Category Archives: Reviews

Review: Comfy Joey Toddler Width Ring Sling

By SS

 

I wore my 24# 15 mo in this carrier for several up/down trips and one longer nursing session. I like the extra width on the carrier for a tall toddler (like my guy). He loves to bounce himself in carriers, so with ring slings I always make a VERY deep seat for him (like, the bottom rail comes up to his bellybutton deep). With the extra width on this carrier, I can do that with no problem and still have plenty of fabric for a snuggly nap, if that ever happens.

 

I love the black and white look of the fabric. It’s very classy, while still making a fashion statement. For men with an aversion to anything slightly girly, this is a great option!

 

I was surprised to find out the fabric is silk! It’s thin and strong, with little to no stretch or bounce, but with some cush. The texture is a little rough to the touch (not silky, by any means), but not at all irritating.

 

The shoulder is a simple gathered shoulder. Shoulder style is always a personal preference kind of thing. The advantage to a gathered shoulder is being able to cup the fabric onto the outside of your shoulder. This spreads the fabric (and baby’s weight) out more.

Kinderpack Review

By B

The Kinderpack was generously donated to the library by Kindercarry. Thanks!

I tried this out with my 11-13 month old.This is a super duper comfy carrier. It is very well thought out, with some nice little touches. Our carrier is the “standard” size and it fits baby girl just right.

Kinderpacks come in a variety of sizes, from infant to preschool. You can also get custom sized straps from petite to plus sized. Info on the standard size from the KP site:

standard: 16″ h x 17″ w- ages 8mo-3 yrs : starting at 20lbs/28″ and up to 38″

standard is the choice for most people.  Please realize that the standard will fit up to 3 years old/4T.  This is the size to buy if you want to buy one carrier without having to size up later.”

Kinderpacks are made by  WAHM right here in Illinois. This is another carrier you can tell is made by a babywearing mama. It has some great features that only a babywearer would think of.

The shoulder straps adjust at both ends of the buckles. This makes it easier to get the exact fit that you want.

I love the hood. It tucks into the body. The cavity then snaps closed, creating kind of a headrest, a great idea.

Hood out:

And in:

The website has a lot of excellent info on the carriers, the ordering process, even videos on how to wear it.

I found the whole carrier somewhat thicker than other SSCs in the body area and the shoulder straps to be wider. The fabric is soft, but sturdy.

Like all SSCs, the Kinderpack is great at distributing weight to your hips. It is quick and easy to get on and off. It can be used for front, hip or back carries. It is easy to fold up compactly to carry with you. I think soft structured carriers are also easy to wear empty if baby wants to hop out and crawl around for a bit. They offer good coverage for nursing as well.

I tried my 4.5  year old in it

For a large kid in a carrier not really designed for a giant child, this was pretty comfy. Even though this is sized for a much smaller person, he still has a nice seat in this, with good positioning.

Bottom line: Kinderpacks are a very comfortable, very customizable carrier with a lot of special touches.

 

Babywearing in CO: Onya Goes Traveling with a Toddler

BY KK

We took the Onya on our vacation to Boulder, Colorado, this summer with our almost two year old who is about 25 pounds.

Since I was recovering from a slow-to-heal stress fracture that was acting up while we were there, I wasn’t able to do as much hiking as I hoped.  I had planned to for my husband to use the carriers. So we didn’t do as much babywearing as planned.

That said, these carriers still made our trip so much easier.
One huge benefit was getting around the Denver airport. My husband was even allowed to wear our son through security! He had our son in the Onya while we rode a shuttle bus from the car rental drop off to the airport, on the escalators, on a train between concourses and on several moving sidewalks.  It went so much more smoothly with the carrier than if we’d tried to manage a stroller and our luggage.
We never had the right carrier and table set up and toddler temperament coincide to try the high chair feature out. But I was excited about the potential and think this be a great feature to use.

