I’ve decided to do more comparative reviews for you on things that I’ve purchased with my own money or have been given to me without sponsorship agreements.
I’ve decided to be more real and raw with you about what works for us, and what doesn’t. It’s not possible that everything I try, I’ll love with all my heart. If you reading this I also want you to understand that what doesn’t work for us as well, or is not our favourite choice; might work for you incredibly well and be your top pick (or visa-versa).
Simply put, I want you to hopefully trust my opinion. I am in no way an expert, and I definitely don’t know everything! I love hearing my readers experiences, too.
So, let’s talk baby carriers…
When I fell pregnant for the first time, I put “baby wrap” and “baby carrier” on my list.
Since then I’ve tried many wraps (wraps that make you feel literally mummified, to more simple wrap tie’s and sling wraps) and, of course, tried many many baby carriers with all its clips and straps.
This blog post is specifically focused on baby carriers, and not wraps.
We (my husband and I) have tried a quite a few baby carriers by now, and so I am going to list our TOP THREE based on what we’ve tried so far, ranked in preference. As requested by a number of followers. Again, these are our own personal experiences.
Number 1 is our most preferred and TOP PICK – the one I would buy again in a heart beat, if I had to. As well as another two alternatives discussed.
We obviously haven’t tried the other carriers under these brands, other than the ones I’m listing below. We also haven’t tried all the brands on the local and international market. This is also my husbands opinion, as I like to think a baby carrier is for Dad’s, too!
My top three baby carriers ranked, out of the ones I’ve tried! All available in South Africa:
1. TOP PICK: Hipporoo Baby Carrier (Local Brand)
2in1 Carrier: R2200 (but Hey Mama Life Readers only pay R1760 for a limited time only!)
Teething Pads: FREE!
Travel Bag Optional: R100
Review: This is a brand new local carrier on the South African market and we feel like it’s worth our every single cent because we’ve honestly fallen in love with it and it’s millions of functionalities. I first tried it at a friends, and I was SOLD! I had to get us one.
It hangs on a hook by our backdoor, and we use it everyday when we go for a walk around our estate, or if we ever wanting to carry Livvy easily & comfortably with free hands. Livvy loves to be close to us, and she is definitely the happiest in this carrier. Hands down!
We can really vouch that the Hipporoo Multifunction Baby Carrier is breathable, highly functional and super comfortable. The Hipporoo is from newborn to 3 years old. It has a maximum weight capacity of 15 kgs, and caters for growing babies and toddlers like no other baby carrier we’ve tried — because baby feels the most sturdy with its built in formed hip “seat.”
The carrier is detachable to the hip seat, so you actually have a two-in-one and don’t need to buy two separate “stages”. Hence, simply use the seriously lightweight Hip Seat with Twin #1 and the detachable Baby Carrier with Twin # 2. Or, use the carrier for newborn, and add the hip seat in for bigger babies / toddlers. Or, only use the hip seat (and not the carrier) for your toddler.
It wins hand down on price in relation to longevity (for us), because it’s for newborn up to 3 years / 15kg’s, and comes in at R2200 which is much cheaper than my other options for a newborn all the way through to toddler. However, you can actually get it for even cheaper than this!
They kindly gave my readers a whopping INCREDIBLE HEY MAMA LIFE PROMOTION OF R440 OFF / 20%!
I’m actually super envious, and it’s limited so hurry quick! I actually can’t believe this discount, it’s pretty much insane — so I would use it before Hipporoo changes their mind!
USE CODE “ASH440OFF” for 20% off (R440) and FREE DELIVERY! AMAZING!
It’s also a 10-in-1, because there are literally 10 different positions you can put baby in. You can view videos on their website to see.
It has a velcro strap on the waist, AS WELL as a clip buckle which makes it so much more sturdier than the other options! My husband raves about it, and loves to wear it. He always points out how Livvy feels weightless & his back doesn’t get tired or sore. Now, after reading the specifications to outline them here for you: it’s designed for just this!
The extra sturdy straps assist with not feeling the babies weight, which is also great for me as I’m not as strong and suffer from back problems.
There’s also a sun / warmth cover, as well as many little pockets for cellphones (fits iPhone 8), keys and money. There are even two dog leash zip clips so you can take your baby and two dogs for a walk hands free! How awesome is that?
It also unclips on both sides to allow baby to look what’s going on and not just be restricted.
The colour is a beautiful grey, and you can get a travel bag for it too which we love for when we go on weekends / holidays away or storage.
“Designed with parents’ spine in mind, Hipporoo™ has a wide belt to evenly distribute the weight of baby in the lumbar region. It has soft padded shoulder straps to aid in comfortably securing baby while releasing tension off your shoulders. The waistline belt can be adjusted to fit your frame with ease, and it reproduces the perfect M-shape position recommended by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.”
The entire inner is made with soft breathable mesh, including the hip seat and shoulder straps. The hip seat is reinforced with soft sponge and it fastens snugly with thick anti-fluff velcro. Hence, this is pretty similar to the Baby Bjorn Air 3D Mesh which goes for R3995, and you can get this for R1760!!!
It also has FREE teething bib clips (other brands seem to charge you extra) and a breathable head cover mesh with two adjustable layers. Both accessories are completely detachable and machine washable. The teething bib clips can be moved up or down on the straps, which you can see we have had here (which we shouldn’t have done because I didn’t realize how much she was teething on the straps – goes to show, you need them!).
