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Clueless-I need a guide to back carriers-ergo, connecta?!(24 Posts)
I want a carrier for my now 8 month old, I anticipate mainly using it in the summer and want to carry her on my back, she's currently 11kg so I want one comfortable for a big baby. I had a wrap sling (kari me) for dd1 and didn't get on with it at all, I never had the patience to learn to put it on quickly and found it kept slipping. We've also tried a fixed, rigid type in the past but I like the idea of a less cumbersome material one.
So I've been trying to look at ones with a buckle or that ties on quickly. I am looking at 'mai tei' type, ergo, connecta?! But have just spent a hour on the internet and feel completely clueless. My nearest sling library is inaccessible so this is my only source of support- please give me any advice!
(I'm 5:7 but my husband is 6:5 and he might want to use it as well)
I had a Manduca and used it mostly for front carries when my DS was little, then fit the hang of back carrying.
I found it really comfy and used it until he was about 20 months, he's a bit tall so had to get something bigger!
I think they usually last until over 2 years old, I've carried a nearly 3 year old in mine.
I was really sad to sell it as I loved it so much.
I've not used an Ergo, but is be wary as there are a lot if fakes on the market as it was so popular.
I have tried the connecta, but preferred the more structured waist of the Manduca.
Excuse all the phone typos, hope you can figure that all out!
Hi, We've got a Vaude backpack one which we use all the time. Although it does fall into the more rigid etc camp I found and continue to find that it was less bulky than the others, and I think I tried on most of them. DH also happy to cart her around in it and it has good storage compartment for when out and about - can fit a change and lunch in with ease and room to spare. Also quick and easy to get on, very comfortable to wear and DD loves it. Just a thought. Hope you find something that works for you.
Here's one I found that doesn't slip off https://www.reebaby.in/BabyCarriers.aspx . Have a look, a friend of mine recommended it to me.
I use an Ergo. Really coming into its own now that DS is 2 and loves going on my back. Comfortable for me and him and he goes to sleep so easily in it.
TBH I found that you just had to take the plunge and buy one, until you have something to compare it with it's really tricky. Some sling library's do postal loans so that could be worth looking into.
Ergo's are good, but if your shoulders are not so wide they can end up slipping off (it's said that the Ergo is a good mens carrier because they fit a wider shoulder). A Tula is very similar in shape to an Ergo but fits a more narrow shoulder, the waist and shoulder straps also accommodate a lot larger size. I got on better with the Tula because the shoulder fit was better for me, DH has also used it quite comfortably. I could carry for hours in the Tula with DS on my back or front...the Ergo was comfortable but one shoulder or the other would often slip down.
Connectas are good and the advantage is that they fold up really small, they are also a bit cheaper. They don't have that wide waist band support (which is why they can fold up so small), some people love that and other people feel they need the support of the wide waist band that comes with a Tula/Ergo.
Manducas are good, they have a zip and pouch to fit a baby, you unzip them as your DC gets bigger. I'm not so sure that they are as accommodating for a much taller person (I could be wrong...I have one on loan from a friend for my next DC who is due soon, it just seems a bit smaller that the Tula/Ergo).
Can I throw Tula into the mix?
I love mine. The it's a sling thing website has lots of information about all of them and do postal hires (I think..... She may still be on maternity leave) but there are many other postal libraries.
Try your local NCT branch too?
Connectas are not great for back carries, as it can be difficult to get the baby high enough up. Manduca or ergo better for that. They are good for front though, and cheap.
Have you thought of a ring sling? I love mine, more versatile than my Connecta though not as comfy for long carries.
I have both Connectas and Manducas (twins), though can't speak for Ergo. Connectas are fab for summer, especially if you get the solarweave. My only complaint (and one reason I moved to manduca) was the fact that I couldn't get my back carries very high. It felt like LO was always slipping way down into the pouch until they could barely see out. Having said that, I've done a LOT of tandem carrying my two in two Connectas, and aside from that, I found them absolutely wonderful for both front and back carries they can't be beaten on the easy-breezy factor. I've also heard that petite straps are very helpful for achieving higher back carries, so it could just be a matter of getting something like that.
The manduca is great as well, though I'm finding the bulk around the waist quite cumbersome after the Connectas. I do like how much support it gives, though, and carrying for long times is comfier as you can still cross the straps in back (the comfiest and best for back support, IMO!). I also love that the back panel is extendable--our girls love having their arms out in awake times, but being able to put up the back panel for extra support/cover is great for when they're sleepy or if it's cold outside. It also is good as it allows the carrier to grow with your baby a bit better than something like the ergo, which only has one 'sweet spot' (in terms of fit timing for the back panel) instead of two. Thirdly, I love that the manduca is so adjustable (though the adjustability can also pain if you're constantly changing the settings sharing the carrier between partners as it isn't as comfy if it's not adjusted for your individual needs). I also like that it comes with a nice little built-in infant insert. All in all, I'm a big fan of the Manduca for back carries--very comfy, bears the weight very well on your hips, easy to use, thoughtfully designed, good for a variety of ages due to the adjustability.
