With my first two kids, I always meant to babywear, but never quite pulled it off. It looked so comfy for the baby, and so convenient for me—what wasn’t to love? But aside from a few shopping trips, I never got into the swing of it, and it didn’t become part of my routine. Fast forward to baby #3—this time, I was determined. After all, there were more things to be taking care of while toting around an infant (and later a toddler), and so I knew it was going to be crucial that I use all the help I could get.
I actually tried a lot of carriers before landing on the BabyHawk Oh Snap!, and the initial draw for me was the fact that you can design your own. I LOVE that idea, because a carrier is something that is worn like an accessory, and I planned to wear mine a lot. I knew that if I didn’t like the way it looked, I’d be less likely to pick it up and put it on, so I wanted to start with the odds in my favor for a good relationship with my carrier.
There are tons of fabric options to choose from when you design your BabyHawk, from punk to geometric to floral and more. The fabric you choose makes up the center square of material, and then you choose your solid strap color, which surrounds the fabric. Here’s a shot of the combo I chose (and my squishy sweet baby Max riding along):
Now, for the most important part: the function and comfort of the Oh Snap! With some of the other carriers I’d tried, I had a hard time the first go around with figuring out how to get the carrier on my body. Not so with the Oh Snap! It’s quite intuitive with the waist belt and behind the neck strap. Adjusting is easy, and once I got it to the right fit for me, all that was required to be baby-ready was a quick snap around the waist. After that, you simply pick up your baby and hold him in the front, pull the main fabric piece behind his back, slide your arms into the straps and then snap the behind-the-neck buckle. Done. (BabyHawk’s website has an instructional step-by-step photo gallery for this here.) I’ve worn him many, many times now, so loading him in takes less than 30 seconds, tops. And his weight is nicely distributed for me—the waist belt helps my back carry the load without discomfort.
Another huge bonus (and a detail I was looking for in my carrier) is the fact that the Oh Snap! can be used for both front and back carry. To carry Max on my back, I just fasten the waist belt with the snap in the front and do the load in process that way, snapping the upper snap at my chest. (I recommend practicing this method over a bed and with an assistant the first time you attempt it—after that, it’s a breeze!)
The straps are nicely padded and are wide enough that they never feel like they are digging in to my shoulders. Max is a hearty 24 pounds at 10 months old, and I can comfortably carry him for long periods of time without a problem. The Oh Snap is designed to fit women from size 0 to 22 and men size small to XXL and carry children from 15 to 45 pounds. I plan to carry Max to the upper limit of that range!
I do believe that your carrier choice is in part a body type choice, and so some brands that weren’t as comfortable for me may be fine for other parents. For me, the BabyHawk Oh Snap! is just right, and I highly recommend you try it out when deciding on a carrier that’s right for you and your baby.
Price: $139 for a ready-made Oh Snap!; from $149 for a design your own Oh Snap!
To buy: babyhawk.com