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Having previously raved about my Baby Bjorn baby carrier, it is time for me to confess to a change of allegiance when it comes to carrying my baby. Step aside Baby Bjorn and make way for the Hug-A-Bub!
I had heard people raving about these carriers and decided to treat myself to one some months ago, just before my baby was due. I will confess to being slightly concerned when it arrived though. I opened the packaging to be confronted by a long piece of stretch material. That was it – no hooks or poppers, Velcro or clasps – just a long piece of material. Ok, I was confused – how on earth was I supposed to carry a baby with that!
Thankfully the piece of material came with a video that explained it all to me clearly. The idea behind the Hug-A-Bub is that there is no pressure on any part of the baby and the weight of the baby is distributed across the mother so that there is no uneven carrying of weight.
Sounds confusing? Well, wait until you first try to put it on! There I stood, in front of my TV watching a video while trying to construct a baby carrier. There is a basic way of wearing the carrier which can then be adapted depending on the size of your baby. The length of material has a pocket on the front in the middle, which you use as the starting point. Place the pocket in front of your stomach and then pull both ends of the material behind you. Cross them over at the back and then bring up over your shoulders. Try and keep the fabric flat as this helps to absorb the weight. Bring both ends over your shoulders and then thread through behind the pocket in front of your stomach – crossing them as you go. This then creates a cross on your front which is where the baby sits. Then bring both ends round your hips and tie them together! Obviously written down this sounds really confusing – believe me when I say it is easier when you are watching the video! After a couple of practices it is really easy to put on.
Once you have tied the carrier, you then have options of how to carry your baby. For newborns it is recommended that you carry them facing you. So you slide the baby in amongst the fabric until they are nestled with a cross of fabric between their legs for support and the rest of their body supported by the fabric covering it. Because the fabric is slightly stretchy, there is no pressure on the baby’s delicate bones. Baby is held securely and you still have both hands free to get on with whatever you want. Once baby gets a bit bigger, you can turn them round so they are facing away from you and can see what is going on! Again, their body is totally supported by the fabric and you have both hands free. There are also other positions that are useful for breastfeeding.
I have been using my Hug-A-Bub since my baby was a couple of weeks old and now he is 6 months I am still using it. He is not a small baby (currently around 20 pounds), yet I can still carry him in it comfortably. This is due to the fact that the weight of the baby is spread all across your body – not just on thin straps over your shoulders. The width of the fabric helps to even out the load! However, when I used my Baby Bjorn a few weeks ago, it was very uncomfortable on my back on shoulders due to his weight. A few weeks ago I went to London with him and had him in the Hug-A-Bub while I negotiated the tubes. He was securely held meaning I had hands free to carry luggage.
Being all fabric, the Hug-A-Bub can be thrown in the washing machine and it dries quickly. It packs down into a small parcel easily, making it ideal to carry about in your changing bag in case of need. Also, one size fits all as it wraps around your own individual body shape, meaning you don’t have to adjust straps if both parents want to use it.
It is not a cheap baby carrier – I paid £45 for mine – and is not all that easy to come across. I haven’t seen it in any shops. You can buy online at www.nctms.co.uk or from the Hug-A-Bub site on www.hug-a-bub.com/au
In my opinion it is worth the money. I have had a lot of use from my carrier and will continue to use it for the foreseeable future. I have friends who still use theirs for their 18-month-old children.
So if you are looking for a way to carry your baby in comfort, the Hug-A-Bub is the way to go. Compact, lightweight and easy to use (once you get used to it!), I wish I’d had one when my older children were babies.
Head Support: The wide shoulder wraps double up to provide the most secure support for babies' head and neck. It is...
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