Monday, July 18, 2011

Infant Carriers, Slings, etc.

My baby girl in her Mai Tai carrier.
I've seen all types of baby carriers out there.  I don't mean "car seats", which apparently is also something that is called an infant carrier.  I mean things like slings, wraps, and other carriers.

It kind of stresses me out now when I see babies in those "crotch danglers".  I never even knew what that term meant until I ran across a blog that was talking about them.  It's the ones we see everyday, where the baby is in it, legs hanging straight down, being supported by it's crotch.  I don't know about you, but I don't think that could be very comfortable!  That's when I looked into alternatives.  I don't have a whole lot of "extra" money-- who really has "extra" money?! --so when I found this one on Kijiji, I jumped all over it.  I got it for $15. from a mom I'd sold some baby clothes to in the past.  (Which also makes the saying "don't burn any might need to cross them later on", just that much more true!)

I am going to post a few links here to some different carriers.

This one is from "Cheeky Monkey", and it's called "Lulujo Lightly Padded Ring Sling".  It is intended for babies up to 25 lbs., and the patterns you can choose from are pretty neutral.  They cost $69.99, but they are out of stock until the end of July, 2011.  They really are nice, so it's no wonder they're out!  

These ones are "Maya Wrap Baby Ring Slings".  They cost a bit more at $84.98, but come in 12 different colour-patterns, and are good for babies and toddlers 35 lbs. and up.

This one is much more up my alley.  I have never had much success with the typical ring slings, and I don't know if it's because the ones I bought were too big for me, or what, but this one looks fool proof.  It's from "Hotslings Adjustable Baby Slings", and they are
on sale right now for $49.98.  It's suitable for infants to toddlers 30 lbs. and up.

I've always heard lots of talk about the "Ergo Baby Carrier".  They can be worn on the front, back, or side.  These are good for infants (with infant insert...costs extra), all the way up to 40 lbs. or more.  They cost $199.98, but if you follow that link, it's free shipping WITHIN CANADA ONLY.

Wow.  As I go on here, they're getting more expensive!

I found this one.  It's called a "Beco Baby Carrier, Beco Butterfly II".  Yes, they are very nice to look at.  And the baby's legs are in a good position to be carried around.  It's a little rich for my blood though.  They cost $149.98, and do come in a variety of very nice patterns.  They are good to wear on front or back, and are suitable for babies from 7 lbs. up to 45 lbs.

My older daughter in the mai tai.  2 1/2 yrs. old.
Of course, another big name is the "Moby Wrap".  It's suitable for preemie through 35 lbs., at a cost of $63.00.  They come in a variety of colours, and can be worn five different ways.

These are "Freehand Mai Tai" carriers.  They are priced from $79-$99 and are great for infants and toddlers, newborn to 35 lbs. plus.  As soon as I get a chance to sit down for any length of time, I will be making these, and selling them for a fraction of that price!

And then, there are pouches.  I'm not a fan of these for several reasons.  The most important reason I'm not a fan is because of what I was told in the NICU by the nurses there.  Infants have very little tone in the first few months (which is why they aren't crawling or sitting up on their own that early on), and when they are in something that folds them up, their ribs can crunch down into their bellies, and cut off oxygen.  (Much like an accordion.)  At first they may look okay, and as time goes on, they get less and less oxygen.  IMO, they just aren't a great idea, but since I'm trying to post all of the options, I'm simply stating my opinion while still showing what the pouches are.

Here you can see a "Hotslings Classic Pouch".  It is "suitable" for newborns to toddlers (35lbs+).  They are
on sale right now for $30.

Now there are many many varieties of "good" slings and carriers.  I've seen some homemade slings that are nicer than any for sale online, and I'm sure they didn't cost more than a few dollars to make.  If you're crafty, there are tons of YouTube videos that can give you instructions on making your own.

And just as I was about to nag about "Snugli" carriers being crotch danglers, I see they DO have one kind that is called a "Seated Snugli Soft Carrier" that does in fact carry baby by the bum, rather than the crotch.  A great example of a crotch dangler is shown here.  There are many, but here are links to three... the "Front Snugli", the "Front and Back Snugli", and the one I got in a bunch of clothes I bought on Kijiji, the "Snugli Hug".

So, bottom line.  When you're looking for an infant carrier, make sure it supports their bum and hips, and doesn't put all of their weight on their crotch.  Make sure it allows baby (and/or toddler) to be in the position that is natural to them...froggied legs, open to hang onto momma.  Make sure you get one that lasts a long time, and is made from something that isn't going to rip or tear with normal wear.  Our babies crave our touch, and carrying them against our bodies is the most natural way we can do that.  I'm not against using strollers, but I think that there is a time and a place for that, and most of the time, our babies deserve to be carried on our bodies as nature intended.

Here's a little bit more info on "crotch danglers".

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