Stephanie’s personal favorites for baby wearing! 🙂
I love my hotsling for the first few months. Very easy to use, there is no way you can put it on wrong. Baby is very secure, and it holds them very close. The weight is on your waist, if you have your shoulder fabric spread out on your shoulder. My husband loves using the Ergo with their new heart to heart infant insert for our son (5 weeks old). I think it is a guy thing though, it is sporty looking and doesn’t have the look of a pouch which he prefers not to wear in public.
Even with the heart to heart insert, you still get a little roly-poly head action, hence my preference for the hotsling. You can easily prevent the roly-poly head movement in the Ergo with the infant insert. Get a small receiving blanket and roll it up, then put it behind their head neck-brace style. Just make sure they are facing you and not breathing into the fabric, but it secures them nicely.
Now, once you hit 4 months and have some head control, I am Ergo all the way. You can’t beat the comfort, I can still easily put my 40 pound 4 year in it and carry her without any pain. Babyhawks are great until about 20 pounds for me. I have one and do like it, it is very pretty and fashionable, and is fun to use. Comfort level is there until about a year of age, but again, a little roly poly with the head until about 3-4 months (the receiving blanket trick works here, too).
So, in summary, I use:
Hotsling only until about 3 months, hubby uses Ergo + infant insert
BabyHawk/Ergo 3-12 months
Ergo 12+ months.
As for toddler carrying: we are talking about toddler carrying. Now, I am quite sure if I offered my 6.5 year old would take me up on the option to be carried through museums and other trips we take. The largest child I have “worn” for several hours was my oldest, but it was at the age of 4.5, about two years ago. For that I used the Ergo back-pack style. I can fit my second daughter in it still, and did recently when she became ill on a day trip we were on, and the Ergo was quite comfortable. I absolutely love the Ergo for older babies and toddlers. Last winter at the diaper trade show in Las Vegas, I was 7 months pregnant and was still able to carry Lucy (2 years old at the time) who weighed roughly 35 pounds. I had her on my back, and it was an absolute lifesaver going through airport security and the entire flying experience. If you have to fly with a toddler or older baby, it really is a must. When you are carrying your bags, holding an older child’s hand and hustling around in tight plane schedules, I can’t see any other way we could have done it. And for those who are curious why hubby didn’t wear her while I was 7 months pregnant, he had the harder job managing the 10 carry on bags I insisted we needed for the kids (5 of us flew and we each were allowed 2-LOL). Even that pregnant I could wear her for some amount of time, usually around an hour and I was done, but at 35 pounds that is still saying something about the comfort level.
My favorite part of using the Ergo is how easy it is to put a baby to sleep in it. Phil would volunteer to “put the baby down” all the time during football season, pacing the floor in the basement while watching ESPN was a piece of cake for him, and always put the baby asleep. I like it during the day, without having the time to rock a baby in a quiet room with older sisters charging around the house, if I put the baby in it and carried on my normal duties, she would pass out quickly and I could transition her easily into the crib.
Any Ergo questions, let me know, I just wanted to share some of our personal favorite moments 🙂 Truly over the years, I can’t think of a price too high for it knowing how much we have used it and how much it has made life easier.