Finding the right baby sling or carrier isn’t always easy
March 25, 2013 10:27 AM
Ring slings (BB Ring & Maya Ring) Initially, we thought they would require some practice. But the ring slings turned out to be the easiest and most comfortable one-shoulder style we tested. Because you can fix the tension to fit your little passenger while they are in it, you can make it really secure yet comfy. We preferred the BB version because the padded section at the shoulder is several inches longer. It’s not quite as voluminous as the Maya Ring, and it can bear more weight. We also liked the fact that the additional fabric acts as a handy breastfeeding cover. Ring slings can be worn on the hip or back for an older child, kangaroo frontwards-facing for a larger baby or cradle-style for a newborn. Maya Ring (from 3-15kgs), QR320, BB Ring (from 2-22kgs), QR355, BubsBoutique.com.
Organic Ergo Baby The Organic Ergo Baby offers side and back carrying options, so it’s more complicated than the Boba, with a few more straps and loops to get to grips with. The main back panel is also quite low so your baby will need to have reasonable head control unless you decide to use the additional hood for newborns. We found the instructions a little confusing when moving our tester from the front to the back position. But she was happy in the carrier, and because the back isn’t so high, she was able to see more of what was going on. From 5.5-20kgs. QR445, Babysouk.com, Bubsboutique.com.
Boba Carrier 3G The easiest and most comfortable of all the two-shoulder carriers we tried, we got the hang of the Boba immediately. Simply do up the waist belt, put one shoulder into the sling. Slip your baby in, lift up the other shoulder strap and secure the catch at the back. Our little tester enjoyed this design because she felt so snug and secure, as though we were hugging her to our chest. The support to her head and back was just right, and her legs were held in the ‘frog position’ where the bottom is lower than the knees, which is recommended by paediatricians for optimum comfort and hip development. It’s pricey, but definitely worth the investment. From 3-20kgs. QR530, BubsBoutique.com.
Minimonkey Lightweight and simple to use, we liked the padded lip which gives the pouch section a little more structure. However, we found that while it might work well for a newborn (cradle style), and a hip-sitting toddler, the Minimonkey wasn’t so great for our six- month-old tester, who found the recommended kangaroo position too tight and restricting. The size of the pouch just wasn’t generous enough to accommodate her proportions, but she wasn’t big enough to use the hip-sitting position either. The shoulder strap doesn’t cup the shoulder (like a ring sling) so it wasn’t as comfortable as the ring slings, and you can’t adjust it while wearing it because the clip is on your back. Good for tiny babies and an older, more self-supporting child. Up to 15kgs. QR255, BubsBoutique.com.
Tonga The Tonga is a hip carrier you can roll up and slip into your handbag. Made from durable cotton, you adjust the strap by turning it over on itself. We’d recommend this one for travelling, as it provides a handy seat for tired toddlers while giving weary-armed mums some welcome support. We wouldn’t advise mums to use it on smaller babies though (the instructions suggest from three months). It just doesn’t offer enough support. Our six-month old tester almost slid herself out of it despite the fact that we had one arm firmly around her at the time. Up to 15kgs. QR230, 6amBabies.com.
Babybjorn Babycarrier Miracle Constructed from a keep-cool mesh fabric, the Babybjorn comes in two sections, with a shoulder strap piece and the baby pouch which attaches to it via a number of clips and toggle fixtures. It also has a strip under the seat section that you can adjust to fit your baby. Once your tot is in place, they feel very secure, and our little tester enjoyed the outward-facing position and liked being able to look around. However, we noted that the hip position wasn’t the recommended ‘frog’, so she might not have been comfortable after an extended period. From 5.5-12kgs, QR849, babybjorn.com.
Stokke Mycarrier We liked the look and feel of the Stokke – though it is daunting when you first get it out of the box because it comes with two pouch attachments – one for the front-carried smaller baby, and a seat attached to the back sturdy enough for a sizable toddler. Once you get past all the clips, toggles and two mountaineering-style links, it’s very secure and comfortable, and the kind of carrier you could happily take on an active hiking holiday, if you so chose. We also liked the fact that the leg position is wide – making it a healthier option for bub’s hips, whether they are forward facing or chest to chest. And it looks good so Dad will happily wear it too. From 3.5-15kgs, QR899, www.stokke.com.