One of the things that I’ve discovered I enjoy the most since having a sprog is babywearing. To clarify, that is the practice of holding a baby in a sling or carrier as opposed to anything else that the word suggests – such as dressing up as a baby, which I only do on very special occasions.
I always just assumed that pushchairs were a baby’s main mode of transport, with a select few hippyish parents deciding that a bit of cloth wrapped around their waist was sufficient. That was until I became a dad and realised what a ballache pushchairs could be when you’re attempting to walk in the country, trying to navigate cars which have been selfishly parked on a pavement or surrounded with annoying shoppers getting in your way in town.
Since she was big enough at around three months of age, Baby L has become somewhat accustomed to being worn across my front like some kind of stinky accessory. We’ve tried a few baby carriers with varying success during this time, so I was delighted to be able to test and review BabyBjorn’s Baby Carrier We and Teething Pads. I’d heard big things about this carrier since it was launched in Summer 2014, so was looking forward to putting it through its paces (literally!).
Below you’ll find my review of the carrier and handy teething pads:
The product is described as:
- Suitable from birth to a maximum weight of 15kg
- Designed for you to use unaided in all positions. Even when you have your child on your back
- Front part opens up to enable you to lift your child out quickly and easily
- Easy to put on and take off
- Perfect fit straight away
- Easily adjusted for the perfect fit for both mum and dad
- The safety click will tell you that you have fastened the buckles correctly
- Three front and back carrying positions
- Ergonomic Design
- Developed with paediatricians
- Protect The Baby Carrier – Babies like to suck and chew on things. Teething Pads for Baby Carrier are both soft and safe to chew. Meanwhile you protect your baby carrier and keep it clean and like new for longer.
- Easy To Use – The teething pads are easy to slip on and off the baby carrier – simply unfasten the head support and slip the teething pads over the straps.
- Safe And Tested Textiles – All fabrics used in this product are gentle against your child’s skin and safe to chew or suck on. They have been tested and approved in accordance with Oeko-Tex® Standard 100 Class I. This means that the textiles are free from health-hazardous substances and allergens. That’s important to us!
- Material – Made from 80% cotton and 20% polyester.
- Product Care – Machine wash, 60°C. Wash separately with a gentle, bleach-free detergent.
On opening the box, my initial reaction was surprise as to how compact the carrier was – I’ve seen, and used, some ‘similar’ carriers which are a lot more rigid in structure so I was slightly worried as to whether this greater flexibility would be at the expense of comfort and safety – however having used the carrier in multiple situations, this is definitely not the case.
Putting on the carrier was a pretty pain free process too as it is similar to a jumper. There’s always a couple of weirdos out there who do things differently, so by putting on a jumper, I mean it goes over your head and then your arms go either side. The next stage is to buckle the waist belt at the back then pull on the strap to tighten it. You can then put in your sprog – facing towards you with legs dangling either side of the middle section – prior to securing with a front buckle and two head support buckles. You then pull on various straps in order to ensure everything is tight and secure. Removing the baby is pretty much the same process but in reverse.
The carrier is designed to be used from birth through to around three years of age. As Baby L was five months old when this arrived, I’ve obviously been unable to test out the optimal newborn position which allows newborns to be carried high up on your chest – however, due to weight restrictions, she would have been too small for the carrier as a newborn (baby has to weight 7lb 7 oz, but Baby L was 5lb 14oz). This newborn position basically involves using a different zip on the back of the carrier, pulling the head support closer towards you and securing the legs with the leg straps. I’ve also not been able to use the easy back carrying position (mainly because the missus wouldn’t get on my back!) which allows you to carry your toddler on your back. This toddler position allows you to cleverly put the little one into the carrier at the front before sliding them around to your back in one safe motion without assistance.
Both the missus and I have worn the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier We for numerous outings since it arrived. This has included things from walking the dog around the block, visiting a museum, walking around the shops or going for long treks in the country (yes, I realise we sound really old and boring based on those activities – the truth is, we probably are now!). In each of these situations, we have found the baby carrier to be excellent – the little one has felt secure on each occasion, the carrier has not restricted our movement (including bending down to pick up dog crap) and the little one has seemed more than happy. We did have an initial trepidation that the carrier did not allow the baby to be forward facing, like other carriers, however we found that Baby L was able to look from side to side with little restriction which allayed any fears that she’d be forced to stare at my chest.
