Ok- I didn’t wear my daughter when she was a newborn- various reasons but mainly it being winter and having an awful back post birth. I eventually had a carrier when she was bigger but didn’t use it often. This time I am determined to have a sling for my newborn as I’ll need my hands for my will be 3 year old. I’m toying between an ergo and a close and I can’t decide which would be better. There are not often sling meets near me but there are occasionally (though I can’t try any on over this massive bump!) Can I have your advice and opinions please in plain language as I struggle with babywearing lingo! Thank you xx
I hated the ergo for new born, I found it only really good once the have control of there neck and a little way down there back.
I would recommend a mai tie or a strechy wrap for a new bron. but remember what evr your plans are you baby might not like a sling. I have had 2 that hate it and 2 that loved it.
I had a moby for ds when he was little and loved it, but did like the look of the close for ease of use and think if I might sell the moby and then maybe buy a close if I had another. Not sure if that helps lol
For a newborn I preferred a stretchy wrap. I have a Tinokis which I loved for DD4. Basically it’s a huge length of stretchy fabric which wraps around the body ( a lot on my frame!!) and holds baby upright or nursing position. I always used upright with DD4 as she had an undiagnosed milk intolerance and reflux for several months and vomited an awful lot if not in an upright position. Well actually even when she was upright but at least it seemed less painful for her…....
DH on the other hand preferred a Close carrier which works the same way as the stretchy wrap but it pulls over your head and has rings to adjust the sizing rathe than trying to tie tighter or loser with baby in situ. In fact I need to make another post about this…..
DH was recovering from a back injury when DD4 was born but he still managed to carry her for short periods of time.
Ok- so I’ve had a look at some mei tais- some are just beautiful and they look fairly easy to use. However its not a ‘brand’ as such, is it? It appears people make these in the mei tai style- I guess they have to be safe before they can sell them? (Sorry I am a complete novice and really want to choose wisely!) Jen, I realise that each baby is different and I may buy one and when he comes along, hates it, but I’d like to have the option to at least try!! The only thing that puts me off with a close is the amount of material left over- it seems like there would be a lot just hanging?
I prefer a stretchy wrap for a newborn and then a woven for an older baby. A ringsling is also handy for the very early stages and the toddler stage too.
I have a close carrier and never got on with it at all (neithe did my sister, although one person I lent it to loved it). The jersey fabric gradually slipped through the rings while wearing, so we were constantly hitching it up and could never seem to get a great ‘fit’ with it. Also, you can’t open it out on your back like you can with a wrap (the back bit is sewn folded) which made it sore to wear after a while.
My first stretchy wrap was a Kari-me which was fab, though I hear moby is just as good and cheaper.
If you definately want a Mei-tai, I would definately go for a branded one, or a midprice one off etsy, because some of the ones sold through amazon and ebay are cheaply and shoddily made and while not necessarily unsafe (although I have seen some with less secure stitching/strap positioning than I would myself be comfortable with) they may not be comfortable to wear or built to last. Also, be aware that not all meitais are suitable from birth. Some of them are only from 3m+ because of shaping etc
Mei-raid are a style rather than a brand - you are quite correct. You want to be looking for mei-tais with several rows of stitching and a good seam allowance, so that they are really secure where the straps meet the body. My lovely MIL made mine, and it has survived everyday use through two kids now, so I’m really confident in it - I have seen some that look like the straps and waist-band would come apart with a good tug though :(
I used a Moby a lot with DD1, up to about eight months, when I started using an Eden mei tai rather a lot instead, together with a Storchenwiege woven wrap. This time around, I’ve used a ringsling I bought from Raspberry Baby on Etsy - daily use from teeny-tiny to 20lb+ - and it’s been amazingly good - comfortable, quick, simple. Also using a mei tai (wrap conversion made by the lovely Fay at Opitai Baby) and a Girasol woven wrap.
I think if I was to have a third, it’d be the ring sling I went for first, together with the Moby.
I used a ring sling from birth for a few months, until they had head control and became heavier, then switched to a woven wrap thereafter. I used the wrap with baby on the front to start off with and once they got bigger I started to use it so they were on my back. They both loved this. I still use both slings occasionally for my youngest who is three.
A ring sling is used on one shoulder only, I found that as they got heavier this became tiring for me over long periods. A woven wrap is a long piece of woven material which has a wider section in the middle. There are loads of websites and you tube videos explaining how to tie a woven wrap. Some folks find them too warm, but living in the north I have not found this to be a problem!
