Yes, this is another baby-related post. All my posts are baby-related these days. I can’t help it, its almost all I ever think about! I have officially become a bubba-obsessed uncool Mama.
Anyway I’ve gotten many questions from The Little Bow Company customers about what baby carrier I am using and how to buy it ! So I thought I’d just do a post to address all your questions 🙂
We started off using a Baby Bjorn Active when Sophie-doll was a newborn, despite all the information about it not being ergonomic. I did read up, took everything with a pinch of salt and decided to use it anyway because we’d already bought it and she was so tiny there was hardly any danger of “crotch dangling”. Also, the Bjorn can’t actually cause hip dysplasia unless your baby already has hip problems!
Anyway, I thought I’d just be using our two strollers, the JOOLZ and the Baby Zen Yoyo (both are awesome, by the way) after Sophie-doll outgrew the Bjorn, but then I changed my mind and decided we needed a carrier because:
Every afternoon, I have to find a way to carry Sophie, my giant Macbook, a bag of her clothes, snacks and pre-prepared lunch as well as my own purse to the car. This was okay when she was a little bean but after she hit 7 kg and figured out how to wriggle like mad it was no longer feasible. I nearly dropped my laptop more than twice while trying to juggle everything.
So I told K I needed a carrier. At first, we bought a Mei Tai Baby carrier, which was beautiful, actually! Very comfortable. However, I am not a tying or wrap person and it got really really frustrating for me to keep re-tying the carrier because I tie really ugly knots and according to my husband I don’t have the strength to keep the knots up. His, of course, worked perfect -_-
Here he is looking smug in our Mei Tai Baby carrier:
Its a beautiful carrier and the straps grasp so well -perfect for Mamas who don’t want to wrap but want something more organic and comfortable than buckle or standard carriers. However, I’m selling this as I now have .. gulp.. three Tulas.
I was introduced to Tulas by Mama Char and Mama Mei Yue, who extolled the amazing comfort and supportive qualities of the Tula carrier. I did some reading up, and was instantly catapaulted into the very confusing and mind-boggling but wonderful world of Tulas.
The Tula is a baby carrier – part of a brand started by a couple who stayed in Poland. It’s family run and family driven business and I always love that – it really does take a Mom to know what mothers need and look for in a carrier or any baby item. There are three kinds of Tulas –
- Standard / Toddler Canvas Buckle Carriers
- Standard / Toddler Wrap Conversion Carriers (made from woven wraps instead of canvas)
The canvas ones are the most affordable and widely available in a variety of prints and cost around US$160. However, there are limited edition or exclusive prints which can also go into the US$500 to US$700 range in the Tula open market.
Wrap conversions are sold for around US$370 and up but are almost impossible to buy at a Tula stocking and they resale for anything between US$400 to US$6000 (yes you read right).
Tulas hold their value tremendously well – you can almost always sell your Tula for what you paid for it or even more depending on your print and the condition of your carrier!
So for my starter Tula, since I was still confused about all the terms and didn’t want to end up over or underpaying for a resale Tula, I bought directly from the website. I ordered a Pink Zig Zag Tula on Grey from the Europe website 🙂
Here we are in it:
And the verdict? It’s amazing. I just love it and I have never looked at another carrier since!
- It is so supportive and comfortable. K and I can carry Sophie-doll for hours in our Tula without getting tired! There is no pressure on the back at all, unlike the Bjorn. The weight seems to centre on our tummies. We can carry our wriggly 8kg bundle with no problems at all !
- It’s super easy to put on. I’m a fail at wraps or anything that requires tying. This is so secure. I just fasten my waist buckle, hold Baby S to my chest and put her on like a reverse back pack before snapping the buckle on on back on and it’s a snug fit. The arm buckles, waist buckles are all adjustable for a perfect fit! It does take a little practice putting on the back buckle but within a week we were doing it like pros! Best of all, no matter how much she wriggles or tries to fling herself out she’s safely ensconced inside.
- It’s easily washable – we just toss it into the wash every time Sophie spits up on it or we accidentally throw it on the floor and its as good as new!
- Sophie really loves the Tula. She begs for “up” when she sees me putting the Tula around my waist and these days, she snuggles into my chest once she’s snapped in. It’s so sweet to see her wanting to be close to me even though she’s getting more and more independent.
