I was recently lucky enough to test the Ubuntu Baba Stage 2 carrier with my one-year-old son, Jackson.
I do not own a baby carrier for his age, so it was a great treat for me to have my hands free and enjoy the benefits of having my boy so close to me again.
The Ubuntu Baba Stage 2 carrier was comfortable and generally easy to use. I did have to watch the tutorial video a few times to learn how to fasten the carrier and manoeuvre Jackson into the carry positions but once I had it figured out it became easier.
It is a very reasonably priced carrier and is ergonomically safe and designed with a lot of thought and care. I have a history of neck problems, but the Ubuntu Baba did not trigger or exacerbate any pain or stiffness while I wore it.
Jackson is a very active little boy so putting him in a carrier can at times be quite challenging, but once he was comfortable and I was moving and walking a lot, he immediately calmed down and it helped him to regulate.
The Main Features of The Ubuntu Baba Stage 2 carrier
- Suitable from 9 months to 20kg.
- Option for front or back carrying positions. ·
- Option to wear straps in an X position over the back to distribute weight more evenly for parents with bad backs or shoulders.
- Large pocket in front of the carrier to fit nappies, wipes, or a spare dummy.
- Height adjusting zip for taller toddlers.
- Ergonomically designed
The Packaging and Fabric
The first thing I noticed when receiving the carrier was how beautifully it was packaged from the box to the drawstring carry bag. It has really been made with such care and you can tell that a lot of thought was put into the design of this product.
The carrier is made from organic hemp which is durable and long-lasting. It is a breathable fabric that is perfect for South African babies.
What also surprised me was how light the carrier was. It is the perfect carrier to take along with you when you are out and about and fits snugly into the small drawstring bag. I love the large pocket in front. I used it to carry around Jackson’s dummy in case he fell asleep.
There is also a compact hoodie tucked away in a front pocket that clips onto the shoulder straps, which is perfect for when baby falls asleep whilst in the front or back carry position to cover them from the sun and distractions.
The Consultation & Tutorials
I started off my experience with a free babywearing consultation with Ubuntu Baba’s certified Babywearing Educator, Megan Eadie. This consultation is offered to all customers for free when purchasing a carrier, regardless of where you purchase it through.
It is so important for babies to be worn correctly to prevent hip dysplasia, asphyxiation etc. and this service is ideal to ensure you safely get to know the carrier and the correct positions to carry your baby.
Megan was very professional and really knew the product well. It was so easy to book a session on the website. Megan is also available at any time if you have any questions or concerns. Ubuntu Baba really has taken care to offer this great service. I do recommend you have your baby with you when doing the session so you get the full experience and Megan can view your positioning.
I then watched the Ubuntu Baba video tutorial with founder and designer Shannon McLaughlin. This tutorial is essential to watch before trying out the carrier with your baby. It is also great in that it specifies timestamps so you can easily navigate and rewatch sections of the video, for example, if you only want to watch how to position baby into the back carry position you just fast forward to that section of the video to watch it over again.
Just to note that the Ubuntu Baba website is very comprehensive, they have a very informative FAQ tab, a nice review section, and it was easy to navigate. Also worth mentioning, is that when you purchase the carrier via Precious Cargo, you are welcome to come through for a fitting by Julie, who is an Occupational Therapist.
Now it was time to test out the carrier with Jackson. It was a little tricky at the start but after some practice and watching the tutorial a few times, it got easier. The biggest tip I can give is to always loosen the straps fully before positioning your baby so that the straps are easily accessible.
Front carry position
There are two ways in which you can fasten the shoulder straps; either in the H position over your back or in an X position (crisscross down your back).
I found the X position to be the most comfortable and supportive. Jackson fitted snugly into the carrier and could have easily fallen asleep. I found the waistband very comfortable and did not experience any strain on my back or shoulders. There was also no pressure on any parts of my body when the carrier was tightened, and Jackson’s weight was evenly distributed around my body in both carry positions.
back carry position
The tutorial shows you 3 ways in which you can manoeuvre baby to your back from the front position. I found it easier to take off the carrier and loosen all straps before attempting the back carry position. I was very nervous about dropping him on my first attempt, so I asked my husband to hold Jackson while I moved him across to my back.
The second time around I sat on a couch to move him to my back just in case and by the third time I managed to do it standing up. This does take practice.
Whist on my back I could feel Jackson was stretching his neck to see out of the carrier. I then checked with Megan and asked her how I take Jackson’s head out of the carrier so that he can see around him more. Megan recommended that I make the carrier shorter by zipping up the zip in the front pocket – it shortened the carrier by 11 centimetres. Jackson was then able to sit comfortably with his arms out on either side of the straps and he now had a great view of the world!
I would suggest while you are figuring out the different positions and how to fasten the baby in, that you do so in front of a mirror. Another tip would be to test the carrier with a doll or teddy before putting the baby in to test and fasten. It is safer and you also don’t want to get your baby in an anxious state while you are figuring out how the carrier fastens.
The hip-healthy carry position
The Ubuntu Baba Stage 2 carrier is also ergonomic in that it secures the baby in the hip healthy M-position. The M-position is known to avoid hip dysplasia. The Mayo Clinic describes Hip dysplasia as the medical term for a hip socket that doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the upper thighbone. This allows the hip joint to become partially or completely dislocated.
When carrying your baby, their hips need to be spread naturally apart to the side of the parents’ body, with the thighs supported and the hips and knees bent. The hips should be able to move freely, and your baby's legs should not be straight and forced together.
The Ubuntu Baba Stage 2 carrier supports the M-position in the front inward facing position as well as the back-carry position.