O My Babywearing

I got an email from a reader (who is a friend that I just haven’t met yet) about babywearing advice and carrier types. It sent me into a dizzying typing fury and before I knew it, I had written a blog post novel of a response to her. Then I thought, hey, why only tell her? Why not share with all of my friends and readers (who are friends I just haven’t met yet)?

I now present to you The Post (which is really an email) In Which I Answer All Of Your Babywearing Questions (which is really just me sharing my experience):

I’d love to tell you what I know of babywearing carriers! I’m a diagnosed carrier junkie at this point, and I think it’s how some women feel about shoes: each one has it’s own special purpose in my wardrobe/life and is completely irreplaceable (obviously, or I wouldn’t need them all, and I do. I really do).


I started out owning only a Moby Wrap and I wore OBoy in that for the first couple of months of his life. It was kind of a pain to get on and off (and by kind of I mean really), but honestly he hated his car seat (and by hated I mean HATED) and I would not have been able to make a single grocery shopping trip if it weren’t for the Moby Wrap. To make it a little easier, I often put the Moby on me while at home and wore it (without OBoy in it, obviously) in the car to the store.


We packed it away after he was 4 months old or so, but it made a reprise when he was sick and wanted to be as snuggled to Mama as possible all.day.long. The Moby is good for the close snuggle hold, and I love that it is so soft. It’s also really good for weight spread so there’s no particular part (back/shoulder) that gets sore when you’re wearing your little one for a couple of hours. OBaby used to sleep in that thing anywhere, including but not limited to the Minnesota State Fair. The Moby Wrap was our savior the first few months and some people swear by it. It kind of has a mass appeal and is a good segue into babywearing. It also tends to be on the less-expensive end of carriers.


{{Minnesota State Fair, August, 2009}}

I should note that in this post when we wore OBaby on a hike, the first picture of Dan wearing OBoy in the Moby is done WRONG. His face should always be outside of the fabric. We shouldn’t have done that. Do not try that at home! Do not pass go! Do not collect $200! K? Got it?


Somewhere along the line I bought a pouch sling (above) and started using that one on-the-go because when compared to the Moby it was a cinch to put on and take off (and to get him in and out of) plus it was significantly less fabric and could fold up easily into the diaper bag or my purse (not so with Moby). This then became my new favorite carrier, but I still used the Moby at home and for extended periods of time (because this sling favors one side and isn’t as ergonomic as the Moby). This post has more info comparing the pouch sling and Moby.


{{Babywearing while baking a cake, 2009}}

 Quickly after the pouch sling entered my life, I learned about ring slings. It did everything the pouch sling did, but it was adjustable (and therefore better). You can put the baby – or toddler – in, pull the fabric tight, and he will be snug as a bug in a…sling. The pouch sling then got replaced for on-the-go carrier (not because it’s bad – it’s great – but because my ring sling was even better).

OBoy was completely comfortable sleeping in the ring sling, even as recently as my friend’s wedding last August when he was over a year old, and because it’s adjustable it didn’t have the fabric slipping and covering face issue that both the pouch sling and the Moby had.


{{Friend’s wedding in Oregon, August, 2010}}

I was completely comfortable using a ring sling with my newborn this time, but I do remember being a little intimidated and unconfident that first week or so I had it, when OBoy was 4 months old. There is a learning curve for sure. That’s not to say that it’s ‘not for beginners’ I just remember being a little unsure for a few days if I was using it right. Thankfully, youtube is full of tutorials, and some slings even come with a DVD of instructions. Confidence came quickly, though, and it was like riding a bicycle this time with OBrother – I remembered how it should feel immediately.


{{Swimming in Northern Minnesota, July, 2011}}

Here’s the first one we got (not cheap, but very good quality and I have no doubt that it will last though more than these two babies). It’s linen which is soft on a tiny baby’s skin much like the Moby. After owning the name-brand ring sling for a while, O My Mother-In-Law and I (ok, mostly her) made one out of a silk remnant we bought and rings we bought online made and tested specifically for babywearing.

Silk?? For babies?? You say.

Yes, silk for babies. It’s a strong fiber and holds its position well which is very important. Plus, what mama doesn’t deserve to feel a little more glam than usual? Honestly.


{{If you have a silk ring sling you must wear it to weddings. Must, I say.}}

I love having the silk and the linen slings and have gone back and forth favoring them. Once OBoy was older, I favored the silk one, even for everyday use, because it is such a nice, strong fabric to pull snug. Now, with OBrother, I find myself using the linen more, both because it’s softer and because it’s cooler for these hot summer days (BIG PLUS).

