Trying to decide what kind of baby carrier to use? Circle of Moms members break down the pros and cons of four popular baby wearing options.
Many moms find that sling carriers (from pouch styles to ring slings) are ideal for carrying newborns, but less convenient for heavier babies. As Jen R. shared: “I have a Peanut shell sling that was great when he was a newborn, but not so great now. I can still do the hip carry with him and it’s fine for quick trips in and out of the store, but it pulls a lot on the neck and one shoulder.”
Slings also earn mixed reviews for nursing. Jessica E. explains: “The ring sling was good because it had the extra fabric to throw over her (for discreet feeding, and stopping her from getting distracted!) but bad because I had to take it off and put it on the other way around to feed from the other side.”
Moms praise wraps (long pieces of stretchy or woven fabric) for versatility, comfort and ease-of-use while nursing. As Gemma D. shared: “I preferred a wraparound carrier like a Moby or Sleepy wrap for feeding, as this can be used hands-free and is very discreet…this type of wrap is also one of the most versatile I have come across”
One negative is that the length of wraps makes tying them in public difficult. Additionally, stretchy wraps may not work well for heavier babies. Jennifer L. explained: “For younger/smaller babies we absolutely loved the Moby wrap. It was super, super comfortable and my son loved being in it. Once he got to be over 20 pounds it was difficult carrying him on my front because the material is on the stretchy side.”
Mei tais are traditional Chinese cloth carriers with straps that tie. Moms like Kara P. recommend them for their comfort and versatility: “We have used a mei tai from the time our baby was a few weeks old...she is 2 and a half now and we still use it. They are pretty easy to learn to use, fold up nicely for in the car on in a diaper bag, and are really versatile.”
Others, however, cautioned that strap width, length, angle, and padding all influence comfort level. Brenda D. shares: “All I have to say is wide straps! I have one with about three-inch wide fabric straps, no padding, and it hurts my back to use it since my buggaboo is so darn heavy.”
Ergos and Other Soft Structured Carriers
Soft structured carriers are especially popular for carrying heavier babies, though inserts also enable newborn carrying. As Allison C. shared: “I thought the Moby was best for napping and breastfeeding until 6 months old, but after that the Ergo was the best in every situation—for plane rides, shopping or long walks.” Similarly, Kimberly P. started her son in an Ergo carrier around 8 months: “We love love love it. At first I wore him in front facing me, but then he switched to riding in the backpack configuration and we still do it occasionally and he’s 18 months and 30 pounds!"
However, Tricia L. cautioned that such carriers aren’t for everyone: “I don't like structured carriers. I have a small frame, and I can’t seem to get them to fit me snugly, so the baby pulls me down, and I end up with a sore back.”