As a mother of three, I’ve had the opportunity to put to use a variety of carriers. But with each one I have been left wanting for something a little bit different. With the new Beco Baby Carrier Soleil, I was pleased to find an assortment of features intended to make my life a little easier, and the comfort of my baby was not sacrificed in the process!
The first thing that caught my eye with the Soleil was the attractive print that was on the carrier as well as the optional “carry-all bag” accessory. Beco is known for their eye-catching prints, and their newest carrier is no exception; it’s available in seven fashions (including a solid black organic). The Soleil definitely met the challenge of making a functional yet attractive product that I am happy to wear on any occasion.
There are padded leg supports as well as a padded headrest, which ensure your baby is comfortable. The Soleil also includes a waistband pocket for your cash, phone and/or credit card., and a key and toy ring.
As for accessories, this carrier certainly has a few. A Carry-All Bag (sold separately, $35) attaches to the back of the carrier, which allows you to stow diapers, wipes, bottles, etc., and eliminates the need to carry a diaper bag during outings. And since the bag is detachable (and stylish!), you can remove it and use it as a diaper bag even after you’ve retired the carrier.
A few of the carriers I have purchased in the past fall short when it comes to fitting different size children, but the Soleil includes an “infant insert” which allows you to more comfortably carry a small child (7 to 15 pounds). The insert coordinates with the carrier and provides extra support for your little one’s head, neck and bottom. As your baby grows, you simply remove the insert and your child can sit in the carrier (up to 45 pounds!). The carrier can be use on the wearer’s front, back or hip.
The Soleil also has a hood, which allows you to protect your baby from the sun and wind—always a plus. There are also removable “drool pads”, which are organic terry cotton, and they attach to the shoulder straps—this gives your teething baby something to chew on, and keeps your carrier from becoming dirty! Note that these accessories must be ordered separately, as they do not come with the carrier. (The Soleil Accessory Bundle retails for $40 and includes the infant insert, hood and drool pads.)
Having vast experience with similar carriers, I was able to put the Soleil to use right away without any assistance from my husband. My husband, on the other hand, did not feel confident putting our baby in the carrier without additional help. The carrier can be worn with the straps crossed in an “X” or straight like a backpack, but my husband found the latter to be a bit tricky since the buckles require two hands to release (there is a safety button in addition to the clasp). He considered wearing the straps without the crisscross, but felt his stature was a little slim for this (though it would be great for someone with more of a football player’s build).
Aside from the learning curve in figuring out how to get the carrier on and baby secured, I am very impressed with the product. It is comfortable and the shoulder straps are well-cushioned, which is a nice feature. The overall design of the carrier allows for even weight distribution, and it is easy to wear for extended periods of time. Plus, I love the accessory options! I would say that the Beco Soleil carrier is a winner when it comes to both looks and functionality.
To buy: becobabycarrier.com (Coming in April 2013!)