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Curious - why don't more people use baby carriers?

(299 Posts)
togarama Thu 14-Oct-10 14:00:40

I'm increasingly curious about this and just wondered if others on MN could shed some light on their choice of buggy Vs carrier (or both).

I don't know many other parents IRL and those I do come into contact with are often so obviously negative about baby carriers that I don't think I would gain anything other than a sore ear from asking them....

We've always used slings, wraps and other carriers with 20 month old DD because they're comfortable (for us and baby), convenient (especially since they leave your hands free) and fit our lifestyle. We walk a lot, like to be spontaneous and don't want to have to think about buggy access / stair problems every time we leave the house. I also travel a lot by train and tube and can't even begin to imagine the hassle of trying to cart a pram or buggy around the public transport system.

However, I'm always very conscious when with other parents (e.g. dropping DD at nursery and being stared at...) that we're very much in a minority and I don't really understand why. Carriers just seem to have so many advantages and appear much more logical for commuting and city living. But buggies are somehow still the choice of the majority.

Why is this?

TethHearseEnd Thu 14-Oct-10 14:02:27

Buggies can carry the shopping grin

belindarose Thu 14-Oct-10 14:03:03

Loads of people use carriers here. I haven't really thought why! Although thinking about it, I don't see many older babies in them - mine is 14 mo and probably the oldest I've seen.

KnitterNotTwitter Thu 14-Oct-10 14:04:15

I agree it's weird that more people don't use them. I think it's just that when people are pregnant they assume they need to buy a buggy and then because everyone else is using the buggy you do to and you never question your decision to check if it is actually sensible.

I loved my slings and will be using them even more with any future babies :-)

SconesForTea Thu 14-Oct-10 14:06:42

I haven't found one yet that doesn't hurt my neck or back. We've tried three so far. DD is 8m and 20lb. Suggestions welcome!

togarama Thu 14-Oct-10 14:06:55


I guess that we've always done any heavy shopping by internet delivery both before and after DD was born so I wouldn't really think about this.

thisisyesterday Thu 14-Oct-10 14:07:02

also most nursery shops don't have any/many.

mothercare for example sells baby bjon style ones, and maybe the baba sling... but not a BIG range

i think if you didn't really use the internet you wouldn't be that aware of their existence

i know a lot of people who use baby bjorn type carriers and then find out they're really uncomfy as baby gets a bit bigger so stop using them. they then assume ALL carriers will be uncomfortable

belgo Thu 14-Oct-10 14:07:14

I have a couple of friends who are very much against babywearing (to use the rather poncy, modern term!).

One friend was convinced that her baby was just to heavy to be carried - he was just under nine pounds at birth - I think she tried a baby carrier, found it uncomfortable and assumed that all baby carriers are uncomfortable, so never bothered again.

You do have to try them out first to find one that suits you.

Another friend said to me that she had carried the baby in her tummy for nine months, why should she have to carry the baby any more? That made me a bit sad.

I love carry my babies/toddlers in slings, and I'm a bit sad now that ds is now two years old and seems to dislike being carried - the pushchair is such a hassle!

togarama Thu 14-Oct-10 14:07:49

SconesForTea: which ones have you tried already?

belgo Thu 14-Oct-10 14:08:01

Sconesfortea - have you tried carrying her on your back?

shufflebum Thu 14-Oct-10 14:08:03

I used slings and carriers in the early days but DS was 91st centile for height and length and just got too big to carry like that even on my back. At 18 months he looks huge in his buggy too!

ColdComfortFarm Thu 14-Oct-10 14:09:01

In theory I think they are wonderful and fantastic. However, my first baby hated them and cried a lot in them. And I found them annoying as when the baby is bigger you can't sit down in a cafe and have a coffee and a read of the paper the way you can with a sleeping baby in the pram next to you - mine would wake up. Also, buggies and prams are fantastic for carrying shopping. If I had to carry heavy bags I would opt to take the car, but with a buggy/pram I would walk to the shops and the baby could sleep on the way.

mosschops30 Thu 14-Oct-10 14:09:50

I dont use one because I dont want my baby strapped to my front all flipping day, I did enough of hoiking him round when i was pg.
Also dont use train/tube/bus and when walking like to push buggy and listen to ipod

Theantsgomarching Thu 14-Oct-10 14:10:01

Because I have a prolapse and carrying my massive baby that caused the damage would cause my fanjo to fall out make it much worse grin

Sorry you asked?

ColdComfortFarm Thu 14-Oct-10 14:10:23

Ooh, baby on back is great surely if you are working in fields, but if you want to sit down in Starbucks, not so great! grin

mousymouse Thu 14-Oct-10 14:10:39

because they go with the cheap baby-björn type carriers first and find them too uncomfortable?

love my ergo baby carrier. dd is 10 months and heavy and I can carry her for hours! hardly ever use the pushchair at the moment.

BooBooImpaledOnBrokenGlass Thu 14-Oct-10 14:11:50

I think in all truth it's because you can't buy decent slings in Mothercare or similar places. All they offer is the back breaking, crotch dangling variety, so people give up when they realise it hurts. If actual high street shops sold decent gear, I'm sure the number would go up. As it is, I didn't discover wraps and the Ergo til my second child, and I'm sure many are the same.

belgo Thu 14-Oct-10 14:11:52

coldcomfortfarm - I;ve carried my babies in a back sling in restaurants - I have yet to squash one...

ArthurPewty Thu 14-Oct-10 14:12:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zombishambles Thu 14-Oct-10 14:12:23

In my case - I planned to use them but was very ill after both EMCs and dd was very large and so the carriers were out of the question.

Also I dont drive and so would be carrying for 4 miles a day for the school run - a massive effort.

Certain buggies on public transport are fine - dont think theres a single type of transport my Techno xt hasnt been on tbh.Idont find it that difficult at all - in fact I find it easier as it can store all my stuff as well.

DH still carries dd now occasionally in a sling - especially when we are on holiday somewhere without pavements though.

juuule Thu 14-Oct-10 14:12:48

I used a baby-carrier and a pushchair. Used a sling around the house.
The pushchair was easier as once the baby was asleep I could park the pushchair up and get on with other things. I would collect my other children from school and could give them a good hug when they came out. The baby was comfortable and slept well in the pram. When it was raining there was no struggle with big coats and trying to keep the baby dry. And as someone else has said the pram/pushchair was great for carrying shopping/bookbags/coats and whatever else I'd have ended up carrying.
Sling was useful in the house for older baby/toddler who wanted picking up all the time.

belgo Thu 14-Oct-10 14:13:05

Booboo- I agree with that - I loved carrying my first baby in a sling but it wasn't that comfortable and gave up when she was one year.

With dd2 I bought the ergo and carried her until she was two and a half, by which time I was six months pregnant.

Lynli Thu 14-Oct-10 14:13:32

Tried it, terrible back ache.

I do have hypermobility.

Pram can be used like a zimmerframe.

Shopping can be put under pram.

togarama Thu 14-Oct-10 14:14:22

thisisyesterday: V. good points - none of the standard range in Mothercare are considered to be the most comfy carriers on the market... and many women wouldn't be looking further than the high street.

zombishambles Thu 14-Oct-10 14:15:57

juule - agree with all of that - especially about the parking somewhere else - almost everyday the dcs would be left asleep in the hall while I collapsed on the sofa or rushed round tidying up - I have never managed to get dd out of a sling (or a car seat when shes been in them) still asleep.

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