Whether a sling, wrap or carrier, every babywearing contraption comes with its own challenges. Comfort of baby and parent, fabric and ease of use are a few major considerations when deciding on baby’s mode of transportation, and I’ve learned that accomplishing any “simple” daily task, such as laundry, requires the proper carrying device. Before attempting to use the Onya Baby NexStep Carrier, I read through the instructions to avoid first-time wearing frustrations. I went straight to their website which offers a blog with various topics, including positioning. Very helpful! The blog ranges from posts on babywearing to traveling tips to parenting. Any babywearing question can be answered here. Illustrations are included for clarity with very understandable language. Further, a customer service link provides a complete online user manual and instructional videos. My typical, initial, confusion quickly vanished. After watching the videos and reading the manual, it was very clear how to put my daughter in the carrier with correct positioning. Within two or three tries, it became second nature. I started using the Onya when my daughter was about two-and-a-half months old as it includes a nicely padded infant insert. There are only a few buckles to secure: one around the waist, which is similar to a belt, and one that links the shoulder straps together to tighten appropriately. With some carriers, this second buckle can be hard to reach over the opposite shoulder. However, shoulder strain is not a concern here and a significant other is not needed to secure any portion of the carrier. Not only is this carrier used for carrying, but it can be used as a seat when properly secured to a chair. Genius! This takes away the worry of hoping there’s an available highchair at a restaurant or a clean place for your child to sit. My enthusiasm for this feature is not expressible on paper (or screen, as the case may be). Comfort is, of course, key with baby being the primary concern. The carrier places baby in an ergonomically correct seated position with plenty of padding. It does not feel like she is dangling from lack of support—a concern with other carrying methods I’ve tried. I know my daughter is comfortable because she falls asleep after only minutes in the carrier. Now, the biggest success story with this carrier is related to my husband. He typically dislikes babywearing because he is always hot! However, he is now the one carrying our daughter most when we’re together. The material has an air-mesh lining which is super breathable and made from 100 percent recycled brushed polyester twill. It’s one of the most earth-friendly baby carriers around, and it’s perfect for temperature control and wiping clean, though it is also machine washable!
Additionally, the straps are very comfortable. Much like a nice, padded backpack, they do not dig into your shoulders when properly fitted. I’m also able to complete household chores, cook and enjoy leisurely strolls. I’ve also chosen to use the Onya instead of a stroller or shopping cart when out. This keeps the germaphobe in me very pleased. We’re a fairly active family, so this carrier has allowed us comfort while continuing the activities we enjoy. The carrier can be rolled into a compact shape for easy storage or while on the- go. There is a blog post that describes how to do this! Again, these posts are so helpful! Considering all the features this carrier has to offer, I feel the price point is very reasonable (it retails for $149). The carrier has been safety tested for up to 75 pounds, but is suggested for children 15 to 45 pounds and 3 months or older. An infant insert is also available separately to allow use from birth. (We have it; we’ve used it; we love it.) All adults of every shape and size should be able to use the carrier with many strap adjustment options.
Additional important features are the ability to carry your little one front facing in, on your back, or as mentioned above, seated in a chair. It is also simple to loosen the straps a bit and slide your baby down a bit to breastfeed—so convenient. Privacy and warmth can be increased with a tuck-away hood. There are also a few small pockets and clips for toys, etc.
To buy: onyababy.com