Sling vs baby carrier

by DaniGirl on April 11, 2008 · 34 comments

in Baby days

In your comments on the post about how Lucas doesn’t like to be put down, a few of you mentioned how slings saved your life. I have a second-hand Baby Bjorn carrier that I used on and off for Simon, but Lucas doesn’t seem to like it. Mind you, we’ve only tried it two or three times, but he doesn’t seem to appreciate his face being smushed into my chest and I’m not sure how old they have to be before you can switch them to forward-facing. It’s a great way to get the vacuuming done, but he doesn’t tolerate it for much else.

I also have a home-made hammock type swing I made for Simon, but I think the fit is a little off and while I used it a couple of times, I actually found Simon liked the Baby Bjorn better.

So did you find the sling much better than the baby carrier? Is it worth spending the $$$ on one of the fancy ones?

Help, getting desperate!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dawna April 11, 2008 at 8:56 am

Maddy lived in the sling until she was almost eight months old. During sleepless nights, my hb would even strap her on to his chest and sleep in the lazy boy. I don’t know what we would have done without it. If you are not certain about slings, you should check out milkface ( She has a storefront behind MEC in Westboro and is an amazing source of information. She’ll offer suggestions on which sling or wrap would work best for you and your baby and then (this is the best part) you can sign one out for a week for free, to make sure that it works for you before you invest the cash. That’s what I call customer service!

2 annika April 11, 2008 at 9:15 am

Call Milkface in Westboro…the owner/operator is amazing!!!!!

3 annika April 11, 2008 at 9:18 am

Oohhh…I just saw Dawna’s post after I posted my comment. Too funny!

4 Kerry April 11, 2008 at 9:49 am

I had Holly’s baby in a sling facing forwards at like 2 months. He didn’t like the way I smell, I think, and he always cried if I had his face near my skin. Boo. Hol got hers at milkface.

5 Laura April 11, 2008 at 9:53 am

I bought a maya sling form and LOVE it…have used it with all 3 kids and my middle used it till almost 2 years old on long walks. It is very versitile since you can use it in shopping carts, restaurant high chairs and seats when they get older as a strap. I got so good at it that I even went pant shopping with Madigan in the sling and tried on pants with her in the sling! My kids lived in the sling – and my little one especially hated being let down…it worked for us.

I am actually selling mine…got amazing use out of it. They retail for $69.00 and I was going to post on for $45…

Funny you should post about this today as I was hoping to list it this afternoon!!!!

I may also have a video to show different ways of using it…I will go looking!

Let me know if you are interested.

storrie9540 at rogers dot com

If you wanted, you could try it out for a few days and then decide.


6 Sleepycat April 11, 2008 at 9:59 am

ChaosGirl loved her sling. I ended up making a sling and a pouch. The Maya Wrap Pouch -which they apparantly don’t make anymore! – was by far and away my favorite. (I wasn’t fond of the metal rings on most slings) The Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch at milkface look similar. It was the cradle position that she found the most comfortable and easiest to nurse from. We really did use it with her until she was 2 since it’s an easy way to hip carry. Plus the pouch style folds up small and tucks into a diaper bag or purse without the bulk of a ring sling or structured carrier.
Good luck!

7 Cristen April 11, 2008 at 10:26 am

I really liked having a sling for my daughter. I had a hotsling (not adjustable) but it was too small and so I bought something called over-the-shoulder-baby-holder or something. It was a little bulky but had lots of padding for your shoulder and for the baby and an adjustable ring. It felt very secure and my daughter liked to sleep in it.

I think I used it more than the bjorn because it was more comfortable for me and her.

8 andrea from the fishbowl April 11, 2008 at 10:49 am

I know the Milkface lady your commenters are referring to and she is indeed knowledgeable and wonderful re: all things Maternity. Do check her out. (And call me if you’re in this neck of the woods and we’ll do a quick coffee, K?)

