Monday, August 27, 2012

Mommy Mondays: Babies, the latest accessory

Based upon the responses to last week's Mommy Mondays, I thought this would be a good time to talk a little bit about baby carriers.

I knew I wanted to use a carrier when Thatbaby was born, but I never knew how dependent we'd be on one!  For the first 6 months of his life, Thatbaby HATED the carseat.  Would scream his head off every time he was in it.  If, by some miracle, he managed to fall asleep in the carseat, he'd wake up the second the car stopped moving.  So we were never able to bring him anywhere in the carseat.
This was equally true with his stroller, which he only started being okay with around 7.5 months.  Before that, the only way to take him anywhere was if he was strapped on to one or both of us.  This was also how we got things done around the house.  And how we went out to eat.  Our carriers are worth their weight in gold.
I registered for a ton of different carriers.  I think I registered for 9 or 10.  Because I had no idea what was the best out there, and figured that if someone wanted to get us a carrier, they would probably be someone who used or knew which was good.
We got 3 carriers as gifts.  And then I saw a great deal for a moby and ending up getting a "his" and "hers" version.  So when Thatbaby arrived, we were already "carrier people."  And we've picked up a couple more along the way, so we now have a total of 6.  Here's a review of the ones we have, with a pro and con list attached.

The Moby
The moby was the first carrier we ever used.  In fact, we used it the very night we came home from the hospital.  Here's Thatboy getting ready to eat dinner our first night at home.  He looks amazing doesn't he?  That's because he slept all of 2-3 hours during the 60 hours we were at the hospital.

Pros:
  • Can be used from birth.
  • Really, really, comfortable.  Like wearing a t-shirt.
  • Inexpensive.
  • You can put it on before leaving the house, so you don't have to worry about tying it on in a parking lot.
  • One size fits all.
Cons:
  • Can get really warm.  I've retired it for the season as of last week.
  • Rumor has it that it's only good for small guys.  Thatbaby is around 20lbs and I haven't had a problem with him being too heavy for it, but maybe I'm just super strong.
  • Not a lot of variety to the carries.
One thing I didn't list is the oft-heard complaint: "It's too difficult to figure out."  And really, when the Moby arrives at your doorstep, the giant piece of fabric can be a little intimidating.  But once you get it, it's really easy to put on, and very convenient since you can pop the baby in and out.  I felt much better about how to put it on after I saw it done in person.  This isn't exactly "in person" but here's a quick little video of me putting on the moby so you can see how it's done.


Catbird-Baby Pikkolo

The Pikkolo was the first carrier we received as a gift.  And it quickly became Thatboy's favorite.  So much so, that we referred to it as "his carrier."


Pros:
  • Can be used from birth.
  • Ergonomic and comfortable as the weight bearing is spread between the shoulders, back, and hips.
  • Can be used for front carries - facing in and facing out, hip carries, and back carries.
  • Has loops for attaching pacifier
  • Sleeping hood!  Which is great if your little one would rather check out the world than sleep.
Cons:
  • If you're sharing this with your partner and he's almost a foot taller than you, it takes a little time to adjust back and forth.
  • Gets warm.  This carrier has been retired for a couple months because it was getting a little sweaty for all parties involved.



    Babyhawk Mei-Tai
    This was another thoughtful gift.  It's the cutest of all our carriers and I honestly squealed when I opened it.  The cuteness factor is why Thatboy refuses to wear it though, he thinks it's too girly.



Pros:
  • Can be used from birth.
  • Super cute (because we all know how important that is)
  • Very easy to put on - Thatboy is jealous of how quickly I can throw this on since it's just a quick tie.
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight - this one doesn't have to be retired no matter how hot out it is.
  • Can do a high-back carry.  I haven't done this yet (I need to practice), but in theory, this is supposed to help Thatbaby see over my shoulders when doing a back carry.
  • Great for nursing!
 Cons:
  • No sleeping hood.  So sometimes I have to drape a blanket over Thatbaby if he's too distracted.
  • Long straps are no fun when it's wet outside since they seem to be a magnet for water on the ground. 