Oh, and you can cheaply get a Manduca from the Slings and Things FSOT group on FB or even Ebay (they're not being faked like Ergos are). I bought two nice condition used ones and paid around £65 each all in (similar to Connectas).
I would avoid Manduca, Connecta, Ergo. Not because they aren't good carriers, but because they're suited to smaller babies. They would be fine for an 8 month old but something designed for toddlers would be better, I feel.
Look at Boba - they've just released their 4th generation carrier. Their 2nd generation one was the best on the market when DS was that age. I had a Toddler Patapum which was very good too but it didn't last as long as I hoped, DS was too tall for it by 2.5 and I worried he would fall out. That's bigger than the Ergo.
Look for features like chest clips so you can pull the shoulder straps inwards, also an internal harness can be helpful (but not necessary - just makes it easier to get them onto your back).
Any SSC (soft structured carrier) will feel horrible if it's not adjusted correctly so you'll need to adjust each time. But IME this is still quicker and easier than trying to tie something like a Mei Tai while holding the weight of your child. But that might just be me!
It may be a good idea to check out some slings from a library or from somewhere like itsaslingthing.co.uk that does postal hire. That way, you can try a few and see what really suits you before buying. Bertiebotts is right to flag the baby size issue (I think boba's seat is about 6cm wider, so good for toddlers and big babies), though I would avoid a toddler sling (which Connecta and Tula both make brilliantly) until she is well and truly toddler size as it's not good for your baby to be in a sling that's too wide for her. The general guidelines are to buy a sling that fits your baby now, not something that will fit a few months' time. As most of these slings have excellent resale value (I sold on a connecta for £5 less than I paid for it new), you shouldn't have trouble moving on to something bigger once you need it.
For what it's worth, my girls are 9 months old in the 50th percentile, and the Manducas are just coming into their own now in terms of width, so I imagine it would be quite a while before it was too small. There are guides online to measure your baby and see what size would be best, though, so it may be a good idea to look and see what sort of seat width would best suit her.
Its all down to personal preference I'm afraid so you either need to do postal hire or take the plunge.
Personally I don't like a padded waist so never got on with the Manduca or Ergo but love my Connecta, we've been using since 9 weeks and progressed to back carries around 8 months. She's now 15 months and 21lbs and its still super comfy.
I am however switching to a toddler one because I feel she needs the longer panel as she likes to lean back and I'm a wuss. Sling library folk say she's fine though
I'm looking for a back carrier for a big baby / nearly toddler too. My DS2 is 11 months and 99.6th centile, I have an oh Snap but I need to put DS on my back first then bring the straps over and it terrifies me as he tries to fling himself off!
Are the boba / connecta easy to put on? I'm moving to a third floor flat next week and selling my pushchair so need to buy one...
Ideally I'd have one where I can out him in before putting him on my back, but I don't want a big huge thing for hiking just to pop to sainsburys.
Hope you don't mind the hijack op.
The papatum website says you need a second person to put te baby in fr back carrying
I do like the look of the boba.
Patapum lies. I never had another person to put DS in No other sling says that.
With any soft structured carrier, you can always "scoot" ie put them on with it at your front, then scooch it around, lean right forward to stop them falling off, and then pull the straps around, put arms in, tighten everything up, go.
I thought the oh snap had an internal harness?
The oh snap has straps you fling over and clip at your hips, so you can't put them in it and scoocj easily, and I can't fling the straps while leaning right forward. I am not very agile!
I think I might buy a boba.
Look for a sling library that does postal hire and try a few out. Personally I like Rose & Rebellion.
I spent most of march, april and may with hired carriers to decide which I got on with best. I did postal hire from Slumber-Roo, Slings and Things and Eastbourne Sling Library which were all reliable.
I tried a Boba 4g, Beco Soleil, KiBi and Tula and ended up buying a Tula as it was the onky one that felt totally comfortable. (I also have a Connecta, a Manduca and a Beco Butterfly)
What I would say is they all fit differently on different peoole and what works for one may be dreadfully uncomfortable for another. Dh loves the Manduca, I find its no good for curvy booby me. The Boba was too narrow, the Beco pulled on my shoulders, the Kibi was comfortable but complicated and felt slightly cheap.
Definitly try before you buy.
Oh yes. The Connecta is piss-easy to put on. Even I can do it and i'm a klutz. The Beco Butterfly is an option for novice back-carriers as it has an internal harness meaning you can put baby on front then scoot round to the back with them all secure in it already.
I have an 11-month old son whom I've been wearing since 7weeks. He's 75-91st centile. We recently got a Tula standard and a Connecta Solarweave. I greatly prefer the Tula as it's far more comfortable (padded straps, stiff, thick waist belt) and I find it more supportive and easier to keep him in a nice, high back carry. I mainly have the Connecta Solarweave for hot weather, as it's a thin, uv protective fabric which is better than the Tula's heavy canvas for hot weather.
Oh, and the Tula label says you need a second person to help with back carries, but the manual shows someone doing it alone. I figure they have to officially recommend two people to cover themselves. There are some great YouTube videos showing various methods of getting the baby on safely.
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