Boba X Review: 4 Perspectives

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Today’s the day! The Boba X is officially shipping and ready for purchase. If you missed my first glimpse, go check it out here. Here’s what it looks like fresh from the box.

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I had the opportunity this week (and this past weekend) to try out the Boba X myself, and help some mothers fit the new Boba X.

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Here’s what we all thought of it:

Ashley and 4-year-old daughter.
My goofy gal is 4 years, 4 months and weighs 35 lbs:

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I was very excited to pull the Boba out and start checking out the details of this carrier. I’ll share some tips and tricks in another post next week. Here’s what I loved though:

  • First of all, the fit! It’s comfortable. It fits me well. It also fits my 4 year old well and keeps her in a spread squat position. This position isn’t as important for her at this stage but if she had special circumstances — especially low muscle tone — I feel this carrier would support her well. The height hits her just below the base of her arms, which is the perfect support for her back (plus it keeps her safe, so she can’t do a back bend right off of me).
  • No stirrups: My kids had a love/hate relationship with the stirrups. I did as well. Let’s just say there often was one missing even though I always put them back in the same place. One would get knocked off the shelf or something would happen to them (I’m looking at you silly kiddos who like to hide things and make mom feel like she’s going crazy!). This carrier has zip in panels that are “toddler extensions.” They’re a little bigger than the stirrups so hopefully would be a little easier to keep in one place, or at least easier to find if they get temporarily lost.
  • Adjustable height and body width: There aren’t specific settings either-it’s super flexible how you can adjust this carrier to fit different kids.
  • Lots of flexibility of adjustment for fit: As with other Boba carriers, there are lots of possible adjustments including two ways to tighten the arm straps. This carrier also features two adjustments to bring in the front part of the strap (I think this adjustment will be wonderful for petite parents who find that other carriers gap away from their body) and to shorten the body of the carrier. A new feature is that you can criss-cross the straps while baby is in a front carry. This is a comfortable way to wear a little bit heavier baby longer term. The waist band is long enough that most parents will be able to wear it and easily switch between wearers.
  • Great pocket for your phone: Just like on the Boba 4G, there’s a great pocket on the waist for your phone, some cash or a card, and or a lip balm (or other small non-poky object). I compared the pockets on the Boba 4G and Boba X, this one is a bit larger.
  • There’s still a little flap that snaps down the strap of your purse, diaper bag, or backpack (there’s one on each strap).
  • Right now the carrier is only available in grey but new prints will be released soon. This grey is a really beautiful color though and very neutral. I believe a mother and father (as well as the rest of baby’s family and caregivers) would be happy to wear this without complaint.

 

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  • A lot of thought went into the design: The zippers that you use to zip on the extra width panels are hidden (they won’t bug little legs). There’s a safety elastic strap that will hold the buckle on the strap if it somehow comes undone by accident. This is an extra measure to help keep baby safe that was integrated in the carrier.
  • The instruction manual is very thorough. This is important if you’re a new wearer or don’t have experience with a Boba carrier. I always recommend looking over the manual before starting to play. This is how I learned this carrier offers an option of criss-cross straps for front carries!

The things I didn’t really like:

  • I still am a bit worried that the toddler extensions that zip on to make this a toddler carrier will get lost. Since my youngest is an older toddler, I plan to keep them on the carrier except when I’m helping families try out the carrier.
  • The zippers were SUPER stiff on the panels. It took a few times of zipping on and off and they’re still a bit stiff but I’m able to zip them on a quite a bit easier now.
  • The webbing was much stiffer than I remember being on previous new Bobas that I’ve tried. This could be easily remedied by washing and laying flat to dry before playing or by loosening and tightening the carrier a few times before using.
  • The “tabs” on the bottom of the adjusters (see picture below) were kind of short (especially the one that has the buckle). I like a little bit longer of a tab so that I can pull it up to release the strap to loosen it. It took a little hunting around while adjusting a doll in a front carry to find the tab to lift up to loosen. As I’ve played around with the carrier more, it’s gotten easier to hunt for these tabs and I can feel a little bit of a difference between them.

