Slings, rings, and all these things — how baby wearing can save your sanity

January 5 2010 | Guest post by Amber Linthakhan
Photo of Amber by Julie Branyan
Photo of Amber by <a href='http://juliebranyan.com'Julie Branyan
I think kangaroos are definitely onto something!

Aside from the Baby Bjorn, baby wearing was a completely new concept to me before having a child. I thought when I had a baby that I’d be able to lay him down on the floor with a toy and then go about my day as I always had.

Much to my surprise my little man did not seem to enjoy time alone. I needed to find a way to cook dinner, run a vacuum from time to time, grocery shop, AND hold my baby at the same time. I thought this was going to be impossible.

A little search online and I came across an endless supply of websites with so many different types of baby carriers. Ring Sling, wraps, Mei Tei, Ergo, Didymos, Moby, Pouches…the list went on and on.

It did take a little while to decode all the names and I figured out that the same carrier could have more then one name. First we started out trying a Ring Sling and it worked, but it seemed like it would work better for us when our son was little older. So then we moved onto a Wrap.

Bingo! We finally had a happy baby, full tummies, and a semi-clean home!

You might recognize Jace as one of our recent DILFs!
You might recognize Jace as one of our recent DILFs!
Most carriers are great because they have at least two different ways to wear your baby. The Wrap has many more then two. It took a while to figure out how to wrap it around my baby and myself just right, but once I did it was a lifesaver. He felt safe and secure and he was close to mommy, and I was happy because he wasn’t crying as much and I could actually have two hands to get things done!

They even make water carriers so you can swim and even shower with two hands! Oh the little things like a shower everyday can be a lifesaver. With our 2nd baby due in February and my little 1 1/2yr old running around, I know my baby carriers are going to be a true blessing and they might actually keep my sanity in-tact on some days.

  1. I love, love, love my Mayawrap ringsling, and yes, it's a total lifesaver. I can't wait for Baby #2 to be here, so I can use it again! Alice gave up wanting to be worn around the time she started walking (by then, we were using the Ergo, which I also love!).

  2. Ooh yes we cannot wait to wear our baby arriving in March! We have a hotsling to start with then hubby voted for an ergo 😉 since he will be the primary one wearing the spawn I figure I better let him choose 😀

  3. I have about a bajillion (is that a real number?) unpadded ring slings everywhere! In the car, in the diaper bag, all around the house. I couldn't have survived without them! Even though my daughter just turned two, she is still light and petite, so I'm still able to wear her when I need to keep her nearby and out of trouble!

  4. it's so funny that we're all coming to this realization in the global North about baby wearing. In developing nations it's just the thing to do! In Ghana, women tie their baby's on their backs with just a regular piece of fabric! Luckily for me, we have idiot-proof, front tying slings so klutzy people like myself don't have to worry about dropping their babies on the ground!

    • I've seen African women here in Ireland doing the same thing — I was super-impressed at one lady who could re-tie her baby onto her back in the middle of a busy street, without looking. So nifty!

  5. my sling was the best thing i ever bought! my little one is very independent, but since hes HUGE i can't exactly carry around his infant carrier everywhere so the sling rocked for me

  6. I love my faux-Maya. I got the pattern online and made two for myself and several for friends. After I lost my favorite one, I bought new rings to make a third, however haven't found quite the right fabric. If you can operate a sewing machine (very rudimentary, even) or know anyone who can, I would recommend making your own. They are a fraction of the price (I paid $15 each for mine, that included the rings and thread) and work just as well!

  7. I use my Moby all the time….by far the best fit for me and little one. For those of you that share my need to nurse modestly the Moby wrap offers great coverage too!
    4 minutes ago ·

    • I can see the appeal of a Moby (or similar) BUT your infant is only going to like it if he/she likes being tightly swaddled. Mine throws a fit if her arms aren't free, which meant she didn't like the tight wrap of the Moby. I got a used Bjorn off craigslist, and it works pretty well, but it puts ALL the weight on my shoulders, so wearing it all day isn't possible.

      Once she gets bigger I'm going to try an Ergo, which seems to be popular among people who prefer the support to be around your waist instead of your shoulders.

  8. I was just doing a sling/wrap/ergo search. I'm starting to get a little bogged down with the details. My daughter is 22 pounds. Which carrier won't kill my back?

    • I have a moby wrap that is wonderfully comfortable. It distributes the baby's weight and is comfortable up to about 35lbs but some people comfortably wear their children up to 45lbs.
      Once you are comfortable with tying it, which isn't as hard as it looks, its fabulous!
      It's the 3rd type of baby carrier I've tried and it works best for me, I definitely recommend it!

  9. My Meby (me-made moby) is the best $10 I've ever spent. Fabric was ten yards (I'm a plus-sized Mama) for $5.00, shipping was $5.00, and I was able to cut it in half and make two. Awesome!

    I also really like my thrift-store $2.00 snuggli for our baking-hot Florida days.

  10. I looove my wrap! Great for walking, cooking, folding laundry, gardening, shopping, dancing, even some yoga. The best thing for me is that I was able to breastfeed hands-free while completely covered. Now that my daughter is 2 1/2, we don't use it too often, but she still asks for it when she's sick or super tired. I feel really good knowing that she finds it comforting.

  11. Oh Cheri – that sounds like a tutorial in the making (I wouldn't be suprised if Ariel hadn't already emailed you to ask) – I'd love a 'How-to' make your own sling! Although I don't know if we've had tutorials on OBM yet – but there are plenty on OBB!

  12. I used to work in an eco-parenting shop, and hands down, the Mei Tai style was my fave — versatile, and easy to put dad into. Sometimes swimming in yards of fabric was too much, but the buckles of the Ergo and Beco were too structured (and the prints are so cute on some brands!). I used to wear the demos around for fun.

  13. i have a sling and a snugli. my daughter loves either one. i prefer the carriers to a stroller (but i still use one). they make going out with her so much more fun for the both of us. i live in nny (northern new york for y'all who dont know) so we cant go on walks now, but when she was a month old we started going on walks and i would carry her in the snugli. she absolutely loved being outside and snuggling with me at the same time….and man, does that work your core! lol. Babywearing is great. i have some people who tell me i spoil her by carrying her like that, but i just ignore them. plus, sometimes you need to get things done. much easier with a happy baby!

  14. I bought a structured carrier but havent had chance to use it yet…babba is only 12 days old and I have a section wound to heal yet!

    looking at this had made me pine for a mei tai though…will have to start saving they're so pricey and I'm a rubbish seamstress!

  15. I've had a bad back and shoulders for more than a decade now and was really worried about how I was going to be able to carry my babies when they start coming. My sister let me carry my nephew around in her Moby for a whole afternoon once and my back and shoulders didn't bother me at all. It was more comfortable than my back pack for school.

    I see people struggling carrying their baby in car seats and how awkward and off balance they seem and I just want to tell them to try wearing their baby and see how that works.

  16. My son wanted to be held all the time. And I do mean ALL the time. My baby sling saved my life and gave him the security he wanted. He's now 10 months and totally confident! I really believe you should spend as much time as you can being that close. Now that he's walking, cuddle time is no more.

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