Here’s another ring sling post, and here’s one of my favorite pictures of wearing one (WARNING: WITTLE BEEBEE PICKSHER!!).

When OBaby became more of a toddler, standing and squirming and getting heavier, we bought a pack-type carrier called a mei tai. It is significantly easier to put on and take off than the Moby, but honestly does a lot of the same functions as far as spreading out the weight ergonomically and providing a lot of support to the kiddo.


{{Hiking in Utah, May, 2010}}

We bought it for the convenience of put on/take off, and because we wanted it on vacations and out and about last summer (frankly the Moby gets HOT). The Mei Tai has significantly less fabric to it. I wrote a Mei tai post (that includes a link of where we bought ours – Baby So Smart – one lovely company and also one of O My Family’s sponsors) right after we got ours, and then another post about how much I loved it when it was stolen (and – praise God – replaced).

{{Touring sites in Philadelphia, October, 2010}}

I don’t know if I could ever choose just one, but, perhaps if I were held at knife point and forced to have JUST ONE carrier for the first year of life with baby, I would choose… drum roll…

The linen ring sling.


And if that same cruel person (I mean really, who does that??) were to hold me at knife point and force me to have JUST ONE carrier for the second year of a baby’s life, I would choose the mei tai.


{{Hiking in Northern Minnesota, 2010}}

Finally, can I just say that while I would not have been able to convince my first-time pregnant self of this, I can now say that if I could go back with my present knowledge, we would not have bought a stroller that works with our carseat. Seriously. Babywearing is where it’s at. We haven’t used our bulky travel system stroller since OBoy was 4 or 5 months old and I can’t think of when we ever will.

We did buy an umbrella stroller last May and that has been great for this full-blown toddler age, especially now when outings are 2 kids vs. one adult. I usually put OBoy in the umbrella stroller (or cart if we are at the grocery store) wear OBrother in the ring sling, and have a backpack diaper bag. And a chai tea in one hand, obviously.

There you have it! That is pretty much everything I have learned about babywearing. O. Except, one very important piece of advice:

Do not, I repeat, do not, wear your baby and dangling earrings at the same time.


37 Responses to “O My Babywearing”

  1. Brea

    Thank you so much for posting this! My son is 8 months old and I HATE HATE HATE lugging his huge stroller every where. I have a Moby wrap but it’s just too hot to use in this Iowa heat – plus he kinda hates it. I’m definitely investing in a ring sling now!

  2. Sarah Robbins

    I love baby wearing, too! I think it is just a matter of trying different things out to see what works best for you and your baby. I tried about 10 different ones, and landed on two favorite go to carriers.

    If you like a Moby. but hate the wrapping let me recommend the Baby K’Tan. All the perks of the Moby with none of the hassle! On and off in less than 30 seconds! The only downside is that they are sized so you can’t share with your hubby if you are really different sizes.


    My other go-to carrier is the LilleBaby Everywear carrier. It’s a lesser known carrier, but I liked it better than the other soft structured ones I tried (I tried the Ergo, Pikkolo, and Beco as well). It is super light weight, comes with a built-in infant head support and harness, and a sleep cover. I can wear it for literally hours with my little girl in it. It rocks!


    I never could master the ring sling, but I am going to try again with Baby #2! I think every mom should try it out. I completely agree on the stroller.

    Did you get a double stroller? I am debating with #2 on the way and my daughter still being pretty little. . .

    • AllisonO

      I haven’t yet. I think about it often, but if we do it will probably just be a jogger. I think? Or an umbrella? O I DON’T KNOW. They’re all expensive.

      • Sarah Robbins

        That is my dilemma. From all the reviews, the only ones worth it are crazy expensive. I love the City Select two layer one, but $500 for a stroller? My husband would never agree to that! I’m glad to hear you are doing fine with a stroller and baby wearing. . .

    • AllisonO

      That is one thing I love but forgot to mention about both the ring sling and the mei tai – BOTH my 6’2″ husband and I can and do wear them, one size fits most. Love that. (Will probably edit the post to include this. Thanks for reminding me!)

  3. Amanda

    Yay!! I’ve been meaning to ask you about this. We just had an Ergo with J, which worked okay, but only for a time. I’m hoping to wear our new baby a lot more, and am so happy to have some ideas about how to do it! Time to put “make a ring sling” on the To-Do-Before-Baby list. :)

  4. GeekMama

    Thank you for this! I have a Moby and love babywearing, but the Moby can be so cumbersome with all that fabric, and it’s hot this summer! I will check out a ring sling thanks to you. Appreciate the comparisons and your honest opinions on all the types :)

  5. Sarah Robbins

    Oh yah- new babywearers should also know that there are a few places where you can rent babycarriers to try them out before you make a decision since they can be kind of pricey. You can also get really good deals on Craigslist.