9 Jody April 11, 2008 at 11:58 am

I think most long-term baby carrier people do use slings. I bought my Kangaroo Korner pouch direct from their website, and loved it, although I came to slings late and didn’t get as much use out of it as I could have. Good luck — there seem to be as many wonderful options as there are babies, these days. If you have a local store where you can try all the most popular models, I recommend trying to get there and try several out.

But don’t let the incredible hassles of getting down to a store stop you from laying your hands on a sling or five, soon!

(P.S. If you google sling reviews, you will be bombarded with blog posts by women who’ve bought four times as many slings as you have children. V. useful for single-finger browsing time.)

10 Rebecca April 11, 2008 at 11:59 am

My second was a sling baby, all the way. LOVED it. I had a homemade one from a friend of mine, but Ky didn’t like that one so much. The ring sling, however, got a TON of use until he was too big. It was a Dr. Sears one, I believe. I just felt a lot more secure with him in a sling than a carrier.

11 kgirl April 11, 2008 at 1:10 pm

ring sling, all the way. worth any money.
my captcha? be sided!

12 Anna April 11, 2008 at 1:14 pm

To make a really long story short (I can talk about slings for a loooong time). We got about 2 months out of the Baby Bjorn, but our slings lasted until our son was 2.5 years old.

I found the BB to be hard on the back once the baby gets bigger, less flexible and I’m also not a big fan of how it puts the pressure on the pelvic bones and spreads out the legs of the baby.

I’ve used tube slings, Baby Trekker, adjustable ring slings and even an authentic Korean podegi… ask away if you have any questions.

And yes, Britt at Milkface is the one stop shopping place for baby carriers these days. I

13 Kate April 11, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Like Anna, I can go on and on about this.

You are SO LUCKY to be within driving distance of Milkface! Go go go!

Never used a Bjorn, but have pouch’d, sling’d, and mei tai’d both kids. (Still do with AM.) For a baby 0-4 months I think it is vital to have the option to have them horizontal or vertical (depending on how they are feeling that day), which of course the Bjorn does not give you.

You don’t have to spend a lot; try for very affordable ring slings. Said the woman with a silk Zolo 😉 (hey, 30th bday present).

14 cinnamon gurl April 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm

I didn’t use a baby carrier but I did use two different types of slings. A padded adjustable ring sling in the first year(ish) but as he got heavier it put too much pressure on my shoulder. I didn’t really get the hang of it until I was at my wits’ end when Swee’pea was 7 months old, and it really did save my life (well my mind certainly). Then I switched to an unpadded unajustable sling by sewfunky (in Guelph). The ring sling was better for him sleeping in, the other one for when we were out and about and he got grumpy in the stroller. I could mail you the padded ring sling if you want?

15 Sara April 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm

I got a hand-me-down front carrier before Primo was born. Could never get it to work a right and it killed my shoulders. A friend gave me a sling as a shower present – one of the Over the Shoulder Baby Holders (ring sling, padded sides). It took a little getting used to, but once I got the hang of it it was wonderful. I could arrange him relatively upright and slightly facing out from very early on, I could nurse in it and have no one the wiser, and it kept him happy.

With Secunda, I’d lost some weight and was having to carry around more crap in the diaper bag, so I picked up a Mayawrap (unpadded ring sling) on ebay for cheap. I used the padded sling with her until she was old enough to put in a forward-facing carry (maybe 2-3 months? — you sit them kinda crosslegged in it and then cinch them in so the sling holds them upright) and then switched mostly to the Mayawrap.

I used the Mayawrap as late as last summer when Secunda was turning 4. It makes a great “third arm” for a hip carry, and once I mastered moving her from my hip to my back, it would help boost her into a piggyback ride. (here she is at age 3 riding piggyback

16 mamaloo April 11, 2008 at 5:27 pm

You don’t need to sink a lot of money into a sling. And they are fantastically easy to make (which is why so many people sell them!).

A sling is a must have for a starter babywearer. They are very flexible.

