16 Apr Review of Tula Free-to-Grow Carrier
As many of you know, I love to babywear. Baby wearing is something I fell in love with when Hadleigh was first born and had colic. Wearing her would calm her down, stop her crying, and make her fall asleep almost instantly. Wearing her also left my hands free so that I could clean, pay bills, walk the dogs, etc., all while she slept snuggly in the carrier. I started out with a ring sling but quickly searched for something a little more ergonomic as she grew heavier. I loved the sling, but her weight was distributed mostly to one side of my body and my shoulders would grow sore and my back would hurt after prolonged stretches of carrying her.
When I found Tula, I fell in love with their cute patterns, ergonomic design, and the ease with which you could make adjustments. There was one drawback in my mind about the Tula, however, and it was the fact that I had to put Hadleigh in an infant insert so that I could wear her when she was very little. The infant insert was awkward, bulky, and stiff. The insert also made successful transfers from napping in the carrier, to napping in the crib, almost impossible to complete without her waking up and screaming. I loved my Tula, but I couldn’t wait until Hadleigh gained enough weight to be able to sit safely in the carrier without the infant insert.
There are some major differences between the standard Tula carrier and the FTG. For starters, the FTG has a different hoodie/cover. The hoodie uses snaps and is fastened on the inside of the body of the carrier. I think this makes it so much easier to fasten and it provides more cover for the baby. I also like the straps with snaps attached to them, designed to be easily adjustable instead of the loop and clip method the standard carrier employs. Another difference is the adjustable body panel that can be tightened to fit a young baby and released to fit a toddler. Because the FTG is adjustable, it is deemed to be safe to use with a child from 7-45 lbs, meaning that no infant insert is required!
The fabric of my FTG carrier is lighter and softer than my standard carrier. I’ve been wearing Hadleigh around in the new carrier and I swear that her weight is more evenly distributed on the belt on my hips, rather than putting so much of it on my back. Hadleigh weighs almost 30lbs now and I can tolerate wearing her for over an hour without getting tired, or without my back begging for relief. I also think that the slightly wider panel makes back carrying, something I never felt adventurous or skilled enough to do much of in the past, easier too.
Needless to say, I love this carrier. I can’t wait to have another little one and adjust my carrier to easily wear a baby and my toddler. I think this will make it so much easier for when we make our routine trips to Disney too. We won’t have to pack multiple carriers and the bulky infant insert. I would definitely recommend this carrier to anyone new to babywearing, as well as seasoned professionals.