Pros and Cons of the Baby Carriers I’ve Tried: Month Two

Lydia is currently eight weeks old, and Will and I have recently returned from a two-week trip to New York to see my family, where we did a substantial amount of walking around almost every single day. I also finally acquired a german-style woven wrap (in purple, naturally) from Metro Minis, the baby store on the Upper East side that has all the sorts of things that I love.

I’ve spent a bunch more time with each carrier than I had a month ago, so I thought I’d check in with some thoughts about each one.

Moby Wrap

I think I’ve used this once since I got the woven wrap, and it was when the woven wrap was in the wash. I had gathered from my reading that stretchy wraps were considered easier than woven wraps, but I basically disagree. It’s true that you can get the wrap tied better before you put the baby in. So, if you had a baby who hated being involved in the tying process, but was okay either being put down somewhere or held by someone else while you got the Moby tied, that could be an advantage. The Moby does get droopy after a while, and Lydia’s only around twelve pounds, and I find it comparatively difficult to get the fabric nice and straight so that it’s very ergonomic to wear. 

I’ve started to prefer the Kangaroo Hold to the Hug Hold, mostly because it’s a lot easier to adjust the wrap so I can nurse.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the Moby wrap is a useful item, just almost strictly inferior to my newly-acquired Girasol. If you’ve been dying to own a used Moby wrap, contact me and I’d probably be up for giving you one of the two that I own. I’ll keep the other one around, at least until I get a second woven wrap to use while the Girasol is in the wash.

Maya Wrap

Ring slings do have some advantages over wraps. The main one I see is that it’s faster to get the baby in. Will has been using the Maya Wrap more than any other carrier these days. I find it relatively easy to nurse in (not in the cradle position, but with Lydia upright, as she would be in a wrap).

But my shoulder hurts when I wear her for even a pretty short amount of time. Maybe I’m doing something wrong, because I know some people happily walk around with toddlers in these. Jane Austin, who taught my homebirth prep class and has a Mommy & Baby postnatal yoga class I’m planning to attend next week has offered instruction in optimal ring sling use, so I might take her up on that.


Lydia fits into this carrier better every day, and I’ve switched to putting her legs out. Like the ring sling, it’s quite fast to get her in, and I find it easier to adjust once she’l in there. Unlike the ring sling, I’ve found it pretty comfortable to have Lydia in there for hours at a time. It’s also been pretty easy to nurse in the Ergo, by just loosening it and shifting it down a little. It took me a while to get used to fastening the back strap myself, but I’ve gotten the hang of it by now.

As I write this, Lydia is currently nursing in the Ergo. She was fussy earlier this evening (as far as I can tell because I took a phone call instead of soothing her to sleep when she first got tired), and I didn’t want to put her down for the relatively short amount of time it would take to get my Girasol on, so I put her into the Ergo, positioned her for nursing, and fed her as I paced around. When she’s really upset, nursing while walking is one of the most reliable ways to calm her down, but without a carrier I can’t sustain it for long.

She slept for about an hour, I pottied her when she woke up, and now she’s nursing in the Ergo again, this time as I’m sitting here writing this. Taking her out and putting her back in were both easy and uneventful.

4.7m Girasol Wrap

My new favorite baby carrier, and I’m still only using the Front Wrap Cross Carry! It’s snuggly, fits perfectly (because I can adjust everything), and is the most comfortable carrier I’ve used yet. Most of the days we were in New York, I had Lydia in the carrier all day. (She loves to sleep in it, so doing so probably contributed to her temporary day/night confusion. That and jet lag–poor baby :-(.)

This was also the first carrier I figured out how to consistently nurse it. It’s a lot easier to retie than the Moby, so I could pretty easily just shift Lydia down a bit, and then move her back up when she was done. She has really good head support now when she’s awake, but rolling a prefold diaper into the top rail helps her head stay up when she falls asleep.

