about-town, use on trains and in hotels or homes, etc. For that a soft carrier is usually a lot more comfortable and less awkward. I suggest looking at an Ergo, which can be used on your back or on your front, beginning as soon as baby can sit up and up to 60 pounds! If you and your baby are used to the Bjorn, this will probably be an easy transition. (You can buy an Ergo in various places; one source is www.peppermint.com)

If you do plan a lot of long hikes, it's worth taking a look at the frame packs, since they may offer features like sun protection for baby and extra pack space for diapers and other stuff, but getting a good fit is crucial. And if more than one adult (like, both mom and dad) will be wearing it, it has to be adjustable to fit both well. So shop carefully; try-ons are really necessary to know what will work best for you. Have fun! Holly


My baby HATED slings when he was little, but two carriers we've loved as he got older (1) the Hip Hammock (www.hiphammock.com) and (2) the Ergo Baby Carrier (www.ergobabycarrier.com). I used the hip hammock from about 5 months on and still love it (my son is just over a year). But, now that he's getting heavier (23 lbs. +) and better at reaching for things I use the Ergo a ton. It's a backpack carrier but with no metal frame and SO comfortable for us both. Rolls up small, so it's easy to carry around. Caveat: it did take some getting used to, and learning to get the baby in it on your back is hard at first. They have a video on their website that helps. It's well worth the effort. One added feature for the Ergo - it has a head support sheath that you can use if/when the pup goes to sleep on your back so the little head doesn't bob around so much. The Ergo can also be used as a front carrier. I don't do that much, as it's harder on my back, but last week when he was really sick and miserable I carried him that way for an hour and half ''wearing him down'' so he could sleep. In the front position it's almost like a Baby Bjorn for really big babies. It was a bit of wear on my back, but really tolerable and it made him feel a lot better when he was miserable and suffering. My son doesn't nurse, but that's the other big benefit of being able to turn the Ergo into a front pack - you can just zip him around to your front and breastfeed if that's still going on for you. Can't do that with a metal frame carrier. Note on both of these - they're for older babies with some amount of head control. Baby Wearing Mama
I got a Laotian fabric carrier that I love. Since it is just fabric, no frame, it is easy to take on trips; it fits in my diaper bag. The baby goes on your back, which for innumerable reasons, is way superior to a front carrier. It is also ergonomically better than a frame pack because my baby is right against my back. A frame pack sets the baby away from your back, which allows air circulation, but adds a moment on your body from the baby's weight (moment equals force times distance). Also, the straps go across my chest, so it doesn't pull on my shoulders. Feel free to give me a call and come over to try it on. You could borrow mine to copy and sew it yourself, or maybe you could buy a beautifully embroidered handmade one from our babysitter. She sold them to me before for $40.00. Sarah
I'd like to second all the recommendations for the Ergo baby carrier. We originally bought a Kelty backpack. Although it's comfortable, we found it to be way too bulky. It's so bulky we never want to use it/can't fit it in the car. Our other big problem with the Kelty was that our daughter (now 9mo) couldn't fall asleep in it for more than 10minutes. I've seen lots of other babies sacked out in their's but she just couldn't get comfortable. In the Ergo she sleeps with no problem which is huge on long hikes. The only downsides of the ergo. 1. it can be a little awkward to get the baby in by yourself (my husband won't do it, I have no problem) and 2. the baby can get a bit warm/sweaty from being so close. Noreen

Baby Carrier for Twins?

April 2004

I am pregnant with twins and am trying to figure out what I need before the chaos begins. One thing that I found so helpful with my first son was the Baby Bjorn. I used it all the time with him. I am wondering if Bjorn makes a similar carrier for twins, or if there is any other kind of carrier that moms of twins have found useful. lola


I'm a sling mama myself, so my preference for twins would be two slings (worn crossed). But several twin moms I know love the Maximom, which is a structured carrier more like a Bjorn. It can be used with one baby or two. Holly
I bought a twin carrier from Lullaby Lane in San Bruno but found it very difficult to use. It was designed so you could have both babies in front or one in the front and one in the back but it was such a hassle. After trying it all different ways I resorted to one baby in a narrow stroller and one in the carrier (switching off babies of course.) I would say go to Lullaby Lane and see if you could try it on before buying. Glad My Twins Are Walking

Sling for Baby #2 ?

April 2004

Is it practical to use a baby sling while chasing a 2 year old? We never used a sling with our daughter but thought it might be helpful to have free hands with #2? Or does it just get in the way of picking up the toddler? Previous postings listed recos for last year - what is good now for a small framed person who is not terribly coordinated? Do you need a class to use one? Any store recommendations? Thank you. Sling Novice


Hi, Congratulations! Yes, I think a sling definitely can be a good thing with Baby # 2. My daughters are exactly 2 years apart, and I used both a sling and Baby Bjorn with both kids. I actually still keep a sling in the car, and if the little one (now 27 months and 22 lbs.) falls asleep while I still have an errand or two to run, I can just pop her into the sling and hit the post office or video store. I think the Bjorn is a little more secure-feeling when doing a lot of walking or running around with the 2 year old, but the sling is quicker and easier to pop the baby in and out of for shorter periods. Heidi
It is absolutely practical to use a sling for baby #2 so that you can play with/chase after/care for a 2-year-old. In fact, I can't figure out how anyone with a newborn and an older child ever does without one!

Having the baby in the sling does not prevent you from picking up the toddler, either, depending on how you wear the sling. One of the major advantages of a sling as compared with frontpack carriers (like the Bjorn) is that you can use them in many different positions, and that they are comfortable with much larger children, too -- you'd also have the option of carrying your toddler on your hip in the sling while holding the baby!

Ring slings (like the Maya Wrap) don't take a lot of effort to learn to use and are very adjustable so they work well for people of any size. Pouches (like the New Native) aren't as adjustable, so you have to make sure you get one that's the right size for you, but can be easier to use. There are many brands and styles available in each category (I don't necessarily think the Maya Wrap or the New Native are the best ones, just the brands you are most likely to have heard of and to see in local stores), and it's worth doing a little research to figure out what might work best for you. Once you've decided, it's possible that a little hands-on help will be useful, especially if it turns out you're not comfortable with it, but a class may not be necessary.

Good sources of all related information: www.thebabywearer.com (an independent site that is a wealth of information and reviews of all sorts of different slings and carriers; the folks in the discussion forums are really helpful too)

www.peppermint.com
www.kangarookorner.com
www.mammasmilk.com
(all vendor websites with a nice selection of comparison articles, photos, etc. of various carriers) Holly
Hiya using a sling for baby No.2 is a great choice. I don't think it will get in your way at all, in fact I have experienced an ability to care for both children BECAUSE of using a sling. Your wee one will be safe and close to Mom's body while you get to attend with both hands to your other child. I suggest a maya wrap (they have a website I think). Mine cost about $45 3 years ago and I STILL use it for my nearly 4 yo, usually when we travel through airports late at night. They adjust easily so are good for all body shapes and sizes. Great for infants, toddlers and beyond! They come with a video but if you attend a playgroup with AP parents and get an experienced ''slinger'' to help show you the many positions, you will figure it out in no time. Good Luck! cassandra
A sling is a lifesaver with baby #2! My first son was 28 months when little boy #2 was born. He's now 6 weeks, and he spends most of the day in a sling. I'm convinced it has helped make the transition much easier for my older child--I seldom have to tell him that I can't play with him because I'm holding the baby. I also nurse a lot with the baby in the sling, so I can continue playing with him. It also has enabled us to keep up most of the activities we had been doing, without lugging around a baby seat, diaper bag, and chasing a two-year-old. It allows me to have both hands available for the older when we're walking. Also, I'm not a stroller lover, so I can just push a single stroller for my older and put the baby in the sling, rather than taking out a big, cumbersome double stroller.

