Sling/carrier/carseat advice??

19 posts / 0 new
Last post
Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681
Sling/carrier/carseat advice??

I'm a rare poster here, but was hoping you mamas could give me some advice!

Baby #5 is due in June and my kids are all pretty young (6, 5, 3, 1). We are on the go a lot and usually it is just me and the kidlets Smile

I need to get a new carseat for the baby as my old bucket seat has expired and contemplating just getting a convertible (radian) that stays in the car... What do you think? Insane?

I like having the bucket because it keeps the little one contained and allows me to put baby down safely if I need to help the other kids; BUT it really is a pain lugging that heavy thing around around.

What do you think about not getting a bucket and just keeping an ERGO (or something similar... suggestions?) in the van and using that for the baby? It would allow me two free arms, but is hassle of transferring baby worth it?

Or an other ideas? What do other moms of many do when out? Thanks so much!

Joined: 07/20/08
Posts: 40

I use a combo of slings, the Ergo, and a really old double umbrella for the 2 smallest. I gave up lugging around the car seat awhile back, too many people need my hands too frequently. For me, moving them in and out even with the carseat never kept my light sleepers sleeping, and the heavy sleepers go back as soon as they're snuggled in the carrier or the car starts moving. My newborns like the slings, and then the Ergo is great for when they get a bit heavier for the sling.

I will say I'm more of a fan of using the Britax (Roundabout I think?) when they're small, and then moving them out into the radian as they get bigger. Just a personal preference though.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

I have a sling that I use too. I love that it is so compact and fits easily in a purse. I'm thinking an ERGO might be better for longer uses though. Are there age or weight limits to using them?

I need to do more research on car seats. I really like that the Radian is so narrow, it will give me flexibility with figuring out where everyone should sit. Space will be at a premium with 5 in boosters or car seats!

irishgirl's picture
Joined: 04/10/07
Posts: 1043

I lurk this board even though I only have 3 and we're (probably) done. But this thread caught my eye. I got a convertible for my 3rd and just use a k'tan when we're out. He's about 13 lbs, and I usually switch to my beco when they're around 15lbs, but that was closer to 5 months with my 2nd baby. The weight limit is higher than 15lbs, it just starts to pull the fabric down a lot with the higher weights and I found 15 lbs was about as high as I'd go comfortably.
I have the true fit car seat because I did a TON of research on which car seats would comfortably and safely fit a newborn correctly. From the research I did only 3 fit well. The true fit, radians, and one of the evenflo car seats. I tried to use the marathon with my 2nd as a newborn and she did not fit AT ALL. She was 7lbs 5oz when discharged and was 19.5 in.
I really liked the way the true fit recline fit with my newborn. He was very snug and the newborn insert boosted him up so the straps were below his shoulders as they should be while rearfacing. He was 8lbs and 20 in at discharge. If you go to car-seat.org there are a lot of good posts about newborns in convertibles and some pictures. That's how I picked my seat. Smile
I haven't regretted not having the bucket once. I wear him everywhere, even when we're out to eat. It's so much easier and he sleeps so well and never fusses when he's snuggled in. Smile

Joined: 07/20/08
Posts: 40

"kris_w" wrote:

I have a sling that I use too. I love that it is so compact and fits easily in a purse. I'm thinking an ERGO might be better for longer uses though. Are there age or weight limits to using them?

I need to do more research on car seats. I really like that the Radian is so narrow, it will give me flexibility with figuring out where everyone should sit. Space will be at a premium with 5 in boosters or car seats!

I know the Ergo has a much much higher weight limit than the sling, to the point that I've heard of 3 and 4 year olds still carried but I've never had to use it for a bigger one, my kids are stroller/walking kids by about 3ish at the longest. They like to be able to get up and down without too much hassle, and they can't touch anything fun from way up there. Blum 3 We only carry the youngest two usually. But the Ergo is definitely more comfortable for parks, long walks, mall, etc. It distributes the weight better imo.

The Radian is great for that. I have two rows of bench seats and two captains seats where the smallest go in the bigger car seats. Right now we have the last row out, so we have three Radians across in the back, two still in 5 point and one in a high back booster and it really was the best combo we could have come up with. I feel you on the everyone in car seats dilemma, we'll have 6 in car seats this spring and I'm not thrilled about adding another row.

Mommyin0406080912's picture
Joined: 02/16/08
Posts: 1644

I am due in Jan with #5 and we bought an infant car seat to use. I will have 3 kids in school and it will be my 2yr old and the newborn during the day so using the infant car seat will be easier for me to run to the store and what not. But I have an ergo and a ring sling I plan to use while home and out. If we go to the zoo I would rather carry the baby so I have 2 free hands to use with the younger 2.

I don't think that helped but that is my plan!

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

If I were to have another baby, I'd learn how to use a wrap. I used a ring sling and a pouch sling for Thomas, and I loved them both, but they were hard on my back. The wrap is supported by both shoulders and your waste, so it's a lot easier on your back. It's just harder to learn how to use. The wrap is the most versatile, because you can use it on your front, back or side, and you can nurse in it. You can use a wrap on 3-4 year olds on your back, too (just like giving a piggy back ride with a little extra security). But I don't think you'd want to use an ergo for a kid that big. I'd think it would be hard on your back. Not that I can say for sure. Maybe someone around here has some experience with it.

