Best baby slings?
March 13, 2008 5:27 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for your favorite baby slings (along with anti-recommendations, if you've got 'em)?

I'm expecting my second baby the end of July; at that point I'll have a 3-year-old also. So I'm looking for a sling that will
--be easy to get the baby in and out of;
--secure enough that I can chase after a toddler with the baby in the sling;
--ideally, not too expensive (say, under $50)

I've got an Ergo Baby Carrier and have found it kind of hard to use with an infant and quite hard to get the baby/toddler in and out of by myself (despite their helpful videos). I've also got a hotsling, but it always seemed a little too small and a little tricky to get the baby in and out of. (It also started causing me shoulder damage when my daughter got heavier.) I think we were handed-down a baby bjorn or knock-off, but I never used it.
posted by leahwrenn to Shopping (17 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I really liked my peanut shell sling but I think I bought one size too small for me and that combined with my large boy made it hard to use once he was out of the squishy newborn phase. If I had sized better, we would have used it longer. Now I have a Mai-tai sling. I just got it so haven't used it much but we've worn it around the house and it seems to do fine. More appropriate for a bigger baby. Good luck!
posted by pearlybob at 5:36 PM on March 13, 2008

Check out The Babywearer.
posted by davar at 5:41 PM on March 13, 2008

I got a lot of compliments on my mayawrap (the striped one). We got it as a gift and I thought it looked way too granola for me, but it was probably the best baby thing we had. It was a size large so it could fit both me and my husband by adjusting the length. It is excellent for a small baby who wants to be held constantly.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:41 PM on March 13, 2008

I liked the New Native Carrier with my son. It kept him close and snug, and wasn't ever bulky or in the way. But it's not adjustable.

And unfortunately, my daughter hated it. I really think all babies have different ideas of what they want, and even if you find something you think is perfect, you may have to discard it for something else if the baby hates it. She was always happiest in the Baby Bjorn, which I hated.
posted by saffry at 5:45 PM on March 13, 2008

Almost forgot - the long tail of fabric on the mayawrap can be tossed over your shoulder in a rakish fashion while breastfeeding. Lactation never looked so stylish.
posted by selfmedicating at 5:46 PM on March 13, 2008

We had a fleece pouch (Kangaroo Korner, I think) and a Moby Wrap (the knit one). The pouch worked OK for the newborn stage, but M was pretty heavy as an infant (I think she's gotten lighter since, now that she can hold on!), and the weight wasn't balanced well as it always made my back hurt. Plus fleece is really really warm; too warm once spring arrived. The Moby Wrap seemed like a good idea, but it was too complicated to put on and I never really got the hang of it. The one carrier our daughter liked was a giant Kelty backpack, once she was sitting up well. All last summer I hiked around with her in that thing and my legs were never stronger. Next time (baby arriving in Aug) I think I'll get a lightweight ring wrap in a pretty print like the Maya.
posted by libraryhead at 6:28 PM on March 13, 2008

The Baby Buddha is a pain if you have a large bust or if you don't have time to waste.
posted by acoutu at 7:35 PM on March 13, 2008

I tried a couple of slings (New Native and Hotsling), and didn't feel very confident about their security, plus you inevitably get one tired shoulder.

A friend gave me her Mobywrap, which she absolutely loved, and I liked but my son hated it. I found it pretty easy to wrap up, so if your new baby is happy in it, then I give it a thumbs up from a mom perspective, as the weight is distributed across both shoulders and back.

I also tried a Baby Bjorn, which I thought was OK for a while, but in the end I wished it had a waist strap, so the weight would be better distributed across the whole back. My son tolerated it OK, but I thought it was a bit weird that he was basically hanging from his crotch. In the end my favourite was (and still is) the pookpack, which is a buckle mei-tai carrier. Getting baby in and out is relatively easy, its VERY nice and secure for wearing while chasing toddlers, but it doesn't fit your price bracket.

If you can find a local babywearing group, you will probably be able to go to a meeting and try out a few different carriers to see which ones fit you, and how easy it is to pop baby in and out. I recommend that, rather than spending a small fortune on various discarded carriers, like I did :)
posted by Joh at 7:58 PM on March 13, 2008

I've worn all my kids and came down to really like Mayas when they're small, and then when they're bigger and have head control, mei tai carriers.

You can also check out the Babywearer community on Livejournal which has tons of recommendations and advise.
posted by Dreama at 8:34 PM on March 13, 2008

We have a couple of Freedom Slings. They take a bit of practice but are very versatile and comfortable. They work equally well for men and women. Both Mrs Col & I can carry our 5 month old son on and off the whole day without he or us getting too uncomfortable.

I also have a Patapum Toddler Carrier that's useful for piggybacking our twoandahalf year old daughter on hikes when it's warm enough not to need a coat. It's alright, but not much use for day to day babywearing.

Having used the Freedom Sling I wouldn't want to use a single position carrier ( like a Baby Bjorn ) for any length of time, too tiring.
posted by col at 2:45 AM on March 14, 2008

Watch out for this recall: Ellaroo Sling Recall
posted by lyam at 7:07 AM on March 14, 2008

Can report only as an observer (the Ergo works great for me), but my wife is somewhat frighteningly in love with her Moby Wrap. Her first reaction to the semi-origami involved was "Oh, hell no," but after a couple of times it became totally intuitive. It's light enough that she'll just leave it on for a chunk of the day, and plop the kid in there whenever she needs to. Pretty sure she could do jumping jacks w/ the kid in there, at least in some of the configurations.
posted by range at 7:57 AM on March 14, 2008

We had good luck with the Hotsling: not bulky, easy to get on and off, our guy liked it a lot and found it easy to sleep in.
posted by escabeche at 12:59 PM on March 14, 2008

I love the Moby! After a few tries tying it gets to be really simple and the snugness was very soothing to our little peanut. By four months she really wanted to see more of the world around her so we started using our Ergo but she didn't get used to getting in and out of it easily until 6 months of age. I only use the complicated manoeuver for getting her into the backpack carry, for the front carry I put the ergo all the way on and drop her into it. We have a maya wrap and a knockoff bjorn as well but neither provides enough back support.
posted by rosebengal at 2:28 PM on March 14, 2008

Response by poster: I tried a friend's MobyWrap a year or so ago, and it seemed really nice (although not as super-fast for getting the kid in and out as I was hoping for a sling). Does anyone know a reason I shouldn't just go to a fabric store and buy 6 yards of cotton jersey? Seems like I ought to be able to get that for less than $6.60 a yard...
posted by leahwrenn at 8:30 AM on March 15, 2008

Late back to the game, but no, not a reason at all not to roll a DIY wrap with a good weight cotton jersey. You asked about slings so my mind went that way, but all my really brand new babies have been in homerolled wraps and it's great in multiple ways.
posted by Dreama at 1:56 AM on March 18, 2008

Response by poster: Incidentally, for posterity, I ran across the Baby K'Tan sling and ordered one, and I really like it. (Well, in principle; I'm having a bit of trouble getting the sizing right, but they are very nice and are letting me swap up to a bigger size 3 months after I'd ordered the sling!) It's like the style/functionality of a Moby Wrap without the complicated wrapping.
posted by leahwrenn at 7:52 AM on October 23, 2008

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