Mommying BabyT

Mommy T's adventures; bringing up Baby T

Tag: baby carrier

#Review – Linen Full Buckle Carrier by Soul

I don’t call myself a seasoned babywearer. I have found my comfort in certain types of carriers and some are a total fail (read: Wraps) for me. But that is the beauty of baby-wearing, it is capable of providing solutions for every person, to suit their needs, their babies and personal comfort, budgets and so on.  Soft structured or full buckled carriers had found their place in my heart for their quick “wearability” and ease of use. I discovered Meh Dais by way of a travelling carrier program and we had a love-hate relationship with ring slings. I was in my happy place with baby-wearing.

Then one morning, I woke up and with half opened eyes, saw a message from Soul, asking if I would like to try one of their carriers and review it. Would I?? When Soul knocks at your door (or Facebook page) you only say YES! They wanted to send me a 100% Linen Full Buckle carrier and I quickly chose the colour I wanted and the very next afternoon it was in my hands. Wow. Blown over with their promptness and speed of response.

What I knew about Soul before they approached me was that they are an Indian company founded by Chinmayie Bhat and her husband. They make various types of high quality and efficient carriers and have a loyal base of customers spread across India and the world.

Every Soul carrier is designed, developed, hand-made, checked and shipped directly from the Soul Studio in Bangalore. (Source: soulslings.com) 

What I did not know before my tryst with Soul began by way of this review was that they have an excellent team in place which is super responsive, efficient, friendly, understanding and helpful… I shall stop here for want of more adjectives because I do need to review a carrier here. But most importantly I think my view of Soul changed forever because I got to experience how wonderful the entire team is and how the values of Soul reflects in every single member of the team and the community they have managed to build by way of their baby carriers.

My Soul Full Buckle carrier arrived in a small cardboard box. I was amazed that a carrier (and a Soul snuggly) fit in this box. But it did. That is how slim and trim the carrier is when folded up. The carrier itself came inside a cloth bag with the Soul label on it. I love such cloth bags and have used them for many things around the house including to store vegetables in the fridge. The cardboard box too has been re-purposed to store #babyT’s books and toys. I think it is truly admirable that companies go the extra mile to avoid plastic and use reusable and eco-friendly materials to package their products.

From manufacturing to packing, we strive to maintain earth-friendly practices as much as we can. We now use only cloth bags and cardboard boxes for packaging right now avoiding plastic as much as we can. (Source: Soulslings.com)

My first impressions about the 100% Linen Full Buckle carrier was that it was extremely light weight, the purple of the linen fabric had a beautiful shimmer to it, which I have never managed to capture well with my phone camera, but it is just gorgeous to see. The body panel is really, really thin and the buckles are smooth like butter. All the adjusters like the PFAs – Perfect Fit Adjustors, the back/chest strap and the waist belt, are gentle and yet sturdy.

I have used this carrier for well over three months now and it is like second skin for us. We have perfected the settings and know just where to tug and pull and fold to get the perfect fit and it all comes together in a matter of seconds. But I will admit here that when I began using the Linen Full Buckle carrier I was having some trouble getting off to a good start with it. But I learned soon enough that it was due to the legacy from the other brand full buckle carrier which I was using. Every baby carrier system has some unique features and it is only a matter of time before you find your comfort with the one you have in hand. If I can use an analogy – it is a bit like driving or riding a bike. You have the skill and have perfected it but when you are handed a new brand of bike, you need to spend a few minutes or a few rides to get a good hold of driving it. What did help me was the YouTube videos by Soul to get the perfect fit and you can view this here too.

It is a very comprehensive yet simple way to show how you can get a good fit and find comfort for yourself and baby when baby-wearing. What I did learn from this video was that it is important to “Tighten up” in order to get a snug fit which really helps baby become weightless and therefore effortless for you. <3

Getting a really snug fit helps make the baby feel weightless and baby-wearing effortless for you.

From a usage perspective I am bowled over by Soul’s 100% Linen Full Buckle carrier. It is light, breathable and perfect for Indian weather conditions. I got to use this in the unusually pleasant February in Mumbai this year to the furnacey heat of April & now May. Both #babyT and I are comfortable in it even when worn for long duration. Linen has me fully converted and I am impressed not only by how sturdy the fabric is but also how light and airy it is.

