I've just joined the Babywearing Bloggers list, a great idea that you can find out more about at the link (there are also great links to some lovely blogs). It's reminded me to post more about my babywearing adventures, as I do tend to forget that babywearing is still a little unusual. So I thought I'd give a history of our baby-wearing, and talk a bit about what our family use, and the what, whys and wheres of our baby-carrying adventures with Lolly.
Lolly has had a carrier since she was only a few weeks old, she was around three months when I got sick of the Baby Bjorn (gasp!), it was killing my back, and I was worried about the spine issues that it may cause, and not being able to comfortably use the Peanut Sling. So I did a heap of reading (once I had a chance!) and decided to try a BabyHawk, after much research online for the best carrier for our needs at the time. The Baby Wearer forum, and the Baby-carriers Down Under group were fantastic resources for anyone wanting more information.
Lolly froggy-legged in the BabyHawk, which is a mei-tai style of carrier.
This is a super-comfy carrier, but I've actually not used the BabyHawk that much, as I find the long straps too much for ease when out and about. I do use it a bit at home in really hot weather, it's slightly cooler than the Ergo. So, the BabyHawk is about to be moved to the car for those couple of times I've forgotten the Ergo and swore a lot.
Wanting something that was a little easier to get on and off in a hurry, we got an Ergo when Lolly was around 4 months, and it has been fantastic! This was when I started going to the baby-wearing meet-ups in Brisvegas and met lots of other lovely babywearers, and got lots of really great advice and help. The Ergo is a semi-structured carrier that has a great supportive hip strap, and does up with buckles rather than ties. It has a pocket on the front that zips up and can hold a wallet or nappies. I also got the small bag that velcros round the strap, which holds a nappy and some wipes. Super handy. Ours is this one, black with retro lining. I majorly love my Ergo!
Here is a little Lolly in the Ergo, shortly after we got it, nearly 4 months.
The Ergo is so easy to use, comfy, and fits both DinnerDad and I. I use mostly a front carry, I can do a back carry (thanks to sling_dad, who taught me!), but find at shops and walks that I want to be able to see Lolly, and to pop a boob in if necessary. I get nervous with her on my back if DinnerDad isn't with me to check on her head, or pull up the hood if she goes to sleep. I figure as she gets bigger I'll be more comfortable with it, and she'll be more able to tell me if something has gone wrong back there.
Here she is more recently, asleep in the Ergo.
Back carry on DinnerDad, 10 months.
I almost forgot that I had a Peanut Sling for a while, I actually bought it before Lolly was born, but it never fit me very well, and I didn't find it comfy. Here is Lolly in it at around 5 months in a hip carry, I never got the hang of a cradle carry, so didn't use it much before this. I sold it shortly after this.
Instead, I got a Maya Wrap ring sling when Lolly was around 6 months, to have something easy to pop her in hip carries. I use this a fair bit at home for chores, feeding the pets and chooks, hanging washing, etc etc.
Lolly in the ring sling at 6 months.
View from a sling, at 9 months.
I've never got the hang of a wrap. A lovely woman lent me a Hug-a-Bub when Lolly was only round 8 weeks old, but Lolly didn't seem to like it, arched her back heaps, and it was quite hard to get used to. If I had my time over, I'd pop Lolly in one as soon as she was born! Wraps are so comfy, and so easy once you've got the hang of it, I do wish I'd known how to do them when Lolly was tiny.
We do own a pram/stroller, though I hadn't actually used the pram with Lolly until she was nearly 10 months (except for when I had to go for a check up at 6 weeks after the c-section, sigh, and one time as an experiment at around 4 weeks old for a walk, when she screamed so I carried her), and DinnerDad thought she'd like a go in it while we went walking. She did! Here she is in her first real go in the stroller.
I love this shot, she looks singularly unimpressed by this new mode of transport! Though her babylegs and her itti bitti d'lish are super funky!
She has never fallen asleep in the pram though, and if it's a long walk, she wants the Ergo for naps. I've used the stroller a couple of times at the shops now, too, but only if Lolly is not tired, and up for adventures. Otherwise she prefers to be strapped to the mumma, and rightly so! It's comfy, cosy, and reassuring, and she can have a boob when she needs one. She sleeps very well in there, too. I always have the Ergo with me, and have ended up pushing an empty stroller. With a baby-carrier with you, you always have a comfy way of carrying your bub!
Lolly is 11 months now, and I mostly use the Ergo in a front carry when we're out, and the same at home for some naps when I need to be moving around. Lolly is an in-arms bub, and sleeps on me for all her naps. If I have the kidlets here too, I will often pop her in the Ergo for a sleep as it's easier for me. Lolly will sometimes sleep way longer in the Ergo, too! I use the ring sling for quick chores, but don't find this comfortable for longer wears. It's great for pop-ability though! I use the stroller more when out, as Lolly seems to enjoy looking at the world now. Any sign she is unhappy, I pop on the Ergo and wear her. The stroller is then handy for holding groceries! Also, taking the stroller AND a wheelchair is basically impossible. Here's the back of our car on one such outing to the Art Gallery!
If we're going shopping, we don't have enough hands, so it is the Ergo all the way.
If you're looking for more info, try the info pages here, or the baby carriers Down-under group, which is fantastic! They list local groups on their site, and on their Google group. See us on facebook, too! Thanks, sling_dad! Brisbane babywearers has meetings each month, and other outings too.
What is your favourite carrier, and how did you get into babywearing!?