 
Babybelle

This was the last carrier we received as a gift.  Due to the weight requirement, we couldn't use it for a couple of months, but it was perfect for our first trip to Palm Springs in January.  It was a little too warm for the Pikkolo, and this is open enough to stay cool.  At 3 months, it was perfect for Thatbaby.  Now, at 10.5 months, Thatboy discovered last week that it's no longer comfortable for either of them to wear, so it will probably be retired.

Pros:
  • Lightweight - perfect for summer/warm weather. 
Cons:
  • Can't be used from birth.
  • Short lifespan - since at less than a year we're already done with it.
  • It's a "crotch dangler" - see the way Thatbaby is positioned in the carrier?  All his weight is pretty much being held up by his groin area.  Despite the fact that doesn't even sound comfortable, it's also been linked to hip dysplasia and other not-so-fun developmental issues when worn for long periods of time.  This carrier really only got worn for short trips from the car to the restaurant, or around the house while Thatboy vacuumed, so it's not a major concern for us, but since this is a post about carriers, I do think it's really important to mention.  It's much better for the baby to be in a carrier that supports their entire bottom/hip area.
  • Not a lot of variety to the carries. 



Kelty

As much as we love our other carriers, we decided to invest in one especially for hiking since Thatboy and I do love our hiking and camping trips.  After seeing good reviews for the Kelty (and because H had one), we used our registry completion discount to get this.  But it requires the baby to be 7 months old, so we didn't use it for quite some time.



We also got the sun hood, to help protect little head from the sun.

Pros:
  •  Built in backpack - with this, you don't need to carry a diaper bag!  
  • Cool - the baby is kept a little bit away from your body, which keeps him cooler.
  • Sun hood - perfect for protection, while still letting him have a good view.
Cons:
  • Can't be used for the first 7 months.
  • Not as comfortable as some of the other carriers.
  • Not a great place for napping.  (Here's a picture of our sleeping baby, hanging out since there's nothing to keep him in and secure)

Ergo:

The Ergo was an impulse buy.  We were getting ready for a trip to Palm Springs, when the Ergo Performance just happened to show up on BabySteals for 60% off list price.  It was in my cart before I even knew what I was doing.  And I got a little lecture from Thatboy along the lines of "how many carriers does one person need?  But it didn't take him long to change his tune.  This was perfect for our Palm Springs trip - and beyond.  It has all the benefits of the Pikkolo, but in a more lightweight material, with vents, so it doesn't get as hot.  Unfortunately, it does require a special insert to use with a newborn, which the Pikkolo does not, but we got this when Thatbaby was already 6 months old, so we didn't need to worry about that.
Pros:
  • Good for nursing
  •  Lightweight - with vents and cooler material, this is Thatboy's summer carrier.
  • Ergonomic and comfortable as the weight bearing is spread between the shoulders, backs, and hips.
  • Can be used for front carries, hip carries, and back carries.
  • Sleeping hood!  Which is great if your little one would rather check out the world than sleep.

Cons:
  • Can't be used from birth without an "infant insert."
  • If you're sharing this with your partner and he's almost a foot taller than you, it takes a little time to adjust back and forth.

5 comments:

  1. My friend was recently visiting with her 4 month old son. I was holding him while she was pumping and holy heck was he a little inferno! I never thought about holding a baby making you hot, but I was literally a hot mess after 20 minutes!!

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  2. I loved seeing the changes in Thatbaby and how much he has grown!

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  3. This was SUCH an informative post! I'm definitely going to want a carrier when I someday have a baby so this post was great!

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  4. I can't beleive how many carriers you have! Love the variety...
    The Ergo is my absolute favorite. We got the insert so Ellie's been used to it her whole life, and we still use it a ton. We also have a Kelty backpack (but haven't used it yet!) I definitely need to invest in the sun shade.
    I love that cute Babyhawk!

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  5. I need to register for/buy more carriers . . . :). Super helpful!!

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