I dipped my toes into the world of babywearing when Donovan was a baby. I had a couple pouch slings that Zach and I both used constantly in those early months, along with a hand-me-down Snuggli that Zach liked a lot till D got too heavy to wear comfortably in it. At four months I did order a Moby wrap, but D wasn't a big fan of it so it hardly got used.
|Rockin' Baby pouch sling|
|New Native pouch sling (my favorite at the time, but got lost during a trip back home to Texas one year...)|
|A solarveil water sling that I bought for this one trip to Texas, then never used much after (mainly b/c it's kinda rough and scratchy)|
While I had loved our pouch slings, I knew that for my next baby I'd want something with two-shoulder support. The first new carrier I bought was a Catbird baby Mei Tai, which is today my go-to carrier while we're at home (I'd use it out and about, too, but I still don't like the idea of the straps dragging on the ground while tying...). I'm amazed at how well this carrier distributes Quinn's now 17+lbs so that my back never feels very strained, even when I wear him several hours in a day. I've also started being able to wear him on my back sometimes (though front is so far easier, faster, and a bit more comfortable).
I did get a bit more use out of the Moby this time around, especially the first 1-2 months. It just felt cozier and more secure during that super-squishy newborn stage.
I then decided I wanted a soft structured carrier, and spent a while debating between the Beco Butterfly 2 and their newer Gemini. Turns out I ended yup with both-- I bought the Gemini, then shortly after a friend offered me her used Butterfly which I was happy to accept. The Gemini is my second favorite, I think, after my mei tai. It's been really nice for keeping in the car and using while out and about, since it's so easy and quick to put on and take off (at least after you get used to the two-handed buckles...). I love that the straps cross in the back, which I find more comfortable than when they buckle at your shoulder blades. Zach really likes it because he can now put Quinn in it facing outwards (while still keeping baby in a bit more ergonomically-friendly position, supporting under the thighs rather than just the groin). My one concern about the Gemini is that between the dark color and thick, padded body, it might be too hot to use much during the summer. So, I guess we'll see.
The Butterfly took a bit of getting used to and I felt I had trouble getting everything adjusted properly. I'm not a huge fan of the Y-panel, but it does make for a more secure transfer for back-carries which is pretty nice.
I then became drawn to non-stretchy wraps. I shopped around a bit, and settled on a BabyEtte gauze wrap which I love because it's gorgeous. It was also pretty affordable, so I felt ok trying it and not feeling too bad if I couldn't get the hang of it. I've had some success getting Quinn into a back carry with it, which will usually last about 10-20 minutes before he starts fussing. But, that's enough time for me to get a few things accomplished that are much easier to do when he's not on my front.
I also have a couple of ring slings (the Solarveil water sling above, and a newer BabyEtte purchase). I don't use them that often because I think they put too much strain on my shoulder (or maybe I haven't quite figured out the best placement yet), but they are nice for short periods of time, and I may use them a bit more once we graduate to hip-carries. One very nice advantage of ring slings is they are, in my opinion, probably the easiest carrier to breastfeed in.
So, to sum up:
2 pouch slings (though 1 got lost somewhere between here and Texas)
1 Catbird Baby mei tai
1 Beco Gemini
1 Beco Butterfly 2
1 Moby wrap
1 BabyEtte woven wrap
2 ring slings
When I list them all out it seems ridiculous that I'm still thinking of buying more carriers. Then again, I use at least one of these just about every single day, sometimes for several hours in a day, so they've definitely been worth it. I used to make fun of Zach and how he had several different backpacks that he'd use for hiking, from super light ones that held just a sweater and some water, to a massive beheamoth for week-long backpacking trips. Now I'm the one convincing him of the subtle but very important differences in form and function between different carriers...
Let me know if you have questions about any of these carriers, I'm happy to answer as best I can. Also, check out some of the other ladies showing off their babywearing stashes (you should be able to see links to their posts below). And, of course, always practice safe babywearing. ; )