I have always loved watching mamas walk around wearing their little tiny babies next to their chest. Those babies look so snuggly and comfortable all tucked in tight. I have a vivid memory of my best friend strolling around the neighborhood pushing her wide-eyed 3 year old in the stroller with her newborn daughter cradled in a bright tribal ring sling, contentedly and discreetly nursing. So when I found out I was expecting twins I was super excited about wearing TWO little babies snuggled up to my chest!
Reality check – that is MUCH harder than it looks. I never was able to wear both of my babies at once. See, the problem was getting them both in the carrier at the same time. You either need two people or a very specific kind of talent to get both babies properly positioned, lifted and strapped in safely at the same time. And you can’t drop either of them, not even once. I once had to wear one of those convertible dresses in my sisters wedding and I couldn’t even keep my boobs from falling out, and those are attached to me. So you can understand why I was hesitant to try and secure my precious newborns. That being said, I did baby wear but I only wore one baby at a time. This worked out for us, more or less, mainly because Z-bone loved to be held and snuggled and would sleep for hours and hours if he was in a sling on my chest but Ro-$ HATED to be confined. He always hated swaddles and blankets and socks and slings and anything that kept him from being the wild baby that he is. So I would put Z in the carrier and put Ro in the swing (or bouncy seat) and then I could have 5 minutes to do the dishes, or rinse bottles, or feed the dog. There was a period of time where I wore Z all the time, because it was the only time he would sleep. He would fuss and fuss but as soon as I popped him in the K’tan he was out. I also would baby wear on those rare occasions when I went out or when we went to the airport. So, I’m going to tell you about the carriers that I liked and the ones that just didn’t work for me. This would also be relevant for singleton moms since I never wore my babies at the same time.
Carrier Reviews – the good the bad and the impossible
There are a ton of excellent videos and “how-to’s” out there that can help you to master the basics of baby wearing. I’m just going to tell you about my experience with several different carriers. I’m not terribly coordinated so keep that in mind!! There are also lots of local baby wearing groups that will let you try on (and exchange) different carriers as well as help you figure out the proper placement of your baby. If possible, try on a few different carriers but keep in mind that it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re trying to put a screaming, wiggly baby (or babies) into one of these contraptions! Ease of operation is key.
The K’tan – This was by far my favorite of the carriers that I used. It’s basically 2 thick cloth straps connected by a ring of fabric. You twist or crisscross the straps in different ways to put your baby in different positions. There’s also a separate piece of cloth that you use to secure the baby once it’s positioned. I felt like this carrier was very secure and that I had a lot of flexibility about where I could position my baby. I usually carried him diagonally against my chest. When they’re older this can also be used in a supported hip carry, which is nice. I also liked that there weren’t any long straps that dragged on the ground when I was trying to put it on. (Don’t examine my technique too closely in the picture – I was still in the process of figuring how to do it correctly!)
The Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier – I liked this one for when the boys were older. You tie it snuggly around your waist and then place the baby against your chest, raising the carrier up against them. Then you take another pair of straps and cross them over your shoulders and behind your back and then bring them forward and tie them securely across the baby. I used this one all the time when we were traveling or when I was out shopping with the babies. It doesn’t have a hard frame so it was easy to shove into the diaper bag or a suitcase. The main thing that I didn’t like is that the long straps drag on the ground when you’re putting it on. This one is good because it’s easy to position the baby with their head facing your chest or with them facing out so they can look around.
The Moby – I tried it twice, watched all of the videos on how to use it, but never felt comfortable with it so I sold it when they were 2 months old. It felt like an origami baby carrier, or convertible dress (see above). Kudos to you ninja mamas who are able to work this thing! Some people love it and it’s very affordable so if you can find someone to let you practice with it you may find that it works for you. Or, if you’re good with convertible dresses this may be right up your alley!
Mamaway Baby Sling Carrier (Ring Sling) – I didn’t own one of these but I borrowed one from a friend for a few weeks to try it out. It was awesome! By the time I used it my guys were almost too heavy for me to carry so I never bought one, but if I have another baby I will definitely get one of these. It was super easy to put on and the baby felt very secure and seemed really comfortable. One of the great things about this one is that you can use it for newborns (like a pouch) and for older kids in a supported hip carry. Plus, the hippie in me really loves all of the bright, fun designs available from Mamaway.
Beco Gemini – I never tried this one myself but my other BFF tried a million carriers and and once she found this she raved about it so much that I have to include it. She said
“This carrier was amazing! No need for the newborn insert because when he was in he was nice and snug. One snap and that was it!”
Remember, there are a huge range of carriers to choose from so be sure to do your homework. Plus, what works for one mom may not work for another so always try them out first if you can. Finally, you can usually find carriers at your local consignment shop, so be sure to check there and save yourself some money!
Do you have a carrier that you love? Were you able to effectively baby wear your twins? Tell me about it in the comments!