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Ive been asking lots of questions here about slings and carriers.. and doing lots and lots of research and i own all four of these types of carriers now..(dont worry jessica, still want to buy the mei tai from you very soon!) and just thought i would share my thoughts on them.
When i had my first DD id never really heard of or seen anyone wearing their baby.. I bought my first sling when she was already walking and didnt get all that much use out of it...BUT fell in love with the idea of wearing my baby!
When i got pregnant i decided that i wanted to have a ring sling as well as my pouch sling for the convenience of nursing in public, and adjust ability it was said to have. So i bought one of them too!
Then my SIL recently had a baby and bought herself a moby wrap... I loved the idea of being able to carry my baby forward facing and the great support it looked like it had for long term carrying, So i made one!
Then after looking online some more.. i thought to myself that the Mei Tai looked SO COOL! and super comfy for the baby! and that i just had to have one of those too! So i made one!
Now i am no expert seamstress.. cant even sew a straight line to tell you the truth! but i am good at improvising! Now for my humble opinion on each one!
Hotsling/Pouch sling -- Mine is a slingling. I LOVE this sling for putting in my diaper bag.. it folds up small! So it is WONDERFUL for quick trips to the store.. carrying Eva up the stairs at my SILs apartment, when i have to be hands free to help my 3 year old up the stairs. I have found, though, that its not the best sling for an infant. For doing much house cleaning in, or for wearing for a long time. It does put a good amount of pressure on your shoulder after a while. I did wear it all day at an aquarium once.. and i did fine, but was wishing for a bit more support. You can nurse in it.. but its more awkward and not very private.
Ring sling- I have a Maya wrap ring sling. i LOVE the padded shoulder.. and i LOVE the way i can adjust it to fit my baby how i want her.. nursing in it is easy and private, sitting down. I still havent mastered walking, hands free, and nursing in it at the same time. Its pretty portable, but the long tail doesnt make it very compact. This sling is great to just pop her in when shes cranky and i need to make my older DD lunch. Ive also used it a lot for house cleaning.. and it works.. but not the best. Ive used it for long walks before..and even with the padded shoulder it gets a bit uncomfy.. She looooves to sleep in it though.. so i think its pretty comfy for her. AND this is a great sling for infants.
Wraps - this one is home made.. I love that she can face out! i love that it is comfortable for me to wear.. But its a lot of material! and gets hot.. and i cant imagine wearing it in the summer. She likes being in it.. But i can see how as she gets heavier it will be more difficult to keep her tied in the rigt spot.. I wouldnt use it to go anywhere unless i put it on before i left.. Ive used it for house cleaning.. and its nice.. i really like it.. she enjoys facing out while i vacum or sweep. Great for infants! great for nursing in! (even in public) and has a HUGE variety of positions to carry in. NOT very mobile.
Mei Tai- this one is also home made- And has quickly become my favorite. I really feel that if you are only going to buy one sling/carrier, THIS is the one to invest in. It is the most comfortable for me AND my baby. It can be used from infancy up. You can nurse in it.. and just throw a receiving blanket over the babies head if you really want a bit more privacy. Its quicker to tie on than the wraps are. Its more comfortable than a sling. Not quite as easy to shove into a diaper bag as a hotsling is, but easier than a wrap would be. There are not as many positions available in this carrier.. But i feel that it offers the one that brings you the closest to your baby. Eva rests her head on my chest while i am cleaning or walking. And it is easier to use the back carry than any of the affor mentioned slings/carriers. Most Mei Tais you cant use a forward facing position in very well. So if that position is imprtant to you then consider that. BUT i plan on purchasing an actual Mei Tai from Zing Slings & More!... This particular maker contours the sides of her Mei Tais, making the forward facing position possible, and as Eva loves facing out, this is an important position for me. I plan on buying one even though i have made one, because i dont feel like mine is structurally sound to use into Evas toddler years, like a real mei tai could be.
So there you go!!!! Em's humble opinion! Any thoughts?? which carrier is your favorite??
~Em, Married to Matt since 7/3/04. Mommy to Layla 3/29/06, Eva 10/18/08, Zeke 2/4/11 and Jonah 7/28/13
If I could have 2 carriers, I would choose a wrap and Mei Tai. I haven't gotten a ton of use out of my ring sling, but I think it will be nice for hip carries when she is older. I agree with your pros and cons of mei tais and wraps. A wrap is hard to put on in public, so you have to put it on beforehand. It is very versatile though, you can carry them so many different ways. The mei tai is much easier to put on, but doesn't have as many options for ways to carry your baby. I can really easily nurse in the mei tai though, just by lowering her down, which I love!
Andrea, mom to Abigail (6) Annabelle (4) and Alexis (1)
Thank you for your post. I'm getting ready to buy a carrier. After all of the research and from the posts on here I am going to go with a Mei Tai. That one just seems to fit my needs better where I have an older infant and I would like to be able to carry her when she is a toddler as well. The only thing I don't like about the Mei Tai (as you had mentioned) is that you can't carry facing out.
My LO loves to be facing out. It will be nice when she gets older and heavier and I carry her on my back in comfort.
My first sling was a pouch (Karma Baby). I love the idea that you could just slip it on and not worry about buckles or ties or rings, etc. But I couldn't get a good fit! The XS was too small and the Small was too big. So I made my own to get the perfect fit. I dont' care for the pouch in the newborn phase, it just seems like such a pain to get them in there just right. However once I could use the hip carry it was my Favorite sling to use for quick trips to the store.
Ring Sling - I Love this for newborns, very easy to position and my favorite sling to nurse in because I can position baby right at the breast, and use the tail for a coverup. The only downside to this is I have very bony shoulders, so once my kids hit around 20 lbs it got uncomfy for me to wear the RS (or pouch) for very long.
Wrap - I just discovered the love of wraps with my youngest child. I have a cotton gauze wrap and a knit wrap. I LOVED this during Gavin's preemie days. It was quite amuzing too to walk through the store with my lil 6 lb bundle tucked into the wrap and people asking me "when are you due?" lol. I rarely use the wrap now though, it's just so much fabric to tote around and put on.
Mei Tai - My ultimate favorite. This is the only carrier I will do a back carrier with. I know the others are safe for a back carry, but I always feel like I have to lean forward with the others. I can't just walk around normally without worrying about baby behind me. But with the MT i don't worry at all. I am very comfortable and confident with baby on my back. I love that the straps go over both shoulders, and don't restrict your arms at all. I also find the MT very easy to nurse in. The only downside to them was the inability to do the front carry - but I fixed that a couple months ago with my new design lol.
I was also able to wear the MT very comfortably while pregnant. I'd wear my daughter on my back and could tie the straps to where there was no pressure on my belly or breasts.
Mom of 2 girls and 6 boys
& never forgetting our angel Tristan ~ lost 2/6/03 @ 20 weeks