There is something to be said for having the right gear when you attempt babywearing!
I started out with a name-brand baby carrier I got at my shower. I liked it. Until my baby hit about twelve pounds. Then it was sheer agony, all the weight pulling on my shoulders. I had to check we still lived on planet Earth; surely gravity must be increasing, because my baby never felt heavier. Since I have scoliosis, my shoulders are not exactly even, so more pressure was put on one side than the other, causing me severe pain. Baby carrier ditched.
Then, I tried to make a carrier. With like five hundred yards of super-bright green fabric. It worked. Yes. But winding and looping and tying an active baby who was struggling to be free just… made me exhausted. I did wear my baby successfully many times this way. But eventually I got frustrated and folded the material away.
I tried a wrap and tie carrier I liked for awhile. But again, eventually the baby’s weight bore down too hard on my shoulders. I could only use this carrier for limited time periods.
My baby grew and I gave up the idea of babywearing. But I kept hearing Ergo-this and Ergo-that. I read how ErgoBaby Carriers distribute baby’s weight evenly, and use the hips to support the weight of the baby more than the shoulders.
I decided to contact Ergo and they graciously sent me an ErgoBaby Performance Carrier in gray to try out (this color is classy and great for husbands to wear too!). Plus, for families like us who like to hike and be outdoors, the breathable mesh lining and cooling panel for extra wicking help keep baby and parent comfortable.
I immediately felt the difference the first time I wore my Ergo. The weight of my baby (by now around twenty pounds!) sat on my hips, while my shoulders only felt a slight and evenly distributed pressure from the straps. I babywore all afternoon, waiting for the sharp twinges in my spine, the numbness in my shoulders. But it never came.
I was thrilled, but skeptical. Would the Ergo hold up for the long haul? We put it to the test on our trip to New York City for our son’s birthday. He wasn’t walking, and we didn’t want to bother with a stroller in the city. So we decided to babywear the entire time. And, I decided I would do all the babywearing, because I wanted to see exactly how well the Ergo would work for someone like me (slight frame, scoliosis, not extremely strong!).
We spent two days in NYC, most of the time out and about at stores and restaurants. We walked blocks and blocks to FAO Schwartz, 5th Avenue, Radio City Music Hall.
We rode the subway down to Chinatown and Little Italy for dinner. My baby slept through it all. I used the Ergo’s nice sleep/rain hood to shade his eyes from the glare of the city lights.
Two days of nearly full-time babywearing! The Ergo held up well! Once I figured out the most comfortable position for the hip strap, I never felt pain from carrying the baby! I could snap and unsnap him in and out easily (it’s easier if you can sit down). Oh, side benefit – when it’s freezing out, he isn’t getting blasted in the face with cold wind, but he’s snuggling under my chin!
Aside from the normal achy feet from pounding pavement for two days, I did not have a sore back/shoulders like I did with the other carriers. I even ate pizza while Ergo-ing!
I’m grateful Ergo gave me this experience, as it’s removed the pain of babywearing so I can wear my baby more often. Ergo is convenient, because as long as you were the last person wearing the carrier, you just snap on the waist strap, put the baby in, and snap the back snap (if you’re front-wearing). Plus, the Ergo allows you to carry babies from newborn to toddler in back, front, and hip positions!
ErgoBaby carriers make me feel like I could walk 5,000 miles wearing my baby. And I would do it for him, too, if I had to. I just would hope I had my Ergo with me!
Do you babywear? Why/why not? Do you have a favorite carrier? And how is babywearing with multiple young children? I am curious!
Disclosure: I was sent a product to faciliate this review. I was not compensated in any way and all opinions are 100% my own!