Oddly I’ve never nursed in a carrier before—I get overwhelmed trying new things and the situation never arose where I decided I had to figure it out previously—but I managed to figure it out when we got to Boulder Falls as my son had been wanting milk for most of the drive there and was not going to let my husband wear him. I was impressed how well the carrier worked for discrete nursing as this was a popular spot.

We do have a ring sling and an Ergo that we use sparingly and left at home. I can say I’m very glad we listened to our friends and borrowed a toddler friendly carrier for our trip.

Pognae Review

By B

The Pognae was generously donated to our group by Pognae USA. Thanks! I tested it out with my 11-13 month old.

Well, this carrier, in my mind, is a best buy. Prices start at $65, much much less than a typical SSC. It can be used for front, hip and back carries. The straps are worn “rucksack style” and it has an adjustable chest belt.

These cinch down very small. They would be ideal for a very petite mama. I suspect those who find many SSCs too bulky for them would enjoy this. They don’t get as large as some carriers (but do have an extender belt, sold separately), so I would recommend them for a very petite to slightly larger than average mama or a smaller dad. I consider myself average sized and it fits me great.

The carrier comes with a belt mounted coin purse type pouch. It is just big enough to jam in an ID, some cash and an iPhone.

This would be an ideal carrier for hot weather. The straps are backed in mesh. The body of the carrier, and this is ingenious to me, zips away to reveal a mesh body panel. I’ve never seen another carrier where you have the option of the “summer” or regular panel. The regular panel rolls up and velcros underneath. It really is very very clever.

There is a tuck away hood that zips up into the body. It provides head support for a sleeping babe and also acts as a sun shade.

There is a removeable headrest for small babies that attaches to the straps. My baby didn’t need this feature, but I imagine it would support a small baby’s head quite well. For a very small baby, they recommend an infant insert (sold separately).

This is shorter bodied (14″), which makes it a good choice for a petite baby, though DD, at 14 months, fits in it fine, with room to grow. I did try my tall 4 year old in it. Height-wise, it didn’t work out at all (and it is only recommended for up to age 36 mos), but it was comfy for his weight, between 35 and 40 lbs. This isn’t the first carrier I would recommend for a preschooler, but it would do in a pinch. It’s recommended for up to 45 lbs.

I took this carrier with on a trip we took from Peoria to St Louis. I wore baby girl in it a lot around the zoo,

then for several more hours walking around downtown and in the arch. It was very comfortable and provided excellent nursing coverage.

She spent a lot of the day in this carrier and it was really supportive, particularly for the price point.


Bottom line: if you are looking for a carrier for hot weather, for a tiny person or just an unbeatable price on a soft structured carrier, consider a Pognae.

Kinderpack Review

By HD

Carrier: Kinderpack (standard size)

Reviewed with child age: 17 months

The Kinderpack is a soft- structured carrier for front and back carries. They are made in infant, standard, toddler and even preschool sizes, so you can find the right size for your family’s needs.

The waist strap buckles in the front and adjusts simply and easily. The shoulder straps are wider and have more padding than most SSCs (the straps also come in petite, standard and plus sizes). The body of the carrier is also wider than most, and results in a very comfy seat for your little one.

Fabric designs are always changing, so if you are interested, you have to keep a close eye out for the design that suits you best. 

We used the carrier for a recent trip to Wisconsin and took a couple mile long walk at a nature preserve.

Later in the day, I used the Kinderpack to tour a museum for another few miles of walking. I was surprised how light my son seemed and I felt absolutely no repercussions from carrying him such long distances.

This carrier is on my top list of favorites! Getting to spend some time with this carrier to review it has only made me want one more. And it is not just me, I asked my son to pick out a carrier to ride in at a recent BWI event. He picked the Kinderpack not just once, but twice that day! 

Kindercarry (the company who makes Kinderpack) also makes mei tai carriers. Following Kindercarry on Facebook or Twitter is a good way to stay updated on new stockings.

http://www.kindercarry.com/
http://kindercarry.bigcartel.com/

Wrapsody Water Wrap Review

By B

We bought the Wrapsody Water Wrap because we thought it would be a popular choice in the lending library for summer. I was able to try it out with Baby Girl at a pool party recently.   I also took it along on an all day trip to the water park.

