Like sunscreen and strollers, I became obsessed with finding the best and most comfortable baby wrap and carrier when baby girl was younger. I tried the original ergo carrier and found it to be uncomfortable and too much material for it to be breathable or cool for the baby.
This was when eBay was our best friend. We sold that carrier and after much research purchased a Lillebaby carrier. It had a mesh material that would hopefully keep baby and mom cool in the stifling heat, and an ergonomic shoulder/back strap. This carrier, however, was as uncomfortable as the original ergo. The torso length was far too long and the ergonomic strap was pretty pointless and silly-looking with my outfits. It was also difficult to carry baby for long periods of time as she got heavier and the mesh material felt rough and scratchy against baby girl’s skin. In paparazzi photos though, Liam Helmsworth and Ryan Reynolds were both seen wearing a Lillebaby. I think if you have a similar body frame as those guys, it might be more comfortable, than on someone as short (5’4″) as myself. It is designed by a Scandinavian company, isn’t it?
Anyway, after much persuasion and arm-twisting on my part, we then sold the Lillebaby and got the ergo 360. Although this was an improvement on the original ergo and the Lillebaby, it didn’t take more than 40 minutes before my hips, shoulders, and back would start aching. If baby girl finally fell asleep when I wore it around the house, and I wanted to put her down to bed, I’d leave the room and then undo the giant Velcro waist strap as to not wake her. The Velcro strap was pretty annoying too because you couldn’t make minor adjustments easily once you had the baby in the carrier. This is a a major dealbreaker. I am able to change the waist and shoulder straps throughout the time that I am wearing my toddler now with my Tula. How tight or loose we want the straps changes depending on if she’s sleepy, how long I’ve been carrying her, and the activity.
In the end, I found two amazing carriers, one of which I still use to carry my 30 pound 2.5 year old toddler for more than an hour at a time, with hardly any discomfort:
Baby Tula Ergonomic Carrier – Urbanista – Baby: I have no idea how, but all of the slight differences in various carriers, make a huge difference on your pain and stamina when wearing them. I found the Tula carrier, after poring over countless blogs and forums about babywearing. This carrier is the only one you will ever need to buy. Don’t waste your money on the other ones. We got the toddler size on Amazon. She was around 18-19 pounds when we got it, and I was debating whether or not to get one, since she was already much older (almost 13 months), was walking, etc.. I regret a lot of stuff that we purchased when we had the baby, but this is not one of them. I only wish I had gotten it from the beginning. I am constantly using it. Even now, when she is 2.5 years old, I bring it with me, when we take the train, go to the zoo, museum, on the plane, on vacation, etc.. I can easily carry her for an hour, without being uncomfortable or have any back, shoulder, or hip pain. She weighs 30 pounds too and was a big baby from the start. The Tula has so many cute designs too.
Solly Baby Wrap: I follow them on Instagram and they honestly seem like really nice people and I love their story. They are living the dream. That’s reason enough to want to support their business. However, their wrap is also pretty awesome.
I had a hard time picking one, especially when comparing it to the Moby wrap or the Boba, on Amazon, which have thousands of reviews, but I chose the Solly for a couple of reasons.
I read that the other ones are made of thicker material, and, in the dry heat of southern California, it’s important to pick one that is breathable and cool. The Solly wrap is thinner, but stretchy. They also focus on making ones with really cute colors and prints. I also read that the Solly is much shorter in length, in comparison to the Moby, and that for more petite women, the Solly was much better suited. We babysat one of my friend’s four month old a couple of months ago, and I was able to bust out my Solly wrap again, after not using it once our baby got much bigger, and it helped the baby fall asleep right away and kept him calm, despite being in a new environment. I credit his unusually long naps that day to the Solly wrap.
His mom had given me a clipboard to rigorously mark how long his naps were and details about his feedings. She told me afterwards that his naps are usually much shorter, and was shocked to hear how long he had napped for that day. When I dropped him off later that day, I lent her my wrap just in case.
It really is so freeing to be able to put your baby in a secure wrap, and to have your hands and arms free. I couldn’t even get my own drink from the refrigerator pre-Wrap era. I felt my independence come back that day my Solly wrap came in the mail.
Wearing a regular baby carrier is not as comfortable as a wrap in certain situations. If you’re at home, doing housework, or walking around on the plane, you want to stay comfortable and as light as possible, and the Solly wrap is perfect for that. I can thank my Solly wrap for not completely losing my sanity, when it became clear that the baby wanted to be held almost non-stop.
On vacation, I traveled with both the Solly and the Tula. If the weather was more humid and sticky, I wanted to have the Solly and wear it instead of wearing a heavier carrier. The Tula is great for when you want to put the baby down easily. I recommend both brands though to all of my friends.