Monday, June 30, 2008

Baby Carriers

Before we traveled to China our plan was to carry Grace around with us everywhere we went to facilitate attachment. We found out pretty quickly that it is just about impossible to carry an 18 pound baby everywhere with us. After our second day with Grace our arms were about ready to fall off so we went out and bought a stroller. Although we didn't want to throw the whole attachment parenting thing out the window, luckily Jen's brother let us borrow their baby Bjorn. We carried Grace around quite a bit in the Baby Bjorn while in China. We started out carrying her facing us but soon realized that she was just a little too big for this so we tried facing out which seems to work out OK. But since the max weight on the carrier is 25 pounds we realized that this would not be a good long term solution for us as Grace was approaching 20 pounds. We had a couple instances where the snaps came undone while she was in it and after wearing her in it for a while we would have really sore backs so we decided when we got home to try a different type of carrier.

Jen did a little research when we got home and decided to try out the Hip Hammock. The key features that drew us to the Hip Hammock was that it is a front (really side) facing carrier, you can carry a baby up to 35 pounds in it and it is pretty cheap. Well, I guess you get what you pay for because we really aren't that happy with the Hip Hammock. First of all the thing smells. At first we thought it was moldy or something but I think it is the material that it is made of that has this really bad chemical smell to it. Washing it wouldn't even get rid of the smell. Mostly though our issue is that it is pretty uncomfortable. Jen finds that her leg falls to sleep when she wears it for too long. The material that the straps are made of is pretty harsh and there is not much padding so it gets pretty uncomfortable. It is also pretty difficult to get Grace into it with only one person and adjusting it to switch back and forth between Jen and me is a real pain. We also didn't feel that Grace was real secure in it, almost like she may fall out so we soon realized that the Hip Hammock was not going to work for us.

So Jen went back to google to do some research and we think we have found our Gracie Carrier. The Ergo is reviewed pretty well, people have created their own websites about how much they love it. The only issue is the Ergo is pretty expensive. Some of the things we like about the carrier:

  • It is easy to put on alone. One of the issues with the other carriers is they were very difficult to get the baby in and put on if do not have a second person around. This does not seem to be an issue with the Ergo

  • Grace appears comfortable and safe. As Grace is not a tiny baby we really needed something that we felt Grace was safe and comfortable in

  • Jen is comfortable wearing it. It has really thick padding that doesn't dig into your shoulders like the Hip Hammock.

  • It holds up to 40 pounds. The website says they tested it up to 90 pounds but I can't imagine Grace will want to be carried around into her teen years.

  • You can wear it in 3 different positions: front, back and side.

  • It has a little sleep hood to cover the baby's head from sun or rain.

  • It has a couple little zippered storage pouches

  • It comes with an instructional DVD.

My favorite thing about the Ergo is that they must have had some male input on the design. With the other carriers Grace's feet would be positioned right in front of my groin. So one strategically placed kick and she would (and has) brought me to my knees. They really need to include a cup for dad with some of these carriers. With the Ergo, Grace's feet are lower and by my sides so no more worries about getting kicked. That alone is worth the price for me.


Anonymous said...

Love the Ergo...totally worth every $$$ I paid...still carrying my Natalie around in it 7 months later...and she is over 23 pounds...Congrats Grace is so sweet.
CTG from RQ

Anonymous said...

Steve...You are better than Consumer Reports!! We can let Jen borrow the Wii if she wants to work on her arm muscle strength!!


Blue Heron Farm said...

Congratulations and welcome baby Grace! I'm Tammy's friend in VT (orginally the other girl for the HP)(I met you years ago at Regis)who just had a baby- well she's 6 month old, Sadie and we do attachment parenting. It is alot of work but we have already seen the benefits of it. Sadie is very outgoing and giggly. We've been following your blog for a little while and when I saw you with the bjorn I thought to myself I need to tell her about the ergo. I am very glad you posted this. We LOVE our ERGO - both adam and I wear it - Sadie is 18 lbs and I just started playing around with the backpack version - she likes being upfront still. We have the chocolate organic version and we also have the back pack and the suck guards because Grace, like Sadie, will start eating those shoulder straps :) Sadie loves munching on them. We love how it is truly made with mom and dad in mind. Their website is great and you will like this connection - they are made in China and the company has started a school there and treats their employees fairly - more info on that on their website. I have also used and still use a kangaroo corner pouch, Maya ring sling and what I really like is the Moby wrap - the moby wrap looks confusing at first but, once you have it on, I can be working in the fields, and all of her weight is distributed and I I do not get a sore neck or shoulder. The ergo also washes nicely, we have a frontloader and I put it on small load and slow spin and then hung it on the line to dry. You will love the ergo! It is funny when I go hiking with my other mumma friends and we all have our ergos on...quite the picture. Well I have rambled on long enough - You two look very happy and Grace is beautiful she is a very lucky girl to have such wonderful caring parents. - Christine Bourque, Adam Farris and Sadie:)

Sampsons said...

Hey! I have been following your trip since you posted the site on RQ, and have just gone through this exact search myself. We are travelling for our 2.5 year old in the fall. I loved the bjorn for my biobabes when they were small, but knew it would be too small for a toddler. I found a H.H. half price on kijiji, but didn't like it when I tried it with the 2.5 year old we have at home. I have been convinced to find and buy an Ergo -I've found a local dealer and am just trying to set up a time to meet her. I'm glad you liked it as well! N

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so happy that you posted this! Just the other night I was at Target and was about to text you and Kris asking how you like your Bjorn's(sp?) because the carrier I have for Mia doesn't feel that secure nor comfortable. I started looking at different carriers and thinking that they won't last us too long since Mia is nearing twenty pounds. Most only go up to around 25 pounds. I've tried one of those slings and put her on my hip and that doesn't work that effectively so I end up carrying her around on my hip all the time. I think my left bicep is way stronger than my right now! Ya wanna arm wrestle? LOL Well, very cool, thank you for all the info. I'm going to go check them out right now!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I agree....we used the Bjorn with our little one and hated it...I have been looking for something else to take to China.

Sounds like you did your homework....keep us posted...I will want to purchase something new before we go to China!

Anonymous said...

Ditto. Hate the Bjorn, Hip Hammock and any other crap carrier that is on the market. The Ergo is truly the only one my shoulders/back can handle. Great review.

Alyson & Ford said...

We will take your advice - the Ergo is it (the kicking part sold Ford!)! Thanks!!

Alyson LID 01/27/06