The material seems similar to rash guard shirts that the kids wear. It is said to be SPF 45. I always worry about my fair skinned kids burning, so another layer of sun protection is fantastic. I liked being able to spread the wrap out on my shoulders for some extra sun protection for myself.

And, really, nothing makes you feel more confident about your post baby swim suit body than strapping on a baby to cover part of it!

The wrap is rated for water use to 35 pounds; land use to 25 pounds. Baby Girl is less than than and was very comfortable in there. Like the rash guard shirts, the material is stretchy enough that I could pop baby in and out without untying, but not so stretchy that it was saggy. With a wiggly and squirmy 1 year old, I really like having a two shouldered carrier to contain her. I felt very secure in the pool with her.

At the water park, we did the wave pool and even a small slide with her in the wrap. Even wearing her around all day long, I didn’t feel like I needed to adjust too much. It was really nice to be able to help my older child fill water balloons and still take care of baby. I didn’t try this in the shower. I think the water ring sling might shine a bit more for that.

The material dried quickly, so it wasn’t awkward to wear around, even empty. Being very thin, this also folds up much smaller than most wraps. This is a big bonus for us as we are generally packing up half the house for a trip to the pool. The material is soft enough for use with a newborn.

All in all, I think this is a terrific water carrier for a tiny baby or squirmy toddler!

Sequoia Waves Review

By B

We recently received this gorgeous Didymos Sequoia Waves as a donation from Birdie’s Room. (Thanks!) The pattern of this wrap is absolutely stunning in an outdoor setting. The sun really plays up the subtle beauty of this versatile and neutral wrap.

The color is great because it’s Dad-friendly, but the varying shades keep it from being remotely blah. It’s really flattering for a lot of skin tones and would work with many wardrobe choices.

The weave of this wrap is more airy than some. This makes it a cool choice for hot weather. I still find it to be supportive for my 20 lb baby.

It is softer out of the box than some, not needing much breaking in. The more open weave does make it more prone to pulls/snags, but that same openness makes pulls easier to fix.

We have this in a size 4 (3.6 m), which I find to be a very versatile size. You can do a lot of carries without a lot of extra bulk, very nice for warm weather. This length and the thin fabric help Waves fold up fairly small for on the go. Just be careful if your diaper bag has velcro closures!

All in all, this is a beautiful wrap, thin and airy, terrific for hot day, but supportive enough for use year round.

 

Bamberoo Mei Tai Review

By HD

 

Bamberoo Mei Tai

Reviewed with child age: 16 months

The Bamberoo MT from the BWI Peoria library has the regular style body (which is a bit more structured than many other mei tai carriers) with extra long straps. For me, extra long straps are a big bonus since I prefer to be able to tie Tibetan (adding a chest strap).

Long straps give a few more tying options and a little more to your babywearing style! Long straps can also be helpful when parents have different body sizes. 

I wore this carrier to the farmer’s market, grocery shopping and on walks. My 16 month old felt even lighter than he does in a soft structured carrier (my usual carrier) and I could easily carry him long distances. 

Using a mei tai carrier is fairly easy to learn. With my 16 month old, I use a back carry and found that after a couple of uses I had the hip scooting and the tying down pat. The tying takes a bit more time than a buckle, so I would probably use something different for quick in and out trips, but for those mid length trips, the extra time is worth the comfort. Mei tais make it easy to get just the right amount closeness in your carry and are easily adjusted.

Bamberoo carriers come in a variety of colors and patterns. They also make soft structured carriers and wrap conversions. Custom work is available. They are in high demand, so start looking for yours soon!

http://www.bamberoobaby.com/

http://hyenacart.com/stores/Bamberoo/

Wrapsody Water Wrap Review

By CS

I was very excited to try the BWI of Peoria’s new water wrap.  I have a mesh ring sling I use when swimming, but I am a ring sling weakling and don’t like them for very long.  I was spending all day on the water and needed something more comfortable.  

