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Carriers vs. Slings

(22 Posts)
Flowerface Wed 19-Aug-09 17:22:47

I am expecting my first baby in November. I had planned to use a Baby Bjorn for most of my baby transport needs, as we live in a hilly rural area and prams/pushchairs seem a bit of a faff. But I've got the impression from reading on Mumsnet and in other places that carriers where the baby is upright can be potentially damaging for the spine (the baby's spine, that is...)

So then I thought maybe a sling's the way foreward, but some of them look as though you have to do complex origami with yards of material - this is exactly the sort of thing I am hopeless at. I can't even blow dry my own hair... Also, it tends to look as though the baby isn't as secure in a sling.

So the question is: do I need either or both? And any recommendations as to which ones are good?

hanaflowerhatestheDM Wed 19-Aug-09 17:29:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OmicronPersei8 Wed 19-Aug-09 17:33:25

I felt the same but loved using the sling - it feels very secure by the way - and it isn't too hard to pick up how to tie it up. You can also use a sling for longer as it distributes the weight so well.

lynniep Wed 19-Aug-09 17:36:02

I actually had two slings for DS - a peanut [[http://www.thepeanutshell.com/productinfo/slingfeatures ]]shell for around the house, and when he was tiny and a babybjorn type one for out and about when he got a bit bigger. I felt the peanut shell was more comfy for him when he was tiny, but as he got bigger the one-shoulder design was hard work.
This time round I'm trying a wilkinet, which is supposed to be more supportive in the babys pelvis region than a babybjorn type. It struck me as being a happy medium between the 'click in strap' type carrier and the 'hippy wrap' style. We shall see!!

Flowerface Wed 19-Aug-09 17:53:03

I love the look of the kari-me, but I am not optimistic about my ability to get to grips with it.

Has anyone tried these?

https://www.thebabasling.co.uk/info

Thanks for the help...

Hulla Wed 19-Aug-09 18:01:40

Can I recommend the [http://www.becobabycarrier.com/ Beco Butterfly II]], it has a newborn insert, is easy for a back carry (from about 5 months I think) and a little hood for the rain/sun.

I love it, very comfortable too.

I had a closebaby but just couldn't work it properly (probably me not the sling).

Fab idea having a sling/carrier though. I don't bother with the pram at all, its so much easier this way! smile

hanaflowerhatestheDM Wed 19-Aug-09 19:13:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flowerface Wed 19-Aug-09 19:23:29

Sling library sounds a great idea. I'll check, but we are quite small and remote here, so perhaps not...

I have decided that maybe I am being a bit of a weed about managing a sling that you have to tie. Could always buy it now and get some practice in using cushions or small dog as a substitute baby....

misdee Wed 19-Aug-09 19:46:39

babasling is crap imo. its a bugger to adjust and not very comfortable.

a ring sling is nice and easy. i have two home-mad ones and use them a lot with dd4 who is 9mnths old.

a buckle tai liek a connecta is fab. dh uses this one at times. www.connectababycarrier.com/

if you can get to grips with a wrap, then they are brilliant. its my carrier of choice and the one i reach for most days. very versatile and easy once you gett he hang of it.

lots of people rate ergo's and patapums, not tried one myself.

or you could try something like the close baby carrier.

misdee Wed 19-Aug-09 19:47:22

where are u flowerr?

greensparkles Wed 19-Aug-09 20:16:41

I second the connecta, I love mine and so does DD. It a second to put on and she's so comfy in there. She's nine months now and pretty heavy but the weight is distributed so well I hardly notice.

It's the most used and useful item I have and people are always asking about it. I wanted the ergo initially as I didn't fancy the cloth wrap ones either but it was too expensive.

Oh and I got the solar weave material which folds up small so it fits in the changing bag which is dead handy. I should probably get shares in the company or something!

wearymum200 Wed 19-Aug-09 21:15:44

Borrowed a kari-me 1st time round and used it briefly, but never got on with the origami. Babybjorn was used a lot. 2nd time round I also have a ring sling. Baby loathed it until she was big enough for me to use it as hip carrier, which we now use lots and she loves. But she's getting a bit heavy (8m) and it's not so comfy for me....

Flowerface Thu 20-Aug-09 09:03:23

I'm in Aberystwyth... Couldn't find a sling meet or library near here.

dinkystinky Thu 20-Aug-09 09:07:35

I used close sling for DS2 - great till he was around 5 months and got really active. I have a Beco carrier too which is great and a baby bjorn which we used with DS1 (with no noticeable ill effects, but then only had him in it for an hour or so at a time) which still occasionally use with DS2 - DH prefers the baby bjorn to the others as it fits his body better than the other two.

