Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Baby Carriers We Love! (A Response To Today's Parent's List!)

by Tami Grosset

We recently came across a list of favourite babycarriers in Today's Parent.

I asked the OBG members on Facebook what they thought of the list and the general consensus was that only a few of the carriers were our favourites, so we made our own list, based on members favourites and the most popular carriers loaned from the Ottawa Babywearing Group Sling Library. Here are our 15 favourite carriers:

The Manduca is one of the higher priced SSCs available locally (from both Milkface and Extraordinary Baby Shoppe) but the price point has not put off many of our members. This carrier offers extraordinary versatility and adjustability allowing for front, hip and back carries as well as from newborn infant and into toddlerhood.

The Tula (both standard and toddler) are not currently available in Ottawa but Extraordinary Baby Shoppe will be stocking them very soon. Members did not all specify which (standard or toddler) they liked the best but they are both beautiful SSCs to look at with lots of lovely prints and colour ways and the option, when you can find one, of a Tula made from a woven wrap. The Toddler Tula is a fantastic carrier for wearing the older child, with lots of extra padding in the shoulder straps and waist band. The Tula can be worn for front and back wearing.

Kinderpacks are not currently available in Ottawa or Canada but can be purchased direct from Kindercarry. Kinderpacks offer a front and back carry and are available in 4 different sizes; infant, standard, toddler and preschool. They have a lovely wide seat that is so great for supporting a knee to knee spread that is so important for babywearing in the first year.

Wrap Conversion Ring Sling
WCRSs are liked by many of our members, over other RSs due to the fabulously supportive quality of the woven wrap fabric used, as well as the special beauty of the wrap itself. Conversion companies can be found with a quick Google search or you could see our blog post which lists some international options. Sewfunky is the company that converted the Chimparoo wrap pictured.

Woven Wrap
Woven wraps are the most versatile of all carriers and as such carry the steepest learning curve. If you're prepared to put in the time you and your baby will reap the rewards! Wraps come in different lengths and some can be more supportive than others. A good starter wrap would be a Girasol (as pictured) but a great place to start researching WWs is this post. There are many great wraps to be found locally either brand new at Milkface and Extraordinary Baby Shoppe or used through the OBG FSOT Space.

Wrap Conversion Mai Tei
by Jenna Sparks Photography
WCMTs are mai tei carriers made from a woven wrap. WCMTs can be made with many different options (half buckle, full buckle, wrap straps, padded to wrap straps, hood, no hood, pocket, teething toy, infant size, toddler size, embroidered decal etc etc) so an owner can wear their baby in a completely unique custom made beautiful carrier. The woven wrap can offer a wonderfully supportive fabric for this kind of carrier, plus you benefit from the beauty of the wrap itself. You can find a list of conversion companies here.

Boba Wrap
The Boba Wrap is considered by many as the absolute must for a new baby. The Boba Wrap is a stretchy wrap which does a fabulous job of creating the womb outside the womb for the 4th trimester. The Boba (formerly known as the Sleepy Wrap) is especially liked over many other stretchy wraps because of its 5% spandex content. This allows the wrap to be the perfect snugness (when tied on according to the manufacturers guidance) for you and your baby offering beautiful support and allowing you to only need to tie it once each day, without having to adjust or retie during the day. The Boba Wrap is also one of the most affordable of all the stretchies and is available at both Milkface and EBS.

Sakura Bloom
Sakura Bloom is a ring sling manufacturer who makes beautifully supportive and lovely to look at slings. Made from either linen or silk or a combination of both these ring slings combine functionality and comfort and take 'yummy mummy' style to a new level! Sakura Bloom ring slings are available to purchase at both our local babywearing expert retailers.

Maya Tie
The Maya Tie is a mei tai style carrier with wrap straps made by the Maya Wrap company. They are, I believe, discontinued but you can sometimes find them in clearance or in used locations online. The wrap strap style offers a lovely supportive carry, allowing you to spread the fabric over the baby's back and bum thus distributing the weight further. Another similar carrier is the DidyTai made by the woven wrap manufacturer Didymos.

Boba 3G
by Breathe In Photography
The Boba 3G is a great soft structured carrier which offers front and back carries for newborn babies to toddler sized ones! It has proven a popular carrier in the sling library and amongst our members. The Boba 3G can be found brand new from both our local babywearing expert stores.

Ergobaby are one of the most popular and widely available ergonomic soft structured carrier. You often see them in TV shows (namely Greys Anatomy) and celebrities are often pictured using this particular carrier, although this is not the reason why they are so loved! Ergo's are available in regular, organic and sport styles and, as you can see, many various designs. The Ergo offers front, hip and back carries and has a nice wide seat to offer that knee to knee spread.

Mei Tai
by Jenna Sparks Photography
Mai teis are an Asian style carrier which offer front, hip and back carries and are wonderfully comfortable, offering great ergonomics for both baby and parent. There are some great MT manufacturers available in our local babywearing stores including Babyhawk, Freehand and Kozy Carrier, to name but a few!

Onya is a lovely soft structured carrier that is a real favourite of the sling library; the most popular and most requested carrier in the collection. It offers a crossed back front carry, which is something that many people find supremely comfy, plus a neat little trick of converting to a chair harness, which can be really handy of you're planning on wearing your baby whilst travelling. Onya is available from the MEC and there are plans afoot to bring it to other local and Candian stores.... stay tuned!!

(photo by Breathe In Photography)

Beco Gemini
by Breathe In Photography
The Beco Gemini is a favourite for our members who are wearing a newborn to 12 month old baby especially. The Beco Gemini allows front, hip and back carries and allows you to wear your baby from newborn age without the need for an additional infant insert. When front carrying the shoulder straps cross on the back, which is super comfy for many. It really is a great carrier! Beco Gemini's can be found at both Milkface and Extraordinary Baby Shoppe.

Maman Kangaroo Asiatik
by Breathe In Photography
The Asitaik is a mei tai carrier with stretchy wrap straps and made by a Canadian manufacturer, Maman Kangarou. Its a lovely style of mei tai and great for newborn to 35lbs. The Maman Kangarou Asiatik can be bought at both Milkface and Extraordinary Baby Shoppe.

What's you and your baby's favourite carrier? Is it in this list?