 

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Arrows are pointing to the “tabs” that you can use to help loosen straps. This picture shows one strap and the two different places you can adjust the tightness of the strap.

 

Overall, I would rate this carrier:

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5 stars! The things I didn’t like were fixable or ok for me to look past and the way the carrier felt more than made up for these. This is my favorite Boba yet. I LOVE that this is made for newborn* through toddler (* You will see later why I put this here). I recently sold my lovely toddler soft structure carrier that I’ve worn two of my littles in. I also recently had surgery so my muscles aren’t as strong for babywearing as they used to be. I was a bit worried that this carrier may not distribute her weight as well as the toddler carrier that I had. Her weight was distributed well, however, and the only pressure spots that I got were on my lower back when I wore it for about an hour (pretty much every carrier including wraps does this to me when I wear them long enough). I was SO impressed with how light it made my 35 lb toddler feel on my back. BUT as LeVar Burton would always put it on Reading Rainbow . . .”You don’t have to take my word for it!”

Elly S. and her 16-month-old son
This sweet toddler is all smiles and giggles, is walking, and weighs 19 lbs 15 oz:

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Elly’s son typically prefers ring slings. He hasn’t been much of a fan of soft structure carriers. The width of the carrier with the toddler extensions was a little too wide. As pictured, we tried to insert the hook portion of the Velcro in the loop Velcro portion with the body because the body without them was a bit too narrow in my opinion. They were designed to go in a separate portion. After this mother left, I figured out another trick that I think would have fit a little better. I will share this trick with you next week!

Elly’s main concerns were that usually an adjustable carrier is like a car seat, not easy to switch between two children. You have to keep getting them in and out of the seat to make sure it fits properly before getting baby fully buckled in. This could be a concern with this carrier, however, typically, the webbing will get a little indention so if you’re switching between wearing a toddler and an infant, you likely will be able to set the carrier pretty quickly based on the webbing “memory.” She also thought that it would be a great idea to have a different texture (somewhat like braille) on the different tabs so you know which one you’re adjusting when reaching behind you.

The carrier was really comfortable. Her baby prefers front carries so she didn’t try a back carry. He settled in well to the carrier and enjoyed snuggling with his mama. Elly did notice that she had a little bit of a pressure point under her arms, especially when her arms were tight to her body. This is one common complaint that some parents have when using a soft structure carrier.

Erynne M. and her 7-week-old daughter.
This sweet little baby weighs 13 lbs 15 oz:

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Erynne enjoyed putting her little squishy baby into the Boba X. She said, “It feels like I’m wearing nothing.” She had previously mentioned that she had tried an Ergo with one of her other kids. The Ergo had burned her out on using a soft structure carrier. She was optimistic trying the Boba. Erynne has shorter arms and with the webbing being stiff, she had some difficulty adjusting the carrier. Once we got it adjusted on her, though, it was really comfortable. She mentioned the only pressure point she felt was her baby’s head against her body.

As a Certified Babywearing Educator, my main comment was that her baby fit very well into the carrier. We didn’t have to tighten the straps all the way down to make the panel as small as it could go. The placement of the hood in the pocket helps add some extra support to her baby’s neck. We adjusted the width down as far as it could go and it fit this baby really well. This carrier certainly has some sleepy dust. Baby settled right in for a nap in the carrier.

Emily H. and almost 3-week-old son.
This sweet baby boy has a twin sister who napped while we played. He weighs 7 lb 8 oz:

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Emily is a busy mom with 4 children, including newborn twins. Her newborn daughter was sleeping while we played. Her adorable baby boy was happy to help us try out the Boba X. While the carrier felt comfortable and fit her body well, she commented that her son seemed a little too low in it. I agree. She likes the ease of a soft structure carrier. “Wovens and ring slings have scared me a little with the learning curve.” She didn’t feel any pressure points while wearing this carrier.

