When my baby outgrew the Connecta Integra Baby Carrier, which I love with all my heart because my baby grew up in it), I had to go shopping for a new baby carrier.
I’d checked out the popular Beco Soleil Baby Carrier – Steps, which many, many mothers were raving about online…
Beco Toddler Carrier – Backpack Style Baby Carrier for Children from 20 up to 60 lbs which are great baby carriers in their own right. Beautiful designs too!
(Err…when a Chinese colleague showed me how I could buy ‘cheaper’ Beco baby carriers on Tao Bao, I was apprehensive about buying this brand online. If you want to buy a Beco baby carrier, I strongly advise you to try it out at shop.)
Then, I saw a Mommy trying out the Manduca baby carrier, so I perked up and started doing my research:
1. Baby and newborn carrier
– even for newborns
– usable up to 4 years old children
– max weight: 20 kg
Manduca XT is made of organic cotton, which is a plus for hot summer days and for baby’s sensitive skin. Cool and breathable.
2. Three positions for babywearing
For the front carry, the Manduca baby carrier is versatile enough for you to carry baby in 2 ways:
a) straps crossed behind your back or
b) straps positioned vertically connected with the snap-on chest blade strap – this is my preference since it’s easier.
Now that you’ve got the details, did the Manduca baby carrier live up to its reputation? Yes, it did on many points.
1. Safety buckle
I am happy to see its 3-point buckle, which needs both hands to unbuckle. Now, I’m all for ease of use but the safety of my baby takes priority at all times.
2. Sturdy waist belt
When I snapped the baby carrier on, I love the Manduca for its super solid waist belt. You must have heard me moan a million times about my backache but I’ve been babywearing the tot (from 7 kg – 11 kg) in front for a few hours without any backache.
Here she is at about 27 months old – I was in transit at Hong Kong International Airport with a toddler yet I could comfortably carry her and browse the shops with my toddler 🙂
In the photo above, she is about about 1.5 years old. Because she sucks her thumb, her arm is out of the shoulder strap. When she falls asleep, I’d usually pull the shoulder strap out from under her arm for safety’s sake.
You can read about that babywearing experience here.
The solid waist belt makes it a bit tough to tuck this baby carrier into your baby bag. The best I can do is keep the thick, waist belt straight and roll up the fabric. You need a long bag to fit this baby carrier 🙂
3. Comfort for your child
– adjustable head and neck rest
– upholstered buckles against carve
– zippers and snap-fasteners are all nickel-free
– Outer material: 45% hemp, 55% organic cotton; Inner material: 100% organic cotton
– proper sitting posture – baby’s body and legs are encased in the carrier up to the knees (no dangling baby legs supported from the crotch!)
4. Comfort for Mom/Dad
– extra large extra belts for hip and shoulder evenly spreading the weight
– sophisticated belt system suit the Manduca perfectly to your size
– baby carrier only weighs 600 g
– controlled organic cotton, extra soft and tough
The padded straps are comfy on my shoulders , with an adjustable chest strap for when I’m carrying her on the back.
4. However, I found the adjustable black straps for the chest and shoulders and a bit too long. Although I could tuck them into elastic loops and clips, neither of these were adjustable.
I don’t like long straps because the straps may get caught on moving parts e.g. when you’re going up the escalator, when you’re walking along the road, when you’re getting out of a bus/taxi.
In the end, I shortened the straps by tying them in knots.
For the back carry, I lay the baby carrier flat out on the sofa, squat (yes! LOL)in front of the sofa and ask my tot to climb onto my back. Then, I pull on the shoulder straps like I am putting on a backpack and snap on the chest strap.
The best part about the Manduca baby carrier is that it prompted my husband to try out babywearing 😀
I was surprised considering that it’s a RED baby carrier but since it’s plain, he volunteered to back carry the little girl when we were at the supermarket one day.
Because the Manduca has a long, adjustable waist belt and shoulder straps, the baby carrier can fit Hubby’s (cough, cough) thick manly waist and broad shoulders.
I was quite nervous about this newbie babywearer but the Manduca’s buckles are so secure, I relaxed after she was strapped in. With a few tugs and slides, the toddler was snugly strapped onto Hubby’s back.
Hubby said she wasn’t heavy on his back and since he’s a backpacking kind of guy, he was comfortable carrying her on his back in this sturdy Manduca baby carrier
I only had to remind him a few times to be careful when he’s turning a corner and also to watch out for her feet. The good Daddy that he is, he’d feel for her feet every once in a while.
She was so comfortable in it that she fell asleep!
To support her head and dampen the loud noises from the supermarket, I hooked the sleep hood using its elastic loops and put on some socks so Hubby needn’t worry about her tiny toes.
Hubby was concerned about her feeling hot but since the Manduca is 45% hemp and 55% organic cotton, it’s light and airy.
5. Safety features
– 3-point buckles – 2 hands are needed to buckle/unbuckle. To fasten, press buckle in firmly until you heard a loud “snap”. Buckle must be tight and snug as in the photo above. To unfasten, first press the sides and then the middle button.
– Elastic loops – The elastic loops are to hold the buckle straps IF the buckle unfastens. It works based on a “clutching at a straw” concept, ok, which means it gives you 1 second to clutch your baby if the buckle unfastens.
6. Designed in Germany, Made in China.
– €99,00 (natural, black, bright blue);
– €109,00 (red, olive, blue/navy blue, brown, black/grey);
– €111,00 (plum, maple leaf design) and
– €119,00 for special edition designs.