I’m writing this review for the Tula Ergonomic Baby Carrier with my 12-week-old snuggled against my chest. It’s her favorite place to be, and that can make getting things done a little tricky. But ever since our Tula carrier arrived, we’ve both been happy—I can get on with my to-do list with my little passenger comfortably along for the ride.
Several babies ago, we did the baby carry thing with another brand of front carrier, and it was always a relief to get both the baby and the carrier off because my back and shoulders would really start protesting. After that, I graduated to a long, stretchy baby wrap, and I used it quite a bit when this baby was brand-new. When the Tula came, I was skeptical—I’ll admit it. I figured we’d still both prefer the wrap. Turns out, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for convenience, with some sense of style to boot.
For the classic front carry, the Tula is dead easy: the large, soft band snaps into place around your waist, you loop one padded band over your shoulder, fit your baby into place, slide the other band over the other shoulder and snap one last buckle by reaching up and over your head. From the very first try, it was quick and intuitive—I had no need to reference videos or instructions.
The Tula is constructed of durable cotton, with thickly padded shoulder straps and a three-section hip belt that contours nicely around the waist. The waist support combined with a strap that buckles both shoulder straps together across your upper back means no discomfort at all, no matter how long you wear it. I’ve used the Tula on a five-mile family hike around Lake Tahoe, daily walks to and from school, at extracurricular games and events and around the house for everything from vacuuming to folding laundry to chasing around a three-year-old. Clearly, it’s as comfortable for my baby as it is for me.
That’s all because of its ergonomic design, which has a laundry list of benefits to go with it. You can carry your little one on your front or back (though we haven’t tried the back position yet—she’s still too little). The wide, padded seat is designed to support the natural “M” shape of a baby’s legs and hips. The shoulder straps and waistband are adjustable for multiple wearers. And a nifty little hood that tucks inside or lays outside when it’s not in use offers head support for a sleeping baby or for protection against wind or sun.
Other practical considerations: the Tula is machine washable (hallelujah) and there’s a slim pocket on the waistband just spacious enough for a cell phone or car keys. The soft-carry design can be stuffed into most diaper bags. Weight limit for the Tula is 15 to 45 pounds, but newborns over eight pounds can be carried as well with the addition of an insert. Full disclosure—I used a rolled-up baby blanket until a friend gave me a hand-me-down insert from another soft-carry style baby carrier. It works like a charm, boosting my little girl up high enough that her head is within easy smooching distance.
Can we talk style for a minute? Tula carriers come in an array of prints and designs. Choose from basic black and muted grays to a myriad of fun patterns—colorful chevron, stylized tulips, foxes, flamingos and plenty more.
The Tula runs nearly $150, which makes it a little pricier than similar soft-carry designs out there, but it’s been worth every penny. I wear it every day, at least once a day, and I don’t see that changing probably until our baby is walking on her own.
Here’s the bottom line. I was a diehard baby wrapper, but I can’t deny the quick, comfy convenience of the Tula. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I used the baby wrap. After the Tula, it just seems like too much work.
To buy: tulababycarriers.com