I also find this wrap to be prettier than any of the other carriers I’ve had, though I might not be saying that if I had a Sakura Bloom ring sling :-).

I have various practical reasons to love woven wraps, but I’m willing to admit that I probably prefer them in part because they’re, well, geekier. They’re touted as the hardest carrier to learn how to use, and then even when now that I have the basics down, I can keep geeking out about different carries and modeling the differences, aesthetic and practical between different brands. I already want another one, as you might imagine. 


My favorite thing about babywearing in Lydia’s second month, as compared to her first, is that nursing while wearing her has gotten much, much easier. I feel much closer to my romantic ideal of the Kung! San mother who wears her baby all the time, and feeds her as often as every few minutes without much disruption. I’ve gotten in a bit of a routine of wearing Lydia around the house in the woven wrap without a shirt (this isn’t particularly revealing) for some extra skin to skin time for the first nap she takes every day, while I do things like eat breakfast, unload the dishwasher, and do some laundry.

Next, I want to learn more carriers to use with my woven wrap. I’ve tried the kangaroo carry (not the same as what the Moby wrap mean when they say kangaroo carry), but I don’t see much reason to use it unless I have a wrap that isn’t long enough for the front wrap cross carry, or just want to mix up the way things look.

I’m more motivated to learn at least one back carry, since that seems useful to have in my repertoire. I’ve been practicing with Lydia bit when she’s in a patient mood, and is willing to put up with it, but haven’t had much luck yet.

Why Are Babies Fussy in the Evening?

Everyone knows that some babies, at least in the modern Western world, have times during the day where they’re fussy. They’ve been fed, their diaper is clean (and they don’t want to be taken to the potty, if they’re doing EC), and they’re either crying or would be crying if someone weren’t soothing them. In some babies, the problem seems to be caused by gas, reflux, or other digestive issues. Most if not all of us are eating a diet these days that’s well outside ancestral parameters. Dairy and wheat especially seem to cause problems for some babies. 

The Kung! San supposedly don’t report evening fussiness in their babies, but it’s not clear to me it’s because their babies don’t get fussy–maybe they’re just better at soothing them. Lydia has never been inconsolable, but has occasionally required fairly substantial intervention (breastfeeding while swaddled while I’m walking and shushing her). My (very likely naive, largely informed by a handful of books) understanding of hunter gatherer populations is that they’re emotional systems are less inclined to fight against reality than our modern-day ones, so it’s that they take the extra soothing effort in stride. Plus, there are a bunch of people around to help, and they would have had experience caring for babies since they were pretty young themselves, and are likely to be better at it.

My current leading theory for Lydia’s fussiness is one that’s mentioned in a few books, including Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child: she gets overly tired. She does have gas pretty frequently, but the timing just doesn’t seem to fit. I wouldn’t expect any sort of digestive problem to cause fussiness for a few hours at a time, often in the evening. From what I can tell, Lydia is happiest just when she gets up, then she gradually gets more inclined to be fussy until she sleeps again, at which point the cycle repeats.

Lydia has never been fussy right when she woke up. And I’m pretty sure she’s never been all that calm after having been awake for several hours. Fussiness decreases when I’m good at soothing her, but it pretty much always ends with her falling asleep.

I initially found myself blaming artificial lights, but I’m actually not sure how much that matters. My understanding is that babies don’t produce much melatonin in the first few months, and fussiness decreases around the time they start producing more. Maybe the problem is that we try to get babies to sleep for longer periods during the night in the first place. My experience, common sense, and baby books seem to agree that, while being too tired can interfere with sleep, babies also can’t sleep more than a certain amount throughout the day. The usual situation is that parents don’t like it when babies sleep “too much” during the day and not enough at night. 

I wonder whether more of a true polyphasic schedule would eliminate baby fussiness. Maybe we could eliminate long wakeful periods by eliminating long sleep periods.

I have pretty low confidence in this prediction, but at least it’s easily testable.