Monday, February 16, 2009

I love the Internet, But..

I love the Internet. I love shopping. I even love the logical mix of the two: online shopping!

However, I hate that so much of what I find online I can't find in any stores. There are just some things I want to TOUCH, TRY ON, and PRACTICE with before shelling out big bucks. Especially when the return policies and refunds can be a little hazy for a large online purchase.

I have been on the hunt for a good back carrier for my little JR (and perhaps my Little Dude too, since I am sure once he sees JR being carried that way he will at least want to try it), but I have been unable to find any stores that carry the kinds I have looked at.

I'd love to try a baby hawk or free hand Mei Tai, but honestly, I am just too nervous to think of trying to do the tying for a back carry alone. I don't know anyone that uses them here around me, so beyond online pictures or videos, I am not quite sure how to do it. I also want this to be something I could use when I am out alone, and unless I have someone to help, I just don't trust myself to tie everything well enough.

I'm also in love with this ergo, but I wonder how hot the material would be compared to this sport ergo. Since both places I live (AL and NC) have pretty hot summers, and it looks like this summer will be spent in AL (unless hubby gets laid off...)then air flow and the thickness of the material about JR would be very important. Something I just can't tell until I touch and check out the carriers. And I certainly don't want to buy BOTH and then fight to get a refund back on one...

I also am intrigued with this beco butterfly carrier, because it solves my personal hesitation over getting a back carrier to begin with: it has a built in panel that you can put you child into before putting them on your back; so you can do it alone, and they can't fall out. No tossing your child on your back and holding them with one hand while you tie straps or hook buckles. But again, I can't find a place that sells them in REAL stores, so I don't know if the material would be so close to JR that he would get hot and sweat all the time, or if I like the construction and sewing better than on the ergos.

And what about the padding? Though some of the carriers I like mention how much, it really can depend on how the padding is put in and what is used for padding as to make it comfortable. Both my ring slings were advertised with "light padding of 1/4 foam" but they both sit differently and feel differently just because of the design. Again, something I feel I need to try and touch to decide on which back carrier I want to buy. The padding is esp important since I would love to go hiking with the boys, and JR is just too little to do any real traveling except by stroller or carrier, and a back carry would be tons more comfortable on a good trail.

If these items were $30, or even $50, I wouldn't worry about it, and just order a couple and sell the ones I didn't like at a loss, or give them as gifts to other mom friends. But all of these are anywhere from $80 to $140, with the Free Hand being the cheapest (and only one under $100 after shipping and taxes), but also the one I know the least about and feel the most uneasy about trying. And even though I have money set aside and saved just for one of these carriers, it did take me a LONG time to save, so I want to pick a carrier I will be happy to have, be comfortable wearing and using.

I would love to try a wrap, but since they are only for front carry, it seems to make more sense for me to get one that can do front and back instead. And I think JR is getting a little big for a wrap anyway, as he is almost 18 pounds now...maybe with my next baby.

So, other moms out in the blogosphere, what are some of your opinions on the carriers I mentioned? Any one know a store in Mobile, AL or Raleigh, NC that might sell any of these? Can anyone show me how you get your kid on your back when you don't have a chair? Like, if you are out shopping? Or do you always have to sit in a chair to get your child get in the Mei Tai?

I'm so confused; if only I could touch the carriers....


Andrea said...

I am intrigued by all the babywearing choices. I cannot wait until the time comes that I get to have the expert (you!) help me find the right one for me!! They're so cool!

Stephanie said...

If only we can cross our arms and nod our head...poof you have your perfect back carrier...I am a stroller person b/c of my back...good luck!

Casual Friday Everyday said...

I know what you mean. It's a total leap of faith ordering these online because you can't touch them or try them on. You don't know if they'll actually work or if you will like them. Luckily I've only had a couple experiences where it didn't work out for me.


Angela said...

I have a Baby Hawk and Moby Wrap I could send you to try, if you'd like. My son decided he didn't like the Moby. I love the Baby Hawk but have a very similar carrier made by Beco that I use more often. Email me if you're interested! adsanford05 [at]

Mommy Bee said...

Can you find a La Leche League near you? I find that the hardcore breastfeeding mamas often have some babywearing goodies and i'm sure they'd let you try them out. :)

For the pricier ones (such as babyhawk) I would venture a guess that if you try it and don't like it but for whatever reason have a problem with returning it then you could resell it for nearly what you paid. A lot of online forums have trading post type places where you can offer things for sale (or of course you could offer it on craigslist or on your blog or whatever).

Incidentally, a wrap CAN be used on the back. Look under 'babywearing' on my blog and I have a post from last fall that shows about a dozen ways to wear a wrap, including on the back.

Momma said...

Lucky for you I just started working at a sling shop and can help you out a little!!!!! :)

The beco butterfly is not the best option. Our store is actually going to stop selling them. The reason is that the snaps take two hands to unsnap when you are trying to take the baby out. That can become unsafe because how are you going to hold onto your child and unsnap the thing at the same time!? lol. Unless you will always have a couch near you to sit on when taking it off. And what are the chances of that?

There is not a huge difference between the ergo and ergo sport, but from what you stated your needs and concerns to be with some of the other ones I would go with one of these. They are both comfortable and easy to use with back carries. Something like the moby wrap are much more comfortable with front carries. Just let me know if you need to me clarify anything I have said! or if you have any more questions!

Stephanie said...

Yeah, it's on the fisher price website...I am not going to return it just yet...only b/c our crib is in only happened one time...if it does happen again, I will have to ship it back and get another one...The one that I had in mind is $80...I can easily afford that. Anyway, I am going to monitor the pack and play the next few days...I would keep an eye on yours.

abbyjess said...

One place in NC that you can try them out is The Red Hen in Chapel Hill. It's a consignment store that sells both used and new carriers. They helped me figure out whether I wanted a sling.

I have a BabyHawk and haven't had any trouble getting L onto my back. I started out backed up against our bed the first few times with hubby standing by. Now, though, I can just slide him from my hip onto my back and quickly get the carrier up. I too was worried about getting him on my back as he is a real wiggle worm but it really was easy after a few practices.

Of course, if you make it back to NC, we can try again to meet-up and I'd definitely bring my BabyHawk for you to try.