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Aug-09 10:07:00

I used a ring sling when dd was little but couldn't use it once she was over 5kg (but I have dodgy shoulders). Woven wraps are great (didymos, girasol, storch are some brands) and you can use them from newborn to toddler. They are easier to put on then you would think - I often time myself against someone setting up a pram, and I am always faster. Ergos are very comfortable on the back from about 4 or 5 months onwards.

I've turned into a bit of a slingaholic and at the moment I wear dd (8 months) in a woven wrap if I'm out and want her on my front, a mei tai if I want her on my back (usually that's because I need my hands free to control ds - I find the mei tai easier to put on my back in public though less comfy than a wrap). At home I wear her on my back on a wrap if I want her high up so she can see what's going on over my shoulder and in an ergo if I want her to go to sleep.

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Aug-09 10:21:49

And I would really recommend not getting the bjorn. Besides the argument that they are bad for the baby they are very uncomfortable to wear. I had one for ds and never really used it. It was bulky, so I felt like I couldn't get my arms around it to do anything in front of me, and there was no decent head support so his head would end up lolling between my breasts and I was afraid he would suffocate. With a wrap you can arrange it so that the side of your baby's head rests against your chest, held in place with a bit of the wrap.

InTheZenGarden Thu 20-Aug-09 10:56:51

I used a Close Baby Carrier (ring sling) for DD til she got too inquisitive and kept trying to hurl herself out!! Dead easy to use once you get the hang of it, she was really snug. Also, she was quite colicky and refused to lie down to nap in the day - if I hadn't had that sling, I'd have been holding her all day. Life saver! grin

We then briefly used a BabyBjorn that a friend had lent us, easy to use and she liked it, but she got too heavy very quickly, it put a lot of strain on my neck iirc. And as tryingtoleave said, there was no head support, so when DD decided to fling herself backwards to get a good look at something, there was nothing to stop her.

So from about 6 months we used an Ergo carrier, which I love and am still using (DD is 16 months now). Can use it on front, hip and back, so very versatile.

Just to clarify your OP, I'm not sure that there is any concern that carriers are bad for the baby's spine if used correctly. I think/believe it is when they are on your front and facing outwards that there is concern. If they face you, they are supported and in a natural position.

tryingtoleave Thu 20-Aug-09 11:08:18

Inthezengarden, the argument is that a babybjorn is bad for the baby's spine because they are hanging from their crotch instead of supported from knee to knee in a more sitting position as they are in other slings. This means all their weight is hanging on a small space and their back is straight rather than curved. Tbh, I'm not sure how accurate the argument is, but that's how I've seen it put.

weasle Thu 20-Aug-09 12:37:37

i love my connecta. still using at 20 months, although it does ache after an hour or so.

have had lots of slings and different ones are good for different ages, but the connecta or ergo type are very easy to put on and work for a wide age range. may also be good for dads who IMHO often aren't that keen on a wrap or ring sling.

InTheZenGarden Thu 20-Aug-09 12:39:42

Oh, that makes sense

But there is also an argument as well, I believe, against having them facing outwards?

Anyway, Ergo supports them in a sitting position, facing the wearer. And is fab grin

Tangle Thu 20-Aug-09 13:33:26

Flower - you might want to consider 2nd hand: UKbabywearingSWAP and Natural Mamas are great places to pick up pre-loved slings for bargain prices, and if it doesn't work you can sell it on for minimal loss (often just P&P). Alternatively, some of the sling sellers will do a trial period.

My understanding was that there were two issues with Baby Bjorn type carriers, although there's pretty limitted research to say how common or serious these problems are:
One is that they don't support the baby's back so they slump into whatever position gravity puts them - a sling (or MT or SSC) will follow the curves of the baby's back and so will give them support for their stage of development.
The other is that the baby's weight is taken purely on their crotch and their legs "dangle" - a sling used properly will support the baby in a "frogs legs" position (knees out and higher than hips), with fabric from knee to knee. This is very similar to the position used to correct hip dysplasia and is the position most babies will automatically adopt when picked up.

Carrying babies in a front-facing-out position isn't considered ideal for the baby as they have to dangle (if you try and spread the fabric knee to knee you'll be bending their hips backwards as the legs try to wrap around your body), and their backs can't adopt a natural forward curve as the fabric will hold them more upright. It isn't great for the baby wearer, either, as the gravity will be pulling the baby away from you so its much harder work for your back (facing in they automatically tend to curve into your body).

There's a lot more information and some more links here

All that said, plenty of people use BB carriers and there doesn't seem to be a huge number of children with hip and back problems identified because of it. Personally I found them horribly uncomfortable for more than about 2 minutes (I went from a stretchy wrap to a woven wrap and then added a couple of MTs, which still get used now DD's pushing 2.5 - I don't really do buckles, either), but each to their own .

BertieBotts Thu 20-Aug-09 20:51:34

Just wanted to pipe up and say I am completely hairdryer-deficient, and I loved my stretchy wrap until DS got too big

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