I finally settled on the wonderful Maya Wrap Adjustable Pouch, which distributes the weight of my growing toddler, Hazel WeiPing, comfortably. She adores it too, feeling supported and cuddled close to mama. It’s very attractive; we get lots of attention from passers-by here in New York City.
—Molly Parker-Myers, New York, New York
From the Hip
When we adopted then-6-month-old Noah from Moscow last year, I carried him everywhere in a Baby Bjorn. I purchased a Hip Hammock when he outgrew it, at 19 pounds, and it’s great so far! I use it for quick visits to the library or stores that don’t have carts. I found it especially helpful when we flew out to visit my family recently. It was easy to slide him around to my front when walking down the aisle in the plane, and then to loosen the strap so he could sit on my lap.
—Kristine Needleman, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
The Hip Hammock is easy to use and it positions the child so you’re facing him. Also, my husband is happy to wear it! I don’t think he would be as comfortable with a sling in public. It’s great when she doesn’t want to be put down, or when she’s tired, cranky, or just out of control. Two years and 15 lbs later, we’re still using it—we dread the day she hits the weight limit.
—An AF Reader, via e-mail
Our lightweight travel stroller was a lifesaver in Russia. It was great for getting around town, but even better as a substitute high chair—none of the restaurants that we ate in had one. We used the Baby B’Air anti-turbulence vest for the long flight home.
For an older toddler (2-4 years), I would recommend the Safety Harness. People shy away from these because it looks like the child is on a leash, but if your child doesn’t understand your language, refuses to hold your hand, and is prone to running off, it’s worth the occasional stare.
—Arnette Schultz, Naperville, Illinois
I bought a Baby Bjorn on eBay, which I loved and, more importantly, so did my daughter. In the winter, I used it instead of a stroller when there was snow on the ground. Even at 2, she is still small enough to ride in it, but these days she prefers to run!
—Polly, Reed City, Michigan
On a friend’s advice, I just got an ERGO Baby Carrier. It’s a soft carrier that can be worn on either the front or the back, and it’s rated for children up to 67 pounds. There’s almost no strain on my back or shoulders, and my son stays close to me. I can carry him further than ever before, maintaining good eye contact and silly conversation.
—Tanya Seredin, via e-mail
I have a herniated disc and have found the Baby Trekker, which has padded straps and a waist belt, to be very comfortable. Your baby can be worn on your front or back, facing inward or outward. I have logged many hours “bouncing” our very oversized son to sleep.
—An AF Reader, via e-mail
I use a back carrier with my 7-month-old twins. One rides on my back while the other naps in the stroller, and then they switch. It’s great for urban areas, since it’s much easier to get a single stroller than a double one into the Metro, shops, and the bank.
—Suzanna Augustine, Washington, D.C.
On My Back
I just started using a Sutemi Gear Carrier for my 19-pound 1-year-old, and I’m totally in love with it. It’s completely hands-free, and so much better than anything else I’ve tried. We walked about four miles today, and he fell asleep on my back—apparently he loves it, too!
—Lucy R. Ford, Camden, New Jersey