My husband and I are big fans of baby carriers. However, as our baby has grown into an active and curious 20+ pound 11-month old, we’ve become more desperate in our pursuit of a comfortable carrier that doesn’t constrain our daughter. When the Belle Baby Carrier arrived in a compact box, we were skeptical. Unlike a lot of carriers, Belle is made with relatively minimal materials. How could it possibly provide enough support? Surprisingly, it does and it has much more going for it!
As a test, I strapped my daughter on for a family trip to the Farmer’s market. Here’s how it did.
- After an hour-long trip walking up and down hills, I felt great. Shoulders and back were ache-free. Even without a lot of padding, the waist straps did a great job distributing my child’s weight across my hips.
- The carrier keeps baby close to the body, and the minimal material helps the carrier feel like a second skin. Without the bulk, maneuvering through the market crowds was a breeze, and less material helped me stay cool with fewer of those gross sweaty spots that sometimes show up under more padded carrier straps.
- The cut of the carrier is just right, allowing my baby to freely turn her head and reach out without having the material cut into her neck, arms or legs. With easy access to her mouth, I was able to feed my daughter plenty of fresh fruit samples. And, because the material doesn’t come right up to her head like some other carriers, I didn’t end up with a big drool spot right in the front of the carrier.
- With less bulk, the carrier can be packed very compactly. This is the only carrier that I’ve been able to roll up and tuck into a bag with other items. So great since having a kid usually mean travelling with a ton of stuff. The less you have to carry, the better.
- The crossover strap design is brilliant. No awkward pulling of the carrier over your head or reaching behind you to fasten buckles. Simply put on the waist belt, hold your baby in front of you, pull the carrier up over the baby, throw the straps over your shoulders so that they cross in back of you and grab the ends to snap into place at your waist. So simple.
- Two positions allow you to accommodate both a young infant who needs to face inward and an older child who wants to face outward (the carrier can hold babies from 8 to 35 pounds and includes a detachable head support for inward facing infants). Although my child is older and generally prefers to face outward, I did put her facing inward when she was getting tired, and she feel asleep within minutes. Makes me think this carrier is pretty comfortable for her as well!
- The material used for the carrier is both fashionable and organic. I have the Organic Jubilee model which is a stylish black and white design on organic cotton and hemp with a dye-free fleece liner. Look good and feel good about having the carrier so close to your baby’s skin.
- While most of the carrier is very comfortable, the waist strap connects with two stainless steel rings that happen to sit right on my hip bone. Heavy baby combined with somewhat bony hips makes for a little bit of a sore spot. It’s not horrible, but I did notice it.
- The stainless steel rings make attaching the waist belt a little more complicated than other carriers that utilize a buckle. However, it’s just a minor inconvenience and does feel like it might be more secure and more durable than a plastic buckle.
Overall, this is a great baby carrier. It looks great, feels great, and packs up better than anything else I’ve seen on the market. Don’t be fooled by its relatively lightweight and clean design. Apparently, you don’t need all the padding and buckles to make a really durable and supportive carrier. This one absolutely does the trick!