Let's start with a few specs: The Je Porte Mon Bebe Physiocarrier is suitable from 3.5kgs to 20kgs. I tested it with three demo dolls (3.5kgs, 6 kgs, 9 kgs) and Audrey (15 kgs) and agree that I could keep carrying in it for a little while yet. Based on my newborn doll, I would not be comfortable placing a baby smaller than 3.5 kgs in it.
The design is impressive and smart; the booster is REALLY clever. Why? It only sits UNDER the child. Not around their body, so it doesn't change the fit of the carrier at all. You use the side straps and padded collar as you like to fit the body snugly around the child, and I think this is GREAT, because you can still feel your child's body and get a 'second skin' kind of fit. It's also WAY cooler and that's a a real concern in many climates.
How long do you use the booster? Depends on your child. Based on my dolls, I would say it's necessary until 6 mo, and then you may have a little awkward stage somewhere where your baby is a little too tall for the booster with the body of the carrier relaxed (no cinching of side straps) and a little too short without the booster (cinch those side straps!)... but I think it would be a very short transition.
It is suggested that you may want to keep using the booster so that a child who is sitting independently can have their arms out, and I think this is brilliant, since arms in has certainly been an issue of contention here! What else is good about the booster? Since it is contained and part of the carrier, it can be used to facilitate a high back carry, so your baby who is now able to pull themselves up into a sit and stay there can actually be seated higher and closer to your centre of gravity. This makes the carrier feel much more like a backpack, and while I didn't love it, I hear a lot of dads prefer a bit more weight on their shoulders. This also fixes the problem of carrier on long torso and baby down LOW. Using the side straps to shift baby's seat and the booster to bring their weight up, you can keep baby in a safer position where they can see over your shoulder instead of being splattered on your back.
I'll let my pics tell the rest of the story, but here's my summation: Smart. Not difficult to use, highly adjustable, surprisingly intuitive, very useable. Great consideration of safety and function. I liked it as a front carry and a back carry, didn't find it too fiddly, and the clip on mirror is just what we want to facilitate #checkNowcheckOften. Congratulations JPMBB! (you can find them HERE)
|Je Porte Mon Bebe PhysioCarrier, mesh panel revealed, holding a 3.5kg (newbornish) demo doll.|
|The booster in the JPMBB ONLY sits below baby. Instead of placing more bulk about baby between their body and the carrier, we attach the booster to the carrier (it slips into a sleeve like a pillow into a pillowcase), then use the side straps and padded collar to mould the carrier around the baby.|
|The "in-arms" position, bringing the carrier (with booster cushion already secured in place) up over baby's back.|
|Supporting baby's head with the cushioned head rest; it's secured to the carrier with snaps and inserted through the mesh roll, so no danger of it slipping or becoming misplaced.|
|Baby's head is absolutely close enough to kiss and the mesh panel makes it very easy to check positioning and spinal curvature. I've used the side straps to shorten the body a little and create good conformity of the carrier to this tiny little body.|
|Panel rolled up to reveal mesh body.|
|Panel zipped down, side straps relaxed.|
|Seating my 6kg "6mo" baby; booster is secured in the carrier and head sits clear of the padded collar. It's very easy to mimic an "in-arms" position accurately, which is fantastic.|
|My 9-kilo doll fits easily into the width of the body and I used the side straps to shorten a little so this "12mo" could see over the top of the carrier.|
|Pulling downwards on the side straps allows you to shorten the body of the carrier and ensure a snug fit , whether the child is seated on the inbuilt booster or tall enough to sit in the carrier without it.|
|Chest belt has elastic at either side so it's not perfectly rigid. Very comfortable fit and easily adjusted by means of sliders either side.|
|I like the flexibility in the chest/back strap. I was able to leave it undone at it's loosest, reach behind and do it up like a bra strap. We want it to look like a "H", and that was very simple to achieve. Again, love the elastic flexion in the straps that lets me move and reach comfortably.|
|Side buckles have dual adjusts, which is great for (a) petite wearers (b) plus wearers (c) everyone who likes a bit of flexibility. Padding is pretty slimline but enough to keep buckles from grating on my ribs, which I definitely appreciate!|
|Waist clip, can be released single handed with a strong squeeze. Supported by an elastic safety loop.|