  6. Krista

    You are my baby wearing EXPERT. Seriously, the links to the youtube videos you sent me via twitter just after Cole was born, really helped me feel more comfortable with the ring sling. AND now that I see those pictures of you with the baby in the Moby, I’m sort of sad I never tried one of those.

  7. Annie

    Excellent information! Thank you for this VERY informative (and adorable pics) post.

  8. vj

    Can I add (because I’m a car seat tech who HATES seeing this): Putting infant car seats on the top of shopping carts is very dangerous and causes LOTS of injuries every year. But you figured out what I advise parents to do– babywearing makes shopping possible. (And I agree–better than a stroller!!)

  9. Christine

    !!! I’m so excited that you did a summary post about this! I’m expecting my first in December and I’ve read a lot of good things about babywearing (including a lot from your blog), but I was kind of overwhelmed as to where to start and how to use them. I feel like I have a better idea of what I want to do now, so thank you!

    • Danae

      I’m expecting my first in December too! My mom is actually making me a couple ring slings & I’m thinking of putting a mei tei on the registry. Anything to avoid a bulky stroller.

  10. Mae

    Love it. We had a bjorn and a pouch sling.

    Man, what I would have given to make her love the pouch sling. Or just not barf in it every single time we put it on. I did not like the bjorn but SHE did and Topher did so I let that be their thing and I just, you know, held her. And dreamt about what I’ll get NEXT TIME.

  11. claire

    I am also a BWA–baby wearing addict, it’s AMAZING, isn’t it!? I have a sleepy wrap (different brand then Moby) which I LOVE, a K’Tan, Ergo, Pouch, and water wrap. Each amazing in their own rite. You should get an ergo though, seriously, you will be in love. I’ve decided that with bambino number 2 a ring sling is going to be a must… Babywearing. So wonderful. So addicting. :)

  12. Candice

    Thank you for this post! We have a mei tai and started using that when our first was 6 months. Since we found out we are expecting again we’ve accumulated a pouch sling, and now are hoping for a ring sling! A great review and intro to many of the types.

  13. Kallysa

    I didn’t babywear with my first (he’s almost one so probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I tried now lol) I am thinking I would like to when we have another little babe but the hubby isn’t keen. Any advice on how to convince him?

  14. Mary

    Thank you so much, so helpful! If you ever have the time, I would also love a DETAILED post on how exactly you achieved public breastfeeding so successfully without a cover. I loved your post about it and the nitty-gritty details on exactly how you layered your nursing tank, etc. would be helpful. I always felt like I was about to flash someone so ended up having to use a cover, which I’d love to do without the second time around!

    You could do a whole series of tutorials!

  15. Cole

    Mommy loved babywearing so much with me that she started her own consultation & rental business (baby-to-go.com) – I still love my ring sling and my Olives & Applesauce carrier, and I’ll be 2 in less than a month! In fact, we went to Disney World and didn’t even bother to bring a stroller. Mommy couldn’t agree more about skipping the travel system – we only used that stroller about half a dozen times; *if* I go in a stroller, our cheap umbrella stroller is way simpler.

  16. Sarah

    Can I share my love for my Beco Gemini?
    My son outgrew the Moby before he outgrew his love of being worn so I needed something more substantial. With the Gemini you can wear on the front facing in, the front facing out (safely!), on the hip, or on the back. He’s secure in it and I can wear him for extended periods of time without feeling his weight. My husband and I particularly like it for hiking–we swap him back and forth easily.

  17. Lauren N

    Just gotta say I recently got an Angelpack Soft Structured Carrier (like a mei tai but with buckles) and I am LOVING it for back carrying my 19 month old toddler. AND 3 year old brother fits too. Awesome blossom. Extra Awesome.

    P.S. after having stalked. Um I mean followed your life story so far, I just wanna say how awesome it is that you think your sling will hold up for MORE than just these two. ‘Cause probably there were times when you weren’t sure you should invest in anything for future children after O Boy…. and, well, to think you could have bunches is pretty magical.

    P.P.S. Now you have me very much wanting a ring sling before MY next little one arrives. Must stalk diaperswappers.

