I came late to babywearing after having a not very confident experience with a stretchy wrap when my little man was a newborn. But having a toddler that wanted to be up in arms all the time meant that I needed to find a workable solution for my dodgy back and our mutual desire to be all cuddly! Enter my soft structured toddler carrier – quite the mouthful, but we’ve never looked back. Even with the small boy coming up to four years old in the next few months, our toddler carrier is not only going strong, it has been an invaluable parenting tool in more cases than I care to remember!
I am a big fan of something called the “full buckle soft structured carrier”. You might see them abbreviated to SSC online. They’re so comfortable to wear and give me lots of confidence that the little guy is well supported and comfy himself. So I was delighted when Nurture & Bliss, a West Cork company who are the European distributor of the Olives and Applesauce carrier, got in touch to see if I’d like to review one.
When this beauty arrived at my door, it was love at first sight – for everyone in the house!
Here’s what I love about this baby carrier:
- it is beautifully designed and well-made. I love the fit and comfort of it
- it is suitable from birth up to 35lb, and has a built in newborn insert – this is a huge selling point to me
- you can carry your baby in three ways – front, back and hip
- you can breastfeed in it while using it in the front carry position
- it has a hood – the small boy is a big fan of the hood when he’s feeling sleepy
- it is ethically made and EU safety tested
- it’s machine washable – big, big plus
- it comes in a range of lovely colours and patterns. The treasure island theme that we sampled went down a treat here but there’s plenty of other beautiful designs to choose from
- for a carrier that will potentially last you up to four years, it is an absolute steal at €120
I’ve been using this style of carrier for a number of years now and the small boy is now great at jumping onto my back himself, making it very easy to put on. So I’m a reasonably seasoned babywearer. My friend Jill over at ProperFud had never used a full buckle SSC before, so I gave it to her to try too and here’s what she had to say:
“I have a toddler who loves to be held. This wasn’t a problem when I was in the office and was paying someone else to give him love and affection all day long. Then I would rush home and wouldn’t want to put him down anyway. Now I’m a stay at home mum I need to get shit done as well as mind my little guy.
I only wish I had tried this carrier sooner. I do feel like it would have been a lot easier if I’d started using it when he was a little smaller so we both would have been used to it from earlier on. My previous babywearing experience was front carrying a baby in a mei tai.
I tried it on at home- it was easy to adjust and really comfy due to nicely padded waist straps. I first tried it with the kid in it when we drove to school pick up. Outside school I clicked on the straps and he got in enthusiastically sitting on the side of his car seat but when I looked at our sideways reflection in the car mirror the fabric was only up as far as his waist on the back. He felt sturdy round the bum and well seated, and I had the straps up over my shoulder but I felt it should have come up at least to his shoulder blades. I should have done a trial run at home with the actual 2.5 year old in it though – silly me!
He was happy and comfortable but if he decided he didn’t want to be up there… it didn’t feel like it would be safe if he was wriggly at all
Without practise I felt like I needed a second person to help me get used to it. If I’d had the carrier for longer I definitely would have gone to a sling library or stockist to show me how to use it properly.”
I’d agree with Jill there. I think with all carriers there’s an element of getting used to using them and enlisting a bit of help initially. It was certainly a two man job in our early days. Great advice too about attending a sling meet or stockist.
If you’re considering this style of carrier, I’d definitely recommend the Olives & Applesauce. Not only because of the great design but it’s also great value for money for the workhorse that it is!
The really good news is that I have the carrier in the photo to give away. Exciting! Just enter using the form below. The closing date is Friday 3rd April. The competition is open to residents of the Republic of Ireland only.
Disclosure: I received a free Olives and Applesauce baby carrier from Nurture & Bliss for the purpose of reviewing and to give away in a competition. I received no payment for this blog post. All views expressed, as always, are my own. And in this case, Jill‘s too.