I wasn't much of a baby-wearer with Cate. We had a knock-off Baby Bjorn style carrier that we used on a few occasions when pushing a stroller wasn't convenient...like when going through the conservatory, as pictured below.
I also had a sling for Cate. Like the carrier above, it also hurt my back and neck after about a half hour of use.
Really, we never had much need to wear Cate. We have sidewalks and our stroller maneuvered over every crack and bump just fine. We didn't go too many places that weren't stroller-friendly. We only had few occasions when we needed our hands-free, but Cate wanted to be close. Cate was most content perched in her Bumbo or Papasan seat on the counter or table (squarely in the middle, she never came close to falling so no judging). When she got older, she was happy to play in her exersaucer while I cooked or cleaned or did things around the house. I'd just pull the exersaucer into whichever room I was in.
But necessity is the mother of invention. When you have a three-year-old and an infant, baby-wearing becomes so much more necessary. I knew that the sling and the carrier we used with Cate weren't options. So I got a Moby-wrap. I love it! It's super-secure and let's Brennan be super-close to me.
I even got Cate a mini-Moby for her dolls and stuffed animals. It was part of her big sister present that I gave her at the hospital. She loves it.
I will admit though, that the Moby isn't always practical. Bending over to help Cate while Brennan is in it can be tricky. And after an hour or so, my neck and back hurt a little, though not nearly as much as with the previous two carriers. Plus, until you get the hang of how to tie it on, it can seem cumbersome and annoying to put on.
Enter the Boba. My in-real-life friend, Tricia, whom I've known since high school, turned me onto the Zulily site. The site runs special deals on name-brand baby and kids clothes and products. She had just ordered the Boba from Zulily and saved $40. Boba's normally run around $100, an amount I was not willing to pay, but $60 seemed reasonable.
The Boba has much better back support and some other features that I found helpful like stirrups (when Brennan gets bigger) to keep baby's hips aligned properly (a problem many carriers have), and a rain/sun hood to pull over baby's head when you don't want it exposed. We tried the Boba out at the zoo yesterday. Brennan snuggled right up against me, I tucked a blanket behind his head for a little extra support, and we were off. My neck and back didn't hurt at all after our 2 hour trek to see all of the animals. And I had my hands free to interact with Cate (who wanted nothing to do with the stroller and had energy to burn, so I was happy to let her walk around).
One of us (yes, my husband is a proud baby-wearing daddy) wears Brennan at least once a day. We've decided the Moby is the most practical around the house, when we don't need our hands free for more than an hour or so. The Boba is great when we're out and about and/or when we need our hands free for two or more hours. I think Cate would agree-- she loves that we have our hands available to play games, color, play at the park, and to hold her hands.
I know, I know...some might say I'm going more "granola" or "natural" with all of the baby-wearing and cloth-diapering we've been doing around here lately. But I'm one of those mama's that doesn't subscribe to any parenting philosophy-- we're pretty much all over the parenting spectrum (we don't co-sleep, I didn't make all of Cate's baby food-- just some, I didn't get upset when the doctors had me supplement breast milk with formula while Brennan and I were still in the hospital, we play with plastic toys, I let Cate watch about a half hour of TV each day). We simply do what's best for our kids. We know them best and we know what works. It wasn't what we needed in order to do the best thing for Cate when she was our one and only, but at this stage in our parenting lives, baby-wearing works best.