Travel With A Baby - The Babywearing Edition

Bibetts Sling

We love wearing Zoe and Zoe loves to be worn

Being such big fans of baby wearing we have accumulated quite a few baby carriers and written quite a few baby carrier reviews. We have compiled them here for your convenience.

Babywearing has been a big part of our baby raising experience. They make travelling so much easier. On the streets of Bali there is no way you can push a pram (stroller or buggy). There are just too many holes in the ground. In fact high curbs and unavoidable stairs are common all over south east Asia. Carrying a child in our arms will just make as tired. Wearing our child in a baby carrier takes the load off our arms, distributes the weight and just make life easier!

Another reason why we are so gung-ho about baby wearing is that we can then take Zoe absolutely anywhere and know that she is going to be safe. We can put her in a carrier while we ride a songtheaw in Thailand, have her comfortably attached to one of us while catching a red eye flight and, most importantly, Andrew will be able to wear her on his back when we go for our next thirty kilometre hike. Yeah right!

We have tried quite a few different types of baby carriers and I thought we would review each one as we try them. I am positive there will be more purchased throughout Zoe’s early childhood. I have seen carriers that are made specifically for toddlers and children up to four or five years of age, depending on their size and weight. If we are still wearing Zoe at that age Andrew will be the primary carrier. He says “We will see about that!”

In no particular order here are the ones we have tried out so far. Some have been supplied by manufacturers who are fans of our site but all thoughts are entirely our own, whether good or bad.

This list will also be added to as I try out new carriers... once you have been bitten by baby wearing bug you can’t stop!

Skin-To-Skin Sleeveless Cami from the BirthShop Singapore

Skin-To-Skin Sleeveless Cami

I love this top! It was fantastic to wear in the early days of Zoe’s life. The photo above is of us at Zoe’s 20th day in the outside world. I wore the top at home and down the street. It was cozy and I received a lot of positive comments about it.

As it is made in Singapore, the sleeveless cami in an XL was still a little too small for me. I added the purple wrap around the middle to add an extra layer of security. There is a waist belt built into the top but it did not quite reach around me comfortably. That certainly helped my post-baby body image…

The top was also a little too short but Zoe and I made the best of it and we happily waltzed around the house and local streets until she simply became too big and heavy for such a light weight carrier.

I was able to easily breastfeed by lifting up one of the cross over parts.

For just under SGD$40 (~$35 AUD) delivered to Australia, I highly recommend this product as long as you are of slender build.

 

Boba Stretchy Wrap

Boba Stretchy Wrap

This is not my most favourite baby wearing product although it is beautifully made and I know people who swear by them.

Zoe and I just could not mesh well in it. We have worn it for a few hours at a time, nappy changes and feeds broke up the time, but I never felt entirely comfortable in it. I did not feel like there was enough support even after I tightened the fabric over and over. No doubt I would get better with practice but I just couldn't get the knack of it.

Because there is so much fabric in the wrap I got hot quite quickly. Mind you, I am a very sweaty lass. Take my usual sweatiness and add a hot potato called Zoe and a few meters of material and no wonder why I was sweating.

That said, I can see why my friends love these wraps. The Boba wrap can be comfortable for both wearer and baby. Although there is some skill in turning the material into a comfortable baby carrier it is not rocket science and there is certainly heaps of material to wrap around you as many times as you need.

The Boba Wrap can be purchased through Amazon as well as on eBay and delivered straight to your door no matter where you are. Nice 🙂

Would I recommend it? Absolutely, but not if you are not a sweaty Betty like me. It would also help if you don't live somewhere too hot.

Bibetts Gauze Wrap and Sling

Bibetts Sling and Wrap

Ooooh, I HAD to have these when I came across them on etsy when Zoe was still in my belly. I deliberated over colours and chose a teal green gauze wrap and a dark plum purple ring sling. I then contacted the store and requested the ring sling to be dual coloured, so both purple and teal. I am so glad I did.

