Two weeks ago my family and I were so lucky to be given passes to enjoy Disney World with our daughter. Matt and I are HUGE Disney fans. We announced our pregnancy by attending the park while wearing a shirt I made that said “Future Mouseketeer” in the classic Disney font with a tiny mouse ear hat capping off the last letter, positioned over my barely-there baby bump, of course. We had our picture taken in front of Cinderella’s castle and excitedly showed off our picture to friends and family without mentioning the shirt, waiting for the message to register. It was a fun way to celebrate such a monumental life change, and we loved getting to enjoy our last solo trip before the baby.
Visiting the park with a baby is a vastly different experience. I did a ton of research (last time I only needed to research which rides were safe for an expecting mother and where to find good vegetarian fare) and made sure to pack everything we might need. My most anticipated essential was our new lillebaby Complete Airflow. I’ve heard a lot about this versatile carrier, and while I’ve been wearing Harper in it all over town, I was especially excited to put it to the test with a long twelve hour day of trekking around in the Florida heat.
Mother nature loves to laugh, of course, and the day we spent in Orlando ranged in temperature from 48 to 52 degrees and rained off and on all day. The carrier proved to be an unexpected lifesaver in the chaos, though, as the 3D mesh dried almost instantly and the lightweight material was very easy to roll up and stuff in my bag when we found shelter and wanted to take Harper out to sit down.
Matt was the primary wearer on this adventure, and he said it’s quite a switch from his usual Ergo. He said the cut of the carrier feels more secure, like the baby is better supported, and he loves the gender neutral style (a quality which has always been a deal breaker for him… He loves wearing our child but will not wear anything floral, pink, etc; it has to look like a man’s accessory).
The lillebaby Complete allows you to wear your baby at any age/size/stage, and has a variety of carry options to ensure you are both comfortable. You can wear her on your back, on your side, or on your front. This carrier also allows you to wear your baby forward facing in an ergonomically correct position. This is a vital difference, if you’ve ever seen a baby looking wary while being worn in a carrier with a very narrow seat (the legs tend to hang down as if he is standing, think of the carrier in the movie The Hangover) you’ll realize all of his weight is being held in the crotch which puts a lot of pressure on that tiny body. It can also cause major issues with the baby’s hip and spinal development. The lillebaby has a very wide cupped seat that can be adjusted and snapped to create a comfortable seat for your baby if they insist on facing forward. The legs remain spread in a comfortable fashion and the baby has the ability to observe more of her surroundings. I don’t use this option often but there are times when Harper is bored and irritable and our choices are forward face or immediately go home. Switching to forward facing immediately turns her mood around and she is a happy curious baby again.
The sizing options on this carrier are vast, it has adjustable straps for the arms, the back, and the belt, with very long straps to accommodate nearly any size adult and handy elastic bands so excess strap overhang can be rolled up and banded to avoid the annoyance of the straps hanging down and getting caught on things like my own older generation Ergo does. My very tall husband had no issue getting a good fit. I like that the custom adjustment options allow me to get a good comfortable fit no matter what carry I’m doing, I found this to be an issue when switching to a back carry with another soft structured carrier I use. The lillebaby has a very wide and supportive waist band, and also comes with a pad for lumbar support, ideal for long term front wearing. I’ve spent hours at Target wandering the aisles with a soy latte so Harper would nap (she sleeps well at night but has days where she doesn’t like napping at home) wrapped snugly in her lillebaby.
I was a little skeptical of the nursing cover/sleeping hood since it is made of the same breathable mesh but in a single layer. I worried such a thin material would be too sheer to create privacy or shade. Yet we’ve had success with it time and time again, Harper loves the freedom to nurse in public whenever she wants and I love the freedom to continue to browse hands free without dodging stares and disapproving looks. And as you can see from this photo, it provides perfect cover for a sleeping baby, too! I love that lillebaby provides an extra panel that can unfold and be buckled (it isn’t buckled in this picture, yet, but there are perfect tiny buckles HIDDEN within a fold of fabric in the straps, so they tuck out of sight when not in use… Genius!) to provide support for her neck and head, which would also work well for infants.
The shoulder straps are well padded, which provides a nice comfortable carry even after hours of babywearing. The material is very smooth, though it does seem to attract lint like crazy. Given how easily it folds up and stores compared to every other soft structured carrier I’ve tried, I’ll take the lint.
In conclusion, this carrier is on my “In case of zombie apocalypse” checklist. It holds up very well in extreme weather (very hot sun or very rainy cold, can’t vouch for snow, but I bet it does well there, too, if you have a coat on over it), is comfortable even after hours of wearing, and keeps the baby cool and comfortable. It comes on and off remarkably well (though my husband did appreciate me tending to the back buckle, he’s not quite as flexible as I am, and had a harder time reaching it on his own) and having become used to how impossible it is to fold up and pack most soft structured carriers, I really cannot say enough about how easily you can stash it. This carrier is perfect for travel, marathon errand running, and long walks with my dog, Valentine. They also make an original cotton canvas version and an organic version if you don’t anticipate dealing with inclement weather in your neighborhood, and they have beautiful color options as well! An airflow like mine is just $115, which is truly a breath of fresh air compared to some popular soft structured carriers.[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Win it![/typography]
One really lucky DDL reader will win a lillebaby COMPLETE designer series baby carrier – winner can choose from 7 new styles! All you have to do is enter using the Rafflecopter below, make sure you do the mandatory comment, and earn extra entries for more chances to win.
About the COMPLETE by Lillebaby:
“Complete in function, comfort and style, this carrier gives you all the options –you can wear it on your front, hip, or back, with baby facing in or out, and it has you covered through all the baby wearing years (newborn to 45lb) – all in one carrier.
The unique seat adjusts to properly support baby in a natural sitting position in every setting and at every age.
Made with soft 100% sateen cotton lining and durable 100% cotton canvas exterior for years of treasured moments.”