Many other baby carriers have a canvas inner to make them sturdy and that’s what make them so sweaty, clammy and generally painful to wear baby in. Our Soul Linen Full Buckle is only LINEN through and through and so you can imagine how delightfully pleasant it is. Add to this a soft waist-belt and shoulder straps which are only lightly padded means that they don’t dig in to your skin and leave sweaty patches which rub against your clothes and as a result irritate you.  In fact I must admit when I put on the carrier for the first time ever I had my doubts as to how successfully I would be able to carry a growing toddler and if they would support his weight, but turns out they did the job mighty well.

Even my husband who is a reluctant baby-wearer because of how hot and clammy baby wearing can get was impressed by how the linen body panel weaves itself around the wearer’s body and how weightless the wearee feels. I have to wage wars now in order to win my chance at baby-wearing #babyT these days as daddy insists I find my freedom and leave the baby-wearing to him. 🙂 He also finds that the natural M position of baby legs when wearing comes more naturally in a linen carrier as the back panel is so thin and moulds itself well around baby’s body.

A deep seat and the natural M position of baby’s legs

And we love back carries in our Soul Linen Full Buckle. I started back carrying #babyT just before he turned one in my other brand full buckle carrier and in that first moment I was kicking myself for starting so late. Back carries are awesome, really awesome and so wonderful for both baby and you. It gives them a new perspective to the world and is truly, 100% hands free for you  the baby-wearer.

Back carrying in our Soul Linen Full Buckle (mom hair, don’t care) 🙂

However it can be a bit difficult to back carry if you are not a seasoned baby-wearer or baby is not yet standing up and climbing on to your back. So always make sure you are on a surface which will protect baby in case of a slip or ensure you enlist the help of someone who can support baby while you get the back carry on.  Do remember that back carrying may require slightly different adjustments of the PFAs and the shoulder straps etc. This is because baby’s body is more up close to your back as opposed to your front where your breasts and tummy come in between. 🙂 Also tying the waist straps slightly higher and thus getting a higher seat for baby is more comfortable for them and you don’t have the fear of them spilling out and off (although that doesn’t really happen in a full buckle carrier) Once again tightening up will help get a snug fit and mean more comfort for both of you. But trust me on this, once you have tasted back carry you will only want to back carry.

To summarise, what I really loved about the Soul 100% Linen Full Buckle carrier is:

  1. Incredibly light and airy linen body panel
  2. Contoured body panel to give a better fit for baby
  3. Soft cushion at the thigh area for added comfort for babies
  4. PFAs can be loosened to help discreet breastfeeding when baby is in the carrier
  5. How tiny it is when folded up and so easy to carry on the go

    Fits perfectly into my hand bag

  6. The shimmer that the fabric has is truly gorgeous in person.

What I wish for: I am not a solids person. I love vibrant and floral patterns and prints. Can Linen be made in prints? Please Soul?

My ratings for Soul’s Linen Full Buckle carrier:

  • Ease of use: 5/5
    After the initial hiccups, once we understood how to get a good fit we were really quick to get up and down in the carrier.
  • Appearance: 4/5
    I love all the colours that the Linen carriers are available in but I am still campaigning for linen with prints.
  • Value for money: 4/5
    A little steep at Rs. 8550/- But this is one carrier which will last you from the time baby is 7 kgs till 18 kgs, that is well into toddlerhood. So it does seem to be a worthwhile investment.
  • Comfort: 5/5
    It is summer friendly. It is India weather friendly. That is a major win for me.

I am mighty glad that Soul chose me and my blog to review their product. It has added so much comfort and happiness in our lives by way of the Linen carrier. Also it has opened up my life to a plethora of other baby-wearing options too such as their Onbuhimo which is a new release and a beautiful carrier and also their beautiful accessories like the Soul Snuggly blanket (have you read my review of the Snuggly yet?) and their Tote bags. Above all I got introduced to a wonderful community of Soul users and fans and some of them are now close friends. This is what I love about mommying and sharing the same passion and joy for a brand which does so much more than just make a product.

** Disclaimer: I was sent the Full Buckle Carrier by Soul for an honest review. I have used the carrier extensively over a period of 3 months and shared my feedback here. **

N is for Natural Parenting

As is the case with every day of the #AtoZBloggingChallenge, I rack my brains all day, start panicking by evening and then suddenly a light bulb comes on somewhere in my brain and I find a topic for the day’s alphabet. But today was a moment I have been waiting to write about even before I started the #AtoZ Challenge and in fact the whole purpose behind my blog I think. Today’s topic was also fueled by this little boy, the reason for everything else right now. <3