The wrap and the ring sling arrived but I had not yet had Zoe. Not having a real baby to use I got out Cathy, my cabbage patch doll from 30 years ago, and proceeded to practice wrapping her. Even though I was heavily pregnant I worked it out. I was excited and I could not wait until I could wear Zoe on the outside!

First, the wrap. It is in my hand in the photo above. The color is delicious!  Unfortunately Zoe just can not stand to be wrapped. Well, not for more than a few minutes, so I gave up on that pretty quickly. The wrap was beautifully dyed and made. The length perfect for probably all types of different carries and it was a lot cooler than the stretchy Boba wrap.

Unfortunately, the gauze wrap has had a very short life in our family. Zoe just would not accept being in it.

Luckily, the ring sling has been wonderful. That is what I am wearing in the photo above. The colours are beautiful and the fabric is lovely. My only complaint is I think the rings could have been a little bit bigger given the amount of material that needs to be threaded through them. It is double fabric after all.

Zoe started off loving it when she was very small, then she hated it for a while, and now she loves it again. We think it is because she is old enough to have her legs out but who really knows?

Would I recommend them? Definitely! The wrap and sling are pretty, quite cool to wear and fairly cheap at just under USD$70 including delivery to Australia for the both of them. You can now purchase Bibettes linen wring slings via eBay.

Manduca Baby Carrier in Petrol

Manduca 1

When I realised that Zoe was not going to be happy not being held, that she didn't like being wrapped and when she was in her "I hate the sling" phase, I made Andrew take me to the nearest baby shop to try out a structured carrier.

I was sore from both the caesarian and from carrying Zoe in my arms and I just needed something to make my life easier. Anything. Even if it meant we had to pay a lot of money for it.

Manduca entered our life. What a game changer. Yes, she still fusses for a few minutes, but then settles down as soon as she realises how comfortable it really is.

The Manduca includes an inbuilt infant seat. It works well although it is a little fiddly to get her into. You can’t just plonk your baby in. You have to sit on a chair, lay the carrier out on your lap, lay your baby down on top of the carrier, do up the buttons on the infant section, bring up the baby and carrier to your chest, then attach the straps to yourself.

Once it is on properly, I find it quite comfortable. I do tend to swap quite often from having the straps straight over my shoulders to crossing the straps across my back.

Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages for me. Either way, I am comfortable enough for a few hours of solid wearing. At night time, Andrew has to massage my shoulders. Win / Win.

My only disappointment with the Manduca is that it does not have any pockets. They do have a little bag that you can attach at the base from the belt but I just don’t like them. A built in front pocket would be good.

Would I recommend it? Yes, in a heartbeat. Perfect to use right from newborn (3.5kg) to preschool apparently (20kg). It is however expensive at just under AUD$170.

Purchase a Manduca Baby Carrier via eBay or Amazon and have it delivered straight to your door.

 

Yummy Mummy Suck Pads

Yummy Mummy Suck Pads

I could not resist buying these suck pads for the Manduca. They are sleeves of material that fit over the straps to give your baby something soft and easily washable to slobber all over.

They were handmade with love by a team based in Sydney. After sending a few messages back and forth I soon received a cool pair of suck pads made to my particular specifications. Two ribbon loops at the top of one pad and two on the bottom of the other. The ribbon loops can be used to clip a small toy to or just to provide something interesting for the baby to grab onto.

Below is the message that Zoe sent to the makers 🙂

Zoe: I may still be a little too young to really understand the awesomeness of my Yummy Mummy Suck Pads (for Baby Carriers)... but mum loves them already! Thanks for making her happy!

Would I recommend them? Indeed!

Boba Air

Boba Air and Andrew

This is the most awesome lightweight travel baby carrier we own. It took me a while to actually like it as it has no padding. But now, I find it to be brilliant. Zoe even loves it too!

We’ve used this quite a few times in the past couple of months. It is the baby carrier that is always with us in the big nappy bag. It is the go to baby carrier for grizzles, cuddles, walks across the road to get milk, and longer walks in the park or shopping centre.

