I've had a chance to try out all of my various baby-carrying apparel, and here's what I'm observing:
1. the Hugamonkey slingPros: WONDERFUL in terms of its packability. Light, foldable, fits in my diaper bag. Affordable. Easy-shmeasy to put on & off. As a new newborn, she slept in this sooo well.
Cons: since Eowyn isn't strong enough to hold herself upright for long periods of time, she has to lie down in this sling, and during a reflux flare-up, she cannot abide being laid back at all (it's usually during an attack that I most want a sling, so that isn't so helpful right now). Long-term, not as comfortable because it puts weight on only my shoulder & across part of my back. Can still swing out when I bend over, so not totally hands- free.
I wear this when I am in-and-out of the car or on a quick trip.
2. the Ergo carrier
Pros: easy on-and-off, very simple to get her in & out of. Durable. Long-term, very comfy: distributes her weight really well. Warm- her feet are tucked in and covered! Keeps her upright, which is HUGE right now. Totally hands-free: holds her close and securely.
Cons: Bulkier to carry around (I wish it folded up). The perk of not having her feet poke out also means that it's a bit uncomfortable for her sometimes-- right now her legs are too short to poke out the sides like they are supposed to. While I'll eventually be able to put her on my back or side with this carrier, right now I can only stick her in one way, and sometimes that's not what she wants.
I wear this when I go shopping or run errands (and she sleeps the entire time, even if through her normal feeding times!), or whenever I need a hands-free hold-- I even wear it around the house while doing chores & cooking. Yesterday I wore it to the courthouse for Graydon's adoption-- not a really long errand, but still long enough to make a carseat waaay too cumbersome.
3. the Kendi wrap
(same as a Moby wrap, but made by my super-sewing-sister-in-law, Kendi)
Pros: lightweight, easy to pack. Extremely versatile-- during an acid-reflux flare-up, Eowyn loves to have her head waaay back, as you can see from the above photo. She has to squirm herself sideways to do that in the Ergo, but w/ the wrap it's easy to let her do it. Perfect fit every time, since you tie it on and off for a custom fit. Totally hands-free hold. VERY comfy long-term (like the carrier, it distributes her weight really well). Warm. (I'm going to try nursing in it soon!) Cheapest of all (cost of the fabric could be as low as $7), especially if you are a confident seamstress.
Cons: more complicated to get her in & out of (though really, it's NOT very hard at all!). Does slip down over time (though it's easy to rectify).
I wear this when I'm going to be out on one errand for a while, on a walk in the park, or around the house doing chores. I also have slept with her in it when she was really having a hard time.