As a Certified Babywearing Educator, I believe that even adjusted all the way down, the panel was a little too wide for her infant. I believe when he’s just a couple more pounds and a couple inches taller, he will fit in this carrier great.

 

Bottom line on fit: As tiny as newborns are, it’s hard to fit a carrier to every tiny newborn through long-legged toddler. As for my asterisk earlier, I believe this carrier would fit a 9-10 lb newborn quite possibly. I would suggest checking for knee to knee support. Every baby is built a little bit differently. If this baby’s legs were just a little longer, he would have had wonderful knee to knee support. If you want to use this carrier birth to 45 lbs, I would suggest keeping an eye on the fit for both the height of the body of the carrier and the panel width. If it doesn’t fit well when baby’s BRAND NEW, give it another week or two. I may not call this a full birth through toddler carrier but it’s much closer than any other soft structure carrier that I’ve worked with putting a newborn in. The carrier didn’t gap from baby’s neck and gave great support. The Boba 4G seemed to fit and support baby’s neck better from about 2-3 months on. I believe this carrier will fit many babies from about 2-3 weeks on but I encourage you to try it with your newborn! I’d love to hear your experience with this carrier!

 

 

*For full disclosure I am a Boba Ambassador. I received this new Boba X carrier free of charge in exchange for my honest review. I became a Boba Ambassador because I love their products. They send me free products to review from time to time but I do not receive any other compensation from them. I like to offer my honest opinion and free products do not influence my views*

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Wearing a Toddler or Preschooler

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This post continues the ages and stages babywearing series.  If you would like to learn more about newborn babywearing, wearing an infant until they’re able to sit up on their own, or wearing an older infant in to toddlerhood check out my earlier posts.

Babywearing in to toddlerhood and beyond is a great way to bond with your child.  It’s also a good way to build your core muscles.  Newly walking legs get tired easily.  When you can grab a carrier and put your child up on your back it can save everyone’s sanity when you are on vacation, visiting a theme park, hiking, at a festival, and more.  Babywearing also allows you to be able to go to places that strollers aren’t permitted and allows your child to interact more closely with you and the world on your eye level.

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Babywearing while hiking on the Oregon coast.  Woven wraps are warmer for hikes than a soft structure carrier but can be more supportive as well.

I have children who have had sensory defensive issues (the part of sensory processing disorder that makes them really want to push away/not participate in highly sensory situations).  We really enjoy going to festivals.

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My middle son (pictured above) enjoyed the people but didn’t enjoy the noises.  Wearing him helped him be able to interact on a level he was comfortable as well as receive the calming sensation of being wrapped snuggly (like a big hug as my children have described babywearing when they’ve had more words). My oldest son was extremely shy.  Babywearing allowed him to turn his head in to me when he didn’t want to interact and people were more respective of his space when I was wearing him (though not always but it was easier for me to tell he needed a break).

Babywearing children with special circumstances and needs can be extremely helpful for their mental and emotional well-being as well as yours (being able to provide the extra snuggles which also helps release oxytocin which soothes and promotes bonding).

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Babywearing (toddler wearing) can be very soothing when your child is upset or hurt

Toddler wearing is also very helpful to soothe bumps and bruises and fits by offering additional comfort (while being a little easier on your body and arms than holding in arms when baby begins growing larger and heavier).  Toddlers are also notorious for falling asleep in the car RIGHT before you reach your destination.  Babywearing can be a great way to help meet your child’s needs (and allow them to continue sleeping) and your needs to make it on time to your appointments!

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Toddlers are notorious for falling asleep right before you reach your destination!

Babywearing can also be a great way to keep little curious hands out of danger but caution should always be taken to watch what those hands are grabbing while you are wearing baby on your back.  This little gal (below) had recently split her head open.  She goes to a lot of conferences and events with me.  Babywearing has helped me to keep her calm while I’m working and also keep her safe too.

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So what carriers are good for toddlers and preschoolers?

