As promised, we now have a tiny squirming human to carry around so I’m back with part 2 of this review. The gist of it: I had a whole lot to learn about the world of babywearing…
Part 2: Does this thing actually work?
Yes and no. The carrier ‘works’ just fine. It is well-made, sturdy, and would probably last quite a while. What’s the problem then? Harry hated it. HATED it. It could be studded with diamonds or woven with gold thread and it wouldn’t change the fact that every time I tried to put him in it he would end up a grizzly mess. It did not work for us. I believe there are several reasons for this and these are why I gave up on this carrier and went in search of a better alternative.
#1: Inserts Suck
After some extensive-ish research I am pretty certain now that I won’t buy a carrier that requires an infant insert. The insert on this carrier feels great, my first impression was that it was very soft and comfy. Unfortunately when you put it in to action it is bulky, hot, ill-fitting and awkward to use. The insert in this carrier is able to be used in two positions with the base folded either up or down to adjust the height of the back piece. Harry is longer and thinner in shape but still seemed to be in between sizes. It worked better for him with a longer back piece but the extra length stuck out the top of the carrier with no place to fold it down or tuck it away. The padded bits that pop together across the front of the insert were also at the wrong height for Harry so I ended up leaving them undone so they stuck out the sides of the carrier. It also got very hot and stuffy in there with the insert so it all made for a pretty unhappy baby.
#2: Fit and Feel
The carrier is definitely sturdy but this meant the cotton canvas-style fabric didn’t seem to mould around Harry very well. It was a case of him trying to fit in to the carrier rather than the carrier fitting nicely around him. It also has quite a shallow seat/bum drop so it didn’t feel like he got that nice ‘bucket seat’ feel with his knees up in the ideal ‘M’ position. It felt like the shallowness of the seat meant that his hips were being pushed too wide. I tried both with the insert (in both positions) and without but my fussing just caused a big squirmy protest so I gave up at this point.
#3: Comfort is Key
With all the trials and experimenting, swaying, bobbing, and hallway-pacing, Harry was in this carrier for maybe only an hour. Just one hour. My back was sore and my shoulders were aching. Some may say that that’s my fault rather than the carrier, but I would expect something that’s intended to be worn on your body and support weight up to 20kgs to last longer than an hour without causing pain and discomfort.
The waistband seemed quite cushioned at first but after you clip it on and crank it up tight then it actually feels quite stiff and it digs in in certain parts.
Long story short, this was not the carrier for us. Mountain Buggy definitely seem to make quality stuff, no denying that, but they don’t specialise in babywearing specifically and I think this makes all the difference. They have made a great quality carrier here, and yes you can carry your baby in it (if they let you). But if you really want to wear your baby in comfort then I suggest looking at alternative carriers from specialist babywearing manufacturers such as LennyLamb, Beco, Boba, Tula, and Soul.
Trust your instincts. If it’s still uncomfortable after all the initial fussing and adjusting then it’s not the right thing for you. Cut your losses, bung it on TradeMe and move on. I have and babywearing is now an absolute joy in my Boba wraps and a LennyUp carrier. Reviews on those to come next!