For me, baby wearing is the equivalent of carrying my child. Secondary to my disability, I am unable to carry my kids “the old fashioned way” for any length of time simply because I need my only functional arm and hand for things like opening doors, getting a drink, picking a wedgie, wiping noses, and well, you get the point. Strength, balance, and endurance are also issues since I am only able to carry my kids on my left hip.
I’ve tried many different carriers with my kiddos over the years. After much trial and error, my go to carrier is a heavily padded performance Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) simply because of the extra security, comfort, and accessibility that it offers. However, it can be miserable to wear out during steamy southern summers. I was in need of an alternative solution for my clingy must-always-be-held baby boy.
After a bit of research, I decided to give the new BobaAir a try.
Here are a few of the features that attracted me:
Compact and self-storing: This carrier only weighs 0.7lbs and folds up into itself for easy storage…Just like that cool windbreaker I had in college!
Diversity: The BobaAir is a SSC that offers front and back carry and that is intended for children between 15-45lbs.
Durability: It is made of 100% Nylon and therefore easy to clean and extremely durable.
Sleeping Hood and Pocket: Like many SSCs, the BobaAir includes a sleeping hood and a large pocket to store your hood in when not in use. The hood can be used to protect your little one from sun or rain, or to provide a cover when they are nursing or taking a nap.
Sizeability: The BobaAir is designed to fit parents of all shapes and sizes. All straps are fully adjustable and have those handy little elastic bands so you can comfortably tuck the straps away once you have the carrier comfortably adjusted. AKA: MY HUSBAND CAN ALSO HELP CARRY THE LOAD!
Our first BobaAir outing lasted about 2 hours, included some indoor/outdoor time, a lot of standing, a bit of walking, breastfeeding, and sitting whenever I needed a break.
Sizing and buckling were similar to that of my performance SSC and very accessible. In fact, the centered buckles (standard for Boba) may even be a bit easier to manage than other SSCs that have a static side and adjustable side usually making them right handed.
The minimalist BobaAir actually made wearing my 19lb son a bit easier since the carrier itself weighs virtually nothing. As far as adaptability, this is an EXCELLENT feature!
Usually, after wearing my son for any length of time in my heavier SSC, our shirts will be damp with sweat and I worry about him becoming overheated. After 2 hours in the BobaAir, our shirts were dry and my son was cool as a cucumber.
The BobaAir really IS cooler.
Initially, I was a bit skeptical of this carrier due to the lack of padding. However, once adjusted correctly, I found the BobaAir almost as comfortable as my go-to padded soft carrier.
My right-sided weakness means very little natural padding through my right shoulder and I found myself adjusting the shoulder strap around my boney collarbone multiple times. Fortunately, this can easily be remedied by using an extra teething pad or doubled piece of cloth as a shoulder pad when needed.
My son was definitely cooler, but there is a tradeoff. With no padding, the backs of his legs and behind his knees had some pressure marks. The marks quickly faded once out of the carrier and no raw spots were noted.
On that note, let me mention the eczema perspective for a moment. As any eczema mom knows, heat is a big issue. I would most definitely recommend this carrier for it’s lightweight properties. However, be warned that the nylon, although cool, is not very soft. I would recommend putting baby in lightweight clothing that covers his/her highly prone eczema hot spots to protect from rubbing irritation, but you probably already do that anyway, right?
The BobaAir is a dream for breastfeeding mums. Without any padding to get in the way, the breathable nylon keeps baby cool and ready to nurse. I will say that the “sleeping hood” falls a bit short as a nursing cover as compared to my other SSC, but I think the benefits far out weigh this one minor infraction.
Despite the BobaAir’s minimalist appearance, I am able to carry my 19lb son comfortably for limited intervals. This is not an all day carrier. I will continue to use it for summer outings, church, and travel and I believe it will be ideal for flying.
As an added bonus, I was also able to give my 33lb daughter a piggyback ride for the VERY 1st TIME! That single experience put this carrier near the top of my list.
*A word of caution when using this carrier, if you are having trouble getting the straps adjusted comfortably CALL BOBA. Their customer service is excellent and ready to help. Initially, I spent 3 days playing around with my BobaAir trying to get everything comfortably situated. Come to find out that my carrier was defective. Total fluke! If I’d just called Boba to begin with, I may have realized this before I subjected my son and self to so much frustration. Once I contacted Boba to discuss my concerns, I had a replacement BobaAir within 48 hrs as well as a shipping label to return my 1st carrier free of charge to Boba. They assured me that they would be examining the defective carrier to remedy potential future issues. My replacement carrier adjusted quickly and comfortably on the 1st try.
Adaptive Baby Wearing
This part applies to all carriers…whatever works for you:
My tip for any mom with limited mobility or just new to baby wearing: Find a place to sit. It is 10x easier and safer getting a baby or toddler in carrier while seated. At home, I prefer the couch for extra wiggle room. When out and about, I get baby situated in the carrier while sitting in the car or on a park bench. Just fasten and adjust the belt before getting baby out of his car seat or stroller.
To unload your baby: Simply bend over a chair, car seat, or bed, unbuckle my chest strap, and gently lay baby down and slide him out of the carrier. Once baby is situated in his next destination (car seat, floor, Dad’s arms) take the carrier off and tuck it back into itself.
To unload your toddler: Find a deep enough seat for you both to sit and carefully let her out of the carrier.
As with all things adaptive, do whatever works for you. Every body is different. Find what adaptations work best for you.
How have you adapted baby wearing to fit your needs?
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. I was provided a BobaAir for the purposes of this review. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are 100% my own.
I only review products that I’ve found to be adaptable through personal experience or that I have researched and tried for the purpose of adaptive review.
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