July 26, 2016
Baby wearing is a practice that moms and caregivers share worldwide. Around the world baby wearing is not seen as a trend, it is a way of life and a way for caregivers to cope with the balance of baby’s needs and daily tasks. In West Africa caregivers carry babies on their back using a piece of cloth, in Peru they use a Manta which is tied over both shoulders like a cape, in Papua New Guinea mothers use a Bilum which is like a net bag that women carry on their forehead with the baby at their back and here in the west we have endless options. As a new mom, the search for the perfect carrier was a huge task. One carrier doesn’t need an infant insert, one has all these cool pockets and flaps, do I need the flaps? Will my baby like this carrier, is it too bulky for my small frame, how much weight does it hold, do I like that pattern?… the questions are endless!
Aurelia is 8 months old now and I have been wearing her since birth. I sometimes carry her hours on end and she has come accustomed to falling asleep in the carrier for naps and even at the end of a long day before I put her down. I really rarely use a stroller accept for the occasional jog. I won’t tell you what carriers I have used because I am reviewing many of them and am starting from scratch. I have some that I have loved and others that have not felt comfortable. So with the help of Nurture Nest, I will be properly fit for all of the carriers so I have the perfect beginning to my babywearing reviews.
The Nurture Nest ladies have a wonderful lending library for you to try the carriers for 2 weeks or a month for a small fee before you decide which carrier is best for you. They also now have an online shop!
Notes: I am 5ft 2 inches about 120lbs. This is good to think about because some of the carriers that may feel “big” or “bulky” on me may actually suit your size. Most of my review is for a front carry. I did however carry Aurelia on my back in each carrier but not for extended time as I did on my front.
TULA- Spring Equinox
The Tula is very simple with a small pocket large enough for a phone or credit card on the waist band. The price is comparable to other carriers at around $149. You will need an infant insert for babies newborn to about 15lbs (and until your baby can sit independently with knees dangling down freely in the correct M-position.)
Knikka and Korie fitted me for the Tula and when I wore it- it felt so great! Clearly I had been wearing my other carrier terribly wrong. Aurelia was sitting high enough wear she felt comfortably close, I could kiss the top of her head and the weight didn’t seem as if it was pulling me down. The Tula was snug against my body so baby girl was as well.
Long wear comfort
This carrier was great for long wear. I wear Aurelia constantly. There were times she was in it for 2 hours +( I am a working mom and Aurelia comes with me.) The only thing I noticed was my lower back would hurt after a while but she is about 18lbs so I imagine that is normal after wearing her for a while. The carrier never loosened up, she didn’t slide or sag.
I don’t know if it’s because it’s summer but this carrier makes me sweat! Aurelia is a very hot sweaty baby as is, I didn’t notice that she felt warmer than usual… maybe it’s just me! My guess is that it is because of how comfortably snug she was to my body and she is like a little heater. I was wearing her in about 80 degrees fahrenheit.
It felt great on my smaller frame. Some carriers I have tried feel like they are taking over my entire body and can never be adjusted to fit perfectly. The Tula felt great instantly. It wasn’t too bulky, it is very simple and that is an aspect I love. The carrier was also high enough on Aurelia’s neck that when she took naps her head didn’t fall to one side, she seemed comfortable. These benefits also transferred to the back carry.
Lifting a baby to carry on your back alone is an art so be sure that you either get help or have been taught the best technique. As I said above, Aurelia stayed very snug to my body. I did have to adjust the chest strap to move it lower when I carried her on my back as it was too high on my neck.
It’s simple: nothing hanging, nothing to zip, no gadgets, just a head flap. I like that aspect. And it looks crisp and clean when you wear it. Another huge plus for me was when I would put Aurelia down after falling asleep in the carrier she would stay in her position making an easy transfer while not waking the sleeping baby!!!!
The head flap, I ended up removing it. The little plastic bands to hook the flap into place can be hard to find and maneuver. I found the flap also to be a bit narrow.
Overall: I loved this carrier. It was the first I reviewed and set the bar high.