It isn’t entirely the most comfortable baby carrier I have worn as there is no padding whatsoever. However, I have been able to wear Zoe for a good 90 minutes without any back issues. The Boba just needs adjusting every now and then. It is very handy having Andrew around.

The Boba has a built in hood that is quite roomy by baby carrier hood standards. The button placement on the shoulders are in a very nice place. Very comfy for both Zoe and I when we use the hood.

It weighs only 400 grams and folds down into its own little pocket pouch thing with zip. If you constantly have your suck pads on the carrier, it is a tighter squeeze but it is doable to get it all packed up.

We certainly won’t be leaving home without this baby carrier. It is perfect to stash somewhere to pull out when we are out on the town and Zoe needs a break from the pram. Andrew and I both love it. Zoe loves it. Our bags love it. Winner!

You can purchase the Boba Air - The world's lightest carrier! (for not anyhow) via Amazon and eBay. Yeah!

Boba Air and Sleeping Zoe

Babylonia BB Tai

Babylonia BB Tai Front

It was love at first touch. Oh my, the fabric used to make this mei tai is so soft, delicious and beautiful. I am very very impressed!

We chose the Blue and Black version from the quite expansive colour range. We decided that, although I love black, we needed a bit of colour in our lives. It wasn't fair for Zoe to always be carried in black. The carrier we received is very pretty indeed!

Opening the box, it is a little larger than I expected. It is not going to pack down into our super minimal bags. However, thankfully, Babylonia supplied a handy shoulder bag to go with the baby carrier. When you aren't wearing the BB Tai you can shove it all into the bag (I mean, fold it neatly). When you are wearing the baby carrier, you can use the shoulder bag. There is even a small zip pocket on the front of the bag to carry your keys or similar.

The BB Tai is lightly padded around the waist and is worn apron style but up under the boobs. There is heaps of fabric to use when tying it around your waist which is nice. I only wore Zoe on the front. She is now old enough to be worn without the infant seat which is included and can be inserted via the use of velcro. Placing her in was fairly easy and the wide wrap style straps were a breeze to fit and tie around me.

Unfortunately, I really don't think there is enough shoulder strap fabric. I had just enough to tie the shoulder straps but only just.

Although it does not have a full hood to use when Zoe is sleeping, when it is raining, when it is really cold, when it is too sunny or when Zoe just wants to hide there is an extra part of fabric that is used as a neck support. This can be brought up easily with use of little toggle straps. Zoe likes to play with these so they double as baby entertainment.

Comfort wise, this baby carrier is amazing. Zoe hasn't squirmed in there once. I don't need to pull at any of the straps once she is in correctly. No sore shoulders. Lovely.

I highly recommend the Babylonia BB Tai as a half way between a wrap and a soft structured carrier. It is comfortable and very beautiful. Although I haven't tried to use it for a back carry yet, I do think it may be best for those with a slender build as the shoulder straps are not very long.

Purchase the Babylonia BB Tai via eBay  today.

Babylonia BB Tai Collage

ZipUsIn Jacket Expander Panel Review

ZipUsIn Panel Expander In Winter

Baby wearing in winter. Gah! What do you do when it is really cold and you want to wear your baby? Do you rug up baby the best you can and put your baby carrier on over your jacket? While you might be toasty warm your baby is outside your bubble of warmth.

Introducing the ZipUsIn jacket expander. Now, babywearing in winter is not so Gah! but more Ahh!

The issue was, up until I got a hold of this item, my jacket could not reach around both of us. Because I could not do my jacket up both Zoe and I had a lot of problems staying warm.

After some googling I found a company in the UK who made "jacket expanders". It is a panel of material that you zip into your jacket to make it fit around you and your little bundle of joy.

To me, this sounded like a better idea than a) buying a whole new massive jacket that would cover the both of us; or b) dressing Zoe in so many clothes that she would be too hot as soon as we went into a shopping center or got on a train; or c) buying a specifically made baby wearing jacket… those things are not very attractive.