It’s important to keep YOUR child’s needs in mind.  After baby is 2+ the spread squat positioning isn’t quite as important but it’s the normal position for the hips so best practices are that you continue to support that position.  If baby has hip dysplasia or is at higher risk that position is very important to support. It’s important to counsel with your doctor and physical therapist if your child has special circumstances or needs so that you may be able to meet those as well as caring for their medical situations.

  • Woven wraps can always support that position through spreading the wrap to hit knee to knee. Try different lengths-shorter wraps won’t be quite as supportive (using fewer passes over baby) but may be quicker to wrap if your child likes to get up and down a lot.  Shorter wraps are also easier to tuck in a diaper bag or even in your stroller if you go back and forth between wearing and baby strolling.
  • Soft structure carriers and more structured carriers (like mei tais) may not support this position anymore because likely the panel isn’t wide enough any longer unless you purchase a toddler or preschooler specific carrier or one with stirrups (such as the Boba carrier).  Also, it’s likely at this stage that your child has outgrown the height of the panel as well.  If it doesn’t reach the base of their arms (where their arm meets their body) or higher up on their back the carrier is not considered tall enough any longer.  There is a fall and lean back risk even if your child usually does not lean backwards.

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    This is the first time that my oldest “made cookies” with me.  Babywearing allowed me to mix cookies while keeping him secure in a new environment he hadn’t been in before.

  • Ring slings may be ok for a few minutes here and there but many parents find that their back will get really tired using one for more than a few minutes.
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Babywearing is great for all!  Even Yoda! (This is a meme that is often passed around online.  I don’t have a photo credit but if you know who made it I would love to credit them!)

I teach best practices for positioning for all babies because suboptimal positioning puts baby at risk for possible hip/spine issues down the road.  Like how drinking alcohol doesn’t ALWAYS cause liver disease or smoking doesn’t ALWAYS cause lung cancer the benefits and risks should be weighed when making decisions.  The risk is there and I recommend minimizing that risk.

I am a Boba Ambassador.  I do not receive payment from Boba but will occasionally receive new products and updates from time to time.  I am a Boba Ambassador because I believe in their products.  For more information about this as well my other disclosures please visit this page.

If you’re in the Oklahoma City area and would like some hands on babywearing help please contact me or visit my website.

What is your favorite carrier for a toddler or preschooler?

Wearing an Older Infant

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This post continues the ages and stages babywearing series.  If you would like to learn more about newborn babywearing or wearing an infant until they’re able to sit up on their own check out my earlier posts.

The spread squat position is still very important at this stage.  Be sure to read more about this in my newborn babywearing post.  When baby is in the carrier you are looking for this position (notice the curved spine and the knees higher than the bum (capital M position).

Carriers that are great to use at this stage:

  • A ring sling for shorter periods of time.  You may begin considering a wrap convert ring sling if this is your favorite carrier and you want to wear for longer spurts because the heavier weave helps distribute weight better.
  • Woven Wraps
  • Gauze or Hybrid wraps may become a little less comfortable as your child grows.
  • No stretchy wraps-they will not support the spread squat positioning at this point.
  • Mei tais start becoming a great option at this stage!
  • Soft Structure Carriers are also a great option for quick up and downs.

As babies grow and become older they will begin to like quicker up and downs (especially as they begin to walk).  Babies will also grow heavier but if you’re used to wearing your muscles will grow along with baby.  There’s no need to restrict wearing based on your child’s size/weight unless you have a medical condition to consider.

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Wearing my oldest son at 12 months in a ring sling when he got overwhelmed by a play date

 

You may also begin to be interested in back wearing.  Back carries can help you wear for a longer period of time more comfortably as your child grows but remember that babies like to snuggle too and knowing how to nurse in a carrier is a good skill (not every mom is able to nurse in a carrier but if you can practice in several different carriers most mothers can find a way to comfortably nurse while wearing).  You may spend more time out of the house and at this point you may almost mourn if you have forgotten your carrier at home.  It’s a good idea to have an inexpensive back up carrier in your car or diaper bag or keep a carrier in your car all the time so your arms and back don’t ache when you’re out and forgot the carrier.

