Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baby Carriers...which to choose???

So several months ago I decided to start looking for a carrier for my youngest. He is 17 months old and if he is not inside of the gate in our living room, he is up to no good. Which if I only wanted to hang out in the living room the entire amount of time he was awake, I would be OK with that. But cooking dinner, doing laundry, making beds, etc cannot all be done from the living room, so I decided to get a carrier. Now if you have ever been in the market for one, you would know that there are so many different types to choose from. There are buckle carriers (Boba, Beco, Ergo, etc), wraps (Moby, Boba, Gypsy Mama, etc), ring slings (Sakura, Maya, Taylor Made, etc), and the list can go on.

I used a Moby with Maddox when he was a newborn, which I loved in those late nights of him not wanting to sleep and me wanting my hands to at least be able to read and put dishes away, or whatever I needed to do to keep myself awake at 3 am, but I had tried putting him into it recently and it just really weighed me down. He is about 25 lbs and that was just too much for me.

So I began asking around about the carriers and getting recommendations. From what I could already see I was definitely wanting to get a buckle carrier. I wanted something that my husband could use too and he really liked the baby bjorn when Maddox was tiny. I knew a wrap, he wouldn't touch, and I cannot see him wearing a sling. When I started asking my cloth diaper mama's what their favorite carrier was I got so many different suggestions. What some liked, what they didn't about several different carriers. But someone had told me that there is a mama who rents out carriers on a trial basis. Yes! This is what I needed.

So I came across Amber from Heavenly Hold. You can rent almost any of the buckle carriers from her website. I decided to try 7. She would ship them to me 3 at a time. So the first three that I received were the Action Baby Carrier, the Beco Gemini, and the BabyHawk Mei Tai.

So here is the back of the Action Baby. Now I know he is crooked (although I could not see that), but he kept leaning toward the side. I am not sure if it were the carrier or something I was doing wrong, but I just didn't like the way he felt in this.

Side view. These were taken by my nine year old, so this one is a little blurry. I do like that his arms come out the top. Huge bonus when you have a toddler who wants to touch everything. Makes him feel a little less confined. This one is also much cheaper than the other buckle carriers that I tried AND this one has a hood built on, which was nice too. I also really liked the color options.

The next one I tried was the Beco Gemni. There were lots of things that I liked about this carrier. The built in headrest is great! This is nice with a toddler so that their arms can stick out the top (this will be a great bonus for most of the carriers for my sake). But another great feature with this carrier is that it can be hip worn. Prior to any kind of carrier testing, hip carry is how I have carried any child I have ever picked up, so I like having this as an option.

Here is a side view of the Gemini. Now I can tell by looking at this photo that his leg should be behind the strap, not in front of it. And his eyes are closed, but you get the idea!

Back view. I really like how he sits in this carrier. He was comfy.

The next set of the carriers I got was the Babyhawk Mei Tai, Beco Butterfly II, the Boba Classic and the Ergo Performance.

So first to try on was the Ergo Performance.

Here is the back view

Now here is the thing about the Ergo. As you can see my son's arms hang out the top, which, as you know, I love. But here is the thing, I tried this carrier on several times after this, and could not get his arms out the top, he sat too low. I have no idea how I did this. I tried and tried, each time making him more upset. Now I like that the hood is in the zipper pocket and the shoulder straps were very cushiony and soft, and he really appeared to like this carrier. BUT I could not get him this way again and he does not like his arms secured to where he can't flip off light switches and drink out of his cup, so this one is a no for us.

So next is the Beco Butterfly II. ***My Second Favorite**

 I love this carrier. And for several reasons too. First I could actually move Maddox from front to back with only some effort AND could do it by myself.  Also a HUGE bonus, there is a barrier in between me and Maddox so I didn't get as hot with him and I could keep him in the carrier and move him from myself to my husband. This one also comes with an infant carrier. I plan on having another baby and not having to spend an extra $30 on an infant insert is a great advantage. The Beco's also come in some cute styles.

Back view:

Side view:

So the next thing that I tested was the Boba. Now even though I liked this carrier, it just didn't come with anything extra. Head rest, infant insert, etc. So as cute as this was and I love the product, I just liked the extras that came with the Beco. But here is the back and side view.

I have to admit, I really love the kangaroo on the back of this!

So HERE is my Favorite! Now I want to start out by saying that I tried all of these buckle carriers and really fell in love with them. Then, when I took this out of the package and saw I had to TIE it on, I pushed it to the side, eh, too much work. So for a week, I strutted around all of the other carriers. Then right at the end of my trial I took out the Mei Tai Babyhawk and thought I paid for the trial, I mine as well TRY it. So I put DS on my back and strapped it on and FELL IN LOVE. Now I want to start out by saying that I had already emailed Amber and told her to go ahead and order the Beco, that I liked the features. But found myself, for the last 4 days of my trial, ONLY wearing the Babyhawk. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this carrier! I like that the straps cross in front. I think this is probably the greatest feature, it really made it easier to carry Maddox. I also like that it wraps up small and that there is no adjusting of the straps. I just put him on and tie the straps in two places. Now the pattern I got, was not cute, OK, how about not my style. So I again, emailed Amber and told her I also wanted a Babyhawk but needed a different color. So I went on their site, designed a CUSTOM carrier, with all the bells and whistles. Pattern on both sides, color coordinated straps, pocket, toy strap, I went all out! And now, I patiently wait for my super awesome Babyhawk.

So the only bad news is that I cannot find the pictures that I took of this! ::SIGH:: But once my new snazzy carrier shows up I will be taking some pics and posting them!

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