ZipUsIn Tanya and Zoe

I took a photo of both my jacket zips and Andrew’s jacket zips and sent the photos on to the company as per their request. If required, they send you zip adapters that go between your jacket and their zip in panel. Easy enough!

The parcel arrived, and out came all the bits and pieces. We needed a zip adapter so I undid that part, zipped those bits on to my existing jacket and then added the panel.

This sounds very confusing. I have mentioned the words “zip, zipper, zipped” many times already but there is no other way to describe the item. As Andrew puts it… “I have zipped in the zipper to zip in the ZipUsIn panel.”

After some fiddling with zip the ZipUsIn Jacket Expander was now in my jacket. All we needed was a Zoe in a baby carrier, a jacket around us both and we were ready for a stroll in the chilly outdoors. And here we have it, both of us are snug as a bug in a rug!

ZipUsIn Tanya and Zoe In The Park

I really like this baby wearing accessory. It is a lot heavier than I expected but it is warm and appears to be wind proof. While it feels heavy while you are getting things ready, once your jacket is done up you are not really aware of it.

There is enough length in the panel that if it is really cold, wet, windy, or if Zoe is sleeping, I can zip the sides up completely and her face is covered.

Bonus points for being able to fit into both my jacket and Andrew’s jacket. Admittedly both of our jackets are from the same company so it is perhaps not surprising that they have the same sort of zip.

ZipUsIn Andrew Collage

If this is not the case for you, I am sure the company can supply a zip adapter section to fit into another jacket for you but it would make switching it between jackets a touch fiddly.

So, do I love it? Yes, yes I do! It sits in the bag with the baby carrier all ready for us to use when out and about.

Awesome product. Highly recommended!

Find our more from ZipUsIn.

 

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier - Comfy Fun And Games

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier - Comfy Fun And Games

Are you looking for a stretchy baby wrap that isn't one of those super stretchy stretchy wraps? One that you don't feel like you and your little one are cooking in when you wear it? Well, I have found the perfect stretchy but not too stretchy baby wrap... For today's wrap review I would like to introduce the Hugabub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier!

Zoe and I have wrapped before. At various times we have used the Boba Stretchy Wrap and Bibett's wrap too. Unfortunately, Zoe was just not a fan when she was younger. She was too impatient while putting the wrap on, didn't like being held so tightly and tended to suddenly decide that she wanted out in a big hurry. I wonder where this impatience comes from? Like mother like daughter I guess.

 

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier - Just Like Wearing A T-Shirt

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier - Just Like Wearing A T-Shirt

Fortunately, Zoe's not liking being wrapped is now a thing of the past and we have had a grand old time baby wearing since we got our hands on the lightweight wrap. Perhaps she has just grown more accepting or perhaps I have gotten better at it but Zoe loves it. I love it too.

The wrap truly feels lightweight. It is 100% organic cotton and stretchy but not so stretchy that I didn't feel insecure wearing Zoe while walking around. Hugabub says that their wrap will work well holding a baby up to 14kg in weight. Zoe is only 8kg at the moment and I felt quite comfortable with her on my front. It almost feels like wearing a Zoe t-shirt <3 A baby front carry can get tiring and uncomfortable, particularly as your darling baby grows, so comfort gets more and more important as time goes by.

Being so light weight it works well in warmer temperatures. Zoe is like a little hot water bottle (that wriggles) so its important that we don't feel smothered as soon as the temperature heats up a little.

 

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier

 

The charcoal colour is lovely and didn't feel like it would hold too much heat. Both Andrew and I can wear it. According to the Hugabub's website the same carrier also comes in a Latte and a Barley Beige flavour. All very tasty sounding. I still prefer the charcoal as it meshes into my overall clothing theme, which is black.

The only thing I don't like about this fabric baby wrap is that it doesn't have a stuff pocket that I can store the wrap in when I am not using it. This is a personal preference. I guess if I was that picky I could purchase an original Hugabub Organic Pocket Wrap that has the feature I want. Its just handy to have something to put the wrap in before sticking it in your bag.