It is, however, harder to pick up your older child. I can still carry my son on my right hip, but not for very far. But at nearly 40 lbs, I don't carry him very far anyway.

I don't know what particular sling to recommend, as I am 5'9''. I have both a Nojo sling, and a Maya wrap. I find the Maya harder to use in the cradle position (love it for the older baby/toddler, though), so I mostly use the Nojo right now. I got this one at Passion after Fashion in Alameda...they have several used slings.

I have never taken a class, just learned by trial and error and reading ''The Baby Book'' by Sears. Heather


I never figured out the sling for baby #1, but baby #2 lived in it. Yes, you can have #2 in the sling and carry #1 at the same time. You can also nurse #2, and #2 can nap while chasing #1 around Fairyland or wherever. You can also wear a backpack while you have #2 in the sling. Its the way to go for #2. Slings come in different sizes. Sarah

Carrier for Europe trek with 22-pound baby

April 2004

Any suggestions for child carriers after a baby has outgrown the Baby Bjorn? I read the past recommendations on the website but am still unsure which one would work the best. I am planning a trek through Europe but won't always be on foot. I am wondering if I would get more use out of a metal-frame backpack or something soft like a baby trekker or a hiphugger? I have tried on the Kelty Kids pack but find it a little bulky for me. I am hoping to find something a little more lightweight. Also, does anyone know how many pounds a hiphugger or a baby trekker can hold. My baby is 11 months and aprox. 22 pounds. Thanks for your suggestions. cassie


Get an Ergo! Previously available only online, now available at Rochridge Kids. Much easier on your back than the Bjorn and less cumbersome than a frame back. The only drawback is there is not much storage space, but its great if you have one parent to carry the baby and one to carry the stuff. (I just went to their website, http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/ and they now have a daypack attatchment available. I must not have been the only one looking for more storage space!) We use ours nearly every day, from walks around the neighborhood to carrying the baby AND the laundry. We will also be taking ours to Europe this summer. I also considered taking our Deuter Kangaroo pack because the child carrier part zips up and it becomes more like a regular back pack. Our little guy will be 18 months and does a lot of walking on his own so this seemed ideal. However, the backpack is more like a frame pack and a little cumbersome on its own. It would probably be great if you were going to be on the trails a lot with a toddler, but it seems a bit much for city trekking. Ergo Momma
We used the Hip Hugger after our daughter outgrew her Baby Bjorn at about 8 months. While it was useful for a few months, until she decided that she really preferred walking to being carried, I found it much less practical than the Bjorn. It was harder on my back (even with the waist belt, I found that I carried most of her weight with my shoulder), and it felt a lot less secure (its configuration makes it imperative that you keep one hand on -- or at least close to -- your child at all times). We ended up using it mainly for trips to the store and other short errands. I don't think I would have been comfortable using it for any long hauls. A backpack might be a better option in your situation, despite the bulkiness. Janice
Hi there! My son is also 11 months and 22 pounds and I JUST went through this same issue and would be happy to share what I found out and did about it.

The bjorn became useless (as you know!) about 5 pounds ago. I explored both options, a hip carrier and a backpack and ended up buying one of each (both used to save some money!)

For a backpack we purchased the Snugli Cross Country (see following link) http://snugli.com/pr/fc/prfc_crosscty.phtml

I found it at Rockridge Kids for approx. $80 and online from Wal-Mart for approx. $65 but ended up purchasing an almost new one on ebay for only $45, including shipping. (side note: I've found ebay to be a WONDERFUL resource for baby gear, especially if you're patient enough to wait for the right deal). I am 5'4'' and my husband is 6'1''. Although the specifications state that it will fit adults as small as 5', I do not find the backpack to be the *perfect* fit for me. I can use it but the lower lumbar support does not hit me in the right place on my lower back so I think I would find it uncomfortable for a longer walk. It hits a little low, but maybe once I get to know the backpack better I can make an appropriate adjustment. When we're on a ''backpack'' activity, I just let my husband carry the baby. The great thing about the backpack is the kickstand. It makes a great highchair in a jiffy which may be something to think about for a trek through Europe. It also has a big storage area underneath to keep some spare diapers, etc. But I wouldn't load it up too much because it will just add extra weight to the pack.

I also purchased a hip hammock (used through the newsletter for half the price of a new one) which I keep in the car for quick trips into the grocery store, etc. I used it at a 2 hour trip to the zoo once and wasn't even a little tired afterward. No sore neck, no aching back. The *key* to getting it comfortable is the waist adjustment. Make sure it's tight enough around your waist. Once I figured that out, we were set! The benefit of the hip hammock is that it rolls right up and you can easily throw it in the diaper bag. They say it can carry kids up to age 4. After using it now, I think that as long as a child can still be carried on your hip, it will work. See their website for further info. www.hiphammock.com

Both carriers (and other brands) are sold at Rockridge Kids. If I could have afforded to purchase both of them new, I would have given them my business because I love to support small, local businesses as much as I can. I cannot say enough good things about the staff in that store. I would suggest going there and talking with the staff about the carriers and trying them both on with your baby. (and not just for carriers, but for everything!)

We've been using the backpack and the hip hammock for about a month now and completely happy and satisfied with both systems. We don't find the backpack too bulky or awkward in public spaces and the hip hammock is surprisingly useful and comfortable. I would be hard-pressed to pick one over the other but considering a trek through Europe and if I could only pick one or the other I would probably pick the backpack, if for nothing else because it would probably be more comfortable for my son for longer periods of time. (although I'd probably sneak the hip hammock into the storage space...) Hope that helps. Happy baby-carrying! Tiffany


I used a sling with my babies until they were each 3 years old, and even occasionally after that. We loved our slings! But personal preference for mom and baby can vary and I suggest you try out several styles (see if friends will let you try out). good luck
My baby HATED slings when he was little, but two carriers we've loved as he got older (1) the Hip Hammock (www.hiphammock.com) and (2) the Ergo Baby Carrier (www.ergobabycarrier.com). I used the hip hammock from about 5 months on and still love it (my son is just over a year). But, now that he's getting heavier (23 lbs. +) and better at reaching for things I use the Ergo a ton. It's a backpack carrier but with no metal frame and SO comfortable for us both. Rolls up small, so it's easy to carry around. Caveat: it did take some getting used to, and learning to get the baby in it on your back is hard at first. They have a video on their website that helps. It's well worth the effort. One added feature for the Ergo - it has a head support sheath that you can use if/when the pup goes to sleep on your back so the little head doesn't bob around so much. The Ergo can also be used as a front carrier. I don't do that much, as it's harder on my back, but last week when he was really sick and miserable I carried him that way for an hour and half ''wearing him down'' so he could sleep. In the front position it's almost like a Baby Bjorn for really big babies. It was a bit of wear on my back, but really tolerable and it made him feel a lot better when he was miserable and suffering. My son doesn't nurse, but that's the other big benefit of being able to turn the Ergo into a front pack - you can just zip him around to your front and breastfeed if that's still going on for you. Can't do that with a metal frame carrier. Note on both of these - they're for older babies with some amount of head control. Baby Wearing Mama
I got a Laotian fabric carrier that I love. Since it is just fabric, no frame, it is easy to take on trips; it fits in my diaper bag. The baby goes on your back, which for innumerable reasons, is way superior to a front carrier. It is also ergonomically better than a frame pack because my baby is right against my back. A frame pack sets the baby away from your back, which allows air circulation, but adds a moment on your body from the baby's weight (moment equals force times distance). Also, the straps go across my chest, so it doesn't pull on my shoulders. Feel free to give me a call and come over to try it on. You could borrow mine to copy and sew it yourself, or maybe you could buy a beautifully embroidered handmade one from our babysitter. She sold them to me before for $40.00. Sarah
Backpacks were also recommended - see Baby Backpacks