Wooden blocks FTW

After losing a small piece of my mind, over why #babyT was not yet stacking stuff (Yes, when you are a mom, such stuff is what nightmares are made of. I exaggerate of course.) I decided to take the plunge and buy him the very expensive Wooden Blocks by Melissa & Doug. We do have several types of blocks already, stacking rings, shape sorters, but i wasn’t seeing him enjoy them nor was he sharpening his fine motor skills. So the wooden blocks happened. And what do we have? I opened the packaging and placed the blocks in front of him and he stacked them. The boy stacked them. 5 in a line. He did!! I went into “hence proved” mode and for the n’th time accepted that natural parenting was the right way to bring up our child.  Continue reading

E is for eCommerce for baby shopping

Looking back, my pregnancy was one of the best phases of my life.. i was basking in everyone’s attention and I was still free to do whatever I pleased in life and whenever I wanted to, without a tiny little person clinging to my legs or breasts. 🙂 I miss my pregnancy a lot. I miss my baby bump a lot.. have never felt so comfortable with my body than I did when I was sporting a baby in my tummy. 🙂 And what do I do when I get really nostalgic about the bumpy days? I browse through the previous orders sections on ecommerce sites like Amazon, FirstCry and others. It takes me back to that feeling of playing totally blind, not knowing if it will be a boy or a girl, not being able to even imagine who baby would look like and how much he would weigh or his height. It was a beautiful feeling and looking at the old shopping lists – tiny booties, caps, baby diapers, bathing towels, blankets, nursing pads, cotton wool, wipes etc is so therapeutic.

Back then I mostly shopped and stocked for all baby stuff from Amazon, FirstCry, Hopscotch and Aliexpress. Then I got introduced to the other specialised ecommerce businesses, mainly for cloth diapers which were setup and managed by mompreneurs but were very professionally designed and run.  And then came social media – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and the businesses that were run through these. The online shopping category has boomed and how?! I  think I can say that almost 95% of babyT’s shopping is done online and I enjoy the experience and have been very satisfied with all my purchases.

So for today’s E is for eCommerce for baby shopping I will tell you about my favourite places to shop and some tips and tricks to make the most benefit.  Continue reading

#Review – Superbags: Wetbags by Superbottoms

If you have remotely heard of Cloth Diapering you may have also heard the word “wet bag” being thrown about casually in conversations about wash routines and diapering accessories. Essentially, a  wet bag is a bag that holds wet stuff. TaDa! No surprises there. It is in fact a reusable, waterproof and leak resistant bag which holds in odours and of course prevents liquids from escaping. But did you know that a wet bag can be used for many purposes other than just cloth diapering. This makes it an investment that is quite worth it and very handy around the house. Especially a house that has a child.

Firstly let me give you some insight into why a wetbag is so important in a cloth diaperer’s journey. Wet bags are essentially made of PUL/ TPU and so are reusable (yayy for planet Earth) They are also waterproof and leak resistant (yayy for all who cloth diaper) Wet bags allow you to continue cloth diapering even when you are out of home. This without having to stinking up and flooding your diaper bag with baby bodily outputs. And you do not need to use plastic bags. At all! Yes you heard right.

Come to think of it, thanks to wet bags I don’t even lug around a diaper bag anymore. My handbag (yes, I am a new mom who still uses her handbag. Hurray) and a couple of wet bags are all that join us for trips outside the house – small or extended. Superbottoms wet bags, wet bag, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom

So how it works is that I fill a clean wet bag with a couple of fresh diapers, a change of clothes for babyT, cloth wipes and a spare wet bag . This then goes into my handbag. When we change diapers outside, I put the soiled diaper inside the spare wet bag, zip it all up and hang this  from the straps of my handbag or baby stroller. And, all done! I come back home and toss the contents of the wet bag into the washing machine, along with the bag itself and then hang them out to dry, only to be reused. Did you see how many plastic bags I saved there?

With time I have discovered so many innovative and great uses for the wet bag that I am convinced that every person (parent with a child in diapers or not) should own a wet bag or two. :)) So here’s a list of all the times I have used a wet bag:

  1. Storing soiled diapers, wipes and soiled clothes until laundry time at home – this is what the wet bag is meant for. I hang the wet bag from a rod in the wash room. I zip it up when full and store it until laundry time.

    Superbottoms wet bag, wet bags, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom

    Superbag by Superbottoms in Baba black sheep design

  2. Gym/ swim bag for daddy – This is so great for swim time. Not a drop leaks and it holds in at least 2 swimsuits and wet towels.
  3. Store my baby carrier – such pretty covers to match the carrier or my outfit.