 

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier - Back Wrapping

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier - Back Wrapping

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier Feature

 

I totally recommend the Hugabub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier to parents with children up to about twelve months of age, depending on how heavy your child is. I also recommend it for the Australian climate. This is a great infant carrier for anytime except the very height of summer. If you are walking around in 42 degree temperatures (107 F) no one wants another human being pressed against them but there is nothing a wrap can do about that.

I really wish I had this wrap when Zoe was younger.

You can purchase the Hugabub Organic Cotton Baby Carrier via eBay today.

 

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier - Give Me The Camera

HugaBub Organic Cotton Lightweight Baby Carrier - Give Me The Camera

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling Review

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling Review

We will be heading back to south east Asia shortly. It is warm there pretty much all the time so we "need" a new baby carrier to suit the weather. "Want" is probably more correct but why quibble over terminology. Either way, we were able to try out a Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling and it seems to be what we are after.

As it is made out of 100% cotton the ring sling is extremely soft, breathable and lightweight. The thin mesh style fabric is comfortable and will help keep us cool although I am positive that when the weather really heats up I won't be wearing Zoe. She's a little hot potato just like her mum!

The ring sling tail also works well for a few games of peek-a-boo. Zoe can still get a few glimpses of me through the fabric before finding me again. It can also serve as a temporary sunshade for the baby.

 

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling Fabric

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling Fabric

In the photos you may notice that I am not wearing Zoe to the best of my ability. Wearing a ring sling is completely different to all the other baby carriers I have been wearing for the past ten months. More practice is required to get it quite right.

As you may be able to tell from the photo below, the shoulder part of the ring sling is resting too far up my neck. We didn't start off this way. It just happened as I walked and Zoe wriggled to see what I was up to. I definitely need to head back to a babywearing sling meet-up to get some tips and tricks on how to wear Zoe more comfortably.

 

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling Looking At The Sun Through The Fabric

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling Looking At The Sun Through The Fabric

 

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling And SunLight

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling And SunLight

A little unnecessary and very much preventable discomfort aside, the ring sling is beautiful to wear. Wearing Zoe at ten months of age, I can see how the sling is suitable for both newborns and toddlers. The fabric is light enough and strong enough to envelope a child of just about any age.

This ring sling is going to become a permanent fixture in our lives. Once both Andrew and I perfect our ring sling techniques, putting Zoe in comfortably and correctly should only take a minute or two. Aside from it requiring a little more skill compared to a structured carrier, there really isn't a thing I don't like about this ring sling. It is perfect for us!

You can purchase one directly in a variety of attractive colourful flavours from Hugabub directly. They will even post internationally; or via eBay for a quick and easy delivery.

 

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling Little Fingers

Hugabub Eucalyptus Dreaming Organic Mesh Ring Sling Little Fingers

Old Faithful Columbia Hoodie Jacket

Columbia Jacket

Technically this isn't a baby carrier. It is more of a baby snuggler. You know you are on a winner with a piece of clothing when it fits you pre-pregnancy, when it still fits you at 40 weeks pregnant, and when it can be used to help lull your new baby off to sleep.

Not quite a baby carrier, but awwwwww. The things you do to calm a little one when you need to.

I wonder if Columbia ever thought their hoodies would be used like this?

Baby wearing is the bees knees of fun times.

We have not had any really negative experiences thus far. If you are planning on getting a carrier you do need to be aware that ultimately your baby will choose whether you can use it or not. Unfortunately you can't really predict their reaction in advance. Some babies love being wrapped, some hate it. Some love slings, some hate them. What works for your and your baby is impossible to predict as far as I know.

Trying out all of these carriers may turn into an expensive hobby. Once you get started you have to try, try, try every carrier to find the one that both you and the baby will like the most. Thankfully, I have a very lovely husband who puts up with my buying. I can't wait until I find something else to try!

Zoe asleep in the sling

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