''Over the Shoulder'' Sling

Aug 2003

Would appreciate any tips on how to properly use the ''Over the Shoulder Baby Holder'' Sling. Can't seem to figure out how best to use it with my young baby. Any tips would be great. Or thoughts on resources to help me (maybe someone coming to my house in SF to help show me). Thanks! Future Slinger


Newborn Connections at CPMC (in SF) has a video in their lending library that teaches how to use the sling. I haven't seen it, but have heard from moms who were having trouble with their slings that it was a big help. Here's the website. Click on ''Library'' for information on borrowing books & videos: http://www.cpmc.org/services/newbornconnections/ Kathleen
My baby was born in January and we have loved our ''Over the Shoulder'' sling. I know that they give sling classes at Natural Resources which apparently just moved to Bernal Heights (formerly Castro and 24th). The timing didn't work out for us so we taught ourselves based on some websites with good instructions. Basically they said put the sling over your head with the rings towards the front (one arm sticking out). The key piece of information I always remind myself of was to position the ring holding the fabric in the same place you would wear a corsage. The loose ring should then dangle towards the front, and you adjust the length to your and your baby's comfort. It's actually easier when you have the baby in it than trying it without. Our baby didn't like it the first time we tried but the second time we waited until she was sleepy and went for a walk and from then on it was great. Also, you could try Newborn Connections on California near CPMC-I know they sell those slings and I''m sure someone there could help you out New mom (formerly of SF)
Look at www.omelay.com. Tabitha makes her own slings and does home visits to instruct on their use. (Check out the other baby carrier designs too.) Mom of 3
hi, i love my OTSBH and so does my little one who is now ten months old. i found the secret to the sling are 2 basic things: 1) practice 2) age/size appropriate positions.

1) practice: a lot of moms i know love the idea before baby, and get frustrated after having the baby and give up. the dr. sears ''baby book'' has good pictures of positions to put the baby in which leads to number 2) age/size appropriate positions - it is important to know that depending on the size and strength of your baby's neck you should vary how you use the sling.

for little newborns i liked the ''snuggle'' hold. where the baby is facing you and the sling supports their bottom - you can put the should pad over your left or right shoulder. the hard part is usually putting the sling over your head correctly but after a few tries you can get it right. my baby slept for several hours for the first few months of life and i did lots of shopping, errands, laundry like this.

Once they are sitting you can turn them around to face the world in a cross legged position, which is really cute and they like to look around.

around this time you can also put the baby on your hip, and the sling will give you extra support. good luck! still slinging


Baby sling worn on the back

June 2003

Hi out there, I'm looking for the guatemalan/chinese type slings where I could carry my baby on my back and have my hands free. Now that my child is older, he sometimes wants to be held when he is tired,hungry (making dinner) and I need my hands free. Can anyone suggest where to find one or if someone local makes them, and does anyone know what the size or weight suggestion is for them? Thanks! felicia


I have a maya sling and though I haven't quite graduated my baby to back-wearing, you can do it with this sling. It is of Guatemalan fabric and design. I know you can order it directly from the manufacturer. Go to www.mayawrap.com. You can even have them send you swatches of all their patterns before ordering. kim
I know a WAHM in Alameda who makes many different kinds of slings/carriers herself. Her website is www.omelay.com, and she's really fantastic to work with. I had some questions about making my own, and she was very kind to show me how the slings work and how they're made. If you are interested in buying one, she offers ''home visits'' to Moms at their homes to show them how to wear slings and carriers. She seems very genuine about ''spreading the word'' about slings and back carriers. Give her a call. If you don't buy from her, she would tell you where to find other ones. Good luck! Pei
Here's a link for you to check out: http://www.wearsthebaby.com/babywearing/podegi.html I haven't tried one of these, but I hope to with the next baby. I think they look very comfortable. Sorry, but I have no idea where to get one locally... anon

Baby sling for BIGGER moms

May 2003

I have decided to use a sling for my 3rd child due in July. I have used the Baby Bjorn, but I found I was always hugging my baby and pulling her up towards me more. It just didn't feel as close and secure as I needed. Not to mention the back ache I got as she got older. Anyway, I was wondering which of the many slings that are out there is best suited to carry my newborn, being that I am a larger than normal mom. I am 5'4'' and will weigh approximately 200lbs. when I'm done with this baby. I would like one that is comfortable and that won't be too straining on my back as the baby grows. I would also like to get one where I can somewhat tuck baby to one side to do household chores and tend to the other siblings. I think I may be asking a lot from a sling, but I have heard many a great things about them and their versatility. Thanks in advance to all.


Why don't you try making your own? It's really easy, and Elizabeth Lee Designs (http://www.elizabethlee.com/) has a pattern for it as well as super breastfeeding clothes. I used my homemade sling until my babies were 4 years old and we loved it. Much more convenient than strollers until they weigh about 30-35 pounds. I just wore one of my bf dresses this weekend although I haven't nursed in 2 years. The patterns are that nice! I love baby slings!
Hi I designed and make a custom sling that I measure to fit your body -I would love to show you how they work. It is Wwider and more roomy then other slings I've seen or tried and the ways you can hold your baby are numerous. It is called The Lev Love Sling- Made out of 100% cotton Flannel, strong and soft, cozy and nurturing, Versatile positions for babies (newborn - toddlers - 26lbs+) The LOVE SLING is custom fit to your body and is measured for perfect fit. The LOVE SLING has a holder so you can hang toys for added fun. The LOVE SLING come in fun colors and prints too; forest green, sage green, navy, rose, burgundy, violet, black and pastels. The LOVE SLING is sewn double stitched, overlocked, very strong and safe.The LOVE SLING is $ 45 Call Liza @ 510.665.1698 Or Email: Liza AT silverwalker.com A crafty sling Along mom-
Have you heard of the baby bundler? The website is www.babybundler.com (photos of carrier on web). It is not a sling but it is a great way for a third time mom to carry her baby (at parks, around the house, making meals, etc). I used one with my second child for the entire first year. I tried a sling but it hurt my shoulder. Basically, the bundler is a piece of cloth which after arranged around your shoulders, back and waist holds a baby in several positions (and it works well for nursing). Furthermore, the bundler allows for the shoulders, back and hips to support the weight of your child without putting tension in any one area of your body. I never had back, neck or shoulder problems like I did with other carriers. I would also recommend a Baby Trekker (www.babytrekker.com-great photo of carrier on website) for babies over 4 months old. It carries baby in the front but has hip support and the straps have adjustability for people of all sizes. I have never been a fan of baby bjorns and these have been great alternatives. Check out the websites. If you choose the bundler e-mail me and I would be glad to give you a demo of how it works (though they provide a video with the bundler). mary
Try http://www.taylormadetreasures.com/ - this work at home mom (WHAM) makes great slings with really long tails and great fabrics. By the way, I've never had luck putting baby all the way to the side because then she's under my arm. As baby grew, I sometimes used a backpack when doing housework (I also couldn't get the hang of wearing baby on my back with the sling). BUT, the sling is my favorite mode of conveyance. It keeps baby close and happy. It is much eaiser to tote around compared to a stroller or carseat. Best of all, I have TWO hands free for other things. There are many folks much more expert than I in sling wearing, hopefully you'll hear from some about side & back wearking. Best of luck! Chris
kangarookorner.com has a great comparison chart of different slings. The company can also make custom slings.
As a full-figured mom none of the slings I tried fit me well. I ended up using a baby bundler which I bought from my local La Leche League group. It was wonderful, soft, very supportive and the baby was much higher than in the baby Bjorn. Contact me if you are interested in one. I will put you in touch with the person who sells them. Dana

