“What carrier should I buy?”…”what carrier is the best”…”which carrier would you recommend for me”
These and more are all questions I get asked on a daily basis, and while I try my best to answer….the real answer to these questions is “I DON’T KNOW”. Now you are probably thinking to yourself….well isn’t she the babywearing expert? Doesn’t she have all these videos on how to wear all different types of carriers? Shouldn’t she be the 1 person who would know the answer to this question? The truth of the matter is that baby carriers are as individual to the person as the cut of underwear you wear or the shoes you choose to buy. No one type of carrier is going to be universally liked by everyone because everyone is unique with a unique body. Oh sure there are carriers that many people rave about, but there are equally as many people who would tell you how much they dislike that same carrier. While I dont have a magic ball which can tell me which carrier you would like the best, I do love helping other moms find the perfect carrier for them, so please dont hesitate to ask me!
I started out in my babywearing journey, where many people start out….with a Bjorn or what it is lovingly referred to in the babywearing world as a crotch dangler. It was…one of the most uncomfortable things I had ever worn in my life, and I just couldn’t see how being suspended from the crotch could be comfortable or developmentally beneficial to my baby either. I knew there had to be a better solution out there and so my journey into babywearing began. My second babywearing purchase was the NoJo sling made by Dr Sears. It arrived at my door in 3 days and I literally tore open the package like a wild beast and held up my prize to examine it. I was so sure this was going to be it. We were going to love this sling and I was going to be one of the happy babywearing moms that I saw on the package. I then tried to wear it…..what a disaster. It was a padded ring sling (and calling it a ring sling is being generous) and I felt like I was literally wearing a poofy winter coat, my baby was literally swallowed into this thing because of the massively padded rails. The “rings” which were actually rectangle shaped pieces of plastic did not allow for proper adjusting of the sling while on (or any adjusting at all while on to be honest with you) so it had to be done previous to putting it on. It was quite possibly the most uncomfortable thing I have ever worn in my life. I nearly gave up babywearing at this point. I was almost $200 in and not a good carrier to show for it….and I was fairly convinced that there wasnt one out there, or I just wasn’t the babywearing type.
I decided to give it one more go and ordered a Rockin Baby Ring Sling…I was a little skeptical about the purchase and felt like I would look like that “weird hippie girl” when I went out in public with my long tailed, bright flowery ring sling (if you knew me back then…being called a hippie was my worst nightmare), but i decided to give it a go. The difference was night and day. As soon as I put that sling on I was hooked. The addiction escalated from there. I quickly acquired every type of carrier I could get my hands on until I had so many that they were literally EVERYWHERE in my house and had risen to a number that qualifies as ridiculous (HA HA). I joined babywearing groups, babywearing message boards and started my own babywearing meetup group for women in the Chicagoland and northern IL/southern WI area (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SouthernWINorthernILbabywearers/). I started teaching people all that I knew about babywearing, was asked to come and teach babywearing classes for new moms, started my babywearing howto youtube channel and somewhere along the line, I became what I am….a babywearing yoda. Not quite as short though.
Your probably thinking to yourself…well this is all well and good, but I dont want to spend a bajillion dollars on carriers to figure out which one is the best for me…and guess what? Your in luck, because you dont have to. Paxbaby has an amazing service that offers carrier rentals (http://paxbaby.com/zen/the-sling-exchange-c-44.html) that allow you to test out and try all sorts of different carriers and types of carriers. For the very reasonable cost of $9 per carrier you can try out each and every type of carrier for 2 weeks and figure out which carrier is best for you and then make your decision from there. I know it would have made MY life so much easier if I had, had this service available to me when I first started babywearing…it certainly wouldnt have saved me money…and most babywearers will tell you it does become an addiction, but it would have saved me the heartbreak I felt each time a carrier didnt work out for me.