- It can carry up to 20kg. This is just great for us because most carriers end at 15kg but I’ve seen so many Moms on the Tula Love site carrying their bigger babies without any discomfort at all. We won’t have to switch up for a while.
- It does look a little bulky but then that’s because it offers great support. The material is strong and sturdy and the buckles are made with patented Duraflex. I worried about it looking like a giant fanny pack but honestly, I’ve grown to love it even if I can’t wear mini-dresses anymore (haha).
- I love the prints – they are so gorgeous! K was a bit iffy about the Pink Zig Zag chevron but it’s really grown on him and now he loves it. Its so easy to match!
- And the vain Mama part – there’s a whole community out there making Tula accessories! Look:
Here’s our Pink ZZ on Grey with Sophie’s Pixie Hat and Ribbon Reach Straps! You can see it in both front and back carry here 🙂 Her Papa’s always fighting with me over who gets to Tula Sophie-doll. He actually says that – “I want to Tula Sophie, you get to do it everyday.”
Its been great in helping us bond. I never really enjoyed the benefits of babywearing until now, to be honest. I found the Bjorn nice but once Sophie hit 6 kg it was a huge strain on my back and she was no longer in the optimal “M” leg position recommended by PDs and chiropractors.
Since I started to Tula her every day, we have definitely grown closer. I can kiss the top of her fluffy little head almost anytime I like and I don’t have to worry about her being over stimulated when we are in a crowded place because she simply burrows into my chest and shuts out the noise. I also don’t have to worry about her waking up and freaking out in the stroller because the first thing she’ll see is me (well, my chin).
Also, I just love the feeling of her small warm little body pressed against me. I spontaneously hug her whenever I want when she’s in the carrier and she’s starting to love our little snuggles. 🙂 My Tula also seems to have some magical sleeping dust because she falls asleep almost instantly in it! Some nights when she’s super cranky and refusing to sleep because she’s teething, we simply use the Tula and continue doing whatever we needed to do instead of having to drop everything to attend to her and rock her till she sleeps. Sometimes, all baby needs is the sound of Mama’s heartbeat.
Anyway, I had a talk with K and he agrees with me that he’d like to baby-wear Sophie-doll until she’s a toddler. I know we will be criticized for this and people will be asking us why she is still being worn when she can eventually walk. But if you really take a look around, you’ll notice that many parents still carry their toddlers – in their arms – exhausting and putting a huge strain on all the wrong places.
Toddlers can walk, even run, yes. But they also get cranky, tired and overstimulated and more often than not you’ll end up having to piggyback or carry them anyway! We do have the strollers but we figured that if it’s just me and two babies running errands it might be more practical that I tandem wear them in two carriers or if K could simply wear our older child.
So.. I got a toddler carrier lol. I would have waited but I chanced upon one of the last few pieces in a print I was dying to own but has been discontinued!
My toddler Unicorny!
Obviously, I can’t show a photo of Sophie in it yet because it’s waaay too big for her 🙂 But it can’t wait to be used!
And as my birthday present to myself, I got myself a standard Tula in my DISO (desperately in search of) print, Secret Garden!
It’s an exclusive and limited edition Michael Miller print 🙂
We got a bunny hood customized for it, and it’s absolutely perfect 🙂 It puts a smile on my face every morning when I strap Sophie Rose in and before I head out the door.
Here we are wearing Sophie in our Secret Garden Tula with her Bunny Hood out for the first time.
Secret Garden is so special to me because my little Sophie is born in the year of the Horse (Chinese zodiac) and the print has a little girl playing free with ponies. The beautiful pastel swirls remind me she is my rainbow baby, and the Rose print inside the hood are for her second name.
And guess who has become a huge fan of Tula, too? (UPDATED April 2015)
K has his own Tula – the Sherlock, in all his favourite colors! (And another Trig Tula on the way he’s super excited about)
He even got a mention on Tula’s official Instagram account by Ula! -dies of excitement-
This is our “Rose” Tula, which I knew we had to have the moment I saw – pink? paisley? ROSE for Sophie Rose? MUST FIND! -cue crazy stalking on Tula sites-
Wearing my baby has been one of the most beautiful parts of motherhood to me!
If you’re just starting out on your Tula journey, here are some useful resources:
Are you in love with babywearing too? Share with me what carriers you use and why you like them so much!
Mama J over at Lady J Musings has a great post on her experience with the Boba Air and Ergo Baby.
Hope you enjoyed this post!
Libby and Sophie Rose