Want a custom-made sling

April 2003

Several months ago I was in touch with a local woman who made custom baby slings. Sadly her email was automatically deleted. If anyone has info on how to get in touch with someone who does this I'd be grateful. thanks, Susannah


I believe the site below makes custom slings: www.kangarookorner.com aprill
Liza Silverwalker makes wonderful custom baby slings. You can reach her at 510-665-1698. They are really comfortable and look great too. Enjoy..... Shoshana
My friends, Jessica and Susan, of Birthwonders make custom slings. Located in San Leandro and Hayward. Phone number is (510) 889-9163. Other services they offer: childbirth education, birth doula, belly casting, accupressure, pregnancy massage, Reiki, post-partum financial counseling. ---Sophie

Which Sling?

March 2003

I'm trying to decide which sling to purchase for a newborn. I heard wonderful things about the Maya Wrap and the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder, but can't decide which would be better. I'd love to hear what people like and dislike about these slings, especially if you used/tried both. And of course any other wonderful sling that's worth mentioning. Thanks!


I have a one year old - and he has always been a sling held baby. I have tried many of the slings out there but decided to make my own and it works great other people like them too.

So I've started making them for sale. They are 100% cotton and have a place to hold toys, very strong triple overlocked construction, flexible for many different holds. I will measure you and fit to your size or in between so more than one person can use it. liza


There is a table of sling characteristics at http://www.kangarookorner.com/page81.html that contrasts and rates the features of the different slings.

However, the problem with slings is that both you and your baby need to like one for it to work! My advice is, wait for the baby to arrive and see if you can borrow some from friends until you get a feel for the different styles.

We have tried the Over the Shoulder, then a similar one that is almost the same but less structured, then the New Native Baby Carrier (in several sizes), and the Baby Bjorn for back-up. Our daughter was a cuddler and loved the New Native Baby Carrier for months, and it got us through some very bad colicky times. It's simple, lightweight, easy to launder, and we bought it in 2 sizes for me & my husband, although it was a little tough getting used to. With many slings you need to take a leap of faith that NO, Your Baby Will Not Fall Out if you use it correctly.

I never cared for the Over the Shoulder, just never could get it comfortable, and baby seemed to get lost in it. But my sister in law used hers for over a year.

With our daughter we'd switch between the New Native and a Baby Bjorn (when she was big enough) and had no trouble going on day hikes this way. When she was around 10 months we switched to a baby back pack.

By the time our son was born, we were experienced sling converts, but he HATED all slings and after 2 months of trying, we just used the Baby Bjorn. You just never know!

Happy shopping! Diane


Congratulations on deciding to use a sling! We simply could not live without ours.

There was a wonderful review of all the major sling makers in the Nurture Center Fall Newsletter. The newsletter can be found at: http://www.nurturecenter.com/fall_2002.pdf The article, ''Adventures of a Sling Momma: Seven Baby Carriers Reviewed'' is on page 9. This includes a breakdown by padding, rings & hardware, video instructions, customer service, ease of use, fabric selection, and sizes. Wonderful article!

In fact, the Nurture Center (in Lafayette) holds classes on how to properly use a sling (of any make), including all the different positions for your baby or toddler. I found this crucial in using slings safely and confidently. You can even take the class before buying a sling...they let you borrow whichever brand you want to test out during class. Wonderful class! Hope this is helpful! Julie


Anon- I used both for my second child - I found that both the Maya (I had more luck with the Maya Pouch vs the sling) and the Over-the- Shoulder sling had their distinct advantages. At times, especially when carrying my baby and chasing a toddler, I liked the security of the bumpers on the over-the-shoulder but I also found that sling to be quite warm at times. I was more comfortable nursing her in the over-the-shoulder. My daughter is nearly 2 1/2 years now and i find that I still use them both depending on the ''whim'' of the day - I think we go for the over- the shoulder for those days when she wants to snuggle down and needs more security and the pouch as a help to me when we are out and about and she wants up down up down up down and still wants to be able to check everything out! Don't know if that helps much with your decision....good luck! Suzanne
I have used the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder with both my kids and really like it. It's comfortable and sturdy. While I've never used the Maya wrap, a friend of mine who's used both says that the Maya wrap is great but she thinks it works best for experienced sling users and that she's glad she started w/ the Over-the-Shoulder model. Hope this helps. elisabeth
I've used several different slings, each with their own benefits. I started off with a Koala sling but I found it too thick and bulky for a newborn. It did come in handy later when my baby was big enough to be worn in a hip hold, and I enjoyed its quick-release feature. I found the Dr Sears Cradle Sling worked well when my daughter was a tiny newborn, and I enjoyed how comfortable and adjustable it was, but it also seemed a bit bulky. My favorite sling turned out the be the New Native. It's a comfortable and streamlined piece of continuous fabric, not too hot, it's versitile, and it takes up very little space in a diaper bag. My daughter is walking now and she often finds the sling and brings it to me so I'd have to say it's her favorite too. My advice would be to try several different slings as well. They're not difficult to find used. MEG
The Maya Wrap was recalled last year. Go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to read about it: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml01/01225.html. This is the site to go to before buying children's products. Another good website is safechild.net. Stella
For an infant I highly recommend the New Native Baby Carrier. It has a pocket and so the baby is super secure. It is also really comfortable and has no padding so it can be stuffed into a pocket or diaper bag easily. I am convinced that my kids felt like they were back in the womb when I put them in there. It is not my first choice for toddlers, but I still use it with a 25 pound child. It works in all the same positions as an adjustable sling, but some of the older child positions don't work as well.

What ever you decide, remember that it takes a while for you and the baby to get used to the sling (although, the earlier you start the easier for the baby), but it is well worth it! anon


We have every kind of sling you can think of and my husband and I both find them very useful. The ''over the shoulder baby holder'' is very nice, but because it is so versatile, I would recommend getting some training. I know it sounds like overkill, but it was so helpful for us. This is because there are lots of positions that you can hold the baby in with this sling and if the baby is positioned wrong, you may become discouraged. Brooke Russell does home visits and provides a very inexpensive training and demonstration. Her number is 655-0412.

The ''new native'' sling is very simple and seems to be the best for newborns. You can't really go wrong with it.

I also use the didymos, which is a long peice of beautiful fabric that you wrap every which way. They come from Germany. I ordered mine online from Santa Cruz. I like to use it when my son is sick and wants to be held. I wrap him up attached to me chest to chest and then go about my household chores. You can also carry the child on your back with this sling.

My husband did most of the carrying, by far, since I have a bad back. When I carried my son I used the baby bjorn, because I felt more balanced, although there is some concern that a newborn shouldn't be held upright.

Later, once my son could sit up on his own, I got a hip carrier. He is in the same position as when I carry him on my hip, except that my hands are free. The carrier attaches around the waist and across the shoulder, so it's not too much strain on the back, most of the weight being taken by the hips. Good luck!! anon


I've tried quite a few slings between my two children(the youngest is now 8 months old). Here's my personal assessment of a few:

The big one(forgot name) with the large ring at the shoulder is great if you are of med to large build. Too much fabric to walk around with. I would often get seriously confused between the back and the front of the sling. Which is which?

