Ride On, Baby
With dozens of babywearing products to choose from, where are parents to begin? Four AF readers share their stories about carriers that kept their little ones safe and near.
Moby Wraps; $40
Reviewed by Amy, mom of Jadyn (1, U.S.)
ON THE GO: I decided to wear our newborn daughter to promote bonding and attachment. We wanted her to feel connected to us, and I knew that movement would soothe her. We started using the Moby on Day Three. Jadyn was not an easy sleeper, but she napped well when in the wrap.
EASE AND COMFORT: The Moby can be intimidating. It’s a large piece of fabric. But we got the hang of it. One downside is that it’s easier to put on and leave on than to put on and take off repeatedly. Because Jadyn was always upright, I felt it was a safe wrap for her. I could only wear the Moby for the first few months, but she seemed to love every minute!
Beco Butterfly 2; $139
Reviewed by Pamela, mom of Anna (8 mos., U.S.)
ON THE GO: I purchased my Beco even before Anna was born. It was hard to choose from all the bright, hip patterns! My favorite feature is the headrest, which helped her ride safely as a newborn. At eight months, she’s still happiest in front, and I think that’s because of the time she spent napping on my chest.
EASE AND COMFORT: The waist and chest straps distribute Anna’s weight, and I leave her in it for hours at a time. The internal panel keeps her secure, even when the belt buckle is open, so I can easily shift from front to back. It’s fully adjustable, which is a plus: It’s a cinch to pass Anna on to her grandparents when they visit!
BabyBjörn Baby Carrier; $80
Reviewed by Marcia Maynard, mom of Justin (1, U.S.)
ON THE GO: The BabyBjörn gave us one-on-one time to feel close to our baby. I loved being able to put Justin in it while he slept, rather than always placing him in the stroller. The Björn also allowed my husband to snuggle with Justin, while he played with our oldest son.
EASE AND COMFORT: The baby faces the parent to start off, but can face forward, as he grows. There’s even weight distribution on both shoulders, so it didn’t hurt to wear, but some parents may find that it puts strain on the back, neck, and shoulders. It also takes practice to put on, because there are lots of straps to adjust.
Ergo Baby Carrier; $105
Reviewed by Sandi and Sean, parents of Declan and Owen (4 and 3, Russia)
ON THE GO: As urbanites, the ability to navigate city streets and public transportation were priorities for us. We chose the Ergo, because it’s flexible, and easy to pack up. (Adds Sean, “It’s a comfy, versatile carrier we could use with both boys.”)
EASE AND COMFORT: We took the Ergo carrier with us when we brought the boys home (at 18 and 33 months), and they loved it. I often strapped Owen in on the side so he could see more. It was like carrying a kid on your hip, without having to hold on. (Says Sean: “Owen wanted to continue riding even after it was time for him to learn to walk.”)
CARRIER SAFETY GUIDELINES
As new consumer warnings have shown, slings may pose a suffocation hazard when improperly used. For a safe ride, choose the right fit, and be sure your baby is strapped in securely when worn.
+ Find the best fit for you. Consider your child’s size, and look for a carrier that can be adjusted easily if you and your mate will be sharing it. Consult the manufacturer’s size chart and weight guidelines, then test-drive it to see how it fits baby.
+ Do periodic safety checks. Check its condition for any faulty or loose parts—especially if you’re wearing a hand-me-down or if you purchased a used carrier. And check on your baby frequently, too!
+ Learn to ride. Make sure your infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times. Two positions that are never safe when using sling-style carriers: wearing baby too low, or in a curled position with his chin touching his chest. Find photos and a video of safe and unsafe positions at cpsc.gov (search “slings”).
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