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

Oh, and I think the carrier car seat is overrated. I had a great one 10 years ago with a shoulder strap, but they don't make them any more.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

We had trouble with the Radian being rear-facing in our Honda Odyssey, it's just too tall. So we ended up with the Britax Roundabout, which is good from 5lbs (I don't remember the upper limit, but by then we'll have a Radian ready for him to use)

I think the Ergo is a great carrier, but they say you shouldn't use it on very young babies. They do sell an insert but I found the insert impossible to use. I carried my 45lb 3 year old in the Ergo this summer.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

So, I probably won't bother with the new bucket seat. I do have a convertible seat that works for a newborn that I can use, and I'll probably go with the Radian for a forward facing seat for my toddler.

Ok, so my questions about ERGOs... Several of you mentioned them not being great when the babies are little. Do you mean young or small sized? I ask because my babies have weighed between 9lbs 13oz and 12lbs, so if it is a size issue, I suspect I'll be ok, but if it more of a development issue then I still might need to come up with another plan. I do have a pouch sling that I like, but I find I just can't wear it for long comfortably which is why I'm leaning more towards something more supportive. I'm not too concerned about being able to carry bigger kids around, as I've never really done that (I bring the stroller along for longer walking trips). I'm leery of wraps. They look super comfy and cozy, and I'm sure with practice they get easier to use, but they just don't seem all the convenient for errands where you're in and out of the car multiple times. Thoughts??

Thanks so much for all the tips! I'm still trying to figure out what is going to be the best option for us... Decisions, decisions Smile

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"CamelNoodle" wrote:

We had trouble with the Radian being rear-facing in our Honda Odyssey, it's just too tall. So we ended up with the Britax Roundabout, which is good from 5lbs (I don't remember the upper limit, but by then we'll have a Radian ready for him to use)

I think the Ergo is a great carrier, but they say you shouldn't use it on very young babies. They do sell an insert but I found the insert impossible to use. I carried my 45lb 3 year old in the Ergo this summer.

Good to know because we also drive an Odyssey!

Joined: 07/27/06
Posts: 722

Ive got nothing to add...but loving this post...Im due in June too...and will need some new things like this...so Im watching this thread as well!! Smile

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

Like I say, I've never had a wrap, but from what I've heard, people that use them have them all set up and are able to slip them on and off quickly. I think if you're in and out of the car, you can wear it, and just slip the baby in and out. I believe the issue with an Ergo type carrier with newborns is that they can experience hip dysplasia with any kind of carrier that supports them by the groin as opposed to something that supports them by the buttocks or back. If you're wary about the wrap, you may want to try a ring sling. It's not as supportive as a wrap, but it's better than a pouch. I had one that my step-mother made and used it all the time.

I found it helpful to look up videos about how to use various slings. It will give you a better idea of what you can and can't do with them and whether or not you think they will work for you.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

Young babies -- for various reasons I've heard -- head control (so they don't smush their face into their body too much), they are too "curled up", and carriers that put weight on the spine are not good for young babies. (For instance the Snugli is not good for tiny babies either)

pico83's picture
Joined: 09/06/06
Posts: 3008

my kids outgrow the baby seat quickly, so for the past few months I have used a meti tai or Beco butterfly II (my favorite) when taking LO out of the car. I have to do that when taking DS1 into preschool and picking him up (all with DS2 in tow). It adds a little time but it's not too bad. The Beco comes with and infant insert, but I never got to try it out (LO was 4m when I got it).

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

We use a sling regularly instead of a bucket seat. The car seat is so heavy... Sometimes we use a Mei Tai (after a little more head control). There are so many ways to use all these carriers. Both DH and I use the sling as a side or "piggy back" carry for both the 16mo old and the 2.5yo. Usually it's just the front carry (facing forward) when they are smaller. If you use the sling properly, it shouldn't bother your back too much, but DH insists on using it wrong and then has to visit the chiropractor a million times...

We also frequently just give shoulder rides... less stress on the back, and it keeps one hand free. In fact, DD is such a dish rag when she's asleep that DH was carrying her around in a fireman's carry for an hour at the mall the other day...

Joined: 10/21/03
Posts: 172

I know I'm late chiming in... but we've done both. We currently have an infant car seat that ds4 was in until just a few weeks ago. I was in the position of needing a new seat for baby #5 and we opted to buy the infant seat thats rated to 35 lbs and 35 inches. It was GREAT! DS4 will be 2 in just a couple of weeks, so he was able to use it for 23 months. Our selling point was the seat being narrower than a convertible seat. I needed the room in the backseat for other children (or rather their carseats)

That said.... I used a convertible seat from day 1 with ds2 & ds3. I've used wraps for nearly all my babies, and my preference even when I do have an infant seat is to pop them out and put them in the wrap. Once you get the hang of it, it only takes 1-2 min to put the baby on.

I would say this on wraps... a stretchy wrap is great for newborns, but once they hit about 4 months a non stretchy wrap is much more comfortable Smile

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I have an Ergo, and for his carseat I just use the Graco one that came with his stroller. I've been thinking about buying a sling as well, just to see how I might like that too lol!

Joined: 12/01/05
Posts: 1000

When Thomas was a newborn, he loved to be completely inside the ring sling like a little coccoon. He would sleep there for hours while I walked around and did whatever I wanted to do.

Log in or register to post comments