babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers)

If you were to see me in real life - at church or running errands or at the park - this is what you would probably see:

A curly-haired woman with green-hazel-blue-gray-always-changing-colors eyes - holding a preschooler's hand and carrying a toddler on her hip or in a carrier. Smiling at you (I smile a lot).

babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 1I'm a big fan of babywearing or babycarrying or whatever you want to call it. Aside from all of the research-proven benefits, I like the closeness and security that baby carriers provide. I like the way my baby feels comforted and calm in my arms (People always say, "She's such a happy baby!" and "Does she ever cry?" and things like that). I like the way that she is right at my eye level so that we can look at each other (and she can look at the world around her too). I like being able to grocery shop and cook and fold laundry, with her observing and content.

To date, here are the carriers I have tried or owned:

babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 2 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 3 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 4 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 5 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 6 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 7 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 8 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 9 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 10 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 11 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 12babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 13 babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers) 14

My absolute favorite, hands-down, no-question is the ERGO. It's comfortable, soft, supportive, and has an awesome sun/sleep hood that I use frequently. It also has a pocket that allows me to slip in my debit card or a little cash if I'm out and about. I've hiked with my 16-month-old baby for 6+ miles in it (with no back or hip pain).

When my baby was itty bitty, I loved the BabyHawk (and it's so pretty too!) and the Kelty FC 3.0 is totally awesome for serious family hikers (3+ miles).

My 2 least favorite ones would have to be (in order): Maya Wrap Adjustable Pouch (the company no longer sells them - for good reason!) and the Evenflo Snugli (not comfy).

Surprisingly, I've never used a ring sling...but I have my eye on Sakura Bloom for baby #3 (when that time eventually comes).

Do you wear your baby? Which carriers have you tried (and which one is your favorite)? Do you have any questions for me about the baby carriers I have listed?

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57 comments on “babywearing basics (plus, my favorite/least favorite carriers)”

  1. Moby Wrap. Moby Wrap. Moby Wrap.
    Although to be fair, I haven't tried the Ergo. It's the other one I hear lots of good things about. In all frankness, the reason i still haven't tried it is I don't like the way it looks :P The Moby is more feminine and simple and you can easily dress it up if you want to, and the back support is fantastic.

    I've tried Baby Bjorn (like), Baby Hawk (gave me BAD, BAD lower back pain attack), the BB Sling (a ring sling - dislike), the BB Wrap (nowhere near as nice as the Moby Wrap), and the Eden MeiTai (waaaay nicer than the Baby Hawk because it has a bit of give).

    Moby is great for all ages, all carries, all the time. I do really love my Eden, too, though, especially for BRAND new (it is very cozy and you don't have to disturb the sleeper while trying to get her in the sling) and for back carry with a 15mo. + child.

    I've only just discovered you (through the vax post), but I really really like you! I smile at people a lot too :) Your "this is what i look like" picture made me laugh because I look EXACTLY the same, minus the curly hair :)

  2. The youngest I carried was 19 months. So I can't tell from a newborn stage, but right now even at 3 1/2 my favorite is the Boba. It beats the Ergo for me. I also love my ring sling (snuggybaby) and I have a MetroMamma wrap and a Baby K'Tan waiting for a little newborn baby to be worn in.

  3. We loved something called the "Ultimate Baby Wrap" when our little one was truly very little (birth 'til about 2 months). It's pretty much the same as the Moby Wrap, I think (though I never tried the Moby directly - it just appears the same).

    BUT since then, we've been using one called the Weego carrier, and it's really fantastic! I've worn my nephew in the Ergo before, and I think I like the Weego even better. It's made by a German company, and it's really quite different from all the other carriers I've seen. It's like an Ergo in that it's basically a cloth back/front pack for the baby. But it is quite different in a number of design elements. There's fabric between you and the baby, so it's not quite as hot and sweaty as the Ergo. There's a bum harness part for the baby and an outer bag-like layer of fabric that you can zip all the way up or just partway - depending on if the baby is warm or cold or needing the extra support or not.

    We chose it because you can put really small babies on your back safely and really have your hands free to do other things. The bag-like layer cinches in just above the baby's neck to hold the head in place properly. Our baby takes a lot of his naps in it while we're out walking around and doing errands - he sleeps better in the Weego than he does in most other places. And we often get asked about the carrier, since it really is a bit unusual. Check it out!

  4. Sakura Bloom=amazing! She had a huge blowout at the end of last year and I got a silk sling for half off. I got a tip off to the sale by following her on Twitter.

  5. I loved reading this post AND the comments left by your readers. I got the Baby K'Tan, Bjorn, and borrowed a Mei Tei from a friend for baby #1. Now that #2 is due in a month, I'm hunting down another one. Looks like I will have to start looking into an Ergo. I loved wearing #1 and can't wait to wear #2!

