The question I get asked more than any other is “what kind of carrier should I buy?” And then I begin asking the poor mother 101 questions and lengthy comment threads ending in more confusion than resolution. So I have created a helpful guide with this post. Yes this is a lot of information. But I hope this is a lot of useful information.
There are 4 main kinds I would recommend. Stretchy wrap, Buckle Carrier, Woven Wrap and Ring Sling. Then there are different brands of these different kinds. Now there are plenty of other options out there but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with all the different soft structure carrier wrap conversion mei tais and the crazy list of acronyms for them that I think in the long run can just discourage beginner wearers or those curious to try it. If you have any questions about any of these styles feel free to ask. If I dont have the answer for you I can hopefully get you in touch with a mom who does.
Stretchy wraps are a wonderful option for a first time baby wearer. For starters, they are very affordable (Most range from $50-$70). These work by first wrapping the carrier, then placing your baby inside. They are best for the first 6 months. I had a moby wrap which did the job but overheated easily. The stretchy wrap I now suggest is the Solly Baby. Lauren who writes Rain City Baby, a stylish blog as hip as she is, has agreed to share her review on the solly baby wrap.
“Living in the city with a baby comes with challenges. I knew before I had Ruby that I had to find a carrier that would be comfortable for us both in the first few months as well as functional for our on-the-go lifestyle. Prior to becoming a mama I used various carriers and wraps with children that I worked with as a nanny. I wore babies that I nannied in the Moby but it always felt like a task to tie and I would frequently overheat while wearing it. I still loved the idea of what the Moby offered, so when I heard that there was an alternative product with less fabric, I was excited to try it out.
I had never used the Solly Wrap before becoming a mama. Needless to say, I am very satisfied with my decision. If you follow my IG feed @raincitybaby you will see Ruby in her Solly wrap all the time. It has been my go-to baby item- I wore it so much that I decided to get a second one!
The most common question that I get about the Solly is what differentiates it from the Moby wrap, which is similar in function and appearance. The primary differences are the amount of fabric and the thickness of the fabric. The Solly tapers at the end for a small tie, whereas the Moby has the same width of fabric at the ends, making a big bulky tie. The Solly folds into itself (as opposed to a separate carrying pouch) which makes for a compact little square to toss into the diaper bag.The Solly Wrap is made out of custom-made organic fabric, which is thin, breathable, stretchy and very soft. I love that I can feel confident in her comfort when I put her in the wrap in just her diaper. The fabric is probably softer than any outfit she has! Another reason that I love the Solly brand is that the maker, Elle Rowley, donates wraps to moms in need and a portion of their profits go to charity. I love knowing that a portion of the money that I spent will be used to help other mothers.
My favorite thing about wearing the Solly Wrap is the closeness I feel to my baby. This wrap makes baby wearing comfortable for both of us, which allows her to relax into me for the most epic of snuggle sessions 🙂 “
If you see yourself being turned off by baby wearing because the wrapping looks complicated or fear the potential human error involved then a buckle carrier is a great option for you. They are user friendly and are a favorite by many baby wearing moms and dads. These carriers work by just buckling and minimal tightening. You can use them around the house but I mostly see them used for long hikes or zoo trips. The top 2 in my book are the Boba and Ergo. You can expect to spend around $100-$150. Ashley, an adorable mommy/photographer writes a gorgeous blog full of the most amazing photos of her family. Here’s what she had to share about baby wearing with her ergo.
“I’m Ashley, mama of an almost-two year old busy busy boy, Arlo and I blog at lifeasashlet.com. When I was pregnant, I discovered the world of babywearing through the wonderful world of the Internet and couldn’t want to get my little baby all wrapped up against my chest. I even brought a wrap with me and wore him in the hospital!
Over the last couple years we’ve used a few different carriers and our favorite is by far the Ergo. Easy, comfortable and versatile, the Ergo has been a lifesaver more often than I can count. In the beginning it was my sanity – morning noon and evening walks with my newborn, getting me out of the house and moving again while healing from his birth. It was my entertainment – I can’t count how many times he fell asleep in the Ergo while walking around Target, around Greenlake, around our neighborhood. It was my break – my husband would dutifully strap our fussy baby into ol’ faithful and sway into the evening while playing a video game or bouncing on the birth ball and let me grab some needed shut eye. It let me do laundry, modestly nurse on the go, get dinner on the table and made airline travel a breeze.
Now, as a mother of a toddler it offers a whole new world of use. We use the bus as cheap entertainment for our wheel-loving kid, and the Ergo is the perfect carrier for our big kid. I’ve gifted the Ergo to several mamas-to-be, and my favorite part is the ease. Just clip, slip in the kid, clip again, and you’re done. I can get him on my back in one swift motion, and my front is just as fast. It’s the perfect carrier for a Baby Wearing Newb, reluctant husband and wonderful way for Grandma to bond with a new baby.