    Superbottoms wet bags, wet bag, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom

    Superbag in Purple Love design

  4. Keys, phone and some money while out for walkies Superbottoms wet bag, wet bags, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom
  5. Baby food accessories: food mat, cutlery etc. for when we are eating outSuperbottoms wet bag, wet bags, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom
  6. BabyT’s flash cardsSuperbottoms wet bags, wet bag, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom
  7. Books/toys for when we are out for brunch or dinnerSuperbottoms wet bags, wet bag, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom
  8. Cosmetics & toiletries while travelling – the amount of times I’ve had ugly messes because of leaking shampoo & moisturizer bottles is scary. No more however. 🙂
  9. Car trash bag –  How do babies manage to generate so much trash? especially in cars. Banana skin, candy wrapping, paper tissues. The list is endless.
  10. My delicates while packing for small trips (I cannot believe I called my nursing bras ‘delicates’)
  11. My sarees and other silks when we went to a weddingSuperbottoms wet bags, wet bags, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom
  12. Daddy’s laundry from his office tours
  13. Frozen food from the supermarket –  This one is my favourite and it surprises many people who hear it. In Mumbai’s perpetually hot and humid weather, all frozen food packs become a sweaty mess. I hate when this wets everything else in my shopping tote bags (which are fabric) Wet bags work well to store frozen foods in.
  14. Packed lunch boxes back from granny’s place (slurp) – going to your mom’s house and coming back empty handed is not a thing. Ever! 🙂
  15. Kitchen wet rag storage –  Similar to how I use it for soiled cloth diapers. I store kitchen rags in a wet bag and then toss them into the washing machine once accumulated.
  16. Papers and official documents –  have you ever travelled in public transport in Mumbai in the monsoon? You are bound to get soaked. And so too will everything on your person. Wet bags it is then.
  17. Mobile phone/ Pad during the monsoon when we go out without the car

However it is a shame how so many wet bags fail miserably when it comes to performing the basic things that they are meant to do. After investing in various wetbags, I have found my perfect wetbag and these are the #superbags by Superbottoms. I love them so so much, that before reviewing any other cloth diaper type or brand on my blog, I have chosen to review a diapering accessory. 🙂

Superbottoms wet bags, wet bag, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom

Why I love Superbags by Superbottoms?

#Superbags by Superbottoms are 40 x 30 inches in size. It has two zippered compartments and is double PUL lined. This makes them totally bullet proof: they will never leak and will never allow moisture to enter (unless you go deep sea diving with it) The PUL is super soft, making the #superbags so cushy and soft.

The bag has two loops at the top with snap buttons which can be used to unsnap and hang them onto rods or other spaces. I hang them from behind the car’s front seat head rest or my handbag. Unlike many other #wetbags which come with only one loop to hang by, I find the two loops is better at holding the weight of wet diapers or other stuff when hung.

Superbottoms wet bag, wet bags, wetbags, diaper bag, whats in your diaper bag, cloth diaper bag, cloth diapering, cloth diapers india, new mom, mumbai mom

#Superbags are also spacious. I once packed up to 10 fresh diapers (all-in-one types which are a little plump). At another time, I packed in around 8 soiled diapers, along with inserts, a prefold, a dozen plus wipes and a couple of food stained shirts. I left this bag full of soiled stuff overnight and was over the moon to see that not a drop had leaked outside. It wasn’t even damp to the touch. Stinks were all held in too. Any object which can do its job well, is a success in my eyes. I’ve tried a fair number of brands when it comes to wetbags and only #superbags win this contest, hands down.

A big plus is also that the #Superbags come in vibrant, quirky, desi designs specially commissioned by Superbottoms. You can have a look at their #superbags here. At Rs 499 for a single #superbag it is real value for money. A value pack of two costs Rs. 900. Heck, I’d pay much more for a wet bag that does its job so well! 😍

Happy cloth diapering! 🌱

All the diapers and wetbags featured in this post have been purchased by me. This is not a paid review. All the opinions and pictures shared are my own. 

Babywearing: Kol Kol Meitai

Last week we hosted the traveling Meitai baby carrier from Kol Kol Baby Carriers. We had it with us for all of one week and we fell in love with it completely. Get a head’s up about baby wearing here.
My current collection of baby wearing stuff has a stretchy wrap, a Soft Structured Carrier with buckle and a Ring Sling. I had always assumed a Mei Tai was complicated, especially after my messy wrapping attempts with my Moby wrap. So when my traveling carrier arrived I was transported back to the early days when babyT was a new-born and I would struggle and be dissuaded by family from wrapping him. I think a large part of my discomfort with early baby wearing can be attributed to family dissuasion. But maybe I should have persisted and made them see the benefits of it in practice, as I did with cloth diapers. (Yes, with me every topic has to include something about cloth diapers.)