  6. I LOVE wearing my lil' guy! I mainly use our ergo and loveydud (an etsy version of the moby wrap). I also have a ring sling I want to start just somehow hasn't made it into rotation yet. :)

  7. I'm with you, the Ergo wins hands down! Or should I say, hands free? :) I seriously loved my Sakura Bloom sling for the first 3 months too! And if your baby doesn't weigh 15 pounds by then you could probably use it longer! ;)
    Now I'm curious about one of those frame packs. They would be so much nicer for hiking to get the hot child off your back!

  8. My husband use BabyBjorn and I use a wrap sling I found from a great site on etsy (below) I have a non stretchy one and would like to try the stretchy. I have heard great things about ergo and would like to try one or something that would be great for hiking...we do a lot of hiking and need something different now that she is getting bigger.

  9. Wow, you have quite the stash! I had a baby carrier business (before #3 was born and I wasn't 'bored' anymore) and I loved my pouch slings and mei tai's! I've added an ergo to my permanent collection. I never fell in love with a ring sling or wrap. I enjoy using my top three for different reasons. The pouch sling is just so easy during the newborn phase and for airplane travel with a baby less than 6 months old! I prefer the mei tai for front carries and the ergo for back carries. Of course now that my "baby" is 2, I pretty much use the Ergo exclusively if he needs some cuddle time. I even recently wore my 3.5 year old when we were having a tough time. I was amazed at how that bond was quickly healed!

    a fellow AZ mom!

  10. I bought a second-hand Ergo based on your recommendation (I was a ring-sling user) and MAN! I can't imagine using anything different. Joseph is nearly 2 now and he still loves it. Not too many carriers let me carry a 25 pound boy comfortably. Thanks again for sharing about this.

  11. I can't wait to wear this boy. You have tried so many carriers! And I agree, the Ergo is the most recommendable. I have an Angelpack LX that is very similar to an Ergo and I used it every day for a good 8 months or so with Alice!

  12. I agree with you on the Ergo, definitely one of the best. The Sakura Bloom is the best ring sling, so much more comfortable than the maya wrap.

    I loved my baby hawk once it was on but it always seemed easier to just get the Ergo.

    You are definitely a go to person for carrier questions!

  13. We have 2 Ergos, a mei tai, a moby wrap, a beco obi, and some slings which get no use. I loved the moby wrap during the bitty baby stage. starting around 4 months I love the ergo! This weekend I wore the baby on front and the toddler on back both in ergos!

  14. I wrote about the various carriers I've tried way back when, but Elizabeth hardly ever lets me put her in a carrier anymore. She vastly prefers her stroller, although mostly she prefers to push it rather than being pushed.

    I actually passed my ring sling on to another mom a few months ago because we just weren't using it. I find a combo of my amauti (pic of the amauti in use) or just a basic wrap work the best at the moment. Theoretically I'm told that kids are supposed to grow out of the wrap at around 20lbs or so but Elizabeth hasn't exactly hit that weight yet. If she's feeling snuggly putting her (and teddy) into the wrap can work for 15 minutes or so, but she'll soon be demanding to go "down".

    Probably the wrap is my favourite because it's so comfortable. Nothing fancy; just a long piece of fabric from the fabric store!

  15. I love my Ergo too! Just a note when carrying infants in the Ergo, there are two inserts for infants. I have the Heart2Heart one and found it easy to use. I also have a ring sling, but its just not for me. I also have a carrier similar to the Moby Wrap. I like the Moby when baby wants to look out at the world. I'd love to try the Pikkolo carrier. It's a structured carrier and baby can look BOTH in or out.

  16. I tried the bjorn and the snugli, but neither of my kids were big fans of babywearing. I tried it here and there, and they fussed and wanted to get out within a couple minutes. If we ever have a third I'd be happy to try it again, but I'm not buying anything because of my track record...

  17. With my one month old I am constantly wearing the babyhawk. Love it. Only issue is that it is HOT. I tried to wear my ergo with the infant insert but found it really uncomfortable and plan to use the ergo when she is bigger.

  18. I have been wanting the ergo carrier since baby #1 was little. Now with #2 due next month I really want one! I think my co-workers are scheming up to purchase one for me! I can't wait to use it based on everything you have said it sounds awesome!! We love to hike so I hope this allows us to continue that as a family!

    1. The ERGO is excellent for hiking! I'm going to bring mine up to the mountains this weekend. We're camping overnight for the 1st time w/ both girls in tow. Can't wait.

