Mar 17, 2014

I Bought All The Things: BabyWearing Edition

Throughout my pregnancy, I did a decent job of posting my thought process and research on the baby things we purchased. Now it's time to analyze what we have.
 
I am a huge advocate of baby wearing and honestly don't know how I would have survived without it! I currently own 2 Baby K'Tans (a wrap style carrier), a BabyBjorn (soft structured carrier), an Ergo (SSC) and a Lillebaby (SSC). It seems like a lot of carriers, but there is only one I would get rid of. And if I could justify the cost, there are a few I'd love to try! (A hiking pack, a Tula Toddler carrier, a sling for the new little one, etc.)
 
 

Baby K'Tan

For me, the big selling point of the Baby K’tan was that it is a wrap carrier (like the ever popular Moby) without all of the complicated wrapping. I knew I would be dealing with two babies and the time and effort it took to wrap seemed like a problem. Basically, the Baby K'tan is two big loops of soft stretchy fabric that are attached (with a smaller little loop) to make an X. There is also a sash necessary for some of the carry styles. To use the k'tan, just put the carrier over your head and arms through the loops. Then, you drop one of the shoulder straps to your waist, put your child in (multiple positions to choose from) and bring the strap back up onto your shoulder. It sounds complicated but takes seconds. Literally, seconds. After baby is in, you tie the sash on for security depending on babies weight and the carry you chose.

My mom and I each wearing a baby on their first trip out of the house. A perfect way to stop strangers from touching them and spreading germs. You can really see how happy Davy is all snuggled in.
 
K'Tan at the SMU Bookstore. Raising these little boys right!
 
K'Tan on a plane. Sleeping baby so I can play on my phone.
 
I started using the k'tan when the boys were around 7lbs and LOVED it for the tiny newborn stage. I am still using it around the house now with my 13m 20lbers. This is an awesome, easy to use wrap carrier. It is a perfect gift for a new mom who isn't an avid baby wearer -- good shower gift price point and a great starter wrap (although I love it enough I don't see myself ever moving beyond starter level!).
 
 
 

BabyBjorn Original

We received a BabyBjorn carrier before the boys were born and started using it around 11lbs. I personally am not a fan. I find the straps dig into my shoulders and the weight isn't well distributed. So it hurts. I think if must just not fit my body shape well though because Casey likes it. He likes the way it fits and likes that for short trips he can allow the boys to face out. (Because of "crotch dangling" concerns we don't let the boys face outward for very long though). One huge positive to this carrier: it is extremely easy to use. Their are no buckles or snaps in the back (instead it crisscrosses in the back and unhooks in the front) so anyone can get it on and off solo. It is quick and easy to get baby safely strapped in.
Happy Tripp and a handsome camera-shy daddy
 
As the boys have gotten bigger, this carrier has gotten less and less use. It is one of (if not THE) most popular baby carriers on the market, but is the one we would be most likely to get rid of.
 
To add: BabyBjorn is an awesome company and the maker of my number one favorite baby product ever, the BabyBjorn Babysitter Chair. I've heard their other carriers, like the Miracle, are better and more comfortable than the Original but don't have any personal experience.
 
 
 

Ergo Organic

After realizing I didn't like the BabyBjorn, I found a good deal on a used Ergo Organic. And really liked it. It takes some maneuvering and practice to get used to the buckle on your back and just how to contort to reach it, but once that is mastered, it is a comfortable carrier.
Tripp fast asleep on his Daddy's back.
 
The Ergo and Bjorn at The State Fair of Texas.
 
My favorite feature: the back carry. Once I mastered the art of flipping a kid onto my back I became a huge fan of tandem babywearing! Back wearing is amazing. No risk of hip injury, baby can see evetything, your hands are completely free to shop, cook, clean, whatever, and baby is still comfy enough to settle in for a nap. Basically I think back wearing is everything.
 
Back to the carrier... As I said, it is incredibly comfortable to wear. With multiple straps for fit adjustment, giving you not only the ability to distribute baby's weight evenly, but also the freedom to trade off babywearing duties with a different sized person. This is great because with one carrier in the car, my husband and I can both use it! Like the k'tan, getting baby in and out is easy, although the security buckle snapped across your shoulders/upper back area requires a bit of flexibility to do on your own (A trick I found online that works for me: lift up baby's bottom just a wee bit with one arm, which makes it easier to stretch over your shoulder with the other arm and buckle or unbuckle the strap. You do have to master the one handed buckle/unbuckle though.
 
Overall, we really like the Ergo and it lives in the car for frequent use on outings!
 
 
 

Lillebaby

This is by far my favorite of the babywearing devices we own. It is more comfortable than the Bjorn. It is easier to put on than the Ergo. It is more age appropriate for my kids current stage than the K'Tan. The Lillebaby gets my full endorsement!
 
First the fabric. I originally intended to buy the Lillebaby Complete Organic (that's what all the links are to) because it is so incredibly soft. But, when it came time to buy, I found the Lillebaby Complete AirFlow. It is the exact same carrier in 3D mesh so it is breathable. This seems like a little thing but when it's 110 outside adding a little hotbox to your body can be brutal. The mesh makes the boys and I both more comfortable!
 
Now the carrier. This one is versatile. Like the Ergo, it easily does both front and back carries. But it also does an outward facing front carry (like the Bjorn). This is because it has so many freakin options - like a flexible leg position on the seat that makes the seat area wider or thinner to fit a newborn or to allow a forward facing carry. Pretty cool.
 
If you are looking for one carrier that really can do it all (until 45lbs!) this is the one. It also has a "seatbelt" sort of thing on the inside of the carrier so that it really secures the tiny newborns in (without needing a sweat inducing infant insert like on the ergo). I've never used this strap on the inside because we didn't own the Lillebaby when the twins were that young, but I look forward to buckling in baby three and keeping him extra secure in just a few months.
 
The last feature I'll mention - I've heard folks complaining about back wearing their toddler in the Ergo getting uncomfortable because toddler legs get long and kick against you. Lillebaby solves that issue by selling stirrups to help support longer legged kids. I own the stirrups but haven't needed to use them yet on my tiny guys.
 
This is the carrier I reach for 100% of the time.
 
Buy on Amazon here for $135. (Not the Airflow one we have. Same carrier in organic cotton.)
 
Despite wearing the Lillebaby at least once a week, I don't have a single picture with it! I intended to rectify that over the weekend before publishing this pits, but instead I was laid up with whoa (like seriously whoa) pain. I use the Lillebaby constantly for quick runs into MOPS to drop the boys at nursery and short errands like grabbing dog good. I find it SO MUCH faster to strap a boy to me than to get the stroller out, set up, and loaded. For a long errand like the grocery store or mall I use the stroller but still bring a carrier in case someone gets fussy.


Tandem Wearing

 
Well, the only time I tandem wear is when I'm by myself so a collection of low quality selfies:
 
Two babies in one k'tan. This carry works until the babies hit 10lbs.
 
Ergo on the front. K'tan on the back.
My favorite tandem carry is now Ergo and Lillebaby together. But no pictures. Sorry.
 
Now that my pregnant belly is getting bigger, I am planning to go back to using the k'tan on the front to get that bit of stretch. Once my back is in a better place (which I am naively hoping happens soon) I may (or honestly may not depending on what the doctors tell me) be back to tandem wearing and update this post with a few more pictures.
 
 
The Other Posts in This Series:
 

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