We got this amazingly beautiful soft structured carrier in the mail today, a fantastic donation from Olives and Applesauce. I’ll be honest, when I took this out of the package, I gasped at how absolutely darling it is! Well, Little Miss was napping, so I begged and pleaded and practically bribed Big Brother to get help me try it out. Now, this guy is 3.5, maybe 35 lbs. He was worn daily until he was around 2 and was last worn maybe 8 months ago, at some point during my second trimester. I’ve used the O&A Toddler Carrier, which has an 18″ body. Big Brother is a tall fellow and likes to ride with his arms in, so if I were getting a carrier just for him, it would be the 18″. That said, I was surprised at how well the 16″ worked for him. He’s tall for his age, but this still worked out great. He was super snuggled up in there. He even got a little sleepy!
When Little Miss got up, I decided to try wearing both of them. This is something he’s been wanting to do for a while. My usual wearing two set up is with baby in front in a ring sling and big kid on back in a SSC (more on that another time). I decided it would probably work equally well with baby in a stretchy wrap, so we tried the Wrapsody (reviewed here). It worked out great! So, here’s me wearing, like 50 lbs of kid:
Look how happy we all are! We LOVE babywearing! I wore them both around for maybe half an hour after this, until he wanted to go play on the swings.
Here are some pics taken by Sara of Treasured Images by Sara for O&A (used with permission). The model is our friend Amanda.
Things I like about this carrier:
-Buckle carriers have a fairly short learning curve. You throw it on and go, less fiddling than some carriers.
-It is suitable for front, back and hip carries.
-It has all sorts of nifty little features, like straps to secure the webbing. Notice how no matter how much it’s tightened, there are no hanging straps? It gives you a neater look. You can tell these carriers are designed by a babywearing mama.
-It has a strap to secure it when it’s rolled up. This makes it much easier to carry it with you, cram it in the diaper bag, or even keep it on your waist until the next time your active toddler wants up.
-This is a very supportive carrier. I could definitely wear my 35 lb son around in this for a while.
-Buckle carriers are quick to get on and off, great for the child who wants to get up, then get down.
-Buckles tend to be popular with dads!
With the ingenious infant harness, you can wear this carrier with an itty bitty, making it possible for an O&A to be *gasp* your ONLY carrier from little to big. Here’s my little sweet potato being modeled for the O&A commercial shoot I helped out with. She’s 2 months old here. Her little legs are “froggied” inside.
If I can ever pry big brother out of it, I’ll be taking some pics of me wearing her in it. I tried, but he announced that it was “not for babies, for kids!”.
So, let’s discuss the infant harness. This is pretty brilliant.
Here, buckled in
There are 2 levels that baby can sit at inside of it, raised and lowered by velcro.
Here, unbuckled, on highest level, then lowered a bit
That is the one drawback I’ve noticed in this carrier. Baby girl wears cloth diapers and knit wool pants. The knit wool and the Velcro didn’t really gel too well. We’ll be wearing regular pants on our next attempt. This issue could be pretty easily solved by tucking a blanket in over the velcro. Once baby is in the harness, it’s buckled in to the body of the carrier to be secure. This not only holds a smaller baby up high enough, it secures them. If you are nervous about doing back carries, you will LOVE this harness. Since baby is already buckled in securely, you don’t have to hold onto him as much when you put him on your back. For a novice, this is fantastic! The harness is just made of fabric, so it is easy to lay it flat against the carrier (not using it) for a bigger child.
There’s also a sleep hood. This retracts into the body of the carrier for storage. When baby falls asleep, you can pull it out and fasten the buckles to the straps. This keeps baby’s head from flopping around while sleeping, which is especially helpful for back carries.
See, it tucks in here
The nitty gritty from the website. It has a dual adjustable waist. It cinches down small enough for everyone I know. It also expands quite a bit. I don’t know anyone who wishes they had an extender for this.
Update: well, after having the carrier forever, I still haven’t managed to get any pics of it with baby girl. So, I’m going to go ahead and put this up and hope to get pics with her at some point.