June 30, 2011

Baby 101 Shopping Guide-Carriers and Slings

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It used to be that the Baby Bjorn was a mom's only option for a baby carrier but now there is a whole world of carriers and slings to keep you close to your little one! Every Mom's body is different so we highly recommend going to a baby store to try these on before you purchase anything. Remember, you can always go and try them at the store and then purchase online for the best deal! What works for one Mom might be completely uncomfortable for the next. I, like a lot of Moms, registered for a Baby Bjorn and quickly learned after my daughter was born that it wasn't the best fit for me. It hurt my back and shoulders and my daughter did not like it at all. My eyes were opened to the wide world of baby carriers and slings after I joined a Mom's group and saw all the options that were really out there. Carriers and Slings are great to have as an option when you are going somewhere that is not stroller friendly or if you want to free your hands around the house and still hold your baby. They can also be great for breastfeeding moms at home and in public as they offer a more discreet option when you are out and about.
Here are some of our favorites at the Mom's Shopping Engine!!

Carriers

www.ergobabycarriers.com
Ergo Baby offers 5 different types of carriers and are probably one of the more well known brands next to Baby Bjorn. All of their carriers may be used on infants (with a insert) and toddlers up to 45 pounds and offer the options of having your little one on your back, hip or front facing inward. Some more great options that set the Ergo apart from other carriers include their sleeping hoods which are great for when your little one falls asleep and to keep the sun and wind off of them or for some extra privacy during nursing. Ergo also offers some great accessories including teething pads which velcro on the straps and are easily removed and washed between uses. Their new Performance carriers offer a more breathable fabric and are a 1/3 lighter than all the other models Ergo offers. While their Options model allows you to change the look of your carrier in seconds with multiple changing covers. So you can easily have 1 carrier to fit your style and that of your partner! The easiest way to see the difference between their 5 models is to take a look at this nifty comparison chart that will tell you all you need to know to make a decision on which Ergo is best for you!
In the past we have found that Baby Steals has had the best prices on Ergo carriers so keep your eyes on their daily deals as they tend to go fast!

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A little lesser known, the Pikkolo made by Cat Bird Baby was my carrier of choice during my daughter's first year. The fit just worked better with my body frame than the other carriers I tried. The Pikkolo is very similar to the Ergo carriers but you are also able to carry your baby in the front facing outward as well as inward along with the back and hip carry options. The Pikkolo will work for infants and toddlers up to 40 pounds and also has that convenient sleeping hood like the Ergo does.

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The Beco Butterfly 2 is yet another option for your babycarryng needs. While similar to the Ergo and Pikkolo it does offer a unique construction in that you can pre-load your child into the carrier which is really awesome. This is wonderful for parents who are a little nervous about loading your child into your carrier or for really fussy babies who end up having a melt down by the time you get them loaded and adjusted in their carrier. Offers a weight limit of up to 45 pounds and comes with a removable headreast and includes a infant insert.

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The Infantino line of carriers is our pick for a more budget friendly option for baby carrying moms. I have seen some of the best prices for this brand in Marshalls or TJ Maxx locations so be sure to check there as well as online! Infantino offers a whopping 8 different carrier options to choose from


Wraps and Slings

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Although the Moby Wrap may look confusing I have seen it in action with many Mom friends and they only take a couple of minutes to get the hang of! If a wrap design is more appealing to you then definitely check the Moby out! With no buckles, snaps or fasteners to figure out the Moby can hold a newborn or child up to 35 pounds! There are many different holds/wraps that you can do with the Moby and they provide detailed instructions and videos. Don't forget to check out You Tube as well for videos to help you out!

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The Peanut Shell is an adjustable sling which is for babies weighing anywhere from 8 to 26 pounds. What makes this sling great and better than other slings we see is that you can adjust the length and then hold it in place with a buckle. The sling is probably the simplest of all baby carrying devices but remember it is also less versatile than the other products we have reviewed here. The slings are great for those first few months and a little beyond that so definitely keep that in mind if you go with a sling.

Backpack

baby backkpack
I wanted to include a heavy duty backpack option in this review as well. I am a hiker and I wanted to share my love of the outdoors with my daughter--plus this is a great way to get a really good workout with your child on board! After a lot of shopping and research I decided on the Deuter Kid Comfort III and I have not been disappointed with the purchase. This pack definitely has more bells and whistles than some of the other child carrying backpacks but it was definitely worth it to spend that extra money. This pack offers great support for both me and my daughter. It is adjustable for her and also myself. The sunshade and all the extra storage as proven invaluable when we go out on walks and hikes. There is also a compartment for a water bladder which is great given my 1.5 year old has now learned how to drink out of it as well. There is also a removeable pillow which has been priceless as my daughter usually falls alseep at least once during every outing so I know she is definitely comfortable!

Do you have a favorite sling or carrier? Tell us about it here or on our Facebook page. Don't forget to check out some of our past Baby 101 Shopping Guides here!


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