Before we had our baby 5 months ago, I was given two hand-me-down Snugli baby carriers. I was super grateful for everything I was given before and after baby Charlotte was born but when I got "big ticket" items like baby furniture, high chairs, baby carriers, etc. I felt like I had hit the jacket - baby stuff is expensive!
After a bit of research, I found out that both carriers were really old. I wasn't super concerned but passed on the older one and kept the newer one (new being 2007). I used it a few times (literally) when Charlotte was a few months old. I would just walk around the house with her and see if either of us really enjoyed the whole baby carrying business. At that point, we could both either take it or leave it from what I could tell.
Fast forward a bit and at her first immunization appointment we got referred to a local development program and physiotherapy program for her flat head (yes - there is some proper medical term for it but I can't remember and no - there is absolutely nothing to worry about). Long story short, the goal is to keep her from lying on her back as much as possible - more tummy time, let her sleep on her stomach if she wants to, use the car seat as little as possible and carry her more.
Yay! Girlfriend finally enjoys herself some tummy time!
So, knowing at that point that if I needed to use a carrier often, the Snugli wasn't going to work for me, I went on the search for the best baby carrier for us and narrowed it down to two popular choices: Ergobaby and the Beco Gemini. After a lot of internet surfing, I decided to get a Beco Gemini.
Without going through a detailed comparison of the two carriers, I just wanted to share with you why the Gemini was the right choices for us. (Here is a great Baby Carrier Comparison Chart but if you Google it, you can find tons online.)
Why did I choose the Beco Gemini carrier?
- Wearing Options: Our daughter is now 5 months old and super curious about the world around here. I have been told on more than one occasion that she is a "thinker" because she is constantly examining things, staring at stuff and no longer is content to sleep in the vehicle - basically, she gets bored super easy. So, putting all the "research" and "evidence" that says that this option is bad for baby, I really wanted a carrier that would allow me to face our daughter out so she could look around. The Gemini gives you four different wearing options: Front Facing In, Front Facing Out, Hip and Backpack. I don't want this to be a debate about dangling leg and crotch issues - my belief is that everything in moderation is a-ok with me. And don't even get me started about the media around Ergobaby because they are coming out with a carrier that allows you to face your baby out so it can't be all that bad now can it?!
- Weight Capacity: The Gemini is good for babies from 7 to 35 pounds which means you can use it basically from birth until 35 pounds without an insert (this was important to me because I have heard that the Ergobaby infant insert is cumbersome). We didn't get this carrier until our daughter was about 13 pounds but I like the option for any future children. I know that other carriers allow you to carry your child longer but unless I become a world traveller or go on long hikes, I am not sure why I would need to carry around my 3 or 4 year old. Just me, just saying.
- Shoulder Straps: The shoulder straps on the Gemini can be worn - easily - crossed for extra back support. This is a huge plus for me because being a 35-year-old first time mom, I am not getting any younger and my body is not getting any stronger anytime soon.
- Head Support: It has a built-in foldable padded headrest which I like better than the hood that can be found on other carriers. If our daughter falls asleep, I can snap the headrest up and shield her from any distractions without putting anything over her head which she cannot stand. Some would argue that the hood helps block out the sun but if it's that sunny, your kid should have a hat on. Makes sense doesn't it?
- Design Choices: The Gemini comes in 12 fabulous colour/design options (if you purchase straight from their website and get a current model). Yes, I was swayed by the pretty designs but opted for just a plain grey carrier (see below).
Where did I buy our carrier?
I purchased my Beco Gemini Carrier online from Frogmama. I live in Canada but got it shipped to a place in Blaine, Washington where I pick up packages. Frogmama provided excellent customer service, and free and fast shipping. No complaints!
Did I buy any accessories for our carrier?
No matter what carrier you invest in, I highly suggest buying some teething pads (those little monkeys sure do like to put EVERYTHING in their mouths and don't get me started about the drool). Frogmama's site was excellent and when I put the carrier into my online shopping basket, they prompted me to buy the Beco Drool Pads. Easy and simple.
If I had known what I was looking for, I probably would have gone straight to Etsy to purchase a Drool Pad and Teething Bib set. For now I just tuck in a receiving blanket or towel in the front to help with the drool.
Why did I buy a plain grey carrier when Beco provides such fun colour options?We purchased a grey carrier for no other reason than my husband suggested it. I didn't want black because I DETEST seeing lint and would have had to velcro a lint roller to the carrier at all times. But when the carrier came and we tested it, in 2.2 seconds it was covered in drool. Oh well - I don't think that can be avoided in this stage of the game and when she is a bit older, that will stop. Not to worry - the carrier is completely machine washable. And no, this is not my husband, just an adorable daddy on the Beco website. Come to think of it, I think this is the only dad model (other than the handsome soldier - and yes, for those of you who know me, I so wanted to by the camo carrier) on the website so this might be why my husband chose grey!
There you have it - the reasons why we chose to purchase our Beco Gemini Baby Carrier. BIG emphasis on why WE did - no baby, mom, dad or family are alike so what works for us might not work for you but hopefully this will give you a bit more food for thought during your carrier research. Happy carrying parents!
Are you a 1st Time Mom and trying to figure it out as you go along too? Feel free to leave me a comment with any questions and I will be more than happy to get back to you. Thanks for reading!