The early days of my son’s life were spent screaming if I even thought about putting him down for a moment. As long as I had him in my arms, he was happy. But try to go about my business while he was in his fancy new bouncer? Oh, he’d show me what was up.
Like any phase, it was relatively short-lived. After six weeks or so, he realized that he was a human separate from me and could be happy on a play mat or in a bouncer. But that doesn’t mean that the weeks he refused to be put down were easy. I still had to make dinner and play with my daughter and do laundry. I had to live. So to make our lives easier, I wore him around. He was happy, he would sleep, I could get things done. Win for everyone!
I have two different baby wearing devices, so I thought I’d share their pros and cons to help any other new moms in the same boat who are trying to decide which to get! Here we go…
I had the Ergo for my daughter, and we’ve gotten some serious use out of it, especially now that my son has arrived. We’ve used it while hiking, going on walks, grocery shopping and around the house. It’s one tool I’m glad I have in my arsenal.
Pros: Super adjustable, my 6-foot-2-inch husband and my 5-foot-5-inch self can both use the same carrier in several different carrier positions. It’s sturdy, distributes weight evenly and is comfortable to wear. It’s straightforward to put on, although it does take practice. Once I figured out how to properly adjust the straps, I was able to breastfeed on the go like a champ.
Cons: It’s expensive. At over $100, it’s not cheap.
Best for: Serious business like hikes, long walks, grocery store trips, breastfeeding in motion, and when you know you’ll need to wear the baby for a long stretch of time.
I bought the K’tan because I wanted something that would allow me to nurse the baby on the go. Turned out, I much preferred the Ergo for breastfeeding once I figured out how to do it. But the K’tan definitely serves a purpose!
Pros: Because it’s made of a stretchy T-shirt material and doesn’t have heavy-duty straps, the K’tan feels much more casual than the Ergo. It looks complicated to get on at first, but once you figure out how to manage it, it’s super easy to get the baby into. The color options are great; watch out for black if you’re going to have a summer baby. Bonus: It’s less than half the price of the Ergo.
Cons: The K’tan comes in several different sizes. What fits you might not fit anyone else who wants to wear it. Because the material is stretchy and less “utility,” weight distribution isn’t as great, and it dug into my shoulders after a time. Although you’re supposed to be able to breastfeed in it, I unfortunately couldn’t quite get situated to do so.
Best for: Short trips, getting a few things done around the house.
With both baby carriers, there’s a definite learning curve when first using them. It can be awkward to get your baby adjusted correctly, but practice definitely makes perfect. Baby wearing options can be expensive, and your baby may go through spells where he or she prefers one carrier over another. If you only have one carrier, keep trying—babies change their minds quickly! Individual preference matters a ton, too, and what works for me and my babies may not work for you. Borrow carriers from friends before you buy or have a baby-wearing meetup to test a few out!
Did baby wearing save your sanity too? What baby carrier did you love? —Erin