I love wearing my baby.
This was one thing I had decided I would do from the time I was pregnant and I’ve not once regretted my decision. I must confess though that when I started my baby-wearing journey it was with one of the traditional carriers you get from department stores – the ‘crotch-hangers’. They were cheap, easy to learn and I thought they’d do the trick.
But there was one problem. Baby M hated it.
The rexin type material was hot and itchy and M developed a rash near his nappy area from being hung around. He only liked to be worn for about 15 mins after which he would start crying in discomfort. It’s only thanks to a Mumbai Sling Library Event that I discovered the world of ergonomic baby wearing and (re)started my baby wearing journey with a Mei Tai.
I love my Mei Tai but as M started growing, I felt the need for having a second carrier. Something I could use for quick carries and which could be easily used by my family for whom wearing the Mei Tai is a steep learning curve. I particularly felt the need for another type of carrier when I was travelling alone because that’s the time you need something that’s easy for baby to get in and out of.
Unlike wraps, slings and mei tai’s, soft structured carriers comes with padded straps, buckles and a seat making them easy to use, just like the traditional carriers. The difference? It’s made of cloth and is ergonomically great for the baby.
At the time of writing this, I’ve used my SSC for a month and I am in love. So far, I’ve used it at home while doing chores, while travelling, at the mall and also for my daily brisk walks. In all these situations, Baby M happily goes into the carrier and is content either looking around or going to sleep on mom’s chest (one of my favourite feelings in the world!)
Things I Love
The Soul Full Buckle’s come in a range of different fabrics and patterns so much so that I had a tough time choosing just one! Having used my cotton woven Mei Tai, I had experience with the breathable nature of cloth carriers. However, my Soul SSC is made of 100% linen and it is even more lighter and cooler making it perfect for the upcoming Mumbai summer. I went on a bunch of baby wearing brisk walks and not once were baby or me covered in sweat which meant that both of us were happier being stuck with each other for longer!
Zero Learning Curve
It takes a bit of practice getting used to a sling or a mei tai but I was able to wear M in my Soul Full Buckle without any learning curve. Buckle around the waist, adjust the shoulder straps, buckle on the back and that’s it! Because the SSC is so easy to use, BawaGroom no longer relies on me to strap M and him into the Mei Tai. This means more opportunities for Dad and other members of the family to wear Baby M which equals more free time for me!
With M turning 5 months old, his separation anxiety has now kicked in fully. While he hates being left alone in a room he can never quite decide if he wants to play on the floor or explore the world with mum. This has meant that many times I’ll waste 5-6 mins strapping him into the Mei Tai only for him to want to come out of it minutes later. In comparison, with the SSC all I have to do is remove my shoulder straps and he is free. This is great when we are out because if he wants to get out and play we can do so while also being able to buckle him in just as quickly when its time to leave.
Finishing & Packing
The finishing of the entire carrier is just amazing. From the tight stitching to the soft shoulder pads, its clear a lot of love has gone into the making of the carrier. Small details like having ties at the end of the straps – so you don’t have long bits of strap dangling everywhere – and a nice string-drawn bag to store your SSC were especially impressive. I also love the little clips on the shoulder where you can attach the breastfeeding cover so that it doesn’t keep slipping off when you’re juggling to feed the baby.
One of the top reasons I love baby wearing is that I can breastfeed in public while M is strapped in. Initially when I got the SSC I couldn’t figure out how to breastfeed in it as the front panel is on a fixed height. However, do check out Soul videos on You Tube as they demystify the whole thing. Once I got the knack of it, it was much easier to breastfeed M in the SSC than my Mei Tei so that’s another win!
Things I Didn’t Love Quite as Much
All the Straps
It takes getting used to to know which strap to adjust to get the perfect fit. The first few times I wore my Soul Full Buckle the shoulder straps really dug into the back of my arms. I finally figured that I had got them on too tight and could adjust the back strap to get a good fit with baby. Make sure you play around with all the straps of your SSC so you know what function each of them serves
Weight on the Shoulders
This is not so much a criticism of the Soul product as it is about the SSC carrier design in general. In a Mei Tai or a Wrap you can cross the straps and spread the cloth so that baby’s weight is distributed on your entire back allowing you to wear baby for long periods (my longest has been 5.5 hours) without any pain. In comparison, the SSC has two vertical straps and you can feel baby’s weight (especially as they grow older) digging into your shoulders if you have to wear your baby for long like I usually end up doing. I believe that Soul has solved this problem with their newly released Soul Anoona though so do check that out first if you’re considering an SSC.
Ease of Use: 5/5
Breastfeeding in Public: 5/5
Baby Comfort: 5/5
Baby Wearer’s Comfort: 4/5 (only because of the straps that dig into your arms. I am not counting the weight issue as this is across all SSC’s.)
Overall, I’ve loved my experience with the Soul Full Buckle SSC. What I loved best was the finishing of the product, the sheer variety in fabric types and designs that you can get and that they come in a range of prices from ₹4000 – 9500 to suit various budgets.
Disclaimer: This review has been sponsored by Soul Slings and the author received the Soul Full Buckle free of charge. This has in no way impacted my opinion about the SSC mentioned above.