The Mama Diaries: My Favourite Newborn Baby Carriers
If you've read my post about my, somewhat ambitious, plans to travel with Anaïs, or my article in Mother & Baby you'll know a little about my feelings on baby carriers. I'll tell you the truth: until recently, I HATED baby carriers. Despite the fact I had three beautiful slings gifted to me, I dreaded using them and regularly reached for my pram instead. Even when it meant it was super awkward for me to do so.
But about three weeks ago something changed. And now I LOVE wearing Anaïs. It's honestly my favourite thing to do now and, while I still use my buggy a LOT I always take a carrier with me too.
So, what changed? And which of the three is my favourite?
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I don't often write reviews. In fact, I rarely write them and I used to pride myself on that because I don't really like reading them. Except for every time I need to buy something and frantically search Google for product reviews. The frequency of said Googling increased dramatically when I had Anaïs. Because you really don't know what you'll need at all -- that much about becoming a parent is so incredibly true -- and everyone feels as though the products they relied upon, you'll also rely upon!
I felt completely overwhelmed by all the information yet none the wiser for it.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to start reviewing every product I buy, but this is something I would've liked to read before having Anaïs so I feel like it might be something of use for someone else.
WEAR ALL THE BABIES
Ergobaby 360 Sophie La Girafe (Festival Edition)
£144.90 (plus infant insert £19.90) / Buy here
Ergobaby is basically the market leader in baby carriers. My friend Charlotte recommended it as she loves it for her baby, so I was chuffed when they sent me one to review.
The Ergobaby USP is that how safe and ergonomic the carriers are. Babies hips need to be in the froggy position when you wear them, and with the Ergobaby you don't have to worry about positioning them -- it kind of does it for you!
It's really easy to put on, and you don't need a YouTube tutorial! It's simply a case of doing it up around your waist, popping baby in and clipping the back strap together. The 'dismount' is also easy peasy -- and added bonus when Anaïs falls asleep in it and I need a smooth transition into her bed!
There are a few cool features with the Ergobaby, but my favourite is the privacy hood which, I think, is there for when you breastfeed (I still can't work out how to do this in any of my carriers!) but I use it to shade Anaïs from the sun. You can even get teething pads to pimp your carrier!
Another top feature setting it apart from the other carriers is the fact you can wear your baby in four different ways. Front facing, on your back, hip and traditional hug hold'.
The biggest con for me is that it's so darn chunky. Especially at first, as you have to add an extra insert for newborns. This means that it is H-O-T in the summer, and we struggled to wear it during those crazy heat wave weeks earlier in the summer.
The fact it's so bulky means it's not the best if you travel lots (although I did see a great video on packing it up neatly) and that's the biggest downside for me. I often travel with a buggy, and like to throw a sling in my changing bag -- but the Ergobaby is way too chunky for that.
Overall, I think this is a great choice for a new mum wanting a simple, safe baby carrier to take her from newborn to toddler.
Yes, it's the most expensive of the bunch, but for good reason: it's a really high-quality piece of kit and well worth the price if you're after something more structured.
£80 / Buy it here
The Izmi is a 'soft structured' carrier, meaning it is soft but has clips and straps like the Ergobaby. Created by a UK based baby-carrying consultant, you can feel safe in the knowledge a mama with experience made it for parents.
Pros: It's structured, which is always easier to get on and off -- especially when you're in a rush. This is not to be underrated by the way because when you're on the go and need to get your sling back on quickly before you MISS YOUR TRAIN STOP this is important.
Having said that, it's also easy to pack down and comes with its own little bag too. I can easily fit it into my 'changing bag' so it's perfect for travel.
Although it comes in a variety of colours, we loved the classic grey and it's the only carrier of our three that Oli is super happy to wear. Although I think all three are 'unisex' - the Ergobaby is quite stereotypically girly, and the Fornessi is a little harder to use at first.
It comes with a little newborn booster seat already attached, so you are good to go from day one. I liked this feature a lot.
Cons: Because the sling is made of fabric, it can be a little tricky to adjust sometimes. It's hard to explain why but you can sort of see how it can easily get twisted on the pictures.
Oli doesn't have this issue, but I find it really hurts my back after an hour or two. This means it's not ideal for big days out, or if I'm travelling solo.
I love the Izmi! It's a great price, and if you and your partner are keen to use it it's perfect.
Fornessi Carry Me
£59 / Buy it here.
The Fornessi is the stereotypical sling. It's the one you want to wear, but are too scared to because how on earth do you wrap that thing?! And how the hell does the baby stay in?!
But guess what? It's my favourite. I LOVE it. Here's why...
Pros: Despite the fact there are no straps, and it's just one long piece of fabric -- it's a cinch to put it on once you know how.
The fabric is so, so soft (and very stretchy) so you can wear your baby in any weather. I never get hot and bothered, and neither does Anaïs. This means she regularly nods off to sleep which is a massive win in my book ;)
Because it's just a long piece of fabric, it's lightweight and absolutely perfect for travel. It even comes in a cute bag.
You can chuck it in the wash whenever there's a poo, dribble, milk explosion. Winning!
It's SO stylish, and I already have my eye on a few other colours (!) - the Aztec and baby blue prints are top of the list at the moment.
Cons: The thing with wraps is that it seems a lot harder to put on than it is. Honestly. I watched a few YouTube tutorials, and put it on in front of the mirror a few times and quickly I was hooked. But I won't sugar coat it - if you need to quickly get it on or off, at first it's a little stressful.
I also still don't know how to breastfeed in it....although I'm reliably informed you can (how?!) so I do need to take it off and on quite a bit. I'm a pro now, but at first, it was a bit of a faff.
Unlike my other two carriers, the Fornessi requires two hands to put it on -- so I have to either put Anaïs on the floor to assemble it or take her to a toilet with a changing table. This can be a little tricky. Obviously if there are two of you it's no drama at all.
This is my FAVOURITE. It's easy to put on, simple to wear and I love being super snuggly with Anaïs. And it's the most stylish of the three without question....it's also cheap as chips! A winner if ever I saw one.
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