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We bought the Chicco Go Carrier from Amazon prior to our son's birth, knowing he would be carried from place to place all the time for several months and based on customer reviews this seemed the best bet with very good value for money - at the time I purchased the carrier for £17.99 as there was an offer on.
Once it arrived, we removed it from all its packaging and using the instructions (thankfully provided, though only pictures), we practiced putting it on and taking it off without baby, as it does look an odd contraption when you first see it. Despite this, after a few attempts, it did turn out to be relatively simple. With two large plastic buckles that connect either side of your hips and two smaller buckles that hold the backrest against you at shoulder-height. Even then, whilst empty, it appears very well made and safe enough to carry babies without you needing to worry.
What I had not expected was the weight of our baby: throughout my pregnancy I had not 'showed' much, and midwives continually reminded me that he seemed to be a small baby, especially given my own petite size. Much to our surprise when he was born a whopping 9lb 9.5oz! Needless to say, a good quality baby carrier would be totally necessary.
We have used it from birth, taking him for his first outing at 3 days old, at which point he was small enough to fit in it whilst wrapped up in blankets. At this age, he was still facing inwards and seemed to love the closeness the carrier provided. Whilst the model I have has no dribble cloth or anything, it does mean that he can lean his head directly on your chest (through clothes of course), and thus was able to fall asleep feeling very safe and secure whilst we got on with any errands that needed doing. Daddy carried him at first and now I've recovered I also use the carrier frequently, as I'm not keen on pushing prams and pushchairs about. The straps are very easily adjusted to fit anyone within seconds, with me at a tiny 5ft 3, and Daddy at 6ft1, it's comfortable for practically any size person to use.
Even now, at over 16lbs (15weeks old), I can manage to carry baby comfortably for a couple of hours, meaning I can get all the shopping done or walk to town etc without getting a sore back or shoulders. The padded straps and the way it wraps around the back and waist are to thank for this. Whilst it's a very comfortable carrier to use, even with such a heavy baby, I don't recommend it for mothers who have just given birth. We tried it on Daddy first, and he said that the majority of baby's weight is on your stomach, taking the strain off your shoulders, but also meaning that the tender post-pregnancy belly may not be able to handle such weight. Saying that, with smaller babies, this may not be an issue.
We have discovered that it is much easier to put on the carrier before baby is in it, (and this takes half the time with two people involved, though can be done single-handedly) but when taking it off, it is just as easy to hold onto baby and unclip each clip with the free hand, thus taking the carrier off with him inside. My word of warning is that if you're attempting to put it on yourself, be careful not to twist the straps over your shoulder or behind you, as this can prove painful after a while walking.. and I speak with experience!
The only problem I found whilst using the carrier, is that whilst he was particularly small, his head seemed to slip underneath one of the padded areas and out the side of the carrier rather than rest along the backrest. This quickly resolved itself as he got taller (or when we sat him on blankets inside it) and when he could hold his own head better. As he's now reaching 4 months old, I'll soon be trying the carrier with him facing outwards so he can see the world. As a very inquisitive baby, this should be interesting as he loves looking around at everything going on. I'll report back on how this goes when it happens!
All in all , it has been and continues to be a much needed accessory for our child. It allows you to carry him close to you whilst still having both hands free to hold other things or carry out other tasks. As a side note, he was born in August and when I tried to take him blackberry picking in it, I didn't get much done as I was paranoid everything was going to stick in him... I think I picked about 5 in total before giving up.
Blackberry bush 1 - 0 Mummy and Baby !
Before our baby daughter was born, my husband and I talked about getting a baby sling/carrier to allow us to go walks without the buggy and also to allow me to get household chores done when the baby may be unsettled. When our daughter came along and I realised how difficult it could be to get things done when she was a little unsettled, we immediately ordered this Chicco Go Baby Carrier from amazon, which cost us £22.99 at the time.
I spent some time looking at various slings/carriers that would be suitable from birth, and there is quite a vast range of prices, and I had heard that the Baby Bjorn was a good buy, although I was reluctant to spend £50 odd pound on this in case our baby didn't take well to the sling. So we decided to go for an average sling and this one seemed to fit the bill. This Baby Carrier comes in various colours such as beige and red, however we opted for the black, not only because it was cheaper, but it would hide marks better and be suitable for any gender of child. I cannot quite understand why the black is cheaper.
This carrier is suitable from birth, and up to a child of 9kg in weight - however whether by that stage you could really manage to carry your child using this sling is debatable, and I know by this stage we will probably look at something a lot sturdier. Like other slings, when the baby is between 0 - 4 months, they should be facing forward in the sling. From four months they can face outwards. Obviously at the moment, I have only used this with my baby facing me, as she is only a month old.
Within the sling, there is a rather useful dribble mat, in order to protect your own clothes from the dribbles of milk for example that the baby can let out of their mouth as they are carried around. The lining of the carrier is made from breathable material, which is reassuring so that if your baby falls asleep there will be air getting to them. There is also a 'reinforced backrest' to ensure your baby's head is supported at all times and that the baby is comfortable. A little cuddle pocket is also at the front of the carrier allowing you to place your hands as if you were wrapping them around the baby and providing some comfort and reassurance to the baby should they be distressed.
When we first got this carrier out of the box, and looked at the instructions I was slightly concerned that I wouldn't be able to use it by myself, which was one of the points of getting it - so that whilst my husband was at work, I could use it to keep the baby near me, with my hands then free, thus letting me get on with household chores. However, after a few practices, it is now like second nature, and I have to still help my husband when he occasionally puts it on in the evening. Once you get the baby's feet inside the two leg holes the rest is pretty straightforward, and you can pull the straps on either side in as tight as your want, and then loosen to release the baby.
Since getting this sling and figuring out how to use it, I know have it on me every day at some point, or in fact on several occasions during the day. My baby daughter took to this sling straight away, and often within a few minutes of me putting her in, she is fast asleep, and as long as I keep moving, which I inevitably do since I am running around getting things done and tidied when my hands are free. I have found that once I stop moving, if I were washing the dishes for example, my daughter starts to stir a little, and I have to start moving my hips to keep the movement going. In terms of comfort for me the user, I have had no difficulties so far, with the exception of when I do the dishes and have to be slightly bent over to see what I am washing and just with the height of the sink. Other than that, I have had no difficulties with comfort for me when using this sling, and my husband has had none either during the few occasions he has used it.
All in all, I don't know what I would do without this carrier now. If it weren't for the carrier, there would be so many times that I would be carrying my baby around not being able to get anything else done, however this way, I can get the dinner ready, wash dishes and even hang out the washing and my baby daughter, who is usually sleeping, is blissfully unaware of all that her mummy is getting done while she sleeps. We are glad that we opted for an average priced carrier as opposed to the more expensive, as it does everything that I want it to do.