I too had a hard time deciding upon either a front carrier/harness and looked also at slings. Soon after my son was born I bought a Tomy Safari carrier, but never felt that my baby was that secure in it....I also had a bad back from the pregnancy and labour so it wasn't the most comfortable either.
After much internet research and talking with some other mums, I decided to give a sling a go. I purchased a Hotsling brand sling, made in the US, and I ordered it from a store called Frangipani Baby online...their web address is www.frangipanibaby.com.au. I liked the idea of this one as it is made in various sizes, and so you need to measure your diagonal hip to shoulder measurement to get the right size and fit, and hence a more secure fit for bubs.
It has been a godsend and I am so glad that I bought it! It is made from cotton sateen(I got the reversible one) and is a double layer so nice snug fit. It also has padding on the sides for when your bubs is older and you carry them facing forward, so it doesn't hurt their legs.
It folds up really small in the nappy bag and is fully washable. I think it was $70. It is really handy for when you are in the supermarket and need to buy more than will fit in your pram basket, or for when you want to have your hands free. I have used mine when my son has been unsettled, and have put him in the cradle position and he has slept for 2 hours at a time in there.
The weight is more evenly distributed and it doesn't strain my back like a front carrier seemed to. You can have various positions for bubs depending upon their age. Best of all it comes with a DVD for instructions, and also a bookelt with pictures of how to do the different positions for your baby.
I can thoroughly recommend it. To give you an idea how handy it is, last Friday afternoon my husband and I took our son to the movies (he is 13 weeks old) and I wore the sling. I fed him just before we went in, so he was sleepy, and then placed him in the sling. In the movies I just patted his bottom gently in the cradle hold, and held the padded part by his ear to muffle any sound, making sure he had clear breathing space. He slept the whole way through nearly 2 hours, and the movie was Die Hard 4...so pretty noisy! He woke up only towards the end and I used the sling to breastfeed him discreetly, and then he went back to sleep! He was so content we managed a quick meal after the movies also.
We have been to the movies twice before, (normal sessions) but have used the pram so have had to sit up the front, where he has also slept through mostly. This time with the sling we could sit up the back where it was darker, and so was even better for bubs to sleep.
The sling also came in handy one day when I was at the shops with the pram, and he was unsettled and not sleeping in the pram. I pulled out my sling in the middle of a brightly lit store, popped him in and rocked him gently in the sling for a few minutes, and then he was fine and slept in there for an hour whilst I finished what I had to do.
The only thing I would say is if you buy a sling be careful not to overdress your baby, especiaqlly when in cradle hold...they only need light clothing as it gets quite warm given that they are held quite tightly against your body.I think that is why bubs like them...they are close to you like in the womb.
My only regret is that I only purchased it at 8 weeks...I wish I had it from birth for those first few weeks when your baby is getting used to the world because I think he may have been more settled then.
Hope all this helps you!
Kerrie, DS Keanu, born 14/06/07