I haven’t got in with meitais but loved my stretchy with both mine and a ringsling absoloytely brilliant x
Yes, i have all three of those you quoted and i use my ring sling the most so far due to ease and ds2 prefers it to the others. Also loved the stretchy for the early days. The mei tai might be better once he’s older.
I used ring slings too and found them great with DS4 but really couldn’t with DD4 as they are one shoulder carriers and as I have an ongoing back problem I really couldn’t cope with the waqy the weight was distributed across that one shoulder rather than the whole body. I mainly used the stretchy from birth last time around because of this, the stretchy spread the weight across my whole upper body which made things a lot better. I still used the ring slings but only for very brief periods, times like nipping out of the car into the shop for 15 minutes or so, the ring sling was quicker to put on and I knew I could tolerate that short period of time but not much more. I preferred mei tais’s as baby got older and had better head/shoulders/neck support as they are easier to use and the padded straps helped prevent any discomfort/digging around the shoulders. I have the skinniest shoulders/upper back ever and really notice the difference between unpadded/padded mei tai’s Mei tai’s were easier to get into from the car/outdoors as less spreading out fabric/trailing the ground etc, whereas if I was leaving from home/indoors I would use a woven wrap at times becauseI had more ime to get it fitted just right.
I would say my own personal preference would go:
Ring sling - very short carries from birth to around 4 months.
Stretchy wrap - almost constant wearing from birth to around 9 months plus
Mei tai - almost constant wear from around 4-6 months up to no longer needed
Woven wrap - around the home and from indoors to out for long periods from around 4-6 months onwards
Thank you- you’ve all been very helpful. Novice that I am, can I ask- what is a close consdiered as? It looks stretchy but also has rings?! The one shouldered sling don’t appeal to me as the weight distribution can’t be good on my already damaged back but I like the look of something stretchy and tight to keep a little head nice and supported. Would you say its best to buy something now or wait til babe has arrived? I would be going out to need to use it for the first few weeks anyway so I could wait til he’s born and see how I get on with it at home before venturing out.
Personal opinion? Go to a fabric shop and buy a length of heavyweight jersey fabric. Use that as a stretchy wrap as it’s cheaper than buying one, and all stretchies are is that length of fabric hemmed with flexible thread. Use that for the first few months (I think I used it for about three months intemittantly as Jude didn’t really like wraps). Then save the money you would have spent on a branded stretchy and get a nice quality mai-tai. Best of both worlds
We’ve just used woven wraps (Didymos and Storchenwiege) from birth—we have a mei tai carrier but DD (now 3) doesn’t like it as much as the familiar woven wraps, and even at 3 she only really likes being worn in front. Maybe our next baby will use the mei tai, though—it’s true that every little one is different. I think having a woven or stretchy wrap (we personally prefer the woven ones even for newborns, but maybe we’re in the minority) on hand for right after birth is a good idea, even if you won’t be going out much—you can use them loads even around the house, especially since you have an older one and will want to be moving around the house with her. A wrap will allow you to keep the new baby close and happy while still giving the older one attention….
I just started from scratch this time too (after getting rid of all 13 slings I had collected with my three other children).
This time around, knowing the various options and having tried them all out (!) I bought a second hand Close carrier on ebay. And a new ring sling; the maya wrap ring sling.
I like the idea of a soft cosy stretchy wrap for new born days and bought a very expensive organic one for my dd’s early days. BUT I just was irritated constantly at the huge lengths of fabric I had to deal with *ever single time* I wanted to put her in the sling quickly - like getting us both out of bed and having to help my ds on the toilet - that sort of situation, which crops up constantly with little kids, well I just had no time to do up a big wrap constantly. A ring sling I could pop over my head super quick and pull to tighten, done. The Close carrier I was just plain interested in as it is soft and stretchy (( so I fully imagine that when babies get heavy it will just be too bouncy - hence the second hand purchase on ebay). I have tried it out a few times already and really like how you can just pop it over your head and then pull on the two tails which go through rings. It feels secure (well, with nothing in it so far!). I had a mei tai with my dd too, but found that the straps bit in too much around my waist and I didn’t like how I had to tighten it up constantly, plus the straps kept on slipping down. Too tiresome to deal with, I just found myself reaching for the ring sling instead every single time. I had a Maya wrap ring sling previously and then gave it to my sister. It is still in use in her home so I can’t get it back so I treated myself to a new one It’s a good quality sling and the colours available are pretty. My friend has the olive one which I would have been my number one choice too but they were out of stock when I ordered so I bought the blue. My dh likes the versitility of a good ring sling too so it will suit him.
Good luck with your choices and let us know what you go for