Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ergo Adapt - Review and giveaway sponsored by Babes in Arms

No insert, they said. Yeah, right! I thought, but out of the box I thought a bit differently. Leah from Babes in Arms promised me I'd like testing this out, and she wasn't wrong! 
Like the Kokadi Flip, Ergo has used the magic of velcro to make a customisable seat and remove the need for a PITA infant insert. I can already see this becoming the most popular ergo on the market.
This has some great features - safety elastics, adjustable height chest strap, crossable straight straps, lumbar support panel which works for front and back carries, generous webbing and the highly adjustable body panel and seat which allow the broad suitability of this carrier: 3.2-20kgs or 7-45lbs. Babes in Arms has a great rundown on features.

I tried it out with three size models: a 3.5kg baby, an 8kg baby, and a 17kg 4yo. 

The inside of the waistband shows you where to place the velcro and the width of the seat according to the height of your child. The seat can be made as narrow as 27cms and as wide as 40 cms. Don't make my error - I thought the cms listed were the seat width, but they're actually the height of the child for whom that seat is appropriate. Some tape measure work and a more through look at the instruction booklet sorted me out. 

Made most narrow for my 4kg demo doll. The seat of the carrier is then made more shallow by using the tapes with press studs to cinch the body and boost baby inside the body panel a little. 

I needed to cross the straps at the back to get a really snug fit using my smallest doll. You can see that the waist band is close to my natural waist to keep baby high and tight on my torso. 
I've used the snaps on their smallest setting to ensure baby's legs can swing freely.
Ergo also shows the carrier with the neck support folded inward and secured through the straps for very young babies. I don't love the look and feel of this, as I feel it could restrict baby's head movement, but if baby has little head control and you feel the extra security would benefit you, the carrier can be used in that way.

 At the other end of the weight spectrum, I spread the seat out to it's maximum 40 cms and Audrey hopped up. At 17 kgs a couple weeks shy of her 4th birthday, she was pretty comfortable and in no hurry to get down. We did take this for a walk later and it was even better with crossed straps, but no complaints here about comfort.

The lumbar support panel is fantastic as far as spreading the pressure of the webbing a little and keeping my spine supported. I think it also helps the waistband stay as level as possible and avoid the riding up that can occur if a waistband isn't properly secured. I like that it's comfortable when back carrying, too. 

I really like the seat design - it's a deep bucket seat that makes it virtually impossible to get a bad seat. This is especially useful when back carrying and needing to really bounce a kid down. I like the straps - they're not overly wide and not as bulky as Tula straps. Being able to cross them is a huge benefit to petite wearers. I would encourage you to check the strap length will work for you- the padded section is about 60 cms from the top button on the body panel to the tightest buckle setting. If you need your shoulder straps to cinch smaller than this in a back carry then you'll need to cross them in front. My verdict: super easy to adjust, MUCH better than faffing about with an insert, and actually fits as per specs - my small demo baby could be carried safely and snugly, and my big kid was just as secure. Get your hands on one!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Clasp Me Tightly - Babywearing jewellery

Over the last couple years Babywearing jewellery has become a "thing". Particularly hammered/handbeaten silver - easily customized, durable, and chunky enough for little fingers to twiddle and yank.

 Clasp Me Tightly is producing beautiful examples of mama metal: simple, clean links that can be suspended in a variety of ways from keychain-clasped sterling chains, leather thongs - or wrap scrap necklaces, if you prefer a cuddlier option, and you can stay up to date with all the latest offerings by following her on Facebook.

Naomi will work with you to create a custom centerpiece as elaborate or as simple as you like; I've seen some beautiful family portrait necklaces made by her (one type of link to symbolize parents, particular shapes or beads for children with us or already gone) and having one of my own, I can promise that they're durable, sturdy and still aesthetically delicate. 

My favorite part? Move the clasps to a different part of the centerpiece and change the shape and look of your necklace entirely. That's the same necklace with a quick rotation of the twist ;) 

I'm delighted to be hosting a giveaway for one of Naomi's beautiful necklaces - you'll find it over on www. 
 ... Hurry over! 

Bundle Bean carrier cover - Review

I feel like this is how to Babywear at a festival, or late at night when you kind of want child enclosed in a sleeping bag but need to carry them. I REALLY wish we'd had this while camping a couple years back!

It's called a BundleBean, and it works as a pram or car seat cover (OVER the buckled harness) as well. It's waterproof, has a detachable hood, and Velcro elastic tabs make it pretty damn universal and adjustable.
I confess we used it a few times, loaned it out, and then, every SINGLE day it was gone, Audrey asked for "the penguin blanket". It's that damn snuggly.

The best part about it? We don't all have to be the same temperature and it's a portable, flexible option. 

It fits easily over Audrey's car seat; the elastic corners stop it pinging off and her complaining. This would have been super useful with a pram... And then when baby cracks it and you need them in a carrier, pop them up, secure them and then fasten this over the top. You stay dressed, baby has an extra layer. Perfect. Buy ONE cover, use it for all the things. Genius. 

I messed around a few ways - a halterneck/belt style, straps crossed, and back pack style. I also did the loop around straps but found it a bit fiddly. I didn't have any dramas with spiky velcro hooks - they double back onto the loops and stay stuck until you're ready to thread them through the carrier or stick them onto the crossed over strap. Something I ESPECIALLY like about this company (and why I want you to look at their website) is their inclusivity. The BundleBean could easily have been just a baby/toddler product, but instead Emily extended the construction and application of the stretch cover to fit wheelchairs for both children and adults - again, practical, affordable and common-sense clever. If you want cold-weather infrastructure but don't feel that a baby wearing jacket is in the budget or will be of limited use, buy one of these instead and cosy up!