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Boba Selfie! Back carries help baby interact with the world (including staying safe while watching older brothers ride bikes).

Back carries can also help baby interact a little more with their world.  When baby can see over your shoulder they can see and experience what you see but also be able to snuggle in when they become overwhelmed or shy.

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My daughter at about 7 months “helping” me clean the house

At this stage you may experience a baby that wants to nurse and then doesn’t fall alseep nursing any longer.  Wearing your baby down may be a very lovely skill to have in your toolbox of parenting tricks.  With practice you can wear your baby and take a walk around your house or neighborhood (make sure to have a flashlight and stay safe at night!) or just snuggle and rock.  The tightness of the carrier often works better for this then just sitting in a rocking chair.  Make sure when you put baby down to remove the carrier so there are no suffocation hazards.

Back wrapping tips and tricks:

  • When you’re beginning back wraps practice while kneeling on your bed or a soft surface and/or start low.
  • Get help, have a spot
  • Practice getting a good seat in a front wrap cross carry before attempting back wrapping.
  • Use a mirror or your computer camera to help you see what’s going on on your back.
  • Get hands on help!  It makes a huge difference.

I recommend doing the “superman” method for getting baby on your back because you stay in full control and contact of baby while putting baby up.  Here’s a video that shows this technique.

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Hiking with a toddler in Newport, Oregon

I teach best practices for positioning for all babies because suboptimal positioning puts baby at risk for possible hip/spine issues down the road.  Like how drinking alcohol doesn’t ALWAYS cause liver disease or smoking doesn’t ALWAYS cause lung cancer the benefits and risks should be weighed when making decisions.  The risk is there and I recommend minimizing that risk.

If you’re in the Oklahoma City area and would like some hands on babywearing help please contact me or visit my website.

What is your favorite carrier for an infant that can sit on their own?

Wearing a Newborn

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Newborn babies are so tiny and precious.  There are a few things we need to watch out for when wearing them.  It’s important to keep in mind that they start out so tiny but grow SO rapidly (doubling their lowest weight by 6 months and tripling by a year).  A carrier that would fit a newborn well will not fit a 6 month old unless it’s a less structured carrier that you have to form to fit the baby.  It’s of special importance to be sure that the carrier supports baby’s legs and hips well, spine, and neck to set baby up for the most optimal circumstances.  While carriers can’t be directly attributed to causing hip dysplasia we do know that baby’s hips are cartilage until they are toddlers and that the femur cartilage is harder and will win in a battle.  Any wear and tear can cause issues down the road-whether this is immediate or when your child is very old or somewhere in between.  I promote best practices so all of my posts reflect this.  Best practices include supporting the spread squat positioning mentioned on the Babywearing Institute’s page here.  And in Dr. Evelin Kirkilionis book A Baby Wants to Be Carried: Everything You Need to Know about Baby Carriers and the Advantages of Babywearing (available on Amazon and through other book suppliers and book stores-link is an affiliate link to Amazon and funds received through the affiliate link helps purchase homeschooling books for my children’s education).

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I have traced my newborn daughter’s legs and bottom in this picture.  This wrap is supporting the spread squat position.  You can see how her body makes a capital M shape.  In this position her femur is sitting in the ball and socket of the hip per the research done by hip dysplasia doctors in Germany.  She does not have hip dysplasia but if she did this would be the position they would keep her in because they have determined that this is the best possible position for baby’s hips to be in to heal if baby does have an issue.  I’m exhausted in the picture and it’s not my favorite of me by a long shot but my daughter is only 2 days old in this and she was enjoying an wonderful nap on me.  She is close enough to kiss and the back of her neck is supported by the carrier being tight and smooth on her neck.  The carrier is smooth across her back and if this shot was taken sideways you could see the c-shape curve that a newborn’s spine is in.  (She should be straight up right but had a tendency to lean-I could have further supported her head and body by pulling one of the sides around the back of her head to support her more).

