This is a new addition to this blog for 2020. And I think I'm in love. This carrier answers the problem of the age where a baby size carrier is too small but a toddler size is too big, because IT'S ADJUSTABLE!!!! It goes from about the size of a standard size tula to a huge 21" which is the size of a preschool carrier. A-MA-ZING. It has a padded waistband and padded shoulder straps. It comes in woven wrap fabric and so some beautiful patters and colours..I really really love it.
Cons: it doesn't offer a crossed strap option. But when you're carrying a toddler it's less of an issue because you're mostly back carrying.
Age range 16 months - 6 years!
PROS: This is the carrier I used with Anna until she was 3.5 years old. I really really love it. It's got a sturdy waist band (but isn't diggy). It has cushy shoulder straps and is super easy to put on with the straps fixed in a ruck sack style. They come in gorgeous prints too. They are on the bigger size end of the toddler carrier spectrum which has worked really well for me with tall toddlers! They offer back carrying and parent facing front carrying options. To tighten when you're front carrying, it's a really simple forward tightening action.
CONS: The straps don't offer a crossed strap option (as with all tulas). This carrier also has very limited adjustability - it has perfect fit adjusters on the shoulder padding but not adjusters in the waist band. When back carrying you have to tighten by pulling backwards which can be a bit trickier.
Price: £129 (additional discount if you order through us!)
age range: 18 months - 3/4 years
PROS: This is lightweight with a breathable mesh middle panel carrier. This makes it a really good option for summer carrying. It has a Padded waist band but it's not mega chunky. Similarly the straps are padded but fairly minimal padding. You can cross the straps over your back. It offers front, back and hip carrying options. It is also a fairly big toddler option so will last a good time.
CONS: like the toddler Tula, there isn't much in the way of adjustability with this carrier. Because of this and how big it comes up, it will fit bigger/older toddlers (you may have to wait for it to fit).
PROS: I will always love a woven wrap for all ages really. You can wrap it so it supports you in all the right ways (eg, spreading weight over different areas of your body, shoulders, chest, back, hips). There is something quite wonderful about the process of wrapping. With one woven the options are so big. Front, back hip carrying with lots of different ways of doing it. Something with linen or hemp in it is super strong for a toddler but still soft and lovely for your shoulders. This is also a sling option that isn't limited to toddler carrying but would work from newborn right through to toddler hood and beyond making it very cost effective.
CONS: They do take more time to learn and to tie. Wriggly toddlers can be a challenge to wrap. My preference is a size 6/7 which is a long wrap. These are then very long to carry around if your little one doesn't want to be up all day.
PRICE: again varies from brand to brand, we have some gorgeous Oscha (pictured) and Firespiral in the library and a size 6 is around £150+
When I say good, I mean one using woven wrap fabric, with metal rings and no padding along the rails (eg not cheapies on the internet)
PROS: super quick to just chuck on, especially helpful with toddlers who want to be up and down all the time and who really like being carried on your hip. Goes nice and small for popping in a bag on a day out. Can even be used for a quick back carry as well!
CONS: it's a one shoulder carry, and so it's not going to be a carrier that you use for a full day of walking around. There is a real sweet spot with ring slings so well worth taking the time to find yours.
PRICE: varies from make to make. Picture is an Oscha ring sling.
Another new entry for 2020 and another I'm a little bit in love with. I've just ordered a custom made preschool size carrier from Pouchlings and I'm super impressed. These are made by a lovely babywearing consultant called Angela who is truly an artist. She has website where you essentially choose the elements of a carrier you'd like and boom...new carrier. I've gone for a deluxe carrier, in preschool size with leg padding, perfect fit adjusters and full buckle straps. She also makes wrap conversion full buckles too, so if you've got a wrap you love but not using it, this could be a good option! And the price point is AMAZING. As well as being made by a small business in the UK, supporting other small businesses (wrap fabric etc)
Cons: only that you'll have to make some decisions! What is it that you'd like in a carrier. But I'm absolutely sure Angela would help you.
Please shout if you'd like to try one!