We recently welcomed our second child (and first son) into our family, and although we’re so glad he’s here, my husband and I have found he’s made our household quite busy. Our oldest is 3 and still requires quite a bit of attention (though it must be said: she’s an excellent big sister), so when I was offered the opportunity to review the Chicco Coda Infant Carrier, I jumped at the chance. Anything that promises to safely hold my baby close to me while allowing me to have my hands free is definitely something I’m interested in.
The Coda is a front pack that allows baby to face either in or out. Because our baby is still young, we’ve only used it with our passenger facing inward. The Coda can be use for babies between 7.5 and 25 pounds, which in our case, means we could have used it since birth (if only we had had it then!).
Upon unpacking the carrier and the manual, its basic use is very straightforward. The manual is well-organized and the illustrations are excellent, clearly showing all steps for both the outward- and inward-facing positions. The manual also includes care instructions, which indicate that the Coda can be spot-cleaned or hand-washed and air-dried.
The carrier offers excellent comfort for our son with plentiful padding, especially in crucial areas such around the leg holes. The actual seat portion of the carrier is very well-designed, complete with premium padding and material. Other carriers we’ve tried don’t seem to offer padding that nearly as extensive.
The vents are also well-placed and certainly necessary given the padding. It definitely seems as if extended use would not be a problem for our little guy in either in the inward- or outward-facing positions. The side safety buckles are super convenient feature, allowing me to keep one hand on my son while using the other to disengage the buckle. Like most carriers in this category, the Coda recommends waiting to carry in the forward-facing position until your baby has proper neck control, usually around the 4-month mark.
Putting on the carrier for the first time was a bit difficult. The numerous opportunities for adjustment appear to be a nice feature, but in practice seem to complicate the task. Once a desirable setup of the shoulder straps, adjuster ring and lumbar support was obtained, I did find the carrier to be quite comfortable. (I generally wear it for hour-long stretches). However, when my husband used it one afternoon while I was away and adjusted the straps to his proportions, I was devastated! I hated to have to spend time working to get everything just right again.
Despite the hassle of adjustment, the actual straps are well-designed and fairly cushioned, and the lumbar support is essential. And it is nice that the carrier can accommodate both my 6+” husband and my 5’2” self (even if it makes for a little extra work).
The materials and design of the Coda are top-notch, which is to be expected from Chicco. And for the category, the $90 price tag is not unreasonable. Above all, my son is content in the carrier, which means I have time to play with my daughter and get dinner on the table. And really, what more could a mama ask for?
To buy: babiesrus.com