Native carrier (at Rockridge Kids). This one was decent. Less fabric, better looking and more comfortable. Not really adjustable. I tended to always wake my baby up getting him in or out - very difficult.

I know you asked about slings, but I thought I would also throw in my bit about the following (b/c that's what I turned to when the slings didn't work for me).

Walking Rock Farm's hip carrier - see informative web site at: http://www.walkingrockfarm.com/slingbaby.htm Their carrier was VERY comfortable. Easy to use, easy to get a small infant in and out of. Very versatile - can wear baby on your front, side or back. They also have a sling, but I haven't tried it.

The Hip Hammock - at Rockridge Kids. This is what I've stuck with. I love this carrier. Very light weight, small and can carry your baby till their 3 yrs old. Much less fabric than the slings and easier to place a baby in/out of. sling to hip


Carrier for baby who's outgrown Bjorn

Feb 2003

My baby is getting too heavy for me to carry her in the Baby Bjorn (approaching 20 lbs). Can anyone recommend a good baby carrier that works well for bigger and heavier babies. I have already tried the sling and a baby back pack and don't like either. It seems to me I saw someone carrying a baby in something that looked similar to Bjorn worn on the hip, but I've never seen it since. Lisa


Try the Hip Hammock. It is available at Rockridge Kids or Waddle and Swaddle. It's nice b/c the baby is close by, but supported by your hips/waist belt. I think the backpack is more comfortable for long periods of time, but you can't see or touch the baby so the hip hammock is great for grocery trips, folding laundry b/c you can still make eye contact with your baby. www.hiphammock.com candace
I use a hip hammock. I really love it. It is suitable for 15- 30 (?) lbs. You are also able to interact more with the child. I got mine at Waddles and Swaddles -- it was 50ish dollars (that's the part I didn't like so much.) I got a cheaper version through www.onestepahead.com (it was 20) but I returned it because it was hard to adjust the straps and it simply wasn't as comfortable. anon
I absolutely LOVE the Hip Hammock. It's very simple to use (just two straps with buckles), and it places virtually all of the baby's weight on your hip. The baby can either sit on your hip with her legs around you, or you can slide the baby around more to the front, so that the baby is facing you in kind of a hug. Either way, there is almost no strain on your back or shoulders. I found the Bjorn impossibly uncomfortable. But with the hammock, I can take long walks without trouble. You can buy them online at http://www.hiphammock.com/. I think Waddle and Swaddle may also carry them. Good Luck! Amy
I use a Hip Hammock bought at rockridge kids (have also seen more expensively at Waddle and Swaddle) and I love it. I have travelled alone with my crawling 9mo and we walked through numerous airports, stores, etc with it. It is very comfortable and my son seems to like being in it. Doesn't take that long to figure out and is much less bulky than the sling. hip hammock fan
Hi, you may like the first journey carrier, i just purchased it recently and we love it! it is similar to the bjorn but has a waist strap and can be used as a backpack w/ the baby facing in or out as well as the front carry. the baby also sits next to you, not the carrier and it is all soft, no hard parts. i believe you can use it up to 35 lbs. it's a new carrier from the makers of baby trekker - which you may also like since both are more substantial than bjorn and offer more support - the trekker is more bulky but can be used for up to 40 lbs. my partner can carry our baby comfortably (she weighs 15lbs) for a few hours w/ no aches or pains. it takes a few times to get used to figuring out the straps and positioning the baby properly, but after that it's great! plus since your baby is already bigger it should be less of an issue. the websites are: www.first-journey.com and www.babytrekker.com they are made by the same co., a nice family co. in canada. good luck! stacy
I like the baby trekker. This carrier places almost all of the weight on hips and has really cushy straps for over the shoulders. It also has a pocket for carrying a diaper, keys, wallet. I take my little guy on long walks all over town and he is very content (but he's only a 16 pounder). You can carry your baby in front facing out or in and on back facing out or in. I usually carry him in front, but the back position facing out has been great for gardening and cooking. The minuses are that the pack is a bit bulky and is (in my opinion) not very fashionable. I chose the silver color which looks kind of like a cross between a giant maxipad and a straight jacket -- however it is extremely comfortable (and you could choose blue or green instead). I ordered mine online at babytrekker.com, these are made in Canada and cost $80.00. mkm
I highly recommend the Babytrekker. Its design distributes the weight much more evenly than other front carries like the Bjorn. It has a padded waist strap that takes the pressure off your back. I got a BabyTrekker when my baby was around 15 lbs and as soon as I tried it, I never went back to the Bjorn. I still use it as a front carrier from time to time (my daughter is now 16 months & 23 lbs), but more often, I use it as a backpack now. You can get more information at www.babytrekker.com . Marie
I have something called a hip hammock that sounds a lot like what you're talking about. It holds the baby on your hip like you would if you were carrying him only you aren't using your arms to hold him up. It's great! I got mine at Rockridge Kids on College but I'm sure you could find it on the internet. I think the tag even had a website on it but I'm not sure what it was...try www.hiphammock.com. Good luck! Sarah
I use the Hip Hamock, which I purchased from Rockridge Kids for under $40. I love it, and use it for grocery shopping and running errands. I once had the Walking Rock hip carrier and I really liked that one too...until it was stolen from my car in Elmwood. Both are designed to carry older, heavier babies/children. maya mcbride
Just my 2 cents, but I have a problem with carriers in which the baby's weight is mostly supported between her legs. The baby's poor private parts! It seems to me the compression could contribute to urinary tract or yeast infections or diaper rash. Again, this is only my opinion, I have never studied this! a sling fan
I didn't see the original post, but based on the title ''post-Baby Bjorn baby carrier'' I'd like to highly recommend the Hip Hammock (I think that's what it's called). I found one at a consignment store for $30 (I think they retail for about $60) and I use it all the time with my 12-month old. It's kind of like a sling, except that the child is sitting on your hip just as if you were carrying him/her in one arm and resting the child on your hip. There are two straps: one around the waist to take most of the weight, and one that goes over the shoulder. It's very easy to put on and take off, and it makes carrying a heavier baby/infant/toddler MUCH easier. I use it in the grocery store, at walk-around type places (museum, park, etc.) when we go out with my older child. My daughter loves it and it makes it so much easier to get around with two kids. I'm not sure where you can get one, but I suspect you'd find them on the web somewhere, or check at the local consignment. Good luck! Gretchen
I also highly recommend the Hip Hammock. They're made by Nancie Swanke in Idaho. Her website address is www.hiphammock.com. The waist belt really does take most of the weight so if you have a heavy baby, it's very useful. amy

Need help figuring out how to wear sling

Jan. 2003

I have a 2 1/2 month baby and I need help with figuring out how to wear my sling. I have chronic low back pain so I have not been carrying her around much at all, but I would like to carry her in the sling as much as possible. I have tried the cradle hold but would like to try other positions. I have a book which explains the different positions to carry her in. However, what I really need is an actual person to physically show me how to do it. Not a book or a video. Does anyone know of someone out there who can assist me???? Thanks!


