64 June 17, 2009

Adventures in Baby Wearing

Eleanor does not like to be put down. Therefore, I’ve ended up with a nice assortment of baby carriers all in a valiant effort to regain the use of both hands.

Eleanor and I both love our mei tai from BabyHawk. She likes to be held in the ‘snuggle hold’ (tummy to tummy with me), so she was comfortable in this one from the start. The head rest is stiff enough to be supportive, but I fold it down sometimes too so Eleanor can look around more easily. Oh, and the fabric choices are excellent! Mine is pink and brown, natch. The drawbacks: The shoulder straps are so long that they tend to drag on the ground and get dirty while getting the carrier on and off, and they also make it difficult to fold the carrier up. When you have time, you can fold the whole thing up into a nice little rectangle that fits neatly in your diaper bag. When you don’t have time, you end up doing what I do and just stuffing it into your bag in a wrinkly pile that takes up a ton of room.

My other two carriers are both slings.

Hands-Free!

The slings took more getting used to for Eleanor, but she’s happy in them now and I like each one for different reasons. The one that I’m wearing in the photo is from hotslings. It’s comfortable and it has minimal padding, so it’s incredibly easy to fold up. It also keeps Eleanor a little cooler than the mei tai. The only drawback is that it is sized very specifically and it isn’t adjustable. I’m not sure that it’s a drawback really, it’s just something to keep in mind.

My other sling is by Balboa Baby. It has padding on the shoulder strap and along the edges – very comfy but the padding makes it bulkier. It’s sewn into a slightly more structured shape too, which makes it harder to fold up. I like that it’s adjustable, but the padding on the strap makes it difficult to adjust and it’s not easy when your baby is still in the sling. If I were to buy another ring sling, it would be a Maya Wrap. There is still some padding in the shoulder, and there is a lot of extra fabric at the tail, but you can use that extra fabric as a nursing cover.

And speaking of nursing… I go out with Eleanor fairly often, and figuring out how to nurse her while she’s still nestled in a carrier will be liberating! We’re still learning, but these videos have been helpful so far: How to nurse in a sling and how to nurse in a mei tai.

p.s. I was able to take, edit, and upload that photo, AND write this post, all while Eleanor slept in her sling. Do you know how amazing that is? I typed with both hands and everything.

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64 Comments

  • Reply
    Marie
    June 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    http://www.prettymommasling.com/store/WsAncillary.asp?ID=91 — My son and I were models (use that term lightly) for breastfeeding in a sling — it took some practice — but with a handful of different slings on hand, we did it for a while and through the different phases of growth.

  • Reply
    jaime
    June 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I have several carriers as well… I just spent 4 days at inservice (I’m a teacher) and my Ergo carrier came in very handy for nap times… I can’t wait to wear him on my back! I bought the Ergo for my husband to wear, but he’s still skidish. I also have a pouch sling but Aiden doesn’t like that too much. My childhood friend makes beautiful ringslings from fancy fabrics (bronwenhandcrafted.com)and after a lot of practice and youtube videos, I like it for short periods of time.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 20, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Baby wearing is great! My son was in one carrier or another for his first year. My favorite newborn sling is the Moby wrap. But I also had big success with the Beco Butterfly and the Maya ring sling. Sounds like you and your little one are off and running!

  • Reply
    Pencils
    June 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Wow, you are lucky. Aurora also did not like to be put down, ever, until she learned to crawl (and now she wants to be down all the time, unless she’s tired or cranky or missing mommy, etc.) but she hated all slings & carriers. And we tried more than a few. Nine months later, I now have some great arm muscles. Eventually she learned to tolerate the baby bjorn, but only for very short periods.

  • Reply
    azra
    June 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    try Ergo Carrier when she is about 6 months. It is the most comfortable carrier plus very easy to nurse in.

  • Reply
    sturmhaus
    June 21, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I adore my Ergo – I liked the more structured ones when I tried ’em on. Today I was so proud of myself… managed to jiggle the baby into place on my back, alone, in the parking lot at Target! (the Ergo will do 3 carry positions, front, hip and back – now that my girlie is 1, the back position is getting easier)

  • Reply
    Cassie
    June 23, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I have the New Native sling and though my big baby boy didn’t fit well as a newborn in it, it helps support his bottom and distributes the weight now that he can sit on my hip. I’m glad we held on to it.

    And although not very chic, the baby bjorn was our savior. And now that he’s a hefty 20lb 7month-old, the Beco supports him and saves our back as well…plus the fabric design is super stylin.

  • Reply
    Clarissa
    June 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    First of all congratulations for your baby, she’s lovelly.
    Because I didn’t have enough courage to have kids yet I make ring slings for my friends’ babies :)

    Because they’re not very popular in Brazil, most parents don’t know how to use it here. That’s why I usually give a demonstration with a doll…

    Your refined taste make them even more special.
    Love your work.

  • Reply
    Kiley
    July 7, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I moved from Oregon to Korea when my baby was 8 weeks old. I had a Baby Bjorn and a wrap sling but I found that I loved the Korean baby carriers the most. I had a structured back-pack style carrier (similar to the BabyHawk but not as stylish) that we used until she was about 3, and a simpler, more traditional cloth wrap sling (similar to a mei-tai). The Koreans were crazy about foreign babies, but especially when they saw me carrying her in one of THEIR carriers. Now that my daughter is going on 4, she has her own play mei-tai that she carries her baby doll around in.

  • Reply
    daisy mae
    July 25, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I got a hotslings too and I was so glad I did. My son refused to be set down and didn’t like it when I sat down either. It was still hard to do some things, but I managed to crochet with him happily holding the yarn. Fun times!

  • Reply
    Kristi
    April 13, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    where did you get those fantastic shoes????

  • Reply
    Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Twenty Pounds Lighter
    June 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    […] a strict exercise plan or diet. I went on more walks and for longer distances, and I often used a baby carrier for Eleanor instead of a stroller. I had been reading a lot about opting not to partake in the […]

  • Reply
    M
    August 27, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Crazy, I have the same hotling & Dwell shirt for my little girl. Small world.

  • Reply
    victoria
    January 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I just read this – months and months after you originally posted it. I have a Maya sling and I absolutely love it! I got it used @ diaperswappers.com for something absurd like $20 (it’s originally $60). I also think cutiepoopsandbottoms in Orland Park sells it. At first, we tried a cheap sling that can’t be adjusted and it shrank in the dryer..so it’s practically useless to me.

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