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This is a stock image.  The mother and baby are beautiful but this wrap is MUCH too loose.  It’s natural to snuggle and cuddle your newborn however I think this mom doesn’t feel very secure and in all images that I saw of this mother and baby she’s pulling her baby closer.  This can easily be adjusted by tightening the carrier by pulling very snuggly when wrapping the carrier (I will demonstrate this in a video in a later post).  The shoulders and arms are also very loose and the wrap is likely to slip down mom’s arms.  This is why in person help with a carrier is very important because once you FEEL and SEE how it’s supposed to be on your body you will always get it right and you are able to apply the feeling to any carry that you do.

This same looseness can occur with other carriers such as a ring sling, mei tai (I don’t recommend most mei tais for newborns though because they have to be adjusted quite a bit and don’t support the spine as well because of this unless they’re specifically made to size down to a newborn), or a soft structure carrier at any age or stage.  This looseness is not recommended no matter how old your baby is.

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My daughter is a week old in this photo. She is in a ring sling.  This picture shows the c-shape curve better (I have traced it to point it out better).  Her chin is off of her chest so she can breathe but the carrier is flexible so that her spine is allowed to do what it needs to do.

Now that we know more about what position baby should be in let’s talk about newborn carriers specifically.  These are my favorite carriers for newborns (with links back to my previous posts about these classes of carriers):

  • Ring Slings (not pouches)
  • Wraps-especially the front wrap cross carry
  • Gauze or hybrid wraps
  • Possibly stretchy wraps if they are wrapped very tightly (I don’t recommend them after 12-15 lbs though because baby’s legs will start to pull down out of the spread squat position and baby will become too heavy to stay in the right position on your body-they should NEVER be worn in a back carry)
  • Mei Tais that are specifically designed to adjust down both vertically and horizontally so that it fits snuggly around a newborn (no fabric going below the knee and fabric emulating the tightness from my first picture above).
  • Some infant soft structure carriers.  There should be absolutely no gapping between the back of your baby’s neck and the carrier.  If there is baby needs to grow larger to fit in the carrier well.  Many manufacturers of soft structure carriers say that baby can fit in the carrier from birth however there’s often not enough support until baby is a couple of months old.

If you are in the Oklahoma City area and would like some hands on help to prepare for wearing your newborn during pregnancy or after your baby has arrived please feel free to contact me or check out my website.

What is/was your favorite carrier for a newborn?

Where to Purchase a Baby Carrier

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This is a question that comes up a lot from my readers and people who visit my website.  Where can I purchase a baby carrier?  I am here today to share some local resources for purchasing a carrier in Oklahoma City and some sources on the web.  I’m also sharing some places that you can purchase a used carrier as well.  I will mention that it’s a good idea to protect yourself when purchasing used.  I will share some tips later on in this post.  I would love to keep this updated so please let me know if you find a broken link or want me to add another shop on here!

Where you can buy a baby carrier in Oklahoma City:

  • The Worn Baby: (Piper of Babywearing Support of OKC on Facebook and local meetings)  Offers local pick up, payment plans, and a trade in program.
    • Didymos, Diva Milano, Ellaroo, Emeibaby, Ethos, Fidella, Girasol, Lenny Lamb, Little Frog, Ovolo, Storchenweige, Yaro
  • Babies R Us: 1731 Bell Isle Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73118
    • Ergo, Boba Wrap, Several others site to store
  • The Changing Table: 1745A NW 16th Street, Oklahoma City, OK  73106
    • Babyhawk, Beco, Moby Aria, Moby Wrap, Olives & Applesauce, Sakura Bloom, Tula
  • Green Bambino: 5120 N Shartel Ave, Oklahoma City, OK
    • Beco, Catbird Baby, Chimparoo, Fidella, Lillebaby, MyHeartCreative, Sakura Bloom, Tula, Wrapsody, Zolowear (mesh ring sling)
  • Cinnamon Bears: 102 S Broadway, Edmond, OK
    • MyHeartCreative

Tulsa Area:

  • Bottoms and Beyond: 400 E. Broadway St., Sand Springs, OK 74063
    • Lenny Lamb, Lillebaby, MJ, Tula
  • Oui Oui: 1405 E Kenosha St, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
    • Bella Bonilla Onbus, Hero Slings, Tula

Where you can buy a baby carrier online (not an exhaustive list by any means!):

I just want to mention to ask your local babywearing group if they have an affiliate account with an retailers because often groups will have a special discount or receive a portion of sales.