  18. Lindsi D.

    I highly recommend the Ergo. It’s like a mei tai but has snaps instead of ties. My first born LIVED in it for the first year of his life. My second also loved to be in it. Even my man’s-man husband LOVES wearing it and recommends it to all new parents :-) I did also have a ring sling that I love too ;-)

  19. Mama Fisch

    So, I just bought the Wrap and Wear. My first babywearing gear unless of course you count the Bjorn which I wore once and refused to put on again because it broke my back. My local store convinced me to buy the Wrap and Wear because of the light material… it is still super hot in Chicago and #2 will be here in three weeks or so. It was easy to do in the store…not so sure it will be once I am trying to actually put a newborn in it but we will see! Thanks for the tips! I am sure I will be full of questions soon!
    PS- We have a jogger (Bob Revolution) and love it. We are buying the Double Bob! Then again, we live in a city full of bumps, potholes and messes! :)

  20. Laurel

    Love the post! I want to have a little baby again so I can finally use my 2 ring slings with him or her. The 2 year old is not the same.

  21. Baby wearer

    I have a babywearing carrier problem as well. My husband actually asked me which of my other carriers I was going to sell when I got my new water ring sling. Um… none, thank you very much. Great post on baby carriers!

  22. abby

    Awesome post! Great info and advice! I didn’t get a travel system and I’m so glad I didn’t! I would NEVER use it if I had it since I have a jogger for “real” walks and who needs a travel system to take into stores?? I got a moby wrap and used it a few times when Adalyn was a newborn but a lot of outings I didn’t want to wake her from a sleep in her car seat to put her in the wrap so I would just use my snap and go stroller. Now days she is all about seeing the world, so Jonathan wears her everywhere. He absolutely refused to wear a sling though (i tried. I tried so hard.) so I got a baby bjorn at a consignment sale ($15 whoohoo!) and he wears her everywhere we go in that. It’s forward facing so I think he thinks he’s cool (like the hangover guy) and he also says that she’s his best fashion accessory. It’s pretty cute. And we get so many (positive) comments about him wearing her when we are walking through the grocery or the mall. I love seeing my man wear my daughter. ::faint::

  23. Bethany

    I love my ring sling too!! I bought mine 4 years ago when my third kido was 1 week old. It’s lasted 2 babies and still looks new! Now I make one for my friends when they have babies! They are a must have!

  24. bethany

    Ok this is where I show my geeky nanny side. I own a mei tai and I have no children. But omg its so useful, especially when I was nannying twin infants. I’ve also used a ring sling (LOVE) and baby k’tan (like) and a bjorn (blegh). I just started doing church childcare one night a week and I have one sleepy clingy infant and some rambunctious toddlers and grade schoolers.

    *and by geeky I mean AP esque nanny. aka I can’t wait to have my own kids.

  25. MamaBear

    I had a pouch sling for my second and now with my third I’ve found my babywearing groove. I was feeling gulity for spending the money on a SB linen sling, but now I know that it was SO worth it! It is so easy and comfortable! I also have a sleepy wrap that is my go to wrap for when I bring Elsa to work with me.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge over the years. If it weren’t for you and Steph I wouldn’t have given the ring sling a try.

  26. anna

    Thank you so much for this! I will be a babywearer in about 4months, and wasn’t sure where to start researching. I’m even passing this along to my mom, so she can be educated on slings/wraps/carriers for her first grandbebeh =)

  27. Mag

    I feel a bit like your a long lost friend! I too am a carrier addict. In my circles, babywearing is not a common sight. And yet, when I “discovered” it with my first daughter (started with a Snuggli, moved on to a Bjorn, graduated to a pouch) I was hooked. When I had my second girl, my collection was refined. I sold the Snuggle and Bjorn and ended up with a different pouch (Gorgeousbaby, still my favourite pouch), a Jellybean ring which I sold in favour of a lovely gold silk ring (best for summer and weddings) that I found on Etsy, an Ergo (good for my then-toddler) and a custom made mei-tai from my cousin. Between the second and third I acquired another pouch (Tot-To-Go, went out of business it was a liquidation sale!), and then when he was born (a son!) I also added a Seven Sling pouch. We also have a backpack frame for those rare hiking days. Love to wear my babies!

  28. ann @ my life as prose.

    allison, if you see some extra traffic to this post randomly, it’s totally me. i love this post and am always coming back to it to reference :) the only thing i wish it had was a link to a pattern for making your own ring sling. i’m preg with my 1st and really want a ring sling, and have a super duper awesome sewer MIL, but she’s in another state, and not so internet savvy :( wish i had a pattern to send her :) oh well. :)

  29. Annie

    This post is so fabulous. With your recent post about the Ergo, I’d love to hear your opinion on the Ergo compare to these!


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