  19. I'm jealous of all your carriers. I'm kind of a minimalist and have only owned 3 carriers: a sleepy wrap we used exclusively for the first 8 months and LOVED! Then we got a Patapum which I love once baby reaches the up-down-up-down-up phase. I also made a simple adjustable sling which is nice for short carries and looks nicer than my patapum -- I often take it to weddings or out to dinner, etc.

    I've tried a mei tai and liked it, but it hurt my shoulders and I wasn't comfortable with her sleeping in it on my back.

  20. I had a snuggli and didn't like it, I ended up buying fabric and making my own moby/sleepy style wrap in a fun pattern. I like that a lot, unfortunately now my son is 35 pounds and i am pregnant so babywearing is out of the question for me right now. Looking forward to wearing #2 in my homemade wrap and maybe buying an Ergo.

  21. I smile whenever I see you with the Ergo. Or whenever you talk about it.
    Can't wait to use it with our little one again. Maybe in a month???

  22. My very favorite is a ring sling for newborns (I do love Sakura Bloom!) and then around 3 months or so, mei tai all the way!! I have a really old freehand and a Baby So Smart one that I LOVE. I liked the Ergo for a while- but as Ivy got bigger I only use the mei tai now- for front and mostly back carries.

    I never really liked pouches that much, and prefer woven wraps over stretchy wraps.


  23. I love the Baby K'Tan! It is so wonderful. I haven't tried many others because of cost but this has been a wonderful way to wear my baby.

  24. As a grandma I have used the Maya Ring Sling (padded) and the Ergo. Ergo wins hands down, but I do wish I'd picked out something other than the Hawaiian print. The new Ergos are so nice I almost wish there was another baby in the family just so I could use them.

  25. LONG LIVE ERGO! Seriously. Best carrier EVER.

    For baby numero tres (just planning, not official) I really want a stretchy wrap like Moby or Sleepy Wrap for the newborn days.

    I also had a Mei Tai Baby adjustable bottom mei tai that I loved when AJ was a newborn. The bottom cinched together which made wearing a newborn easier.

    I could talk about babywearing every day. Thanks for the rundown, Steph!

  26. I discovered the Ergo with Zac, and am so bummed that I didn't have it when Lilly was little. I had some sort of carrier with Lilly, but it was very uncomfortable and she hated it, so I gave up on it quickly.
    Zac is 19 months and still loves the Ergo, which makes me SO happy!

  27. I love the Beco and got it instead of the Ergo for many reasons. 1) it comes with the infant insert which is easier to use than the Ergo 2) baby is secure in the carrier so you can pass it on to another person without having to get baby out or baby falling out. 3) the shade hood is detachable 4)it's less bulky than the Ergo. 5) love the patterns!

  28. We love love love our Ergo (which we bought on your advice). We also used (and liked) a ring sling and a mei tai when he was little. I want to try a Moby Wrap the next time around.

  29. The Moby wrap is my hands-down favorite for young babies. I have/have had the Ergo, Native pouch, ring sling, Babyhawk, & Bjorn.

  30. I love the Ergo too, when baby are small I love a ring sling or a wrap I don't like pouch sling cause I feel I can't position baby safely and comfortably!

  31. I don't have a baby, but when/if I am blessed with one I am planning on getting an Ergo. I have only heard great things about them!

  32. My baby practically lived in a ring sling on me for his first year of life. We both loved it, and it just seemed to hold him in a position that was natural and comfortable for both of us. I walked MILES with him each day in this sling and also did laundry, cooking, cleaning, work on the computer, shopping, etc. He's two and a half now and likes to be on the move, but occasionally I still use the sling if he needs a little extra comfort/snuggling/closeness to fall asleep or whatever. I love my ring sling and never saw the need for another carrier, although I do have a Bjorn and backpack as well that my husband liked to use.

  33. My #1 favorite babywearing device of all time is my Ergo. I didn't realize just how amazing it was till I wore my LilaBaby soft structured carrier for a while. My Ergo is 100x more comfortable and much easier to put on.

    I have a Comfy Joey ringsling that I love a lot too. When baby #2 is a reality I;m thinking I'll have to get one of the beautiful Sakura Bloom or Sleepy Baby Production ringslings.

  34. I went through phases with my sling. I had a Maya Wrap Ring Sling. I did not have the money to try different ones. I loved the sling the older the kids got it was easier to carry them. I also remember putting Lily in the Maya Wrap, then putting on my big puffy winter coat, zipping up the coat and walking around the block in snowstorms that winter! I would even nurse her in the wrap, under my coat while walking!

  35. Wow lady! You've tried a lot of carriers!
    I've pretty much used the same carrier through all my kids so far - my own homemade Mei Tei. My kids have liked it & so have I. I have considered the idea of an ergo or beco, when they get a little bigger, because I think the support may be a little bit stronger than what I made. But, then, so far, the kids have been uninterested in being "worn". Maybe they would still, if I had a different carrier? I don't know!
    I have never tried any slings & they sort of make me nervous. But, I swoon over the Serena Lily sling every time the darn catalog comes in the mail!

