Using a carrier or sling with your baby can enable you to enjoy a closeness with your new child, and also allow you to get about far more easily than when you have to have a big pram in tow. Depending on your style, there are several models on the market that will appeal, but when we did a test across several carriers, this came out as a real ThinkBaby favourite.
It looks built for outdoors types, with its hardwearing, rucksack-style fabric, and it was deemed “comfortable enough to wear all day” by our tester mum Sara. There are lots of little details that add up to make this a great carrier, and it’s one of the easiest to use.
Of those that have a detachable ‘pod’ this has the most simple that we've tested, and it opens out flat to make a handy changing mat or can even be used as an insert for a car seat (there are slots for the straps to go through).
Your baby’s weight is evenly distributed through the shoulders and back so it doesn’t pull anywhere and won’t lead to aching back or shoulders, while the strap that goes around the lower back has a vent so you don’t get too hot. Pulling the straps at the back and waist to fit the harness correctly was a breeze and great that this can be done before attaching your baby – you then pick up baby and pod and clip into place. It’s easy to put on – and difficult to get wrong! Elastic straps under the arms hug the carrier closer and help give a "bouncier" feel than others. This can also be adjusted to a sideways position for discreet breastfeeding. The fiddliest thing about this carrier is that you have to rethread the side straps to a new position as your baby grows bigger (and then remember to readjust when you have the next baby). A small quibble for a great carrier though.
The straps that go over the adult’s chest have fleecy padding so that if your baby’s face rubs against them he won’t get sore, there’s a dribble wipe for those inevitable possets and, uniquely, a pull-out rain and sun shield which I wouldn’t want to use in torrential rain but would be very glad of if out without a brolly or a hat for my baby.
Because Sara's baby, Charlie, didn’t need to be moved too much, he stayed asleep throughout. The pockets for mobile phones and keys are also handy. The colours are all pretty unisex, so there’s no excuse for dad not to do his fair share of the baby-toting – and adjusting the fit is easy.