Stores I have shopped with or know owners and can personally recommend:

Other Great Online Shops:

  • The Changing Table: 1745A NW 16th Street, Oklahoma City, OK  73106
    • Babyhawk, Beco, Moby Aria, Moby Wrap, Olives & Applesauce, Sakura Bloom, Tula
  • Green Bambino: 5120 N Shartel Ave, Oklahoma City, OK
    • Beco, Catbird Baby, Chimparoo, Fidella, Lillebaby, MyHeartCreative, Sakura Bloom, Tula, Wrapsody, Zolowear (mesh ring sling)
  • Cinnamon Bears: 102 S Broadway, Edmond, OK
    • MyHeartCreative
  • Risaroo
  • Mom’s Milk Boutique
  • Purple Elm Baby
  • Ergo (purchase directly from the manufacturer or locate a store near you)
  • Natibaby (purchase directly from the manufacturer or locate a store near you)
  • Lenny Lamb (purchase directly from the manufacturer or locate a store near you)
  • Little Frog (purchase directly from the manufacturer or locate a store near you)
  • Maya Wrap (purchase directly from the manufacturer or locate a store near you)
  • Storchenwiege (purchase directly from the manufacturer or locate a store near you)
  • Girasol (purchase directly from the manufacturer or locate a store near you)

Tips to keep in mind when purchasing a used carrier (especially online):

  • Be sure to use Paypal and pay through “goods” so that you’re protected.
  • Be sure that you get lots of pictures in good light.  If the seller isn’t providing enough pictures (especially of any flaws they mention) ask for more.  If they won’t provide them it may not be worth the risk purchasing the carrier.
  • Speaking of flaws-if the seller doesn’t mention any or doesn’t have a good description of the carrier, how it was used, if it was used in a smoking/non-smoking home, if it comes from a home with animals (or was ever used to hold an animal), etc ask them.  Don’t ever assume because something is left off or is vague.  Asking lots of questions is super important even if a carrier is your “unicorn” (something you’ve really wanted for a very long time or even a short time).
  • Get insurance.  If you can afford to be out the package don’t worry about this one but most of us really can’t be out the carrier and what we paid for it.  Paypal does protect you but making sure to pay extra for insurance is a really good idea because the post office does lose packages.
  • Watch tracking.  Make sure the seller is willing to get tracking on the package and watch it.  USPS doesn’t always update so don’t panic if it hasn’t moved in a few days.  Sometimes packages run late as well but it’s a good idea to get tracking and to check it every couple of days.

Where you can purchase a used carrier:

Facebook:

Others:

  • The Babywearer (you have to join their free website in order to view the posted carriers)
  • Diaperswappers (you have to join their free website in order to view the posted carriers-this site is mainly for cloth diapers but there’s a great section for carriers)

If you need help finding a carrier I offer sessions that I can sit down with you and help you shop for a carrier that you will love.  Feel free to contact me on via email with any questions or book a time with me.  You can also find out more about my breastfeeding and babywearing classes on my website.

Where have you purchased a carrier online?

Types of Carriers: Asian Inspired Carriers (Soft Structure Carriers, Mei Tais, Pods, Onbu, etc)

First Published: Oct 2, 2015 2:31 AM
asianinspiredcarriers

Welcome to another Types of Carriers series post! To see all of the types of carriers as an overview as well as to see the posts about each class please go check out this post. Today I will be talking about Asian Inspired Carriers.