So after a day of it just lying there, I mustered enough courage to read and re-read the manual and then watch Bayiravi’s Youtube video. And so I tried it on and babyT was up in less than two minutes. No kidding! Mind = Blown. And babyT was so comfortable in it that he kicked a right old fuss to be taken out of the house immediately. I think this picture shows his desperation to get out. Cursed myself for not wearing decent clothes, grabbed the keys and we were out the door… babyT squealed in delight. I knew we had a winner then.

IMG_20160816_172401

We roamed around the apartment complex for about ten minutes. BabyT felt light as a feather, I felt I had nothing on… no complex harnesses, no yards upon yards of fabric, no plastic buckles or metal rings. It felt like another part of my attire. I was confident of expanding my geography and we went for a long walk. We were out for a good hour and I was beyond impressed.

IMG_20160816_173652

What is a Mei Tai?
It is a traditional South East Asian baby carrier. It has a front panel to which fabric straps are attached, forming the shoulder straps. There is also a panel with strap to tie around your waist. Kol Kol’s Mei Tai also comes with an attached hood to shield baby from the sun or for discreet nursing. (Image source: Google)

porte-bebe-chinois

How to:

Pre-wearing prep:
The Kol Kol Mei Tai comes with an adjustable waist. It has Velcro sewn in inside the waist belt, such that the front panel can be made narrower or wider so as to fit a new-born baby as well as an older baby. Similarly, you can also fold over the front panel before tying it on, to reduce the height of the carrier. You can see how this is done here.

Wearing baby:

  1. Tie the waist panel around yourself and tighten at the back with two knots. Tight as you can.
  2. Take your baby and place him on your chest, this should take the natural M position, with knees higher than the bum.
  3. Take the front panel up around baby’s body and toss the shoulder straps over your back.
  4. While one hand holds baby, take one of the two shoulder straps and cross it over, then the other. Both the straps should make a cross on your back. The straps should be pulled tight, spread them out nicely for a better hold.
  5. Then bring them over to the front, and cross over baby’s bottom (on top of the front panel.) Twist them twice, no need for knots. I like to spread the straps out a bit, before twisting them, to give a good support to baby’s bottom.
  6. Pass the straps from under baby’s knees to your back and tie a double knot. And you are done.

For a better pictorial description, look here. Or for a video, see this.

What I love:

  • The fabric is 100% cotton, super soft, breathable – which is a boon for our Indian weather.
  • It is strong enough to hold an almost ten kg baby, yet light and comfortable at the same time, without any bulk.
  • No plastic buckles or metallic rings. It’s cotton in and out.
  • Feels like second skin. If you wear it correctly baby even seems weightless in it. Don’t take my word for it, but daddy dearest also loved the complete hands free, comfort that came with wearing babyT in it.IMG-20160822-WA0003
  • Vibrant colours & patterns. Kol Kol has very Indian patterns as well as some gorgeous culture neutral prints.
  • Very easy to get on – I am a klutz when it comes to wrapping and even need help getting our soft structured carrier on, but I think I can safely say I am a pro at wearing babyT in the MeiTai. And not just me, but I tied it on to my dad, and then taught my husband to wear babyT in it. Seriously, if I can do it, anyone can.2016-08-22_00.27.16

What I thought could be better:

  • After about an hour of wearing babyT in this, I found he had slid down a bit. However I asked the experts and they have told me it is normal. This can be avoided by making sure the Mei Tai is worn tightly and this gets better with practice.
  • I so wish they were reversible, two designs in one carrier would be so great. Wishful thinking.

 

My ratings for this baby carrier:

  • Ease of use: 5/5
  • Appearance: 4/5 (just being stingy)
  • Value for money: 5/5
  • Baby’s comfort: 5/5
  • Baby wearer’s comfort: 4/5 (stingy again)

The Mei Tai has been elevated to number one position in my baby wearing charts. I am so glad I was pushed by a friend to sign up for the traveling carrier program and even happier that I was selected to try it on. I am sorely missing the carrier, now that it has been passed on to the next person in this program. I am waiting for Bayiravi to add some new prints to the MT collection and look forward to welcoming a piece soon.

© 2017 Mommying BabyT

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