  36. I wore #1 a little, #2 quite a bit more, and plan on wearing #3 a lot! With a 3 & 2 year old, he'll need the protection :) I've been looking at the Ergo and the Moby wrap to add to my pouch sling. Glad to know that you like the Ergo!!

  37. My favorite when Levi was tiny was my Moby wrap. I recently won a sleepy wrap which is very similar and will be my backup newborn carrier. My least favorites for tiny ones were my chicco front infant carrier (oh the back pain) and my peanut shell(although, I did grow to love this one as he got older and could be carried on my hip). As Levi grew larger I bought a mei tai from a shop on etsy and loved it. I also got a bundleboo wrap carrier which was wonderful. It's woven instead of stretchy, so it carries more weight. The only ring slings I tried were ones that I made. They were ok but not my fave. With this one, we plan to buy an Ergo. And, I'd love a Sakura Bloom ring sling....but that might have to wait for baby #3.

  38. I "wore" my son in a ring sling and thought it was the best thing ever. My sling came from a seller I tracked down at the local farmer's market.

  39. There are only a couple of new things that I really want for baby #4 and the BabyHawk is one of them. I don't like slings cause I feel like the baby could be suffocating and you still have to use one arm to hold the baby if you bend or anything like that. I like carriers (babybjorn type) but they don't seem as soft, but I definitely like the support. I don't have one...yet, but the babyhawk seems to encompass the softness of s sling and the support of a traditional carrier. I don't hike or anything major, but with having three other kids, I am definitely going to have to hand my hands free! :) Let's hope my husband is in agreement.

    1. My sister-in-law Danielle is borrowing my BabyHawk Mei Tai right now. Did you happen to see her at church? She was wearing her 1.5-month-old in it. :)

  40. I'm a big big babywearer (and toddler)

    I have and love several carriers. My favorite is my Beco, with the Ergo running a close second. I also love my wraps, but they work best in the itty bitty stage for me.

    I've never tried a ring sling either, but they do look great and I always hear rave reviews.

    I would definitely recommend a gauze wrap though, if you don't have one. It is wonderful (especially in hot summer) for the smaller/lighter baby stage.

    1. How interesting that you rated the Beco higher than the Ergo! Now I want to try it! What sets the two apart? ;)

      Also - what gauze wrap do you have? That option sounds appealing...especially since the summers are super hot here in Arizona.

  41. I actually won a mei tei on your site just after Lucy was born and I LOVE it! Previously I've owned a Bjorn which is ho-hum and I bought a Peanut Shell on extreme discount and have never been able to wear it comfortably.

    Now that Lucy is getting old and moving around so much I often forget to put her in the Mei Tei. Thanks for the reminder! She gets so calm and cuddley once she's in.

  42. i wear my baby (11 weeks) and "wore" my other two when they were small (they are now 6 and almost 4). i have used the ergo, a sling by hotslings, babyhawk (which i really wanted to use, but couldn't make it work. there seemed to be so much to tie), and a baby bjorn. my favorite is the ergo. it's also the one i use the most right now. i also still use my sling. oh, and we also carry/carried our kids in our arms whenever they wanted/needed to be held... after all, they won't always want to be carried or "worn" around. i'll take advantage of it while i can : )

  43. Loved my mei tei (like a baby hawk) when Tessa was tiny - mostly because it was her favorite. I used the Bjorn for Sabrina which killed my back but she loved. So basically I guess I let my children pick the carriers.

  44. This is a big help. I would like to invest in a good carrier for baby 7. I haven't been thrilled with those I have used, so I have not used them much. I think it will be a necessity for me this time around. Thanks!

  45. This is so helpful. I love babywearing and can't imagine our life any other way. It is a little difficult for our parents to understand why our daughter doesnt like to ride in the stroller when she visits but I think they are catching on. ; )
    So far we have used a ring sling but our girl is getting heavier so I began to look for something more supportive.
    I took your advice and researched the Ergo. It seemed like a great fit for us too so I asked for it for my birthday. I can't wait to try it out this weekend! I'll have to let you know what I think but I'm sure we will love it. I think I saw an affiliate section on the Ergo site. Not sure what it entails but it may be something to look into, after all I bought one via your advice!

    1. You're going to love the ERGO! I look forward to hearing your "official" review. :)

      RE: the affiliate program. My links actually are affiliate links so if you happened to purchase through a link on my sidebar or in one of my posts, I may have gotten a tiny percentage. Thanks so much either way.

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