A Bit of a Dilemma

8:27 PM

I am an avid babywearer. Seriously--I can pretty well count on my fingers the number of times C has ridden in a stroller. My carrier stash looks something like this:

1 Hotslings pouch
2 Slings & Baby Things pouch slings
1 Mei Tai Baby Mei Tai
1 Scootababy hip carrier
1 Maya Wrap ring sling (unpadded)
1 Beco Butterfly 2 soft structured carrier (SSC)
1 Wrapsody Bali Breeze gauze wrap
1 Ergo SSC

Yikes. Granted, I did not buy all of these myself, and those that I did purchase were all bought on sale. But still, I probably could have purchased one of those insanely expensive strollers I roll my eyes at when people suggest I invest in one.

I have used all of these slings and carriers and loved most of them for something or another. The pouch slings were my first and they allowed me to do things like eat when C was tiny. She was one who would wail when I had to put her down to go to the bathroom. So I learned to use the sling instead. I was given the Hotsling and one of the Slings & Baby Things pouches as baby shower gifts, so that's what I turned to first. Pouches are sized, so when I lost 30 pounds in the month following C's birth, the Slings & Baby Things pouch no longer fit. Which is why I bought the second one in the skinnier-me size.

During the summer, I wanted to garden. To do that, I needed to get C onto my back--hence, the Mei Tai. It's a beautiful carrier, and it worked OK, but it was tricky learning to get the baby on my back and the straps always dragged and got tangled up while I was trying to get her affixed to me. Because of this, it wasn't very practical for outings.

As C got bigger, she got more daring and adventurous. She liked (and still likes) riding on my hip in a sling, but she started trying to flip herself out over the back. Enter the Scootababy, which is a soft structured carrier used only for hip carries. I felt guilty spending the money on what is essentially a one trick pony...but C only liked the one trick! It's a great carrier--supportive and comfortable with the bonus of it being incredibly difficult for the little imp to try and flip herself out of.

Gradually, C outgrew the pouch slings. I know they are supposed to be sized to the mother and theoretically carry 4-year-olds, but mine didn't. Part of this was perhaps due to C being a pretty fat baby (she has slimmed down considerably since becoming mobile; her rolls used to have rolls). Anyway, I used my pouch slings a lot because they were easy and portable, so I decided to try a ring sling thinking it would have a little more flexibility. Lo and behold--it did! And so the ring sling now lives in my car where it is my go-to for any and all outings.

For Christmas this year, the Beloved asked what I wanted and I decided the time had come for a soft structured carrier which I could use for back carries. The hip carries are wonderful and still my favorite for when we are out and about so that C and I can chat about what's going on, but they are not good for things like cooking and cleaning. Once C became mobile, I really needed to have her up and out of danger when I was making dinner or doing laundry. I decided on the Beco because it's got a high back and theoretically it would be harder for the monkey child to flip herself out. Also, it is a much more attractive carrier than the Ergo, which is the other one I was looking at. It worked exceptionally well in that I got very comfortable with back carries (there's an excellent insert that serves as training wheels for the faint of heart like myself) and that C would actually tolerate to ride on my chest even when she wasn't sick (unlike in the Mei Tai, which was only acceptable to her when she didn't feel well).

A few months ago I ordered the wrap because it was on sale, it was a skull print, and I wanted to try wrapping without breaking the bank. It was a winner on all counts. When I get C wrapped properly, we're both very comfortable, and because it's gauze it's really cool when the weather is hot. Unfortunately, gauze takes a bit more attention to detail--it can really dig in to your shoulders if you're not careful how you wrap--and C is a wiggly monkey.

In the last month, I've worn her a lot. But I've also developed back pain. So much so that I actually started looking at strollers, thinking our heavy duty babywearing days might be over. I ended up buying the Ergo on markdown from Babysteals last week as a last-ditch effort. I wore it today and was pleasantly surprised--no pain! Unfortunately, it's much lower in the back than the Beco, so C tried to flip herself out of it. Fortunately, she stayed put...but it makes me a bit nervous.

Anyway. Now that we've taken the long way to my problem, here it is:

I'm cleaning house. I don't need this many carriers and am planning on selling the ones that no longer work for us, so I'll list the pouch slings and the mei tai and hang on to the rest for the time being. The one carrier that's up in the air is the Beco. I love it. It's beautiful. My husband bought it for me--not because he understands babywearing at all, but he understands that it's important to me to be able to carry C as much as possible...and also because I think he recognizes how stroller-unfriendly our downtown area is. But it doesn't seem to be a good fit for me with a bigger baby. It was fine until she passed 20 pounds, but now...not so much.

So, what should I do? Should I hang on to it so that I have it for the mythical, hoped for, but not yet created baby #2? Should I sell it? Should I fiddle with it some more to see if I can make it not so hurty on me (after all, I actually feel safer about C riding in it)? What do you think

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