. From Susan Michelle When our son was born, I bought a Baby Bjorn carrier which has been absolutely wonderful but he's growing fast. Does anyone use a carrier for their children over 20-25 pounds? What about the backpack type carriers? Looking for any suggestions. Also, since my husband doesn't go shopping, etc., with me and the kids all of the time, I'll have to be able to put it one and off by myself.
. From Paige . . . Are you a sling person by any chance? I have the Baby Bjorn that I use for certain things like gardening when I know I am going to be bending over and my husband is more comfortable with that. But I use a Mayawrap the rest of the time and used it up until last summer with my daughter and she was 2.5. I never mastered getting her on my back but carried her on my hip very well. My husband used a backpack with her as he doesn't do the hip carry well with a sling. We just used a plain old one from Toys-R-Us since we aren't hiking or anything. Anyway... think about a Maya. I don't know how I ever got along without one.
. From Susan Michelle . . . None of the slings I tried felt secure but I just looked up the Mayawrap and it looks wonderful (reminds me of something a friend made for her new baby). It's something to really consider! I think another thing that seems to be a positive about the wrap is that you can put in the diaper bag and just take it with you. Our daughter is 2 1/2 and she likes to walk a lot and I hate tugging around the double stroller for certain trips. I think this would be perfect. From reading a bit, the Mayawrap would go from birth and up, right?!?
. From TraceyM . . . The Maya is good for birth and up. I got one when my son was born and it was a lifesaver! He always wanted to be carried and this way I had my hands full. I haven't tried it with my daughter, who's 3, because I don't think she'd like it. She's way too independent! But Joey still likes being in it. You could use it for both baby and toddler, which means you would definitely get your money's worth!
. From metta4 . . . I would recommend a sling for when they are very young or the baby bjorn/kelty kangaroo type of front carrier. As far as a back carrier goes I would recommend a Kelty back carrier. They received top ratings from Consumer Reports.
. From HunnyBunny . . . I second the Maya Sling. I have one and absolutely love it. It fits in a diaper bag or in a stroller basket, and is also great for nursing in public, if that's a concern for you. I also have a Kelty backpack, which is great for hikes and such, but too bulky to take everywhere. The Maya is totally portable!
. From Luv'n Mom . . . We have a backpack carrier that my husband uses occassionally, but I have a Maya sling that I love!!! I didn't know much about slings and after lots of people raving about the Maya, I decided to get one myself. My only regret is that I didn't have it in the early colic days when I couldn't put him down for a second. It is so versitile and comfortable to wear. I had a Snuggli that hurt my back when my son was only 12 lbs and now at 24 lbs, I can carry him for long periods with no problem in the sling. Now my son is a very active 14 month old and really wants to be free to run, but when he is willing to be carried, he likes the Maya. It was worth every penny (and I'm a Canadian converting to American funds ) and I think it will be a Godsend when I get to the point where there is a new baby with an active toddler.
. From 2bighogs . . . I vote for the Maya Wrap, also! You can have one made (that's what I did) using the pattern on their website. I also used a carrier for Kieran, but she got too big for it when she was 5 months old, and I got a sling. We love it! It's also very versatile.
. From JulieD . . . After we outgrew the Bjorn, we bought a Kelty Elite Kids Pack. I LOVE it. It will hold until age 5 (I forget the weight) and adjusts from tiny to big as needed. Both my my husband and I both use it (it adjusts this way quickly). I've used it for countless shopping trips, house chores, projects, holidays, outings, etc. I bought mine on E-bay for $110 (it also comes with a rain/wind hood which we used a lot on the Oregon coast vacation we took). I plan on using it for years and years.
. From Moonstone'sMom . . . Maya Wrap, all the way. I plop my 25 pound 10 month old on my hip and chase my 2.5 year old all over the place. And he gets really excited when he sees me put it on. I still also use my Baby Bjorn on occasion, but I can't imagine my back holding out until he is 33lbs! We invested in a Kelty backpack as well. It is a bit bulky, so I don't use it for shopping, but for outside trips like the park, Farmer's Market, walks, etc, it is wonderful! My son loves it because he can see everything.
Click here to see our reviews on carriers for babies under 20 pounds.