There are so many types of baby carriers out there – baby wraps, soft-structured carriers, ring slings, mei-tais, wraps… it’s enough to make any new parent’s head spin.  Here’s my list of carriers that I looked into as a first-time mom.

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CARRIERS – Better for babies 4+ months though many of them have infant insert options

1) Beco Gemini  – $129 (7-35 lbs.)

PROS: I didn’t find out about this carrier until after I’d been using my Ergo for some time, but I immediately fell in love with it.  It doesn’t need an additional insert, it has 4 different carry positions (front facing out, front facing in, hip, and back), and it folds up smaller than the Ergo making it easier to travel with.

CONS: You’ll need two hands to unclasp the waist strap, which seems inconvenient because when I take off my Ergo I always have one hand under my baby’s bum, and the other to undo the waist strap.  It also has no pockets in the front to carry small items such as your keys.

2) Beco Butterfly II – $189 (8-45 lbs.)

PROS: Great for newborns up to 45 lbs.  I am in love with all of Beco’s cute designs!  It’s not as bulky as the Ergo, and it comes with everything, including the infant insert so you don’t need to spend additional money on top of this.  It also comes with a hood to protect your baby’s head from the elements.

CONS: Unlike the Beco Gemini, you can’t face the baby outward.  It’s also more expensive than the other carriers I researched, and there are no pockets for storage.

3) Ergo Performance Carrier – $105; additional infant insert $21  (8-45 lbs.)

PROS: if you asked me what my top 3 baby items were, my Ergo would be on the list hands-down!  It’s been with me from the beginning, and I used it up til Baby HH was 14-months (then she just got too heavy and tall).  It has great back support, and I’ve never been in pain wearing it.  You can wear it in 3 different positions (front, back, and hip), and it looks so sporty that dads won’t mind wearing it.

CONS: The infant insert can get hot if you have a summer newborn baby.  Baby HH was born in winter so I didn’t mind it. You also won’t be able to face your baby outward.  I also didn’t use the back position too often because I felt unsafe trying to do it on my own – I always needed the help of my husband or someone else to help get her in the back carry position with the Ergo.

4) Babyhawk Mei Tai  –  $90 (7-40 lbs.)

PROS: like many other carriers, you can wear your baby in 3 positions (front, back, hip).  It is also fully reversible in case you want to “change up” your design. Rolls up compactly (can fit in diaper bag), so it would be great to take for travel.

CONS: the main complaints about this are its really long straps, which were one of the main deterrents for me.  I wanted something I could put on really easily without much fuss.  Also, the weight distribution isn’t great so it becomes painful to wear after even short amounts of time.

5) Baby Bjorn Original  –  $65  (8-25 lbs.)

PROS: This was one of the first carriers I looked into because it was so popular with the celebrities.  It can be used as long as your baby is 8 pounds, without the need for an additional insert.  It also allows your baby to be in an outward-facing position (though that’s generally not recommended for newborns because it tends to overstimulate them).

CONS: A lot of people I know complain about back pain with the Bjorn.  Also, since it only has the front carry position, it’s not as versatile as many of the other carriers.  The baby will outgrow it pretty fast since the upper weight limit maxes out at 25 pounds.  Another one of the big concerns people have about the Baby Bjorn is that it’s known as a “crotch dangler” – the way a baby is positioned in this carrier is not good for their hips/joints.

6) Pongnae    $65-75; additional infant insert $25 (7-45 lbs.)

PROS: this is a Korean brand carrier.  It tends to be better suited for smaller framed women.  It is known for its great air ventilation system, so you don’t have to worry as much about getting sweaty with the baby.  Another plus is that you can easily roll it up and take it to go.  It also comes with an attachable pouch so you can put your belongings there.

CONS: Need an infant insert to use it in the early months. Cannot face baby outward.

SLINGS/WRAPS (Best for newborns-3 months)

7) Mobywrap – $30 (Preemie to 35 lbs.)

PROS: Great for newborns.  Fabric is incredibly soft, and it wraps in such a way that your baby will be really secure in it.

CONS:
I got this as a gift but never got the hang of it.  There was just SO MUCH FABRIC and it was annoying to put on. I never felt the security with this that I did with my Ergo. Baby HH also hated being in the sling as a newborn.  I would recommend watching some youtube videos for a visual on how to use this before purchasing.  They’re very helpful.

8) Baby K’tan – $39 (Preemie to 35 lbs.)   

PROS: Great for newborns; Easy to put on and easy learning curve; Can wear in 6 different positions.

CONS: Baby HH just hated all slings so she wasn’t a fan of this one either.  I think they confined her too much.  That’s just my baby though!  I still have my Baby K’tan because I genuinely loved how easy it was to use and I’m hoping future babies will like it more than my first.

In the end, I was very happy with my choice of carrier.  I wouldn’t have been able to live without my Ergo for a good portion of Baby HH’s first year.  I would often carry her in it just to get her to nap, and I loved how snuggly close she was to me while in it.  I loved pressing her against me and hearing her heart beat, or leaning down and smelling her sweet baby hair.  Having a carrier is also nice when you don’t want random strangers coming up to you and “petting” your baby.  For some reason when my baby was all snuggled up in the carrier, people are more sensitive about disturbing her (versus when she’s in a stroller).  I have never once regretted my carrier decision, and I would get the Ergo again in a heartbeat.

What carrier do you own, and would you recommend it to others?

Mrs. High Heels’ Visual Gear Guides part 6 of 12

1. My Ultimate Baby Registry by Mrs. High Heels
2. Toddler Pooltime Essentials by Mrs. High Heels
3. My Biggest Registry Regrets by Mrs. High Heels
4. Car Seat Comparison Guide by Mrs. High Heels
5. Stroller Comparison Guide by Mrs. High Heels
6. Baby Carrier Comparison Guide by Mrs. High Heels
7. Prenatal Fitness Guide by Mrs. High Heels
8. Sick Toddler Essentials by Mrs. High Heels
9. Mrs. High Heels' Skincare Essentials by Mrs. High Heels
10. Mrs. High Heels' Hospital Bag by Mrs. High Heels
11. Mrs. High Heels' Diaper Bag for Two by Mrs. High Heels
12. Nursing Pillow Showdown: Boppy vs. My Brest Friend by Mrs. High Heels