It has “noiseless” loops to thread the head cover straps that make sure sleeping babies go undisturbed. The head cover mesh also has two adjustable levels.
There’s actually so much more info I could give you, it’s just that impressive!
So go check them out on their website, and quickly use the promo code before too many get sold on it! Remember, you get free delivery, too!
Shop now on:
https://hipporoo.com/ | @hipporoo
2. Baby Björn Baby Carrier One (International Brand)
Teething bib: R269
Review: This is a Swedish European Brand, but can be found in South Africa from a few retailers. I loved it, and can understand what all the fuss was about as it can go from newborn to three years. This meant that instead of purchasing a Stage One and Stage Two Ubuntu Baba (which would come to R3180 as of June 2019), you can get this carrier for nearly & roughly around same price — and it will last pretty much the same amount of time.
But, there’s also a reason for Ubuntu splitting the two, to focus more on that babies age, weight and height I assume? So with that said, alternatively you can get two carriers from Ubuntu for one Baby Bjorn. Just stating both ways to look at it.
I’m comparing these two especially, because they more similar as the Hipparoo has the detachable hip seat addition that makes it a different style of carrier.
So, the downside is that this one is a seriously pricey once off investment (probably also because of the exchange rate!). The Air 3D Mesh is even more expensive, going up to R3995 — because it’s got breathable fabric mesh like the Hipporoo above which you can get for R1760. It is, however, seriously reputable on the International market and probably the best selling carrier in the world.
There are cheaper carrier options in their range such as The Miracle (R2650) for up to 15 months, and the new Babybjörn Baby Carrier Mini Jersey (R1999) which is especially for newborns. But, I haven’t tried these and the “One” is the best seller.
This one goes up to 15kg’s (so five kg’s less than the Ubuntu Baba Stage Two). I’m not sure about you though, but we’ve chosen to not wear Kayla in a tight confined carrier who is 13kg’s. She doesn’t like it now, as she enjoys to ride her bike, walk, or go in the stroller. I wish I could still have her so close and sleep on my chest! She’s too big for us, or at least me with my bad back. That’s why I like the detachable hip seat option from the Hipporoo, and the reason why it pushes it to #1 for us.
You can choose some beautiful colors in this carrier though, from denims to grey’s and even pinks. It’s a gorgeous looking carrier.
I think this also comes in at number two for me, because it’s a lot more sturdier in terms of a “seat” and it’s not just a material hold! But, it doesn’t have as many clever options as the Hipporoo, and is more expensive – where you can get two carriers from Ubuntu for a similar price to this one.
Shop & Contact:
Shop at Kids Living: https://kidsliving.co.za/collections/babybjorn-baby-carriers-slings
3. Ubuntu Baba: Stage One (Local Brand)
Carrier: R1390 (R1490 from June 2019)
Teething Pads: R220
Review: This came in at number three as my husband isn’t crazy about this carrier — but it’s still on the winning podium as it worked fine for me when I used it. I also like that it’s a proudly South African brand, and made of organic hemp.
I never got the opportunity to try the Stage Two (which I’ve heard from many is much better than Stage One?), but my husband didn’t personally find Stage One sturdy enough, and/or comfortable on his broader frame. But, maybe he was wearing it wrong.
I do did find it harder to put on myself, as there’s only a clip for the waist and no velcro strap. I hope they can consider this and add a velcro strap! This would be better.
We both feel like we can feel the babies weight in this carrier when baby gets heavier and bigger (our girls are big!), despite it doing the job! There is a pro in that it can fold up small when going traveling, so we loved taking it on holiday with us.
I also found my babies outgrew the Stage One really fast and a carrier isn’t a cheap investment. It says it’s up to 12kg’s, but I feel like Livvy is too heavy for it and she’s only 10 months old and 10kg’s. But I am weak and I have pretty big babies. I do feel like this carrier is more for a newborn / small baby which worked great for me when they were really small.
The drawstring to tighten the bottom is great to hug newborns tighter – giving it more of a secure feel and assisting with their small legs.
The zip pouch is also big enough to fit nappies & wipes in – which is really cool! Imagine going on a long walk and a poo explosion happens out in the middle of nowhere. This is a great essential for especially newborns, ha ha!
The teething straps are an additional R220 and don’t come with the carrier, but there are a heap of designs to choose from! I love the pink stars. If your next baby is a different gender, you can “pimp” your carrier up with a different colour teething pad.
I do love their doll carriers for R290 – it’s a seriously clever idea! Kayla would love this.
So, from my honest opinion from an everyday unbiased consumer; I would repurchase from this local brand again but I would maybe use a wrap in the first few months if price was a concern and then get Stage TWO (R1590 – R1690) for when baby is a bit heavier. Or, if you not concerned about price vs. longevity; then Stage 1 and Stage 2 will do the trick. The only reason behind my thinking is that your baby will outgrow the Stage One, and then you will need the Stage Two. Wraps also only go up to a certain weight and are better for small babies, anyway!
And, while I haven’t tried Stage Two – I’ve heard really great things about it.
https://ubuntubaba.com | @ubuntubaba
Let me know if you want me to do a wrap review based on the wraps I’ve purchased and or received. Also, let me know if you like these detailed honest reviews?
oh, and let me know if you use the insane promo code for Hipporoo?
Love Ash x