Manduca, Ergo 360 and Tula Baby Carrier Review

Here is a brief run down of my experience with three different soft structure baby carriers. When buying carriers remember you can always search on eBay or gumtree for second hand options, I bought our Ergo 360 for much cheaper and it was only used twice. I have also resold the carriers I no longer use.

Manduca

This is the first carrier I used and I certainly hold a soft spot for them. I started wearing Boston at about 12 months of age, then used it again with Ruby from a newborn till around three months.

IMG_1833.JPGPro’s

  • Light weight and breathable in hot weather
  • Well suited to smaller framed people – easily adjusted
  • Built in hood (so you always have it with you)
  • Zipped section opens up to give you extra length; great for when baby is sleeping or as they grow taller ( I still carried Boston in our Manduca at 2.5 yrs).
  • My favourite aspect is the built in newborn pouch, a little tricky at the beginning but much easier then long wraps when you have a toddler to chase.

Con’s

  • The hood could be bigger, I just felt like there was never enough coverage.
  • My husband could never get comfortable with this carrier, it did not seem to fit his tall frame.
  • The waist band and arm straps are not as comfortable as other carriers I have used (maybe a padding issue).

Ergo 360

When Ruby hit three months of age she went through a stage of wanting to face outwards. At the time we were interstate and walking everywhere, so after a couple of days of her protesting the carrier and getting held facing outwards I got an Ergo 360. Super happy!

IMG_4417Pro’s

  • Allows baby to face forward in an ergonomic position (still not recommended for extended periods)
  • Both me and my husband found this carrier very comfortable. Which is quite awesome 
    considering I am 5’3″ and he is 6’2″
  • Really easy to convert into different positions.
  • Great inbuilt hood, that is easy to put on without help (even when they are on your back)
  • Very comfortable waist strap and arm padding

Con’s

  • Because the carrier is convertible to front facing the trade off is a seat that is narrowerthen an original Ergo. I found that by the time Ruby hit ten months she was not being supported in the best position, and we stopped facing her forward around 7 months for the same reason.

Tula

When Ruby grew out of the Ergo 360 I went back to our Manduca only to realise it wasn’t quite as comfortable as I remembered. We had bought a Tula Toddler for Boston and were really happy, so we went ahead and invested in a Tula Baby too.

IMG_4090.JPGPro’s

  • Both my husband and I find the Tula carries very comfortable. The waist bands are supportive and the arm straps are super padded
  • They come in a huge range of beautiful fabric designs that are constantly updated
  • Tula’s seem to hold their value more then other carriers, this could be because there are only a limited amount sold of each print
  • They have a nice wide seat, which means babies and toddlers will always have that great M position
  • Come in two sizes Baby 7 to 20kg and Toddler 11 to 27kg. Keep in mind that Boston is only 15kg but needs a toddler size because of his height. As in, height matters just as much as weight.
  • There is a pocket! amazing

Con’s

  • The baby/toddler seat of the carrier is not adjustable at all. It is one solid piece of fabric. So where ever it happens to come up your child’s back, that is where is is staying. Some carriers (including the Manduca and Ergo 360) have zip extensions or flaps that fold up or down. These give you a little more control on how your child is supported, sometimes they may want the arms in, or sometimes out. I was happy with the Tula Toddler size for Boston but a little disappointed that the baby size didn’t come very high up Ruby’s back (keep in mind she is still way too short to upgrade to a toddler size).
  • The hood is quite small and detachable, I almost never have the hood with me when I need it. In fact I am not entirely sure where I have left them….or my keys for that matter.

IMG_6121

Five things I wish I had googled as a mum to be

Here are five things I wish I had known about before becoming a mum. They are things that have become an important part of my parenting journey, I freakin love the lot of them!

They are just tools and may not be for your belt, but if you are intrigued…you are right?? Just google it!

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1.Co-sleeping

I actually knew about co-sleeping thanks to my beautiful sister in law, but I had decided that it wasn’t for me. Four years later our son sleeps in the king bed with Hubby and our daughter is in the queen bed with me.

2. Baby Wearing

Time saver, life saver, way to transport baby. There are lots of different options; slings, wraps, soft structure carriers (my favourite). Oh and I also wish I knew that Baby Bjorns though popular really aren’t very comfy or very ergonomically correct for baby (try ergo 360 for a better forward facing option).

3. Baby Led Feeding (also known as baby led weaning)

Different approach to introducing solids, love it. Would also like to add a favourite mantra to this “It is my responsibility to prepare a range of healthy options for meals, it is my child’s responsibility to decide which to eat and how much to eat.”

4. Australian Breastfeeding Association

I wish I had found informed support around breastfeeding from day one. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, but with the right information and support the great majority of women can breastfeed successfully for as long as they choose.

Australian Breastfeeding Association

5. Chole and Lola Breastfeeding Bra’s

Because they are pretty and comfy…and yes they have replaced my normal bra’s!

Chole and Lola

What baby led feeding taught me about food refusal

From the day Ruby started solids she has predominately been feeding herself. Baby led feeding (also called baby led weaning) is a method of introducing solid foods without purees or spoon feeding. In short you introduce foods that are easily picked up and soft enough for the age of the child.

IMG_4725We started around six months with things like avocado, banana, paw paw, papaya, cooked pumpkin, sweet potato and zucchini. As Ruby grew more accustomed to eating, and grew a few more teeth, we added different textures and varying crunchiness. The great majority of this food has been placed on her high chair tray then she has been left to explore the food in which ever way she likes (including shoving it into her mouth).

Throughout this time there has been instances when I would spoon feed her. Think yoghurt, soups, porridge. All that sloppy stuff that hands do not cope with well. But here is the thing, the majority of the time I spoon feed Ruby it becomes a headache. First I have to convince her to try it, then after a few happy mouthfuls she simple refuses to eat any more. Because we also have a 3 year old with special needs who requires help with meals I regularly gave up the fight and passed her the food, conceding I would clean the massive exploratory mess up later.

And she would proceed to finish the meal, in her own messy way.

IMG_6656It is behaviour I have observed from the very first weeks of feeding solids, and therefore not caused by baby led weaning. I am led to wonder what would have happened if I had been predominately spoon feeding. I may have decided she was a fussy eater and thought she didn’t like a whole range of foods. But the truth is she likes to feed herself, and I doubt she is unique in this instinct.

I believe it is her way of learning about the food and feeling comfortable with what she eats. It is also one way she has power over her diet. Sure I choose what is placed on the food tray, but she decides what to eat, how much to eat and how to eat it. I also believe this is pretty wonderful, a little tool/method/experience I want to share with you.

xox