If I could go back 5 years in time and tell myself one little purchasing tip it would be this:
"Buy an Ergo baby carrier for your first baby."
I put off buying it because it's $100. And $100 on anything makes me stop and think, "Can I live without this?". The answer was always yes. I tried several other carriers: the moby wrap, the envelope one, the hip carrier, some garage sale back carrier. Some were ok, some were awful. Grace really loves to be held, but you know how it is....our arms are not made to hold chunky babies for lengthy times.
But out of desperation to comfortably hold our third baby and have hands free for the other two kids, I bought an Ergo carrier. (with a 20% off coupon at Buy Buy Baby)
This thing has changed our lives. We have had it about 100 days and use it everyday since so a $1/ day has totally been worth it, in my opinion. (Imagine if I had bought this 5 years ago! The cost analysis would be A-MAZING!)