Is Your Baby Carrier or Sling too Complicated?

Mine was. I once became trapped inside my Baby Bjorn Carrier with my snoozing infant snuggled on my chest. I was desperate for sleep and wanted to lay my baby down so that I wouldn’t roll on top of him, carrier and all, but I was utterly unable to figure out how to get it off. Instead I sat on the couch and cried until my husband got home. Was sleep deprivation a factor? Absolutely! But this was my least favorite baby carrier. Did other moms have this experience with complicated slings or baby carriers?

Don’t get me wrong, I loved wearing my baby. Slings and carriers calmed colic, allowed me to cook dinner with two hands, and put my babes to sleep like nothing else. But some were just so much simpler to use than others. Luckily I borrowed almost all of the slings and carriers we had and the ones we bought were purchased used. It was nice to experiment with so many slings without having to shell out heaps of cash.

Carriers like the Moby Wrap look really cool in theory, but seem to require an advanced degree in fabric wrapping. Still, many moms swear that the Moby Wrap holds their babies more snugly and comfortably than other carriers. Just looking at the directions makes me feel the need to nap.

I even managed to wear the Maya Wrap incorrectly at times, which is one of the easiest slings to use! At first I would always put it on in the wrong direction and my baby would slowly sag down until he was hanging near my hip. To be fair, once I watched the instructional video that comes with the Maya Wrap, I was far more successful!

Our favorite sling, simply because it required no adjustment whatsoever, was the Kangaroo Korner Pouch Sling. We had one in fleece that we used with our first and bought a cotton one for our second. Sadly, I think that company has now gone out of business. Am I right? I guess the Peanut Shell Adjustable Sling or the Dr. Sears Adjustable Sling are somewhat similar, but don’t have snaps to change the sizing. Apparently they have a flexible elastic that allows the sling to carry a growing baby without buckles or straps. Has anyone tried them?

If I had to recommend any other carriers to new moms, I would say that the Ergo Carrier was pretty fantastic and far more comfortable than the slings we used. It works for infants as a front carrier and older tots as a back carrier. I could breastfeed my infant in the Ergo while grocery shopping without anyone ever knowing and loved that it came with a zip pockets for keys or a wallet. The downside was that I never figured out how to strap my son on my back with the Ergo carrier without help. I have seen other mothers perform this miracle in supermarket parking lots and been amazed, but my son was far too wiggly for me to successfully accomplish this acrobatic feat on my own.

The Baby K’tan Baby Carrier looks like a nice fusion of sling and carrier and seems to distribute baby’s weight more easily since baby it is carried on both shoulders. It offers over six positions to carry baby from newborns to 35 pounds, but it’s hard to tell from the information on Amazon if it’s easy to use. Has anyone tried it?

Have you discovered any new carriers that surpass the ones I’ve mentioned? Do you have a baby, like Rebecca’s, who is utterly unwilling to ride in any sort of carrier or sling? Please share your discoveries with our readers!


  1. I’ve really enjoyed my Baby K’tan for the past 9 months. It’s organic, easier for me to put on than a wrap, simple to remove without waking baby, and small enough to fit in a [large] diaper bag. I’ve used it in many configuration starting with newborn (no extra inserts needed!), then feet out, then forward facing, and most recently on my hip. There’s a pouch-like hip option as well as a more secure one. My baby is smaller than average – 16 pounds at 9 months – so I’m not sure if the shoulders or back would hurt with a heavier child.

    The only drawback is that it’s size-specific, so my husband and I couldn’t share it. He seems to prefer the Ergo anyway.

  2. Great, informative post. Interestingly, I found my Bjorn to be the most straight-forward, with both of my babies — and the Ergo, though I like it, to be the hardest for me to put on. I just can’t seem to get that top buckle without almost straining a muscle. I could never get my kids in the sling without feeling like I was squishing them the wrong way (it made my daughter snore, which really made me think I had done something wrong that affected her breathing). I couldn’t get my Maya to work well either. But the Moby (which I made myself), though involved to put on, I loved — it seemed the most comfortable, both secure but flexible, and kept baby in a good position. I guess it’s really a matter of what works best for each person and baby! (And sometimes you have to try a bunch to find what works best.) I also had a Mei Tai (also made), that was a great combo of straightforward but totally secure and flexible, etc.

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