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Soft structured carriers - trying to choose

(10 Posts)
aendr Wed 19-Aug-09 10:16:02

I've got a Bjorn which we like but before my 9 month old grows out of it I want an alternative; I have become so used to the convenience of baby wearing! I'm not convinced I'll get on well with wraps or anything I have to tie and I know my husband won't, so I'm looking at soft structured carriers.

I'm short (particularly from waist to shoulder) and fat (with E cups) and my husband is long and thin, but the priority is to get one that suits me.

How heavy a child do you do a front carry in them? Is it just a matter of "until he's too heavy for you personally"?

With my Bjorn, I can wear my rucksack style changing bag on my back which balances a fair bit of the load making it easier to carry for longer periods. Obviously using a back carrier, I won't be able to do that but my typical carrier usage has been jaunts from home or the car rather than longer distances, so I'm also looking at ways of taking the minimum required with me - e.g. strap pouches like the Ergo front pouch - on the principle that I can return to base if I need other things. With short arms I doubt I'd be able to reach the Ergo's pocket on a back carry even with my 9 month old.

I've been able to try a Patapum, which I find a little strangulatory in back carry mode - very hard to get the chest clip not on the breasts or throat - there's only a 2inch space in which any chest strap would be comfortable. On the other hand, we didn't play with it for that long and maybe tacking a stitch or two through the strap might hold it in position enough for me.

I also tried an Action, which was more comfortable. It also occurred to me that the "hood" clips on the Action were fairly standard, so I could make a toy holder for when he's awake, and unclip the toy and clip the hood up after he falls asleep.

I can't find an Ergo to try (in Cambs/Beds). I quite liked the idea of being able to do a hip carry too.
It's very daunting putting DS into a back carry, and the Ergo hip-to-back instructions seem better than the straight to back method apparently used by the Patapum and Action - can one do something similar for any structured carrier? I'm rather loathe to mail order one just to try it as I hate to put a small business to that effort just to return it, and if it's too like the Patapum I may well do so. Plus it's quite a bit more expensive than the Action/Patapum, so it would really have to be a lot more "right."

Any advice for me?

mummylovestoshop Wed 19-Aug-09 23:27:27

Hi I love my rose and rebellion carrier we use it most days and I've always found it very comfortable even with my 3 year old. They offer a money back guarantee which is why I bought from them in the first place but I'm quite sure you'll love it I did smile

All my best


mummylovestoshop Wed 19-Aug-09 23:29:10

oops I meant to put the website address for you blush It's


MoominMymbleandMy Thu 20-Aug-09 00:00:06

Oh my goodness, I can't believe you're still managing with a Baby Bjorn at nine months.

Mine, and it was the Active version, lasted until four months. Then I bought a Sleepy Nico SSC and I can and do still use it over a year later.

Like you, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of knots and wraps (I love mei tais now and am ok-ish at wrapping, given a bit more time to do it) and the Sleepy Nico was such an easy alternative to manage because it just has two buckles to close.

I still mostly front carry and I'll continue to while it's comfortable. But for back carrying the Calyx is fabulous. It has an internal harness which makes back carries very simple, and it is extremely comfy.

Can you get to a sling meet to try some?

Or you could look at various types on here.

aendr Thu 20-Aug-09 09:34:43

He's only 8.5kg - didn't grow into 6-9 months clothes till 8 months, or should I say out of 3-6 months - saying that, he's still in some 3-6 months and a lot of the 6-9 months are a bit big on him.
I wanted to go to a sling meet, but his next eye appointment clashes with the next one and then we're away and then it's getting a bit late. A lovely shop (Truly Bumptious) has helped me try what they have and I think I may well just buy the Action as it's comfy and I probably won't be able to use the Ergo pocket at all. Might get a belt-pouch though.

newlark Thu 20-Aug-09 15:46:04

I carried dd in a baby bjorn active until she was 12 mths shock. I discovered wraps, mei-tais and sscs with ds though and the difference is immeasurable. dd who is now 2 3/4 is now regularly being carried again grin (sometimes in front carries too though her head comes right up under my chin!). You can do the "hip scoot " method for getting onto your back with any carrier I think - I do it with my patapum, mei-tai and with a wrap.

aendr Fri 21-Aug-09 11:26:28

Ours is an active, and I'm happy with it, but I know I'll have to change. I tried some wraps and was less mentally comfortable in them... and the hip scoot is rather scary for me right now, though practise will help.

Thank you for the links mummylovestoshop and MoominMymbleandMy.

you Fri 21-Aug-09 16:08:56

beco butterfly if you like the idea of back carrys, but are nervous of them. Baby goes in the carrier like in a bjorn but is kind of stapped into the carrier so you can pull them on and off your back like a rucksack. Simple grin

aendr Thu 27-Aug-09 18:47:58

I've got an Action Baby Carrier, as I could play with it in the shop and it was more comfortable than the Patapum. So far... DS has been sick on it while sitting on the floor next to it, loves chewing the buckles and playing with them, hates having the hood put up... Oh and DH and I managed to drop one of the two components of the chest strap off the main straps while in a campsite field in the dark. Luckily we found it in the morning, but I now plan to sew tape over the possible range the strap wants to travel to prevent a recurrence!

I think we'll look into the Beco if long term we find the Action a challenge for getting him into the back carry alone.

WhoSaidIWasGhandi Thu 27-Aug-09 18:56:09

You mentioned hip carriers....I must have a gazillion slings. Have tried everything from the Hugabub, mei-tai, maya wrap, but my all time fave is the Hotsling or The Peanut Shell. They're much much cheaper than their wrap or structured carrier cousins, an absolute dream to put on ( you literally sling it over your head), and my girls have been carried in one from birth to age 3 - although that really depends on the size of you and your bubs at that age. They're easy to clean and come in different fabrics and colours - the fleecy ones are lovely - blush sounds like I'm selling them huh?

I have several just in case i forget it - honestly I'm lost without it!

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