|MT wrap conversion|
I probably used my Mei Tai the most, and the longest. It is easy to use, can be used from newborn through toddler (with no additional inserts), and is quick. It might not be quite as supportive once they get bigger (depending on how big your toddlers are), but I still carry Gwen in one and find it comfortable (she's just under 30lbs at 3 years). I never owned my own soft structured carrier (Beco, Boba, Ergo) but they work similar to the Mei Tai,
|Beco - right before doing |
a 5.5 mile walk for MS
|wrap - Ellevill Zara Deli LE|
I also have a ring sling. I didn't get it until Gwen was a toddler, but it can be used from newborn on. They are easy to use, easy for on/off/on/off situations, and can be gorgeous. They aren't quite as supportive as other carriers though and the weight isn't as equally distributed. You could probably carry your newborn for quite a while before you notice it, but would notice sooner with a toddler. They can still be quite comfortable though, and I like them for walks when I knew Gwen would want to be down a lot of the time, but what to get up to rest periodically. I can pop her in without even stopping. If you did get one, get a ring sling... not one of the bag slings, which make proper positioning hard and can be dangerous. Ring slings are fine and safe for newborns, as long as you are careful and get good positioning (resource here).
Stay away from "crotch dangler" carriers (ie. Bjorn, Snuggli and Infantino) as they are less comfortable for Mom and Baby (weigh is not distributed as easily), and are not ergonomically good for baby. More about that here.
So, I'm in the Use All The Carriers! camp, but I guess my favorites are wraps and the MT for different situations. If someone were only going to get one carrier, I'd probably recommend a MT, with a soft structured carrier being a close second. I hope this helped, and please let me know if you have any other questions.
Becoming Mama's has an amazing Guide to Babywearing.