With the added infant insert, or a well placed receiving blanket it can hold the newest of new all the way up to bigger kids. At 37 inches and over 30 pounds, Arlo is still comfortable and secure both in back carry, front and even hip. You can find Ergo carriers on any major retail website, Target, and my favorite – swap boards for a very reasonable price. “
Woven wraps are very versatile. You can front carry, hip carry, high back carry, torso carry, the options are endless. These carriers are used by the baby wearing enthusiasts who wear their little ones for hours a day, almost as a life style choice. If you are curious about trying out a woven I recommend starting with Caribou Baby. They have a great selection of the more affordable wraps which range from $100-$200. But the most coveted wraps of all are the Oscha Slings. They are gorgeous, a considerable investment and hard to get your hands on. But they really stand out as the best of the woven wraps. My lovely friend Nichole is awesome enough to share about her journey into babywearing and what is so wonderful about the wraps Oscha makes. You can follow nichole on instagram @raestreet. She not only has an amazing wrap `stash, she is learning to weave herself. SO cool.
“Hi there, I’m Nichole and I am a mama to the most incredible little boy, Oliver who is nearly 11 months old. When Oliver was born, it became clear pretty quickly that he was a high needs baby. He was attached to a boob pretty much 23/7 and I was more than happy to oblige, though I was a little surprised. It’s hard to know what to expect as a new mom! So, when the fancy BOB stroller we had bought in preparation for our babe was just not working out, I pulled out the grape purple moby I had been given at our baby shower. I watched a few youtubes and read the manual…I tried it a few times and then, while cursing, threw the material on the ground in frustration for not figuring it out right away. But then I started looking into babywearing more. I had ample time to explore Instagram feeds, babycenter groups, and Facebook pages on my iPhone while underneath my constantly nursing babe. I saw gorgeous pictures of mothers with their children on their backs wrapped in beautiful pieces of cloth. How had I not heard or seen of this before?! I had to find out more. I had to figure out a way to keep my precious baby close to me so he could be happy, safe and content on my chest while I was able to tend life’s other demands. I discovered so many brands of woven wraps – where to start?! I ordered a Girasol from a vendor to see if I could make this woven wrap thing work. Once it arrived, I wrapped my little 6 week old son and he instantly snuggled and up and fell asleep. We were both hooked. Being wrapped was the only way he took naps during his first 6 months of life. I really don’t know what we would have done without babywearing. I tried many brands, blends and designs of woven wraps and my favorite soon became clear. Oscha Slings out of Scotland makes gorgeous jacquard woven wraps whose designs and fibers made me swoon. Lush cottons, supportive linens, cozy wool, and luxurious silks all made with artisan craftsmanship for mamas to carry their babies in. There are many fabulous brands out there that I really like as well, but overall if I had to pick one brand it would be Oscha. Their designs speak to my personal sense of style and are made with such quality that they easily support my ever growing kiddo. We now go on lots of walks with him on my back and use our wrap conversion ring sling for when we’re out running errands. Oliver is running around exploring everything he possibly can and being an expressive, outgoing social butterfly. When he needs his mama he knows I’m always there for him arms open and sling in hand.”
Of all the carriers I’ve tried, these are my favorite.This style carrier is great if you plan on wearing baby for a nap, or to the grocery store or maybe to the park for a play date. Its easy to get baby in safely once you get the hang of it, though it does take a little practice. But once you get it down these are the best for quickly getting baby in while standing in a parking lot or if your baby wants in and out often. They are also awesome for nursing in. You can use them for newborns and toddlers, which make them a pretty safe investment. My favorite brand of ring sling is Sakura Blooms. Most range from $80-$180. Since ring slings are my go to I’ll do my own review on my recommendation and how I came across them.
I’m Jill and I write this blog 😉 I had to go through about 10 different carriers before finding the right fit for us. I knew I wanted to keep Mila close and keep her in my arms. But out there are some really sad looking overheating, poorly wrapped, and incorrectly used baby wearing photos of us. But more than anything I just didn’t feel like myself. As if trying to dress a post baby body with a closet full of maternity wear isn’t hard enough, now lets throw in trying to match your carrier. But then I stumbled on the Sling Diaries 1. I saw moms like Carolee and Jodi and Emily and thought “ok these ladies make it look so cute! I wanna be a cute mom too!” Sakura Bloom ring slings come in a few different types. The “Pure Linen” was my first and are still the one that I use everyday. It’s lightweight and breathable but strong enough to feel confident using it even past the first year. Its also so small I can scrunch it up and put it in my purse. The “Simple Silk” is the one to go for if you want a carrier that you’ll use from newborn through the toddler years. The silks are very lush looking, but more importantly, they are the most supportive. They will make a 20lbs baby feel 7lbs again. They come in an array of different colors that are all are gender neutral. If you are thinking a ring sling is the carrier for you and you don’t know which Sakura Bloom to pick, go to my about me and watch the video that goes into depth about picking which one is right for you.