In my nearly 9 years of continuously mothering little babies, there is one thing that I think is absolutely indispensable. A good baby carrier. I'm a baby carrier junkie, so I'll share my top three.
My first carrier was a sling called The Over The Shoulder Baby Holder. My sister in law gave it to me when my first was about 3 or 4 months old. The first few days I didn’t think I’d ever figure it out and during the time I couldn’t figure it out, my little Wee Boy was not enjoying it. However, I didn’t give up and then it became a part of my life. I also found that USUALLY it depends more on the mom than the baby. I've demonstrated sling wearing a number of times to mothers who have been unsuccessful with theirs (I think everyone has a hard time right at first) and the baby does just fine so I really think that once mom figures it out, baby is good. Usually. Anyway, I used that sling for 4 children and can’t imagine what I would have done without it!
When I was pregnant with my 5th I got a new sling. A Maya Wrap. Because I’m the one who wears it and I’m the one who takes pictures, the only picture I have of it is not me wearing it but it IS my baby in it.
Crying babies were always easily calmed by carrying them in the sling while I went about doing whatever needed to be done around the house. One baby napped in it because he had reflux and couldn’t sleep any other way (until I defied doctors mandates and laid him on his tummy). They were always perfectly content on hour long grocery shopping trips, often falling asleep. Because they were used to being held in a sling they would always sit contentedly in them while holding them in my arms would be like holding a crazed monkey. I used a sling every where…the park, sightseeing, church, the mall. Even now that I have a different “most used” carrier, I use the maya wrap frequently. I always use it for church, I usually take it along if we’re going out to eat… I use it for anything where I’m going to need to have it on and off quickly or frequently. One big plus to the maya wrap sling is that it’s also a nice cover should the baby need to eat while we’re out and about. I think I bought it for about $45 on ebay. It has definitely been worth the money.
Now, my current most used carrier is the Ergo. Again, pictures are limited for the same reason as before AND the fact that when we take pictures I usually get her off my back so she can be IN the picture! In this picture
you don't really get a good look (you could of course go to the official web site http://www.ergobabycarrier.com/) but here I am wearing our teeny tiny at Disney. She's leaning back to look at the carosel we're about to get on.
This carrier was more expensive. I'd heard about it for a while but the price turned me off. However, with Christmas money in hand and testimonies of friends, I decided to look and see if I could find one a little cheaper than a new one. My dear SIL that got my first sling found one for me on Craig's list in her area for $70 I think. Again, way worth the money in my opinion. This carrier is the most comfortable one ever. I can wear a 20+ pound baby in it ALL DAY and not feel it in my back because the weight is carried around the waist. With a sling I have a limit of maybe 1.2-2 hours at a time The awesome thing about this carrier (other than the comfort) is that with the baby happily on my back I can easily do laundry, lean over students while we're doing school work, do house work, wash dishes, start dinner, pick up another baby and a great number of other things that are difficult with a carrier that has the baby in the front! And my two smallest people who often get crabby in the evening when I'm busy are VERY happy to be carried on mommy's back. One at a time of course.