The fact that the carrier can fold up really small is also a bonus. With other carriers which are more rigid in appearance, we have found that you have to decide in advance whether you wish to wear the carrier or not. With the We carrier, we were able to easily pop it into a bag or under the buggy, to give us another option if we were out and about – for example, when doing multiple things on the same day, sometimes it is preferable for the little one to be in her buggy, but at other times it makes sense to switch from buggy to carrier. The fact that the carrier takes up only a small amount of space gives parents that flexibility and option that we often need.
At times, both the missus and I found the carrier to be a little uncomfortable on the back and around the shoulders. This is hardly surprising when you’re walking for a few miles with a 14lb baby attached to you, but it isn’t ideal to feel a bit of muscle strain as a result. I experimented quite a bit with the carrier to try and alleviate this nuance – what I did find was that when the waist strap was higher and pulled tighter, it provided more support and eliminated any strain. However, I struggled to pull the waist strap to the required tightness – I’m not the biggest bloke in the world, but I’m also not the smallest, so I was surprised that the waist strap often felt a bit too loose for my likening, which I ultimately think had an impact on my back and shoulders.
Another point of contention was the three buckles to secure the baby in the carrier – I initially really liked this simple method of securing the little one, but as time went on, I found that they became a bit more difficult to attach. The buckle needs to go in at the right height and angle, which can often be a little tricky when you have a wriggling or crying baby on your chest and when the teething pads are attached.
Moving on to the teething pads, I personally thought that these were a really great addition to the carrier. Attaching them was a very simple process as they just slot around the top two buckles on the carrier to be in line with the baby’s head. Baby L is at the point where she likes to chomp on anything, usually meaning that whatever she’s found and put into her mouth is pretty much soaked within seconds. The last thing we wanted was to be washing the baby carrier after every use, so the teething pads definitely helped prevent the carrier getting dirty as they provided a soft place for the little one to attach her gummy mouth. The pads can then be simply taken off and washed on their own.
The BabyBjorn Baby Carrier We is available for £84.95 from retailers including Amazon, John Lewis and Mothercare. As with many baby related products, there are a range of options available which differ in price depending on what you’re looking for. At £85, the We carrier appears pretty well priced – it is still expensive, but it is much cheaper than alternatives. We spent over £110 on a similar carrier, so at this price, the We is well priced as it can do your family for a number of years.
The BabyBjorn teething pads are priced at £11.99 and can be bought from retailers such as Amazon. £12 for two soft pads feels a tad on the expensive side, however we found that they are worth the money. Yes, they are a nice to have as they aren’t an integral part of the We carrier, but they do help to keep your carrier clean(er) and give your little one something a bit softer to chew on.
We really liked the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier We and will definitely continue to use it on our many outings. On the whole, my opinion of the We is extremely positive as it is compact, secure, easy to use and nice looking. I also really like the fact that it can be bought from birth and used for three years which, for me, more than justifies the retail price. The teething pads are a nice addition to the carrier and help keep it clean from the gallons of spit and drool produced by your spawn.
As mentioned, there are one or two gripes which slightly impacts my thoughts on the product. The last thing you want with a baby carrier is to feel it pulling on your shoulder and back, so the fact that this does after a long walk is a bit annoying. Granted, it may be because it should be adjusted slightly differently, our baby is too fat, or I need to put on some more muscle, but it is still something that I can’t ignore!
However, as I say, my thoughts on the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier We are very positive – it has been my go to carrier over the last two months and I expect this to continue until the point when the little one is too heavy to carry, or more likely, doesn’t want to be seen out in public with her dad.
The DADventurer Star Rating
4 out of 5
N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion of the product. The baby carrier and teething pads were sent to me by BabyBjorn with the purpose of writing an honest product review in exchange for the product.