Hi there, I don't know what type of sling you have, so I'm not sure if I can help you personally. I have a MayaWrap and would be happy to show you how I use mine if you have the same or a similar type of sling (unpadded, threads through rings). My son is 8 months old now, but we started using our sling when he was about 2 months old. Some shopkeepers who sell slings may also be able to show you how to use one and I've heard that you may be able to get help with slinging at LLL meetings. If you'd like to meet up for a demonstration of the MayaWrap, just drop me a line:) Beth
Check with Waddles and Swaddles on Shattuck in Berkeley (former home of Birthways). They used to offer a class on sling use. Another idea might be a drop-in mom's group -- it's likely that the moms would be using a variety of slings and could offer you some help. I believe Waddles and Swaddles and the Berkeley Y offer these groups. Good luck. Sally
I teach both the Alexander Technique and Body Mapping and could most likely help you be more comfortable carrying your baby and carrying your baby in a sling. I'm only teaching for the next 3 weeks or so as I'm due to have a baby in about 4 weeks. You can e-mail me at amy@amylikar.com for more information. My guess from reading your message is that you are probably overarching your back somewhat and not using the power of the weight bearing portion of your spine. Thus your back muscles are overworking to compensate and causing the pain. Best wishes Amy
You could try Waddle & Swaddle on Shattuck, the women who work there are wonderful and helpful. There's also Birth & Bonding, on Solano, depending on who happens to be working when you go in. I wonder if a really good lactation consultant could help you? Jill
I carried my baby around in a sling (the New Native) a lot for the first 6 months or so, though as she got heavier and my shoulders got more tired from lifting/carrying, slumping over to nurse, etcetera, I found that the backpack or the stroller were preferable modes of transpo. Anyway, I got advice on how to use the sling at the Birth and Bonding Center on Solano Avenue in Albany (1.5 blocks east of San Pablo). My mother bought the sling there, but I don't think I mentioned that when I went there to ask for help with it. I think I also called them in a panic early on when I was worried that my tiny newborn would get crunched in the sling... she sort of curled up like a pill bug in there, but it turned out to be fine. I went back when my daughter was older, sitting up well, and they showed me some ''toddler'' carries, which I still use, in which the baby sits upright in the sling and her legs dangle down. Anyway, they're helpful there, I found, though I've heard mixed reports from others who find them a little snooty. Alexa
May I suggest you attend a La Leche League meeting? Many of these mothers are experienced baby slingers. I have fond memories of using the sling with my two children (regularly until age 3, then occasionally until age 5) and I hope it will work out for you and your baby. :) http://www.lalecheleague.org/ La Leche League of Oakland/Berkeley: http://www.prairienet.org/llli/WebOaklandCA.html J12
What type of sling is it? Where did you buy it? The staff at Rockridge Kids, Birth & Bonding, or similar shops that sell your brand/type of sling should be able to help you, as should a local Maya rep if that's where you got the sling. Attending a La Leche League meeting or asking your mom's group or birth prep class members may also get you several people willing to help you out. Heck, if you live in Albany or thereabouts, I'd be happy to give you an informal lesson! (I wore my son in a sling pretty much all the time for his first six months, and still use it occasionally now that he's almost two.) Holly
You may receive some assistance from other women who have mastered the sling, but many mothers have told me they found the sling class or a home visit from Brooke Russell to be very helpful. Her number is: 510-703-0288 Sherry
you could try going to birth & bonding on solano avenue in albany, a store that hosts a monthly la leche league breastefeeding meeting and whose owner(s) are pro-sling--they will probably help you out on the spot. you could also go to a la leche league meeting--many lll moms wear slings of different kinds, and you'd be able to get input from multiple women! (see www.lalecheleague.org for meeting dates & times around the bay area) jess
Brooke Russell does home visits and provides a very inexpensive training and demonstration. Her number is 655-0412. anon

Good baby sling

September 2002

I saw a previous post from 99, but wanted to see if there was updated information about good baby slings and where to find them. kerrie


take a look at the Maya Wrap at www. mayawraps.com. they're made of beautiful Guatamalan fabrics (with a large selection to choose from) for about $38.00 (not including shipping). it's fabulously adjustable and comfortable for both my son and me. he loves sitting in it and being able to look at the world like a big boy; it's just as comfortable for him to nap in when i'm out and about. can't say enough good things about it.

after the birth of my son, i tried the Native (it curled my child up into a ball and was difficult to get him in and out) and the Baby Bjorn (difficult weight distribution with a lower back problem); there was another one (Kangaroo something or other?) that was larger but not adjustable enough and he was swallowed up by the edges. you might give it a try, and good luck.


Hi, I just purchased the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder, but haven't received it yet (should soon!) so I'll let you know then what i think. Everyone I ever bumped into that had one loves them. But there is a great website www.kangarookorner.com that has a pretty elaborate comparison of the various slings available, they do it by climate, ease of breastfeeding, and their own opinions from experience...as well as sell them from their site! Good luck! =D Stacy
The Nurture Center in Lafayette produces a quarterly newsletter, and our most recent newsletter has an article written by a local mom reviewing 7 slings. Just go to http://www.nurturecenter.com, and click on the link for the Fall 2002 newsletter to read it. One sling she really liked is the Over The Shoulder Baby Holder, which we carry at The Nurture Center (925-283-1346). Sherry Henderson, The Nurture Center
There are a lot of them. From around $20 all the way to more than $100. Just type ''baby sling'' in Yahoo or Google Search Engine. For example:
http://search.yahoo.com/bin/search?p=baby+sling
http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Shopping_and_Services/Children/Babies/Slings/

As for individual recommendation, maybe someone else can fill it in. I've never bought a sling in the USA, I used the one from my home country (it was only $1). Good luck to find a sling which suits your need, your body frame, your baby's likeness, and your budget. Anon


We have been VERY happy with our Over-the-Shoulder Baby Holder. We've tried other baby holders (the Baby Bjorn and the BabyTrekker) but they were much harder on our backs. I hired Brooke Russell to come to my house and give me a private lesson on the sling. She brings about 10 or so in various colors and fabrics for you to choose among, and teaches you how to wear your baby in a variety of positions. Her phone number is 510/703-0288. Her lesson and that sling have been some of the best money we've spent since having our son 7 months ago. He loves being in it. We go walking with him in it every day, and he's nearly 20 pounds. It's also great for just wearing around the house when you're doing chores. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Good luck. Kate
I love my MayaWrap sling(s) (www.mayawrap.com). It's a long piece of beautiful Guatamalan fabric with two metal rings, which you can wear in a variety of ways. I was given one for a shower gift and bought another. Everytime I go out with my baby in this sling, I get at least one if not several comments. I like it especially now that my daughter has outgrown the front carrier. It's easy to sling her so she's in effect sitting on my hip, but her weight is distributed across my back by the fabric. I know some people are intimidated by putting it on, but once you learn it, it's great. Jocelyn
Oh slings are my FAVORITE subject! I have many many many since my first NoJo. I prefer non-padded slings - I find the padding to gouge my neck and prevent me from adequately adjusting the tightness of the sling. My second sling was a Maya, but the Maya has a real adjustablity problem with the shoulder - as soon as you move, the sling slips from your shoulder (since there is no pocket for your shoulder to fit into) and rests on your neck. Yuck. So, I then found the world of WAHMs (Work At Home Moms) and tried a few. I love the fabric of the B'sKnees (http://www.mywahbiz.com/~bsknees/) but REALLY loved Taylor Made Treasures Batik Slings (http://www.taylormadetreasures.wahmbiz.com/) - Bernice (B's Knees) only uses plastic rings - she feels they are safer - but I really like metal rings. Both of these moms have been around for a LONG time and are very safe to order from.

So...one day I was browsing in JoAnn's (fabric store) and found loads of fabric for .66/yard and was FORCED (I mean, REALLY, arm behind my back and all!) to buy some and made my OWN slings! I got some gorgeous fabric and it is really so very easy to make your own.

