Dogs and Kids
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The Only Way to Test Baby Carriers: With Dogs

It worked! Rusty loved being a test pilot, and I figured out which to use when the baby comes.

 |  Jun 20th 2013  |   7 Contributions


The best thing about being pregnant (aside from free seats on the bus) is getting hand-me-downs. I have enough friends and family who have had babies in the last year that I don’t think we’ll have to buy anything for our little one until she’s well into her teens (and then she can earn her own money to spend at the online mall by delivering virtual pizzas, or whatever kids will do in the 2030s).

So far, my favorite hand-me-downs have been the number of carriers we’ve received. We now have three carriers, and only one baby coming. I guess it’s good to have a variety, but we figured we may as well give one or two of them away to other expecting parents.

So we had to decide which wrap, sling, or Björn to keep. But we needed some sort of substitute baby -- something to use in place of a baby to see how the carriers work and fit. Hmmm. We searched around the house to find something with four limbs that vaguely resembled the size and shape of a baby.

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That's right, we subjected our poor dog to our carrier testing! And I have the results for you. So next time you’re shopping for something with which to carry your baby -- or your Schnauzer -- look no further than this column. Enjoy.

1. The Balboa Baby Adjustable Sling

Slings, aka the over-the-shoulder baby holder, are very popular, especially in the communities that are big into attachment parenting, like where I live in Berkeley. The only issue I found is that you have to get the dog -– er, baby -– positioned just right so he doesn’t fall out when he stretches.

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Or get swallowed up whole:

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Still, I found it both comfortable and easy to carry 20 pounds of dog hands-free. This brand has a padded shoulder strap, which I appreciate. I think I’ve found a new way to take Rusty on the subway.

Balboa slings are available in many exciting colors and patterns here.

2. The Mobi Wrap

I’ve been hearing about the Mobi wrap for years. It’s like complicated cloth origami to keep your baby strapped against your chest. It’s actually just a very long piece of cloth that you twist and turn and wrap and tuck to create a baby carrier. There are so many online instructional videos and guides that I wonder how new moms have time to go through all this. That’s why I started early.

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After we got past the complicated instructions, it did keep Rusty quite snug against my chest. However, his paws are a little more substantial than baby arms, so he wouldn’t rest quite as comfortably as I would have preferred for him to.

You can get entangled in your own Mobi Wrap by buying one here.

3. The Baby Björn

The Björn offered much more structure than the other two options. And with the criss-cross across my back and multiple attachment points, I felt very supported (and a bit like a car seat). The holes fit Rusty’s arms and legs almost perfectly. As you can see from the look on his face, this was Rusty’s favorite carrier:

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I think it’s my favorite, too. Rusty feels secure, and I feel like I can walk all day.

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After this afternoon of carrier testing and photography, I’m starting to think that the strongest emotion Rusty will feel after the baby’s here might simply be relief.

What are your favorite carriers (for human babies or others)? Let us know in the comments! 

Read More by Audrey Khuner: 

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