On our travels. . . 8.8.17 by Nam Taan Mestre, SSL member
It has been a long time since I’ve written anything so I hope my attempts of trying to write about our experiences will help others on deciding on their next carrier…
Going on holiday with a toddler is hard enough, now add in all the paraphernalia needed for a newborn = argh! I knew that having a carrier/sling was the way to go for us since we would be using public transport whilst out there. We took the Mamaruga Zen sling (hired) and Moby Aria (bought from the library) for baby girl who is 8 weeks old and the Toddler Beco Cool (hired) for our toddler (2 and half years old).
The newest addition to the library is the Mamaruga Zen sling and I’m in love with it. It’s got the best of both worlds in my opinion incorporating stretchy fabrics and wait for it…buckles! This means it easy to put on and fits comfortably. I’m one of those people who can’t be dealing with faffing around, stretching this bit, or pulling that bit into place. Ease and rapidness is what I need. Once you have this on, there is no need to adjust again. I love that the fabric is soft and supportive and the colour means that anyone can wear it. I’m wearing baby girl in it right now as I type this review out – that’s how comfortable it is for me. Since baby girl is quite small, I was able to make the seat fabric area smaller by easily scrunching the fabric together at the waist, and then by pulling up on the two toggles on either side, I could lift her higher up and get her really snug against me to fulfill those important T.I.C.K.S advice. Having had a caesarean I was keen to not have a waist band touch my scar. With this, I had the waist band quite high up, so as my scar heals and baby girl gets bigger, I would still be able to use it by lowering the waist band and widening the seat fabric. My favourite thing about the Mamaruga is that I can pull out the shoulder fabric to make it wider and hence spread the weight better. The fact that the hood is secured in place by threading through the hood straps – no clips or buckles – just slide in, pull, and you’re done!
This carrier is just so “no nonsense” that this would be the carrier I would grab and take with me wherever. The downside is that during the heat wave we had, the material in my opinion made us a bit sweaty but it wasn’t too uncomfortable. The other bad thing for me was that having the waist band high up meant it would push down on my belly flab, causing a pouch underneath my clothes, whereas the Moby Aria with the wider padded band helped to keep it all in – if you know what I mean.
We also hired the toddler Beco Cool which my husband loved as he was able to back carry our toddler and still have hands free to carry all our baby and beach paraphernalia. Being tall meant that he had to have the waist strap quite high but found the padded straps were still comfortable for him. The stretchy hood was a real bonus as it kept toddler’s head from lolling about when he fell asleep. Toddler loved being carried so much on his dad’s back that he often asked for it. What’s great is that it folds compact too and the mesh panel really helped in the heat. If we didn’t have this carrier, we wouldn’t have been able to travel so easily using public transport. My husband who’s not used to back carrying, meant that this was a 2 person job to get toddler in correctly but again once it was on, it didn’t require many adjustments for the next time.
Finally the Moby Aria, this was the first carrier I bought when I knew baby girl was on her way. After having and loving the Beco Gemini, I knew I wanted something similar but something that would be good for the hot weather. I saw the Moby Aria and loved the design instantly, as it had a removable cover revealing a mesh panel for summer and the cover for winter. This carrier has so many gadgets on it that I was hooked from the beginning. There’s a newborn seat pocket which can be stowed away within the carrier when baby is bigger, a detachable neck support, a detachable hood and even comes with its own suck pads so the straps are protected. It also has several D-rings on the waistband so I can hang things off of it – not done this and probably never will but it’s just so handy being there! Using the Moby Aria on holiday was great as the mesh panel meant that we both kept cool. What I really liked about this carrier is that it is very supportive and the padded waist band meant that I could carry for longer periods of time. I found it quick and easy to put on but to fold away and store was not as compact as the other two. Then again could just be my packing skills!
In summary then it’s a thumbs up for all 3 carriers! If there’s an essential accessory you need when you go travelling, it has to be a baby carrier. Baby girl still startles easily so having her close to me rather than being jostled about the cobbled streets in her pram really helped to soothe her. Being able to back carry our toddler meant that he was happy and content that he wasn’t missing out on the action of being carried. Happy family = happy holidays.
We are next on our travels to Thailand in October – I wonder what new carriers there will be for us to try!
With thanks to Nam- Taan Mestre and her husband Orlando for trying these carriers and writing this useful piece.