I have become an unexpected fan of ‘baby wearing’. I had all but given up on it after feeling the strain from my Baby Bjorn but now, both the boyf and I are regularly using our sling (a Baby Bisou). So I was naturally quite excited to try out a few slings over the past few weeks, with a particular interest in the SnugBaby because it’s in the Mei Tei Style. SnugBaby is run by Claire, fab contributor to Bambino Goodies and mum to two.
Testers: Moi, 5ft 3, 24lb something bambino, plus Mandy, 5ft 7, 17lb baby. Mandy walks everyday for at least an hour with her two dogs and baby (sta-mi-na!). Both babies are very active. I did try to get the boyf to put it on but he point blank refused moaning about looking like a girl…It is reversible though but he still wouldn’t.
Appearance and concept: They come in a range of colours with a contrasting fabric so there should be something to suit each style. The SnugBaby is based on the traditional Mei Tei so it has long straps for wrapping around your waist and forming the seat for your baby. It can be worn on the hip, back, or on the front with your bambino facing you or facing out.
Set Up: I found this OK to setup but I already use a different style of Mei Tei so that certainly helps but the third and final part of the instructions is a bit confusing on the last bit and takes practice. Mandy didn’t like the instructions at all and only felt comfortable setting it up with someone with her.
Basically, for front facing, you need to wrap the waist straps around your waist and either tie at the back, or tie at the front and tuck under the main fabric. You then place the baby facing you in the seat you’ve created with their legs either side and lift the fabric up their back and place the straps over your shoulder. Pull the straps tightly in a cross over on your back (make sure they aren’t twisted) and then bring the straps back around to the front and wrap around the outside of the baby’s leg and then thread under the opposite one so you end up with with the strap between the inside of the baby’s thigh and outside of your hip and then tie securely. Basically, I’d spend some time practicing with someone.
In Use: Both Mandy and I found the SnugBaby, really, really, really comfortable and I think it’s safe to say that when your baby is older, active, heavier, Mei Tei slings seem to work really well. The weight is distributed really evenly and let’s just say that I don’t feel all of those 24lbs! The bambino seemed to really enjoy it whereas Mandy’s baby did enjoy it but did feel a bit constrained after a while.
Any negatives: This is a bit of a practice makes perfect and certainly after several goes you’d be like an ‘ole pro but it feels complex in the first few uses if you are unfamiliar with baby wearing. As it’s a tie, not clip strap, you can have moments of paranoia so I would say practice set up and moving around in the house initially. You can always adjust your ties after you have baby set up.
Value for money: As baby carriers go and considering how comfortable it is, Â£49.50 (including delivery) for their ready made slings is great value. You can get it from Fill Your Pants for Â£44.95 (10% off)
Overall: Baby wearing in the UK and not conforming to big brands is getting bigger and bigger, and here to stay. SnugBaby represents a sling that meets the primary need of comfort whilst carrying. It is a bit of an education and I think for baby wearing virgins, the instructions are a bit daunting but like the pain of childbirth, it’s soon (almost) forgotten because it is sooooo comfortable!
Me: 4/5 – This takes practice and the last part of set up is a bit complex but outstanding comfort.
Mandy 3.5/5 – The most comfortable she’s tried but for her, the instructions and complexity let it down.