I also recommend a mei tai. You can also find lots of those only. I have a favourite seller on eBay who makes gorgeous ones that are reasonable.

I don’t like the commercial front carriers like Baby Bjorn because a baby’s entire weight is resting on their manly bits and that just can’t be good!

17 Theresa April 11, 2008 at 5:55 pm

I couldn’t help but adding my two cents….

I never did use a sling (kinda eyed them when other mamas had them on) but I DID use a Baby Bjorn carrier….oohhh yep I did.

Our poor bodies get whacked out of line enuf as it is while we’re pregnant…we certainly don’t need the added body stress of trying to lug a baby around in a carrier that is poorly designed for such a task. Besides getting sore shoulders and an aching lower back, I found that my babe bounced continually against my chest…forcing me to use my hands to support him anyway…ugg!!

I guess you’ve probably heard enuf to make your mind up for you…hehe

Thanks everyone for the posts about! DH caught me drooling over the well designed nursing bras and baby slings….yeah I’m SO there!!! (on-line anyways…:P~)

18 Miche April 11, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Not much to add that hasn’t already been said. Never tried a Baby Bjorn, only tried my Canadian made Heart 2 Heart sling.

It’s padded and has plastic rings. My daughter loved it. More importantly, I loved it! I’d do the “strapping to my body” thing and sleep propped up on the sofa when the reflux got bad and hubby was away on business. We used it until she was about 2.5 years. Now she uses it to carry her dolls about the house.

Almost forgot. With the sling, when she fell asleep, we could remove her and put her in her crib without waking her up!

19 Gliding through motherhood April 11, 2008 at 7:10 pm

I love baby carriers and have several types. I went to milkface to buy my ring sling and my mei tai – it was really nice to be able to try Kiernan in all the different types to see what felt most comfortable for us.
I also seem to remember something about the Extraordinary baby shoppe having loaner slings/carriers that you could try out before investing.

20 jo(e) April 12, 2008 at 4:32 am

My fourth child was very fussy and colicky, and a sling saved my sanity. It felt awkward at first but I spent some time practicing by standing in front of a mirror, putting the baby in and out, and figuring out how it would work well. That sling was the single most important piece of baby equipment I ever bought. I would highly recommend it.

(It was a “NOJO” sling. If you google “NoJo Baby Sling” you should be able to find it.)

21 valerie April 12, 2008 at 7:16 am

I have a Maya wrap (unpadded) sling I got at the Extraordinary Baby Shoppe. It’s great because it fits dh as well, and it looks funky, too. I got tons of complements even from people who didn’t realize there was a baby inside! I would lend it to you, but I still use it (S is just over 2 and about 27 lbs). It’s very versatile in positioning. Maybe try out the different ones at EBS or Milkface, then check on UsedOttawa or Kijiji for a good used one.

22 chichimama April 12, 2008 at 11:19 am

My first was a bjorn baby, my second a sling. I used the new native baby carrier and loved it because I could stuff it into my purse when it wasn’t in use. But everyone I know has a different favorite sling, so I think going to a store with a wide selection and trying them on with baby until you find one that feels right is your best bet…

23 smothermother April 12, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Just adding fuel to the sling fire here. The sling was the best piece of baby equipment we bought. It’s comfortable to wear and with the Maya Wrap, there is a bunch of different ways to put baby inside too. Even now I use it or short periods of time, like running into the bank or corner store instead of hauling out the stroller.

Milkface is the place to go. You get to try them all on and figure out which one works for you and baby. Also, they were great to help with choosing one that would work for me (5’2″) and my husband (6″6″).

24 Shannon April 12, 2008 at 4:19 pm

I have an ergo baby carrier. Now, I have never used it for a newborn, because we adopted, and when I brought my baby home she weighed 22 lbs. We live in Europe, and I use it ALL the time. I just traveled with public transport all over the place today including an hour on the train. I was able to do that very comfortably. I did a lot of research and it is a great carrier. We will also be able to use it for a few years as it has several possible positions. It is about 100 USD. It was worth every penny. You do need an extra piece for a newborn, but maybe Lucas wouldn’t need that now. It would be worth your time to at least read up about these carriers. Again, that’s ERGObaby. You can find tons about them on the internet. GOOD LUCK!


