When we were expecting Elizabeth, we spent a lot of time investigating ways of taking her out with us without having to rely on the buggy. We found that there were so many different types and makes of carriers, making it difficult for us to know where to start. After much research, we decided that we liked the concept of a wrap and eventually settled on the Kari Me. We both loved it but I found that as Elizabeth got bigger, I struggled to carry her in it. Frans didn't seem to have the same problem and would often opt to carry E in the wrap and she really enjoyed being in it. We now use the big solid-framed back carrier although E prefers to walk everywhere these days.
So knowing the difficulties I had with the Kari Me, I mentioned to Frans some time ago that I would like to investigate other options for a baby carrier so that I could also 'feel the freedom' of using a baby carrier. I also think I'm going to need something other than the buggy for the baby when it comes to walking the dog with two children. My plan is to have the baby in the carrier and E in the buggy if necessary but I don't really want to take the buggy out unless i have to. Time will tell with that I think.
So on a recent trip to Waddesdon Manor, I bumped into a Mum carrying her baby in an ErgoBaby. I took the opportunity to quiz her about it and that gave me the kickstart I needed to look into baby carriers in general. I've found that there are even more options now than there were two years ago but this time I'm starting knowing that I want a more solid carrier, not a wrap or sling style one. Frans plans on using the Kari Me again so the new carrier should be something that I like and find comfortable, although the option of Frans using it if he wants to would be good. Most of the carriers I've looked at are unisex and come in muted colours so there shouldn't be any problems there.
I've heard good things about the Baby Björn so that was a good starting point for me. I quickly rejected it though as I would like to have a carrier that can be turned onto my back as the baby gets bigger, meaning that next summer we can go for long walks as a family with both myself and Frans carrying a child on our backs (although E will probably want to walk most of the time, knowing her!) I liked the way the Baby Björn fitted the body and seemed to be made like a good backpack is, so that it sits comfortably and you don't really notice it's there. This is so important to me as I have both a weakness in my lower back and one knee due to past injuries. The carrier I choose has to be comfortable to wear for long periods.
Next, I looked at the ErgoBaby. From the images, it doesn't seem to have the same kind of support that the Baby Björn offers but I do think I'd like to try one on. It can be used as both a front and back carrier although I don't like that you have to buy an insert for your newborn baby. It's adding all these little accessories that cause prices to creep up.
I then sort of fell in love with the Stokke MyCarrier. There were various other carriers that I looked at but the three I've mentioned were the most note-worthy. The Stokke MyCarrier just seems to be exactly what I want and the few reviews I've read (for the MyCarrier is very new to the market) all say that it's great. The biggest negatives are that it is a bit bulkier than some other carriers and that it can't be packed away easily into a bag as it doesn't fold up (or screw up) like a wrap or sling would. The main positives are that it's made from organic textiles and no nasty chemicals have been used, it's machine washable, comfortable to wear and can be used for older toddlers. On paper it certainly ticks all my boxes and once I no longer have a bump, I shall be going to test out both the ErgoBaby and the MyCarrier.
I'm very excited - roll on September!