I used to have a baby sling. When maternity leaves were extended from 24 weeks to a full year, the sling fell into disuse, and I eventually gave it away.
A decision I now regret. Year-old babies require a lot of carrying the few few weeks, says the woman currently snuggling an 11-month-old. I have a fridge magnet that says, “If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms.” Indeed. (And eyes in the back of our heads. And the ability to turn our ears off at will. Oh, and squeeze 8 hours of sleep into 20 minutes… Anyone else got a wish for that list?)
Evolution has failed me, however, and I have only two arms. Two arms and five kids. One of whom can’t walk yet. Now, she’s having a good transition, as it happens, but even so, my job would be soooooo much easier if I didn’t have to set her down whenever I needed to help another child.
I am thinking I could use a baby carrier. Not a sling, though, because my incoming babies are not tiny infants. A few can walk, most can cruise along the furniture and/or crawl, and all of them can sit on their own. Besides, much as I liked the sling, I didn’t find it as secure as I’d have preferred. I generally felt I had to keep one hand available to catch an unexpected outward swoop of a baby. Maybe I had a poorly-designed sling, or maybe I was just paranoid.
At any rate, I don’t want these big babies strapped to my chest. I want them on my back, where they can see what’s going on, have the comfort of being carried, but where I can also use both hands to deal with the other children. I do NOT want a backpack style carrier with an enormous metal frame. Unless I were planning a 30-km hike over rugged terrain, those things are pretty much overkill. Pretentious, even. “Look at me! I’m such a total outdoorsy, macho mommy!!!” … as I wander into Starbucks for my grande extra-hot decaf skinny latte. Yeah. Kind of like a four-wheel drive mondo SUV in suburbia. Yeesh, already.
A parent once lent me one, and I felt like some sort of cyborg when I wore the damned thing… to be perfectly frank, it made me feel just a tad ridiculous. I’m going to be wearing this thing indoors almost exclusively. I don’t need it to convert to a stroller, I don’t need it to get me on and off airplanes. I want something as small and light as possible. I need it to get me through my day with a somewhat mollified baby and both hands free.
A simple enough goal, I think.
I’ve been checking online, and the one I’m leaning to is the Ergo.
This Canadian site carries it, and it has the black and camel one, which is the one I like. (Well, really, I prefer the green ones, but I don’t prefer them $30 more…)
I like the look of it, a lot. It’s small, it’s light, there’s no big frame, it can be worn front or back. It seems to be just what I’m after. Before I plonk down a decent chunk of money on one, though, I’m looking for feedback.
Do any of you use one? Do you have comments? It is easy to get on and off, particularly if you’re wearing it with the baby on your back? Does it wash well? It it durable? Any other input?