Those that have followed me on twitter since my pregnancy days will know I documented my journey through pregnancy and used to blog about motherhood. I have been a fan of 'babywearing' since before Ffion was born, doing lots of research, I probably bought her first carrier when I was around 6 months pregnant.
Since having her I am often asked my opinion on baby carriers, most recently by an old school friend who has just had her first, and while everyone is different and has their favourites, having tried out various styles, I thought I would share my thoughts and opinions on them:
The first one I owned and used was the Baby Bjorn.
I know people have mixed opinions on Baby Bjorn carriers and they certainly don't work for everyone. But I couldn't have lived without mine. Before falling pregnant with Ffion and starting my 'all things baby related' research, I was totally unaware how 'big' babywearing was and the choice of carriers, slings etc out there! All I knew was that I loved the idea of having Ffion close to me, especially in those early days. I first took her out in the Baby Bjorn a couple of days after I left the birthing centre, she was just five days old!
Those early weeks were so precious. She would sleep while I carried her on long walks, round town, met with friends. Fast forward 6 months and she was facing outwards, spilling out and trying to jump out getting excited about seeing the world! At around 9 months I had to retire this godsend of a carrier as she just didn't fit well in it any more.
|Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire|
Next up was my Vaude Baby Carrier. Sadly my relationship with this one didn't last quite as long, and it now lives in the cupboard under the stairs. Not a good use of around £80.
This carrier probably served us from Ffion being around 9 months to a 1 yr. I had tried it out in the outdoor shop in Brecon with Ffion in it before I bought it, but it wasn't until we were out in the hills for longer periods of time that I realised it didn't suit us.
Don't get me wrong, it had lots of advantages... the backpack style with a stand is great for taking on and off, and it was helpful that I essentially had somewhere for Ffion to sit if I ever needed a break, something that is lacking with more 'wrap' style carriers. The other strong point is that baby gets to sit really high and has a lovely vantage point of the areas you are exploring. Finally, with its rucksack style compartment under where Ffion would sit, I was able to take basic essentials for the day (a few nappies, wipes, food, liquids, an extra layer etc). These all really were strong points. I also had a rain hood that could be attached for drizzly days but was no good in windy conditions.
|Up in the Carmarthenshire Fans|
(Yeah, sorry about the hood design on that Ffion)
So sadly after my short spell with this style of carrier, and lots of research later I settled on the Ergo Baby Carrier. Now, if I had known about this dream of a carrier all along, I would have used it from the outset!
There isn't anything I don't like about this carrier. We have used it from quick runs into the shops, she has napped in it on my back while I do housework, we've had long mountain days together... I've even climbed with her on my back in it. This is about as comfortable as babywearing gets. And it offers the option of having baby on the front or back, something we have taken full advantage of. And while Ffion sits lower on my back in this carrier, she has always been very happy and content in it.
While not cheap (new they start from around £75), lasting from newborn to around 4 years old, you certainly get your moneys worth out of it. I bought the 'original' but there are now more options out there including the Sport and Performance varieties, and Organic options. You can also buy accessories such as pouches, newby inserts, weather covers etc.
While this lacks the storage space of the backpack style Vaude, I found that I could quite happily carry a backpack on my front or back, depending on how I was carrying Ffion (see bottom, centre photo below).
Because it is so lightweight and compact compared to the backpack style carriers it can easily be chucked in a bag if you have a toddler who is walking but may get tired and want carrying at some point. I often chuck mine in the car, or in the bottom of the pushchair to have those options available.
There's not much more I need to say about it!