The water wrap is made from a swimsuit like material and is solid black.  It is made by Wrapsody.  Wrapsody also makes a lightweight gauze wrap and a hybrid stretchy wrap which I really like. The water wrap is like a special version of a stretchy wrap. It is only for front and some hip carriers, but not for back carries.  I wouldn’t recommend any back carries in the water anyway.  This wrap is rated for 25 lbs on dry land and 35 lbs in the water because of the buoyancy the water provides.

I used this with my 11 month old son.  I was trying to use a hip wrap cross carry which was my first attempt at this carry.  The wrap was narrower than I expected and it was also slippery as well.  I do not have a lot of experience wrapping and probably should have chosen an easier carry to start with, but I managed to get him secure.  Once he was secure and we were in the water, we were both very comfortable.  We played in the water for a while and he was content the entire time.  My son weighed closed to 20 lbs, but, when we were in the water, I didn’t notice much sag in the wrap.

My 2 year old daughter is close to 30 lbs, but scared of the water.  I wanted to see if having her in a wrap would make her more accepting of the water.  I used a front wrap cross carry with her and had a lot more success in actually tying the wrap.  She loved it.  Being held so securely against me relieved her fears and she was able to enjoy the water.  I did notice more sag with her but it was totally worth it to get her out into the water.

I would recommend a water wrap for both 1 and 2 years old.  It was great with my daughter and worked even better than just holding her in my arms.  I wasn’t able to do much with her on my front, but having her securely wrapped did allow me to acclimate her to the water.  It was also great for my son because he needs a lot of supervision near the water.  I could use the water wrap with him and play with my daughter in the shallow water.

Tula Review

By B

I’ll be honest. I love this carrier. It fits my body just right and I love it.

A little about Tula carriers, from our correspondence with the owner, Ula, who generously sold us the carrier at cost for the library:

We are making them in Poland and every carrier is made by hand by one person from beginning to the end. It is not the same type of a production as these that make their carriers in china or india. 
We would like to remain smaller, more exclusive and appeal to people who appreciate that we have our own facility and our own employees. We are able to pay our employees double of what they used to make as seamstresses in their previous job.
I really like that. I like being a part of carriers made in fair trade conditions. I like the idea of getting a great carrier while I’m making life better for a mama like myself. That’s good stuff.
Aside from all that, Tula has some nice features. There’s a storage pouch on the waist band. It’s big enough for your phone, some cash, a key. I like that it’s on the waist instead of the body of the carrier for a couple of reasons. 1) I don’t like to smush things up against baby’s body as in a traditional pocket on the carrier. 2) I think the waist placement makes it more accessible when doing a back carry
There’s a sleep hood that is removable (snaps on and off).
They come in a lot of cute prints and are starting to do woven wrap conversions. There’s an available infant insert, but I haven’t tried it.
Something else really unique that I haven’t tried, but would like to, is the leg extensions. Tula makes an infant sized and toddler sized carrier. The carrier shown here is the infant size. My baby is between 9 and 11 months in these pics
The infant size, with a 15.5″ body, is for babies from 15 to 45 lbs. The toddler size, wider and 18″ tall,  is for children 18 months (and/or about 25 pounds) to 4+ year old. The leg extensions slip onto the infant sized carrier to enable you to carry an older child and still have knee to knee support.
The straps on this are less wide than some, but more padded, so they are still very comfortable. There is extra padding around the leg area for baby’s comfort, a nice touch. There are the handy elastic loops on the ends of the webbing to keep things looking neat (but, um, I may be too lazy to do those up often.)
The shoulder straps adjust at the back, as typical straps do, and also at the front, which is really nice for breastfeeding in the carrier. In a front carry, the straps are worn rucksack style with a chest belt. The chest belt is easy to adjust, so you can wear it lower, as I prefer, or higher.
All in all, this is a really terrific mid-priced SSC.