I'm about to make a purchase of batik fabric from equilter (http://www.equilter.com/) - WARNING!!! one trip down the batik isles of that store will keep you glued to your monitor for hours !!! and will be happy to make you a sling if you find a fabric that you absolutely must have :).

Anyway, they're so easy to make - the biggest expense is the fabric. kathy


I HIGHLY recommend THE BABY BUNDLER. The Baby Bundler is a long piece of stretchy cotton that wraps around you and the baby together, distributing the baby's weight between BOTH shoulders, the upper back and the waist. It SAVED my back, shoulders and arms, all of which hurt with regular slings and also with all the front carriers. The only drawback is that it seems intimidating to learn to use it - but it's just a matter of trying it, practicing, and getting creative with positions. You can position the baby in sideways (like in a regular sling) or use it as a front carrier with baby facing in or out. You can even use it to carry the baby on your back! I rarely see it mentioned, so I wanted to make sure people knew about it. You can read more and order at http://www.babybundler.com/. And no, I have no commercial interest in this product - it's really just fabulous :-) Inbal

Tie-your-own baby sling

August 2002

I've seen a few Moms around town using a sling made from a single long piece of cloth wrapped around both shoulders and waist and then knotted. This looks to me like a more comfortable and flexible way of carrying a baby from newborn on then any of the slings I've been able to find in stores or online. Does anyone know whether this is a product or just a make-your-own thing? If I can't buy it, can anyone tell me what approximate dimensions of cloth would work best, and maybe some basic wrapping advice? We're expecting baby number two pretty quick here, and I'm looking for something I can use right away and that has strapping around the low back as well as the shoulders. We used a Baby Bjorn with our first, and that got tiring on the shoulders and back pretty quick. Thanks! Jessica


I know of 1 ''Tie Your Own'' Sling, it's called the Didymos sling. Though, I've also heard about buying fabric and tying your own. I've checked out the tying methods on the Didymos website, and it doesn't look to complicated... I know that most baby devices seem complicated, but having made my own slings (like Maya Wraps) for a year now, I've come to learn that it comes naturally. Up until recently, mother's have crafted baby holding devices... Here's the link for the Didymos http://www.didymos.de/english/index_e.htm Rachel
Hi, it's very possible that what you saw was a Baby Bundler. It is a great way to carry your baby! If you would like more information about them, please contact me. The La Leche League group of Oakland/Berkeley sells them and I am the current contact person. Dana McMahan
Sounds like a Didymos (sp?). I'll look for the link. They are very expensive ah...here's a link http://www.didymos.de/english/index_e.htm here's another link http://groups.msn.com/MamaRoo/yourwebpage1.msnw kathy
I believe the sling is from KidsNature.com. It costs around $100+. Michlene
Others already mentioned the Didymos sling. I have two of them (a long and a short one) and I just love them. The first weeks our son wanted to be carried all the time. I don't know how I would have survived without them especially as he was too small for the Baby Bjoern for a couple of weeks (needs to be 21 inches). I ordered them directly from Germany which is cheaper than from the online stores in the US that they list. They are about 100$ a piece including shipping (the prices on the page include the ''value added tax'' of 15% which you don't have to pay; this makes up for the shipping costs plus minus a couple of bucks). I would advise against making them yourself because you will need just the right fabric. Otherwise either you will never be able to untie the knots or the fabric will slide through. Also they really take care in having a high quality fabric that doesn't suffer from being tied in a knot at the same place frequently. If you like we can meet and you can have a look at them. Ina (ina.reichel@gmx.net)
I have one of those looooong pieces of fabric you describe. If you'd like to come over and try it out (and measure it) that would be fine... I can't remember how to wrap, but I bet someone on this list will know! Just drop me a note so we can arrange a time, if you're interested. dearsooz@yahoo.com Sooz F
La Leche league sells what you're describing, the baby bundler. In fact, I bought one for a friend at their booth at the 'nurse-in' last weekend in Berkeley. It is as you described, a very long piece of cotton fabric that you wrap around yourself & the baby. It looked comfortable & easy to use. It comes with an instructional video, too. I don't see it listed in the product catalog at http://www.lalecheleague.org/ but it looks like you can get info at http://www.babybundler.com. Rebecca
I didn't see any response about the baby-bundler, so I thought I'd chime in.... I saw a mom shopping with her babe in one of these and immediately decided that it is what I will have with my next one. I talked with the mom and she absolutely loved the versatility and the all-over support it gave (I have used slings, bjorn-type packs and other various carriers and nothing appears to be so comfy). It's essentially one (very) long piece of fabric that you cross over and around yourself in a few different ways. The expense seems to be the instructions really - the mom I spoke with said that it would be somewhat hard to figure out on your own. This is the website where I found what she had... http://www.babybundlers.com/index.htm. I hope you find something that works for you! Freyja
Hi! I don't know about the sling you are talking about, but I want to put in my thumbs up for the Over the shoulder baby sling! I have used mine so much and the Dr. Sears Baby Book has a whole chapter in it on all the different ways you can use it. Your local La Leche Group can also help you master that sling safely. And then I cannot say enough good things about the Baby Trekker! I only recently got one, and I love it! My baby is older and heavier now (over 22 pounds) and it is no problem to carry her in it even in the front! If I had known about the Baby Trekker I would have never ever bought or used a Baby Bjorn. You can only buy the Baby Trekker on their webpage (as far as I know) www.babytrekker.com. It's about $80 and it is worth very penny a hundred times over, it is so well designed and really easy to use for both front and back carrying (great for cooking). Baby Trekker Fan

Baby Trekker vs. Baby Bjorn

July 2002

I commute with my baby on BART which means I carry my baby in the Baby Bjorn, the diaper backpack on my back and my bag with work- related stuff over the shoulder for about 15 minutes to and from BART. I prefer carrying my baby as I find the stroller very cumbersome on BART. However,my daughter now weighs just over 20 pounds and although I love the Baby Bjorn, she is getting too heavy for it, as my shoulders ache even after a short walk with her in the Baby Bjorn (and even without the diaper backpack etc). I also like the sling, but also find it hard on the one shoulder that has all the weight. I also have a REI backpack carrier which is very comfortable, but too unpractical for a commute on BART. Does anyone have experience with the Baby Trekker for older, heavier babies? On their webpage it looks like it might be more comfortable for carrying an older baby, but before I spend more money on yet another carrier, I was wondering what people thought about the Baby Trekker. Thanks, Anna


I love my Babby Trekker! Not long ago, I did a search to try to find a front baby carrier that distributes the baby's weight more comfortably than the Snugli, Baby Bjorn, and sling that I had. I was especially interested in getting a good carrier, because I teach Mom & Baby Postnatal Exercise classes where I use a front carrier during the class, and am converting my class to an exercise video. After searching, I tried out the Baby Trekker. As soon as I tried it once, I stopped using my other carriers completely. I found the Baby Trekker to be much more comfortable. The wide padded straps that cross in the back are more comfortable than the other carriers, but it is the wide padded waist ban that is really great! My baby does not yet weigh 20 lbs, so I can't speak specifically to the weight that you are referring to. For my video, I purchased several Baby Trekkers (I needed extras in case any got dirty while shooting), so I have two extra Baby Trekkers. One has never been opened and the other was used just for one day at the video filming. I was planning to save these to give as gifts; however, if you'd like to buy one, I'll sell the unopened one for $70 (so, you'll save the $10 shipping charge) or $50 for the one that was used for one day. Even if you're not interested in purchasing one of mine, you're certainly welcome to come by my home and try one on for feel. When I talked to the folks at Baby Trekker a few months ago, they indicated that they are coming out with another model soon. It is supposed to be less bulky -- I wonder if it will still be as comfortable... Marie

Chinese Baby Back Carrier

May 2002

Does anyone know of a place in the Bay Area where I might purchase a Chinese baby back carrier. The ones I have found on the web are very expensive, so I am looking for something more affordable. Thanks. Sharron


I found a Chinese baby back carrier in a tiny San Francisco Chinatown store on Stockton Street, just on the Chinatown side of the Stockton tunnel. I don't remember the name of the shop, it may not have had a name, but it did have baby clothes in the window.

