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Hi I'm new to slings, but I'm due with DC2 in a week or so and have a 2.5 year old so I was thinking a sling might be a good idea. I was initially wondering about the ergo or manduca, but was in john lewis today and tried the ergo....I found it quite hard to fasten the clip at the back. This may be due to having a huge bump at the minute though....! The lady in the shop got me to try on the caboo carrier too and I thought this would be great for round the house and going for walks when DC2 is quite small but I wondered how long it would last before I'd get backache. I quite liked the look of the manduca on line as it seemed less bulky than the ergo for a newborn, but I wonder now if the caboo would be the best option for me. Sorry I know i'm rambling a bit but any advice would be appreciated. There don't seem to be any local sling meets on just now unfortunately. Thanks.
Sure someone with practical experience of both will come along soon... But in the meantime, the close will only last up to 6m as a rough maximum as the material is stretchy (great with tiny babies but not for so long). Manduca or similar will be a longer-term option and allow you to do back carries, absolute godsend IME. With an ergo (maybe manduca but I'm not certain) downside is you have to wear like reversed rucksack straps when on your front so not as supportive. However, I'm not keen on any of the buckle carriers I've tried other than connecta which is much less structured. There's a brilliant group on Facebook called slings and things for sale or trade (FSOT), lots of advice given there and you can often pick up a close for around £20. If you were you get a decent sling 2nd hand you'll generally find it'll hold its value well. Don't let me put you off a close though if it appeals, they get brilliant reviews and sound v easy to use. Have you considered a stretchy wrap? Loved mine for the early days, now a complete concert to woven wraps, just to complicate your decision further, but a good woven would (arguably) be the best birth to preschool option after the initial learning curve. Have a look at FSOT, it's about as close to a virtual sling meet as you can get
Can I suggest both? The Manduca can be used from newborn but isn't as snuggly as a stretchy wrap (which the Close is a variation of). It also has a stage at 3-4 months ish where the baby is a bit big for the insert but not quite big enough to use it without. That said, you can use it from newborn, it will last you through toddlerhood and you can back carry with it too. Unlike the Ergo, you can cross the straps over your back and buckle at the sides, or do up the chest strap and put it over your head then fasten the rucksack straps at the side....so don't need to reach behind you to do up the chest clip like with the Ergo.
You can pick up a Close for about £20 on ebay and sell on afterwards for not much loss. The Manduca is pricier but will last you a good couple of years.
Like previous poster I would also recommend a stretchy wrap as an alternative to the Close.
I have a Manduca and totally rave about it! Used a Moby stretchy wrap with DS but is too much of a faff to get on (he's almost 2 now and uses me like a Maypole if I try). I wear the straps crossed over at the back and put it on half fastened but keeping the straps really loose, so I can grab the loose strap easily. There are some good videos on youtube which will show you what am trying to describe!
I think the caboos are brilliant for newborns. I wish I had got one instead of the stretchy wrap and will certainly get one if there is a next time. I think it will be all you need for 4-6 months and then you can always sell it on to fund your manduca. There are lots of other carriers to try though so it is worth finding your local slingmeet - at the very least you will be able to try on a manduca with a real baby.