This post was updated October 2018 to include the Baby Bjorn – another carrier we used and loved!
I knew I’d be in to babywearing as soon as I started researching baby products. I loved the idea of having my babe close to me and still being able to have both hands available. I hoped that our baby would love being worn (cause I know some don’t). Luckily, carriers are Ben’s happy place.
We currently three carriers – the Ergobaby 360, the Solly Baby Wrap, and a Wildbird ring sling.
I realize that having three kinds might seem excessive but we use them all differently and often use multiple carriers per day. I also started with two and once I knew Ben liked them, I added a third.
So if you’re someone who is deciding if babywearing might be for you or wondering why you’d need several types, I hope you find this helpful.
The Ergobaby 360 (affiliate link) is easily one of the most popular carriers out there. I saw it on list after list of “best” baby items. The 360 means we’ll be able to carry Ben front facing eventually and also on our backs. Right now we do front carry, inward facing only, with the infant insert. We bought this in color Pure Black, which, in retrospect, I do not recommend if you have a shedding dog.
N picked out the Ergobaby and is the one who uses it most right now. This carrier is more padded and structured. It’s pretty easy to put on and take off but does have a number of clips and some velcro that you have to get used to.
A word of warning – I used this over a sweater one day and didn’t attach the velcro completely straight and the top velcro attached to my sweater and kind of roughed it up when I pulled it off.
We use this mostly for walking around town or if Ben is fussy, N will put him in the Ergobaby to calm him down (and he usually falls asleep). Often N will just wind up standing up in our living room, wearing the Ergobaby while Ben sleeps and he plays video games.
I have found that this carrier works better over winter jackets than the other carriers on this list. If it’s really cold and we all need to be bundled up (like at the Superbowl Parade) then we go with this carrier.
I have found that the transfer of a sleeping babe to a swing/bassinet/dock-a-tot is easier from this carrier than the Solly Baby wrap, but harder than the Wildbird.
That said, this is not the carrier I reach for the most at this point (Ben is now 4 months old). I’m sure I’ll use it more and more as Ben gets heavier, as it has back support. For now, it’s a little bulky for me to just use around the house (which is where I do much of my babywearing).
The Solly Baby was one my best friend loved and insisted on buying for me. We have this in the color clay (shown above center). It seems complicated to tie at first and I was stunned by how long it is but once you get the hang of it, it’s no big deal. It’s much easier to put on with access to a full length mirror though I can now do it without looking.
We use the Solly Baby for soothing and naps. It is the wrap I reach for when Ben is fussy and I’ve tried everything else because it will usually calm him and then put him to sleep. The day I wrote this post, he slept in it for 2.5 hours while I stood at the kitchen counter and worked on my laptop.
Basically this is my “get things done with a sleeping baby” wrap. Because it isn’t bulky like the Ergobaby, I’m able to wear it easily around the house and have full range of motion with my arms. I can even do dishes at the sink while he sleeps in it!
If I’m going outside and I don’t want to commit to bundling both me and Ben and then all the buckles etc. of the Ergobaby, I’ll use this and put my jacket over it and zip Ben inside my jacket (sans bunting). I also use this carrier when I know I’m going to be out during nap time but want to come home and not be trapped in anything bulky.
The only downside to the Solly baby is that I struggle to make a sleeping baby transfer to another sleeping surface i.e. if Ben is asleep in it and I try to remove him, he’ll wake up.
The good news is that I find this wrap so comfortable that if he’s already asleep, I just leave him there and I’m pretty comfortable.
This is also the only carrier that we attempt to sit down in. If I sit in a fairly reclined position, Ben doesn’t get too scrunched and won’t wake up. When I do this, I’m just very careful to make sure his chin is not on his chest and that his legs remain in a position that is safe for his hips.
Wildbird is a ring sling type carrier and is my most recent addition. While I love the Solly baby, if I try to put Ben in it when he’s wide awake and not remotely tired, he usually gets pissed. He wants to be upright and held but also able to look around. The Solly Baby fabric often blocks his view and frustrates him.
I kept seeing Wildbird on my Instagram feed and loved the idea of being able to carry him on my hip but have both hands available. Wildbird has been fantastic as we navigate the “doesn’t want to be put down” stage of babyhood.
Ben does occasionally fall asleep in this but since I mostly use this when he’s wide awake, it just enables him to be exactly where he’d be if I was holding him but I don’t have to use my arms.
I use this most often when I’m doing stuff around the house and Ben is awake. I also wear him in it to go to story time at the library or anywhere that I want him to be able to see and engage but not maybe not be all up in the biz with other babies/kids (see life with a preemie).
Wildbird is what I use for quick errands because this is definitely the easiest one to put on and put the baby in (although with some practice, the Solly Baby really is easy). The commitment threshold is low so if I throw it on and put him in it and he’s not into it, it’s a breeze to take him out and try something else.
I have to say too, I like the way this one looks the best and I love that you pick your fabric and your ring color. I chose the solid linen in color sparrow with gold rings. They also have silver, rose gold, and black rings, plus tons of other beautiful colors (but you know, I’m a neutrals gal so I went with beige). I definitely get the most comments on this carrier when walking down the street, as I think it puts off a bit of a crunchy vibe. I’m into it.
Ah the Baby Bjorn. It was the one we didn’t seriously consider (for some reason) and the wildcard favorite. We actually got the Baby Bjorn as a hand me down so our version is several years old. It sat in our basement for months because we assumed that the above carriers would be plenty. Turns out, we were wrong!
The Baby Bjorn has proven to be a supremely easy to use and enjoyable baby carrier. My husband wound up using it the way I often use the Wildbird (since he is less comfortable with the ring sling) – for quick trips and to let the dog out. It’s easy to throw on and put the baby in and is probably on par with the Wildbird in terms of amount of time it takes to get the baby settled in to the carrier.
The major downside to the Baby Bjorn? After the baby hits maybe 12-15lbs, it becomes kind of painful for your back (the version linked above – I know they make a few versions). I do think this one was one of Ben’s favorites and though he always seemed to love forward facing, though I know the Ergobaby 360 is much better for his back while forward facing. He’s now 21lbs. (as of October 2018) and my husband still uses this one to let the dog out while I reach for the Wildbird.
So that’s our experience with babywearing so far. Ben probably spends about two hours a day in a carrier of some sort and having different options has been so helpful. It’s a big part of how I am able to get stuff done.
Now tell me, are you in to babywearing? If so, what is your carrier of choice?