In Search of a New Baby Carrier

by Margo on April 20, 2012

Baby Beco Carrier-- My Choice

Mark and I believe in baby wearing. It’s great for the kids, and it’s super convenient for the parents. This is especially true if you spend a lot of time out hiking, like we do. It’s finally warming up enough to get back out to the state parks, and we’re all looking forward to hitting the trails.

Last year, we used our Baby Mei Tai for hiking (and everything else). It held Fiona right against my chest, and I could comfortably carry her all over the trails. It was perfect. She could sleep or watch the trees going by while I worried about not dropping from exhaustion. (Seriously. So many stairs to climb…)

This year, we need something different. The Mei Tai still works as a front carrier, but we want Fiona to be able to really experience the hike, and that means we need a back carrier. There are more than a dozen models to choose from, though, so trying to pick just the right one for us is taking a bit more planning than I thought it would.

Mark's Choice

Fortunately, there are a couple stores nearby that carry some of the different models. All we needed was the chance to go out and try them. With that idea in mind, we headed out to Ithaca yesterday afternoon. The first store had a used frame carrier. Mark tested it out, and fell in love. I like that it has a pouch to carry all of our supplies when we go hiking, but I don’t like how big it is. It’s really bulky, and with a smaller car, that matters, especially when we’re trying to pack it in with all the rest of our stuff for vacation this year. It’d also be awkward for me to carry, and it’s not quite as portable as the other options.

The second store carries the two brands I’m interested in. They’re both soft carriers–just fabric, no bars to get in the way. The shop owner came over to help us try them out, which was great. The Ergo was simpler to put on, but I really like the Baby Beco better. It’s softer, and the straps aren’t as uncomfortable. It works as a front or back carrier, and Fiona seemed really happy in it. They fold up small enough to fit in a smaller diaper bag, and it’s really easy to adjust them. They also have an infant insert (good for future kids), and will fit Fiona for another year or two, or until she is big enough to hike on her own.

The real benefit of the Beco is that I can use it on a regular basis. I hate pulling out the stroller when I don’t have to. If I can pop Fiona into the carrier we have now, I’m a happy camper. A back carrier will be even better. Housework is so much easier with a back carrier. I could actually mop on a regular basis, and focus on the mopping. At the moment, I have to rush through it all while keeping Fiona from eating the bubbles in the mop water.

I would rather get the Baby Beco now, and then worry about a framed carrier next year. Mark can pick out a new one at that point, so I can really research the best brands and make an informed decision, rather than basing our purchase off of the one that is immediately available. The downside of not doing the framed carrier is that Mark doesn’t want to use the soft carrier himself. I don’t quite understand this, but he seems insistent. This isn’t that much of a problem, though, because I actually really like wearing Fiona. Also, carrying an extra 2o lbs. on your back while hiking up and down the trails burns more calories. I’m okay with that, too. :)

We’ll be purchasing the carrier next week, so we really need to come to a decision soon. Mark and I will discuss it over the next few days and see what happens from there.

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