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Pilchuck71

Front Baby Carrier - Advice

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I have a daughter due in May and am looking for recommendations on baby carriers.

I am looking for something designed for a good amount of use.

What do you dads out there do or have you done?

Thanks wise ones. :)

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Exciting! When they're really small they can't holt their heads up so most regular packs won't work yet. We had very good luck with the Baby Bjorn. Baby on front. Day pack on back. Wife carries nothing. Everybody's happy. It's pretty easy to hike with really little ones. They just sleep!

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I also used a baby bjorn for the first 10 months or so. I opted for the model with the extra back support (the "active" model i believe) which helped on the longer hikes. Then I switched to the REI Piggyback which was comfortable until he got over 30lbs.

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I cant remember what I had even though it's only been a couple of years since my little one could ride on the front. When they are that small they are not very heavy at all and carrying them is not much of an issue. I would recommend not getting anything too bulky. When they are small enough to stay up front they need to be protected from the elements. I would make sure that all your jackets can zip over the kid to keep him/her warm and sheltered. When they got bigger we went to a frame backpack style. I looked at a bunch of them and came to the conclusion that most of the medium to high end packs road roughly the same. Some of the VERY expensive ones were a little more comfortable but not much. Most had more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at. Personally I think simple is better. I went with a used bear bones Kelty of off c-list for 25 bucks and it has survived my two kids and many many miles.

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Ergos are all the rage but simply don't work very well at all with a small baby even with the insert. For front carrying they work quite well from 6ish to 18+ months of age. Bjorns work great with babies but seem to small by 8 month or so. If you really want the ultimate in organic, simple (and oh so expensive) Bellingham granola living check out didymos slings. They work great and are probably the best if you and your wife want to pursue the whole "sling baby" rearing thing.

 

Backpacks are nice for hiking but around town a soft carrier is way more convient. We've used all the above but have never used a stroller.

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The thing that I found problematic with the Bjorn is that it got HOT very quickly. I couldn't go more than 20 minutes without feeling like I was roasting. If my son could have talked then I'm sure he would have said the same thing.

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I used a sling for small ones, then Bjorn, then frame pack

 

I am not granola, don't buy into the 'sling rearing' thing, but a sling is a convenient, versatile and functional way to carry a young baby around town or into the backcountry.

 

Bjorn is nice, but much more of a pain to get the baby in/out until you get the hang of it.

 

Frame pack is you best option when they get heavy.

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back support is a good feature on bjorn, particularly if you get a largish lump, as was the case with our youngest. i don't think use past 8-12 months is an issue because by the time they can hold their heads up and look around you'll want them in a suspension backpack anyway. when a bit bigger they like to face forward and see what's ahead. yes, heat is an issue, which is why I'd only wear the thinnest synth shirt underneath. dressing the baby in the right amt of clothes to avoid overheating/cold extremities takes some practice but is easy.

 

lastly, you can usually get good baby gear used from friends or second hand stores.. wash well, save $$$!

enjoy!

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With our now 3-year old, we used the bjorn until he was about 7 months and then he moved over to a backpack carrier. With our 3 month old, we have (well, my wife has) been using a Moby Wrap, which she (my wife) generally prefers to the bjorn in terms of overall comfort. It's a bit confusing at first, but not too hard to deal with after a few times. By the time we hit summer, she'll be going into the backpack carrier for hikes and the 3-year old will get to hike all by himself.

 

For a backpack carrier, we have a Sherpani purchased at REI which I found very comfortable until he started getting heavier. But even then, it is at least as comfortable as my backpacking backpack if not more so.

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Its been awhile, but I'll second BStach's endorsement of a sling for the day to day thing, it worked well for my daughter who wanted more interaction than a pack lends itself to. It was a functional thing, not a philosophy.

 

We also had one of those Kelty sorts of backpack, with a rain hood, for the marching about. I clearly remember the last trip with that pack; between growing size and vigorous thrashing about, I was done having her on my back. She walked everywhere since then, though at 18 now, she still asks to be carried now and then. I always tell her no, but I'd be glad to drag her by one foot like pooh bear.

20081218_2winnie_the_pooh.jpg

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I spent 3 years in Japan many years ago, and was sold on the practicality of the traditional Japanese "back" baby carrier, called the Ohmbu-himo. These are incredibly light, simple, and inexpensive. Having the baby on mothers back is less stressful on the mother's back, and enables her to do all the household chores with hands free, and baby entertained. They are VERY hard to find, even on the internet.

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Dug up this old thread for ya, Pilchuk...

 

I know that your young'n is gonna be a fresh bun when she comes out of the oven, but in the years ahead you might consider what I wrote in the above thread about the Tough Traveler and the Kelty Kids Tour models.

 

We adopted Nicholas as a 6-month-old, and we did the Baby Bjorn thing like a lot of parents. As mentioned, it was FREAK'N HOT wearing that thing. We adopted Elaina at 14 months, so we never had to go through the BB stage with her. Straight to the Kelty was her fate.

 

Off-

Your final comment is priceless! I've actually had to do that a time or two with my rugrats, even recently. They seem to love it, though, so I don't think it's having the desired effect...

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My two year old loves getting dragged down the hall by one leg. He laughs all the way. I imagine he will grow out of it before he turns 18.

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