Well Rounded Birth Prep

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Commercial baby carriers: what's available other than crotch-danglers

Maybe you're looking for an ergonomic, safe baby carrier or sling, but you don't have a high-end baby boutique that would stock brands like Ergo, Boba, Beco, or Sakura Bloom. [Update: Toys 'R Us now stocks Ergos, both online and in some retail stores!] Maybe you are in a hurry and have to buy a baby gift for a shower this afternoon, and you don't have time to email Tre'Slings and custom-order a gorgeous, designer fabric ring sling (she ships anywhere in the US & Canada). Maybe you read my previous post "Babywearing FAQ" and you want a readily available baby carrier from Target or Toys 'R Us, but you want to avoid the pitfalls of crotch-dangler carriers. Here are a few great options.

One of my favorite carriers for newborns, among widely available commercial baby carriers, is the Moby Wrap. You can find them at most Target or Toys 'R Us/ Babies 'R Us stores for around $40.

I was so excited when I was at Marshall's the other day and I saw this new Infantino  Wrap & Tie, otherwise known as a Mei Tai style sling, for only $24.99!

"Buy this..."

The package was sealed so I didn't get to look at it closely or try it out, so I can't vouch for the quality, but this style carrier is so much more ergonomic for mom and baby both! As with many carriers, the packaging did show a photo of wearing a baby forward-facing using this Wrap & Tie, and I would advise against forward-facing babywearing for all the usual reasons, but this carrier looks like a great compromise for an affordable, safe, easily available baby carrier.

Unfortunately, right next to that Wrap & Tie, Marshall's had these crotch-dangler carriers, also $24.99 each:

"...not that."
I can't for the life of me figure out why these Infantino Front 2 Back Riders, Infantino Comfort Riders, Baby Bjorns and the like are even still on the market when there are such nicer alternatives for the same price. Maybe they're like pleated pants: they're not good for anyone, but so long as there are people willing to buy them, manufacturers will continue to produce them. They do not provide adequate support for baby's legs or spine in this position where baby's legs dangle straight down, whether baby is forward-facing or facing the wearer. Baby's weight and center of gravity are also pulled down and away from the wearer, instead of being wrapped around the wearer's body.

Although I haven't seen one in person yet, I've heard good reviews of Infantino's new Ergo knockoff, the Infantino Balance which sells for around $60 at Toys 'R Us. I'm encouraged that possibly market demand is forcing commercial baby product companies to offer better alternatives than the past. I'd love to see this trend continue, and who knows, maybe some day we will see BabyHawk, Ergo, BobaBeco, Sakura Bloom, or even Tre'Slings offered at Target and Toys 'R Us.

For more information about the difference between good, supportive baby carriers and crotch-danglers, see this helpful blog post by Becoming Mamas.

What about you? Have you seen any good, ergonomic, affordable baby carriers in chain stores? Which carriers? Which stores?


  1. Wow, so surprising to see Infantino offer a wrap and tie style carrier..it actually looks cute. I haven't seen any myself, but like you still see lots of the crotch danglers. Thanks for mentioning Tre'Slings. There are so many different style of safe carriers it would just make good sense if retailers offered them.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Trebor. I totally agree, it just makes sense for stores to stock safe, comfortable alternatives. I'm so happy to see enough market demand to support such options.


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