I’m up and no one else is. I’m trying to distract myself from working because I hear I should rest one of these days. So I’m looking up how far baby carriers have come in the last half a decade. Hm. There are new options. I’m not sure I like them better than what I had though.

I am thinking about how I’m going to hold a baby with my fucked up hands. I’ve done a lot of damage since I last had a baby.

It’s funny considering all the angles here. Different carriers put a different amount of strain on my body. Some days I can handle pressure in Areas A & B, sometimes mainly in Area C… so how many carriers should one have? But they cost money.

Noah would like me to stop worrying about money one of these days. He earns enough. I shouldn’t fret. It bothers him that I’m so fretful about money. He works himself ragged trying to get me to stop fretting about money.

Sweetheart, know how it is my job to make your old age comfortable? I will always fret about money. Every dollar I spend now feels like I am robbing Future You.

It’s not about how much you make now. You will not make this forever. I have to make it last.

Anyway. Baby carriers. There are advantages to soft structured carriers (like the Ergo but there are other brands), wraps (like a Moby or a woven wrap–big differences between those two types), ring slings (a strip of cloth that you wrap around your body and tie into a bag using rings–like it sounds), or Mei Tais. Those are like a soft structured carrier but with less shape.

Why do I care about this shit so much? Why is it worth thinking about?

Well lets start with my hand damage and move up my arms to the fucked up elbows and the wrecked shoulders then down to the fucked up lower back.

Why do I think about these things? Because the more I think about how to manage my pain now the less anxiety I will have later because I will be in pain and unable to figure out how to fix it because I will be mentally overwhelmed.

Right now I’m just chillin’.

I can think about how to manage things. Like: a ring sling is awesome and I’ve used the hell out of the one I had… but I’m desperately worried about my shoulders standing up to that kind of strain at this stage of my life.

I’d get myself in a position where it was the only carrier with me on a day when I’m already doing poorly and… that’s a recipe for me being almost blind from pain and lashing out at everyone near me all day. Maybe skip having the temptation in the house.

Which means opting in to more mass/complication every.single.time. Ring slings are lovely. They are quick and convenient and they are super easy to nurse in…

But fucked up shoulders. Like, seriously fucked up. Like every medical practitioner I have spends most sessions lately working on my shoulders because the pain is making it so I can’t sleep much at nights.

Painting sucks. I need to stop.

Less anxiety. Baby carriers. Distraction. Sweet, fluffy, screaming/flailing/puking distraction.

What am I god damn thinking? I’m thinking I like my kids so much that I really really really want to meet more of them. This is the first group of humans I have had this kind of success with. I want more. I like how snuggly and loving and attached we are. We support one another in separate adventures too, but we really prefer to be together. We all get a bit cranky at separations.

The stretchy woven wraps are really comfortable and adjustable for the first 4-6 months depending on how big the baby is. They are really ideal for all the newborn positions but then they stop being useful at all because they are dangerous. Woven wraps are great from birth through early toddler weight and they are entirely adjustable for kid-size… but they are rather hard on the adult’s body. The weight is questionably distributed. They are small and easy to always have with you as a back up, but as a primary one… they leave me sore and aching. They are also not as perfectly awesomely forgiving with a new born.

That leaves Mei Tais and structured carriers. The advantages of Mei Tais lies in how adjustable they are for body size of both kids and grown ups. I’ve shared these carriers successfully with folks from a grown up size XS to grown up size 3X. They are gloriously adjustable. But they don’t distribute weight quite as well as a structured carriers. Structured carriers are the most ergonomic for me and allow me to do the most wearing with the least pain. They kinda suck for nursing or carrying around with you places where the kid won’t be in the carrier all the time. I am an expert at putting a kid in a back carry alone in any kind of carrier, but most folks can’t for a long long time. (I practiced. Over and over and over in my house. Putting kids into and out of carries to see how it works. I’m… kind of boring.)

In my experience the most shareable carriers are the Mei Tais followed by ring slings followed by structured carriers. Woven/stretchy wraps usually scare folks who don’t use them on a regular basis.

I have a lot of wonderful friends who like to snuggle my babies and I think feeling love from lots of people is a big deal for healthy social development so the shareability of my carriers ranks kinda high for me.

I know other people say they nurse in an Ergo without a problem, but I always struggle with the angle. My boobs are kinda big and they get pretty huge when I’m nursing. I find that I need a carrier that allows me to drop the baby down several inches from the normal comfortable carrying height in order to nurse with ease while doing other work. That’s why ring slings are the most awesome for nursing in my experience. Eldest Child spent a lot of her babyhood in a ring sling nursing.

Someday-Not-The-Youngest-Child didn’t nurse all the time so they spent a lot of time in the structured carrier.

After browsing through videos for a structured carrier I noticed that this brand recommends nursing… in the stretchy wrap.

The stretchy wrap is probably as good for nursing as a ring sling for the first few months. Maybe even better in many ways. It gives a bunch of position options that the ring sling doesn’t allow for.

Oh the factors to consider. See, I’m not just a one trick pony.

I don’t really want to just buy one of each. That seems ridiculous.

But I know women who bought more than twenty carriers because they wanted different ones to match their outfits. So I’m not sure why I’m so worried about it.

Every dollar I spend where I don’t have to is money I can’t spend on my mortgage or travel.

I don’t want to rob me either. But I want to minimize pain, frustration, and fussing in the future. It’s a balancing act.

After spending a while watching videos on youtube (we live in a magical time) I’m interested in the Boba. Hm.

8 thoughts on “Distraction

  1. RT

    You know a lot of people with babies and kids, right? Maybe you can get carriers from them. We have a secondhand brown stretchy wrap — could be a Moby — and if we’re not using it for a baby when you need it, you’re welcome to borrow ours. They have a limited useful time, like you said.

    Buying multiple colors for matching outfits makes no sense to me. I figured we’d get a color I like, which will probably go with many of my outfits… but damn.

    I would like to learn how to do a back carry.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      The minute there is a baby in residence at my place or yours I’d love to teach you how to do a back carry. There are many different kinds. 🙂 High back, low back, different carrier types… They all work a little different and I spent WAY too much time perfecting this process.

      I would love to borrow a stretchy wrap if I get lucky at a different time than you. (Wouldn’t it be nice to over lap though?)

  2. Miss Jenny

    I bought a ring sling for K and -never- could get it to work. I think maybe the fabric was too stiff and I couldn’t adjust it? It has padding for the shoulder. If you want it, it’s yours (ping me elsenet, I won’t see a reply here).

    I love my (formerly your) mei tai. That was how K and I spent our at-home-but-can’t-just-sit-on-the-sofa time. You said when you gave it to me that you never really liked it. I want to try a wrap this time but don’t really know anything about fabric choices so I should probably get on that.

  3. Blacksheep

    I made my own woven wraps cheaply from 5 yds of gauze and liked them immensely. I liked the sturdiness for my beefy children and the ability to cross chest tie the shoulder straps made it comfortable. Equally favored was the Ergo, of a now 9 year old vintage. That I think I still have somewhere.

  4. RoseRed

    I have a beco to give, my fave is the modified podegi by freehand. It and a few others are on loan to Courtney right now, but they should be back by the time you’re ready to try carriers.

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