25 JoJo April 12, 2008 at 4:40 pm

I have a maya sling also. Amelia didn’t like it until she was 3-4 months old. You can totally borrow mine if you want. I should’ve tested it out before buying.

You know, the Extraordinary Baby Shoppe has a try before you buy program too…..

26 Holly Star April 12, 2008 at 6:41 pm

I’m just echoing everyone else but . . . Max LIVES in a sling. John is currently carrying Max around in a Heart to Heart ring sling while he prepares dinner. We also have a Cuddly Wrap and a Baby Hawk mei tai. Max has been in a sling of some sort almost every day of his life. I wear him inside and outside. We don’t have a car so I carry him a sling every day around the neighbourhood and on the bus.

I can’t say enough about Brit at Milkface. It is most definitely worth the trip down there. She is an expert. I got all of our slings there and I went back a few times for tips from Brit on fit and wear. She is a huge supporter of breastfeeding and nursing anywhere and everywhere.

I know you have another coffee offer for the neighbourhood but if your other friend isn’t available, we’re happy to meet you too.

27 big city mama April 12, 2008 at 7:38 pm

wrapping or baby-wearing just makes sense…moms in many cultures have some form of it. my first two were a combo of slings/strollers and I was determined that #3 be worn in a wrap full-time (I almost threw out the stroller!).

in theory, makes sense. in practice, i never had enough time to figure out a different wear when #3 got bigger. plus, i *really* didn’t have time for him to sleep on me (with two others in the house full-time). i wore #3 much less than the other two and he’s the best sleeper. It blew my theory that “babywearing creates better sleepers” out the window. go figure

28 Cait April 12, 2008 at 9:28 pm

That’s so funny, I was just talking to Jae, who happened to mention how much her son hated the sling!

Looks like majority rules though…good luck!

29 Terry April 13, 2008 at 12:55 am

I have a Maya Wrap, which is good for small babies and short jaunts with bigger babies (going into a store when it’s just not worth the hassle to get out the stroller, etc.). But, as one person pointed out, ring slings are not that great for your back because the babe’s weight is not distributed evenly. For baby number 2 I got a Kozy Karrier at Milkface. Little babies face your front, but once they are older, it can be used on your back too. It was $89.00 and worth every cent. I use it all the time, my baby falls asleep in it very quickly (he is currently 6 months and nearly 16 pounds), and it distributes the weight evenly, so I can look after my toddler, vacume, do dishes, etc. without getting a sore back or shoulder. I’m with the majority – go to Milkface and try some out!

30 nomotherearth April 13, 2008 at 12:09 pm

I’m the lone Bjorn fan it seems. However, the Little Guy is so heavy that I’m looking at other options. Please let me know what you decide on.

31 Joy September 5, 2008 at 2:24 am

I wanted to share some info. A little knowledge can really make someone?s day – I should know, when I had my new baby I tried several baby carriers and slings and many sore backs and frustrated baby days later Hug Of Joy? was created. It truly is amazingly comfortable – so the buzz out there says?
Joy Nolette: Owner, Designer
Modern, elegant, sleek & hassle free. Hug Of Joy? pouch baby carriers have no buckles, straps or ties. Remarkably comfortable – their unique stretch distributes baby?s weight evenly. Worn in 9 positions from newborn until 30lbs.
Hug Of Joy pouch – sling baby carriers are very unique because of the revolutionary fabric they are made of. You will feel pampered, wrapped in this carrier?s elegant, silky stretch. It?s the stretch that makes these carriers so comfortable and safe for both you and baby. Hug Of Joy? carriers are designed to be lightweight, sleek and modern.
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