Much like my foray into Elimination Communication, baby wearing wasn't something I knew I was absolutely going to do before I became a parent. My mom had worn my younger brothers in slings so the concept was not foreign. But until you meet your baby and grow to know their personality, it's difficult to know what will and won't work. After Asher was born, it became clear that he liked to be held and my arms ached from carrying my chunky boy. Babywearing was the answer. Here is a little about our journey to find a carrier that worked for us (and please excuse that most of the photos are bathroom self-portraits).
One week old sleeping in a sling
My mom is an expert baby slinger and tried to show me while she was here after Asher's birth how to use one. Although I tried, I never really felt comfortable with the sling. The positioning never seemed right or the baby would sit too low.
Two months old in a Bjorn
I picked up a conventional Baby Bjorn at a consignment shop. As Asher grew bigger, he wanted to see the world and enjoyed facing outward in a the carrier. The Bjorn doesn't provide a lot of support to baby's hips and made my back and shoulders ache as Asher approached the 15 pound weight limit. We searched for another option.
6 months old in a stretchy wrap
A few months later, my friend Kristin was kind enough to make Asher and I a vibrant red stretchy wrap. You can find instructions for a super easy no-sew wrap here. It took a little bit of practice to learn how to tie the wrap, but once we had it figured out, I really loved carrying Asher this way. The bright color of the wrap and the unusual carrying method garnered Asher and I a bit of attention when we went out and people stopped to ask about the wrap frequently.
7 months old in a stretchy wrap
We were in a store one time and an older woman stopped to talk to us about babywearing. She loved the wrap and insisted on taking a picture of Asher and I with my cell phone camera. "You'll want these pictures some day!" the lady insisted. They came out a little blurry, but she was right.
10 months old at the zoo in the ErgoBaby
Alas, my baby grew and grew and soon was too heavy for the wrap. It was time for something new again and I opted for soft structured ErgoBaby carrier. I kept an eye out for them to pop up on BabySteals.com and lucked out when they were the "Steal of the Day" a couple weeks later.
Napping under the sleep hood on the ErgoBaby
The Ergo is far and away my favorite carrier (and they didn't even pay me to say that!). Though it does not have forward facing out as a carrying option, Asher loved being in the Ergo and often fell asleep riding around. It was the most comfortable carrier for me and could easily be adjusted to fit my husband. I even learned how to nurse while wearing Asher in the front. As Asher grew bigger, I carried him on my back. We even when through a phase where bouncing on an exercise ball with Asher in the Ergo was the most effective way of getting him to sleep at night. I became a pro at getting a sleeping baby off my back and laying in bed without waking him up.
22 months on my back in the Ergo
Even now, at nearly two years old, I still wear my toddler to run errands. Keeping him close keeps him happy and we can quickly be in and out while I still have my hands free. If I were to do it again, I would probably use the stretchy wrap with a newborn and transition to the Ergo. Babywearing is definitely not one-size-fits-all and the kind of carrier that works best may evolve as your child grows. Life sure would be easier for a mama if she had a pouch like a kangaroo, but since we don't, babywearing has been the next best thing!