Included in this type of carrier are the Mei Tai, Soft Structure Carriers (often abbreviated to SSC), Onbuhimu (often shortened to Onbu), and Podagei (often shortened to Pod). These are all based on traditional carriers used for many generations in Asian cultures. This class features a body of the carrier and straps. Sometimes there is a chest belt between the shoulder straps (many Soft Structure Carriers) or you are able to create one with a tie off. Some carriers have waist straps (SSC and Mei Tais) and some have long shoulder straps to be used instead (Pod and Onbu). There is some structure to all of these carriers so there are limits to how these can be tied off and used but some babywearers prefer this and this also makes for a friendly carrier to have in your car. Many dad really like this class of carrier though dads can like all types of carriers. In the past this class has also been called ABCs (for Asian Back Carriers).

  • Mei Tais (pronounced may tie):
Thank you Katie Waugh for the awesome daddy wearing picture!

Thank you Katie Waugh for the awesome daddy wearing picture!

Mei Tais features 4 straps: 2 for the shoulders and 2 for the waist (coming off symmetrically). These can come off from the top or side or from the corner depending on the brand. These are very adjustable because you tighten and tie off where you need to which makes these a great carrier for differing parent body types. Mei Tais can be converted from a woven wrap for extra strength and comfort. Out of all of the classifications and types of carriers Mei Tais probably have the lowest learning curve, next to a soft structure carrier. You can make your own with the right pattern and materials-it’s important to note that you do need to make sure that the straps have a long enough portion of fabric sewn in to the body panel and X-boxes need to be sewn in to support the pull and strain that is put on that part of the carrier. Some common brands are Baby Hawk, Kozy, and even Didymos and Girasol make reasonably priced wrap convert Mei Tai carriers.

  • Soft Structure Carriers (often abbreviated to SSC)
SarahSmithforblog

Thank you Sarah Smith for the picture with your sweet baby in a Boba carrier.

There are many brand options in the SSC class. The most common that you may hear are Ergo, Boba, Beco, Kinderpack, Tula, and Lilibaby (though there are many options at a big variety of price points). These feature a buckling waist and structured arms that adjust with webbing or adjust with webbing and unbuckle so they can be crossed if you like. Most also have chest buckles. Most are built to only wear on your front and back but hip carries may be an option if the shoulder straps unbuckle from the body of the carrier (check with the manufacturer if they do). Brands differ slightly in the body shape, length and width of padding in the shoulders (though the width is very similar in all the major brands except Kinderpack), materials used (some feature a mesh panel against baby’s back), amount of padding in the shoulders, etc. Because of these small differences though you can get a VERY different fit between brands or even within the brand with their different types of carriers. You may have to try several brands to find what works well for your body type. You may even find that with different body types between parents and others that want to wear baby the carrier might not fit very well because there are often big differences in body types.

These carriers are quick to get on and off though and probably have the lowest learning curve of any carrier (with a few exceptions between brands that some may find harder to use than just simply buckling the waist, putting baby in, and buckling the chest buckle). While these might be able to be made by yourself, the buckles and materials that need to be used are harder to find than other types of carriers and I don’t recommend most people make them at home.

Boba Carrier

  • Other Asian Inspired Carriers (not pictured): Onbuhimu, and Podagei (often abbreviated to Pod).

The Onbuhimu features rings instead of a waist strap which may be very comfortable for a pregnant mom’s growing belly but puts all of baby’s weight on your shoulders. The Podagei features long top straps and a blanket-like panel. The long straps are used to cross under baby’s bottom. All of baby’s weight is on your shoulders. These can possibly be made at home with the right materials and patterns (the X-boxes and depth of the straps in to the body of the carrier mentioned in the section on Mei Tais are important to note).

*For full disclosure I am a Boba Ambassador. I became a Boba Ambassador because I love their products. They send me free products to review from time to time but I do not receive any other compensation from them. I like to offer my honest opinion and free products do not influence my views*

What is your favorite type or brand of Asian Inspired Carrier?