The carriers were not on display; I had to ask and it was complicated because I don't speak Chinese and they didn't speak English. They were very beautiful, bold printed floral fabric, and cost about $30. This seemed expensive to me at the time so I sewed one myself.It helped to see the shape and proportions, but really it was just a tapered square with 2 straps. Let me know if you want to try the one I made.... I still have it (made of raw silk!). Incidently, I found the New Native sling to be vastly superior after all the fieldwork on the Chinese carrier. Good luck! Claire


I don't know where to buy them locally, but I have a brand new one purchased in China. Unfortunately, I have never used it with my 6 month old daughter because I find the western-style carrier more comfortable. I'd be willing to sell it to you for a very reasonable price.
I often work in SF Chinatown and see lots of people wearing them, especially on weekends. They must sell them somewhere in the neighborhood. You could browse the stores or just ask someone wearing one where they got it. I've considered doing it myself. Mara

Sling or Front Pack?

March 1999

I got my baby sling at the Health Education center of Kaiser in Oakland, 3772 Howe Street, Ground floor. (510)596-6204. I remember it was a good price compared to $35 and up most of other places. However I don't know if you need to be a member of K-P to buy it. My baby is seven weeks old now and both of us love it. She sleeps much better when I carry her around with the sling in the house. It works well outdoors in warm weather when I don't have to carry an extra blanket or anything other than a diaper bag. It took both of us a little while to get used to it. "the baby book" by M.D. Sears has a wonderful chapter on wearing a baby using a sling. One thing we found is that we still need to bring a seat with us if we are not going to walk around and it is likely to put down the baby after a while. (we got well-minded comments like "you are spoiling the baby by holding her all the time!" when we didn't bring the car seat w/ us.) Pei


I used and liked very much the official Nojo brand sling--the one marketed by Dr. Sears. I found it very versatile, although hard to figure out at first. But after a few trials--try using a doll or a gallon-bottle of water instead of the newborn--got it figured out. It distributes the weight of the baby pretty well across the entire back, minimizing somewhat the 15-pound-necklace effect that most snugglies seem to have. Also very easy to get baby in/out without waking, unlike a typical snugglie. And you can nurse while wearing it (I found this possible, but not very easy to do, but I've heard from others that they had more success with this). One potential drawback: you pretty much have to keep one hand or arm on the baby the whole time you wear it. I've seen them for sale at Target, but I got mine much cheaper (about $12) second-hand at Lauren's Closet in Alameda. A lot of the second-hand kid stores seem to have them frequently--call ahead to see who has one before driving all over the place. I've noticed that some of the knock-off brand slings don't have as deep of gathers as the Nojo brand, so inspect the one you're considering carefully before you buy. Meg

I tried a Snuggli brand front-pack with a semi-rigid panel going across the parent's front that looked like it distributed the weight into the waist, but it actually didn't do so very well--the manufacturer got the cantilevering wrong, I think. And it was a royal pain to get the baby out after she fell asleep in it, without waking her up. Forty dollars wasted at Terget, IMHO.

After my daughter got older (about 10 months) I started using "Sarah's Ride," which is a minimalistic pleated triangle of cloth attached to a waist belt and an across-the-shoulder belt. The baby is basically in the same position as if s/he were sitting on your hip. It puts a lot of the baby's weight into your waist (i.e. off your upper back), and is very easy to put the baby in and out. I don't see it around very often, but I managed to get two different ones, also used for about $12, one (a knock-off) at Darla's in El Cerrito, and one at Lillian's on College Avenue (the real thing, and much more comfortable). Because of the pretty good weight distribution, I have been able to use it as recently as last month, when my daughter weighed over 30 pounds (19 months old). I don't think any ordinary upper-back-straining front-pack could possibly be feasable for a child at that weight.

My husband liked the Baby Bjorn very much, which gives a more secure (tight, hands-free) fit. They are very expensive--$70 or more, depending--and I have never seen a used one around. It is pretty easy to get the baby in and out. The baby is vertical in this carrier, which some folks feel is not good for young babies. I recently read--on this list, I think--that it is subject to a retrofit recall, so make sure if you buy one of these that you get an updated one. I believe that Baby World on College Ave carries these.

I've seen a good-looking front pack by Kelty that has a realistic-looking system for putting some of the weight into the waist/hips. They came out after I was already "slinging," so I never invested in one--I'm sure they are pricey. Maybe REI would carry such a thing, or maybe that high-end store (I forget the name--City Kids?) on Clement Street at about 3rd ave in the City.

Not long ago, I saw a Berkeley LLL leader wearing her newborn in a very long strip of jersey fabric that wrapped round and round her and tied in a simple knot. It looked very simple and "traditional," snug and secure and hands-free. I made a mental note to definitely look into one of these if I ever have another newborn to carry around. I don't know where it came from, but I believe the leader's name was Lila--you could call the Berkeley LLL and ask for her.

OK, that's my complete review of baby carriers! Maybe I focus more than you need to on getting the weight off my upper back, but between having an unusually heavy baby and the "milk factory" (which must weigh another 5 pounds at least) to carry around, combined with a philosophical commitment to wear the baby at least four hours a day, distributing the weight was a primary consideration for me.

Best wishes on lots of close times wearing your baby


(response to person asking for baby sling recommendations): During our daugthers' first year or more we used a baby sling called "The New Native Baby Carrier". It's a sling without any clips or fasteners and you chose a size (S,M, L, XL) that fits your build. I found that both my husband and I were able to the same one comfortably though. You have a choice of either 100% cotton or organic cotton. I noticed that they have an ad for it in Mothering magazine, and they have a toll free number: 800-646-1682. Our daughter really liked the sling and it was a great way to carry her around, she felt very secure in it. When they get a little older you can position them in different ways (you can wear the sling in all different positions: front, side, back). They say that you can use it for newborns to kids up to 35 lbs., but I remember that at about 22 lbs. she started to feel too heavy to carry that way. Good luck! Anne
I recommend the New Native Carrier. It is designed in a way that held my son when he was both very small (5.5 lb) and continued working until he lost interest at around a year old (17-18 lbs). I loved using it and he loved being with me, tucked inside. The design is unique and worth checking out. Shanta
For babies up to 35 Lbs, I recommend the "New Native" baby sling, made by a small business right here in Davenport CA (south of Half Moon Bay). Comes in regular or organic cotton. Great colors (they use low impact dying techniques). Sturdy design. About $35.

Call 1-800-646-1682 for a brochure. They also sell organic cotton diapers, burp cloths, nursing pads, etc... Caroline


I tried to use the Nojo sling and neither me nor my son liked it. I bought the Over the Shoulder Baby Holder, which is basically the same design, but for some reason it worked better for us. I bought it used at Lauren's Closet for $16; I also saw another one there for half as much. I suggest you try out as many different baby carriers as you can before you actually buy one. Some babies are picky: my kid didn't like the sling until he could at least sit facing forward, at about 3 1/2 months. Now, at 7 months, I don't know what I'd do without it. Good luck. Laurel
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