A few weeks ago I didn’t even know that “babywearing” was a phrase. But now that I’ve been hanging out with a newborn for almost three weeks, I know that its not only a phrase, it is also a lifesaver.
Cullen, like many babies, does not like to be put down. He is happiest when snuggled up against my chest like a little bug – much like he used to be when he was still hanging out in utero.
We have a nice little swing for him that he can be tricked into napping in, but usually his swing sessions end in tears.
If I never needed to eat, use the bathroom, feed the dogs, or do anything else in my day, I’d be happy to sit and snuggle him 24 hours a day. But realistically, there are times when I need at least one free hand, ideally two.
Whether I am in the house, working at my counter bar, taking a stroll through the neighborhood, or eating breakfast out in town – Cullen is happy and content when he is strapped to my chest in one of my babywearing devices. My goal is to get him out of the house at least once every single day. I want to expose him to fresh air, new sounds, warm sunshine, and different surroundings. Having a few different carrier options makes this so enjoyable for both of us – our walks are the best part of my days!
So what am I wearing him in? Right now I have two of the well-known babywearing items – the Moby Wrap and the Ergo. There are pros and cons to both, and I use them for different purposes. Here are my thoughts on each…
The Moby Wrap
When I put this on the first time, I thought there was no way I would end up actually using it. It comes as about 15 feet of fabric that you have to twist and tie all around your body. It’s confusing, it’s cumbersome, and it seems totally impractical. I tossed it in a basket and ignored it for a week.
Eventually, after being encouraged by a few other new moms not to give up on it, I watched a few YouTube videos of how to put it on properly and tried it again. MUCH easier than reading the instruction booklet.
Let’s look at the both the good and the bad…
- Great fit for newborns – so snuggly and the lack of structure allows fabric to hug the baby’s body tightly.
- Lightweight – lack of bulk means you can put an outer layer (like a cardigan or puffy vest) on over the wrap for going outside.
- Inexpensive – at $40, this wrap is much cheaper than the Ergo.
- Awkward to put on – even though I know how to do it easily now, the long hanging fabric would make this difficult to put on outside of the house.
- Limited life – while this is perfect for my little nine pound baby, I can’t see me using beyond a few months from now.
I tend to wear the Moby Wrap when I’m in the house working, because it’s more comfortable and less bulky than the Ergo. I’ll also wear it out to breakfast or a coffee shop, but only if I can put it on in the house before we leave. I like that it is lightweight, and Cullen sleeps really well in it because it fits his body so snuggly. Honestly, who wouldn’t love looking down at this all afternoon?
The ERGObaby Carrier
I put Cullen in the Ergo for the first time when he was just three days old. My sister, Rebecca, swears by the Ergo and takes my nephew everywhere in it, so I was hopeful that it would work well for us too. I did not end up getting the infant insert that is sold as an additional piece. Instead Rebecca taught me her trick – I take a baby blanket and roll it up like little log and stuff it into the bottom of the carrier. Then I (carefully) drop Cullen in on top of it, and it forms a little seat for him to sit on with his legs dangling down the sides. Works like a charm, and makes the bulky $40 infant insert totally unnecessary.
- Very easy and quick to put on – a HUGE pro in my book. Can easily be taken out for a shopping trip and put on quickly in a parking lot (unlike the Moby).
- Zip pocket for storage – I usually pack this with my phone, keys, a pacifier, a credit card, and chapstick. It’s so nice to not have to take anything additional with me.
- Long lifespan – the Ergo can be used with newborns as well as babies that are several years old. This thing lasts a long time!
- Very versatile – we’ve only used the front position so far since Cullen still can’t support his own head, but eventually it can be worn on the side and the back as well.
- Expensive – in fact, I think it’s the most expensive baby carrier I’ve seen. With that said, I still think it is worth every penny.
- Bulky – this isn’t as comfortable to sit and work in because the fabric is so much thicker and more padded.
- Heavier – this could also be a pro in the dead of winter, but in the meantime the heavier fabric makes both of us much hotter when we’re out for a walk.
I love the Ergo, and plan to carry Cullen around in it for a long time to come. It is my first choice when going for a walk outdoors, mostly because it’s a bit sturdier and I really like the extra zip pouch. Today I was extra brave and took Cullen AND both dogs for a long walk. Everyone loved it.
My goal is to put my baby down as little as possible, and having wraps and carriers makes that so much easier. I know that there will come a time when he no longer needs to be snuggled up on my chest. Until that day comes, I’m going to keep walking, keep snuggling, and keep babywearing.
As my babywearing adventures continue, I’m considering getting an additional sling. Can anyone recommend a good one, or another favorite carrier/wrap?